Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery
Bridgwater, Somerset
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2019 Diary: June

Sunday 2 June 2019

The morning was drizzly, with the forecast of heavier rain, but Astird and Parsley popped by on the off chance anyone else had braved the damp - wisely, they hadn't, because it was miserable! Regardless, Astrid had grown some corn flower plants at home, so they could be planted in the wild flower area. She thought the rain might help them establish themselves quickly, so she made (the complete opposite of) hay while the sun shines. Once this was done they walked around cemetery and headed home, so Parsley could put his paws up.

Friday 14 June

Due to rain and holiday the Friends have not been able to work in the cemetery for a while. Alan & Rita went in early evening today to meet Robert Butler and Frances from Warwick and Robert’s cousin Betsy and Tony Martin from the USA, luckily the rain had stopped and the sun came out. There were 11 family graves they wished to visit, all were located, Betsy took photographs for a book she is going to produce of her family tree. Three of the burial plots had no headstones, Harold Vowles Webber died 22 September 1917 aged 18 months, but he is commemorated on the Webber headstone in section M 28 row 4 plot 9. Edwin Whitting, their great grandfather also without a headstone who was buried 2 March 1921 aged 72 who is in Section M row 4 plot 20, also William Hornsby who was buried 31 January 1935 aged 72 and is in Section A row 1a plot 2 also a relative. They asked if it was possible to have a stone erected for Edwin Whitting and Will Hornsby, Alan & Rita said they would contact Fine Memorial to ask if they could provide the family with some designs and prices for them to consider. They were informed that to erect a headstone in the cemetery Fine Memorial would have to contact Sedgemoor District Council for permission. They were especially pleased to find their great grandfathers resting place as they had been searching for a while to find him. Alan took a photo of the group at one the Webber graves.

Sunday 16 June

Alan, Dave, Astrid and Parsley in the cemetery today. Although most of the week we had rain the grass was not as wet as expected, it was decided to finish off cutting back the grass, weeds and nettles along the new hedge and path of headstones. While Alan and Dave were busy with their mattocks cutting through the nettles some over 4 foot tall, Astrid was cutting back the new hedge that had began to encroach over the headstones. After one and a half hours they had reached the end of the row filling 2 large dumpy bags. Very pleased with their efforts they had a look around and decided that the next work sessions would be concentrated on clearing ground at the end of the path of headstones leading up to the bluebell area which would improve the appearance and allow for another wild flower area. This decided, they made their home.

Wednesday 26 June

Alan, Rita and Astrid in the cemetery today. Expecting a hot day but the sun did not appear until we all got home - not a bad thing as we probably would have been too hot and not got so much work done. Rita & Astrid were clearing weeds and cutting the grass back which has taken over the bluebell area, while Alan got out his mattock and cleared a nice area at the end of the headstone pathway. Once cleared and dug over, a tray of wild flower seedlings (which should have been planted out weeks ago) were finally planted in their nice new bed. Saplings around the Sycamore tree were cut down and the area toward the bluebells around the tree was cleared by Alan. We filled 2 dumpy bags of grass, weeds and saplings so another productive day. Just as Alan & Rita were leaving, Ian Hale from Fine Memorials arrived at the cemetery to give a quote on restoring a grave, Rev Jones grave B74, that would finish off an area in Section B where we have restored a number of graves recently. While Ian was in the cemetery, he also looked at the areas where Robert Butler has indicated he would like grave markers for his two relations.

Sunday 30th June

First in the cemetery today was our chairman Miles down from Glasgow, finishing off what he started last time he was in the cemetery, sadly grown over again. Rita & Alan followed by Dave were also working today. Andy came in later and took some photos of Alan & Dave working and the Dunsford graves. Miles was weeding and clearing undergrowth from the two yew trees which had encroached on the Sealey graves, and did a good job. Rita planted the rest of the wild flower plants and gave them a good watering. Alan & Dave worked hard clearing a bit more ground next to the bluebell area, which was full of stones and rubbish.

Everyone then went over to Maps F & G where the Dunsford Families are buried. Mr John Dunsford was the editor of the Bridgwater Mercury and on Sunday 29th July 1883 the offices at 14 Fore Street caught fire. (Mr Dunsford and his family lived above). Sadly, three of his children died in the fire, his wife jumped out of the window but sadly died a few days later. John Dunsford was saved by two Post Office workers. Mrs Ellen Dunsford and the three children, Rosina, Florence and Beatrice are in one grave (G1). His second wife Emma is buried in G16, and John Dunsford who died in 1924 aged 82 is buried with his son Albert and daughter Alice in grave, F11. All three graves are in need of repair as they are in a poor condition. It is the plan of the Friends to raise the funds to restore these three memorials.

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