One of the aims of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery is to raise funds to get the toppled headstones in the cemetery re-erected. In this time of cuts this is proving to be a difficult task so it is really good that some people are having their own family graves re-fixed by local stonemasons who are willing to help with this work
One example is the fixing of the toppled cross in Section 2 of the Rev. Phillip Graham who built St John’s Church in Darwen by a relative who lives down south. We have also been able to help a 90 year old gentleman to get his parents grave refixed and the lettering repainted.
Teresa Taylor from Samlesbury has contacted us with photographs of her family’s grave in Section 5. Her great grandfather was James Brown who lived in Darwen and worshipped at St Joseph’s Church.
He was a stonemason who worked all over the world, including St Cecilia’s Church in New York. He returned to Darwen where he died from a lung disease probably brought on from the stone dust.
The family grave has been fixed by Brent Stevensons Memorials Ltd, Blackburn and James Stevenson has done an excellent job.
Visitors to the cemetery researching their Family History often find their family from the Victorian and early 20th Century have been buried in unmarked or common graves. Some families have either purchased a new headstones listing their relatives or purchased a wedge in the Ashes Memorial Garden listing their family.
If you would like information about stonemasons in the area you can find approved stonemasons on the National Association of Memorial Mason website (www.namm.org.uk)
FODC April 2012