A stunning display of 439 knitted poppies has been created by the Friends of Layton Cemetery Group to commemorate the servicemen and women buried and remembered at Layton Cemetery.
The poppies were laid out on a grass carpet on Friday as part of a remembrance service to honour the war dead.
Pupils from Layton Primary School helped the Layton Friends Group to lay wreaths at the Cross of Sacrifice within Layton Cemetery.
Members of the local community, including residents, Layton Primary School, Co-Op Funeral Services, the friends group and representatives from Blackpool Council were in attendance and observed a two minute silence in memory of those who gave their lives in the service of their country.
Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary for Blackpool Council, said: “I’m delighted that that the service was so well attended by the local community. The knitted poppies are a wonderful way to honour the brave service people who are buried within the cemetery.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone involved with the organising of the event. A big thank you is also due to the Layton Cemetery team for all the hard work that has taken place to develop a sustainable maintenance programme at the cemetery. A once unmanageable area is now looked upon with immense pride.”
Wildlife is Welcome in the Cemetery
Published August 2016
It’s hoped that dozens of handmade bird boxes will bring wildlife back to a Blackpool Council green spot.
Volunteers and their bird boxes
A group of community volunteers created 72 wooden bird boxes that have been installed onto trees across Layton Cemetery, as part of a second stage to make the area a more pleasant area to visit.
The volunteers are adults with learning disabilities and they built the boxes as part of their woodwork classes at the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living on Whitegate Drive.
All of the boxes have now been handed over to the cemetery staff and placed in the tree tops across the 22 acre cemetery which opened back in 1873 on Talbot Road.
The work is the second stage of the partnership work which has seen Layton Cemetery become the ‘best it has been for 40 years’ according to one local councillor.
Layton ward councillor Martin Mitchell used the terms earlier this year when describing the work that the community volunteers, along with low level offenders from the community payback scheme and council officers, had done to keep the area clean and tidy.
The groups carry out grass cutting, trimming of grass edges and picking up litter every Wednesday afternoon, as well as helping a decrepit old mortuary building be transformed into a break out kitchen area for the workers.
With the installation of the new bird boxes, the group is hoping it will help attract more wildlife back to the area too and has already started work on trying to build a host of bat boxes to be ready in the summer.
Brew Room for Cemetery Volunteers
An upgraded building is set to help partners keep Layton Cemetery looking spick and span.
Staff from Layton Cemetery have been working with Community Volunteers, along with low-level offenders from the Community Payback project to help keep the 22 acre cemetery clean and tidy.
Through grass cutting, trimming the grass edges and picking up litter, the two teams have helped the cemetery to become “the best it’s been in 40 years”, according to one local councillor.
They have also transformed a decrepit old building into a break room facility for staff, as well as the volunteers and offenders.
The old mortuary building at the side of the cemetery has been renovated with new floors, working electrics and a lick of paint, so that the workers have a place to shelter during their breaks.
Community volunteers at Layton Cemetery
The Community Volunteers are made up of adults with learning disabilities while Community Payback consists of low-level offenders carrying out manual work to improve the local area, under the supervision of Lancashire Probation Trust.
Shaun Simpson, 45 is one of the Community Volunteers who loves helping at Layton Cemetery.
“I really enjoy it here – this is one of the best places in Blackpool. We do a lot of work around Mansfield Road and picking up rubbish to keep it tidy.”
The work that both groups are carrying out has also been recognised by the local community.
Layton ward councillor Martin Mitchell, said: “The workers have done a great job here and everybody is really impressed with the impact that they’re having.
“Some Layton residents will have seen the community volunteers at Kingscote Park where they did a great job and it’s really good to see them making a difference here.
“It’s a very large cemetery but it means a lot to people and I think that this is the best that it has looked in 40 years.”
More About Layton Cemetery
The Victorian Layton Cemetery was opened in 1873 when Blackpool Parish Church had no more space for burials. It’s bounded by Talbot Road on one side and Mansfield Road on the other side.
It’s a big cemetery – with over 17,000 graves and covering just over 22 acres.
As you stand and look into the cemetery at the main gate on Talbot Road, the Christian graves run through the centre, Catholic graves on the right and non-conformist graves are along the left hand side, with Muslim graves on the far left and Jewish graves further along Westcliffe Drive.
Visiting the Cemetery
If you aren’t able to visit a grave on foot you can access the cemetery by car as long as you keep to the 10mph speed limit.
Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead and you clean up after them.
The cemetery offices are at the main gate, in which the Friends Group are based, and near to the Talbot Road entrance you’ll see the Church of England Chapel.
This is the last of three cemetery chapels and is Grade Two listed, but unfortunately isn’t being used because it is in a poor condition.
Friends of Layton Cemetery
The Friends Group are a voluntary group and they run tours of the cemetery in summer and during Heritage Week in September.
They can also help you to find a particular grave.
Knitted poppies for Remembrance Day at Layton Cemetery
Bird boxes being installed by Nick Tipton at Layton Cemetery
War Graves at Layton Cemetery, photo Denys Barber