Category: Community

9 Volunteers and 9 bags, not a bad haul.

We managed to do the bulk of our litter pick before the rain started but a good job was done by all !!

It is noticeable that we now find mainly wind blown flower paper and nowhere as much real ‘litter’ A reminder to everyone to please remove the cellophane/ paper if leaving flowers!

I am afraid we are still spotting residents, backing on to the cemetery, tossing their garden rubbish over their fences into the grounds. Please stop it!!

New Interpretation Board

The eagle eyed amongst you, who read our article headed ‘Chapel news gets better and better’ will have spotted that everyone was standing in front of a new display board!

We were overjoyed when we were asked to provide content for a new ‘Interpretation Board’, to be installed in front of the chapel buildings. This has given everyone involved the opportunity to pass information about the chapels and their future to the public in general- especially those who do not use the internet and therefore are unable to view this web site or our facebook page.

Chapel news gets better and better!

The Friends were delighted to be invited, by Bereavement Service staff, to join them on a rare opportunity to actually get inside the chapels !

They were joined by City Council officials, eager to view the newly fitted temporary roof and inspect the work already done. Everyone agreed that the visit had been well worth while and it stirred enthusiasm all round, that these magnificent buildings should not be allowed to deteriorate further. This is the present stance of BCC . Those present included-  Alison Fumagalli (BCC Registrar / South) Bev Nash (BCC Registrar North) Andy King (BCC Principal Building Surveyor Building Consultancy Acivico) Coral Howard FBEC Vice Chair, Kerry Tinkler FBEC Committee Member, Steve Hollingworth (BCC Assistant Director/Regulation and Enforcement) and Dawn Harding (BCC Bereavement Officer responsible for Brandwood End and Kings Norton Cemeteries)

Chapels get spruced up!!

If you happen to visit the cemetery this week, you will spot the major change in the appearance of the area around the chapel buildings!

Following the recent re-roofing of one chapel, the Friends have been pressing for a general clearance of shrubbery etc. Was it our nagging that encouraged this clean up……….or the impending visit of the Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods ????? Either way, it looks so much better!!

St George’s Day and the Mushroom sharing his name!

We all know that the 23rdApril is St George’s Day, but did we know that there is a St George’s Mushroom? What’s even more exciting is that they are growing in the cemetery!

St George’s mushrooms are so named as they are usually ready to pick from about St George’s Day, and it was with great joy that Carola, a member of our committee, stumbled across a specimen whilst refreshing our notice boards! The link below will tell you a little more about them and it appears that the ‘River Cottage’ Chef, is most partial to recipes including these edible mushrooms.

https://www.mushroomtable.com/mushrooms-menu/wild-mushrooms/saint-georges/

Remember never to pick and eat mushrooms/fungi unless you are accompanied by someone who knows which is which- as eating the wrong sort can be fatal!

 

Special Anniversary for Brandwood End

This weekend was a special one for Brandwood End Cemetery as the Friends remember 2 events that happened 120 years ago.

Brandwood End Cemetery was officially opened (there is a plaque on the wall of the West Chapel ) on Thursday 13th April 1899 by Mr. George Tallis, the Chairman of the Kings Norton Parish Council Local Cemetery Committee.

The photograph above shows the boulder (Provided by the Friends following a generous donation) marking one of the communal grave areas where the very first burial site is marked.

If you look to the right as you pass the Cross of Sacrifice, very close to the Redwood Avenue, you will find a simple wooden stake. (Section C1 c/e)

The Friends, with help from Bereavement Service staff, have identified the grave of :-

Charles Downes – 5 years old – first burial in Brandwood End. The cause of death was ‘Diphtheria after 4 days’

His father, Walter William Downes was a Carpenter (journeyman) who was present at his little son’s death at 47 Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath on Tuesday 11th April 1899.   Charles was buried four days later on Saturday 15th April, and became the first burial in Brandwood End.

We have, today, laid a small tribute with a few words, but hope to bring you more of the Downes Family history via a link in the next few days.

 

The minister who conducted the burial service was Revd Charles William Barnard, Vicar of St. Nicolas’ Kings Norton (1893-1909) in whose parish the Cemetery lay.

 

Major tree work continues in the cemetery.

Tree contractors, Idverde, have crown lifted many conifers (removed lower branches) and other species, as well as removing Ivy from the lower 6 feet of trunks along the Sunderton road boundary.

Regular visitors to the cemetery will have noticed a huge increase in tree work in the last year. This has followed a survey to determine the safety of many of the older and diseased trees, to prevent damage to graves, property and people in the future. Brandwood End was opened in 1899 and many of the trees were planted then or, in the case of some of the oaks, before that date. Oaks often live for several hundred years but many other species have a much shorter life expectancy and that is the case with many of our 1700 plus trees!

 

We have seen major crown lifting on both sides of our Wellingtonia avenue, large trees removed on the Broad Lane boundary, Poplars removed along the Sunderton Road boundary, Woodland reduced on the pool end of Sunderton road and various trees crown lifted or removed across the cemetery.

On the plus side, great care has been taken to consider wildlife with trees left untouched that are being used by Woodpeckers, ivy growth removed in some areas and left in others for nesting, standing tree stumps left to improve biodiversity and logs piled for Hedgehog use.

A tree replacement programme has been started and a number of new trees have already been planted by local pupils. The Friends hope that this can continue, provided funding can be found.

Litter Pick tomorrow…….

 

This is the final reminder that we will be holding our usual LITTER PICK tomorrow and everyone is welcome. This event is part of the annual event organised by Keep Britain Tidy, but we are holding it on our usual first weekend in March.

Saturday 2nd March 10am-11.30am. All welcome. Stout footwear and gloves advised. Litter pickers and bags provided. Meet at the Lodge on the main drive.

(We may not be quite as festive as we were in December !!)