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Council bans Sudoku grave

08 November 2013


Puzzled: Angela Robinson, with her son Paul, holding the letter from Farndon Parish Council

Puzzled: Angela Robinson, with her son Paul, holding the letter from Farndon Parish Council

A WIDOW is considering legal action to protect her late husband's gravestone, after officials at Farndon Parish Council ordered that a Sudoku puzzle and mathematical equation engraved on the stone be removed, as they are contrary to their guidelines.

Allan Robinson died of lung cancer in May last year, aged 66. He worked as a numerical analyst in a research laboratory for the Shell oil company. His widow, Angela, arranged for his gravestone to include a Sudoku puzzle and an algebraic equation from his Ph.D. thesis as "a good tribute to him".

"We are talking about a two-inch-square Sudoku puzzle, and a one-line mathematical equation, because my husband was a mathematician and did a lot of Sudoku puzzles," Mrs Robinson told the BBC. "He was a bit of a fanatic, but this is personal to him. How can they possibly say what we have put on there is lowering standards?

"Other graves I've seen have a dolphin and even a deck of cards; so if they can remain, why can't this?"

The Farndon Burial Ground, on the English/Welsh border, about ten miles south of Chester, was opened in 2008 by the civic parish council as an alternative to the adjacent churchyard of St Chad's, Farndon, which was nearing capacity.

The issue will be on the agenda when the parish council meets later this month.

In response to the publicity about the case, the St Chad's website now includes a note stating that the church is not responsible for the burial ground. "It is Farndon Parish Council and not St Chad's who run the site. Mr Robinson was not buried in St Chad's churchyard as was incorrectly reported in the press. Please direct any comments or en- quiries to Farndon Parish Council. Thank you and God bless."

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