Is it a tribute to bad grammar? Council’s garbled Covid memorial plaque is mocked for having an array of spelling and punctuation errors including rogue capital letters and the US spelling of honour – and it even gets the date of the pandemic wrong

  •  Council’s garbled Covid memorial plaque mocked for several ridiculous errors
  • The plaque has spelling mistakes, unnecessary capital letters and a date wrong
  • The council listed the Covid start date as March 2019 on the infamous plaque
  • In reality, Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic in March 2020 
  • The council has apologised and vowed to change the tribute as soon as possible 

The public have poked fun at a local council’s garbled attempt at a Covid memorial plaque – complete with spelling and grammar errors.

In just 35 words, Swindon Borough Council managed at least six mistakes – including an unnecessary mid-sentence full stop, misplaced capital letters and a spelling error.

Potentially most embarrassing of all was the blunder relating to when Covid began. The inscription reads: ‘Covid Pandemic March 2019.’

The first known Covid-19 cases were detected in China in late 2019, and the UK did not record a local case until February 2020. The virus was not even formally declared a pandemic until March 2020.

The plaque was unveiled this week next to a newly planted tulip tree, and was commissioned to pay tribute to the selflessness of frontline workers and volunteers.

It read: ‘This tree has been planted in appreciation of Our Key Workers and Volunteers by the borough. to honor [sic] Their Selflessness and Dedication given to the residents and the vulnerable During the Covid Pandemic March 2019.’

The well-meaning gesture has been overshadowed by the many blunders.

Errors on the plaque include: 1. Unnecessary use of a capital letter; 2. Misplaced full stop; 3. Incorrect spelling of ‘honour’; 4. Unnecessary use of a capital letter; 5. Unnecessary use of a capital letter; 6. Incorrect Covid date

While some residents saw the lighter side, Labour councillors demanded answers as to how so many glaring errors ever made it onto the plaque. 

A spokesman wrote on Twitter: ‘Surely someone looked at it before the ceremony?’

Councillor David Renard, of Swindon Borough Council, told The Telegraph the plaque will be replaced.

‘Thousands of key workers and volunteers in Swindon have risked their lives and given their best to support and serve others in our town,’ he said.

‘I offer my sincerest apologies to all the key workers and volunteers that the wording on the plaque had errors on it.

‘As soon as it was spotted prior to the event, a replacement was ordered but could not be made in time for the event and we did not want to postpone the dedication.’

Meanwhile Swindon Labour leader Coun Jim Robbins told the Swindon Advertiser his team ‘hopes the council’s sloppiness doesn’t detract from the effort to recognise the hard work of key workers and volunteers during the pandemic’. 

‘We’re pleased that the tree has been planted but are very disappointed to see the mistakes on the plaque and really wish that the leader of the council, who the motion instructed to produce the plaque, had taken more care and attention with checking it,’ he said.

The plaque was unveiled this week next to a newly planted tulip tree, and was commissioned to pay tribute to the selflessness of frontline workers and volunteers

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