Category: Community

The 15th of Shevat

Whilst tree planting this week we were reminded by a member of our Jewish Community that Monday is an especially tree related day in their faith.

‘The 15th of Shevat’ on the Jewish calendar—celebrated this year on Monday, January 21, 2019—is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees.

Commonly known as Tu Bishvat, this day marks the season in which the earliest-blooming Sweet Almond trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Members of the Jewish Community mark the ’15th of Shevat’ by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.

On this day we remember that “man is a tree of the field”

 

15 new native trees for the cemetery.

Today the Friends were joined by local pupils of St Albans Catholic Primary school, Councillors, Tree Officers….and a Ranger, to start what we hope will be an ongoing tree replacement project !

Birmingham Trees for Life organised today’s event after the local Tree Officer appealed for help to replace the 64 Poplar Trees recently removed as they had reached the end of their life. 3 Flowering Cherry trees, 3 Oak trees, 3 Tulip trees, 3 Crab Apples and 3 Liquid Amber have been planted as a start towards returning the tree stock to its previous level.

The Friends helped with planting, but more importantly they provided hot drinks, squash and biscuits for everyone. Our thanks to everyone that helped make today’s event a success. If you follow the link on

btfl.org.uk you can see lots of lovely photos that they took today.

 

Gosh, so much tree work!

The ‘Crown lifting’ of trees continues in the Cemetery. It started with the Redwood Avenue and random trees.

Contractors moved on to the removal of diseased Poplars, but now (much to the delight of the residents) the trees at the rear of properties in Broad Lane are being given the ‘lifting’ treatment.  That means more light and less leaves for them all, and better maintained trees.  Win, win !

Tree replacement programme begins…

Tree planting event, 10.30am Tuesday 15th January- Turn left off the main drive and head downhill….

Birmingham Trees for Life and pupils of St Albans RC Primary school will be joining the Friends as we make a start on replacing the 64  trees that were recently felled adjacent to Sunderton Road and Broad Lane.

Some time back, the Tree Officer had concerns for the 64 large Poplar trees that flanked the cemetery and towered over the newly built houses in Sunderton Road. His concerns were correct as when, in a large project, they were felled and showed that most of them were internally rotten and in danger of falling in high winds etc.

We were all in agreement that these trees needed to be replaced to maintain the tree stock in this beautiful Cemetery but we also agreed that more suitable trees should be found that would not shade out the properties that lie behind them but could also aid the reduction of ‘water run off’ that occurs in this area. How could we fund this project?

To the rescue came Birmingham Trees for Life. (A charity that are part of Birmingham Civic Society). They are funding the first 15 standard trees as part of what we hope will be an ongoing project.

Come along and help. Everyone welcome.

Christmas Greetings to all our supporters

Gosh ! Where did 2018 go? Christmas is nearly upon us followed closely by the New Year.

Can we take this moment to thank all of our supporters for showing an interest in our posts and taking the time to follow what FBEC have been doing in 2018. 

We have had a very busy year holding our Heritage Open Day and then Remembrance, in this special year. Most of our time is taken up with research into the many interesting people buried in Brandwood End and trying to share their story with the wider community. Our special thanks to the relatives of several of those individuals that we highlighted, who then contacted us with additional information and precious photographs.

The Friends have also been pleased to welcome several groups to the Cemetery who have taken part in various themed walks.  This year we have also received several donations and many encouraging comments via this site and our Facebook page.

Next year is a special year for the Cemetery as it is the 120th anniversary of its official opening.     I am sure those of you that visit the cemetery will have noticed the new temporary roof on the chapel? This is a small step forward, so lets hope that 2019 is the year in which we manage a leap!!

Heritage Open event 2018- We shall remember them.

This is a lovely film showing a small aspect of our Heritage event this year. Doug Smith, his colleagues and three young ladies from Swanshurst Girls School brought to life some of those buried in Brandwood End who lost their lives as a result of action in WW1. Those ‘remembered’ were all real….. and died as recorded, although their words are subject to some poetic license. Our thanks, as always, to Doug and his team who never fail to produce an interesting item for our events.

Last Litter Pick of 2018

All the wind that has been blowing over the last few days will have whipped flower papers away from graves and flung them around the Cemetery ! Join us at 10am this Sunday the 2nd December by the Lodge for our final clear up of 2018. Bare shrubbery discloses litter hidden most of the year so December always yields a good haul.

We have the litter pickers and the bags, but we advise boots and gloves as the ground is uneven.

Blossomfield U3A Visitors.

It was lovely to meet some of the members of the Blossomfield U3A  (Natural History, I think?) group in the Cemetery this morning. Such a shame that the sun only began to shine as we were leaving! Our thanks to their Organiser, Barbara, for giving the Friends a chance to explain some of the history of this magnificent green open space- its buildings, its trees and its connection with the people of Birmingham.

We every much hope that they will return and also spread the word to others who may have family buried here, or who just enjoy the peace and tranquillity that Brandwood End imparts to everyone who visits.

Work on the chapel roof progressing.

We have been reporting on the stages of work being undertaken to place a new ‘temporary’ roof on the fire damaged side of our chapels in Brandwood End. We finally get to see the actual roof covering, and it looks pretty good.  This has been a ‘proper’ job and we have watched all the preparation, the wooden struts and beams, the boarding over, the weatherproofing and now the top layer.

Can we emphasize again that this is ‘a temporary roof to slow future deterioration and reduce Health and safety issues’…..not the start of a renovation. Following a routine building safety check , we understand that it was suggested to stabalise the chapel, a temporary roof should be installed thus reducing weather action and also tying in the gable ends of the building. Whatever the reason, the Friends think it is a great step forward as the main building will no longer look totally abandoned.

All we need now is to get the shrubbery growing out of the building removed, the windows re-boarded and the shrubbery (you see above) kept at this low level- as it is now overgrown and as high as the windows. Nice neat fence…..and some interpretation to show we are hoping for a day when funds will be available to refurbish this beautiful building. The photograph below shows how it looks now ! (The one above taken in 2012)  Not good eh???  You can see why the Victorian Society have added it to their ‘At Risk’ register.