Friends of the Wembdon Road Cemetery
Bridgwater, Somerset
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2020 Diary: September

Sunday 6th September 2020

Astrid, Dave, Chris, Rita & Alan in the cemetery today. The first job was to move the dumpy bag that was half full of rubbish and possible needles that a couple had left after they had been squatting in the cemetery some time ago. To make it safe, the bag was tightly tied and put into a second dumpy bag. The bag was pulled across to the area near Jam Factory Lane where the other dumpy bags full of weeds and bush trimmings etc. are stored, the bag then had red and white warning tape wrapped around it and a notice attached warning that it could contain needles. SDC will be contacted to advise them of the potential hazard and ask them to remove it.

Chris and Dave worked on the Dr Peter Cattermole memorial stone laid under a new tree. A root had grown underneath forcing the stone up on one side, it didn't take them long to sort the problem out, the stone is now level again, it was moved away from the root and looking splendid.

Astrid and Rita cleared the ivy off the Walford headstone as it had been covered completely, they also cleared the centre of the grave before moving off to concentrate on weeding the graves on the left hand side of the pathway as you enter the cemetery. Alan started on the Dodden 9.42 memorial that had been hit by the mower some time ago, pushing the memorial slab and the posts and kerbs out of position. The first job was to clean the area around the grave so that the kerbs and posts could be worked on, the old cement was chipped off each joint ready for when they are put back together. Dave and Chris with the Cattermole job completed gave Alan a hand to lever the scroll shaped memorial back into its rightful position, just as this was done there was heavy rain shower and everyone took cover. Storm over it was decided to put the kerbs and posts back into position and permanently cement them together when next in the cemetery, if weather permits. With another heavy shower threatening it was decided best to collect the tools and make a hasty retreat for home.

Sunday 13th September 2020

A lovely sunny day, just Dave, Alan and Rita working in the cemetery today. On Friday Alan went in the cemetery to work on the Dodden 9-42 in preparation for cementing the kerbs and posts back into position. All the old cement was removed and everything slotted into place perfectly. So today work started straight away on mixing the cement, and it was not long before the kerbs and posts were in position looking splendid. Rita was called away from her weeding to take photos as the work progressed. Just behind the Dodden grave is the impressive red granite Davidson grave Plan 9-49. The end kerb and both posts had been pushed out of position and one of the long kerbs had also moved. It did not take long for Alan and Dave to dig them out and re-fix them back in position with cement, another good job done!

After a tea break they decided to start on the Sandy grave Plan 13-45. This grave has marble kerbs and a concrete inner slab, the grave stones had been pushed out of position and the concrete slab moved several inches. The slab was levered back into position and the old cement on the kerbs and post joints were cleaned off. Still a little remedial work required but most of the hard work has been completed. Nearly ready for cementing back together again next week.

Rita carried on the work started last week of clearing the inside of the graves along the pathway as you enter the cemetery. Although we seem to have cut down the problem with grass growing inside the graves the bigger problem now is plantain, but this is a lot easier to pull up, even so it seems to have taken over everything! After this was completed she started clearing the graves in the area where Alan and Dave were working. Another productive work session completed, all trooped home to cool off.

Sunday 20th September 2020

Alan, Astrid, Dave and Chris in the cemetery on this bright and sunny day. Alan and Dave concentrated on the Sandy grave 13-45 where work started last week. The centre slab was levered back into place and the kerbs and posts cemented back in position. Dave left Alan to finish off tidying around the Sandy memorial and went to help Chris on the Jarvis 13-46 stone that had sunk badly. The stone was packed level and a wheelbarrow full of earth added to level the ground around the memorial. A good clean, and nice job done.

In the meantime Astrid was busy cutting back branches around the Bryant 13-54 grave as they were beginning to take over the area. This done she then dug out the ivy that had taken over this grave and the surrounding area. Alan had to leave early and left the others to concentrate on the Hodge 13-53 which was in a similar state to the Bryant - covered in ivy.

It was agreed that next week, weather permitting, they would spend time in this part of the cemetery, Plan 13, to have a general tidy up of the graves in this area.

Sunday 27th September 2020

Another nice sunny day for Alan, Rita, Dave, Astrid and Chris to work in the cemetery. Today Alan worked on the Hodge 13-53 grave that Dave, Chris and Astrid cleared last week. Once the ivy had been removed it was identified that the posts and kerbs were out of position and needed to be moved back into place. This was done and is now ready to be cemented back together next week. In the meantime Dave and Chris were busy trimming the trees and saplings in Section 13 as they were beginning to hang low and obstructing the view through the cemetery. All the branches below 6 feet from the ground were cut back. Astrid and Rita were busy clearing ivy and holly saplings that had taken over on the Smith, Bryant and Ware graves on the corner of Section 12. A photo was taken of before and after cleaning up these graves. The area has now been transformed and is looking very nice. A young couple and their two young children came in the cemetery to look around. They said they had just moved in nearby and were interested in helping in the cemetery and becoming members of the Friends, Astrid gave them information on how they could join.

Before and After

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