- 2011 ARCHIVE

31 December 2011 update
A Successful Year to Look Back Upon
2011 has been another year of good progress for the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery. Here are some examples of what has been achieved this year:

  • Monthly Working Mornings have continued throughout the year and have benefited from our buying a wide range of gardening tools, which have been put to good use. Over 80 volunteer shifts have been worked during the year.

  • Heritage Circuit has been established, with twenty points of interest marked by numbered posts around the perimeter path and an accompanying full-colour leaflet explaining each point. The Heritage Circuit was launched by Rosie Winterton MP on 20 May.

  • New Gates have been purchased and installed at the New Street entrance, designed to match the original Green Dyke Lane gates.

  • Three New Benches have been installed in parts of the cemetery not previously served by seating.
  • Guided Walks have been led by the Friends on five occasions in 2011. They all attracted plenty of visitors and created a lot of interest.

  • Fitter for Walking Award was granted to the Friends by 'Living Streets', the charity that stands up for pedestrians. It recognises the work done by our group to make the cemetery a better place for people to walk.

  • Memorial Restoration Project has been initiated. The aim is to work with local monumental masons to restore some of the most notable memorials. A grant application is to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012.

  • Burial Enquiries from many locations at home and abroad were answered, revealing several fascinating stories (see earlier News entries, below). This led to the formal launch of our Grave Finder Service.

  • Dog Waste Bins have been installed near to each gateway and, more recently, existing litter bins have been re-located to more convenient positions.

  • Wildlife Area has been developed, with log piles, bat and bird boxes and a winter 'bug house' installed, with the help of Hexthorpe Primary School's Eco-Warriors.

  • Publicity has been attracted through various newspapers, local radio, exhibitions, an advertising banner and illustrated talks. Throughout all this our website has continued to attract more visitors, with the 2011 number up by a half on the 2010 total.

