THE FAMILIES of four men who died in an industrial accident more than two years ago are delighted work should finally be able to start on a memorial in the village of Stanton.

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The Cock Inn pub has “come to the rescue” after Stanton Parish Council pulled out of insuring a memorial in honour of brothers Thomas, 26, and Daniel Hazelton, 30, and their workmates Peter Johnson (PJ), 42, and Adam Taylor, 28, from Stanton and Rickinghall.

The memorial was due to be in Havebury Housing Partnership land opposite the Cock Inn pub, but the parish council told the men’s families it had had to withdraw the offer of insuring it due to a number of issues.

The parish council suggested the memorial could be part of the refurbished play area at the recreation ground - land which it owns - and money for the memorial could go towards this project.

But the families have chosen to accept an offer of land from Nigel Wallace and Chris Roberts, landlord and landlady of the Cock Inn. The memorial - which involves a sculpture and seating - is set to be in the car park of the pub.

The Four Friends Memorial was launched by the East Anglian Daily Times following the men’s deaths, in liaison with their families. Thanks to people’s generous support it reached more than £35,000.

Marilyn Hazelton - mother to Tom and Daniel - said the gesture from the pub was “wonderful”.

The 59-year-old said: “It’s so kind of them to come to the rescue when they could see we were all beating our heads against a brick wall.”

She added: “They knew all the boys and knew them for a lot of years - not Adam quite as much, but the others they did.”

PJ’s sister Judi Freeman said: “It will be lovely I think when it’s finished. It seems really nice. We are really pleased, and mum was pleased with it I think. It’s nice to have it actually going somewhere. It’s more of a relief.”

Mr Wallace said: “It’s the village pub as far as I’m concerned and it’s for the village. We are part of the village and the village is a community. If we can help out by giving up three car spaces in the car park that’s fine by me.”

He added the plan was for a lifetime covenant to protect the memorial if the pub was sold in the future.

Kelvin McDonald, chairman of Stanton Parish Council, said the parish council had done whatever it could to support the project, but issues had arisen as it did not own the land. “I’m really pleased that’s starting to move forward for them,” he said.

It is hoped work will start on the memorial in April. A memorial in Rickinghall - where Adam was from and Daniel had lived for the past few years - is complete.

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