Category: Heritage

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDWOOD END !

Saturday 13th April 2024 will be the 125th anniversary of the opening of Brandwood End Cemetery.

The Cemetery

A Brief History

On 13 April 1899 George Tallis, Chairman of the Cemetery Committee, opened Brandwood End Cemetery, which was administered by Kings Norton Rural District Council. With the extension of Birmingham’s boundaries in 1911, the cemetery came under the administration of the Birmingham City Corporation. The cemetery was gradually extended over the years and is now some 53 acres, 2 of which were sold in 1919 to the Jewish Community. A portion of this small fenced area is now a burial area for Muslim members of the local community.

The grounds are a fine example of a Victorian landscaped cemetery with avenues of Scots Pine, Cypress and Wellingtonia. This magnificent planting earned the cemetery a Grade II listing in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England in 2001.

The cemetery has Gothic style mortuary chapels, which were added to the statutory list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest in 1997.

Happy Birthday Brandwood End !

Hedgehog population boost.

Our thanks to Array4Hogs as they are working with the Friends to help boost the Hedgehog population in the rewilded areas of the cemetery.

Array4hogs, run by Sharon and her team of volunteers, is a local rescue centre who have had to cope with over 170 rescued Hedgehogs this year. The cemetery offers 53 acres of relatively safe environment in which to release Hedgehogs. They may pop up in your garden if you are within a couple of miles of the cemetery as they can travel several miles at night.

Soon they will be settling down for the Winter but on warmer nights they may still pop out! Thank you to Sharon and Alan for agreeing to use the cemetery as a release site and their time today.

HERITAGE OPEN EVENTS- BRANDWOOD END 2023

This year the Friends will be hosting several events at Brandwood End Cemetery. If you would like to reserve a place at any event or have any queries then please contact us by e mail on friendsofbec@gmail.com or phone 07811393259. All events are also listed on the National Heritage Open site and the Birmingham Heritage Open event site.

8th SEPTEMBER – FRIDAY – ZOOM TALK  Ian Binnie – 7.30pm-8.30pm – Gallipoli and Brandwood End (Ian is the Education Officer for the Gallipoli Association) He will also be on site Tuesday.

 12th SEPTEMBER – TUESDAY – GRAVES WALK  Ian Binnie – 11am-12pm – Gallipoli and Brandwood End – Start at the Lodge

 13th SEPTEMBER – WEDNESDAY – STORIES FROM THE STONES  FBEC Memorial / Headstone Inscription Recording – 1000am-1200pm –Assemble at The Lodge. Be part of this larger project to record inscriptions and condition of memorials on to a digital map, for future generations.

 15th SEPTEMBER – FRIDAY – LICHEN STROLL SESSIONS X 2   Shirley Hancock – 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-1500pm – Start at the Lodge. Learn more about the secret world of Lichen. It is everywhere but do we really know anything about it? (A magnifying device would be helpful but not essential)

 16th SEPTEMBER – SATURDAY – MEET THE FRIENDS (FBEC)1100am-1400pm – The Lodge –Maps of measured routes in the cemetery, children’s painted stones trail – colouring competition etc. Find out what the Friends have been doing and our future plans. Enjoy a chance to look through some of our extensive research. No need to book for this event just come along  and partake in a chat and tea/coffee- provided by ‘Chatty Chatty Brum Brum’.

 

Stories from the Stones.

I am afraid that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to suspend our Stories from the Stones project for a short period.  The original organisers and sponsors of the project were ‘Caring for Gods Acre’ but their support was limited to 2 years and that expired at the end of last year.

We have managed to hold some recording events since but need to reorganise our team as we want to make every effort to continue with the valuable recording of grave inscriptions for posterity.

Please watch this page for details of when these events will re-commence and we hope to include some weekend opportunities as requested !

Lots to look forward to !

Winter is a quiet time in Brandwood End but the Friends have been working away in the background on a number of projects.

We are creating a number of ‘Trail sheets’ that will cover Heritage items, trees, interesting graves, fascinating memorials, quiet corners to rest and take in the wildlife and trees plus measured routes to stroll, with distances and surface types to encourage the less able to enjoy them as well.

The sheet below, kindly produced by committee member Lisa Fair, highlights some of the cemetery heritage- both historical and ecological.

Heritage walk in Brandwood End.

A large group of over 20 people enjoyed a well researched and delivered walk today taking in the graves of interesting Balsall Heath residents.


Julia Griffin, our Chairman, and Val Hart from Balsall Heath History Society had originally designed this walk to be delivered to Society members but there was so much interest that it was repeated in full today. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine and a chance to learn more about some of those buried in Brandwood.

Civilian Garden in the spotlight.

Today we were able to tell the story of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance and those that lie within.

Many of our visitors today had no  idea that  this peaceful area of reflection existed and certainly knew nothing of those buried within.

 

With the help of Matt Felkin and his wealth of knowledge,  we were able to answer many questions about Civilian casualties and local areas that received bomb damage.

Our thanks again to everyone that helped us deliver this Heritage Event and those who took the time to visit us, especially in this strange time of public mourning.