Ramsey Mortuary Chapels Heritage and Archive Centre
By Jane Yardley – Chair, Friends of Ramsey Mortuary Chapels
We opened the chapels for the first time this year for Ramsey’s Heritage Day and I’m pleased to tell you that it was a great success. Not only for us, but for all the other attractions that were open as well.
Quite a few of our visitors came from outside the area and amongst them we had 4 from Norwich who knew that there was a connection between Ramsey Abbey and Norwich Cathedral.
Herbert de Losinga from Suffolk, who became Abbot of Ramsey in 1087 eventually transferred to Norwich where he instigated the building of Norwich Cathedral, started in 1094 and also the building of the Benedictine monastery there in 1106.
They hadn’t realised that there were so many places of historical interest in and around the town and intend to return next time and this time spend the whole day.
It was very gratifying to see so many visitors on the day and hear such lovely comments about the chapels and the cemetery and I would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work, not only on the day but for all the hours that they put in beforehand.
Several visitors kindly brought us items for our archive, including a postcard of Ramsey Abbey from 1920 and a photograph of a prehistoric boat being dug up out of the Fen at Warboys in about 1910. I wonder what happened to the boat?
A special mention must go to Gillian Knox, who is not only a volunteer but is also our trustee on Ramsey’s Heritage group. She has made beautiful patchwork cushions for the chapel chairs, so that visitors can sit in comfort, especially when they are going through our archive. She has even made us cloths for our tables with Ramsey Mortuary Chapels appliquéd on, for when we go out fund raising. They have already been put to good use as we were invited to have a stall at both Jones Court, Ramsey and Upwood Village Hall where we were made very welcome and had a great time, we could have drowned in coffee and cakes!
They were all so generous and not only did we raise funds towards the restoration, but also came away with many items to sell on our stall at Home and Vintage in Bury and many more new tombola prizes.
The support that we receive from you for the restoration of the chapels is quite overwhelming at times and we know that with your support we will succeed.
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