“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Burying Scrooge

The church in the below photos is St Chad's Church in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. St Chad’s dates from 1792, and the church’s distinctive round profile (you can just see this in the second picture below), makes it somewhat of an eye-catcher. As interesting as the church is however, it is an oddity in the church’s small graveyard that really caught my attention.

Wandering St Chad’s graveyard the observant may notice a rather plain grave stone bearing the name Ebenezer Scrooge (the fictional character from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol). Scrooge’s gravestone was apparently created for the 1984 film version of this story (starring George C Scott as Scrooge), which was filmed in Shrewsbury. It seems that a weathered gravestone in the graveyard was re-purposed for the film with Ebenezer Scrooge’s name being engraved into the stone. In the last picture below it is just possible to discern at the bottom of the stone, the faint markings from the original inscription, presumably commemorating the previous owner of the gravestone. Once filming had ceased the stone was left in place and now probably confuses the occasional visitor to the graveyard who now wonders if Ebenezer Scrooge was perhaps a real person?

George C Scott who portrayed Scrooge in the 1984 film was rather famous during his career. Scott’s most notable performance was probably playing the title character from the 1970 film Patton, for which he was awarded, but did not accept, an Academy Award for Best Actor. Scott died in 1999 and given his fame one might expect that Scott would have a lavish grave, however it seems to be that he actually resides in an unmarked grave in the Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. I cannot find any clear explanation why Scott’s grave is unmarked, but it does seem rather ironic that he rests without a memorial stone, whilst one of the fictional characters that he portrayed has a memorial!

It does make me wonder if any other fictional character has a burial plot in a graveyard? If you know of one, let me know in the comments section.

St Chad's in Shrewbury, Shropshire.

Scrooge's grave is the horizontal stone at the bottom right of the photo. 

Here lies Ebenezer Scrooge.

Pictures: Shropshire (October 2016).

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