Visitors to Philips Park Cemetery in north Manchester will be able to step back in time thanks to the historical sleuth work of the Friends of Philips Park Cemetery.
The group's most recent venture has resulted in the 'Did You Know' project which has seen them research graves of historical interest within the cemetery.
15 graves of interest have been identified so far, and the historical info relating to them will be displayed on information boards along the central path of the cemetery which includes two people awarded the Victoria Cross and Crimean war heroes. A distinctive bright yellow logo on the information boards will be replicated to mark the graves in the near future- presently the boards show the number of the grave so that people can find them within the cemetery.
The project has taken several months to complete, research is still ongoing and the group has been supported by Manchester City Council.
Councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods said: "The Friends of Philips Park Cemetery work tirelessly to improve the cemetery and their projects are not only innovative but important for the people in this community. This research that they have carried out for the Did You Know project has real relevance to the people who live in this area, and I know will be appreciated by everyone who visits the cemetery whether they are local or from further afield. I would like to thank them for their hard work in bringing this project to fruition".
Gail Spelman, Chair of the Friends of Philips Park Cemetery said: "The Friends of Philips Park Cemetery are very proud about this latest project. It has taken many months to put together and hopefully all the information is correct. The Did You Know project displays the graves of interest within the cemetery including two Victoria Cross winners on individual lecterns for people to read.
"The lecterns are bright yellow and can be easily spotted when walking through. The graves date back to 1866 and now everyone can find out who is buried in Philips Park cemetery which is a beautiful green space in East Manchester and is Grade 2 listed on the register of Parks and Gardens."
The Friends of Philips Park Cemetery began in 2008 and have been rewarded for their tireless work within the Cemetery over the last few year. In 2021 Philips Park Cemetery won national Cemetery of the Year Gold Award by the ICCM (Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management) Memorial Awareness Board who, for nearly 20 years, have been raising awareness on the importance of memorialisation. The Friends group have also been instrumental alongside the council in achieving Green Flag status over several years and in 2020 the group established an innovative project called 'Children Grieve Too' with a permanent feature in the cemetery which helps young people learn and accept grieving is a natural part of bereavement. The Children Grieve Too project highlights that children also grieve and signposts parents and carers how to get support for bereaved children.