Do the decent thing and pay back your customers, says widower, who gave £2,065 to a stone mason but 13 months later has seen nothing

Gary Manning spent hours repairing the broken structures in the grounds of the Leverington Road ceme

Gary Manning spent hours repairing the broken structures in the grounds of the Leverington Road cemetery after a £2,000 cheque was donated to help pay for the work. - Credit: Archant

A widower is calling for a March stonemason to do the decent thing and pay back his customers after giving £2,065 for a headstone for his wife 13 months ago and hearing nothing.

Another customer said Gary Manning took her dad’s headstone to add her mum’s name yet now she cannot track down anybody at Kent Memorials to retrieve it.

A third woman paid for a headstone two years ago but has still not received their goods.

One of the customers was told by Manning that he was having problems sourcing stone because of BREXIT.

Manning shut his shop in March and workshop in Wisbech in mid January and promised he would contact everybody.

However, 65 year old driver John Ellis, said he is among people who are left out of pocket with no idea how to sort out the problem.

Mr Ellis said: “I paid in full in February 2016 but didn’t hear anything until I called him in October.

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“It’s a double headstone so that it can be for both of us, I picked the design out of a book.

“He said sorry but he was having a lot of trouble and he owed people money. He promised to get it done.

“I heard nothing. It is now March. His mobile doesn’t work anymore, the shop is shut.

“It’s upsetting, not just for me, but for everybody he has hurt in this horrible situation.”

Phoebe O’Connor said her mother died in April 2016 and Manning took her dad’s headstone from Upwell cemetery to add her mother’s name to it.

“We heard nothing and I have only just found out about this problem. family have tried calling, emailing, Facebooking.

“My daughter organised a headstone for a friend two years ago, they paid £2,500. Heard nothing.

“We don’t know what to do.”

Manning pledged that every effort was being made to honour customer orders in what is a “difficult time for them and their families.”

In a post on a Facebook page in January he said: “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.”

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