Visitors’ plea at old Blackburn cemetery before World War One anniversary

Visitors’ plea at old Blackburn cemetery before World War One anniversary

Visitors’ plea at old Blackburn cemetery before World War One anniversary

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

COUNCIL bosses have come under fire for the state of war graves in Blackburn Old Cemetery just days before Monday’s centenary of the 1914/1918 conflict.

Historians, borough residents and heritage bosses have been angered by the overgrown plots on recent visits.

Now Blackburn with Darwen council is undertaking a last-minute tidy-up of the graves.

Chester resident Margaret Hart said: “Recently I returned to visits the Whalley Old Road cemetery to do some research on some war graves, this being the centenary.

“I was disgusted to find that 184 of the graves are covered in grass and weeds. I must say what a disgrace some parts of the cemetery are in.

“There are some people who are trying to keep the cemetery tidy but the borough appear to be doing nothing to cut the grass.

“It is a beautiful cemetery. Blackburn with Darwen council should be ashamed.”

Blackburn resident Ellan Ashcroft said: “On the August 4 it will be the 100 years commemoration of the First World War.

“I decided to visit the war graves in Blackburn old cemetery and what a shock was in store.

“The graves were overgrown the grass not cut and in many parts too dangerous to venture.

“What a way to treat our young brave men. I found it very disrespectful that the council have let this cemetery to be so neglected.”

Blackburn, Darwen and Rural Civic Voice Secretary Simon Hugill said: “There is a problem with overgrown war graves. They needed to be cleared up before the centenary commemorations.”

Borough environment boss Jim Smith said “Council officers are tending to the war graves within Blackburn Old Cemetery.

“The problem is our original contractor gave backword so we had to find another one.

“The work clearing up the war graves, and the whole cemetery, is now in hand.

“It is being done as a matter of urgency so the war graves are in the best possible state to mark the start of the First World War and remember all those who gave their lives for us.”

Comments (4)

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4:37pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Reasons says...

A bit like our heritage --- cover it up or knock it down
A bit like our heritage --- cover it up or knock it down Reasons
  • Score: 3

11:13am Fri 1 Aug 14

chammy says...

Why dont they get young offenders to clean it up regularly instead of because its the anniversary,It might make them realise just what these men gave up for our freedom,This town is very run down and its no good just building new schools and new buildings when the history of Blackburn is such a mess,and falling apart,Its the old places that are of interest to sightseers and not the new buildings and places so give the cemeterys and the people buried there the respect they deserve.
Why dont they get young offenders to clean it up regularly instead of because its the anniversary,It might make them realise just what these men gave up for our freedom,This town is very run down and its no good just building new schools and new buildings when the history of Blackburn is such a mess,and falling apart,Its the old places that are of interest to sightseers and not the new buildings and places so give the cemeterys and the people buried there the respect they deserve. chammy
  • Score: 3

8:34am Sun 3 Aug 14

Reasons says...

Still a mess the area is ,,,,, so much for Lest we Forget!!! The council has ...
Still a mess the area is ,,,,, so much for Lest we Forget!!! The council has ... Reasons
  • Score: 1

9:56am Mon 4 Aug 14

Reasons says...

Attended a small memorial service at Blackburn Old Cemetery yesterday. Wow the work that has been done by the group is impressive only to be let down by the state of what should have been done .This group is wonderful and put a lot of time in of their own ,Definatly worth supporting for their work on the poppy garden idea
Attended a small memorial service at Blackburn Old Cemetery yesterday. Wow the work that has been done by the group is impressive only to be let down by the state of what should have been done .This group is wonderful and put a lot of time in of their own ,Definatly worth supporting for their work on the poppy garden idea Reasons
  • Score: 0

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