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Friends of Cemeteries??

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#1
Following on from Daves thread,

if you had chance to be part of a 'Cemetery of friends' or wanted to get a ball rolling, A) would you get involved? B) how would you look at getting volunteers?? and maintaining interest?

I know that some London cemeteries (Highgate) actually have a friend system, but also charge to go into the cemetery (unless you have a relative there) I think.

surely there are enough people that care and want to protect our heritage?
 

admin

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#2
Hi Julie,

I would go for that.

Just googled and found:
http://cemeteryfriends.org.uk/
The formation of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends was the result of heritage and conservation minded groups concerned about the decline in care of our Victorian cemeteries meeting like minded volunteers. The threat to these important burial grounds from developers and negligent owners and managers of the cemeteries was the motivation to the conservationists to make a positive and practical stand. In some cases local groups formed specifically to influence public opinion against a threat to a particular cemetery and later started researching the heritage and "promoting" the site with guided walks. In other cases the friends formed to either preserve the wildlife and fauna or to make the cemetery more widely appreciated by taking walks, publishing guide books and giving talks.The Federation was established in 1986 mainly from London based groups and now has members from Scotland to Cornwall. The cemetery care organisations have now spread to an international level such as the Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe and we have associate members in Australia, New Zealand and Italy.
All the best,
Dave
 
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#3
ohhhhh Dave!

that site is soo interesting.. I really want to get my teeth info this I feel although our little cemetery isnt grand or massive like Highgate, its still important.
 
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#4
Honestly, I think the British have the worst kept cemeteries I've ever seen with unmowed grass, toppled markers, and no flowering plants. I've never been to the UK and can only speak based on pictures from the Internet. I live in Alberta so can only speak to cemetery maintenance here. I grew up in Ontario and it follows the same pattern as Alberta. Every cemetery located within a city is maintained by the Parks and Recreation Board of that city. In smaller towns, villages, and hamlets, the Municipal District government of reeve and councilors make sure the graveyards in their jurisdiction are well maintained and in the spring there are advertisements in the local papers saying (to this effect): "There will be a cleanup of Whitelaw cemetery on (this date). Volunteers are asked to bring rakes, shovels, and garbage bags." I've visited graveyards everywhere I've gone and even the worst have never been as bad as the ones I've seen in the UK.
 
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Shelley,

That is very interesting, maybe it is time for people to adopt that sort of attitude here.

Alot of our Cemeteries are filling up/full up and more and more people are being cremated, BUT this doesnt solve the problem of WHO takes on the responsibility of looking after said Cemeteries.

For example, the village where I live has two cemeteries, one is known as 'the old cemetery' (oddly enough :rolleyes: ) the other, well isnt called anything except the cemetery, the old one is looked after (ha ha) by our village/parish council. The cemetery that is in full use now, is maintained by our Borough council, I beleive it is much the same country wide, councils cannot/willnot spend the money on maintenance for these places, so is left to the 'Parish' to do the housekeeping, but sadly we live in a society esp where a sense of pride doesnt exist anymore. Many many colliery villages are struggling and have struggled to carve out a living since the Coal mines closed.

Many families come and go and a true sense of 'village pride' that you had say 40 years ago, now doesnt exist in such deprived areas.


what is the way forward? I think that the 'Friends' site could really help preserve our heritage, whether it will, well thats a whole different ball game.
 

horrobin

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#6
Hellooooo :D

I went to see the eldest church near me to see a memorial to one of my gr8 grandfathers and was given a tour I was told that they want to see about getting the church yard tided up and the gravestones cleaned. Having seen round the church I came to realise how important it is to everyone now, to protect what we have, and take for granted, so that future generations can see what we can see and use for research. So I have put my name forward to help in any way I can.

Regards Pat :p
 
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#7
Thats great news Pat,

I would like to get involved with our cemetery, and would be able to do some things but others I just would not be able to do.

I will attempt to find out abit more from our parish council and see if we can get something moving
 

benny1982

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#8
Hi

My great, great grandparents who died in 1943 and 1947 are buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. I think that because they are relatives, then I can add a plaque if I wished as the grave is now pretty overgrown but I think there is a stone border around the plot but with no info on them, or at least that isnt buried in the grass and mud.

I did remember paying a small fee to enter but if I prove I have a relative there, then I wonder if they can be for free?

Ben
 
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#9
Hi

My great, great grandparents who died in 1943 and 1947 are buried in Highgate Cemetery in London. I think that because they are relatives, then I can add a plaque if I wished as the grave is now pretty overgrown but I think there is a stone border around the plot but with no info on them, or at least that isnt buried in the grass and mud.

I did remember paying a small fee to enter but if I prove I have a relative there, then I wonder if they can be for free?

Ben
Ben,

try here...

http://www.highgate-cemetery.org/index.asp

I would've thought if it is a relatives grave then they shouldnt be able to say anything if you want to clean it up?

if you dont ask you dont know...

and with that I must get to bed.... nite :)
 

lizanne

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#10
My grandparents died in 1952 and 1953 .
The cemetery where they are buried is now very well maintained. As a child I used to visit their grave , most of the graves had a headstone and a stone surround around the grave. Several years ago all the stone surrounds where removed and all the graves turfed over. Now all the grass is mowed regularly , some graves have a small floral display on them.They look really nice.

On the other side of town the cemetery where my gg grandparents are buried is a mess. Earlier this year armed with a map of the cemetery I took my mother (who is in her 70's) to try and find the grave. When we got there it was all overgrown and unkempt .
If it hadn't been for the help of a young couple there we would never have found the grave. The following week she went there with my uncle who is in his 80's . Thinking she knew where it was they set off , then my uncle fell onto a grave that had sunken. Luckily he wasn't hurt just shaken. It's so sad this is was a lovely cemetery, it is still in use today with some recent burials in the older section.The newer parts are better kept. If they can look after the newer sections why not all of it.

This morning I got an email from a very distant relative recently found through
Ancestry. He lives in Scotland. Earlier this month he visited the cemetery where our common ancestors are buried.He took photo's of the graves and sent them on to me. In his email he complained about the state of that cemetery, a couple of the stones are "table" stones and they had to dig them out to photograph them.
If something is not done soon with all the neglect and vandalism all these cemeteries will be lost and so will our heritage.
 

benny1982

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#11
Hi

A very good site.

My great great grandparents lived in the Highgate area from 1940, Dartmouth Park actually and both died in the area. Previously before WW2, they lived in Camden Town, and had both grown up in Central London parishes such as Holborn, Walworth and Fitzrovia.

I have several plans of Highgate Cemetery at home which I obtained.

Ben
 

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