Spare a thought for all our friends and supporters in the Jewish Community as this weekend will be a very unusual Rosh Hashanah for them all ! Literally meaning “head of the year” Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and the two-day celebration will take place from sundown on Friday September 18 to nightfall on Sunday September 20.
This festival marks the start of the High Holy Days also known as the ‘Days of Awe’- a time for family, friends and personal reflection. Usual celebrations will see families and friends spend time together, pray, listen to the sound of the Shofar (the ram’s horn) and eat special food such as eating apples dipped in honey to mark a sweet and fruitful new year. Pomegranates, honey cake and round challah bread are also eaten.
We recognise that this year Covid 19 restrictions will have a considerable impact on household celebrations and how families will be able to mark this important occasion. However we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Jewish friends, colleagues and neighbours a ‘shanah tovah u’metukah’ – “a good and sweet new year”.
The weeds were taking control in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance and so we thought we needed to take them in hand, seeing as the hedges look so smart!
Our thanks to Lisa for stepping into the breach at very short notice, so three of us ‘set to’ and pruned, cut back and weeded. Looking good now.
You can see that we made use of the ‘poo’ kindly donated by the carriage horses!!
Amazing to watch the love and care that went into the preparation of this carriage and pair, ready for a local funeral. This isn’t normally done roadside but access to a cemetery was not available before funeral time! I happen to live in a nearby cul-de-sac. Imagine the scene in Brandwood End during Victorian and Edwardian times when this was the norm!
The Friends notice board on the main drive had become increasingly difficult to see through as the Perspex had clouded, so today we began phase one of its refurbishment. Replacing the Perspex with UV stabilised acrylic. Looking much better.
Next job will be the replacement of the baize covered backboard. We can then tidy up the display. (The FBEC name plate is safe but it fell off when we opened the door!!) To be fair we have had this board for a fair number of years so it was due a facelift.
As we place our 300+Poppy Crosses in time for Remembrance each November, we get to read the names, ages and often family details of those who’s graves we visit. We are often astounded by the facts we read. We have listed below just a few facts that may also surprise you.
20 MINUTES-Time taken for Luftwaffe aircraft to reach UK target once detected
16 MINUTES-Time taken to scramble RAF fighters to successfully intercept a raid
4 MINUTES-Time the RAF had to decide how to respond to a Luftwaffe raid. At the height of the Battle of Britain the RAF had only 749 fighter aircraft available as against 2550 Luftwaffe aircraft.
20 YEARS-Average age of an RAF Pilot in 1940
2 WEEKS-Training time for an RAF fighter pilot in August 1940
Consisting of 2,945 aircrew, the RAF was joined by volunteers from13 different nations, some of whom had battle experience against the Luftwaffe in their own air forces. This international force became known as ‘The Few’.
544 Members of ‘The Few’ killed during the Battle of Britain
In the last week there have been several sightings of Hedgehogs locally. This one was snapped after crossing the main Drive in the cemetery. Our thanks again tour supporters who keep sending these lovely photos in.
We are always interested to know when Hedgehogs are spotted in the area as, with the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, we undertook a project to improve habitat locally. Looks like it could be working!
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.
Battle of Britain Day is one of the important memorial days that is observed in Great Britain annually on September 15, since it was the day in 1940 when the Luftwaffe embarked on their longest bombing attack against Britain.
This event forced the entire Royal Air Force to be engaged in the battle in defence of London and the South East. This resulted in a decisive victory for Britain and marked a turning point in the course of the war.
Our thanks to the Paul and his team for helping us to keep this hedge under control.
Litter picks take on a whole new regime in these Covid aware times. Pre litter pick we need to make sure we have all the relevant notifications for attendees to read, and test and trace paperwork ready for everyone to complete.(As well as emailing and social media sharing!)
Following a socially distanced ‘pick’ everything needs to be washed or thoroughly cleaned! All adding time and effort- but all essential in these weird times. Thanking you all for taking care during our event.
The Friends are so pleased to have met so many new people today supporting our Litter Pick, as well as our stalwarts!
18 adults and 3 children collected 26 bags of litter. Most of it was flower paper- so can we remind everyone that if you are leaving flowers at a grave it would be helpful if you could remove all the paper, as the flowers degrade naturally….the wrappings don’t and the wind scatters it all to the edges of the cemetery.
If you leave a display of artificial flowers, please make sure it is well secured, as we found many bunches windswept around the grassland today. Our apologies if your flowers now adorn someone else’s grave but we have no idea where they truly belong, so we have deposited them on the nearest grave.
Thank you everyone for a job well done. Next litter pick will be Sunday 6th December (Weather permitting!)