OAPs continue their fight for fitting memorial to Eve

Falstone Avenue residents Jim Pennock and Edith McGillivray with the tribute to Eve Bailey they were asked to remove from their community hall.
Falstone Avenue residents Jim Pennock and Edith McGillivray with the tribute to Eve Bailey they were asked to remove from their community hall.

Furious pensioners say they’re not impressed with alternative plans for a memorial to remember their beloved former sheltered accommodation manager.

Residents of Falstone Avenue, in South Shields, placed a picture of their former LiveSmart manager Eve Bailey, who passed away in December, in their communal hall.

But they were told to remove it by bosses at Affinity Sutton, which owns their sheltered accommodation unit, because it is not in keeping with the new colour scheme.

The firm says it has now offered suggestions of alternative memorials, including an outdoor bench.

But Jim Pennock, 68, who was responsible for framing the picture, says that residents were offered “ridiculous” ideas, including a greenhouse and a bird bath.

He said: “We initially asked them for a memorial bench because we had money left over from Eve’s flower collection, but there were issues with health and safety.

“Then a greenhouse was suggested, which is a bit random, and it would have been behind the community hall so nobody could see it.”

He added: “Then a bird bath was mentioned, which again is puzzling as none of the residents are allowed these in their own gardens due to them potentially attracting vermin.”

Mr Pennock, a retired baker, says he has now taken his complaint to the second stage in a bid to get Eve’s picture reinstated in the hall.

A spokesman for Affinity Sutton said: “We sympathise with residents on the loss of their LiveSmart Manager Eve, who sadly passed away in December. Our thoughts are also with Eve’s family.

“LiveSmart schemes across the country are being refurbished and we consulted with residents at Falstone Avenue about which wall hangings in the communal areas would remain after it was redecorated.

“It was decided that it might be understandably upsetting for some residents and colleagues to be reminded of the passing away of Eve.

“We offered to provide an alternative memorial, including an outdoor bench, and gave Mr Pennock a selection to consider.

“We are still very much committed to working with residents to agree on an appropriate tribute to Eve and her great work at Falstone Avenue.”