Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda


Memorandum by Mrs R Russell (CEM 109)

  Re: Article in the Manchester Metro 6 January 2001.

  I was overjoyed to read that somebody at last was taking up this issue. As you stated it is not one that people are willing to face up to, but will happen to us all sooner or later.

  I am in the habit of visiting both Phillips Park and Moston Cemeteries on a regular basis, and each time I go I am disgusted at the state of them. It is not only the vandalism, but total neglect of the graves. Admittedly Moston seems to suffer from subsidence, but in this day and age it should not be too difficult a task to level the soil and straighten the head stones.

  Maybe closing them for a couple of days in the week and utilising some of our prison inmates would not be such a bad idea.

  I live in the Trafford area and must say the Urmston cemetery is a credit to the men who work there, maybe a lesson could be learnt from them.

  Now we come to the matter of the Crematoriums, ours being Dunham Massey, it used to be very neat and tidy, we were able to lay flowers on the grass in the memorial gardens, which made them easy to pick up and the grass mown. Beautiful wooden benches lined the paths, donated by the bereaved relatives but they seem to become inundated with them and I must say I have never seen anybody sitting down on the numerous visits I have made. It would have been better for them to have been placed in local parks or donated to old people's residences. Now we have the introduction of kerbside plots which look a mess also making it more difficult for the gardens maintenance, but as usual somebody is making money out of all these schemes.

  Now we come to the matter of Manchester Crematorium at Southern Cemetery. We lost a very dear friend last July and arriving at the crematorium we were shocked, the only description I can give you was it looked like a cattle market. Because of the time allocated everything was rushed, there were other funerals waiting in the grounds, it was horrendous we didn't even have the opportunity to look at the flowers.

  There needs to be some kind of regulation regarding head stones and forbidding the placing of artificial flowers which are not biodegradable.

  I have visited several war cemeteries abroad and they are a credit to the people who look after them. The work! And something on the same lines should be introduced to the general public. This is not a problem that is going to go away and certainly needs looking into.

  Sorry for the length of my missive, but I do feel strongly about this matter and it concerns everybody at some time in their lives.

January 2001


 
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