Sea warning as grave restored

Pictured by the gravestone of the brother and sister in Fleetwood Cemetery, are from left, Jason Dell, Helen Dell and Lynda Edwards.
Pictured by the gravestone of the brother and sister in Fleetwood Cemetery, are from left, Jason Dell, Helen Dell and Lynda Edwards.

A FLEETWOOD woman is keen to give a sea-safety warning to youngsters – by recalling a forgotten tragedy in which two youngsters drowned.

It was only by chance Lynda Edwards was not involved in an incident on Fleetwood beach almost 49 years ago which claimed the lives of Frances Hinchliffe, aged 12, and her brother Charles, 10.

Now Lynda, of Ettrick Avenue, is arranging for their neglected headstone to be restored and would like to see a fresh initiative to get more children to learn to swim.

She said: “I found the grave and it was sad to see it was neglected and forgotten.

“I still get emotional about what happened.

“I knew Frances and I lived in Lindel Road at the time. That day I met her I was on my rollerskates and she asked if I wanted to go to West View beach, but I said I was staying with my roller skates, or I would have been with her when it happened.

“The whole school turned out for the funeral and there was a big procession.”

Ahead of the anniversary of the tragedy on July 20, Mrs Edwards added: “I want it to be a warning to children to be careful when they go to the beach. We just don’t want another tragedy like this.”

Funeral director Jason Dell is arranging for the cleaning of the stone with the help of Wyre Memorials, and said: “We have spoken to the cemetery and they have not been able to trace any members of the family so it’s OK to have the stone cleaned and made good again.”

Coastguard Mark Sumner said: “The danger is the different depths of water on the beach – up to two to four feet difference with the groynes.”