“Adopt a grave” plan for Rake Lane Cemetery as supporters unveil new security measures for chapel

YOUNGSTERS could be asked to “adopt a grave” to safeguard the future of a Wallasey cemetery.

The Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery have come up with the plan three years after youths smashed hundreds of graves in the cemetery causing £400,000-worth of damage.

They are lining up talks with Scouts and other youth organisations about taking on responsibility for tending to some of the cemetery’s 2,000 graves.

The Friends, who formed in October 2006, hope the project would encourage young people in Wallasey to have more respect for the historic cemetery, which opened in 1883, and reduce the likelihood of further vandalism.

Last August its chapel was also targeted by vandals, destroying stained glass windows and smashing an altar.

Chairman of the Friends of Rake Lane Mark Joynson, said: “Hopefully some local groups are going to look at adopting a grave. I think it would cover a range of Scout badges and it would be great if they agree to take it on.

“The possibilities are endless. So much of Wallasey’s History is in the cemetery and it’s important that we look after it.”

Last month the building was fitted with security lights, cameras and iron bars across windows, using funding from Wirral Partnership Homes and Liscard’s area forum.

Mark added: “The next stage is to try to get funding to install a toilet in the chapel, which will cost something like £8,000.”

New Brighton councillor Tony Pritchard said: “I think the idea of getting young people to adopt a grave is a great one, which would encourage them to have respect for the cemetery.

“It would also be good to have someone looking out for certain graves that don’t have any family members tending to them.

“Obviously it’s something we need to discuss with the council because of any health and safety issues surrounding the headstones.

“I think what the Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery have done so far with the cemetery is fantastic.”

An open meeting of the Friends of Rake Lane will take place on Monday, March 2 at Earlston Library, Wallasey, starting at 7pm.

The latest developments, including security issues, will be discussed.

For more information visit www.wallaseycemetery.co.uk