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.
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Alun Pugh will be leading guided talks around the cemetery on the following dates:
This years theme is Power to the People!.
The tours are open to everyone. Please meet inside the cemetery gates at our notice board. We look forward to seeing you there.
Sylvia Hodges and Lynda Kitching recently attended a civic celebration, ‘Recognising Small Groups and Charities in Leeds’. Hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Civic Hall, it was impressive how many volunteers were there, representing groups doing good work in their communities around Leeds. Each group received a certificate of thanks, - ours has been laminated and put into the Cemetery’s notice-board.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held Saturday 27th April 2019. 2.15 pm in the Moynihan Room (1st floor) Thackray Medical Museum
Members are invited to take a short walk at 1.30pm with Alun Pugh around the Cemetery before convening for the meetings.
Following the 'official' part of the meeting, we will have a short break for refreshments, then an illustrated talk from our speaker, Dr. Catherine Jones, “Buglife, Urban Buzz Leeds and Wild Pollinators”, speaking about her experiences of working with communities across Leeds to plant and manage wildflower areas, highlighting the importance of insects as pollinators. She will of course, give her thoughts on the potential of the Cemetery!
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.