Took my daily exercise in the cemetery today and thought I would take a few photos of the extent of graves failing a stress test. These stones are in danger of toppling under minor pressure, so have been marked with blue tape and staked, to allow time for next of kin to have them correctly fixed by a Stonemason, and to warn the public to keep clear of them. In the older sections there are quite a few large stones needing action.
Every year Friends of Brandwood End Committee turn out to try and keep the Ivy under control that takes over some of the most historic monuments in the cemetery.
Following advice from the Conservation Officer and also the Wildlife Trust, who are working closely with us on our Hedgehog Project, we try and restrict our activities to the month of February when the impact on insects and birds is at its lowest. Whilst removing the Ivy we did find one or two frogs and toads enjoying the sunshine in the damp undergrowth but we made sure they remained undisturbed (Apart from their photo call!)
I think you will agree that the improvement is quite striking and has exposed some of our most interesting and beautiful monuments.
FBEC member, Pat Franklin, gave up her time to lead a group of U3A (Local History Group) members on a walk through Brandwood End Cemetery. During Heritage Open Week, in September 2014, the Friends devised a Grave Walk highlighting a small number of War Graves in the cemetery and providing a short background to each of them.
Our thanks to Alison Gove-Humphries for taking some lovely photographs at the event.
The tour itself consisted of an introduction and overview, the formation and role of the Friends and then to the CWGC, their policy and philosophy. Next came a brief summary of the First World War, the burials elsewhere [unless stated] and the commemoration on family headstones on the walk. Then on to the Cross of Sacrifice and the recent Commemoration. Thence, the Screen Walls and a walk to the more recent Tree Island Memorial, with tablet and benches. The group were particularly taken with the Poppy Cross Field and its significance.
Our thanks again to Pat for leading this walk. We do occasionally get requests from individuals to attend a walk but unless Pat can get a group of 8 to 12 together it isn’t really worth while. With this in mind, if you would like to take our Grave Walk (Probably not until Spring 2017) can you e mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to this list then contact you with proposed dates when we have enough prospective participants.
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.
The Committee of the Friends of Brandwood End Cemetery are proposing to organise the restoration of certain headstones.