Here are all the news items for 2017.
One of the tasks at today’s Working Morning was to remove the build up of fallen leaves from near both the Carr Lane and the Green Dyke Lane entrances. Below you will see a before and after shot of Carr Lane and an after shot of Green Dyke Lane.
In spite of only one hardy volunteer braving the cold conditions today, a very noticeable improvement was made to the cemetery. This shows just how much could be achieved by just a few people each month.
We are delighted to announce that we have succeeded in securing an environment grant from Greggs Foundation, The funding will be used to create a ‘Wildlife Corner’ in the south-western extremity of the cemetery. There is currently an overgrown and untidy embankment slope, with much low value vegetation growing on it. The site is about 35 metres long and varies in width from about 2 metres to 5 metres, as it slopes down to the New Street footpath.
The low value vegetation will be removed, but existing wildlife-friendly plants will be retained. The latter will be supplement by planting about 200 new shrubs of various species. The work will be carried out by volunteers under the supervision of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).
We shall post more information over the coming weeks, including details of how you can get involved in the work.
Looking at the photograph of the current state of the location (see above), few could argue that it will benefit greatly from the proposals.
Yesterday’s volunteers’ Working Morning at the cemetery took place in sunshine and a light breeze. We welcomed two new helpers, Andy & Heather, and completed several tasks. Among the work carried out was adding more chippings to the Stirling graves, finishing weeding and mulching one of the shrub beds and litter picking. There were also some good photo opportunities.
Yesterday’s edition of the Doncaster Free Press contains an article about some of the airmen who served at Doncaster airfield in WW1 and who died in the service of the allies. Based on an interview with FoHPC committee member, Richard Bell, a few weeks ago, it tells the little known stories of pilots and others, who were in training, but sadly lost their lives. The article is on pages 12 and 13.
While we have hosted groups of volunteers from the National Citizen Service over the past few summers, this year was the first time that a group came to help us at Hyde Park Cemetery in the autumn. The youngsters, all students at Club Doncaster’s Sports College, spent two days in late October tackling another of the neglected shrub beds. Not only did they complete that, but they tidied the gardens near the main entrance and behind the cross of sacrifice, too. We are extremely grateful to them for all the hard work that they put in. The result is wonderful.
Although the graves of Patrick Stirling and his sons were restored in 2015, they had started to look a little untidy due to weeds growing through the marble chippings. At yesterday’s Working Morning, Nigel and Richard removed the chippings, riddled them, weeded the graves and laid a membrane of weed control fabric, before replacing the chippings. We shall add more chippings in the near future.
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Hyde Park Cemetery has been awarded a Silver Medal in the Yorkshire In Bloom 2017 competition. Although the Friends were initially sceptical about the chances of success, when we realised that community involvement plays a large part in the scoring of entries, we decided to have a go. Through the efforts of Doncaster Council’s grounds maintenance team supplemented by the wonderful input from our own volunteers, we were able to achieve this prestigious Silver award. We thank everyone who contributed. It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the efforts of many people, especially when placed in the context of the extremely poor state of the cemetery just a few short years ago.
The Yorkshire In Bloom judges, who visited the cemetery in mid-July, recorded the following citation alongside our award.
“Due to its age, this Victorian era cemetery retains a unique charm and value in the area. It is clear the group are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the site and this shines through in their work. As this is a very long-term project with regards to restoration the group are sensibly doing small projects at a time. It was good to see and hear about the engagement with the National Citizens Service, and the Tree Trail is a nice touch, plus there is useful interpretation for wildlife. It was also encouraging to see efforts in place to create a wildflower meadow.”
We can now use this award as a springboard for achieving even greater things. If you have sometimes thought about volunteering at our monthly Working Mornings but have never got around to actually doing so, perhaps now is the time to start taking part and let us see what more we can achieve? Find details on our Events page.
Three years ago we discovered that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone of Corporal Thomas William (Tommy) Booth had been broken. It had cracked at ground level and lay flat on its back on the grass. After we reported it to CWGC, it was only a couple of weeks before they came along and made a temporary repair. They dug out the original base of the headstone and sank the upper section into the ground, so that it stood rather lower than it had done. CWGC also ordered a brand new headstone for Corporal Booth, from their manufacturing facility in France. We are delighted to say that the new headstone has now been delivered and erected, providing a fitting memorial once again for a brave soldier of WW1.
The three photographs show, from left to right, the broken headstone in 2014, the temporary repair and the brand new headstone.
Our Grave Finder Service has helped well over 100 people from the UK and overseas to locate their ancestors’ graves and burial details. These have included one person from Italy, one from Canada and several from Australia. Some of the latter group have visited Hyde Park Cemetery subsequently. In the past few days, we have been dealing with an enquiry from a Florida resident, all of whose grandparents are buried at Hyde Park.
Please visit our Grave Finder Service webpage if you would like to find your ancestors.
Last night’s fourth annual Bat Walk at the cemetery was attended by about 20 people. Under the expert leadership of Robert Bell, of the South Yorkshire Bat Group, and with help of FoHPC volunteers, electronic detectors were used to locate the bats. But it was not just the gadgets that found bats, as the flying mammals were visible to the naked eye, too. Once again Common Pipistrelle bats were found to be the resident species.
Here is an atmospheric photographs taken at the Bat Walk.