Fish and Chips and trees

We have a beautiful new tree planted in the cemetery. It is in the corner of Noster Terrace and Beeston Road. It is in that position for a very special reason.
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It was donated by our friends at Park Fisheries just over the road. They have a beautiful prize-winning garden where you can enjoy the best fish and chips in Leeds while sitting under their parasols. They had grown the tree but it had become too big for their small street-garden and so they have had it planted in the corner of the cemetery where they can watch it grow bigger each year.
A BIG THANK YOU to them for this generous offer, it was a lovely gesture and helps to make the cemetery more colourful. The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery can’t thank them enough.

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Viewing platform & vandals: Sad goodbyes

Sadly this week saw the final demise of our original, beautiful viewing platform which was built in 2006 when we secured funding from various sources. It offered ever-changing views of the city of Leeds & Bradford. It was always a stopping off point for our walks/tours of the cemetery and people loved to spot the various landmarks that could be seen from there.
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This photo was taken before the platform was built and so many changes in the buildings have happened since then

It has suffered over the recent years . firstly from the theft of the plaques designed by children of Ingram Road school in Holbeck, then local youths have been gathering for drinking sessions . This meant that some of the structure had to be removed and the pictorial railings displayed near the main gates.

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Now the only thing left of the original structure is a line of railings behind ‘prickly’ shrubs, this fence will then be extended along the boundary/ridge and also planted with ‘prickly’ shrubs.

The bottom corner of cemetery will be allowed to grow wild by only cutting the grass there about a couple of times a year , which should add to the biodiversity of the area and adjoin the present wild-flower meadow .

It was quite a emotional meeting when 6 members of FOHC met to see what was taking progress, as a lot of hard work had been put into applying for funding for the original viewing platform and many happy hours had been spent there with the many visitors on our walks/tours.
Even the local church has used it for their Easter Dawn Service over the past few years.
It does seem a shame that the only answer to anti-social behaviour is to destroy a beautiful structure like the viewing platform and we are disappointed that another solution could not have been found.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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We Remembered Them

Commonwealth War grave

Commonwealth War grave


On Sunday 17th November 14 adults, young people and children met in Holbeck Cemetery to remember some of the people who died in conflicts in WW1 and WW2.
We heard about their family backgrounds and the regiments that they had served in, we even remembered someone whose grave we could not find. One of the children, Grace , laid a bunch of flowers and a small wooden cross on each of the graves that we visited. Finally we all stood at the Cross of Remembrance and took it in turns to read all the names of those who are remembered in Holbeck Cemetery. This year we had a new name to add to the list as one of our party told us of her relative who is buried here.
We heard about a young flier who had originally joined the KOYLI and then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, perhaps as it seems more exciting, even though fliers were known as “the 17 minuters” for obvious reasons.
There were young men from rich business families who had been training to take over the business before it was interrupted by WW1. George Wilson , who owned Wilson and Sons, Victoria Screw Works in Leeds, lost two sons , Wilfred in 1917 and his younger brother, John Bell Wilson after the war in 1919, probably from his wounds.
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We looked at a stone that commemorates Joseph Hargrave, aged just 20 years who died as a POW in 1918.
The other people we remembered were from various backgrounds but we thought about their families and the great loss that they had suffered. Most of the people we talked about came from Leeds and some were remembered on the distinctive white Commonwealth War Graves, others on family memorials.
FOHC feel that it is important to have an annual Remembrance Walk as, “Remembrance is important, because, by looking back and remembering , we can learn from the past and shape a peaceful future”*
* quote from The Royal; British Legion.
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We Will Remember Them 2013

