Thank you to the Rev. Joanne Foster for leading the Service, to Dr Mark Taylor for playing a moving lament afterwards, to Councillor and Mrs Whyte for laying a wreath on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for their continuing care of the monument and to our members for attending this morning. It was a beautiful morning, but very cold.
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We are taking part in this year’s History Festival by providing a Guided Tour of Warriston cemetery.
Date: Thursday 23 November 2017.
Duration: 1.5 hours.
Cost: £5 (free to children under 12 years).
Extra info: Waterproofs and “sensible footwear” required.
Event venue: Warriston cemetery.
Venue address: Main Gate, 42 Warriston Gardens, Edinburgh EH3 5NE.
Ticket purchase: Pay at gate. Booking essential.
Here’s what you can expect on the day…
A guided tour of Edinburgh’s first designed garden cemetery, opened in 1843, formerly neglected in parts but now being cleared of excess weeds by the Friends of Warriston Cemetery. Many of Edinburgh’s Victorian society members lie within, some with distinctive monuments and all with stories to be told. There are architects, artists, astronomers, botanists, doctors, entertainers, historians, horticulturists, ministers, military personnel, photographers, scientists, sculptors, teachers – all manner of occupations. And there’s wildlife too, in this Local Biodiversity Site.
History Festival website: www.historyfest.co.uk/
Next workable session was on the 8th of July…
“We became four years old on Tuesday! But we were rained off. Again. So, we had to wait until today to have our birthday cake, with the requisite number of candles. Of course. And if our overseas viewers don’t understand this, watch this! The Two Ronnies Make sure you have the sound on. Everyone else knows it’s worth seeing again….”
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This mysterious number appeared! And one of our piles of debris there vanished. What was this about? Well, there are half a dozen piles of gravestones which have been removed from their original positions. No-one is sure why, happened a long time ago. We’ve been keeping some of the piles clear of foliage so that at least some stones may be read. We were told that a family member came by, on a walk, spotted one of their own family stones. One from the Council’s list of approved masons was instructed to come by, take the stone away to clean it, create a new cement foundation – ensuring it was level! – and re-erect the gravestone in its rightful place. And here it is. Happy ending! Well done, that family member.
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The following photographs show clearance work over several sessions. Most of the clearing involves clipping ivy and removing dirt. It sounds easy but as the ivy has been left to its own devices for many years much of it has become thick and tough plus it has ‘woven’ itself into matting over and around the stones. It can be painstaking work but we say it’s worth it when we reveal stones hidden from view for far too long.
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Some photos taken around the site on a work party day. Click a photo to view a larger version. This opens in a new window.
Come and join us or just pop along for a chat. Work party days are Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10am, meeting at the main entrance (at the far end of Warriston Gardens from Inverleith Row) by our green shed or at the other end of the brick drive, through the cemetery gates. If you arrive later come look for us – we’re easy to find. If you can’t come along for whatever reason you can support the group via annual membership (life membership is also available). For more details, please send a message to the following email address; email@example.com. Thanks.
A couple of volunteers have been tending to the area around Sir James Young Simpson. And here are some of the tete-a-tete daffodils they planted, looking lovely in a little sunshine this morning…
Sunnier versions of the view posted a few days ago…
More tete-a-tete daffodils, which we’d planted beside the hedge between the north path and the extension…
Some berries and some viburnum flowers. Separately!..
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the first two photos show a partly-buried headstone. They in fact show the deep imprint of a stone that, until very recently, had lain face-down in the earth for who knows how long. I have reversed the photos so that the inscription can be read more easily. The third photograph is of the actual stone, now propped against its pedestal.
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A short video filmed on the day after Remembrance Sunday 2016. It features a few of the 100 Commonwealth War Graves headstones dotted around the cemetery as well as the Cross of Sacrifice. The wreath was laid by the Friends of Warriston Cemetery group.
Warriston cemetery accommodates the nearest Cross of Sacrifice to the Lady Haig Poppy factory which is situated on Warriston Road, Edinburgh.