A MAN who went to pay his respects to his dead father was left heartbroken when he found the crematorium chapel doors shut.
Richard Greenwood, 46, of Coniston Avenue, Accrington, always looks at the book of remembrance in the entrance to Accrington Crematorium on the anniversary of his father's death six years ago.
But when he arrived on Sunday, he said, the door was locked, despite a sign saying it is open between 1pm and 4pm at weekends and Bank Holidays.
Mr Greenwood, who works for the grounds maintenance department at Blackburn Council, said: "I was very upset and annoyed. I always go to pay my respects on the anniversary of my father's death, religiously, but it was taken away from me this year.
"It is my personal day of remembrance. I take a big bouquet of flowers, put them in vases in the chapel and say a quiet prayer.
"It is a very dear and special day to me. I only get to do it once a year and I consider the actions of the person responsible to be very inconsiderate."
Mr Greenwood said there were one or two other people also left bewildered and upset.
He added: "I arrived at 1.20pm and waited until 1.45pm but nobody arrived. The few of us that were there were just left in the dark.
"I ended up leaving the flowers by my father's memorial plaque on the wall, but I walked away extremely disappointed and sad.
"I will definitely be complaining to Hyndburn Council and I sincerely hope nobody else has to experience this."
Councillor Ann Scaife, Cabinet portfolio holder with responsibility for cemeteries, said: "This is a mystery as our electronic alarm system shows the door was definitely open at 1pm as usual. It may be that the door was sticking shut, which has happened in the past, and we will look into this.
"I'd like to reassure visitors to the crematorium that there is always a member of staff around to assist with any queries they may have during their visit."