The moment of my greatness, Flickr
Category Archives: 20th Century
There were fashions to be seen in cemeteries. Perhaps it was that a local mason has turned out a particularly good line in angels, or that a rare shade of pink granite was spotted by mourners and "one like that" requested. It's hard to say, nowadays, when there is so little alternative to the granite, gold-scribed slab.
And yet in Ashford Cemetery, something like the old cemetery spirit survives. Everyone here is not, for once, reduced to uniformity by Council regulations. The predominant fashion at Ashford is for very large, curbed slabs of polished stone, with huge vases of silk flowers at each corner, and much room for poetry and separate memorials from members of the family ("To a beloved sister", "We love you, Nan"). Best of all are the representations of the deceased's special interests: a pigeon fancier's bird on a flower vase, a van entering through the Pearly Gates. It's brash, and almost tasteless, and I absolutely loved it.
Ruislip Burial Ground is the extended churchyard of St. Martin of Tours parish church. It's a small, but very pretty ground, surrounded by trees, and somehow feeling right, tucked into the heart of the village. Though, as is normal in churchyards, the monuments are not generally very spectacular, they do reflect the adventurous nature of the natives, recording activities as far afield as Singapore and Natal, and remembering several of those killed in action in the Second World War.
Eastbrookend Cemetery... what is there to say about this place? It has a gaudy orange chapel with a cross design in the roof tiles (no multifaith services here then). It has an overcrowded traditional section, and a muddy lawn section filled with gaudy floral sculptures. It has, in fact, little to recommend it apart from the grave of a Mr Death.