Autumn in Raikes Road saw us host out final Open Day in September 2018 and we were fortunate to have the benefit of a new volunteer, John Bradley, undertaking strimming work across the Ground over a number of days with the Friends making a donation to his charity of choice, Maddies Butterflies, helping children with neuroblastoma. (website: http://www.maddisbutterflies.org.uk/).
Other Friends worked hard on working parties, clearing away some of the brambles and vegetation. Shown below are Friends clearing the Mitchell burial plot, a recumbent stone with a kerb surround, which sits behind the bench kindly donated by Mitchell descendants.
Clearance of such monuments shows the extent of the burial plot, features other than the main gravestone and the finer detail of items on the stone. It is hoped to do more work like this in the future on the rest of the monuments.
One of the issues we have had for some time is that we have no burial plan for the site, although it is likely there would been one at some time. We have commissioned a firm to undertake a digital map for us, which will take into account not just the remaining gravestones but also other features. Not only will this make it easier to identify where each stone is, but also helps in planning management of the site.
The latter part of 2018 has seen us hosting a visit in November from the Friends of Zion Graveyard from Sheffield (website: http://www.ziongraveyard.btck.co.uk/). This group received a Heritage Lottery Grant to save their small, but important, cemetery from becoming a car park and we were kindly recommended by the Lottery Fund as a place for them to visit to show what we had done.
There is continued interest from people all over the world who would like to know if they have ancestors in Raikes Road. We are happy to help and, where possible, open the Ground for them to view if they wish to visit.
It is always good to meet and know of such people and very often, they are able to give us family information which we would not be able to obtain from elsewhere. Mr. Mark Etheridge paid us a visit from South Wales at our last Open Day in September, 2018. Mark is related to James Sagar Lee, a young boy who has one of the remaining gravestones. As an indication of what work can be done from graveyards in searching family history, see Mark’s website on https://yorkshirechurchyards.wordpress.com/about/sagar-family-of-askrigg/
Open Days 2019
These will be held on:
Saturday, 11th May (as part of National Cemeteries Week)
Saturday, 13th July
Saturday, 14th September (as part of National Heritage Open Days)
Opening times are 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with guided walks at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Stout footwear essential.
We are holding an Information Day on Saturday, 6th April, 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Skipton, courtesy of the Rector, the Rev. Veronica James, when we will be showing a display about the Ground and offering help from our current records to those who wish to know if any of their family are resident in the Burial Ground.
If coming to our event, visitors are encouraged to have a look round Holy Trinity, which is an old and interesting Church. The Refectory at the Church also serves light refreshments.