FAMILY and close friends of three young dads who died in a car crash last year have hit out at a council decision to tear down memorial flowers and letters pinned to trees in a popular park - less than six months after their death.

Dayne Thomas and Alex Davidson, both 19 and from Cwmbran, were travelling in a grey Ford Focus with 24-year-old Robert Bambridge, from Pontypool, when they were killed on the A4232 on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

Close friends and family adorned a tree with beautiful flowers and messages in Woodlands Park, Cwmbran, in memory of the three young dads.

But on Tuesday, February 26, Torfaen Council sent workers to strip the tree, along with another commemorating the life of Sophie Teague.

Free Press Series:

(Flowers and messages of love adorned two trees in Woodlands Park, Cwmbran)

A close family friend of one of the three dads, who asked not to be named, told the South Wales Argus they felt heartbroken by the council’s decision.

“It was done without any warning at all,” they said.

“No warning to family or close friends who spent a lot of money and put a lot of love into decorating those trees.


Council leader in contact with police over threats made to him.

Councillors vote to increase council tax by nearly six per cent in Torfaen.

Woman shares heart-wrenching story of her father's war-time experience.

“It was just heart-breaking to see them stripped bare like that with no warning.”

Torfaen Council have said the two memorials were “unauthorised”, and added that the items had been left there for “some time”.

They have told the families they can now apply for plaques that will be placed on benches in the park.

Free Press Series:

(The trees served as a source of comfort to family and close friends)

A spokesman for the council said: “In these situations the council follows the same rules that relate to the personalisation of graves in our cemeteries. The council had no intention of disposing the items which have now been returned to the family.

“A member of the Streetscene team has advised that if the family wish, an application can be made to have a memorial plaque placed on a bench near this site.

“We understand that having a space like this can be comforting, however we must also be consistent and consider other users who visit the park and sport fields.”

Free Press Series:

(But now the trees have been stripped bare by the council)

But the family friend told the South Wales Argus that the council’s “heartless” actions had infuriated the community.

“The memorials were always kept clean and tidy, there was never any rubbish there, and we had the permission of the nearby leisure centre.

“We’re all really upset that there was no warning.”

They added that family and friends of the deceased had not decided what to do about the memorial plaque at the time of writing.