City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at Aldersbrook
City of London
Cemetery and Crematorium
Autumn / Winter Newsletter 2011
Heritage in the Cemetery: Ivor Bueb
City Churchyards: St Helen’s Bishopsgate
Spend some time reminiscing
The City of London Cemetery is a
Grade I listed landscape
Welcome from the Cemetery Superintendent & Registrar
An interview with... Amanda Clark
Winter planting in the Cemetery
Remembrance Day event 2011
Christmas Carol Services 2011
Page 10 Heritage in the Cemetery - Ivor Bueb
Page 12 Why not visit... a City Garden?
Page 14 City Churchyards: St Helen’s Bishopsgate
Page 18 Spend some time reminiscing
Welcome to the latest edition of your newsletter. The evenings are closing in and the
sun rises later each day signalling the end of summer. This summer has been a
challenging one as the warm, wet weather has provided perfect growing conditions
for grass and weeds throughout the site, but our staff have worked extremely hard to
maintain standards and we have once again achieved Green Flag and Green
The Green Flag is a benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the
United Kingdom and the Green Heritage Award recognises parks and green spaces
with local and national historic importance. We have been achieving Green Flag
Status since 2000/2001 and were the first Cemetery in the UK to do so. As you can
imagine, we are very proud of these awards as they recognise the hard work that my
managers and staff put in and the enormous effort involved in maintaining a 200
This summer has also seen a few changes within the structure of the City of London.
From mid September 2011 the Cemetery left the Environmental Services Department
and joined the City’s Open Spaces Department. Open Spaces is responsible for
Epping Forest, Wanstead Park, Wanstead Flats, West Ham Park and many other sites
including Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common, City Commons, Hampstead Heath,
Highgate Wood, Queen’s Park and the City Gardens. We are proud to become part
of Open Spaces which is directed by Sue Ireland and has a reputation for
excellence. We wish to thank Director Philip Everett, David Wight and all at
Environmental Services for their support.
Superintendent And Registrar
An Interview With...
Amanda Clark, Bereavement Services Officer
What was your first role at the Cemetery and Crematorium?
I joined the City of London in June 2001 and I worked part time looking after and
administering the section that meets with families when they collect their loved
What role do you do now?
My duties are very varied and have expanded over the last 10 years. I advise and
liaise with Monumental Masons and Funeral Directors on all memorials at the City of
London including those for our Lawn, Traditional and Heritage Graves. Day to day I
am responsible for Memorial Management at the Cemetery, which means I process
permits from Masons to work on our site and ensure that new or repaired memorials
are the correct type, material, size and colour permitted in the chosen allocated
grave area. I also meet with and advise families when they select one of our Burial or
What is the best part of your job?
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I really enjoy meeting people. I feel
a personal sense of achievement
and satisfaction when I’m able to
give advice, help or lift some of the
worries and concerns from families
at a difficult time. I know that lots of
people will think that the Cemetery
team are likely to be solemn and
miserable, but that’s really not the
case, least of all me! As some of the
newsletter readers will have already
encountered, often through the
sadness, we are able to offer
It is always difficult dealing with the public at a time of distress. So working in an
environment helping the bereaved can be both mentally and emotionally
challenging. I guess like everyone, we all have days when situations make us reflect
on our own personal lives.
Tell us more about the charity work you do and why it’s important?
Saint Francis Hospice is an independent charity and one of the largest adult hospices
in the UK and for many years now I have supported them with various fundraising
As I am qualified as a Holistic Therapist, I volunteer at the Hospice offering Indian
Head Massages and Reflexology. One series of events that the Hospice hold are
‘indulgence evenings’ these are always fully booked and extremely popular with
patients, carers and families.
It’s amazing that just chatting with others and sharing information can be so
beneficial. I am a great believer that we learn from life’s experiences. For me it makes
it all worthwhile to be able to make a very small difference to such a worthwhile local
charity and it is only with the continued support, dedication, donations and
volunteers that the hospice achieves their much needed funding.
Winter planting in the
By Michael Bryan, Landscape Manager
Following the popularity of my article in the Spring / Summer newsletter this year, I
thought I would let all our visitors and those connected with the Cemetery know
what will happen in the grounds over the next few months through to Spring 2012.
The winter planting programme will commence in October and as mentioned in
previous editions, the decisions about what to plant are taken by my team and
the Cemetery Superintendent. This winter through to spring of 2012 you will see the
usual gorgeous display of daffodils and crocuses along with the following:
This hardy perennial plant flowers between April and July. The double daisy covers
ground or bedding plots very quickly, but can be used in a variety of locations.
Usually in a pink, red or white colour, with or without a central yellow disk, these
plants can grow up to 12cm or 6 inches at their very best. We will be planting Bellis
in our outer beds, Clive’s Crescent, and the cubed beds in our Memorial Gardens.
This hardy perennial plant flowers between March and May and is a cross
between a common Primrose and the Cowslip. The mass of flowers sit on top
of stout stems and each bloom to about 7cm or 2.5 inches. These plants will be
placed in the beds in front of our office area, in the hedge flower beds, in all the
oval beds and in our baby garden.
