Stanton: Company offers help after memorial sign is stolen

FAMILY of a man who died in an accident have been touched by the kind offer of a new memorial plaque to replace one which has been stolen.

A sign, which read Vespa Parking Only, on a wall in the car park of the Cock Inn pub in Stanton was dedicated to Peter Johnson, 42, known as PJ, who was from the village.

PJ, who had been a resident DJ at the pub and loved his Vespa scooter, died in an industrial accident in January last year alongside brothers Thomas, 26, and Daniel Hazelton, 30, also from Stanton, and Adam Taylor, 28, from Rickinghall.

The theft of the sign, which was taken some time between Monday evening and Wednesday morning, had angered and upset villagers.

Following media coverage of the crime, Roger Grosvenor, executive officer for retail for the East of England Co-operative, got in contact with the Cock Inn about providing a replacement plaque.

He said: “When we heard that the plaque had been stolen, we wanted to find a way to help.

“We are part of the fabric of the community, and understand the upset caused. Our stonemasonry company H L Perfitt have already been in touch to arrange to craft a new plaque in PJ’s memory, which will be erected at the pub as soon as possible.”

Most Read

PJ’s sister Judi Freeman described the offer as “lovely” and “overwhelming”.

“It amazes me how people react to things. Like I said yesterday [November 1], it isn’t a major crime or anything like that, it’s more of a personal thing, but the fact it’s obviously touching other people is nice. I wouldn’t have expected anything like that.”

PJ’s mother Barbara May said it was “very good” of the Co-operative.

Chris Roberts, landlady of the Cock Inn, said the original sign had been the last present the pub ever bought him.

She said: “I still remember giving it to him and his face.”

She added: “Obviously it’s [new plaque] not going to be the same and have the same memories the other one did, but it would be something, just to give us something to remember him by.”

PJ’s family are still keen for the original sign to be returned. Anyone with information should contact Pc Sheena Tate at the St Edmundsbury Rural North SNT on 101 quoting BR/12/797.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter