It’s not very often that you can get into Brandwood End Cemetery at night…..but tonight was the night! Great bat walk from Jasmin Fields to Brandwood Pool via the cemetery. All ages, and many new to the whole walk route, despite being local.
Thanks to Chris from Brum Bats and Ranger Dean for giving up their own time for this event. 30+ people, lots of bats and an amazing Tawny Owl made it worth it!
We hope that tonight’s adventure encourages people to visit all three sites again and be aware of the amazing natural spaces on their doorsteps.
If, as a result of tonight site visits, we could encourage anyone to be involved in litter picks or work parties to help Ranger Dean keep these sites accessible and welcoming to the public, please e mail us with your contact details on ‘email@example.com’ We can then add you to the mailing list or maybe consider joining the ‘Friends’ via this web site.
The chapels are being included in a visit by the Cabinet Member to Brandwood End next week.
Councillor Sharon Thompson has responsibility of Cemeteries and Crematoria in her portfolio and seems to be making a point of visiting all of the sites.
The Friends are looking forward to getting a second chance to have a look inside the Chapel buildings following a make safe and roofing project. We know its a mess inside, but at least now it is a dry, waterproof, pigeon proof mess!! Hopefully the Cabinet Member will be joining us and we are interested in her thoughts.
All these fantastic flowers are creating their own display in the cemetery today!
This weekend was a special one for Brandwood End Cemetery as the Friends remember 2 events that happened 120 years ago.
Brandwood End Cemetery was officially opened (there is a plaque on the wall of the West Chapel ) on Thursday 13th April 1899 by Mr. George Tallis, the Chairman of the Kings Norton Parish Council Local Cemetery Committee.
The photograph above shows the boulder (Provided by the Friends following a generous donation) marking one of the communal grave areas where the very first burial site is marked.
If you look to the right as you pass the Cross of Sacrifice, very close to the Redwood Avenue, you will find a simple wooden stake. (Section C1 c/e)
The Friends, with help from Bereavement Service staff, have identified the grave of :-
Charles Downes – 5 years old – first burial in Brandwood End. The cause of death was ‘Diphtheria after 4 days’
His father, Walter William Downes was a Carpenter (journeyman) who was present at his little son’s death at 47 Runcorn Road, Balsall Heath on Tuesday 11th April 1899. Charles was buried four days later on Saturday 15th April, and became the first burial in Brandwood End.
We have, today, laid a small tribute with a few words, but hope to bring you more of the Downes Family history via a link in the next few days.
The minister who conducted the burial service was Revd Charles William Barnard, Vicar of St. Nicolas’ Kings Norton (1893-1909) in whose parish the Cemetery lay.
Great to see the scaffolding being removed after the installation of the new temporary chapel roof.
Lets hope we can manage to get the area within the fencing tidied up a bit now…….hedges boxed back, grass cut….and yet again, shrubbery removed from the brickwork! We live in hope!
A very belated Christmas get together by some of our FBEC committee. Makes a change from ‘Agenda’ time……
The ‘Crown lifting’ of trees continues in the Cemetery. It started with the Redwood Avenue and random trees.
Contractors moved on to the removal of diseased Poplars, but now (much to the delight of the residents) the trees at the rear of properties in Broad Lane are being given the ‘lifting’ treatment. That means more light and less leaves for them all, and better maintained trees. Win, win !
Gosh ! Where did 2018 go? Christmas is nearly upon us followed closely by the New Year.
Can we take this moment to thank all of our supporters for showing an interest in our posts and taking the time to follow what FBEC have been doing in 2018.
We have had a very busy year holding our Heritage Open Day and then Remembrance, in this special year. Most of our time is taken up with research into the many interesting people buried in Brandwood End and trying to share their story with the wider community. Our special thanks to the relatives of several of those individuals that we highlighted, who then contacted us with additional information and precious photographs.
The Friends have also been pleased to welcome several groups to the Cemetery who have taken part in various themed walks. This year we have also received several donations and many encouraging comments via this site and our Facebook page.
Next year is a special year for the Cemetery as it is the 120th anniversary of its official opening. I am sure those of you that visit the cemetery will have noticed the new temporary roof on the chapel? This is a small step forward, so lets hope that 2019 is the year in which we manage a leap!!
Five and a half of us collected over 10 bags of wind blown rubbish today in the cemetery. The December litter pick always discloses lots of rubbish hidden in normally leafy shrubbery. Still some litter in areas that are hard to reach but generally everywhere reasonably clean and tidy. Next litter pick-March 2019.
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.