A battle against British standards won

Stone safe system- Anton Matthews
Stone safe system- Anton Matthews

An ex-motor dealer from North Bersted has taken duty of care for the bereaved into his own hands and to the next level.

Businessman Anton Matthews has finally succeeded at his battle of 14 years to change the British Standard and produce a safer method for installing headstones.

Anton Matthews memorial stone centre

Anton Matthews memorial stone centre

He began his battle to change the British Standard when he heard the devastating news in 2001 that six year old Reuben Powell from Harrogate had died after a gravestone crushed him.

Mr Matthews, 72, moved on from his carer as a car salesman and began his new journey by setting up his memorial stone centre, based in North Bersted.

He said: “In this industry we owe a duty of care to the bereaved and all too frequently the product that is suppose to support a memorial, just does not do what it says on the tin.”

The British Standard ‘BS8415’ came into effect in August this year and the purpose is to prevent the risks and hazards headstones have already caused re-occurring in the future.

In order to now comply with this standard every headstone that is fitted must pass a memorial stone stability system test.

Each headstone must stand under a pull test of 150kg, making it near to impossible to move due to different soil conditions or vandalism from the public.

Mr Matthew’s new system, ‘Stone Safe’, is a strong mechanical system that is designed for Memorial stability in all soil conditions and is one of four fixing methods included in the new standard.

The system has two 20mm stainless steel studs and two core plugs with stainless steel bars that ultimately when bolted into any kind of soil is extremely secure and when can stand 250kg in a pull force test.

Mr Matthews explained: “I have made this important change to make a real difference in the future.

“Not that cost should really come in to the care for the bereaved but Stone Safe is only a very small price difference from other out dated systems.

“Businesses are always told to work to their best practice and this is what I have done.”

Find out more about Stone Safe at www.stonesafe.co.uk.