West Norwood Cemetery – stories and restoring
A consultation about the future of West Norwood Cemetery ends this week so HAVE YOUR SAY!
By next August, working in partnership with the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery, we will submit detailed proposals to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £7 million restoration bid.
The key messages for the cemetery’s future are accessibility and sustainability. We want people to know what they can access here – restfulness, history, culture, a walk in the fresh air. We want to raise awareness of what is on offer and then make it easier to get to it. So we’re looking at a possible second entrance , improved pathways, and wayfinding tools. We also want to recruit local people as volunteers to help shape and delver the improvements.
We’re looking at creating a visitor centre in or adjacent to the main lodge. While it needs to be sensitive to the needs of people coming for funerals and to tend graves, we want to tell the story of what’s in the cemetery. Developing a visitor centre now will also help capture what people really want to see happen here in the future, and provide a valuable community space.
Ideas for activities
We’re creating a job for an activities co-ordinator to develop a programme for people to learn about and enjoy the Cemetery. This isn’t “Disneyfication“– what we envisage are is wildlife walks, social history, or even a project –We’ve had lots of great ideas from the community and the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery – in the consultation so far.
The Jewels in the Crown
The buildings and memorials include 19 important monuments on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register. They include St Stephen’s chapel in the Greek burial ground. At the moment it’s kept locked, but if it can be made safe and services such as electricity can be added, it can be opened up to visitors. It can also tell the story of those buried in the Greek section and how and why they migrated here.
Building the future
We’ll know by the end of January 2019 if the bid was successful and then we’ll have five years to develop the activities and implement the agreed improvement programme.
Have your say now!
Find out more and complete the survey on the West Norwood Cemetery Consultation Page until 30 September – have your say now!
Find out more the West Norwood a New Beginning project