‘Heritage Stone Access’ began work this week to clear shrubbery and re-fix loose and fallen masonry on the chapels, in an effort to slow deterioration pending funding being available to undertake renovation work.
As we all know, money is tight in Birmingham City Council and therefore renovation of the chapels remains some way off. (The majority of grant applications would demand match funding as a minimum from the site/building owners- BCC)
Bereavements Department are keen, along with the Friends, to try and keep the Chapels from deteriorating further during this lean period so have engaged a reputable company, with a good history of work on heritage buildings, to carry out various works. This includes making the building ‘pigeon proof’. (Large amounts of pigeon poo have already been professionally removed!) Shrubbery has also been sprayed with weed killers and partially removed.
Those eagled eyed visitors to the cemetery will have noticed that since the pigeons have been denied access to the buildings they have taken to roosting on the tower and creating quite a mess! Whilst on site the contractors will also be re-fixing masonry that has fallen (as seen across). We all watch with interest.
Can we issue a gentle reminder to all our members that the annual membership of FBEC is now due. It remains unchanged at £6 (£3 unwaged). All members should have received their renewal reminders with the AGM notification and this year there is an option to pay by annual standing order. Please contact us on our e mail email@example.com for more details.
FBEC depend on our membership fees to produce our 2 newsletters each year, postage costs and to print the information we display in our Cemetery notice boards, so we do hope we can count on your continued support.
Anyone who may be considering becoming a supporter of FBEC, please refer to the information on this web site.
As mentioned in the article below, the clearance of ‘self set’ trees growing on, or close to graves has now started. If you are familiar with the cemetery you can see, from the photographs below, what a difference it will make. Many graves that have been hidden for years have been exposed and the view across the section has now been opened up. This work will also mean that the tree lined avenues will now appear more defined.
If you look carefully in the photograph you will see the size of some of the felled trees that have obscured (piled to the right) both graves and views. None of the felled trees were part of the original planting.
This open view across the cemetery hasn’t been seen for many years.
Hopefully this will also mean that family members may be able to trace graves they thought were lost forever, and consider their restoration.
2013 has been a year when Friends of Brandwood End have had to take a step back and think again about the way they want to move forward in 2014. We were all very disappointed when Birmingham City Council had to withdraw their financial support for a lottery bid relating to the twin terracotta mortuary chapels at the centre of the cemetery. Along with many local organisations we saw the time when Birmingham would be in a position to support any bid we proposed move further and further away. We are now working with Bereavements Department to investigate alternative fund raising options but in the meantime we will continue with our other achievable projects within the cemetery, whilst keeping the chapels at the front of our campaign.
Those of you that follow this blog will know that just over a year ago pupils from St Albans Catholic Primary School joined Friends and volunteers to replace an ailing hedge around the Civilian Garden of Remembrance with a new hawthorn hedge.This peaceful area had been abandoned for many years until The Friends, with lottery support, restored it to a restful place to sit and enjoy. Initially we had surrounded the area with a beech hedge but the soil, being clay and waterlogged much of the year, did not support this species, so a major plan was put in place to replace it with a more tolerant hawthorn hedge.
This hedge has thrived and grown and had begun to look unruly, despite occasional trimming, so this weekend it had its first serious ‘cut’ and we are pleased to say it looks fantastic. This will only be its second winter coming up and already it is starting to look like a well established hedge. I think you will agree from the photo’s above that the area looks inviting and is well cared for volunteers from FBEC.
If you feel you could help us at all with this ongoing task of weeding etc please contact us via our web site. Many hands make light work and there is always something to do.
How many of us walk though the Woodthorpe Road entrance to the Cemetery and never look at the gates? Well, until recently they didn’t really warrant a second glance….but now they are newly painted we think you will agree they are magnificent!
The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery are delighted to announce that following close liaison with Councillor Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member, for Transport, Environment and Regeneration, and Birmingham City Council Bereavement Service Officers, conservation planning has been granted for enabling works to be undertaken on the Victorian twin terracotta Grade II listed Chapels in order to improve security.
In addition, the Superintendent’s Lodge (Grade ll listed by association with the chapels), which was rendered uninhabitable by flooding in December 2010, is to be refurbished by Birmingham City Council. Amongst other uses, consideration is being given to the Lodge eventually becoming a Visitors’ Centre and for local community group use. The works include the provision of a garden area and refurbishment of the existing toilet block.
The enabling works have begun on the Chapels and work will commence on the Lodge shortly.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 19th April 2012 at The Brandwood Centre from 19.30. All interested parties are welcome; only members are entitled to vote.
The Friends have been working in close co-operation with Birmingham City Council since 2005 and have achieved many improvements to the cemetery in general. Combined efforts towards the repair and restoration of the Chapels will be ongoing.
Anyone interested in supporting the Friends in their endeavours can obtain more information here, by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to us c/o The Lakeside Centre, 180 Lifford Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B30 3NU.