Faced with heavy upkeep costs, declining income and increasing vandalism, the Municipal Services Committee decided in 1984 to close the Cemetery, clear away most of the memorials, and grass the site over. A campaign was started, led by Sylvia Barnard, and joined by local residents, relatives of the dead, ecologists and historians who united to oppose this plan, and in 1985 it was scrapped. It was agreed that the Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery, formed by Sylvia that year, would help and advise the officers of Leeds City Council in establishing a Management Plan which would ease maintenance and benefit wildlife in this heavily populated area.
Saturday 29th April at 2.15pm in the Teale Room at the Thackray Museum opposite the Cemetery.
We hope you can join us at this year’s Annual General Meeting, when you can find out what’s been happening during the past year and what’s planned for the year ahead.
Nominations with seconders are invited for Committee members and the specific roles of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, web-site manager and Membership secretary. Please write to the Secretary, Lynda Kitching, 37 Shaw Lane Gardens, Guiseley, Leeds LS20 9JQ.
After the ‘business’ meeting, we’ll have a film show and a speaker: “Lest We Forget” is a 10 minute dvd donated to the Friends by late-members Roger and Mavis Spence. They filmed in the Cemetery in the early 1990’s, and we can see the contrast between then and now. Alun Pugh, our Chairman will give an illustrated presentation “John Barran – Leeds Clothier and much more!”. Sir John Barran is buried in the Cemetery after being a prominent figure in Leeds life for many years.
Before the meeting, why not take the opportunity to see for yourself how the Cemetery is looking now? All are welcome as Alun leads a half hour walkabout at 1.30pm. Meet by the North Lodge/noticeboard.
As always, when attending the meeting, we can take advantage of a look around the Museum beforehand, as well as hot drinks, lunches and snacks being available from the cafe. However, the Museum now has a Pay & Display policy for the car park, and the charge could be up to £4 for the afternoon.
Hope to see you there.
Our project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative, - help us to win a top prize! Please tell your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, members of organisations that you belong to that we need their vote.
We’re raising money for the restoration of Anglican Walk, one of the main, historic pathways through the Cemetery. The stone setts have buckled over time and need re-laying, and we’re aiming for a £5000 award from Tesco’s charity towards the cost. BUT, - we need you to vote by dropping a counter into the box at the following stores, - a purchase of any amount will entitle you to a counter, and of course, you can shop there as often as you wish!
We have been informed, by a member of the FoBSC, that the South Lodge Gates were rammed some time this week and damage has been caused to the large iron gates and one of the stone pillars.
If anyone has any further information about the incident, please contact the Police or the Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery (using the contact form on this website).
The Cemetery remains open and access can still be gained via the (not so) temporary gates next to the North Lodge.
At 14:00 hours, Sunday 13th November 2016 a small group assembled, near to the cenotaph, within the grounds of Beckett Street Cemetery. Although it was a cold, it remained dry, and did not deter those attendees from paying their respect.
Using information gathered as part of the WW1 Project (of those whom are buried or commemorated on family graves at the Cemetery), Alun Pugh led us around the curtilage of the grounds. Stopping at a number of graves, Alun provided us with information about the person who was remembered, before placing a cross on the grave as a mark of respect.
At the end of the tour, Monica placed the wreath on the cenotaph, and Lynda read a poem. This was followed by ‘two minutes’ of silence, where we reflected on those that had fallen.
For further information on some of the graves on the tour, please visit the following pages:-
The latest Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery Newsletter (Summer 2016) has been posted out to our members. Packed with updates and articles including:
Not a Member?Membership Details
Since the Cemetery has been constantly under one threat or other since clearance was first proposed, we welcome new members to the Friends of Beckett Street Cemetery.