For more detailed information, why not have a look down this page and see what else we have achieved.
29 December 2011 update
Where's tha' bin?
Further to the report of a few days ago, we can confirm that some of the cemetery's litter bins have been moved to better locations. There is now a bin located next to the main gateway and also one near to the two benches, at the corner of Section Rx. This doesn't, of course, guarantee no littering, but we think they're more likely to be used now. The situation will be monitored to judge whether the changes have been successful.
23 December 2011 update
Season's Greetings!
A Very Happy Christmas from the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery to all our readers.
18 December 2011 update
Litter bins
New locations have been agreed with DMBC Bereavement Services for some of the existing litter bins. They will be moved shortly, placing them in more convenient spots than is currently the case.
12 December 2011 update
Latest newsletter online
The latest newsletter (Autumn 2011) is available for download here. You will find previous newsletters and lots more on our Downloads page.
11 December 2011 update
Bugs and birds housed!
At yesterday's Working Morning the Friends fixed the 'bug house' in the wildlife area and also assembled and fixed several more bird boxes around the cemetery.  The bug house has been made with the help of the young Eco Warriors from Hexthorpe Primary School. A small log-pile beneath the bug house will encourage creepy-crawly residents to check out the new accommodation above!
Bug house 1  Bug house 3
8 December 2011 update
Yorkshire Main Colliery connection
Hyde Park Cemetery is the final resting place of the first man to be killed in an accident at Yorkshire Main Colliery, Edlington. He was a pit sinker by the name of Dennis Kenny, who was born in County Mayo, Ireland and came to Doncaster around 1900. He died on 30th April 1910, when he fell to his death down the shaft, from a working platform. Not only has the Yorkshire Main Commemorative Trust enquired about Dennis Kenny's burial in recent months, but we have now been contacted by his great-great-nephew, who is keen to find out more.
2 December 2011 update
Insects' winter home
Pupils from Hexthorpe Primary School have been adding a range of materials to an 'insect house' to make cosy winter quarters for insects at Hyde Park Cemetery. The completed 'insect house' will be fixed in position within the wildlife area of Section C at our next Working Morning, on 10th December.
29 November 2011 update
And another Harriet descendant
Harriet Vernon is proving to be the subject of more correspondence than any other occupant of the cemetery! A fourth descendant has been in contact with us, wishing to be put in touch with the other family members who had already come forward. We're delighted to be able to do that. If interest in Harriet continues to grow then we really must try to have a memorial installed in her honour.
25 November 2011 update
Christmas Party reminder
There are still a few places left for the Doncaster & District Heritage Association's Christmas Party on Tuesday 6 December. With an entertaining speaker and pie and pea supper, it's excellent value at just £4 per person. Please see our Events page for further details.
18 November 2011 update
Newspaper article
This week's edition of the Doncaster Free Press contains an article about Harriet Vernon, Music Hall star of the late nineteenth century, who is buried in Hyde Park Cemetery. See various News items below for references to Harriet. The article follows information being provided to local history journalist Barry Crabtree by FoHPC.
13 November 2011 update
Remembrance Day
Poppy wreath  
On this special day for remembering those who gave their lives in the two World Wars and in subsequent conflicts, the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery pay their own respects in the form of this poppy wreath.
12 November 2011 update
Sunny weather for Working Morning
Today's Working Morning was blessed with lovely autumnal sunshine. There were lots of leaves to clear from around the Lodge and, also, a good start was made on tidying the wildlife area. And in walking across the Memorial Meadow area of Sections H & I we came across this dinner plate-sized fungus!
8 November 2011 update
Another Harriet Vernon descendant comes forward
The story of Harriet Vernon (see below) has created more interest than any other single News item on this website. Today, another descendant of Harriet contacted us and told us that her mother, Harriet's grandaughter, is still alive, aged 90. She had previously been unaware of where her grandmother had been laid to rest, so it is very satisfying to solve that mystery for the family.
4 November 2011 update
Another theatrical performer discovered
John Leicester Windust
Following on from the discovery of Harriet Vernon earlier this year (see 26 August), one of the Friends has directed us to a grave with the following inscription:
In memory of JOHN LEICESTER WINDUST (Children's Opera Co.) son of John & Jane Windust (of Kentish Town, London) who calmly fell asleep Feb 20th 1888 aged 16 years.
Hushed is the voice of the chorister,
Silent is he we love,
But sounding sweeter than ever,
His voice is heard above.
This stone erected by Mr & Mrs Warwick Gray and his juvenile brother and sister artistes serves but feebly to express their appreciation either of his moral integrity and uprightness or of the esteem and regard in which he was held by all who knew him.
A little internet surfing has found a reference to Mr Warwick Gray's  The Children's Comic Opera Company, in 1885, but not much else. This seems worthy of further research. In the meantime, please contact us if you can shed  any more light on this subject.
1 November 2011 update
Grave Finder service now available
