Category: News

Poppy Cross for every War Grave

The Friends have now started their annual project to place a Poppy Cross on every War Grave in the cemetery. Some are easily spotted as they have CWWGC headstone, all of which have an identical profile.

This photo shows one of our members highlighting a Labour Corps grave as part of a national project to remember lesser known groups of combatants.

We have 350+ Poppies to place and the bulk of them are not as easily found as they are remembered in family graves.

Today we were assisted by committee members and family supporters but our special thanks to members of BARRA who worked on one of the hardest sections- as the area was very uneven and deep in leaves! http://www.birminghamairraids.co.uk/

Our thanks to those that have come along to help us this year. Their input has made such a difference and we are well on the way to completing this task in time for Remembrance Sunday. So far the weather has been kind ! Please do    consider joining The Friends, local Councillors, Neighbourhood Police Officers, The Royal British Legion and many others organisations at our Service of Remembrance on Sunday November 11th, (10.50am)

Chapels on ‘At Risk’ Register.

The Friends have tried several times to get the Victorian Chapels in Brandwood End included in the Victorian Society ‘At Risk’ register and it appears we have at last been successful. As yet we have received no official notification (not sure that we will !) but an article will appear in tomorrows Birmingham Post saying that we have been added, along with a large factory in the Black Country. You can follow the article below, and whilst there are some funding inaccuracies in the reporting, we are really pleased that The Post has decided to highlight this.

https://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/old-factory-cemetery-chapels-victorian-15124598 

At this time we are not sure if this listing will add weight to our constant requests to Birmingham City Council to move forward, alongside the Friends, and apply for grant funding to bring this building back into acceptable condition. This will also involve work to find a sustainable future use-  thus ensuring this beautiful buildings future.

The Victorian Society web site also carries this news-

https://www.victoriansociety.org.uk/

Heritage Open Event 8th September

On the morning of Saturday 8th September between 10am and 1pm the Friends will be taking part in Heritage Open Week.

Please come along and join us. We will have plenty of  interesting items and displays and you can join one of our Grave Walks (numbers limited) highlighting the plight of ‘Labour Corps’ members who are buried and remembered in Brandwood End.

If you have any interesting memorabilia concerning the activities of local Suffragettes we would really love to see it !

Final Reminder of our ‘Great British Clean Up’ Litter Pick.

On Saturday the 3rd March between 10 and 11.30am we will be supporting the latest Keep Britain Tidy SPRING CLEAN- LITTER PICK campaign.

              

Please come along to Brandwood End Cemetery in Woodthorpe Rd, Kings Heath and support this event. We will supply litter pickers and bags. Please wear stout shoes/boots and gloves. Meet at the Lodge on the Main Drive.

Work starting on ‘make safe’ and temp roof.

We are now seeing a small amount of work starting to move fences in and then make masonry safe. Planning permission is still pending for a temporary roof on half of the building to protect the walls from the weather etc. With Bereavement Services we hope to raise funds for some ‘interpretation’ so members of the public can follow what is happening in this area. This is not a renovation project at this time, just an effort to prevent further deterioration, pending ideas for asuccessful bid to give this building a sustainable future.

Follow this link to our photo album and thanks to our photographer!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ya8ung9oipus8mVA3

Pupils and parents get to see ‘their’ Hedgehog film.

Last week members of the FBEC committee and Rachel Gillies (our Community Film Maker)  joined parents , teachers and pupils at Woodthorpe Junior and Infants school for a showing of the ‘Help for Hedgehogs’ film. This film was made entirely by pupils of Woodthorpe Primary and St Albans RC Primary under Rachel’s direction.

Rachel reported lots of giggles and prods between pupils, lots of good comments from teachers and the Headteacher is very keen to share the film on Social Media and in the school newsletter once it is available.

Several members of FBEC have worked alongside Rachel on her visits to both schools and marveled at the enthusiasm and knowledge shown by all the pupils.

Have a look at Rachel’s own site, where she gives our project a great write up!! http://www.community-film-maker.org.uk/

Our thanks go to the Heritage Lottery for funding what has turned out to be a wonderful project. Just a couple of months left and St Albans get their chance to see their input!

Merry Christmas Everyone

The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery would like to wish all their supporters a very Merry Christmas and hope that you all enjoy a healthy 2017.

We have called on our supporters a lot in 2016 to help with lots of projects and they have not let us down. We know that many of you are unable to come along and help physically with projects as your distance to travel, time available, physical capabilities etc all vary dramatically. All we ask is that you continue to renew your memberships each April and/or keep an interest in what we are doing via this site and our facebook page as the day will come when numbers of supporters count when important decisions are made!

Just a reminder of some of the busy work we have undertaken with your support in 2016.

unspecified-2We have enjoyed working with Woodthorpe Primary and St Albans RC Primary, and continue to do so as part of our community filming of our ongoing Hedgehog Project

We ‘Cleaned for the Queen’ earlier in the year and litter picked once a quarter as usual

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We have won a Silver Gilt Medal in the Heart of England in Bloom, organised the refurbishment of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance, held lots of Hedgehog events (thanks to funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund)and held our usual annual Remembrance Service. None of this would have been possible without your support.

As Chairman can I also give special thank you and Seasonal Greetings to all our committee, present and past, for their efforts. Many of our past committee still continue to work on our behalf and I would like to give a special thank you to Pat Franklin who tirelessly takes people on historic Grave Walks on our behalf.  Working with you all is a joy!

In 2017 we will continue our work to try and raise the profile of Brandwood End Cemetery and especially the plight of our magnificent chapels. We believe the more people who visit via events etc……the more support we will have when the time comes for some serious lobbying! Thank you all again.

Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries struggle on with their campaign

You may think we have ‘issues’ with the City Council, Bereavements Department  in Birmingham but they pale into insignificance with those of the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries in London.botanics-clay-day-010

Follow the links to find out what is happening there and the reuse of grave areas.

We must stress that, as far as we are aware, Birmingham has no plans to adopt this method of creating burial areas, and locally we are lucky that we have a fairly recently established Cemetery at Kings Norton, with a large amount of ground available there.

www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/soldiers-graves-mounded-over

www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=1cLb1krd3Cc

Our thoughts are with The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries and their allied struggle for Southwark Woods.

 

Remembrance Day record turnout.

Our thanks to everyone that turned out today to our Annual Remembrance Service in Brandwood End. This year saw close to 100 participants come to hear a short thought provoking address by Deacon David Fairbotham of St Dunstans Church prior to the laying of wreaths by Kings Heath and Selly Oak Royal British Legions, Local Councillors (on behalf of BCC), The Freemasons, The Royal Order of Buffaloes and the Friends.

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Yet again we must thank our magnificent buglers, Ludo and Oliver, for helping to create such a poignant atmosphere with their amazing rendition of the Last Post and Reveille. If they desert us for University next year they will be sadly missed!

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‘Alabaster’ Grave.

As part of the CWGC ‘Living Memory’ project we agreed to highlight the grave of one Service Member who lost his life as a result of the actions at the Battle of the Somme. Our choice was Frederic Clifford Alabaster, and we were pleased to welcome one of his relatives, Wendy Alabaster, to the Remembrance Service.

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Wendy also joined many people who took the time to view the information on display and visit ‘Clifford’s’ grave. Information about this grave will remain on display for the next two weeks, at the grave site and also on the main drive near the poppy cross grid and Cross of Sacrifice.