Boost for cemetery group

GROUP: Members of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery group.
GROUP: Members of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery group.

A COMMUNITY-SPIRITED group has arranged a series of activities aimed at protecting a cemetery over the coming weeks.

The Friends of Stranton Cemetery Group aims to raise awareness of the site, help ensure it remains a peaceful environment and keep crime to an absolute minimum.

The group, made up of residents, councillors and police community support officers, has arranged a series of activities including:

l This Sunday there will be a tour of some of the historical headstones that are in the cemetery.

It is due to run between 10am and noon, but booking is essential as there are only 12 places.

l There will be a tree-planting event on Saturday, November 26, between 1pm and 3pm.

Everyone is welcome and 420 young trees will be added to the site.

l A carol service will be held on Thursday, December 15, at the main gates in Tanfield Road, starting at 5pm.

The school choir from St Aidan’s School will be singing and everyone is welcome.

l On Saturday, December 17, the group is holding a wreath-making event. There will be a £2 charge for the event to cover the cost of materials.

Booking is essential.

All the events will start at the main gates to the cemetery in Tanfield Road.

Independent councillor Steve Gibbon, group secretary, said: “I would urge people to come along and support this new group.

“We want to make the cemetery a nice place for people to visit, to help cut down on the antisocial behaviour and improve the facilities.

“In time, we hope to have more benches for people to sit down on when they are visiting.

“People from across Hartlepool have friends and relatives buried at Stranton and we just want to improve the area.”

The cemetery is also set to become a sea of colour next spring after 500 bulbs were recently planted.

A litter-pick event was also held on the same day.

Coun Gibbon, who represents the Fens ward, added: “The more people that join the group the stronger we become. People are certainly starting to take an interest.”

The next meeting of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery will be held on Tuesday, November 22, at 6pm in the cemetery house.

Anyone who would like more information or want to get involved, can email the group at friendsofstrantoncemetery@hotmail.co.uk or ring Sue McBride (01429) 523075.

To book a place at an event call (01429) 853325.