The Friends have now officially launched their Grave Finder service, to assist people who are trying to trace a burial in Hyde Park Cemetery, perhaps of an ancestor or distance relative. Please go to the Grave Finder page for further details.
31 October 2011 update
Spooky goings-on!
halloween1  halloween2
This evening's Halloween walk around the cemetery proved to be a hit with the local children and their parents who took part. At the end of the walk there was a ghost story to listen to and then prize-giving for the best fancy dress and the best carved pumpkin. The photo on the right shows Liza Hunter, DMBC's Community Activities & Engagement Officer, who organised and entered into the spirit of the event!
30 October 2011 update
Old picture postcard turns up
Yesterday's Family History Fair included a couple of picture postcards sellers, one of whom had the card shown below. Sent to a Dewsbury address in October 1906, the postcard shows the north-westerly view across Section Q, towards the chapels.
Postcard 1906 - front  Postcard 1906 - back
29 October 2011 update
DDFHS Fair attracts large crowd
The Friends were exhibiting at today's Family History Fair, hosted by Doncaster & District Family History Society. There were many visitors to our stand and a lot of interest was shown in our Grave-Finder Service, which we launched today. Details of this service will appear on this website shortly.
28 October 2011 update
...and to prove it!
Further to yesterday's news item, here's a photo of one of the new dog-waste bins.
Dog-waste bin
27 October 2011 update
Dog-waste bins being installed
Following discussions with the Friends and a review of policy, Doncaster MBC is today installing three dog-waste bins in Hyde Park Cemetery. One bin will be provided near to each entrance / exit. The Friends' policy is to encourage responsible use of the cemetery by everyone, dog-walkers included, so we're happy to see this work going ahead. Our thanks go to DMBC Bereavement Services for paying for the bins and their installation. In the near future, we propose to have some of the existing litter bins re-located, to position them in areas that currently  have no such facilities.
19 October 2011 update
Halloween Walk and Ghost Story
The Central Neighbourhood Team of Doncaster Council is organising this event for children aged 8 to 12 years, who must be accompanied by an adult. Please click here for a poster showing further details.
15 October 2011 update
Asda to support cemetery talk
The Asda store at Bawtry Road, Doncaster, is to host an illustrated talk about Hyde Park Cemetery. Through its Community Life initiative, Asda is providing free use of its cafe area and providing tea and coffee for those attending the talk, which will be presented by Friends' Chairman, Richard Bell. Click here for further details.
14 October 2011 update
'Grave Finder' service to be launched
At the Doncaster & District Family History Society's 'Family History Day' on Saturday 29th October (see this link) the Friends will be launching a 'Grave Finder' service. We will be offering to find and supply the details of burials that took place in Hyde Park Cemetery, including location and photographs of the grave, for a small fee.  Watch this website for further details.
8 October 2011 update
Marker post 'replanted'
Today's Working Morning participants braved damp weather to, once more, make visible improvements in the cemetery.  The previously uprooted marker post has been reinstated, a limited amount of litter was found and collected, weeding carried out and a particular grave tidied...more on that at a future time.
1 October 2011 update
Marker post to be 'replanted'
The bad news is that one of the twenty marker posts of the Heritage Circuit was uprooted recently. But the good news is that the post has been recovered and will be reinstated at next Saturday's Working Morning. Furthermore, this is only the second such instance in the five months since the posts were installed, despite many of the posts being in what might be considered to be 'vulnerable' locations.
30 September 2011 update
Memorial restoration project
Having submitted our pre-application to Heritage Lottery Fund for the proposed memorial restoration project recently, we have now received feedback and advice on how to proceed. We'll be taking the comments on board as we progress towards a full application for a Your Heritage grant.
29 September 2011 update
More on Music Hall star
Further to the entry about Harriet Vernon (see 26 August, below), the music hall star's  great-great- granddaughter has been in touch after seeing the entry on this webpage. We have been able to put her in contact with Harriet's other descendants who gave us the previous lead so, hopefully, distant cousins have now been reunited!
27 September 2011 update
South Yorkshire Archaeology Day on 26 November
We've been advised about this forthcoming event, which is likely to be of interest to our readers. Please see our 
Events page for further details.
26 September 2011 update
HOD walk attracts descendants
Descendants of two of the Notable Doncastrians mentioned in the Heritage Open Days guided walk on Thursday 8 September participated in the event. They were among over 20 visitors taking part.
4 September 2011 update
Christmas social event arranged
This year's Christmas Social (6 December), arranged by Doncaster & District & Heritage Association, is once again open to all FoHPC members and their guests, with tickets on a first come first served basis.  Further details of the event and how to obtain tickets can be found on the Events page.
3 September 2011 update
Another record smashed
This website has continued to attract more and more visitors since it was re-launched two years ago. August 2011 was its busiest month so far, with visitor numbers up by 15% on the previous best ever month and a massive 62% higher than the same month in 2010. If you'd like the website to provide other information or services, please let us know.
1 September 2011 update
Second Town Centre Heritage Walk of the summer

