On Thursday 21st January Knutsford Town Council is commencing a programme of routine memorial safety testing in Knutsford Cemetery. All memorials are required to be tested for safety every five years and the council is undertaking tests on every memorial in the cemetery over the coming months to bring records fully up to date as no records of memorial safety were passed on to the council when it took the cemetery back in 2020.
Testing will be conducted by section in the following order: A, B, L, M, C, D, E, F, J, H, G, K, D.
The testing involves applying a small amount of pressure to the top of a memorial to identify if the memorial is properly anchored into the ground and no damage is done to a memorial through this test. Every memorial which fails the test will be immediately but temporarily made safe. Most memorials failing the safety check will be supported with a stake and banding; where this is not possible the council may have to cordon an area of the cemetery off or temporarily lay the memorial down. After testing in each section of the cemetery has been completed, the council will write to the burial rights holder advising what works are required.
It is the responsibility of burial rights holders to maintain memorials and they will be responsible for any repair costs. The Town Council will look to secure a discounted rate for any memorial repairs from a registered memorial mason using its purchase power to reduce the repair cost for individual grave owners; grave owners will also be able to arrange their own repair through the usual memorial works approvals process with the council.
Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said: “Undertaking these tests are an important part of managing safety at the cemetery. For a period, a number of graves may be staked and feature warning notices – we will endeavour to keep this period as short as possible and the swift cooperation of burial rights holders will help keep the cemetery presentable.”
“We are also taking the opportunity to remind burial rights holders to ensure their contact information is up-to-date; if you own a grave in the cemetery but have moved house since it was purchased please check with us that we hold your latest address so that any letters make it to you”
The Town Council is also encouraging visitors to family graves to consider who might own the grave. Burial rights last around 100 years and there is a process for the rightful owner of a grave claiming the rights to graves where the owner has passed away.
If you have any questions about the cemetery, the programme of memorial testing or transferring burial rights please call us on 01565 653 929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.