New Friends group will be positive for Durrington Cemetery

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Earlier this week I was contacted by a client and asked to sign an online petition regarding possible proposed changes to the children’s section at Durrington Cemetery.

On further reading, it was regarding an alleged suggestion by the newly-formed Friends of Durrington Cemetery to replace the existing wooden fence at the section with a hedge. Rumour, misunderstanding, call it what you like, but there are actually two aspects to this story.

First, any proposed changes to the children’s section would not even be contemplated without full consultation of every grave owner within that part of the cemetery – i.e. the parents of all the children sadly buried there.

––– Also in the news, GCSE students across the area have been celebrating after receiving their results; an Angmering grandfather has taken to caring for hedgehogs to help him overcome a spinal injury; and a memorial to honour the victims of the Shoreham Airshow crash is almost ready for installation on the banks of the River Adur –––

The council officer in charge of cemeteries, Andy Edwards, is not only extremely good at his job but an extremely compassionate individual, so he is not going to sanction any changes without the aforementioned communication with the relevant people. And if, as it clearly appears with the level of feeling over the issue, the majority of the people involved want to keep the existing fence, that is what will happen.

Secondly, the newly-formed Friends group, despite this early blip, will be a positive step forward.

A similar group at Broadwater Cemetery has been a huge success, not only with the very popular tours but regular maintenance and clean-up days.

When I started in the funeral business over 30 years ago, the cemeteries department was fully staffed and Durrington was regularly maintained.

Unfortunately various funding cuts, and in some cases redundancies, have left the staffing levels a pale shadow of what they were back in the 1980s, and as a result I think it is fair to say parts of the cemetery are not at the standard they should be at certain times.

If the Friends group mirrors what has been done at Broadwater, then that can only be a positive for everyone involved with the cemetery.

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