Memorandum by the Manchester Crematorium
Ltd (CEM 76)
The way that we treat our dead plays a major
role within our society. It reflects public morality, discipline
and behavioural patterns.
The major problem we now face within our profession
is that there is little respect for either persons, property or
for the environment in which we live. The care and maintenance
of our cemeteries, crematoria, public buildings, public transport
and open spaces has been run down to a minimum and vandalism has
become rife. Something needs to be done to improve matters and
The disused cemeteries are deprived of maintenance
and laid wide open to misuse. Vandals, drug users, muggers are
frequent visitors to lay prey to the few people who visit the
graves and feast on the seclusion. What they leave becomes a very
dangerous environment for children who innocently wish to play
but leave themselves open to all sorts of atrocities.
Many of our existing cemeteries are large and
unkempt and due to the low volume of visitors are again open to
It is my view that the disused cemeteries should
be re-used by the community.
(a) Grave stones laid flat, soiled and grassed
over. Pathways restored to a reasonable level of maintenance and
the cemetery become an area of quiet recreation. A small park
in the middle of a city or its suburbs to be maintained by the
Council for public use. "No sports".
(b) The graves to be re-used using the "Lift
and Deepen" method that has been developed in Australia.
Whichever method was adopted the land would
be used once more by the community and the more people that were
brought into the area would reduce or prevent the misuse of that
If the ground was to be re-used as a cemetery
there would be no need to redesignate its use and would preserve
the right of the dead to be laid to rest within their own community.
It would also relieve the local authority of the expense of funding
a new cemetery location and the additional cost of operating a
Without the "Lift and Deepen" facility
soon earth burial will be denied to many people on cost alone
and those who do afford the expense will be subjected to a great
deal of inconvenience having to travel considerable distances
to visit the grave.
The excessive travelling is again an environmental
The majority of the people within this country
have accepted cremation as the method of disposing of the dead
but not every person or religion can accept that majority lead
and it is important that we maintain earth burial as an option
for those people.
Andrew P Helsby
Superintendent & Registrar