On the last day of August, half a dozen members enjoyed an escorted tour from the Blue Building exploring the fine architecture south of the town centre.

Doncaster had been a very prosperous town prior to arrival of the railway, being a centre for trading and agriculture, and many fine buildings still remain from this era. Many of the Georgian properties in Hall Gate were once large terraced houses for the well-to-do who lived in Doncaster during the winter months, being entertained at the races and performances at the now-demolished Theatre Royal. Many still sport large ornate entrances with grand six panel doors and then small side doors used by servants and day to day tradesmen.

Opposite Regent Square is The Hall (now Denison House) once owned by Edmund Denison who put Doncaster on the railway map. The associated railway works employed thousands driving the growth of Doncaster into a centre for industry.

The walk continued past the large Christ Church, built for £10,000, to Nether Hall Road. Nether Hall still stands, owned by Doncaster Council, but the associated land was sold for development in the 1850s including the “ terrace” overlooking Christ Church, which is actually a series of individually built houses which don't quite match.

The tour ended at the Red Lion where a race for 3 years olds was planned and first run in 1776 and is now the oldest Classic in the world - the St Leger Stakes.

26 August 2011 update
Music Hall star traced to Hyde Park Cemetery
A recent burial enquiry has led to uncovering a fascinating story about one of the biggest stars of the Music Hall from the late 19th century. Harriet Vernon (real name Harriet Whitehouse) was the leading 'principal boy' of the 1880s and 1890s, with many appearances at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and all around the country.  She also toured abroad extensively, including several visits to the United States, as well as Johannesburg and Berlin.
Harriet Vernon 1  Harriet Vernon 2  Harriet Vernon 3
Although in poor health and aged 64, Harriet came out of retirement in 1923 to tour with the 'Old Time Artistes.' On arrival at Doncaster for a week of shows at the Grand Theatre, Harriet's health deteriorated quickly and, on 11 July, she died at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and was buried on 14 July. But the most surprising fact of all is that this huge star of her day lies in an unmarked grave! Perhaps we can put that injustice right at some point?
21 August 2011 update
Sun shines on 'War Graves Walk'
This afternoon's guided walk on the theme of War Graves, led by FoHPC committee member Wendy, proved to be a great success. A really good turnout of visitors were rewarded with a fascinating look at this aspect of the cemetery's history, not to mention some warm and sunny weather. The visitors' donations to our funds were gratefully received.
18 August 2011 update
Irish visitor finds family grave
Starting from a phone call received yesterday morning, the Friends were able to remotely guide a visitor from Ireland to the exact spot of her great-grandfather's unmarked grave later the same day! We were pleased to be able to help and our visitor was delighted with the outcome, too. A great result all round.
16 August 2011 update
Another town centre heritage walk
The Friends have arranged for a second heritage walk of the summer around Doncaster town centre. This one heads south from the Tourist Information Centre, having already covered the northern route. See the entry for 31 August on our Events page.
14 August 2011 update
Banner sign displayed
FoHPC banner  FoHPC banner2
A new banner sign giving the Friends' website address has been attached to the railings alongside Carr House Road. It is hoped that this will raise the profile of our activities still further and help us to gain even more support.
12 August 2011 update
Memorial restoration project
The above project, first mentioned on this page on 17 July, takes a step forward next week when exploratory meetings commence with a number of memorial masons who are interested in a partnership approach to restoring some of the cemetery's monuments. watch this page for further updates.
8 August 2011 update
Surveying the cemetery's wildflowers
A few evenings ago, members of Doncaster Naturalists Society, the 'Nats', kindly visited the cemetery to help us in identifying plant species within the conservation area that we have designated. It's early days, but as from next Spring we shall be managing most of Sections H & I as a wildflower meadow. Our thanks go to the Nats and we look forward to working with them over the coming months and years.
31 July 2011 update
An expensive mistake!
Recently spotted in the cemetery is this slate tomb lid on the grave of the memorably-named Dalton Tacey. The mason who inscribed the lid seems to have made a mistake when carving out the month, leading to a new piece having to be let into the lid as a correction.  Probably an expensive error!
Dalton Tacey 1  Dalton Tacey 2
24 July 2011 update
Transatlantic visitors
At yesterday's guided walk, on the theme of 'Monuments and Symbolism', we were joined by a couple visiting from the US. It's great to spread the word about Hyde Park Cemetery, whether you live 300 metres or 3000 miles from the site!
22 July 2011 update
Remember Hanley's mill?
Hanley - Thomas & Susannah c1877  Hanleys mill from River Don
A recent family history enquiry to the Friends concerned the grave of Thomas & Susannah Hanley. Many Doncastrians will remember Hanley's mill, which dominated the skyline on Low Fishergate for many years, until being demolished in the 1970s. As a result of answering the enquiry, we have very kindly been sent a number of photographs, including the above portrait of Thomas and Susannah (taken c1877) and a shot of the mill from across the River Don.
21 July 2011 update
A rainy heritage walk
A dozen hardy Friends braved the rain yesterday evening to take part in the guided heritage walk around the northern part of Doncaster town centre. The walk was led by Steve and Andy from the Tourist Information Centre and we thank them very much. There was much sharing of information and recollections along the way, adding to everyone's enjoyment of the occasion.
19 July 2011 update
Roman cemetery revealed nearby
An archaeological dig has been taking place on the site of Doncaster's new Civic & Cultural Quarter (CCQ) and has revealed artefacts from a Roman cremation cemetery. A fine glass jug dating from around AD150 has been found. The dig will be open to the public on Saturday 23 July, from 12 to 4pm. The Friends' own guided walk around Hyde Park Cemetery starts at 2pm, so there's time for a look at the CCQ site beforehand! Take a look at the poster at this link.
17 July 2011 update
Memorial restoration project
One of the Friends' key objectives for the next year is to commence a project which will restore some of the most notable memorials in Hyde Park Cemetery whilst, at the same time, providing training opportunities for deserving individuals. Approaches are currently being made to local firms of memorial masons to seek a potential partner for the project. If you are connected to such a firm, or know of a firm that may be interested, please contact us.
12 July 2011 update
'Fitter for Walking' award
The Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery have been honoured with an award from Living Streets, the charity that stands up for pedestrians. The award recognises the progress made in making the cemetery a safe, attractive and enjoyable place to walk and is very much the result of a joint effort between the Friends, Living Streets and Doncaster MBC. The photo on the left shows Richard Bell (Chair), Sheila North (Committee member) and Alan Murray (Treasurer) accepting the award. The photo on the right shows the plaque, which has been fixed near to the Carr Lane entrance.
