Friday, 22 July 2016

Wednesday 20 July 2016

The plastering work has been done inside the church and is ready for the painters. So we had a 4 volunteers cleaning up the church through the morning, getting rid of all the dust.  

Summer is here at last although short sharp heavy rain showers forced us inside the church twice during the day. Now that the scaffolding has all gone, we were able to set to work on the North Side of the churchyard at last. We started on surveying and recording memorials, as well as triangulating positions.
Essential piece of equipment - a broom!

We found a little memorial stone which had been mysteriously moved from its original position to a shadowy spot under the far wall, which posed the question – should we leave it there or return it to its home? We decided we must leave it where it was.

Several memorials which need RTI photography were identified – but they lie under the shade of large trees and on a sunny day they are in dappled sunlight. They were too large (being long kerbstones) to be shaded by a simple plywood board so we had to leave them for another day.

As with last week we were faced with long rows of un-marked burial plots and had to use the flagging out method again to plot them in on the plan. It’s a simple but effective method.

While we were there the new interpretation board arrived – this was designed and installed with the support of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Diocese.
The board now stands proudly by the lych gate, welcoming visitors into the churchyard.
Admiring the new interpretation board
We were joined today by a friend of mine, visiting from London, staying in Embsay for a holiday, and quickly put her to work!

Jane Lunnon

Hello, from said friend from London! Thrilled to be invited to join the surveying group again on both Wednesdays of my stay.

The process of recording and photographing each gravestone or memorial or unmarked plot is exact and absorbing, but once Jane, Eileen and I had got into a routine the day didn’t seem long enough! The gravestones are very interesting; the wording chosen (where we could read it), the designs -fruit and flowers etc, the recording of the passing on of babies and young children over a hundred and fifty years ago still poignant.

On last year’s visit I noticed a number of gravestones and memorials in a row together with the name ‘Heyworth’ on them.  This is a family name of the family I married into from Newcastle; my mother-in-law said she was told they were mill-people who moved to the north-east.  The story she recounted, by her own admission, seemed to owe much to Catherine Cookson – involving someone from a wealthy mill-owning family eloping with a worker for love. I am going to try and research this myself -what are the odds of my family being descended from the ones in this area?

Debbie and Eileen hard at work earning their right to have cake at lunchtime!
 One consequence of the churchyard survey is that many people have visited this beautiful church and churchyard to look for their own family graves and history and I can understand the draw of this. They are lucky if they visit on Wednesdays when the surveying takes place as a warm welcome and expert help is on hand to show them the data-base and assist their search.

I was made very welcome, catching up with old friends and making new ones and I thoroughly enjoyed the day and am looking forward to next Wednesday.

Deb Hattam

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