Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Next To George

It seemed high time that I visited the grave of my paternal grandparents in the huge municipal cemetery in Southend-on-Sea.  I'm not sure what prompted me to do this.  Perhaps it's because I need all the help I can get at the moment so dead ancestors can have a go as well!  Usually  we're not a family who spend a lot of time in graveyards and no-one's gone up there for years. Maybe it's because the living take precedence.   As  I thought that it would be cool for Louis to know where members of my family were buried I took him with me.  I didn't tell my parents what we were up to.  I reckoned that there was a task in hand before I spilled the beans.

The lady in the cemetery office was great.  She passed us a great big book with handwritten entries that enabled us to find the burial site.  Once I'd done this she marked its position on the map. Simples!

Now I reckoned that a headstone that was forty years old would be really grubby.   I wasn't wrong. It's a good job that we went armed with cleaning materials.  I wasn't sure what would do the trick.  After all you don't clean graves everyday.  So I took a selection.  Bleach spray, cream cleaner, scourers, soft cloths and a toothbrush to get into those crevices.  It was a job that took a couple of hours over three visits.   My brother helped us on the last occasion.   No pressure washer just a lot of elbow grease.

I wish I'd taken before and after shots but the grave of George next door on the right gives some idea of what our handiwork achieved.  We wanted to add some horticultural interest but the local rabbits ate our pot plant before it even went in the ground.  So, we'll come back with bulbs when it's the right time to plant them.

My Mum and Dad are really pleased with the job we've done.  I wonder if my Nan and Grandad are happy too that we've had a tidy up.  And I wonder if they appreciated their visit from their ageing grandchildren and lively great grandson!


  1. I'm not a visitor of graveyards either, but I do like to know that the stones are OK.

  2. You have made a good job of that, it looks lovely. I feel sad when I see gravestones that haven't had a visitor for a long time. Pity it isn't a tradition passed down through the generations. You have made me think about visiting my grand dads grave.

  3. Well done on your hard work. It looks wonderful now it's been cleaned up again.

  4. great job and good to get Louis involved.It has really made me think about seeing to my grandparents graves but they are a couple of hours away.I must make the time.

  5. I'm having an emotional day this post made me cry but that's not a bad thing. X

  6. I just read this, must have missed it last year. What a sweet and caring person you are and how wonderful that you are demonstrating this kind of attitude to Louis. JanF