We have been fortunate this year in getting some new gates, provided by Mark Burt of Restoration Ironwork through Skipton Town Council’s Estates Officer, Les Chandler.
Mark had made a pair of drive gates nearly 30 yrs ago which had been put into store after the house owner and her husband parted company. They were in good condition apart from the bottom rail which needed replacing. Work was needed to extend them to fit the Burial Ground opening but as they had been made as a 1/3rd 2/3rd configuration they incorporated a pedestrian gate in the design, which was exactly what the Friends wanted as it is rare that a vehicle needs access to the site. New strap hinges and journal bearings were forged in the workshop plus a complete repaint.
These have now been installed and make a substantial difference to the entrance to the Ground, as can be seen in the photographs.
The old wooden field gates are below. The new gates are on the right.
We have had two so far this year, with another to be held on Saturday, 12th August and the final one for the year on Saturday 7th October. Both Open Days so far have been well-attended and there has been a lot of interest in the Ground from both visitors generally and those looking for graves of relatives. We have been able to link the Butler/Ovington family with descendants in Skipton who have kindly let us have information about the family which doesn’t appear in official records or documents. Such contacts provide us not only with living links to the Burial Ground residents but exchange and build on information about them.
World War I Soldier
Our WW1 memorial to the Australian soldier, Richard Shackleton, is to be recorded in Craven records of those who fell in the war. Richard’s aunt (who died as an infant) is buried in Raikes Road and the stone also memorialises his parents , who are buried in Leeds. As with many WW1 soldiers, it is 100 years ago since he died. His body was never found and apart from here in Skipton, he is also remembered on the Menin Gate in Belgium and the Australian War Memorial at Canberra, Australia.
The Chairman of the Friends, Jean Robinson, has published a book about the Burial Ground and its residents in “Not Lost, But Gone Before”. Covering events in Georgian and Victorian Skipton relating to the people in Raikes Road, the book runs to 188 pages and costs £9.99 with profits going to the Friends’ group. Copies can be obtained from Skipton Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, Skipton or via the enquiries section of the website.