Many readers who reside in the south of England will have woken up to thick fog this morning and a climate which unfortunately shows that we are approaching the winter months. Heading towards the beautiful, though murky, south coast near Bournemouth to collect my tenor saxophone in preparation for the show of the century next week, what better to do but stop in a churchyard at 8am to take photographs of some of the gravestones. OK…. so some of the school children waiting for their bus did look at me as if I had just been let out of the nearest institution but hey, never mind!
My mission was to locate a stone which on my last visit – shock horror! – I had not photographed. And of course, it was crucial to the case we have been working on. Through the wet grass and dripping tree branches, it soon became evident why I had not photographed it last time. It was almost illegible to the human eye and covered in moss and lichen. Today, several shots have been taken though none particularly useful aside from showing the state of the stone. Thank heaven for a ‘record of the memorials and their inscriptions’ book located inside the church, written in 1998, when the stone was legible.
There are an increasing number of websites which hold details of gravestones across the world supplied by volunteers and, if you haven’t already, I would recommend a look at Find A Grave and Gravestone Photos. I fear that my travels may well take me church-ward again later on this week. If anyone has any requests down Berkshire/Buckinghamshire way, please get in touch….