Tony Harris, Barbara McNaught, Carolyn Walker, Ellen-Raissa Jackson, Barbara Blows, Dennis Smith, Robin MacCormick.
Lise and Gary Tole, Hazel Dunne, Magnus Hagdorn, Iain Wilson.
DS met MH and walked the various grave sites that we have researched to record their location using GPS. DS has almost finished editing the different entries and will pass them on to the Magnus to post on the website. The notable graves section is now non-year specific (ie not tied to the Doors Open Day events the entries were originally written for). DS has also create a series of tags to organise the entries and we can add new categories as appropriate. The group welcomed this as an excellent step forward in making the archive more accessible. We are also grateful to MH for all his work on this.
There was a short discussion about making better use of the website to promote what we've done and post the working party reports. Group to review new material on website and send round comments where appropriate.
ERJ still to write up a general note on the Jewish Cemetery. CW has written up the Fungi Walk and will send Patrick Hickey a note to say that we will post it on the website unless he has any objections.
Things have been very quiet over the Christmas period apart from some contacts from the Friends of Parks and Cemeteries and from Susan Buckham of the World Heritage Site graveyard project. BB (and possibly one other) attending a meeting on 23 January, 6pm at Bakehouse Close. Caroline Gerard is responding on behalf of the group. David Brown from Canada was looking for his grandfather's grave and we were able to point him to the CWGC headstone. Catie Stewart visited the cemetery looking for her great-grandfather, Mark Cohen. There is no headstone, but DS showed her the plot. She is hoping to write a family history and the story is quite extraordinary. DS to keep in touch.
RMcC suggested we put a note in the case at the entrance targeting relatives who visit/tend graves to let them know what we do.
The bid for a grant to buy secure storage for tools (site tool box), in order to allow us to set up weekend working parties and widen our group of volunteers was submitted by TH and ERJ in November. We have been told that a decision will be made in early February.
It was agreed that a member of the committee would need to be responsible for the weekend working parties (health and safety etc) if they are to go ahead. ERJ to chase up EUSA contact for possible student volunteers.
We began a discussion on long-term plans for thinning out trees. CW suggested that removing some of the self-seeded trees should be a priority, because they are cutting out light and reducing the biodiversity. Candidates for removal can be identified at working parties and we could request that the council gets in touch with the Forestry Service to remove them - also to see whether there is an objection in principle to this. It was noted that tree removal can be expensive and might be something that we would need to seek a grant for.
We intend to continue working towards a yearly programme of events.
It was agreed that further work/research/signage in relation to common ground graves would be useful. There was a discussion on interesting questions about common graves, including who paid for them. Ideas included a sign explaining such burials (a grant would be needed to fund this), potentially tied into a talk with an expert. BB to ask Caroline Gerard for suggestions. It was also suggested we could contact Peter Gentleman at Mortonhall for further information.
It was agreed to have further discussion on long-term plans at the next committee meeting.
The date for the snowdrop walk was discussed - as ever the concern is balancing the timing of the snowdrops with the likelihood of good weather. It was decided to stick with the date of 24 February (1pm to 3.30pm), because this fits with the working party. Nigel and Sally Griffith have agreed to pay costs for the poster (ERJ to check whether this money has already gone to GPCC). Derek McN will produce the poster and a small batch of mini-fliers for the group to distribute. CW to send updated snowdrop photos. BMcN will send round a draft at the end of January. It was agreed that we did not need to have another committee meeting before the walk, but could organise the publicity and on-the-day volunteers via email and at the working parties.
ERJ to ask MH to post a notice on the website.
Screen Wall & Bulb Planting - 500 crocus and 300 scilla bulbs were planted in communal grave areas and towards the lower end of the cemetery. The Heras fencing and earth piles have still not been removed – ERJ to chase Gareth.
Next working party - Weeding the new planting by the CWGC screen wall, weeding and tidying the front bed and entrance area, potentially moving the Heras fencing.
Memorial tree planted by IW needs a sign.