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HOP Recreation Ground to Become a Cemetery?
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #21
16-02-2011 05:13 PM

I'd have thought there was a lot to be said for us having our dead nearby, rather than having to make a day trip of it to somewhere 'near the M25' if children want to put flowers on Granny's grave. And cemeteries needn't just be for the dead; they can be good places for meditative walks on a Sunday afternoon.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #22
16-02-2011 05:22 PM

Robin I agree. The Beckenham Crematorium is a lovely place for reflexion

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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #23
16-02-2011 08:51 PM

Local people do need a place to go and visit loved ones but the problem is the price of burials are increasing to such a price that most local people (not all I know there are some very rich people in Honor Oak) will not be able to afford burials. So is it fair that land we can all enjoy now for free will become land for the select few!

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #24
16-02-2011 09:03 PM

Since we are on a new page I thought I would remind people of the petition address to save HOP recreation ground:
http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/sa...oakparkrec
520 signatures so far in 5 days!

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #25
16-02-2011 09:26 PM

Robin

I can see that it might be important to some that people can visit their dead relatives nearby (personally I don't mind where they are, its my memory of them that is important?) but do you really think this should be at the expense of hundreds of kids playing football every week and playing at the park?

Its doesn't look like there is the opportunity to achieve both - so on the basis of which is the best option for the community now AND in the future I say its the playing fields every time!

And if you want nice contemplative graveyards for walks there is quite a lot of that already!

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #26
16-02-2011 11:13 PM

To refer to Michaels point, this isn't open land though, it is
(assuming the Council are right) designated burial space. With time people have forgotten this or perhaps never knew about it in the first place

Whats interesting about this debate for me is that the same arguments applied in converse during the debate on the integration of Louise House into the wider Pools scheme. I argued the point in respect of the demolition of Louise House and instead for its reintegration into the Pools site. ie to preserve that building in the name of a deceased albeit honorable and interesting individual may not have been what they would have wanted, and has wasted a considerable opportunity for generations to come. Currently Louise House lies empty and I understand that viability concerns have been expressed about the much smaller Pools complex as a result.

I don't therefore actually think things should be preserved in aspic to the detriment of young people and future generations but I genuinely don't know what Southwark are meant to do with their deceased. They have to go somewhere and within a rather short timescale. Come up with some decent viable alternatives and I'll think of signing the petition! I did think in some countries graves were actually stacked in buildings hence being more economical about use of space.

Its interesting that in 5 days this issue has attracted more signatories than the local free school campaign could do in several weeks. Perhaps it could be located on the rec in some sort of joint venture with the cemetary?

If being dead has now become so political and people are going to be campaigning against graves I think I'll start looking into my own options tomorrow....

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ruthb


Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #27
17-02-2011 12:16 PM

Apparently this saturday the Today programme on R4 will have a feature on burial space pressures and impact on green spaces.

The South London Press also looking to run something on this - I have given them the blog details and Fohopark email address to speak to someone about it in more detail...

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Jane_D


Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #28
17-02-2011 12:48 PM

Woodland burial sound like a good option. You have a biodegradable coffin, buried in a plot with either a wooden marker or no marker, but they keep a record of who is buried where so relatives can find the grave. When the park is full it returns to use as natural woodland, protected by a trust. A bit further out of London, but it looks lovely.

http://www.woodlandburialparks.co.uk/Abo...stions.ice

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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #29
17-02-2011 03:05 PM

Well done to everyone who has signed the petition,600 so far and growing by the hour!

Lets show Southwark we are a force to be reckoned with!

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PaperBagBadger


Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #30
17-02-2011 06:14 PM

Absolutely! There is so much support out there! To all the people who've already signed, thanks and please encourage your friends and neighbours to sign.
Also, we need as many personal letters and emails to our local ward councillors.
And why stop there? Barrie Hargrove is the Cabinet Member (Transport, !Environment and !Recycling) who is one of the main decision makers. I am sure he'd love to hear from as many concerned users as possible.
Local schools including Fairlawn, Stillness, Horniman, Turnham and Prendergast Ladywell Fields have been sent the blog information and two headteachers are on board, have signed the petition and are featuring it in their school newsletter. Encourage your kids' headteacher to do the same!
Sport England have responded saying that they are a statutory consultee on planning applications affecting playing fields and are taking a close interest in this.
We have heard there was a 3,000 strong petition against the taking of any part of the Rec in 1991. Fantastic! We could reach that at the current rate in 20 days!

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #31
18-02-2011 12:45 PM

Maybe we should encourage the use of ossuaries like this one - bury the body for three years, then exhume the bones and keep them in a smaller place.

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mljay


Posts: 80
Joined: Mar 2007
Post: #32
18-02-2011 01:26 PM

if its about finding a place to put the dead, why not both a burial ground and sports field ... could have a memorial board on a fence line. people could be given a gps grid reference for where their loved ones lie if they feel the need to be 'up close and personal'.

that way there is space for the living and the dead

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #33
18-02-2011 01:49 PM

I like the idea of combining a last resting place with sports facilities.

