Apology over loss of son’s memorial boat

A NEW memorial will be put up at a Spalding school to a former pupil who died from a brain tumour after a wooden boat bearing his name was destroyed.

Spalding Primary School chairman of governors Paul Sharman has apologised to the family of Scott Croker after they discovered last week that the play equipment had been broken up during work by contractors to prepare the playground for a new mobile classroom.

He said he had spoken to Scott’s parents, Janet and Mark Croker, to assure them that HMS Scott would be replaced with a fitting memorial to the brave eight-year-old, who died in 2004.

In Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press Mrs Croker said she had been “saddened” that the school had not informed her of the need to move the boat as a matter of courtesy.

After seeing the story, the contracters also stepped forward to offer to replace the memorial by providing a sum of money which Mrs Croker could use as she saw fit.

Pinchbeck-based A Coupland (Surfacing) Ltd manager Julie Cope said: “We didn’t know anything about the play equipment being a memorial.

“We had tried to move it but it disintegrated. We didn’t realise what it was until we found the plaque in Scott’s memory.

“We were really upset when we realised what had happened. We tried to pick up the pieces but it was beyond repair.

“If Mrs Croker wants to place another memorial at the school to Scott we would like to make a donation to provide that.

“I can only imagine how upset the family must feel, it must have been a huge shock to them to discover it had gone.

“Although this gesture will not make it right I hope it helps a bit.”

Mrs Croker, of Woolram Wygate, welcomed the donation and said she would talk to the headteacher when school resumes next month to come up with a suitable memorial, possibly a tree or a bench for the children to use.

Mr Sharman also welcomed the donation, saying: “My son was in the same class as Scott and I knew him and his parents and it is hugely regrettable that this has happened.

“With the benefit of hindsight it should have been done more responsibly and we are very sorry for any distress caused.

“We will definitely do something else as a mark of respect, be it rebuilding the boat or something else.”