Ramsey Mortuary Chapels Heritage and Archive Centre
By Jane Yardley – Chair, Friends of Ramsey Mortuary Chapels
Everyone has been very busy at the chapels getting ready to open for the season on Ramsey's Heritage Day on Sunday 2nd April. There was such a lot to do after such a cold and damp winter. You can well believe that it was Ramsey's Mortuary! I would like to thank all of the members for their hard work, they are a joy to work with and come up with such great ideas.
Unfortunately, I now have some bad news for you.
We were hoping to open this year with our new toilet facilities in place or at least well under way, but it was not to be.
It took us a long time to get the 4 quotes required by Ramsey Town Council due mainly to covid. Even waiting on occasion for over 2 hours at the chapels for a builder to turn up, who didn't even let us know that he wasn't coming. But eventually we got a really good quote, considerably less than the others, from a local builder that we knew we could trust to do a really great job.
The Rotary Club of Ramsey heard about our project and kindly offered their support as well, with a not insubstantial cash sum to help us. We had also been told that as Ramsey Town Council owned the chapels and are ultimately responsible for them, that they would also make a contribution. The majority of the cost of the work having been raised by ourselves with your help.
So, I took the quote along to the Ramsey Town Council. After hearing nothing after a while, I contacted the Town Clerk, only to be told that the Ramsey Town Council had turned down the quote and had requested that the Town Clerk obtain another 4 quotes for the proposed work. To say that we were all disappointed would be putting it mildly and knowing the difficulty we had in obtaining quotes, we wish the Town Clerk the best of luck!
We have already paid £750 for the plans and planning permission and hope that the matter can be resolved before planning permission runs out and we have to start again.
I can only apologise, on behalf of all at the chapels, to anyone with mobility issues who will be unable to use the current toilet facilities when they visit.
However, none of us give up that easily and we have plans underway to continue the restoration of the non-conformist chapel. Starting with introducing electricity into the building and restoring the ceiling.
On a happier note, I would like to thank all of you who have donated such good quality items for us to sell on our stall at Home and Vintage in Bury. They are open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 5pm. It is well worth a visit, and you never know what bargains you will find in there. Your generosity has been unbelievable, and we get such fantastic things from you. It all helps our project enormously.
Geoff Potts and Community Payback have continued to do a splendid job this winter. The cemetery is no longer the overgrown mess that it used to be. It was very difficult to see the graves and walk between many of them as it was impossible to see what was underfoot, or the many rabbit holes just waiting for the unwary walker.
I was told by one very impressed visitor whilst we were getting ready to open, that graveyards should be places for people to get nearer to God and enjoy the wonder of His works, as after all, He placed Adam and Eve in a garden not in a wilderness!
We look forward to seeing you all this year and we know that with your continued help and support we will get this wonderful old building restored to its former glory, both for you and for future generations to come.
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