Presentation 09072011  Plaque close-up
11 July 2011 update
Guided Heritage Walks newsletter available
A notice advertising the Friends' forthcoming guided heritage walks is now available via our Downloads page.
9 July 2011 update
Tree work underway
Today's Working Morning achieved several notable objectives. Eight bird boxes were assembled and fixed in trees, the proposed meadow area was marked out prior to a plant survey in the next few weeks, the usual litter-picking took place and work started on clearing low branches and self-set saplings from the bases of trees. The photograph on the left shows how far the adjacent tree had spread towards the New Street entrance. On the right you see how the area has been transformed.
Growth near New St gate  Lime tree base area
7 July 2011 update
Hexthorpe Walkabout Group discovers the Heritage Circuit
FoHPC today hosted a visit to the cemetery by the Hexthorpe Walkabout Group. Our visitors were guided around the Heritage Circuit, answering many of their questions along the way.  If you are a member of a local group that would like to plan a visit to Hyde Park Cemetery, 
please contact us.
2 July 2011 update
Local Society hears cemetery talk
Thanks go to members of the Doncaster Caledonian Society for their generous donations to the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery, following the illustrated talk presented last evening by FoHPC Chair, Richard Bell.
1 July 2011 update
Website visitors' new record
This website goes from strength to strength, having over 20% more visitors in June 2011 than in any previous month. If you have any suggestions for further improvements to the site, please contact us.
30 June 2011 update
Guided walk for another Friends group
The 'walkabout group' of the Friends of Hexthorpe Flatts Park recently requested a guided walk around Hyde Park Cemetery. We're keen to help a fellow Friends group in this way, so the walk will take place within the next couple of weeks.
26 June 2011 update
New Downloads page launched
In our continuous quest to improve this website, we have created a new page entitled 'Downloads.' From the new page you are able to download copies of our self-guided walk leaflets, newsletters and other documents produced by the Friends. Whilst these documents have been available for download for some time, you can now find them more easily as they are all in one place.
24 June 2011 update
Race Night in September
Horse racing
The Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery have been invited to participate in an annual fund-raising Race Night on 23 September, hosted by the Friends of Sandall Park. See our Events page for further details.
23 June 2011 update
AGM minutes online
The minutes from the Friends' 2011 AGM, held on 6 June, are now available for download by clicking on this link.
22 June 2011 update
Fellow Friends group needs your vote
The Friends of Wombwell Cemetery, who have achieved great things over the past few years, are competing in ITV's Jubilee People's Millions next week. They have applied for funding for a project called 'Peace from Dereliction', to convert a ruined chapel into a Peace Garden, an area for contemplation and to house personal memorials. All you have to do to support them is to cast a telephone vote (or several!) on Tuesday 28 June. Please click on this link for further details.
21 June 2011 update
Leaflet available for download
The coloured A4-sized leaflet to accompany the Heritage Circuit is now available for download, by clicking here.  Why not print yourself a copy and take it along to the cemetery one sunny afternoon and follow the marked circuit?
20 June 2011 update
Listen to Friday's radio interview
Further to the update on 13 June (below), until 24 June you will be able to listen again to Richard Bell's interview on Sine FM, which was broadcast on Friday 17 June.
17 June 2011 update
Are you a taphophile?
This isn't news exactly, except that the subject came up on last week's episode of BBC1's 'Have I Got News For You?.' A taphophile is someone with a love of funerals, graves and cemeteries.
13 June 2011 update
Radio interview on Friday
The Friends' Chairman, Richard Bell, has been invited along for interview on Doncaster's local radio station, Sine FM, on Friday 17 June. Simon Bower's Friday afternoon programme 'All About You' is a chat show that also includes community matters and events. If you live in the Doncaster area you can listen on FM 102.6 or, if further afield, you can listen online and even replay the programme later.
12 June 2011 update
A new history website for Doncaster
A new website has been launched. Its purpose is to make and keep available the information and findings of archaeologists and historians that was formerly available from Doncaster Archaeological and Historical Society, prior to the demise of that group earlier this year. Why not check it out?
11 June 2011 update
A wild idea put into practice
At today's Working Morning a log pile was constructed in a secluded and shady spot, aimed at encouraging insects and amphibians to make their home in the cemetery! This came from a suggestion made by our speaker at Monday's AGM (see below). Other work carried out this morning included the usual litter-pick and weeding and tidying the gravelled Section 'O'. A good turnout of volunteers and warm sunshine made it a very enjoyable session.
8 June 2011 update
Wild ideas
At our AGM on Monday evening, Elizabeth Hardcastle from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust gave a fascinating and information-packed talk on the 'Living Churchyards' project. We saw how burial grounds can become havens for wildflowers, birds and insects with just a few adjustments to their management regime and a few simple additions to provide better habitat. We'll be following up on these ideas in the coming months.
5 June 2011 update
Press coverage
Both Doncaster Free Press and The Star published photographs and articles on 2 June about the recent launch of the Heritage Circuit. We are grateful for the coverage, which helps to raise the profile of the Friends and our activities. It's a little unfortunate that The Star gave incorrect information about who appears on the photograph and the DFP persists in referring to the Friends as a 'gardening group'.  A letter has been sent to the DFP to try to dispel that view and explain the wide range of our activities.
1 June 2011 update
AGM reminder
Don't forget that next Monday evening (6 June) is our Annual General Meeting, including an illustrated talk by Elizabeth Hardcastle, Living Churchyards Project Officer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. See our Events page for further details.
27 May 2011 update
Guided Walks' themes chosen
The guided walks planned for Saturday 23 July and Sunday 21 August will be on the themes of 'Monuments & Symbolism' and 'War Graves', respectively. Please refer to the Events page for further details.
25 May 2011 update
Dry spell reveals history
With the unseasonably dry Spring, evidence of the line of the original boundary of Hyde Park Cemetery has been revealed in a strip of pale grass between Sections G and Tx. This is where the boundary wall stood before the 1882 extension was added. Why not go and have a look for yourself?
23 May 2011 update
And three new benches, too
Bench 1  Bench 1 view
On the day that the new gates were installed, so were three new benches, also funded from the 'Fitter for Walking' programme. Above, you see one of the benches, placed at the location from which one had been removed some years ago. The photo on the right shows the very attractive view from that bench.
22 May 2011 update
Gates installed at New Street
Gates 1  Gates 2

