Friday, 28 October 2016

Wednesday 26 October 2016.
As Jane is away I have the pleasure of writing the blog this week.
Well just a select three today with Alan newly back from his travels in Iran, Tony and Me(Sue) on super cloudy day for RTI. It also meant we had lots of cake and Alan brought back some from Iran too. Sorry Jane you missed out!
We spent the day RTI’ing, you have to be fit for the kerb stone graves as the string holder (Me) spent a lot of time kneeling! As Jane was away there was no one to take any embarrassing photographs phew! Though I did manage to take a picture of my feet, not sure why! Tony and Alan did do some work, here is the photograph to prove this.
 The blue canister hanging from the tripod is filled with sand, Alan’s invention to weigh the tripod down when it is windy so it does not move, as this affects the RTI results.

We also surveyed a rather beautiful marble grave made by J Lowe of Skipton that dates from about 1907. The flower carvings are especially fine.
Our friendly Robin was absent today maybe too cold, but the owls have been busy judging by the number of owl pellets on the ground by the tower.

Only 60 more graves to survey on the North side, hopefully we will complete this by the end of November.
Sue Stearn.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Wednesday 19 October 2016

On Saturday St Mary’s Church, Embsay, held an Open Day  to tell the village all about our Heritage Lottery funded. To packed pews, Rev. Louise provided an outline of the project, including the roof repairs, followed by Sue Stearn, our indefatigable project co-ordinator, who impressed the audience with a whirlwind tour of the churchyard survey and RTI photography.
A really interesting talk was given by the stone mason, David Lamb, who had worked on the cross on the church roof – telling us how he developed his skills as a heritage craftsman. His display of craftsmen’s tools drew quite a bit of interest from people afterwards who went over to chat with him.
After an excellent buffet lunch, David Turner and I ran two churchyard tours which we think went very well. At least everyone stayed to the end!
The occasion also served as a book launch for the revised and updated history of the parish church

Today our weekly Wednesday survey day was a little different to the usual as we were joined for the day by Richard and Melvyn from nearby Long Preston. They had come to spend the day learning about our churchyard survey project at St Mary’s, Embsay. As members of the Long Preston Heritage Group, they are very interested in what we are doing, and so they had come along to find out just what a local churchyard survey involves.
We had a really nice day with them both – Richard missed out on the lunchtime cakes as he nipped home to visit his parents who live in Embsay – but otherwise we had plenty of opportunity to chat about the logistics of a survey like ours, the joys and the pitfalls, and how we hope to develop our current work at St Mary’s. 

They picked up the clipboards and tape measures and mucked right in, under the occasional watchful eye of our friendly robin who popped by a few brief times.
We are looking forward to running a workshop at Long Preston soon at which we hope to encourage the Heritage Group there to undertake a similar survey of their own churchyard.
We also had the pleasure of watching the stone masons at work on the roof, installing the new mounting for the cross which stands on the roof. David Lamb, the stone mason, is highly experienced in heritage work at churches and cathedrals, so St Mary’s is very lucky to have him working on the cross.

Jane Lunnon

Monday, 17 October 2016

12 October 2016

A chilly day - autumn definitely in the air now; and that means the wasps have disappeared at last, and we could get to work back in the middle of the North section. 

Some of the burial plots around here are little more than low kerbstones, without any headstone, so they were hidden under the grass. While Tony got the mower out to prepare the churchyard for the open day this coming weekend, David Eastwood got busy with the shears to cut away some of the grass obscuring the inscriptions on the graves we were surveying today. 

Despite the occasional spit and spot of rain, and some strong winds - which made triangulation somewhat difficult - we did manage to complete a fair few measurements and photographs. 

We missed the robin who didn't turn up for us today - perhaps it found the weather too inclement for its liking. 

Jane Lunnon

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Wednesday 5th October 2016

Last Wednesday we were visited by the robin again as he watched us with perky curiosity going about our surveying – we were again mostly trying to identify the un-marked graves, and plotting them in.

But he wasn’t there today, which was a shame as we’re all very fond of him.

Still, at least the wasps’ nest appears to have quietened down with scarcely a sight of any of the inhabitants around their nest in the ground.
This meant that after finishing off plotting in the un-marked graves at the east end we could move back up to the middle of the north side of the churchyard again and resume surveying the gravestones there.  

The strong gusts of wind made triangulation with tapes pretty much impossible by lunchtime, and feeling very battered about we had quite a long lunch over which we discussed a recent visit that I made to the wonderful Arnos Vale cemetery in Bristol.  
Arnos Vale Cemtery, Bristol
Our little churchyard is not a patch on that large burial ground with so many impressive monuments, of course, but we hope we can emulate – on a smaller scale - their admirable work in making the graveyard a valued part of local heritage.

As we were working close to the edge of the churchyard, by the roadside, several local dog walkers stopped for a little chat as they passed by, giving us the opportunity to explain our project and hopefully encourage some interest in it. David Turner also popped by so that we could plan our graveyard tours for October 15th. Apparently both tours are already fully booked so David and I need to brush up on our scripts!!

Jane Lunnon