Here are all the news items for 2017.
Today saw one of those occasions that makes the work of the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery so rewarding. Some months ago, we were contacted by a Dr Gell, who was brought up in Doncaster but is a long-term resident of Italy. He was trying to locate the final resting place of Gilbert and Mary Holden. The Holdens had been neighbours in his childhood days in Doncaster and a very close friendship had developed with this surrogate uncle and aunt.
As a result of that initial contact with the Friends, Dr Gell went on to sponsor the restoration of the grave in question. Much of the restoration was undertaken by our colleagues at the Victoria Cross Trust. The images show Dr Gell and his wife during today’s visit from Italy, as well as showing the previous condition of the grave.
Yesterday saw the first of this year’s themed Guided Walks take place around the cemetery. This walk was entitled “Discovering Doncaster’s Past” and told the stories of a wide range of significant people from the town’s history. Approximately 50 visitors attended this walk, making for a wonderful start to this year’s programme. More Guided Walks are planned throughout the summer. Please visit our Events page for further details.
We established a Heritage Circuit in Hyde Park Cemetery in 2011. It was launched for us by Dame Rosie Winterton MP (see photos). The Heritage Circuit comprises 20 numbered marker posts, located around the perimeter path of the cemetery. In the accompanying leaflet, there is a paragraph of information relating to each of the 20 locations.
In the intervening years since the Heritage Circuit was created there have been a few changes which affected the content of the leaflets. As a result, we have updated and reprinted the Heritage Circuit leaflet. The leaflet can be downloaded from our Downloads page. Also, paper copies of the leaflet can be picked up from Doncaster Tourist Information Centre and from the premises of Adrian Welch Glass & Glazing, just across the road from the cemetery’s main entrance.
Now that The Lodge has been fully restored and its residents have settled in, we thought it would be interesting to compare how it looked around the year 2000 with how it looks now. Quite a contrast, we’re sure you’ll agree. We should like to acknowledge the commitment of Adrian Welch, the owner of the Lodge since 2014, for what he has achieved with this historic, Grade II Listed Building.
Recently, the Friends were contacted by a local man who asked whether we could tidy his ancestors’ grave, in exchange for a donation towards our ongoing work. The grave had been partially covered in soil by rabbits digging alongside it. Yesterday, at our monthly volunteers’ Working Morning, we carried out the work. The gentleman in question visited the grave in the afternoon and expressed his delight at the improvement. Here are before and after photographs.
Meanwhile, we have been assisting another gentlemen, who now resides in Italy, to restore the grave of close family friends. On this occasion, we have been helped by the Victoria Cross Trust, to whom our client has made a donation. The before and after photos in this case make a striking contrast.
We have received several enquiries by email and telephone recently. We are always keen to try to help anyone who is looking for a relative’s grave in Hyde Park Cemetery. While we will try to help even if all you need is a location, so much more information is available if we undertake a full Grave Finder enquiry. You can find out about everyone who is buried in the grave in question, their ages at death, where they were living at the time, who bought the grave and other related data. Please visit our Grave Finder Service page for full details, including an example of the type of report that we prepare.
Two of the Friends’ most active supporters, Nick and Nigel, got stuck in to cutting back and tidying up the out of control shrubs at the northern end of Section B, at today’s Working Morning. The great results can be seen in the before and after photos, below.
In spite of the cold, grey and damp weather at the cemetery this morning, there was a hint of better things to come, with this clump of snowdrops blooming near the southern boundary.
The Memorial Meadow at Hyde Park Cemetery acts as a natural memorial for the thousands of people who were buried there in unmarked Public graves. They were the people who often had no close family and who found themselves, for example, in the Workhouse at the end of their life. The Friends established the Memorial Meadow in the area of Public graves in Sections H & I, in particular. However, there are eight more Public grave areas in the cemetery, too.
Now that last year’s growth of plants has died back, the Council grounds maintenance team have cut it down and cleared it away, ready for a new season’s growth to begin in the spring.