The much-anticipated installation of gates to finish off the access point from New Street, which since its creation a few years ago has been merely a gap in the wall, has been completed! The design of the gates is based upon that of the original ones at the Green Dyke Lane entrance and they have already attracted a great deal of positive comment. The gates were funded from the 'Fitter for Walking' programme, aimed at improving the attractiveness of potential walking destinations.
21 May 2011 update
Heritage Circuit launched by Rosie Winterton MP
Rosie Winterton MP  Heritage Circuit launch
Yesterday afternoon saw a good crowd assemble to witness the official launch of the Friends' new Heritage Circuit, around the perimeter path of Hyde Park Cemetery. The photographs show Rosie Winterton MP about to unveil marker post Number 1, before Richard Bell, the Friends' Chairman, led everyone around the circuit, explaining the twenty points of interest marked by the posts.
The accompanying colour leaflet can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre, 38-40 High Street, Doncaster. Alternatively, Adrian Welch Glass and Glazing also has leaflets, which can be picked up from their premises opposite the Carr Lane entrance during their normal working hours.
Our thanks go to the pedestrians' charity, Living Streets, for funding and supporting the Heritage Circuit.
2 May 2011 update
Heritage Circuit preparations
In readiness for the launch of the new Heritage Circuit at Hyde Park Cemetery, by Rosie Winterton MP, at 2pm on 20 May, the positions of the twenty marker posts have been marked out. The posts themselves will be installed shortly. The Circuit's accompanying colour leaflet has also gone off to the printers.
28 April 2011 update
Gates getting closer
The gates that the Friends have ordered for the New Street entrance have now been fabricated and are about to go off to a specialist supplier for galvanising and powder coating (similar to painting, but more durable). They and the three new benches are still expected to be installed in time for the Heritage Circuit launch on 20 May.
24 April 2011 update
Forthcoming AGM
A brief reminder that the Friends' 2011 Annual General Meeting takes place on Monday 6 June (see Events page). If you would like to read the minutes of the 2010 AGM please click here.
15 April 2011 update
Craft Fair feedback
The Friends' tombola stall at Wednesday's Craft Fair at Walker's Nurseries helped to raise both our profile and some funds! The coolness of the weather, after a string of lovely warm days, kept attendances down to a lower level than we'd hoped, but we can still regard the event as a success. Thanks go to Margaret & Josie for planning, organising and running the stall. 
14 April 2011 update
No such thing as bad publicity...
...even if the facts are wrong!  You may have seen the article about the Friends and the photo on p.53 of today's Doncaster Free Press. Quite a good photo, but the first paragraph of the article should end with "...more than 50,000 burials." and not "...more than 50 plots"!
9 April 2011 update
Newspaper publicity
Next week's Doncaster Free Press (14 April) is going to include a feature on Hyde Park and Belle Vue, part of which will be an article about the Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery. As today was our first anniversary Working Morning, the Free Press sent a photographer along to 'capture the action', so watch out for pictures in the newspaper as well!
2 April 2011 update
Website visits reach new high
March saw the highest number of visitors to this website since monitoring began in December 2009, with numbers 14% up on the previous high. A presence on the internet is a vital part of the Friends' role and it is extremely encouraging to see the number of visitors continuing to increase, as we spread important information about our activities right around the world.
29 March 2011 update
War Grave renovated
After an extended period off site, during which the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was renovating the headstone of J S Ogden of the Royal Engineers, it has recently been returned to its rightful place in the cemetery. The photographs show the newly renovated memorial and the temporary marker which had been used in the interim period.
Ogden headstone after renovation  Ogden CWGC temporary marker
27 March 2011 update
Mothers' Union learns about Hyde Park Cemetery
An illustrated talk about the cemetery and the Friends yesterday morning was very well received by the members of Hexthorpe Mothers' Union.  We thank them for their kind donations to our funds.  If you are involved with a group in the Doncaster area that is looking for a speaker and you'd like to hear about Hyde Park Cemetery, please contact us.
24 March 2011 update
MP to launch Heritage Circuit
A date has been set for the launch of the Heritage Circuit around Hyde Park Cemetery, sponsored by Living Streets.  The event will take place on Friday 20 May 2011, at 2pm.  And the really good news is that Rosie Winterton MP will be coming along to officially launch the Heritage Circuit.  We hope to see you there.
18 March 2011 update
Fundraising at Walkers' Nurseries
The Friends will be running a fund-raising tombola stall and displaying information about our activities, at a Craft Market to be held at Walkers' Nurseries, Blaxton, Doncaster, on Wednesday 13 April. The fair will run from 4pm until 8pm, throughout which time the restaurant will remain open, too. We'd love to see you there and, even better, we'd be really grateful if you could spare a little time to help at the stall. If you can help, please contact Richard Bell (07777-688438).
