Author Topic: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church  (Read 3093 times)

Offline bitty_matriarch

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Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« on: Monday 15 August 05 13:53 BST (UK) »
I was in the Fens visiting my parents last week, and on Thursday afternoon, I went to the Baptist Chapel at Upwell as my father hold told me that the the builders had moved in and had started clearing the headstones - with a bulldozer.
It was a horrendous sight - not one of the old headstones
is left standing; they are now just a heap of rubble behind the chapel.

I took many photographs and have now put a selection up on my website:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cawthorn/Church&Chapel/Clearance/index.html

The Baptist authorities apparently didn't put any covenants relating to care of the headstones into the Deed of Sale - all was kept very
quiet, despite one or 2 very small notices in the local papers - until the diggers moved in last week.

The developer [a Mr. Udensi] says he is doing nothing wrong [!] but surely the headstones should have been moved to another site?  I have lost 3-4 generations worth of RUSSELL, FORTH, SCOTT & CAWTHORN history and am not best pleased - and don't know what to do, etc.
CAWTHORN, SCOTT & DeSilva PALMER from Cambridgeshire & West Norfolk [and beyond]
http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~cawthorn/genealogy/

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Offline Arranroots

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #1 on: Monday 15 August 05 15:40 BST (UK) »
That is just heart-breaking!

i hope you manage to find the info you were after - maybe someone managed to transcribe it?

I have seen similar vandalism elsewhere and it is unbelievable that it is legal to do it.  You have my sympathies.
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk <br /><br />~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<br />SOM: BIRD, BURT aka BROWN<br />HEF: BAUGH, LATHAM, CARTER, PRITCHARD<br />GLS: WEBB, WORKMAN, LATHAM, MALPUS<br />WIL: WEBB, SALTER<br />RAD: PRITCHARD, WILLIAMS<br />GLA: RYAN, KEARNEY, JONES, HARRY<br />MON: WEBB, MORGAN, WILLIAMS, JONES, BIRD<br />SCOTLAND: HASTINGS, CAMERON, KELSO, BUCHANAN, BETHUNE/ BEATON<br />IRELAND: RYAN (WATERFORD), KEARNEY (DUBLIN), BOYLE(DUNDALK)

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Offline bitty_matriarch

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #2 on: Monday 15 August 05 15:54 BST (UK) »
The Fenland FHS  did a transcription of the headstones last year, thank goodness.

I have found that according to Guidelines issued by the Baptist Church, the headstones should either have been placed around the edge of the graveyard, or moved to another site e.g. the Town Cemetery in Upwell. 

There is a great deal of distress and anger in Upwell at the moment - what has happened there is nothing more than desecration and utter vandalism.

I know there are many other small chapels in the Fens that face being sold for re-development; so let what's happened at Upwell be a stark warning to the local communities and other connections about what may happen after the sale is completed - unless they speak up first.

Ann.
CAWTHORN, SCOTT & DeSilva PALMER from Cambridgeshire & West Norfolk [and beyond]
http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~cawthorn/genealogy/

Offline linkyjinx

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 16 August 05 04:30 BST (UK) »
Hi just read your post, that's awful! - Developers like that are scum. I hope people of Upwell (that give a dam) have written to their local MP & newspapers about it I recently visited 15 church gravegards in Cambridge/Suffolk looking for relatives graves, we never got to Upwell...

I've seen this kind of harsh treatment (with bulldozers) carried out before - about 10/15 years ago in Abney Park Cemetery (Hackney,London), I was shocked by the amount of rubble & crushed gravestones back then, I went back there recently & it's all looking okay now, with trees & pathways - so they couldn't have destroyed as much as it looked at the time.

It sounds like Upwell won't fair so well, I could have relatives burried there too  :'(
EastEnd-London-Aldridge,Crispin,Eaton,Fletcher,Lacey,Quin,Rayment,Smith,Steib,Wood.
Portsmouth-Hampshire-Barbeary,Hodge,Mead,Merritt,Millett,Smith.
Cambridgeshire-Suffolk-Brook(e)s,Collin,Collyn,Hansell,Isaacson,Miller,Leggat,Livermore,Mason,Oak(e),Page,Sizer,Spiser,Ware,Woolward
Preston-Lancashire-Hodge(s),Steib.
Gibraltar-Cadiz-Gonzalez/s,Mead(e).
Ireland-Limerick-Mead(e),Quin(n).
USA-Europe-Mead(e), Steib & it's Variants - Stebe etc.
Other names-Briggs,Brown,Burgess,Hood,Miles,Miller.

Offline dollylee

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 10 December 05 08:52 GMT (UK) »
I am so sickened by this !!!  Is this common practice in England?  I am almost afraid to ask what happens to the people buried there.  If they are moved to another cemetery how are the graves identified?  Why is this not considered desecrating a grave?

dolly

Offline Frances

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 10 December 05 20:07 GMT (UK) »
I know how you feel about this distruction to a cemetery. I was angry and upset when the same thing happened at Woodgrange Cemetery in East London. There some remains were put in bags. The link below can explain it far better than I can.

Frances

http://www.derelictlondon.com/cemetery.htm
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

-------------------------------------------------- 
Hope/Buckinghamshire    Palmer Cambridge
Hope/Camberwell            Palmer Essex  
Bolton/Camberwell           Emery Potton Bedfordshire
DeBoo/ Poplar/Anywhere           
Oliver /Chatteris, Cambs.   
Redkison/ Anywhere          
Carter Bedfordshire
Bernard/Stepney
Lawrence/Colchester Essex 
Carter/ Leytonstone
Bones/ Essex
Tullett/ Surrey/Essex

Offline bitty_matriarch

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Re: Clearance of headstones at Upwell Baptist Church
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 10 December 05 20:17 GMT (UK) »
At the end of October, I made a flying visit to my parents, and whilst there
had a quick look at the Baptist Chapel, but couldn't stay too long as the builders were there.

The chapel is now gutted and an official planning notice is tied to the main
front gates.  AND all the new clean gravel laid over the graves in August has been cleared away into a big, dirty heap.  The whole place looked very unsavoury.

No graves have been disturbed, and the one exhumation that was going to happen - a WW2 Commonwealth War Grave - hasn't by request of the family, and the headstone is being re-instated.

I'm still very angry about it, as the Baptist Minute Books which recorded all the burials are still missing, and I'm pretty sure that 2 sets of my Gt Gt Grandparents are buried there - but will I ever find out, God only knows  >:(

Regards,  Ann.
CAWTHORN, SCOTT & DeSilva PALMER from Cambridgeshire & West Norfolk [and beyond]
http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~cawthorn/genealogy/