Memorial unveiled to pair found during building work in Gorleston

A special ceremony has taken place to mark the unveiling of a memorial to an unknown man and woman whose bodies were found during the construction of a new pub.

Staff from Co-operative Funeralcare, in Church Lane, Gorleston, organised the event after the remains were uncovered in a buried crypt after workers were digging foundations for the new venue in High Street in May 2017.

Research conducted by local archaeologist Dennis Payne soon found that the site was once a Methodist chapel dating back to 1844.

After being unable to identify the pair uncovered, Funeral Administrator Debbie Bishop from the Funeral Home jumped into action and set about working with various partners to ensure they were given a lasting memorial.

This weekend a special service took place at Gorleston Old Cemetery, in Magdalen Way, to honour the pair and officially unveil the memorial to mark where they have been reburied.

Debbie said: “As soon as we heard about what had been uncovered as part of the building work we knew we had to do something to honour these people.

“So, after the pair had been given new resting places in Gorleston Old Cemetery, we worked with several people and groups in the area to ensure that the couple would have a lasting memorial to mark where they were buried.

“I would like to say a big thank you to Dennis Payne, Minister Katy Dunn and Abbey Memorials for all their help and support in making this possible.

 “We are proud to be part of the community in Gorleston and proud to have worked with others in the area to help honour this man and woman.
“The service to mark the unveiling of the memorial was very well attended and we thank everyone who took time to come along.”

Minister Katy Dunn said: “We are grateful to Central England Co-op for their time and effort in arranging a memorial stone for these two people.

“We don't know their names, but they lived here and maybe their descendants still do.  It's good to remember them and to have this new memorial stone to mark their lives."

Gorleston Funeral Home offers a 24-hour service, seven days a week.  In addition to arranging funerals, the team are also able to offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery, pre-paid funeral plans and probate advice.  The team can be contacted on 01493 445550.


Notes to editors

Picture caption 1: Minister Katy Dunn, archaeologist Dennis Payne and Funeral Administrator Debbie Bishop from Central England Co-operative Funeralcare Gorleston with the new memorial.


Picture caption 2: Members of the community gathered together to support the unveiling of a new memorial to an unknown man and woman whose bodies were found during the construction of a new pub in Gorleston, which has been supported by Central England Co-op Funeralcare.


Picture caption 3: Picture of the site where the bodies were uncovered in High Street.


Picture caption 4: Picture of the crypt where the bodies were found.


About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 


It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.


The company’s funeral business consists of over 120 funeral homes across 16 counties, 10 florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.


Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2018.


Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.


Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting


For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook:


Rob Smyth at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140


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