Category: Community

Can you support the Friends?

In a strange way this year we have seen more interest in ‘Remembrance’ than ever before! Individuals and families have been walking in the cemetery more frequently during lockdown, and reading the information displayed on noticeboards.

The Friends work hard throughout the year to make sure that notice boards, and our social media are kept current, interesting and informative. We are so pleased that many visitors have expressed interest in supporting us in our work, either by becoming members of the Friends or supporting events. You can download a membership application from this site. Please consider joining our ranks.

 

Remembrance service 2020

Urgent update.

IT IS WITH REGRET THAT THE FRIENDS OF BRANDWOOD END HAVE DECIDED TO CANCEL THE USUAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE IN BRANDWOOD END. WE HAD HOPED TO HOLD A SMALLER EVENT BEHIND LOCKED GATES BUT FOLLOWING ADVICE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH FOR BIRMINGHAM, DR JUSTIN VARNEY, WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO ENCOURAGE A GATHERING OF ANY DESCRIPTION.

OVER THE NEXT WEEK, EACH OF OUR WREATH LAYERS AND ORGANISATIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED TO VISIT INDEPENDENTLY AND PLACE THEIR WREATHS AT THE CROSS OF SACRIFICE SO BY 8th NOVEMBER THEY WILL ALL BE IN PLACE.  PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT ON THAT DAY TO OBSERVE THE 2 MINUTES SILENCE WHERE EVER YOU ARE.

WE WILL BE POSTING PHOTOGRAPHS OF EACH WREATH BEING LAID ON OUR WEB SITE   www.fbec.org.uk

IT WAS WITH HEAVY HEARTS THAT WE MADE THIS DECISION, BUT WE ALL FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRY AND ADHERE TO LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS AND THE ADVICE WE HAVE RECEIVED. WE HOPE WE CAN WELCOME YOU ALL BACK IN 2021.

Friends ‘A’Frame refreshed as Poppy Cross Project gets underway.

When the Friends and volunteers are working in the cemetery we usually display our  ‘A’ Frame so you know that the people in High Viz are us, and not Council workers.

Yesterday we began our Poppy Cross placing project and used a new poster on our ‘A’ Frame. We have Gary Staples to thank for the marvellous shot of the chapels and we thought his photo deserved to be seen more often!

Please watch out for us over the next week or two as we place the 352 poppy crosses on the graves of those lost in conflicts and buried, or remembered in family grave, in Brandwood End.

Saturday’s efforts were undertaken by the Colmey Family, Kerry Tinkler, Lisa Fair, Julia Griffin and myself. Very theraputic, enjoyable and rewarding! Sunday’s  team include Coral and Andrew Howard and Monday we are assisted by Damian Tierney, Gail Pittaway, Carmel Fitzpatrick and Philip Brown.

Thank you to everyone else that asked if they could help but this year we had lots of offers of assistance, which makes this project all the easier to complete. So far everyone who has helped has wanted to come back the following year, so we are trying to introduce a few new volunteers every year to develop a team we can call on for the future. Thank you all again.

When will we learn?

Please read the whole of this post as it is a reminder that in these strange times we need to support the work of the Royal British Legion. Poppy sales in some venues will possibly be limited due to social distancing.

 

POPPIES

Why are they selling poppies, mother? Selling poppies in town today?

The Poppy, my child, is the flower of love for the men, who marched away.

Why did they choose a poppy, mother? Why not a beautiful rose?

Because, my child, men fought and died in the fields, where the poppy grows.

But why is the poppy so red?

Red is the colour of blood, my child, the blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black mother. Why does it have to be black?

Black is the symbol of grief, my child, for the men, who never came back.

But why, mother dear, are you crying so? Your tears are like winter rain.

My tears are my fears for you, my child, for the world is forgetting again.

 

The Somme, Dunkirk, Malaya, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan . . . . .

Wherever the conflict is, our service men and women and their families, deserve our support via the Royal British Legion Poppy Collecting Tins?

 

 

 

Remembrance Service arrangements 2020

Please pass this information to anyone who would normally attend our annual Remembrance event.

The Friends deeply regret that in these strange times we are not able to hold our usual Remembrance event as we often have in excess of 100 attendees, which under Covid restrictions would not be allowed.

An alternative arrangement has been agreed, details of which are listed below.

 

All Brandwood End cemetery gates will remain closed to the public till 11.30am, to allow for a service and the private laying of wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice.  All the usual organisations will be invited. The cemetery gates will then be open to the public from 11.30am (after the service) till-5pm, for anyone wishing to visit family graves or pay their respects at the Cross of Sacrifice.

These arrangements follow discussions with Bereavement Service staff and we agreed on a compromise.  We need to protect the public but also acknowledge the importance of the day.

Can we thank you for your understanding and trust that you will all return in 2021, when we hope things will have returned to some normality.

 

Rosh Hashanah

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”.