I heard that the Olympic stadium will have too great a capacity for West Ham when they take it over. Perhaps if they have some spare seats we could stop the 'deadist' discrimination of only allowing living people to attend matches.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #34
19-02-2011 09:13 AM

Good and quite thoughtful piece about this on R4 Today this morning (8.34 am), starring Alex Feakes (!) - although no mention of the fact that what is now the recce was originally intended by Camberwell/ Southwark to be part of the cemetery. I congratulate the campaigners on a skilful bit of PR.

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bilgewater


Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #35
19-02-2011 09:25 AM


I certainly recommend the green burial option, as this is how my mother-in-law was buried last year. A charming site in the South Downs that over time is destined to become a natural English woodland.


With much press being made about spiralling levels of childhood obesity, the few remaining recreation grounds need preserving as our children need these open spaces, after all most schools have already lost their playing fields in the name of a quick profit.

Could I also suggest using the Write To Them website to contact your local councillors and MP.

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roz


Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #36
19-02-2011 10:39 AM

I still think throughout this discussion there is an underestimation here about what the relatives of deceased people want and how important it is to have a place to grieve, and why a lot of people come to graveyards. Not everyone will be visiting the grave of a much loved grandmother who has lived a long and happy life and who died peacefully at 95. There will be many unhappy stories and relatives who may have trouble accepting that their loved ones are gone. Some will be young; there is a childrens section in the other part of the graveyard and I do see people there regularly tending to the graves. I have a friend who lost her husband when he was only 35 and she visits his grave weekly if not more. She has done this for 4 years as she cannot accept he is gone. Gradually through these visits she is letting go but it will take time.

I am guessing and hoping that the part of the discussion talking about burying people under football pitches is tongue in cheek however there may indeed be some people whos dying wish is to be buried under the turf at Anfield or Elland Road, but that probably isn't for everybody.

I just find there is a lot of dismissal on this thread about the impact of losing loved ones which is probably because few people these days actually experience death in the family until they reach middle age due to life expectancy and health care standards. I went to a tour around Nunhead cemetary some time ago; its very interesting stuff so I'd recommend it; the guy running it talked about the Victorian experience of death, as it was all around and most people had experienced bereavement by the time they were adolescents. Infant mortality was high as was the death of young children before 5 years old. It was everywhere and there was no hiding from it. Now we experience death largely through the media when there are massacres abroad or young soldiers are brought home in body bags. Its mostly third hand.

The point Michael made about the satellite cemetaries such as Highgate and Nunhead are true but these were largely for the rich who bought their plots and mauseloums as status symbols. They were purchased in order that people could get access to fairly large plots. The poor were still buried in church yards or even in common ground just outside as there was also a pecking order of who could get inside the church grounds.

I don't think therefore talking about putting a heavy tax on burial is the right approach. There will still be people of various faiths who won't cremate. And a lot of people already have to fork out 2000 for a basic funeral and find it hard to pay those bills.

If Southwark can support through projections a need to regain this space then I can't see how we can realistically prevent them. You won't change hearts and minds about cremation that easily and quickly. Where else are we going to bury people?

I do think also the tone of some of these posts is that death is something that happens to other people. But these people are us and will be us.

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Poppy9560


Posts: 273
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #37
19-02-2011 10:49 AM

I really like the idea of woodland burial but then my family has always enjoyed walking in forests. I think everyone had raised very vaild points on what is a sensitive subject. We have to balance grieving relatives wishes with the fact that England is running out of space and it isn't easy. The rise in childhood obesity and what this means for the future generations is of paramount importance and I don't think the government/local council is doing enough - pools are not being kept up as they should be. Lewisham is doing a good job with free exercise for the over 40s and various other plans and I applaud them but we need open space for people to play and run around in a safe environment. It is sad to see kids kicking a ball around in the street just down the road from Blythe Hill Fields but I can understand parents not being happy sending their children to the park to play on their own.

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sandy


Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #38
19-02-2011 10:57 AM

This is not simply a local problem as was pointed out on Radio 4 (definitely worth listenting, too, if you didn't catch it). Cremation is now at 70% and it was suggested that that will probably not increase much further in the near future. What will happen is that councils, who according to the programme, do not have to supply space, will simply increase charges. One possibility put forward was to reinstate the intention of the Victorians which was to continually reuse burial sites but I am not sure how much that would help in what will only become more and more of an issue as the population grows. There clearly needs to be some 'blue skies' thinking about how to reconcile the different interests but the loss of an open recreational space in an urban area should be a matter of great community concern.

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michael


Posts: 3,223
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #39
19-02-2011 11:21 AM
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Bumble


Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2011
Post: #40
19-02-2011 05:53 PM

Nobody is under estimating how much death affects a family and how loved ones find comfort in visiting graves.However people also find comfort when visiting cremation plots or memorial plaques.

I walk through the cemetery everday and apart from mothers/fathers day or xmas you hardly see a sole especially the One Tree Hill side.Many of the graves have toppled over and are just stacked up behind trees.

This is exactly what happened in Nunhead cemetery (mentioned above) but on a much bigger scale.
The cemetery became a highly neglected place,even the chapel was burnt down due to vandalism. It was only through the hard work of the Friends of Nunhead cemetery that this (which nobody visited) was turned into a nature reserve for all to enjoy!

This is the argument for the rec,we need to keep hold of green space we all enjoy now. If you like it or not burial space is running out,even if they use the rec,once full the same problem will remain.So why loose valuable green space when it does not resolve the problem!

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