CEMETERY – Friends of Redcar Cemetery – The
The Friends of Redcar Cemetery
The Friends of Redcar Cemetery are a group of volunteers who work in close co-operation with the local authority, correctional institutions and many others to create an atmosphere of peace in a place which is pleasing to the eye and a place of natural beauty.
The question may be posed “why does a cemetery need friends” perhaps the answer comes with a little understanding of the history of the cemetery.
Redcar Cemetery came into being in 1874 and within its walls is a wealth of national, local and social history. There are monuments to honour those who gave their lives in the Boer War, World War 1 and World War 2, others to honour those who lost their lives at sea and to those who saved lives at sea and who are now buried there, and a recent memorial the friends have provided to remember many unnamed infants buried in a lost corner of the cemetery, The missionary who took Christianity to the Inuit’s (Eskimo’s) is also remembered there as are many notable people who helped develop this small coastal fishing village into a full community with churches, hospital and employment opportunities other than the sea.
This Friends were formed approx. 4 years ago following an inspired thought of our chair person Ged Fleming. Our patron is Lord Zetland and our president is Vera Robinson MBE. Dot Ahmed treasurer and Joan Buckley secretary form the core of the Friends committee, Maureen Redfearn Community Development Worker of Redcar & Cleveland Council gives invaluable support and guidance. The volunteers come from many backgrounds and the age range of the volunteers covers many decades from the help given by the Cubs to those who have personal memories of World Wars 1 & 2. We believe everyone, from the very young to those with many years life experience has something positive to offer, and the history of this group has proved just that, 2009 saw the group presented with the Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Award. A remarkable achievement for such a young group.
What do the friends do?
All our undertaking are worked in co operation with the local authority
As our aim is to make the cemetery an emotionally sensitive place to visit there is a need for neatness and beauty, we have a maintenance group who plant bulbs and plants, the Cubs are a great support in this endeavour. Great thought has been given to colour, perfume and the meaning of plants in relation to the grieving process.
The need for weeding and general tidying up is ongoing and we are always on the look out for more volunteers. Some of the facilities e.g. Water outlets and fencing have been reviewed and found to be in need of renewal and/or replacement, this is a work in progress.
Of course nothing is for free, so we are proactive in raising funds by many means, tombolas, raffles, coffee mornings and concerts, all making people aware of our existence, we do receive donations and with support and guidance apply for grants which will enable us to continue in this venture. At this time we are researching a Boer War memorial paid for by public subscription in 1900, sadly it is in dire need of refurbishment and this is something we are working towards. People buried here have given there lives that we may live in freedom and it is imperative that they are not forgotten.
April 15, 2010 Cemetery