This post follows on from the previous. To find out why I found myself wandering in Jesmond Cemetery you'll have to read that. Go on, you know you want to! And while you're there, skip back another post to read a Christmas story I wrote. It's full of typos and things to tweak. Unless I've already done that. I've been told that it should be published. Being told is the easy part. Achieving the act is the harder.
I've pulled out my trusty book about the graveyards of Newcastle. I'm glad such a book exists. Much praise to the author, Alan Morgan. He tells me that St. Andrew's was consecrated on 25th October 1858 at a time when there was no housing in the area and there was no railway line - the original Jesmond station wasn't opened until 1864. If I carry on like this I will start to sound like a nerd. There's nothing wrong with that. My favourite uncle, who sadly died this year, was a self-defined nerd. Until his death - and for a few weeks afterwards - he wrote a daily blog subtitled "Thoughts and Memories of a Happy Nerd" covering all the nerdy aspects of his life. It's worth browsing.
I've been wondering about my own blog recently. The title "Reborn as Woman" and the name "A Woman Reborn" are both true and always will be. I am transgender and that's not a movable feast. When I began the blog I envisaged it as a blog about my path through the transition process. It didn't work out that way and these days being transgender is way down on the list of things in my life that I find exciting. I will always be absolutely glad that I admitted the truth and embraced myself as Clare. I wouldn't ever go back to being him. But as I live life my passion lies elsewhere than the fact of being transgender.
I'm wondering therefore about giving this blog a brand new title. Or even starting a brand new blog somewhere. Something new. My uncle had 535 followers on his very nerdy blog. I have 2. Yep. Two. Maybe a new start, a new site. There is another one. I've posted three times on it and have about 30 followers. I haven't made any decisions as whether to detour to another blog.
That's an unsubtle link back to this post. A detour to the cemetery. Here come the photos. I haven't edited any of them. At all. Not even a crop. This artist is very lazy!
My graveyard book lists sixteen graves of interest and provides information about the men and women buried there. I will have to go and find them all. The grave above is one of them. You see the name there of Ralph Hedley. He was an artist and wood engraver. His paintings can be seen in the Laing Gallery and much of the wood in St. Nicholas Cathedral was engraved by him, including the Bishop's throne.
This next tomb is in the book too. It holds many members of the Barawitzka family. The book mentions Gustavo Barawitzka who ran the Criterion Restaurant. He was an immigrant from Italy and didn't obtain British nationality for 25 years. Were he alive now he would be demonised by members of Britain First, the spoken words of men like Nigel Farage, and the written words of tatty rags like The Daily Mail.
This is a sad one. Here's a massive marble memorial with space for lots of family names. It's an impressive object. But not a happy one. Because it only contains one name.
Teresa Gaya Samuels. I don't know what happened that meant the rest of the marble wasn't filled. I guess that if I were to put in some serious research I'd find an answer. Google isn't telling. Here's Blob Thing and Teresa. I wonder who she was and why her name is alone.
I walked through a gap in the wall and found myself here. This is the Jesmond Community Orchard. It's rather lovely and made a fine addition to the peace of the cemetery. If you get a chance, pay it a visit.
I'll finish this post with a few pictures from the orchard. Next time we'll be back to the cemetery for another set of photos. Unfortunately I can't offer you a photo of the grave of Eileen Maud Blair. She was the first wife of George Orwell. I can't show you the grave of William Curtis - after whom a lecture theatre was named.
I won't even be able to show you the grave of Sir George Burton Hunter. See why I have to return to the cemetery? He's a pretty famous local man - a ship builder and head of the Swan & Hunter company which made ships including the Mauretania. Yes, I have to return. Soon. And then head out on a quest to see every cemetery of Newcastle. Jolly isn't it?!