13 March 2011 update
Twelfth Working Morning completed
After a sunny Working Morning in February and three consecutive wet Saturdays to follow, the sun once more shone on the group of Friends attending yesterday's hands-on session. It was noticeable that the usual litter-pick gathered very little refuse, further strengthening our belief that people are generally showing more respect for the cemetery. Amongst other things, the group cleared up a large number of fallen tree branches that the recent strong winds had brought down, resulting in a tiring but ultimately satisfying outcome to the morning.
8 March 2011 update
Supporting local business
Enhancement Training Ltd, based just a few hundred metres from the cemetery,
was set up in 2009 to provide 14-16 year old young people with the opportunity to develop practical skills that will enable them to progress in their personal and professional lives. Young people are referred to Enhancement Training by schools and other referrals agencies due to being partly or fully excluded from mainstream education. The Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery have placed an order with ETL to supply bird boxes and similar items for the wildlife area and are delighted to support such a worthy venture.
5 March 2011 update
Spring around the corner?
In spite of the continuing cold weather, the daffodils in the cemetery are making a valiant attempt to burst into bloom. This morning's photo shows the current leader!
28 February 2011 update
Tools purchased
Thanks to a Grassroots Grant, from Doncaster Central Development Trust, the Friends have been able to purchase a wide range of tools to help us achieve even greater things at our Working Mornings.  The photograph shows just a small selection of the newly acquired equipment.  We'd love to see you at our next Working Morning, on 12 March, to help us make full use of what we now have available!
27 February 2011 update
Heritage Circuit marker posts
Sheila with marker post
As mentioned in previous News items, we now have the posts in stock for marking out the Heritage Circuit that the Friends will be launching in the cemetery in Spring 2011.  The photograph shows Sheila North taking a close look at one of the 20 numbered posts.
13 February 2011 update
Wildlife area under way
       Bat box 1            Bat box 2
At yesterday's Working Morning, as well as completing a great deal of tidying and clearing , the first step was taken in establishing the proposed wildlife area in the copse at Section C; a bat box, donated by former Friends' Secretary, Sheila North, was fixed in position.  Further progress is expected shortly, as the Eco-Warriors from Hexthorpe Primary School begin to put their plans into action.
12 February 2011 update
Funding for more improvements
It is looking very likely that the Friends are about to receive funding for further improvements in Hyde Park Cemetery, under the banner of the ‘Fitter for Walking’ initiative. Fitter for Walking is a Living Streets project designed to improve the local environment and get more people out walking.  Using money allocated for the project by Doncaster MBC and with help from Living Streets’ local representative, Jim Shaw, we propose to install three more benches on the site, at strategic locations.  We shall also install custom-made gates at the New Street entrance, designed both to match the 1882 gates at the Green Dyke Lane entrance and to complete what has hitherto been a rather makeshift access point.  Watch this space for updates!
11 February 2011 update
Grounds team edging ahead!
Path edges 1  Path edging 2
During the winter, when there is no grass cutting to be done, the DMBC grounds maintenance team turns its attention to other things.  Over the past few days, they have been working their way along the edges of all the cemetery's paths, trimming off the encroaching vegetation.  The above photos show how much neater the paths now look.
5 February 2011 update
Heritage Circuit progress
As announced back in September, 'Living Streets'
, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, is funding a new Heritage Circuit in Hyde Park Cemetery. Recently, we took delivery of the marker posts which are to be installed at the points of interest around the cemetery's perimeter. We're now working on designing the full-colour leaflet which will act as a guide for those wishing to follow the Heritage Circuit.
18 January 2011 update
Funerary Monuments Group (again)
The Funerary Monuments Group of the NFCF was set up with the role of advising and supporting groups lacking the experience of operating in larger established cemetery groups. The group is able to liaise with national conservation agencies, such as English Heritage.  FMG meets twice a year and today's discussions covered a broad range of subjects. Amongst the matters debated were the Federation's response to the 'Big Society' proposals and information is being gathered on the amount of volunteer resource that is utilised in cemeteries. Another important subject area was the Graves at Risk Register. Furthermore, important contacts have been established between FoHPC and the FMG members, which will surely prove helpful in the coming months and years.

