Friends of Darwen Cemetery
Minutes of management meeting held on 29 January 2014
We are now using the new form of the Agenda
Present: Mick Walsh, Kath Walsh, Diane Davies, Jayne Myers, Colin Briggs, Steve Davies,
Diane Walsh, Paul Dargan, Jill Marr, Tony Foster, John East, Peter van Dijk.
1. Apologies : Karimeh Foster
2. Minutes of the last Meeting: agreed
3. Matters Arising: none
4. General comments from the Chairman:
Welcome to all. There is a very full agenda so we need to keep things tight.
5. Secretary’s report:
Peter (standing in for John) and Steve attended the Lord Lieutenant’s meeting in Preston
County Hall yesterday to discuss WW1 commemoration events in Lancashire. A copy of
the programme is appended to these minutes. Of particular interest is the website,
linked to ‘’, designed to show what’s on in Lancashire to
commemorate WW1. Organisations will be welcome to upload details of their own
events. Steve had received encouragement for us to apply for a grant from the Rank
Foundation for educational and interpretive costs, and for a grant from the Duchy of
Lancaster Benevolent Fund.
6. Treasurer’s report:
Diane W had received a cheque for £2640 from the Masons for the muck truck, which
has since been ordered. Diane D is to approach George Gillette about the sign writing.
We have paid out £1000 for the granite maps, using money donated by the Lloyds Trust.
Ann Lamont’s wreath sales reached £174 – well done, Ann.
It is anticipated that our gift aid return will bring in around £500.
The income and expenditure account for the year was accepted – proposed Mick,
seconded Diane D. It showed a surplus for the year of £1595, with £3500 funds available.
7. Grounds Strategy report:
The first Saturday Work Party on 25 January attracted 18 volunteers and 2 visitors.
Mick intends to do a complete survey so he can set up priorities for volunteers. The wet
ground currently makes things difficult.
He is planning for the Masons’ visit on the 1st March, when he hopes to link the official
handover of the muck truck with a bit of Rhododendron bashing.
Colin and Mick’s help with topple testing may be rewarded with some money from
8. War graves, education and Interpretation report:
Diane D and Tony had had a meeting at Cemetery on 23 Jan 2014 with Chris Hawes Regional Supervisor North West CWGC. This was a preliminary meeting before a visit on
13th February by Deborah Mills, a Director from CWGC. This meeting has since been
cancelled – to be rescheduled for March. Chris is very impressed with the work we do
and has mentioned us to other cemetery groups who wish to start a similar ‘Adopt a
War Grave’ scheme.
Tony has identified 3 casualties not on CWGC Roll of Honour ‘In from the Cold’ and
is looking into one being added - Fred Baron in Section G. When asked if there were any
funds to make graves safe around the Baron grave to allow him to be added to Heritage
Walk, Chris said there were none were available but suggested we mention this to the
director on her visit.
Chris was asked where is the CWGC headstone for the Fish/Bayne Grave that we were
told was on order and almost ready? He will chase this up.
The Preter grave will not be receiving a CWGC headstone – the family declined a
headstone at time of death – family wishes upheld.
Cleaning of headstones – Chris assured Diane that the CWGC headstones have been
cleaned. Discussion re product being used now – quality not as good. Diane mentioned
gold paint on Hindle grave – he will check on next survey, due soon, and order re-clean.
Poppy Picnic event. Have decided to not run this event as Diane is too busy with work
commitments. FODC will contact Anne Stokes who had an idea for a poppy card for each
grave and explain.
We have only one grave, Baxendale, that needs adopting now. This cannot be adopted
at present because of the situation with water levels in section 4C. Diane will contact
Adrian Harper and highlight concerns.
Discussion - Remembrance day services Friday 7th Nov Schools event and 9th Nov
Community event in cemetery – Committee suggested David Foster - Diane to contact.
Diane is to look into more school visits for when the weather gets warmer. Mick said he
knew someone who could give talks about the birds and the bats that might provide
added interest for young people.
9. Publicity and Media report:
Paul said the website was down because a fault had led to our January data allocation
being used up. It would return on 1 February. He will remove and repair the faulty file.
10. Membership report:
A young volunteer joined us last Saturday, but since he was under 16 he had to go back
home and return with his father. In future, potential volunteers need to be told that
under 16s require an accompanying adult.
