Alan and Rita working in the cemetery today. Their first job was to tidy up the area where the bricks and large stones are stored as this was beginning to look untidy. After completing this task they went back to the Richards grave G103 and gave it a good clean, now the marble tiers and cross are nice and shining white under the blue and sunny sky!
How it looked beforehand.
While Rita took the ivy off the G53 Bidgood grave and gave a quick weed, Alan finished cutting back the tree that Astrid worked on last Sunday, Rita then assisted Alan by filling another full dumpy bag which was taken over to store by the other full bags. They then started working on the Burghope grave G100, the large heavy cross was levered out of the way and after a lot of manoeuvring they managed to straighten the large front stone which once held the cross, and straightened one of the side kerbs. So just the other side kerb and the small end kerb to be levelled and packed next week. Quite a productive day, they were well pleased with their work. Before leaving they walked across the cemetery to pay their respects to the resting place of John Turner who's ashed had recently been interred.
Wednesday 4 September
Alan & Andy went in the cemetery today and decided to complete the Burghope grave G100 that Alan & Rita started on Sunday. The side kerbs and end kerb were dug out, levelled and cemented back together. One kerb was damaged at one end and will need building up with cement. Grass and earth were replaced around the grave. Rock salt was spread across the inside of the grave to help suppress the growth of weeds, black membrane added and topped off with stone chipping. The fallen cross was laid back in the centre of the grave with bricks under the head of the cross to prevent water laying on its surface. What an improvement, Andy took photos.
As usual Alan & Andy walked around the cemetery to look around, they came across a grave for William and Elsie Palmer, Plan 13, No. 39 that had been tidied and flowers placed upon the grave. On Sunday a couple came in the cemetery looking for a Palmer grave and it looks like they have found the relatives they were looking for.
Sunday 8 September
Rita, Alan, Astrid and Andy in the cemetery today. Alan and Andy decided to work on the Gleed memorial G102 that was stained by black algae.
It was hard work and after a lot of effort you could see a difference. Andy took a photo but a bit difficult with the sun shining on it.
They then moved over to the Emma Dunsford grave, one of three family memorials that the Friends have decided to get repaired and re-erected. Emma's small headstone is broken at one corner and a small piece is missing. They dug around the area for ages looking for the small piece and just as they had decided it was no use they were relieved to find it. This will make the headstone complete so worth all the effort.
Meanwhile Astrid and Rita planted a tray of wild flowers in front of the Richards grave G103 and gave them a good watering, Yellow rattle seeds were also scattered around this area. Hopefully they will see the results next spring. They they went over to the wild flower area, Rita weeded and Astrid drew the short straw by digging out the brambles that were beginning to grow. They then decided it was tea break and then they all had a wander around the cemetery.
Before they left Andy and Alan cleared the grass around the Sheppard grave G82 a large attractive headstone that was laid down. Once it was uncovered you could clearly see and admire its shape and the small cross etched into the headstone. The headstone had sunk deep into the earth at one end, but it was decided not to level it as there was a chance it could crack and break. Rita & Astrid dug out the grass filled Halson B67 grave, which Rita started last week it was almost completed apart from a small piece which Parsley had laid down on and they didn't have the heart to disturb him.
Sunday 15 September
Alan, Rita, Andy and Dave in the cemetery today, another sunny day. First job for Andy was to take a photo of the Sheppard grave G82.
While Rita was busy weeding the insides of the graves in Section C and B - too many to list - the boys made their way to the top of Section C. They worked on the Philips/Winslade grave C20 to repair the granite kerbs and posts which had been hit by the mower. All the joints had come apart but were not damaged, the first job was to take the kerbs apart and clean off the old cement joints. This done the kerbs and posts were cemented back into position. There were a few granite stones inside, these were washed and put back in with the large flower pot.
Then everyone moved over to the Roberts grave G78, a triangle/coffin shaped tombstone which had sunk down one end. Joyce Hurford had recently researched a story about Edwin Roberts and his father John who were coach builders in New Road, who went to Paris to purchase a new designed bicycle in 1867. The bicycle is in Blake Museum.
It was intended to read the inscription, but the stone was covered in algae and difficult to read. After a lot of scrubbing and cleaning most of the inscription could be read and as they thought, there was an additional inscription which had not been seen before. It was Vivien Roberts, son of Edwin who died aged 7 months. There is still some of the inscription which could not be read, the stone was given an additional scrub and it is hoped it can be read when we return next week when the stone is dry. Burial records show that Percy Roberts is also buried in this plot. It was then time to make our way home.