The Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery would like to wish all their supporters a very Merry Christmas and hope that you all enjoy a healthy 2017.
We have called on our supporters a lot in 2016 to help with lots of projects and they have not let us down. We know that many of you are unable to come along and help physically with projects as your distance to travel, time available, physical capabilities etc all vary dramatically. All we ask is that you continue to renew your memberships each April and/or keep an interest in what we are doing via this site and our facebook page as the day will come when numbers of supporters count when important decisions are made!
Just a reminder of some of the busy work we have undertaken with your support in 2016.
We have enjoyed working with Woodthorpe Primary and St Albans RC Primary, and continue to do so as part of our community filming of our ongoing Hedgehog Project
We ‘Cleaned for the Queen’ earlier in the year and litter picked once a quarter as usual
We have won a Silver Gilt Medal in the Heart of England in Bloom, organised the refurbishment of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance, held lots of Hedgehog events (thanks to funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund)and held our usual annual Remembrance Service. None of this would have been possible without your support.
As Chairman can I also give special thank you and Seasonal Greetings to all our committee, present and past, for their efforts. Many of our past committee still continue to work on our behalf and I would like to give a special thank you to Pat Franklin who tirelessly takes people on historic Grave Walks on our behalf. Working with you all is a joy!
In 2017 we will continue our work to try and raise the profile of Brandwood End Cemetery and especially the plight of our magnificent chapels. We believe the more people who visit via events etc……the more support we will have when the time comes for some serious lobbying! Thank you all again.
Gosh, such a frenzy of activity in the cemetery. We are sure the RHS and all our visitors will appreciate it! Gates mended, benches varnished, beds weeded, roses pruned, hedges cut, notice boards washed, section markers scrubbed, litter picked…….. but hey…..we actually do all of these things all the time- but not usually all at the same time. Well done to all our supporters and committee members for stepping up to the plate. Fingers crossed.Can we invite anyone who is interested in the visit of the Judges to Brandwood End to pop along and join us. We will be meeting them at 3pm by the Lodge, on Wednesday 27th July.
Sarah has spent two weekends re varnishing our two benches- so why not come along and sit on them!
Our thanks to the Ground Staff from Bereavement Service Dept at BCC who, finding they had more Geraniums than they needed, deployed them in a ‘new area’ adjacent to the old lodge garden.Keep an eye out to your right as you enter, almost opposite the entrance to their workshop area. Beautiful ! If you are wondering why they are not further out towards the path, the fear was that they might disrupt the track of the large grass cutter operating in that area meant that it was safer to inset them into the hedge area. We think they look rather lovely.
Great news…..FBEC have been accepted as entrants into the‘RHS Heart of England in Bloom’ in the Cemetery category but we could do with some practical help before judging , towards the end of July, just to make sure we make a good impression.
We have at least one wooden bench in our Civilian Garden of Remembrance that needs rubbing down and re-varnishing.
We have an area under a newly planted hedge surrounding a small group of War Graves that needs serious weeding…..
Some of the Section Markers on the main drive could do with a wash …..
…..and a few other small items.
All of these jobs could be done at a time to suit yourself. (Provided the cemetery is open!) If you think you can help, can you contact us by e mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. to arrange times and dates etc Many thanks
FBEC have been lucky enough to receive a donation from one of our members that has enabled us to revitalise the Civilian Garden of Remembrance in the Cemetery. Our main concern was that the beds had become over full and hard to maintain and that the quality of the soil needed improvement. The work was beyond our members abilities but we were able to engage ‘Rudge and Wood’ who are based at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens to undertake this project with some of their students.
It started like this…….and is nearly complete, so it looks like this…
It should be complete by the end of the week and we hope to hold an official unveiling in the near future so watch this space. Our thanks to Darren and his team and you can see more photographs of them at work on our facebook page.
The main drive of the cemetery was a riot of colour today as Crocus flowers and Snowdrops vied for position in the sunshine.
The Cemetery was looking good for Mothering Sunday and the constant stream of vehicles carrying relatives visiting their mother’s and grandmother’s graves were a testament to the amount of visitors that Brandwood End still receives.
The Great War memorial bench has now been re sited close to the new memorial (on the old Oak Tree Island). It has been joined by an interpretation lectern explaining the part that Birmingham played during the Great war.
The bench is now clear of over hanging trees and less likely to be damaged by bird droppings.
The small area of Commonwealth War Graves, recently hedged by FBEC and St Albans pupils, has been planted with Primula Vulgaris and is looking especially good.
Several years ago the members of FBEC spent back breaking hours planting patches of aconites, snowdrops and several thousand crocuses. You may have enjoyed the aconites and snowdrops as you strolled along the main drive but only 2 clumps of crocuses remain near the Oak Tree Island. Much to our annoyance all of the remaining crocus bulbs were dug up and, as far as we were concerned, eaten by the squirrels! Apparently they are a favourite with them…….. Today, whilst litter picking close to D1 we suddenly noticed a shimmering patch of blue.
On closer investigation we discovered a swathe of blue crocuses in an area that we would never have planted in! It would appear that one or two of the greedy squirrels dug up our bulbs and reburied them in their ‘larder’ area and then either forgot them or couldn’t remember where they were…… What a beautiful show these bulbs now make. Perhaps we will forgive the squirrels their greed!