We are planning to have a recruitment day on Saturday 8 March – John to publicise.
11. Special Projects
WW1 Project
We agreed a number of action points which need to be completed before our next FODC
meeting on Wednesday 26th February:
Matt to come up with proposals for alternative materials to granite which satisfy all
our requirements, both from aesthetics and ease of maintenance perspective.
Gavin to re-address costings and to consider where further savings might be made.
FODC members to circulate questions or points they may have for Gavin and Matt,
but copied to us all. This needs to be done ASP in order not to delay this process.
We should work hard to achieve all of the above and come to a revised project cost
by Friday 21st February.
On the basis that we achieve this, Steve has asked Jill to try and arrange a meeting for
her and Steve with the HLF on 24th or 25th February. For that we will need to take with
us some quality mock-ups/images. Matt/Pete to provide? And if so, are they happy for
them to be released to the press?
We will then be in a position for Jill and Steve to brief the Management Committee on
the outcome of the HLF meeting when we meet on the 26th. John would then be in a
position to go to the press once we have agreed the line to take on the 26 th.
Cemeteries of Darwen’s WW1 war dead
Tony said that our idea for the poppy field, i.e. to have place markers listing all the
cemeteries where Darwen’s war dead are interned, will be difficult because there are so
many of them. He has found the names of 1263 individuals. 269 men, who lost their
lives in Belgium, are buried in over 50 cemeteries. He suggested that instead we list the
battles where they lost their lives.
Redearth Road Methodists War Memorial
Tony said that Brent Stevenson has removed the fragment of the original Memorial to
his workshop and has been cleaning it. He will be creating the missing section of the
memorial out of white marble and the final structure will be placed in DACA. The work
should be completed by the end of May. DACA is paying for it.
The copy of the memorial to be placed in Darwen Cemetery will be funded by a kind
donation from Tony’s aunt, Gwen Hampson and her late husband Allan. It was suggested
that it be unveiled on Sunday 3 August. Although Gwen Hampson may not be able to
attend, it was hoped that her daughters Pauline and Christine would be able to come.
New Notice Boards.
Paul proposed that we buy the notice boards from Creative Solutions in Devon at a cost
of £1519, which closely matched the donation of £1500 from Crown Awards. We would
need to arrange to erect it ourselves. We need to inform Adrian and Margaret at BwD –
maybe they would be able to arrange help with erecting them.
12. AOB
Suggestions for events in 2014 including the AGM need to be circulated so that we can
draw up a calendar.
Is it worth getting the new muck truck marked with smartwater for added security?
The next grave maintenance is due to take place on 22 March.
We need an event to commemorate the first WW1 soldier to be buried in Darwen.
13. Date of Next Meeting – 26 February 2014
Appendix to minutes 29 Jan 2014
10:00– 10:25
Refreshments available in the Assembly Hall
Guests take their seats in the Main Council Chamber
Welcome by the Chairman of the County Council (Cty Cllr Michael Devaney)
Opening remarks by the Lord-Lieutenant who will then introduce the following
guest speakers:
Cty Cllr Darren Clifford (Armed Forces & Veteran's Champion for the
County Council)
Anna Izza (Head of PR & Communications, Marketing Lancashire)
Col Chris Owen (Regimental Secretary, The Duke of Lancaster's
The Revd Dr Joel Love (Lancaster Priory)
Father Timothy Lipscomb (Vicar of Preston & Chaplain to the
Peter Donnelly (The King's Own Royal Regiment Museum, Lancaster)
Cllr Edward Nash (Armed Forces Champion, Fylde Borough Council)
Helen Gee (Co-ordinator, Accrington Pals Centenary Commemoration
Laura Jamieson (Project Co-ordinator, Preston Remembers)
10. Capt John Lean (Chairman, Lancaster Military Heritage Group)
11. Revd Dr Richard Cook (Railway & British Transport Police Chaplain)
12. Donna Rowe-Green (Dig-In North West)
13. Mark Fenton (Landscape Architect – Wyre Council)
14. Andrew Mather (Preston PALs War Memorial Trust)
11:30:(Approx) Opportunity for any other comments
Closing remarks by the Lord-Lieutenant

Notes of Trustee Meeting on 29th January 2014