Sunday 28 April 2013

Disappearing Gravestones

As you enter the graveyard behind St Wilfrid's RC Church in the Lancashire town of Longridge, you face a lawned area with a handful of memorials on view. Look closer and you might notice what appear to be stepping stones of various sizes. They are not. The stones are headstones that have, in the past, been laid flat to - I presume - allow for easier mowing of the grass.

While this sort of thing is increasingly done across Britain, I have a concern. In the case of Longridge, many of the headstones, which bear the names of individuals and family members who have died and are being commemorated, are being overgrown and could end up lost to view. I find this disrespectful and hope something is done to uncover the headstones. I photographed several examples which include some fine examples of cemetery symbolism. If anyone knows who is responsible for the upkeep of the graveyard, I would be interested to know.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Fallen Angels

Fallen angels and mourning figures at Southport Cemtery

Cemetery Chapel

The Duke Street Cemetery in Southport was opened in 1866 and is dominated by this impressive double chapel and memorial tower:

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Bird Life

I am used to seeing the single bird leaning over the top of a headstone, but I have not seen these double birds before. On the first, the bird faces its mate which seems to be preening its feathers. On the second, one bird is looking away. Quite what this means, I am not sure. I have included two other bird stones as well from my visit to the Duke Street Cemetery in Southport.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Vandalism or What?

I visited Duke Street cemetery in Southport and noticed this memorial. Note the red tear running from the figure's left eye. I am unsure whether this is paint (but why) or blood. I think I favour the latter. There were a number of unsavoury characters in the cemetery and wonder whether one of them who had been injured in a drunken fight did this. It is the way the colour is smeared and smudged that leads me to consider  it may be congealed blood. If it had been paint, why is there so little and why didn't it run downwards - the angle of descent seems wrong. There is a spot, also, just above the elbow of the figure- a fingerprint?  Artistic vandal or bleeding yob? I just don't know. Any suggestions appreciated. Click once and then again for a very enlarged view.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Memorials as far as the Eye can See!

As you will know, I visited Liverpool Road Cemetery in Southport recently and was stunned by the sight of so many magnificent memorials. Having more than 300 images to choose from, I found found it so difficult to decide which to post here, first. So, as an interim measure, I thought I should post a small selection to give you a flavour of what can be seen there. Marvellous!

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Packhorses Carry A Body Home

In some parts of rural China, the only way to get a relative's body home was in a wooden box strung between two horses like this scene on the Shansi Pass. The photograph was taken by Lt Charles F Gammon who was the American Bible Society's agent in Tien Tsin and was, for many years, commissioned by the Chinese government as a military instructor in Tien Tsin University. He was in China at the peak of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and was in the city when 700 Russian soldiers defended the city against more than 10,000 Chinese 'Boxers'. Gammon took many photographs during his time in China, many of which were published as postcards. His book, Souvenir Album of China contained 450 such photographs. He died in 1926 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Litherland Memorial

Hear is the grave of J A Litherland who died in 1950. I find the memorial very impressive. It must have been raised by his widow, Ethel Lilian Maude Litherland who died in 1959. The words on the ball are 'He giveth his Beloved Sleep.'I think the Litherland's were monied - the only reference to them I have found so far is a passenger list for a Cruise on the SS Avoceta in 1926. In 1941, the ship was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 123 lives.

Saturday 6 April 2013

A Cemetery Mystery

I would welcome any thoughts on this early 1930s memorial in Liverpool Road Cemetery (Birkdale). At first, I thought the heads were those of cherubs but now I am not so sure. It may just be the result of erosion but the right hand head looks less 'alive' than it's companions. I've not seen anything like it before, but others may have seen similar.

Friday 5 April 2013

Avenue of Angels

For those of you who follow my Creating Pictures In My Mind blog, you will know that I visited the Anthony Gormley Another Place installation on Crosby Beach, last week. On my way there, I drove past an amazing sight. Behind a hedge was an Avenue of Angels. Today, I returned and found examples of funerary architecture beyond my wildest dreams. It turned out to be the Liverpool Road Cemetery (Birkdale) in Southport, Lancashire and it opened its doors (so to speak) in 1905. A forty-five minute walk round the cemetery saw me leave with 325 digital images. Here is the first.

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Converting Colour to MonoChrome

I've finally got round to reading my Adobe Photoshop book and, in particular, the section on converting  colour images to black and white. I have to admit that I have always just selected Image>Mode>Greyscale and ended up with a monochrome image. It turns out that I was wrong.

What I should have done, apparently, was select Image>Adjustments>Black and White. So, I though I would follow the author's example and try it out. He also advised - in his first example - to reduce the Red and Yellows and increase the Cyans. Well, I did and these are the result.

Click on the images once and then again to get a really enlarged view.

Welcome to the Graveyard Detective

An illustrated look at the World of Graveyards and Cemeteries. There are many Stories behind the Stones that Stand in them. Who knows what we might find?


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