AN 84-year-old has made an emotional plea for the return of stone ornaments that have gone missing from her personal memorial garden.

Kathleen Parker lives at Carlisle's Heysham Gardens and Meadows, an extra-care housing development owned and managed by Eden Housing Association.

At her property, she has created a personal memorial garden, intended to commemorate a number of Mrs Parker's friends who sadly passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic. It included several stone ornaments that hold huge sentimental value to the pensioner.

However, two of these ornaments, a gnome and an angel, have now gone missing, with Mrs Parker believing that they were stolen.

News and Star: A picture of Kathleen's memorial garden in 2020 with the missing ornaments highlightedA picture of Kathleen's memorial garden in 2020 with the missing ornaments highlighted (Image: Matthew O'Hara/NQ)Mrs Parker is unsure when exactly the stone ornaments were taken but believes that it could have been in the week beginning Monday, January 22, and after their disappearance, she spoke candidly about her sadness.

She said: "They have taken what I call the spirit of the people.

"I don't want them to take anything else. It is so upsetting and I don't know why they have taken them.

"They are very sentimental to me and I am very upset... I want them back.

"People come by and say that they are cheered up when they see my garden. They smile and they wave."

Since the disappearance of Mrs Parker's treasured ornaments, the 84-year-old, with the assistance of Heysham Meadows staff, has moved some of her other memorial garden fixtures into a more secure location.

However, she questioned why she should have to move her 'special' garden solely due to the actions of the thieves that she believes took the ornaments. 

News and Star: Kathleen and her husband Doug ParkerKathleen and her husband Doug Parker (Image: Matthew O'Hara/NQ)"I don't know why they have taken the lovely things, these very special things.

"Why should I take these things and hide them away? I don't want them to come back.

"They don't realise the story behind them. I class them as family, they represent the people that are gone and everything that I like and love."

The true cause of the disappearance of Kathleen's memorial ornaments remains unknown and in the wake of the incident, Eden Housing Association's chief executive Chris Fawcett was keen to reassure residents at Heysham Gardens and Meadows and the wider community that there is no cause for concern.

He said: "Heysham Gardens is a quiet, supported, and safe community and thankfully we’ve had very little issues similar to this in the past."