Category: Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery

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.

Kindertransport ….what do you know????

The first Kindertransport train left Berlin on 1 December 1938. Tomorrow marks 80 years since that first train.

The Kindertransport or Children’s Transport was a humanitarian programme which rescued  children (the majority of whom were Jewish) from danger in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Holland between November 1938 and May 1940.

Approximately 10,000 children were sent to Britain. Adult family members could not accompany the children, who were fostered by British families. It was an important moment in the build up to the Second World War when Britain opened its doors to refugees in extraordinary circumstances.

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. 

Remembrance Service well attended

Over 150 people attended this years Service of Remembrance. Once again the atmosphere was enhanced by our Bugler but it was lovely to see many organisations represented, many of whom had several members there.Our thanks to Deacon David Fairbotham, who conducts a short but thought provoking service and to the growing number of  people who attend. if you would like to see a few more photographs of this event, please follow this link.

We shall remember them.

Local Reservists help clear graves and lay crosses in Cemetery

Brandwood End had a two hour blitz today as local Army personnel gave their time to uncover several War Graves within the cemetery that were completely hidden in the shrubbery.

Under this out of control laurel lie 2 War Graves….but not for long! Hard work and much removal of branches uncovered these graves.

Several other areas were cleared and also Poppy Crosses were placed on CWWGC Graves and our Screen Walls.

Such a worthwhile morning. Our thanks go to you all again for your hard work and your Commanding Officer Major Gareth Cole for arranging all of this. Lots more photos via this link.