ASHES AND MEMORIAL GARDEN
When the Friends of Darwen Cemetery was first formed, the founder members had a vision and plan to restore as much of the Western Cemetery as they could, including finding and restoring the ninety plus War Graves, and in part we have achieved many of our goals.
Education walks and remembrance services are regularly featured in our diary, and well supported by the townspeople of Darwen.
One of the first projects and one that we are very proud of is the Ashes Garden where plaques of remembrance can be purchased from Brent Stevenson Memorials, the garden is a beautiful tranquil setting where you can reflect and remember your loved ones.
The following articles appeared in the press and on our website showing the development of the garden.
The Trustees and volunteers decided that the people of Darwen needed somewhere that ashes could be scattered and memorial stones laid for loved ones. The old rose garden seems the perfect choice. Whilst plans were drawn up for a brand new layout volunteers, including a family from Sri Lanka, planted flowers which brightened up the area considerably.
The flowers were supplied by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
June 2011 – The Ashes Garden starts to take shape
During May the new Ashes Garden, just above Section C, has started to take shape, Brent Stevenson Memorials have already laid the foundations for the circular path, the plinth for the Central Rose and one of the three seating areas.
October 2011 – Competition Winner
The children of the junior schools in Darwen were invited to design a sculpture for the centre of the garden. Hannah Jackson won with a design for a red rose.
Hannah views the finished Rose
Hannah Jackson and family are photographed next to the recently erected Rose Plinth in the Ashes Garden, Hannah (3rd from the Left) designed the Rose in a competition last year, the Rose was kindly made and donated by Brent Stevenson Memorials.
February 2012 – Mistry Man
The volunteers cleared the ground and with the assistance of a local farmer moved several tons of gravel into the garden. Many wheel barrows of gravel were moved. Turf was laid and watered on a daily basis until it rooted.
Who is our Mystery Grafter?
Now then, who on earth is this character helping out at one of the last working parties of the year? He looked rather familiar, but no one could quite place him. “He looks a bit like John, er, John Wotsit, our chairman,” said Colin. “No, no,” said Harold. “John’s just the chairman. He doesn’t actually do any work. He’s more of a sort of figurehead. He wanders around chatting to people.
That’s his role – not shoving a loaded wheelbarrow around.” Alan was equally puzzled: “Who’s this John East you’re talking about?” he asked. “Our chairman,” explained Patrick. “What does he do, then,” asked Alan. “Dunno,” said Patrick. “He chairs the occasional meeting and, er, and, er … takes his dog for a walk while we are grafting away, and, er, talks a lot.” Perhaps a local borough councillor had decided to help? suggested Jill with her tongue firmly in her cheek. Everybody cracked out laughing. We finally worked it out – thanks to Len and Rosemary, with a bit of help from Paul.
Yes, it was Our John after all! “I got fed up with Harold moaning that I never got my hands dirty so I carted a couple of loads of wood chippings up to the ashes circle,” he explained. “But it was raining a bit and I soon got fed up. I was out of breath and couldn’t talk to anyone. It was awful. But they can’t moan now. I’ve actually done something!” However, he added ominously: “Never again!
June 2012 – Plinth Wedges
There are 2 forms of memorial stones within the garden.
Engraved plaques set into a granite bench or engraved granite wedges laid around the central gravel bed. By February 2012 our Second set of 5 Plinth Wedges have been placed in our Ashes Memorial Garden.
Since we opened the Ashes Memorial garden, only 6 months ago, we have already filled a full block of 5 Plinth Wedges, last week Brent Stevenson Memorials have built the base for a second block of 5 Plinth Wedges in the Garden.
June 2015 – Our Ashes Garden is like the pitch at Lords Cricket Ground.
t our last Working Party on the 27th June, Peter mowed the grass in our Ashes Garden based in the Western Cemetery.
If you would like to purchase a plaque or wedge for a loved one and place it within this beautiful and peaceful garden please see the information below.
Not only will give you a lasting memorial but also a contribution to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery to help with the ongoing restoration of the cemetery.
It now is a very peaceful setting for Ashes to be spread
(see T&C below*)
If you would like to purchase a Wedge or one of the Bench Plaques please contact Stevenson Memorials on 01254 202019
*Wedges are £745 including all lettering, fixing, VAT and a donation to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.
Bench Plaques are £345 including all lettering, fixing, VAT and a donation to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.
Prices are correct as at November 2022, please check with Stevenson Memorials for latest price.