17 January 2011 update
Funerary Monuments Group
The Funerary Monuments Group is part of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends, of which FoHPC is a member. Tomorrow is the next of the twice-yearly meetings of the FMG and the Friends' Chair, Richard Bell, will be attending for the first time.  Watch this space for a report on the proceedings.
12 January 2011 update
A remarkable transformation
E301 before  E301 after
Here’s a great example of what can be achieved when monuments are renovated.  This particular grave has recently undergone completed restoration, as shown in the before and after photographs above.  Let us hope that it inspires other grave owners to carry out similar work.
11 January 2011 update
Funding Bid success
Great news! A recent bid for furthert funding from Doncaster Central Development Trust has been successful. The sum of a little over £1200 will enable to us obtain more tools and equipment for our Working Mornings, fund the development of the wildlife area (being designed by Hexthorpe Primary School's Eco-Warriors) and cover some of our essential running costs, etc.
8 January 2011 update
An interesting find
Today's Working Morning included further site clearance around the chapels.  Hidden amongst the general rubbish against the north wall of the former C of E chapel, was a fragment of leaded, stained glass.  It's just possible that the fragment came from the memorial window, installed in 1865, commemorating James Alexander, one of the first Commissioners of the cemetery. We'll try to check that out. The photos show John Boddy holding the fragment, plus a close-up of the artefact.
John Boddy & stained glass  Stained glass fragment  
6 January 2011 update
Working Morning reminder
The ideal way to work off some of those extra pounds gained over the festive period is to take part in the Friends' next Working Morning, this Saturday, from 9:30am.  Please see our Events page.
3 January 2011 update
Friends of Sandall Park - Quiz Night on Friday 28 January
If you and some friends fancy exercising the old 'grey matter', how about taking part in the annual Quiz Night, hosted by the Friends of Sandall Park? See the poster at this link.
1 January 2011 update
A Very Happy New Year!
We wish you all Health and Happiness for 2011.  2010 was another year of good progress for the Friends and we're intending to make 2011 even better.  Keep a lookout for a review of the last year on this News page, coming soon.