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”.
Amazing to watch the love and care that went into the preparation of this carriage and pair, ready for a local funeral. This isn’t normally done roadside but access to a cemetery was not available before funeral time! I happen to live in a nearby cul-de-sac. Imagine the scene in Brandwood End during Victorian and Edwardian times when this was the norm!
Litter picks take on a whole new regime in these Covid aware times. Pre litter pick we need to make sure we have all the relevant notifications for attendees to read, and test and trace paperwork ready for everyone to complete.(As well as emailing and social media sharing!)
Following a socially distanced ‘pick’ everything needs to be washed or thoroughly cleaned! All adding time and effort- but all essential in these weird times. Thanking you all for taking care during our event.
Forward notice that on Saturday September 5th we will be holding our litter pick in the cemetery. Meet 10am at the Lodge till 11.30am.
In these strange Covid times we will be operating in a ‘safe environment’, so we ask that you bring your own ‘litter pick’, if you have one. The Friends can provide pickers (suitably cleansed) for those that don’t have them and bags- but suitable footwear should be worn and gloves are recommended.
It’s nice, now and then, to look back at previous events. In our early days the Friends had a photo album with flickr.com. This is a link to our 2007 opening of the Civilian Garden. Sadly, many of the people featured are no longer with us. Thankfully, allowing for several renovations and re modelling, the Garden itself is still very vibrant, as you can see above.
On August 6th, at 8.15 a.m. Japanese time, the United States dropped the atomic bomb ‘little boy’ on Hiroshima and on August 9th at 11.02 a.m., dropped the bomb ‘fat man’ on Nagasaki. This resulted in the Japanese formally surrendering to the Allies on August 15th.
This was made official on September 2nd 1945 with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The Friends noticed that one of the doors of the chapels had been damaged, so contacted Bereavement staff who dashed out to check!
Sure enough, someone had tried to gain access but failed. They had also attempted to steal the lightening conductor off the steeple!!
What next? How glad are we that no lead has been used in the new temporary roof fixings or we could have found ourselves in the same catch 22 situation as our friends at Kings Norton Old School- who’s roof lead has been repeatedly plundered.
Steps have been taken to prevent this happening again but, as members of the public, please question anyone you see doing anything you feel is ‘not right’ around the cemetery or notify staff or The Friends.(Or the Police!) This happened when the cemetery was open and visitors were about. High Viz a clip board and a truck doesn’t mean they are legal!!
On Monday 20th July, the Friends held a small event to place a summer wreath at the Cross of Sacrifice to mark 90 years since its inauguration, and also 15 years of work by the Friends.
The opening photograph shows our founding Chairman, Anne Courbet, alongside our existing Chairman, Julia Griffin- social distancing of course! Follow this link to see photographs from the day. We were especially pleased to see Tony Purcell, who leads the local ground staff in their work at Brandwood End, and kindly arranged access for the Commonwealth War Graves stone masons to refurbish the Cross and walls in this special year. (Not easy to arrange in these strange ‘Covid’ times.
The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery should have been holding their quarterly litter pick this Sunday coming but, under the present circumstances, we have decided to cancel it. It is probable that it would involve a group of more than 6 people, most of whom would fall into vulnerable categories! We hope to be able to ask for your support for our next litter pick on Saturday 5th September.
Members of the committee will be visiting the cemetery as and when possible and litter picking but fortunately, due to lockdown and reduced visitors, there is very little litter.
If you are visiting a grave can we ask you to remove any flower paper from flowers you may be leaving and take it with you. As the flowers dry in the sun they become light weight and the wind carries the paper around the cemetery.
If you are leaving artificial flowers please ensure they are well secured, as in high winds these blow around the area and then get cut by the ride on movers into confetti !
Finally, can we ask you not to leave any unattended lighted candles, even in jars, whilst everywhere is tinder dry.
The Friends thank you for helping them keep Brandwood End a welcoming and safe place for all.