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.
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.
Our thoughts are with The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries and their allied struggle for Southwark Woods.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Just a reminder that our next family Hedgehog event will be happening in the cemetery next Tuesday 25th October 2-4pm. Meet by the Lodge. URGENT NOTE
Can we also make an appeal for donations of unopened cans of cat and dog food for the local Hedgehog Rescue Centre as they are running short of food!! Please bring them to the event.
Many regular visitors to Brandwood End have wondered exactly what was going on as ‘shallow graves’ appeared, in a decorative pattern, on the corner of the main drive, near the chapels.
The mystery is solved! Bereavement Services have decided to install some small ‘Mini Ashes Graves’ along each side of the square. For more details please see the BCC notice board on the main drive opposite the lodge. This will be their first appearance in Brandwood End but they already have a place in many other cemeteries.
Please contact Kings Norton Cemetery for more details and prices on:
0121 303 5583
The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery are excited to announce that we have been successful in a bid to the National Lottery (Heritage Lottery Fund) to undertake a ‘Help for Hedgehogs’ project in Brandwood End Cemetery and the surrounding area. The project will be delivered for us by The Wildlife Trust (Birmingham and Black Country) and the Ranger Service who will be offering events and workshops, over the next year, to encourage local residents to improve Hedgehog habitat and also surveying the cemetery for Hedgehog activity.
Please come along and support this event and learn why Hedgehogs are in dramatic decline and what YOU can do to increase the local population.
Some of these events will be family orientated and other will be of a more serious nature, for those of you that want to learn how to and participate in surveying for Hedgehogs. Come along to the launch and find out more!
Another quarter of a year has passed and we will be carrying out our next Litter Pick on Saturday 3rd September. Meet at the Lodge on the main drive at 10am. We may also need to be watering the newly planted Civilian Garden of Remembrance if it stays as hot as it is now! Please come along and enjoy an hour and a half strolling around the cemetery and clearing any unsightly litter you may come across. Bags and pickers provided but stout shoes and gloves advised.
Those of you that follow our blog will know that back in June the Friends engaged ‘Darren Rudge Landscape Designs’ and some of his students to refresh and partly redesign the Civilian Garden of Remembrance flower beds. The beds had become overgrown and following a donation we were in a position to carry out work to reduce future day to day maintenance by our small team of volunteer gardeners. You will see from the photographs below that the results are magnificent, but we would like to invite you to join us at an official unveiling on Saturday September 24th at 10am, followed by tea and cake.
When we all got up to heavy rain this morning we wondered if the visit of the RHS Heart of England in Bloom judges to Brandwood End might be a wash out, but by lunch time the sun was shining and Brandwood End was looking at its best.
Volunteers work within Brandwood End all year round doing all sorts of activities. Their work ranges from litter picks, gardening, historical research, environmental projects, to carrying out surveys, attending meetings and making grant applications. You probably don’t see us, but we hope you see the effect we have in the cemetery.
The Friends of Brandwood End work with Bereavement Services staff and horticultural contractors to try and improve the ‘visitor’ experience in the cemetery. You may be visiting the grave of a loved one, or walking through as a short cut, carrying out grave research or just enjoying the peace and quiet. Whatever your reason, we hope it creates a pleasant interlude in your day.
Today we found a local family enjoying their snacks in the Civilian Garden of Remembrance. We are so glad to see people relaxing in this beautiful, peaceful area.
FBEC are not involved in the event below but the Birmingham Big Bus Tour staff join FBEC on Birmingham Heritage Forum, so we are happy to point you in their direction.
This is the year when we remember the Battle of the Somme. Birmingham has a fascinating story to tell with its involvement in the First World War. Starting at the iconic Town Hall you will hear about Neville Chamberlain’s rousing inspirational speech and the massive recruiting parade in Victoria Square. On the route we will visit sites to learn about Zeppelins and Armaments; the Quakers and conscientious objectors; War hospitals taking over the University of Birmingham and Highbury Hall; the Hall of Memory built to commemorate the 12, 320 Birmingham citizens who died and the 35,000 who were wounded during the War; the massive involvement of the Jewellery Quarter and Cadbury’s; the women’s stories including the 15,000 migrant women working in the factories and the plight of the Belgian refugees.
Date: Sunday 24th July 2016
Meeting point: end of Colmore Row/corner of Waterloo Street, Victoria Square next to the Council House
Cost: Tickets £12 per person – please contact Sue by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Come and join the Big Bus Guides to commemorate Birmingham’s contribution to the First World War.
Glorious sunshine helped our ‘Clean for the Queen’ litter pick in Brandwood End today. A dozen volunteer and the local Ranger dodged the heavy traffic in the Cemetery today to collect 32 bags of litter! Most of the collected rubbish consisted of flower papers and we would like to appeal to visitors again to remove the papers from flowers left at grave sides. The recent winds have created pockets of rubbish along the Sunderton Road boundary fence and Broad Lane, which will soon be enveloped in brambles so todays efforts were well worth while.
Our thanks to our volunteers and the Ranger for giving up their time on Mothering Sunday and we hope to see you all again at our usual quarterly litter pick in June.
We were also able to use this event to promote membership of the Friends and an awareness of what we do in Brandwood End.
All the volunteers were amazed at the volume of traffic that we observed passing through the cemetery today. With vehicle numbers in the hundreds every hour, speeding was not an issue and there were queues on all the main drive areas!
This should give you an idea of the volume of rubbish we managed to collect, and these two bins were just in one area! 32 black bags in all…
All in all….a good mornings work.