On Sunday the 4th November, Brandwood End Cemetery will be crowded with people attending the Blessing of the Graves. PLEASE WALK INTO THE CEMETERY if at all possible as the number of cars mean that there is nowhere to park. Staff must keep the main drive free of parked cars (as far as the chapels) for safety reasons and also to allow access to Clergy.
Please don’t be one of the people that argue with them and demand that ‘you’ are the exception!
Every year the Friends create a Poppy Cross Cemetery near the Cross of Sacrifice. Each cross represents a War Grave in Brandwood End. Some have Commonwealth War Grave head stones- many are family graves.This week we also start placing a poppy cross on every War Grave. We shall remember them ….
When I arrived back from holiday this afternoon I could hear the strange sound of ‘nail guns’ coming from the cemetery , so I dashed straight round in the hope that the roof trusses (that were delivered a couple of weeks ago) may be in position….and they were!
The Roofers are working hard installing the timber frame and then hopefully it will be boarded, felted and a outer surface applied.
Can we stress that this is a temporary roof and in place to protect the structure of the building, not to renovate it.
Never the less, this is a day that the Friends have been working towards for over 10 years as it represents a step in the right direction, to prevent the dereliction of this building reaching a state that would make it uneconomic to renovate.
We still have a number of major stumbling blocks before we can agree that the initial aims of our group, to see the chapels renovated and in use, are realised. One of these is a viable solution as to how this building, if renovated, can earn its keep in the future. The chapels, as they were, are no longer required for use alongside funerals but restrictions on access make their use for many suggestions not acceptable.
Birmingham City Council and the Friends will continue to try and find a solution to these issues as we are all in agreement that the loss of such a beautiful building would be a crime.
The Friends web site is due to have an update in the near future, so we will be unable to post for a couple of weeks once that update starts. With that in mind we are posting information about this years Service of Remembrance well in advance.
It is 100 years since the end of WW1 this year, so please try and join us on what will be a significant date- 11.11.2018
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.
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-
Despite a wet and drizzly morning well over 40 people turned out to support our Heritage Event at Brandwood End. We had a packed morning with 2 grave walks to uncover the history of The Labour Corps , led by our Chairman Julia Griffin.
Luckily for us the weather lately has been very dry so the passage between the graves was relatively easy to negotiate.
Those that decided not to brave the weather were able to browse the wealth of information we had prepared about WW1, the Suffragette Movement and the Labour Corps as well as reading about ‘Frederick Clifford Alabaster’ and ‘William Shakespeare’ both of whom are buried in Brandwood End. Today we were honoured to welcome William’s Grandson, who came to deliver a precious copy of a photograph of his Grandfather and Grandmother. A member of the Alabaster family had also visited us at our 2017 Service of Remembrance.
Another incentive to remain behind were the amazing cakes that had been baked by Dawn, who is in charge of the day to day running of Brandwood End for Bereavement Services Department. Dawn and her staff went way beyond their job descriptions to help facilitate this event, not least of all- giving their time on a Saturday to erect gazebo’s and move tables and chairs.
In between our guided walks, visitors were treated to an insight into the lives of some of our soldiers buried in Brandwood End who died towards the end of the War, or soon after, as a result of wounds or the Spanish Flu. Doug Smith and his team made the selected Soldiers ‘come to life’ for just a short while. An amazingly revealing performance that enthralled everyone, despite the rain.
Our thanks to everyone who supported us today, especially Bereavement Services Department-for their muscle and refreshments!
We must also thank Pam Wallace of Kings Heath British Legion, who provided some of the wealth of information and our Chairman Julia for providing most of the rest! We hope everyone enjoyed our displays and found them as interesting as we did when we were preparing them! Next year…….100 years of Brandwood End Cemetery…..maybe !!
You can see a few more photographs in our album via this link
We hate to remind everyone, but thoughts of Christmas will soon occupy many peoples minds. Can we remind you that if you will be buying anything from Amazon you can help FBEC !
On this page, at the top- to the right, is a square marked Amazon Books, shop now. If you click on this it will link to the Amazon site. It costs you nothing….except an extra click, but FBEC will receive a small donation from Amazon ! Please go via our site to Amazon and help the Friends.
Despite being cut back hard a few months ago, the hedge surrounding the small Commonwealth War Grave area had developed a some what wild look.
We have given it a very quick top cut to make it look tidy in readiness for our Heritage Open Event next Saturday the 8th, but it will have to wait till much later in the year for another good cut back . Its great to see this young hedge thriving!
Five of the Friends today enjoyed the sunshine whilst collecting seven….and a half bags of litter from within the cemetery. Most of it came from 2 spots on the boundary and generally we found that there was very little litter and what there was consisted mainly of flower paper and various items that had been blown off graves. Our thanks again to the same few who turn up time and time again to help keep the cemetery looking tidy.
Can we ask you again, that if you place silk flowers on a grave can you please make sure they are well secured- and can you remove paper from fresh flowers, as when they die the paper just blows about in the wind.