As part of the Oswestry Heritage Open Days events it was decided to run a tour of the Cemetery to share some of the information about those buried there. What better way to share the 'interesting snippets' found during the varied work of the volunteers. Unfortunately, due to the call of other events that were being held in the town that day, (trains and archaeology), the group who took the tour was small. However, the participants were very entnthusiastic. They were introduced to people who have appeared in former Project newlsetters, namely David Christopher Davies, geologist (newsletter 1), Kenneth Seaborn, Berlin Airlift victim (newsletter 1), Bernd Apotecker, Kindertransport survivor (newsletter 3), and Abraham Davies, musician and thoroughly nice chap (newsletter 4). They were also acquainted with other people buried there with a story to tell. The stories will not appear on the blog just yet as the tour is being repeated in the near future (one of the attendees was enthusiastic enough to ask for a repeat for a group she is involved with), so not spoiler alerts here!
The tour also took in the site of the first grave which belongs to the Fox family. Sarah Fox was the first person to be buried in the Cemetery on Boxing Day 1862. The site looked very forlorn as the stonework was away being restored by M E & A Hughes of Welshpool.
Many thanks go to Michael, the Senior Cemetery Attendant, for attending the event. He kindly opened up one of the chapels (there are two, the other now used as a storage area is known as the mortuary chapel), so that the new Project display boards could be put up. The tour members were able to see first-hand the Bath stone insisted upon by the architect Hans Price. The stone cost the Burial Board £103 (£4445 in modern money) as opposed to the £20 (£863 in modern money) they wanted to spend on fire brick. Surely the final decision was an improvement. Hans from Weston-Super-Mare not only promoted his local stone in Oswestry, he reciprocated and used Welsh slate in Weston-Super-Mare as can be seen in images of his buildings in his home town (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Price). Obviously a man of good taste!
The group was also able to view the old bier, (now redundant), reputed to be about 100 years old. Grateful thanks go to David Davies and Sons who allowed Michael to borrow old photographs showing the bier in use.