Graveyards make a rare appearance

Drought conditions have prevailed across the UK for most of this summer. Indeed, the nation’s reservoir levels have been sinking lower and lower as the lack of rainfall continues

Rare is it that such conditions prevail. But when they do there can be a consequence far more poignant than that of a hosepipe ban. As water levels drop, so occasionally are revealed the villages and valleys flooded to provide a water source for nearby cities and towns.

These are communities which gave everything, lost and gone forever.

Old headstones revealed

In Derbyshire, the creation of the Ladybower Reservoir meant the  flooding of two villages, Ashopton and Derwent. In the name of progress, residents’ protests fell on deaf ears. Only when water levels drop dramatically can visitors still see not just the old church, but the graveyard that sits next to it.

In the sixties, the flooding of the Tryweryn Valley in Wales saw the submerging of the village of Capel Celyn, again ignoring the protests of residents. With Capel Celyn went two churches and their graveyards. The authorities assured villagers that family members would be exhumed and buried elsewhere. It didn’t happen. Instead those gravestones sit at the bottom of several metres of water.

Such incidences, thankfully, are rare. But it’s worth remembering that, for some, a severe drought is the only chance they will ever have to see the grave of an ancestor, perhaps someone as close as a mother or father.

Hot weather issues

For most of us, periods of extreme dry weather can spark issues of a different nature. Hot weather can leave graveyards looking dry and parched.

Flowers wilt on graves, and surrounding vegetation can look less than visually pleasing. It can be upsetting, at the most glorious time of year, to return to a grave after a few weeks to see everything so changed.

Artificial alternatives

While many will always prefer to leave fresh flowers and foliage at the grave of a loved-one, prolonged hot weather may be a time to turn to other options. Artificial flowers are now commonly available. They may not be a visitor’s first choice, but at least they know they will last.

Many artificial flowers are very tastefully made. Plastic isn’t always the go-to material. Silk flowers can be very beautiful items indeed. And they can be presented in tasteful memorial vases.

For all enquiries about hand-crafted and beautifully bespoke headstones, gravestones, monuments and memorial plaques, please contact Davis Memorials.