As the cemetery has been closed to public access for some years, there are not many old photos of the inside. However, the continuing work on it is giving us some great opportunities to take some fascinating new ones that show the improvements as they happen.
Before the Restoration Project
The earliest photos I have of the cemetery were donated by Deane Road descendants Tonie Egner and Leon Berger from their (largely fruitless) visit to the cemetery in December 1991. Here is a selection of the photos they kindly donated:
The following photos were taken by me, on my first visit to the cemetery, on 6 April 2005, after much of the foliage had been cleared and the Japanese knotweed treated on several occasions:
Arnold Lewis took over from Joe Wolfman as Jewish community archivist in April 2006, but his interest in Deane Road Cemetery had started many years before. Here are some photos he took which show the extent of the fly-tipping that was still ongoing at that time from several houses on Chiswell Street:
After the two inter-faith working parties had been into the cemetery on 8 June and 13 July 2006, most of the fly-tipped refuse had been removed, along with all the self-planted trees and bushes, the roots of which were felling tombstones. On 1 August, Nadia Goodman and I, along with her Israeli cousin Moshe, spent an afternoon clearing tracts of ivy from the central area of graves. Here are some of the photos Nadia took:
Excavation of tombstones
When people contact me and tell me they have ancestors buried at Deane Road, I usually scout out the appropriate graves, take photos and spend a little time clearing the stones of excess foliage, where necessary. In a few cases, it has appeared that the stone in question has disappeared or never existed, but I have been able to excavate them from underneath the foliage in a semi-archaeological operation! Here are some photos of my favourite excavations:
MULTI-AGENCY WORKING PARTY Thanks to the enthusiasm of various members of Kensington Regeneration, Community 7 and Liverpool City Council, and their connections with each other, a multi-agency working party was set up and came to the cemetery on 19 July 2007. There were representatives from these three organisations, plus the Probation Service, Kensington Clean Team and various volunteers who had read prior publicity in the Liverpool Echo. In the middle of one of the wettest summers ever recorded, when parts of the country were deep in flood water, Liverpool was blessed with two consecutive days of hot summer sun, of which this was one. There were over 20 people on site during the clear-up day and a great deal was achieved. Please contact us if you'd like to be involved in the next working party - we need as many volunteers as we can get! Here are some photos from that day:
The Felling of the Poplar
13 MARCH - 13 MAY 2008 In the winter of 2007-08, it came to our attention that the large poplar tree in the driveway of the cemetery was in bad health, so the committee obtained several quotes for treatment. The conclusion was that, although it could be pollarded (i.e. severely pruned and made safe), it would require increasing amounts of expensive work every few years. As poplar trees go, this one had grown much larger and lived much longer than average and was in terminal decline. The decision was made to fell it and the contract given to Treefellers, of Chester. The following is a selection of the many photos I took on the days the work was carried out:
OPEN DAY, 18 June 08
On 18 June 2008, we held an open day at the cemetery to raise awareness of the project. The objective was to give as many different groups of people access to the cemetery as possible. These included local residents, the Jewish community, regeneration agencies, local politicians, service providers and anyone who may be able to help us in any way, now or in the future. The open day was a raging success. We estimated around 250 people came to visit over the course of four hours, and we raised £232.18 towards the project. 80 questionnaires were filled in by visitors, many of them offering their time or resources to get involved and help us with various aspects of the task in hand. We want to thank everyone involved in the organisation of the open day, everyone who came and everyone who offered to help.
In Spring 2008, one of our strongest supporters, Larry Murphy of Liverpool City Council, informed us that a group of 250 members of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka the Mormons) were interested in bringing 250 volunteers covering all age groups, to come and do ground clearance at the cemetery. This would be as part of their national Helping Hands scheme, in which they provide large groups of volunteers to local projects. We were thrilled and received a small delegations from their organising committee. However, the rough nature of the ground made it impossible to accommodate the age extremes of the group, so the plan was modified to cover the stripping and re-painting of the cemetery railings by a smaller group on a later date. The proposed works were cleared with a professional and the day was set for Saturday 29 September. With materials provided by the City Council and the manpower provided by altruistic Christian hearts, the railings were given a long-overdue overhaul. We extend our deepest thanks to Alan Duvall and everyone who participated in this lovely gesture of inter-faith relations.
It seems about time that a page is added to this website to show how many people have travelled to Deane Road to visit the graves of their ancestors. Many of these people came quite some distance, as you will see. There are several people who have visited their ancestors here in the last year or two, but whose photos I don't have. If you are one of these, please send us your photos so we can add them.