Ramsey Mortuary Chapels Heritage and Archive Centre
By Jane Yardley – Chair, Friends of Ramsey Mortuary Chapels
On behalf of the chapel members, I would like to wish you a belated Happy New Year and hope that 2024 proves to be a peaceful and good year for you all.
To round off last year we were invited to have a stall at the Christmas Coffee Morning at Jones Court, one of our favourite places and it’s always a delight to attend.
We also had a stall at Ramsey’s Christmas Light Switch On. It was nice to see that so many people turned up to support the event, even though it was very cold, minus 2 when we set up. So, a big thank-you to all the chapel members who helped on the day. What a great bunch they all are.
Another person who deserves a mention is Tyler Montgomery. Young people seem to get such a bad press nowadays, so it’s nice to be able to give praise where it’s due. When we arrived to set up, he came to see if he could be of help, he unloaded our tables, boxes and containers as though they weighed nothing at all, and I don’t know how we would have managed without him. We noticed him helping many other stall holders on the day as well. So, thank you Tyler from us all.
Although we have been closed for the past 8 months due to impending work by the Ramsey Town Council, we have still been adding to our archive and we have had some really interesting items donated. One of them is the Banksian Medal certificate presented to John William Berridge (known to everyone as Jack). A Ramsey man, he lived in Little Whyte with his wife, Brenda (nee Frear). He had an allotment where he grew his prize-winning vegetables, and his daughter Jackie thinks that he was awarded the certificate over 70 years ago.
The other photograph was kindly given to us by David Chittim, who took it whilst out walking with his dog. It just goes to show how much rain we had in January. It’s no wonder that in the past coffins had to have stones placed in them to weigh them down to stop them from rising up when local cemeteries were flooded!
Any of you visiting the cemetery over the Christmas period will have noticed the beautiful wreaths and floral tributes in the Victorian part of the cemetery. The vast majority of these were made by chapel members Mary Ison, Cathy Cracknell and Gillian Knox, who worked tirelessly over several weeks to make sure that no one, even if they died a long time ago and have no family left in the area, are not forgotten at Christmas time. Not an easy task when you are working in the winter with no lights and no toilet!
But now for the latest update.
At last, some news. After having 3 meetings with members of the Ramsey Town Council cancelled at the last moment, Gillian Knox and myself met with the Town Clerk, Lisa Renfree and Town Councillor Lorraine Knight at the chapels, to discuss the way forward and see if we can get things moving at last. So, when I write my piece for March hopefully, I will be able to give you some positive news.
The last 8 months have been quite frustrating and depressing and we would like to thank you all for your continued support which has made us even more determined to see our project through.
Don’t forget to check out our official Facebook page (Ramsey Mortuary Chapels) and our website: - www.ramseymortuarychapels.org.
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