We have received enquiries about what exactly is involved in one of our "Groundwork Days" and what we require from the people who volunteer to help us.
Usually we meet on Sunday mornings and dates are posted on our Rootschat.com thread on the Lancashire board. We can be contacted either via www.rootschat.com or through our contact page here. We generally arrive at the cemetery at around 9.30 a.m./10.00 a.m. We work in pairs and are allocated a section to work on. A clipboard is provided with a mapping sheet for the section and inscription forms. We try to keep the same people working on the same section at each "meet" as regular volunteers become familiar with their particular areas.
The upright headstones are brushed to wipe away dirt and dust and debris is cleared way from the flat tombstones. The grave is mapped and photographed. If the inscription isn't very clear, we use a water spray and if it still doesn't photograph clearly, it is written out on an inscription form. We have received permission from Manchester City Council Bereavement Services to photograph the stones, the photographs being used purely for transcription purposes. This has made the process of recording much quicker.
It can be a dirty job especially if it has been raining the day before so good sturdy boots or wellies are essential. Many of the flat stones are covered with mud and leaves and we now have a good collection of suitable tools: spades, rakes, hoes etc., for our volunteers to use.
It is advisable to bring a drink and a snack or some sandwiches too although there is a convenience store close by for emergency supplies!
Time passes quickly when you are having so much fun!!
IMPORTANT!!! - everyone is welcome and everyone gives their time according to their personal or family commitments, however, we do ask that you contact us if you are intending to come along in case there is a last minute cancellation (usually due to the weather) as we would hate anyone to have a wasted journey. Our thread is on the Lancashire page at www.rootschat.com and its at the top of the page so its easy to find. This is the place to find the latest information and Cancan and Luzzu can always be contacted either by posting on the thread or by the personal message system.