Customers promised they would be contacted from a March stonemason- but another says she hasn’t heard a “dickie bird”

A Plaque to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Gary Manning from Ken

A Plaque to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Gary Manning from Kent Memorials who made the plaque.. Picture from 2012 before his business shut leaving a trai of unhappy customers PHOTO: Archant Newspapers - Credit: Archant

Another unhappy customer has come forward to say she has not heard from a stone mason who closed his business but promised he would contact everybody and pay them back.

Susan Lambert said she gave Kent Memorials in Station Road, March, £2,268.60 in May 2016 to add her mum’s name onto her dad’s existing headstone.

She also wanted to add a black marble surround with best quality vases.

But she said: “We haven’t heard a dickie bird, no contact and no money returned, luckily I have another stone mason who is now going to do the work but that means shelling out another £1,000 to fix it all.”

Mrs Lambert said they paid the money in May last year but five months later in October had heard nothing.

“In October we went to his Wisbech workshop. Gary Manning hadn’t even taken our headstone down.

“Lots of different excuses were made. We contacted solicitors who sent a recorded letter as he had taken our money but no goods or services supplied.

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“Then on the Thursday before Christmas he rang to say the stone was down. But the black stone we asked for was not there and instead it was a temporary grey marble.

“Also the vases were nowhere near the quality of what we had paid for and expected.

“We had received bog standard instead of the best quality we paid for.

“It is upsetting to think this is the last thing I could do for my parents and it is totally messed up.”

Mrs Lambert said she paid the £87 needed in permission fees to Fenland District Council for the headstone to be lifted from Eastwood Cemetery, March, but added that the fee had not been forwarded to FDC.

“Luckily we had the paperwork to prove we had paid,” she said.

In a post on a Facebook page, Gary Manning said at the end of January: “I would like to address all customers of Kent WK Memorials and to publicly apologise to those who have recently experienced unsatisfactory service, during what is already a difficult them and their families.

“Unfortunately the company has been facing some financial strain after a heavy tax bill was enforced, and had to be settled using both the floating assets of the company and personal savings.

“This has the company struggling to turn over a profit in the last few months. Every effort is being taken to ensure customer orders can still be completed asap.

“It has been with great regret that the company has been struck down in this way, and full admission of these taxes could have been accounted for better, however the sheer degree of miscalculation was not picked up on by the Inland Revenue until such point it had become a vast amount detrimental to the usual flow rate of the business.

“All of my customers will be contacted in the coming days to discuss their orders in more detail and to give progress updates on their respective orders.

“Please all accept my sincere apologies for the lack of contact, I’ve desperately been trying to sort all this out behind closed doors.”