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Poignant post box installed at crematorium

26 July 2023

A poignant post box has been installed at Peterborough Crematorium offering mourners the chance to post letters to lost loved ones.

The Crematorium in Mowbray Road has introduced a ‘Hive of Memories’ located in a small garden by the entrance to the Book of Remembrance Room.

For a small donation, mourners can write messages on paper impregnated with wildflower seeds that will be planted when the hive is emptied. Normal card and paper can also be used.

The idea follows the popularity of ‘Heavenly Post Boxes’ at several crematoriums nationally, which were set up after grieving Nottingham schoolgirl Matilda Handy wanted a ‘post box to heaven’ after her grandparents passed away.

Danny Corr, the council’s Bereavement Service Manager, said: “Writing to a loved one after they have passed away, either in a letter or card, has been shown to help with the grieving process. There is something almost magical about letting your thoughts out onto paper and having somewhere to place them is also proven to be beneficial.

“The ‘Hive of Memories’ is a beehive shaped post box providing a focal point for letters and cards to be placed, especially on anniversaries and special occasions. A Beehive also aligns with the wildlife and biodiversity of our grounds and gardens. To encourage biodiversity and recycling we can provide recycled biodegradable paper, impregnated with wildflower seeds, for a small donation.

“When the post box is emptied at agreed intervals, we will plant the seeded paper in a specific area of the grounds to provide an area of wildflowers. All types of paper and card can be used to post messages.”

Cllr Andy Coles, Cabinet Member for Legal, Finance and Corporate Services, said: “Grieving for a loved-one affects us all differently, whether from a personal, family or community perspective. We hope that the Hive of Memories at the Crematorium can offer that little bit of a private moment of reflection while coming to terms with loss.”

For more information, or to purchase the wildflower impregnated biodegradable paper, please contact the Bereavement Services Office on 01733 262639 or email crematorium@peterborough.gov.uk