A woman has described her heartbreak after a crematorium removed her dad’s memorial bench.

Cathy Erskine, 54, received a call from her panicked daughter yesterday (October 9) to say the bench was no longer in Honor Oak Crematorium.

Gerald Erskine, 72, died 14 years ago and a tribute to him has been maintained ever since.

Cathy told News Shopper: "I got a call to say ‘grandad’s bench isn’t there anymore’. They left his plaque and flowers on the grass.

"It meant everything. My dad’s ashes were by a willow tree there and we would often sit facing it. It was so peaceful."

According to Cathy, remaining benches had notices up today (October 10) from Southwark Council explaining they would soon be removed if the tenure was expired or if they were dangerous.

She claims no such notice appeared on her dad’s bench before it was taken.

"Yesterday I was so angry,” she said. “Today I am just absolutely heartbroken. The bench is not dangerous and is well kept. I would have taken the bench to my garden if I had known what would happen."

Cathy visited the crematorium today but was told the bench has been removed to an undisclosed location.

She lives just a five-minute walk from the crematorium and said it was no longer a sacred place because of how “people’s memories have been disposed of”.

Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for environment, transport management and air quality, said: "We are very sorry for Cathy and her family’s distress.

"Work is ongoing to improve Honor Oak Crematorium and create new burial and memorial space for the future, including a new, dedicated peace garden for babies and children’s memorials as well as creating a more pleasant, peaceful and well-maintained site for families.

"We are very aware that this work can have an impact on people who visit the memorials of loved ones in this location and notices advising of the changes and how to contact us about them, were in the area from April this year, with a further notice placed on Cathy’s bench in August."