The Thursday Team
We have made safe some 150 headstones in the graveyard. Employing monumental masons to deal with 20 stones too big for 4 men to handle cost over £1000 2 years ago. We have now developed a technique, driving lengths of scaffolding pole front and rear of the headstone and enclosing this reinforcement in a concrete collar.
What we need now are more old scaffolding poles. Would anyone who has spare poles, or know friends or well-disposed builders who may have such things please contact:
Jim Harding , Kevin Ashton or Warwick Watson
Thank you, The Thursday Team.
Our current project
Whispers from the Graveyard
Since September 2008, when Mick Grime and myself attended a Diocesan Meeting regarding Health & Safety in Graveyards, the Thursday Team has been addressing the problem.
An initial survey identified 25 urgent cases of Category 1: Dangerous Tombstones, all of which were made safe by April 2009. We are now well into Category 2: Unsafe but not immediately dangerous. In total, 82 gravestones have been made safe, and much additional minor restoration carried out, comprising about two-thirds of those needing attention.
The Health & Safety demand is simply safety, but our aim has been more ambitious, trying wherever possible to restore and re-erect memorials in their existing positions, whilst rendering them safe and showing consideration for the feelings of the deceased’s family. You will have seen obvious signs of the work as you walk the paths through the graveyard, because our first priority was to secure those tombstones nearest to the public paths. All such stones should now be safe.
The Vicar is now addressing another problem (dilapidated and collapsed grave kerb edges, which are both an eye-sore, a Health & Safety designated ‘trip hazard’, and an obstruction to our mowing contractors) by seeking a Faculty to remove these edges from 26 graves, whilst maintaining the headstones and other inscription stones in their present location. A photographic record of these graves before any work is carried out is being kept.
All this has been done by the Thursday Team, the only expenses being time and concrete, apart from the employment of Stephenson’s to provide lifting machinery for 25 of the larger monuments.
This has occupied a lot of the Team’s time, but other work, e.g. rebuilding a dangerous boundary wall in the NW corner of the graveyard, preparing another set of niches in the Memorial Garden, and the regular maintenance of trees and flowerbeds, has also continued.