Coventry & Warwickshire

Coombe Abbey Park removal of gravestone with racist name welcomed

The pet grave Image copyright Nathan
Image caption The pet grave from 1902, that was in Coventry's Coombe Abbey Park, has since been removed

The removal of a pet gravestone bearing racist language has been welcomed by the man who initially reported it.

The man, who wishes to be known as Nathan, reported the "highly offensive word" on the gravestone from 1902 at Coombe Abbey Park, Coventry, last July.

He said he reported it to the council, police and the park, but nothing was done at the time.

"We can confirm the historical gravestone in memory of a loved pet was removed," Coventry City Council said.

The removal was first reported by Coventry Live.

Speaking to the BBC, Nathan said: "It's a positive step, I would just like to know who made the decision not to remove it when I first asked and why have they now backtracked.

"I think these things get mentioned and then there's an awful lot of defensiveness, they think if they say anything it implies they're admitting racism. Britain has a long way to go."

He said when he first tweeted the picture of the gravestone, a lot of people were "really angry" and said something historical should be left alone.

'Stance on racism is clear'

But Nathan said the park, "where kids are playing" is not the setting, adding, "it should be in a museum somewhere".

"I'm also extremely disappointed that not one of the people I complained to responded to me at all," he explained.

"I feel that ordinary black citizens aren't respected enough to get a reply until the media get involved."

A city council spokesman added: "Our stance on racism is clear and although the gravestone was from another time it is not appropriate today."

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