Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery
Bridgwater, Somerset
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2018 Diary: April

Sunday 1 April

Weather bright and dry, with rain forecast for the rest of the week, Rita & Alan decided to go in to the cemetery. It was agreed they would concentrate on cleaning up, but Alan decided before this was started, he would cement together the remaining end kerb and posts of the Acland memorial, B 20/99 that he started on Monday. Alan chipped off the old cement and Rita mixed up a cement mix, the kerb and posts were soon set back into position.

After some weeding and clearing of graves around the Acland grave, they moved up to the large pile of tree cuttings and other debris piled up in front of the jam factory wall.

Good progress was made, after filling three large dumpy bags and backs aching, it was decided to finish off on lighter work, cutting back ivy on a number of headstones and trees as they made their way back to the car and home.

Sunday 8 April

Although overcast Alan & Rita went to the cemetery. They decided to put their efforts into clearing the debris pile started last week. After nearly 3 hours and 4 dumpy bags filled, the area racked up to look tidy it was decided time to go home.

There are now 14 large dumpy bags filled, SDC will be contacted to remove these along with a pile of logs and sturdy cut up branches. The grass is growing fast and needs cutting.

It will take one more session to finish removing the debris pile so hopefully we can get that finished next week.

Friday 13 April

Fine Memorial were in on Friday and have completed the Shrimpton grave and taken the Helps headstone back to the workshop to repair.

Sunday 15 April

After a lovely day yesterday, rain was forecast for today. Disregarding the warning of rain Rita & Alan went to the cemetery and as they arrived it started to rain gently. Then along came Kev and Billie, Andy, Astrid & Parsley followed closely by Dave and John. (Full house!) Sadly John's shoulder is no better and his is unable to work but he gives us words of encouragement which is what we need!

Rita and Astrid got stuck in chopping up the last of the branches on the debris pile, at the end of the morning were helped by the boys and the debris pile was soon cleared. Kev, Andy, Dave and Alan hauled, with a lot of huffing and puffing, 4 large dumpy bags full of debris from the other side of the cemetery to join the rest of the dumpy bags next to Jam Factory Lane ready to be collected by SDC.

The boys then walked around the cemetery discussing plans for the next few weeks when the weather will be kinder to us, (hopefully) while Astrid and Rita worked on under the tree's out of the rain steadily chopping up the debris pile. Mid-day and pouring with rain it was too wet to do much so we abandoned ship and went home.

Wednesday 18 April

A lovely sunny day, as Alan & Rita not able to make it to the cemetery this Sunday, they decided to go in today, Astrid and Dave agreed to accompany them.

Astrid and Rita weeded and cleaned the memorial stone tiers on the Shrimpton grave, commemorating Kenneth Shrimpton who was killed in WW1. This grave F48/305 has recently been restored by Fine Memorial, the tiers put back together and a cross fitted as the old one was damaged beyond repair. A fine job completed.

Alan and Dave concentrated their efforts on the Murch/Renwick B71/171 grave that commemorates William Renwick who was killed during WW1. The base stone has sunk very badly, the plan is to lever it up and pack it level, then put back in place tier two and tier three. The job today was to dig around the base stone so that levers could have access under the bottom of the stone to raise and pack. After the second tier had been moved out of the way and 2 hours of digging the base stone was exposed ready for the next stage, getting it level, but that will be for another day. Dave and Alan had done enough!

In the meantime Astrid and Rita had moved over to the Plan 12 7/1050 where Alfred Richards is commemorated on the family grave, he was killed in action in WW1. The grave was cleared of ivy and weeds and was looking nice, so they decided to smarten up the grave adjacent which was the Haysham grave.

After stopping for a well earned tea break they moved over to Section C. Rita cutting back brambles and elder that was growing in the large Yew trees and Astrid cleaned up the Ballinger grave 21/229 nearby. Four very tired, hot and hungry 'Friends' left for home.

Sunday 22 April

Just Miles and Michelle in today, doing some gentle weeding around Section B, clearing out the overgrowth in some of the memorials. Starting on Gilbert, Taylor, Webber and Palmer, we worked all along the row to Rainforth, a family of jewellers in Fore Street. As the rain closed in we tidied up and headed for home.

Wednesday 25 April

Alan, Andy and Dave in the cemetery today, only able to spend two hours in the cemetery as Alan was leaving to go on holiday later that afternoon. The priority job was to lever up and pack the Murch/Renwick large base stone that had sunk badly one side and that had been dug out ready for lifting on Wednesday 18th. First job was to remove one of the kerbs to provide space to enable lever bars to be put under the sunken base, with two levers the base was raised and packed with two brick piers until it was level and large stones placed between to give added support to the base stone. The boys were well pleased with their efforts, tidied up the area and left for home.

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