Wisbech Society – Press Release to celebrate National Civic Day

Wisbech, 14 June 2017: Wisbech Society prepares to expand on its plans for the preservation and renovation of Wisbech General Cemetery chapel and monuments in a Civic Day celebration

Wisbech Society is marking Civic Day 2017 with an open reception at Wisbech General Cemetery on 17 June. The even will celebrate the award of a £303,800 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for the preservation and renovation of the cemetery’s chapel and monuments.

Opened in 1836, the General Cemetery is nationally significant as one of very few non-denominational burial places established in English towns and cities during Victorian times. It is also the resting place of several people of local significance, adding greatly to the town’s heritage and providing a rich resource for historians and researchers.

Now the Society is preparing for the next stage in its ambitious plans for the site, including an extensive restoration of the chapel, equipping it to modern standards for a wide variety of community and educational activities. Working with the Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, Wisbech Society will also repair and restore gravestones, and co-ordinate the digitisation of cemetery records. In addition, a booklet detailing its history will be produced.

The total cost of works to the chapel will be £351,600 and the Society has pledged £15,000 towards this from its own resources. The Robert Hall Charity has also kindly offered £10,800, and the value of volunteer time contributions amounts to £19,000.

In its HLF submission, the Society committed to raise a minimum of £3,000 by way of a general appeal – Civic Day offers the ideal opportunity to begin the effort. It’s hoped that this minimum sum is exceeded so that even more work can be completed in the cemetery, further preserving this important part of Wisbech’s heritage.

Members of the Society’s project team, and Friends of Wisbech General Cemetery, will be on hand between 2 and 4pm on the 17th, explaining the project and detailing the work that’s about to commence. Visitors will be free to walk around the cemetery at their leisure, taking in its uniquely atmospheric setting.

Two images are supplied, one showing the chapel soon after the cemetery was opened in 1836, the second showing a secluded corner of the cemetery on Civic Day 2016

Notes to editors

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
 – Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. http://www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported

The Wisbech Society and Preservation Trust Ltd
Registered Office: 40 Alexandra Road, Wisbech, PE13 1HQ, England.
A charitable company, limited by guarantee – Registration No. 263115.
Company registered in England and Wales No. 350808