History and Heritage

Ystalyfera and District

Ystalyfera - South Wales



Cemeteries

Cemetery Damage

I must have been working in the cemeteries too long because they feel like an extension of my garden and now each time I find another damaged grave it brings a thump to my throat.



I admit I had given up a few years ago cleaning and tidying a grave site before I took a photograph, mainly because I find today, a note pad, mobile phone, camera and walking stick enough to carry. Previously I would have included a bag of cleaning equipment, secateurs, bottle of water and nibbles, and extra clothing in case I got stuck under a rain cloud because “Mummy” always told me not to hide under trees (Lightning and all that entails).



Just to enforce that childhood warning, check out this monumental inscription in St. Cynog’s Churchyard:

IN LOVING MEMORY OF
JOHN THOMAS REESE
SURGEON YSTRADGYNLAIS
WHO WAS KILLED BY LIGHTNING
ON THE DRIM MOUNTAIN WHILE ON
HIS WAY TO VISIT A PATIENT ON SUNDAY
JULY 21 1895, AGED 51 YEARS.
In the midst of life we are in death.
THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY
PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION



However, it appears that damage is the one thing I shall have to get used to because in many cases when Mother Nature decides to blow up a storm, the trees are not up to the challenge of bending in the wind and many simple crack and topple.



Alltygrug, the burial ground for St. David’s Church Ystalyfera, suffered the latest gale (in February of this year) and it not only broke branches off but managed to up root a couple of the fir trees altogether. This time the Church quickly managed to clear the debris and not much of a consolation but when I later revisited, although totally demolished, I was able to record the inscription of the first headstone in that plot, as the heavy foliage previously covering it had been removed as well in the clearance.



Plot X which suffered the most damage, is up in the far corner on the left as you enter the main gate although as I said other branches came down over Plots J and H.

I’ll be waiting and hoping that this winter spares us a repeat performance.