We wish we could say that the sun shone today as it has done for the last week- but it didn’t. That didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of pupils from St Alban’s RC Primary School who came along to the cemetery to help plant hawthorn whips around a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial area. Brandwood End is home to over 300 war graves but there is only one small area where graves lie in rows on a specially maintained area of grassland. This area is now enclosed by a new hawthorn hedge.
We were pleased to welcome lots of visitors to the site as well as the pupils. Representatives of Veolia Environmental Services, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, New Vision, Bereavement Services, Quadron Contractors and local residents were joined by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress.
Following a busy morning planting they all enjoyed refreshments and a chance to talk to the Lord Mayor about his role and his regalia.
You are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery which is to be held on Thursday 10th April at 7.30 pm. Please note that we have changed the venue back to St Bedes Church, Bryndale Ave, B14 6NG. We hope returning to this venue will increase attendance at our AGM as we need your support at our meetings. Copies of the Annual Report and the Audited Accounts will be presented and circulated to the members. Following the meeting these will be posted on our website www.fbec.org.uk.
Today, during our litter pick, FBEC removed all 300+ poppy crosses laid out in our annually created ‘poppy cross cemetery’.
Following a request from Bereavements we have removed the crosses in the Public Grave area in readiness for grass cutting to start in the spring.
Every year our Vice Chairman, Barrie Simpson, and helpers create a grid of poppy crosses in the hope that it will help people to understand the large numbers of war graves within Brandwood End Cemetery. They also place poppy crosses on every war grave and these will remain in place until November 2015 unless removed by next of kin.
FBEC and Chris Gascoigne of S.Gascoine and Sons sponsored our crosses by donation to the British Legion.
Several years ago the members of FBEC spent back breaking hours planting patches of aconites, snowdrops and several thousand crocuses. You may have enjoyed the aconites and snowdrops as you strolled along the main drive but only 2 clumps of crocuses remain near the Oak Tree Island. Much to our annoyance all of the remaining crocus bulbs were dug up and, as far as we were concerned, eaten by the squirrels! Apparently they are a favourite with them…….. Today, whilst litter picking close to D1 we suddenly noticed a shimmering patch of blue.
On closer investigation we discovered a swathe of blue crocuses in an area that we would never have planted in! It would appear that one or two of the greedy squirrels dug up our bulbs and reburied them in their ‘larder’ area and then either forgot them or couldn’t remember where they were…… What a beautiful show these bulbs now make. Perhaps we will forgive the squirrels their greed!
Today’s litter pick took place in glorious sunshine and 11 people were tempted out to help us at our first litter collection in 2014. I am glad to report that, despite the fact that we collect 9 bags full, generally the site was pretty litter free.
This first litter pick always uncovers litter that previously remained unseen in the shrubbery and the recent high winds have meant that flower paper had collected in many of the corners of the site. Our thanks to all our supporters, some of whom you can see above- but especially to the family that traveled from Acocks Green after seeing this event on our web site. We hope to see you again!