We will remember them festival-photo-poppies
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery, which formed in May 2001, is once again holding a Remembrance Sunday Walk around the site on Sunday 17th November 2013 at 2pm. This annual walk commemorates the lives of all those killed as a result of war.
Holbeck cemetery has 87 Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials plus many other private memorials with inscriptions to loved ones lost as a result of hostilities. The Commission memorials are maintained by them but many of the private graves have suffered neglect and decay over the years.
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery aim to halt the decay and decline of the site and make it once again a place where people are able to visit graves in safety as well as create a place of peace and quiet amidst inner city turmoil.
John Leckenby, chair of Friends of Holbeck, said,” This historic place offers the opportunity to reflect on issues of life and death. In a time when war and conflict are in the news more than ever we should remember those who have died in such tragic circumstances. Each grave has a story to tell of the lives of ordinary people like you and me. Some of whom lost their lives in wartime conflict”.
So come along and join us on Sunday 17th November at 2pm meeting at the main gates on Fairfax Road, Leeds 11 and help us remember.. We would welcome any local stories that you have to tell of how wartime affected Holbeck and Beeston.
CWGC headstone

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ABC at the cemetery

Asda volunteers help Vivienne near the viewpoint

Asda volunteers help Vivienne near the viwpoint

href=”http://holbeckcemetery.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/photo0522.jpg”>baby oak tree in the mist baby oak tree in the mist[/caption]
A = Asda
B= Beeston in Bloom
C= Cemetery Friends (Of Holbeck)
Mix it all together on a misty October morning and what do you get?
A great working party to plant locally grown trees.
Local members of Beeston in Bloom have been growing baby trees at home in pots and now it was the beginning of term for the babies to greet the big wild world of Holbeck Cemetery and spread their branches.
There were oak trees, horse chestnuts, silver birch and hazel which were all added to the other trees in Holbeck Cemetery to make it a more beautiful place for visitors, now and in the future.
A team from Asda, Leeds were there to help clear the area and plant near the viewing platform while the rest of us planted in various areas near the centre oval.
Check out the photos of the proud planters
Thanks again to Beeston in Bloom for organising it

Christine with the oak tree

Christine with the oak tree

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Tony Harrison meets some Friends of Holbeck Cemetery

Image  On the 10th June 2013 Ken, Sandra  Burton  & Ralph Savage, all members of Friends of Holbeck Cemetery, had a chance to  meet with Tony Harrison when he came to visit and lay some flowers on his family grave .   

  Here is Ken’s blog about the visit.

“On the June 10th this year my wife and I, together with Ralph Savage ,had the pleasure of showing Tony Harrison and his charming partner round Holbeck Cemetery   where his parents are buried in a family grave. We had previously met Tony at the 2013 Beeston Festival on our Beeston local History stand where he and Ralph had a lot in common with the area .

      Tony was born in Leeds in April 1937 and lived in Tempest Road where he went to Cross Flatts School ; later after passing his 11-plus , he continued his education at Leeds Grammar School and the University of Leeds . He was the son of a baker and much of the material for his poetry is provided by memories of his working class childhood ( something to be proud of)

      His best known collections are ‘The Loiners’ ( 1970) and ‘The School of Eloquence’, his most controversial work was probably his long poem ‘V’ (1985), this is commemorated in the Holbeck Cemetery, in which he describes a visit to his parents grave and how he found the cemetery” now littered with beer cans and vandalised along with obscene graffiti” ( the cans and some vandalism still go on in 2013)

        Tony is a noted translator, dramatist and librettist whose works have been performed by the Royal National Theatre and the New York Metropolitan  Opera. These works include his adaption of the English Medieval  Mystery Plays based on the  York and Wakefield Cycles, as well as tragedies from Ancient Greece . He also noted for his outspoken views, particularly on the Iraq War.

    He is a man of whom South Leeds and in particular , our area, should feel justly proud of.”  Ken Burton

 Sadly  I was on holiday so  missed this meeting , but Tony did write to me  afterwards adding some more about his connections with South Leeds. Eve Tidswell

He wrote ,” Ralph Savage took us back to the station via the house of my grandfather at 46 St Luke’s Road , with his initials JWH carved near the door. He was the Harrison of the Harrison Arms in Malvern Road. I hadn’t realised that the house was still there .”

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