Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Heritage Lottery Fund award to restore Deane Road Jewish Cemetery

Photo: Luciana Berger MP, patron of the cemetery, Ruth Webster, former Groundworks Trust who took the initial steps in the restoration process back in 2002, Bill Maynard of the HLF NW Committee, Saul Marks and Councilor Louise Baldock of the Deane Road Cemetery Committee

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded £494,000 to support the restoration and conservation of Deane Road Jewish Cemetery

The project will focus on the full restoration of the important historic cemetery features, including re-erecting fallen gravestones and the ornate listed archway - on which is inscribed "Here the weary are at rest".

The funding will ensure that the cemetery is fully accessible and can be opened to the public. This will include a new landscaping scheme with safe and accessible paths around the cemetery, a seating area for contemplation and a new building for used by visitors and volunteers.

Saul Marks of the Deane Road Cemetery Committee said

"We are absolutely thrilled with the news. This cemetery is a wonderful historical gem within the city and it deserves to be appreciated by as wide an audience as possible. The Heritage Lottery Fund has finally made our long-standing dream possible and we are really excited about at last being able to restore the cemetery to its former glory."

Sara Hilton, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said

"It is wonderful that we are able to support the vital restoration of Deane Road Jewish Cemetery. As a final resting play for some of Victorian Liverpool's most influential figures, it has huge significance to the local community, whilst the architectural features, such as the archway and tombstones, are important examples of the skilled stonemasonary of the era. By getting volunteers involved in the restoration, and opening up the cemetery to the visitors, more people will have the chance to learn about and explore the cemetery's fascinating history."

Deane Road Jewish Cemetery is the final resting place of many important Victorian Liverpool Jews like David Lewis of Lewis's store fame and the family of H Samuel (Jewellers). Charles Mozley, first Jewish Mayor of Liverpool and Dr Sigismund Lewis, pioneer of programmes of school vaccinations in the city and doctor to the Cunard Line are also buried here.

Over 1700 people were laid to rest in the Deane Road cemetery between 1837 and 1904, with a few reserved plots being filled later, up until 1929. After the cemetery was closed, a new one was created in Broadgreen.

In subsequent years, Deane Road Jewish Cemetery has became heavily overgrown, with trees and shrubs growing wild, the walls were breached in places and an accumulation of rubbish grew up. These plans for restoration will see the cemetery refurbished and renewed and will allow it to take its rightful place on the Heritage trail.

Councillor Louise Baldock, in whose Kensington and Fairfield ward the cemetery is located, has been a key member of the committee since 2007 and co-ordinated the HLF lottery bid. She said

"Today is a very special day for us all. We have spent nearly 4 years working towards this wonderful news. With the help and support of the Jewish community, local people, schools, organisations, agencies and partners we have kept the dream alive that one day we could be in a position to fully restore our beloved cemetery. With this lottery funding, the hidden gem that is Deane Road Jewish Cemetery will now be able to play its full part in the story of Liverpool's history."

Deane Road Cemetery website
BBC Coverage

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