AN ARGUMENT over flowers for a funeral appears to have reached an amicable conclusion after a donation was given to charity.

Margaret Seaman, 76, said she is delighted Harlequin Flowers, in Ness Road, Shoebury, has given £60 to the Battersea Dogs Home after she complained about the quality of a Jack Russell floral display.

She clubbed together with the family of close friend Peggy Hartman, 91, to buy the flowers following the dog lover's death.

Mrs Seaman, of Delaware Road, Shoebury, was left upset and embarrassed after the arrangement arrived at St Mary the Virgin Church, in North Shoebury Road, Shoebury, with what appeared to be five legs and a snout.

Her son, David, took the display back to Harlequin Flowers, to complain but the shop refused a refund.

The florist defended her work and provided the Echo with photographic evidence of what the floral display looked like when it left the shop.


The florists' photo of the flowers, shortly before it left the shop

The business has now relented and agreed to donate the £60 refund to Mrs Hartman's charity of choice, the Battersea Dogs Home.

A spokesman for Harlequin Flowers said: “Our team work hard to delight all our customers.

“Where we get it wrong, we have a clear procedure to resolve the matter and we will work with our customers to put things right. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity in this case.

“We’ve thoroughly investigated the issue with the team locally.

“In line with industry standards, we photograph every arrangement designed by Harlequin Flowers and struggle to understand the significant difference between the pictures published by local media and the pictures we hold.

“However, ultimately our customer is dissatisfied and therefore, as a gesture of goodwill and in line with their wishes, we have donated the full cost of the arrangement to Battersea Dogs Home.

“We would ask any customer that believes that we have failed to live up to the high standards they expect of us to contact us directly.”

When informed of the decision, Mrs Seaman said: “It is fantastic, Peggy loved dogs.

“I had thought about just leaving it after the funeral but I am glad we didn’t and the money has gone to the right place.”

Funeral directors S Stibbards and Sons, also of Ness Road, Shoebury, transported the flowers to the church.

Director Martin Stibbards said: “It appears as though the flowers have split apart, creating the illusion that the dog has five legs.

“Unfortunately, at times, these things do happen but nobody is to blame and having spoken to all my gentlemen they have assured me that any comments made were not by our staff.

“Additionally, every care was taken with the tribute, as is taken with all floral tributes entrusted into our care.”