8:42am Monday 7th January 2013
ON my way to Heaton Fold, I noticed that burials had begun in the “new” cemetery, with several graves occupied and waiting to be occupied.
I also noticed on closer inspection that they are all on an angle. I presume they are facing Mecca (I stand corrected if I am mistaken on this point)? The unoccupied graves were all very shallow with just enough depth for one body, or so it seemed.
I went to the old cemetery and found that the graves there (beautifully tended, I might add), also on an angle, just hold one body. Can an island the size of Britain sustain this practice? No wonder Bolton Council is straying onto farmland to extend its burial grounds. How long before this field is full — where to go then?
Thinking of farmland and this field, my parents farmed just across the valley, where the Ladybridge housing estate stands. In 1957, our cattle contracted foot and mouth disease. They were shot and buried on the land.
The farm where the new cemetery lies was worked by Eric Bailey. He had sold his cows in readiness but before he could sell his pigs, they were struck down with foot and mouth, subsequently shot and buried in this field. I wonder if the grave diggers have come across their bones yet?
D Syddall Bolton
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