A specially engraved headstone will be erected in York Cemetery in memory of the great grandparents of York-born Hollywood actor Mark Addy - nearly a century after their deaths.
Designed and handcrafted by locally-based J. Rotherham Stonemasons, the headstone has been inspired by a story about the Addy family on BBC documentary ‘A Life Without Work’ which documented how people lived in poverty in York despite it being a relatively wealthy city.
The programme discovered a diary kept by Mark’s great grandfather John Thomas Addy when he was impoverished and struggling to find work and records showed that John Thomas was buried in an unmarked plot in York cemetery, along with relatives because his family could not afford a headstone.
Adrian Buckley, monumental manager at J. Rotherham, said: “We heard the story about the Addy family on TV and we saw Mark Addy looking at a bare patch of ground where his ancestors were buried. We wanted to help them to create a lasting tribute to their family.
“This is a story about four generations of a family and we are a fourth generation business so we can relate to the historical significance.”
The headstone is made from Portland Stone and uses traditional hand-carving methods to fit in with other period headstones in the cemetery.
Mark, who starred in The Full Montey and more recently as Hercules in BBC series Atlantis, said his family was enormously grateful for the gesture.
“The memorial stone is really beautiful. I have enjoyed seeing how it has evolved through from the design to the crafting of this magnificent finished piece of work.
“Our family has been in York for centuries and this is a really fitting tribute. We are really grateful to Rotherhams.”