Newington Cemetery
Newington Cemetery
Newington Cemetery
Newington Cemetery


Tony Harris, Barbara McNaught, Carolyn Walker, Ellen-Raissa Jackson, Barbara Blows, Dave Stone, Magnus Hagdorn.


Robin and Morag MacCormick, Dennis Smith.

Doors Open Day Report (BMcN)

Good weather and a good turnout, with 72 visitors signing in. High winds meant there was a need for 2 extra working parties, the council also did mowing the week before. Thanks to all the volunteers who put in so much hard work preparing for DOD and on the day. Additional thanks to Derek and Angela for their invaluable help and support and to Morag for the plants and flowers she donated.

BMcN to send PDF of report to MH to put on website, BMcN to send link to

There was a general discussion about the event:

Positives – focus on select graves, with previous information sheets displayed separately; quality of the info sheets was good; holding a working party on the day; other nearby DOD events (potentially competition, but also good to attract people to the area); publicity was effective.

Negatives – route signage was confusing and people got lost; the sign-up system didn’t work and only one person out of 5 left contact details; volunteers didn’t have a list of the graves we were highlighting and felt out of the loop.

Suggestions for next year - volunteers to stand at each grave to talk to visitors; provide a general leaflet (one we could re-use every year) with contact details in bold (including website, email and twitter, poss Flickr); info sheets to be circulated to volunteers; develop an email list for publicity.

Fungi Walk Report (CW)

The event was much enjoyed by all who attended (approx. 22 people) and Patrick Hickey was enthusiastic. PH noted that it was an odd year for fungus, perhaps because of the weather, and we should be alert to any fungus finds all year round. Good photos on our Flickr group/website. PH said he would be happy to do another walk next year.

CW to finish report and send to MH to put on the website.

Next time – sign to say event is happening, prepare publicity sooner, all agreed that a physical poster is a good thing. Thanks to DMcN for producing one at short notice.

It was noted that the Food Studio is taking foraging parties to the cemetery.

Working party

Screen Wall & Bulb Planting - CW collected 500 crocus and 300 scilla bulbs from CEC to be planted in communal grave areas and the Cameron Toll end of the cemetery. There was some concern about bulbs being dug up by squirrels. CW suggested daffodil bulbs for the edging bed at the entrance.

Iain Anderson of the CWGC suggested that we mulch between the screen wall and the Sarcacocca planting. It was agreed to look into this.

TH raised planting at the bottom of catacombs. BB suggested using weed control sheets (Mypex) to cover area. TH and CW had concerns about council permission and vandals. CW suggested we manage the area (rather than attempt to garden it) by uprooting brambles and planting cotoneaster and bluebells.

Left over Heras fencing and earth piles – TH or ERJ to email Gareth to get fencing taken away (or WP will move to compost area) and ask what CEC is doing about the dumped earth.

Update on Jewish Section (ERJ)

Derek Tobias has been in touch and has pursued successful research on the Jewish section. His website is: Scottish Jewish Cemeteries

He contacted Peter Gentleman, who was very helpful in allowing Derek to match up records. We had thought there were 130 burials (from a survey from 1951 and an update in the 1990s), but Derek has discovered that there were 400 burial records. There were many mistakes and some duplication in the Mortonhall information. Derek now has details for 297 lairs, with 374 burials, many of which are multiple burials, and mainly babies and small children.

He has managed to match burials to some stones that were unreadable and stones to burials that had no lair numbers.

As part of his research (and with help), he turned 8 stones in the Jewish section, so that their inscriptions now face upwards.

ERJ to ask Derek Tobias to write a short article for the website and ask if we could borrow the A frame to turn over some more graves.

TH – need to follow up with Gareth about replacing missing railings (he said there were some spare). We need to nominate a future working party date to clean/repaint them.

Recent Contacts to Info and other outside contacts (BB)

Visitor coming from Vancouver to look for ancestors, DS to respond to email and forward the cemetery map.

Contact from Sally Griffiths to say they will support the snowdrop walk by paying for posters.

Douglas Laird sent us a copy of the CD of monumental inscriptions as a thank you.

Greenspaces meeting – BB couldn’t attend but received the minutes.

BB and BMcN will be attending the friends of cemeteries group meeting on 12 November.

Strategic Objectives

We will discuss long-term plans in the new year. In the meantime, ERJ to produce a calendar (using web format) to enable forward planning and noting events.

Archive database

TH has list a complete list of the laminated information sheets, which he will cross-reference and will forward to MH to go on the website.

There was a discussion on how best to present information – MH suggests map view and alphabetical list.

MH and DS to organise, including GPS co-ordinates.

GPCC/South Locality Community grant

It was agreed that we would ask to bid for a grant to buy secure storage for tools (site tool box), and various tools, such as a wheelbarrow, non-bladed tools, spade. This would allow us to set up weekend working parties and widen our group of volunteers (including students and young people).

TH and ERJ to do the application by Monday 12 November.


Remembrance Sunday

TH sought views on whether we should do anything. It was agreed that the focus on DOD was enough, given there are so many events on that day. BB – Mayfield have poppies wound round the railing and we could do something similar next year.

NEXT WORKING PARTY – 19 November, 21 January (No working party in December)


SNOWDROP WALK – 24 February (NB. CW will be away)