The Team

Shadow/Light Installation at Deane Road Cemetery by Robyn Woolston

Some of the team at the Shadow/Light Installation at Deane Road Cemetery by Robyn Woolston

These are the main members of the team working to restore the cemetery to its former glory:

Saul Marks has been attending Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation since 1991, and was Bar Mitzvah there in 1993. Having graduated from the University of Durham with a BSc(Hons) in Applied Psychology, he set up his own genealogy business in 2003, and completed a Diploma in Archives and Records Management at the University of Liverpool in 2006. He became involved in the work on Deane Road Cemetery in July 2004 and was appointed to head its restoration in March 2005. A year later, he became the youngest warden to be appointed at the synagogue since 1872.

Councillor Louise Baldock represents Kensington and Fairfield ward on Liverpool City Council. She has been involved with the project for 6 years and currently acts as Line Manager to the two employed members of staff. Louise has worked on the marketing of the cemetery, as the Press Officer for the Committee, She has also been involved in fund-raising, seeking donations and helping with the funding bids. She has helped recruit the patrons of Deane Road Cemetery and has been active keeping the Friends of Deane Road Cemetery up-to-date with our progress.

Lisa Vingoe is Community Investment Officer for Riverside Community Seven Housing Association. She supports residents and community organisations with a variety of projects that benefit the local area. Lisa sees the Deane Road Cemetery as an important example of our local heritage, which should be preserved and celebrated. She helps to identify sources of funding and spreads information about the project to everyone she knows. She has also been instrumental in bringing together artists and photographers to illustrate the cemetery, creating a wonderful art exhibition at Kensington Methodist Church in November 2011 in conjunction with Carol Ramsay.

Muriel Sumner is a retired primary school teacher who took Royal Horticultural Society training to fuel her passion for making gardens. She became involved in the project when a friend asked if she would be interested in offering some horticultural expertise. Since then, Muriel has identified many of the wildflowers growing in the cemetery and is currently clearing the rows of graves and reseeding them with grass to make safe footing for visitors. She has always been interested in the history of Liverpool as her family have lived in Wavertree since 1890. She is looking forward to seeing the cemetery used by local schools as a curriculum resource for history, creative writing and for environmental science.

Arnold Lewis is a retired Telecommunications Network Manager who currently occupies his time in a range of voluntary communal activities. Apart from being chairman of the Liverpool Jewish Historical Society, and the President of the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council, he is the Jewish Community’s appointed archivist. Arnold was born and brought up within half a mile of Deane Road Cemetery and was involved over 25 years ago in a project to record the gravestone inscriptions within the cemetery. He is also deeply involved in the care and preservation of the derelict Rice Lane Jewish Cemetery located in the Walton area of Liverpool.

David Grantham is a retired solicitor who is leading our team of Tour Guides. He currently offers tours of the magnificent Princes Road Synagogue, the congregation of which own Deane Road Jewish Cemetery. David is currently signing up other enthusiastic volunteers to join him, teaching visitors all about the interesting and exciting figures who were once instrumental in the development of the city of Liverpool and who are now buried here.

We now have two paid members of staff added to our team.

Annette Birch – Project Manager was appointed in April 2011 to project manage the physical restoration of the cemetery. Having spent the previous 6 years as Project Manager for the HLF funded restoration of Towneley Park in Burnley, Lancashire the Committee felt that Annette brought to Deane Road the range of skills needed. With a tight programme to meet, her first 6 months were spent working closely with the Committee members, appointing consultants and contractors and setting into action the Activity Plan, involving local people and volunteers. October to May 2012 saw the restoration action on site and now this is successfully completed Annette continues to manage the programme, finance, HLF claims and advises the Committee until September 2012.

Carol Ramsay – Activity Plan Manager is an artist and Director at Arena Studios and Gallery, Liverpool. She previously worked for Liverpool Biennial within their Public Art team helping bring large scale art projects into Liverpool. Carol is a voluntary member of the committee at New Ferry Butterfly Park, Wirral and also project manages a community engagement programme on their behalf. Carol is organising a whole series of exciting events and activities for schools, groups and local people within Deane Road cemetery throughout 2012. She is currently recruiting a new team of keen local volunteers to join us. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact her for more details or a chat on carolramsay@deaneroadcemetery.com

Former members of the committee who have helped tremendously with the project are:

Maria Curran who was a Neighbourhood Development Officer for Kensington Regeneration. Kensington New Deal for Communities, known as Kensington Regeneration. Maria is an enthusiastic genealogist and has a strong appreciation of the need to remember one’s family and community history.

Cath Taylor was a Project Officer for Kensington Regeneration. Cath became involved in the Deane Road Cemetery project after a group of Kensington residents highlighted the need for Kensington Regeneration to be supportive of the cemetery as an important part of the local area’s history and heritage. Within the group, Cath’s role largely involved progressing funding bids and organising and minuting group meetings.

As well as the main team members, we have been fortunate to have the support of:

Mervin Kingston has been a member of Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation for 35 years. He was asked to join the Select Committee and went through the usual offices, before becoming Senior Warden from 1983-85. He became chairman of the Burial Board in 1982 and has been in charge ever since. He has overseen several attempts to renovate Deane Road Cemetery during his term of office. He is also a past president of the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council and is chairman of the Merseyside branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX).

Ronnie Bracey was a member of Liverpool Old Hebrew Congregation for the vast majority of his life, and was Senior Warden from 2003-05. Sadly, he died just weeks after completing his term of office. He was a crucial figure at the centre of the Liverpool Jewish community and was instrumental in the establishment and continuation of the community centre at Harold House. Following his retirement, he became a synagogue warden, during which time he laid the foundations for this latest attempt to restore Deane Road, enlisting the services of the Groundwork Trust and Dave Holland, and supervising applications for funding. His influence will be sorely missed.

David Holland is an ecologist who retired from the Environment Agency in 1999. Specialist dealing with Japanese knotweed, he was originally brought into the project by Ruth Webster of the Groundwork Trust in May 2004 and has been battling away at the problem ever since. He is a graduate of Liverpool University and born and bred a Liverpudlian to boot, so he has a real feeling for this project.

Joe Wolfman was the archivist of the Liverpool Jewish community for over 20 years. He retired from teaching English around 1980 and began attending meetings of the Liverpool Jewish Historical Society. When the previous community archivist, Karl Abrahams, died, Joe was asked to take on some of his work, as there was no-one else to do so. He has amassed countless documents relating to every aspect of the history of the Liverpool Jewish community, including synagogues and notable families and individuals. He was also instrumental in setting up the community archive held at Liverpool Record Office. He was succeeded as community archivist by Arnold Lewis in April 2006.