Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery
Bridgwater, Somerset
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2017 Diary: October

Sunday 8 October

A lovely sunny day, Alan, Dave and John in today. Dave only in for an hour as he had an appointment in Sidmouth. To make best use of his time he and Alan started on the Sheppard grave 111/ 1362, this grave was tidied up 2 or three years ago and filled with wood chipping, but the grave had been taken over by couch grass and weeds, the kerbs had fallen over.

First job was to remove the wood chipping, dig out the weeds and find the pad-stones which were intact. The kerbs were cemented back into position, unfortunately one kerb had broken in half, this was supported by an additional pad-stone. Earth put around the outside of the grave to tidy and give it support. A decision will be made later on the type of infill to be used to fill the centre of the grave to restrict weeds.

John in the meantime was working his way around the non-conformist area cutting back branches that were growing below head height, he did a superb job, even he was surprised at the amount he had cut and dragged across to the waste area. Alan sieved the stones belonging to the Herniman grave 4/1259, they will need to be washed before returning to the grave.

Before they left John and Alan looked at the Smith memorial 1/875 that had a large cross recently re-erected, Dave cleaned the cross last Sunday and it now stands tall and proud and shone in the sunshine.

Sunday 22 October

A very stormy and windy day but decided that as we had not been in for a few weeks would give it a try. Alan & Rita were joined by Dave and later by Andy. Alan & Dave concentrated their efforts in Section M on the Wilkinson 109/1360 grave sorting out the pad stones and cementing the kerb stones back in place, also the Perry grave 112/ 1363 where the posts and kerbstones were loose and tipping over. After a little effort they were all cemented back together. It was decided these graves would be finished off with membrane and stone chipping. In the mean-time Rita was busy weeding, tidying and taking the ivy off the fir tree in Section M. Andy made himself busy moving the cuttings from the Euonymus tree and with the assistance of Dave moved a large dumpy bag full of clippings to the area by Jam Factory Lane ready to be collected by SDC. Andy can be pleased with his effort as this was hard work. We worked through several heavy showers but as the clouds were getting more threatening thought it was time to go home.

Wednesday 25 October

As it was such a nice sunny day for change, Alan decided he would go in the cemetery, meeting Andy there. It was decided they would sort out the Perrin grave 92/985 kerbstones in Section M, the kerbs had sunk and come apart. The kerbs were removed, the pad stones sorted and the kerb stones were then cemented back into position. Some old broken concrete pieces were laid in the Wilkinson grave 109/1360 which is behind the Perrin grave, this was to support the kerbs, earth needed to be spread on top before membrane and stone chipping can be added.

Alan worked on the Smith cross 1/875 recently erected and cleaned by Dave a few weeks ago, there were areas of algae that were difficult to remove, Alan using his drill and wire brush attachment worked on these areas, all that is required now is for the cross and the three tier blocks to be rubbed down with water and a sanding block. This should make the memorial gleam white in the sunshine. Before leaving Alan worked on the Euonymus tree for 30 minutes which Rita and John had been working on, and uncovered the headstone of Abraham King which the Euonymus had grown over.

A couple came into the cemetery looking for a relatives' grave, they had been on the Friends website and got some information. Andy was on hand to locate the Palmer family grave and they left very happy.

Sunday 29 October

After an extra hour in bed this morning we were up and ready to go to work in the cemetery, helped by a nice mild day and no rain forecast! Working today were Alan, Rita, Dave, Andy and lovely to see Joyce here today. Joyce brought her trust secateurs and set to clearing the ivy on the Read headstone which was next to a fir tree also covered in ivy, so Rita not to be outdone by Joyce set to on the tree! Both of them having a nice chat while they worked together! After Joyce left Rita started on weeding the graves in Section M area where the boys were working. Two black bags were filled and about 9 graves cleared of weeds so she was allowed a 'tea break' today!

Having recently cemented the kerbs of the Perrin, Wilkinson and Shepherd graves black membrane was laid down and filled with stone chippings which Alan brought in on Friday. A couple of barrels of earth were required to infill the Perrin and Shepherd before the membrane and chippings were placed in. The boys then moved over to the Bale grave where the landing had sunk and the kerb stones had been knocked out of position by the mower. The first job was to remove the kerb stones and the concrete cap, the landing was then levered level and packed, the concrete cap fitted back into position and the kerbs and post cemented back into place. Fine Memorials had recently dropped off 4 bins of old green chipping, Alan washed one of these bins and brought over to the Bale grave where they were added on top of the concrete cap, finishing off the job very nicely. Good work done today, everyone going home tired!

Work on memorials Wilkinson, Shepherd and Perry in section M.

Alan cleaning the Smith memorial with a wire brush on the end of his drill. M 1/875

Monday 30 October

As Alan and Rita had business in Bridgwater early morning, they decided to go in afterwards to do a bit of work in the cemetery. The first job was to pick up the rubbish left over from yesterday and to their delight found that SDC had been in and removed most of the rubbish bags, leaving the empty ones to be re-filled, which was handy as we had used the last one! This done, they then went over to the Euonymus tree and spent the next couple of hours cutting it back and putting the cuttings into 3 dumpy bags. They managed to drag one bag over and left with the few remaining dumpy bags and black bags in the hope that SDC would be back to collect.

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