Arnos Vale

In a a moment I’ll be off to the opening ceremony at Arnos Vale cemetery, which is featured in today’s Guardian. It’s a shame the Guardian piece doesn’t elaborate on quite what a battle it was to wrest ownership of the cemetery from the developer – how the volunteers set up stall outside the cemetery gates for many years, raising funds for its upkeep, fighting legal battles, before the developer was finally forced to transfer ownership and then a £5 million plus grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund meant that restoration work could begin.

I’ve paid tribute on here before to the work of Richard and Joyce Smith; sadly Richard died recently, after a long battle with cancer, but he lived long enough to know that his dream of seeing Arnos Vale restored and open to the public in all its gothic glory was about to be realised. If you have never visited, you really should; it’s a stunning place.

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