This hardy biennial plant flowers between late March and mid June. They are
the only spring bedding plant that can match the height of Tulips and Daffodils
and give us that early rush of spring colour. We will be planting a mixed colour
combination and some varieties are sweetly scented – which is most notable
in the early evening. Wallflowers will appear in our centre beds in the entrance
to the Cemetery and in both the Maltese and Corals Cross in the middle of our
City of London
City of London
Remembrance Day Service 2011
Christmas Carol Services 2011
Cemetery and Crematorium
The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium will
be marking this year’s Remembrance Day with a
brief outdoor service at our World War II memorial.
Friday 11 November at 11am
City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at Aldersbrook, E12 5DQ
Please come along and join us to remember all those who have given their lives so that we
may enjoy our freedom. Our experienced Cemetery team will be more than happy to assist
anyone who may need help with access or mobility.
Please call Jennifer Taylor on 020 8530 2151 or email [email protected]
to register your attendance.
Cemetery and Crematorium
We appreciate that for those who are bereaved or who may
have suffered loss during the festive period, this is a difficult time
of year, so we invite you to come and join us for a sensitive but
Sunday 18 December 2011
Two services - 1.00-1.45 pm and 2.30 - 3.15 pm, held in the Cemetery Church.
Hosted by the City of London, in our beautiful Grade II listed newly renovated Cemetery
Church, Canon Ann Easter will lead an eloquent programme of Carols to celebrate the
Christmas spirit. The music and solo pieces will be provided by the amazing talents of the
children of the Newham Music Trust.
Our Carol Services are free of charge to attend but are extremely popular, so please ensure
you book your place early to avoid disappointment. To secure your place(s) contact
Jennifer Taylor on 020 8530 2151 or email [email protected]
Ivor is most famous for sharing the winning Works Jaguar D-Type with Mike Hawthorn
in the 1955 Le Mans 24 hour race. No recognition was given to the Jaguar team for
this victory due to a dreadful accident that occurred during the race. A Mercedes
Works car was chasing the leading Jaguar when it collided with a barrier and burst
into flames killing the driver and 120 spectators in a nearby grandstand. This has
been renowned as one of the worst accidents in the history of Motorsport.
Ivor repeated his Le Mans success in 1957 with partner Ron Flockhart in an ex-works
Ecorie Ecosse race car. He competed in six Championship Formula 1 races in total,
but failed to score any points.
Ivor died in 1959, aged just 36, from injuries he sustained crashing his BRP CooperBorgward Formula 2 car at the Charade Circuit in Clermond - Ferrand in France.
Photos ‘Ian Frost, 500 Owners Association’
Heritage in the Cemetery:
By Spencer Lee, Crematorium Manager
During the spring and summer in 2011 we held some very successful Heritage
Walks in the Cemetery and we intend to hold more in 2012. The dates for these
will be available on our website shortly www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/cemetery and
we suggest you secure your place early to avoid disappointment by calling our
Bereavement Services team on 020 8530 2151.
One of the newest stories we are delighted to have discovered and have included
in our Heritage walk, is about the racing car driver Ivor Leon John Bueb who is
buried in square 261 in the City of London Cemetery.
Ivor Bueb was born on 6 June 1923 in Dulwich, South London but he later moved
to East Ham in East London. Formerly a garage owner, Ivor started his motor racing
career in 1953 in Formula 3 500cc in a Cooper racing car. He graduated to the
Cooper Works team in 1955, finishing second overall in the British Championships.
Why not visit…
a City Garden?
When you think of the ‘Square Mile’ you usually think of high rise glass buildings and
lots of concrete, but the City of London is also home to around 200 gorgeous little
gardens and beautiful green open spaces.
The majority of these spaces came into being as a result of two key historical events
that changed the geography of the City: the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz. The
devastation caused by both events created small pockets of derelict land, which
were then turned into secluded havens for the City’s community to enjoy. The mazelike network of secret gardens, church yards and plazas support 1400 trees (of over
185 different species) and 200,000 bedding plants, all of which are managed and
cared for by the City of London.
Those seeking a peaceful spot for lunch could explore the hidden delights of St
Dunstan-in-the-East or the Cleary Garden. If you are interested in heritage you could
explore the famous graves in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, or if you are a keen
horticulturist you shouldn’t miss the rose garden at Christ Church Greyfriars or the
bedding displays at Festival Gardens. For more details about walks around
the City spaces or further information on individual gardens please visit
www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/citygardens or call 020 7374 4127 for a walks leaflet
to be posted to you.
Photos ©Hudson’s Heritage Group
St Helen’s Bishopsgate
By Helen Anderson, Marketing and Development Manager with thanks to St Helen’s
Bishopsgate www.st-helens.org.uk and Hudson’s Heritage Group.
The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is steeped in history with over 150
years of the heritage of London contained within its grounds. We hold the remains
of over 30 City churchyards each of which has its own a fascinating story, and as a
collective, tell a tale of the history of London through to the present day.
The creation of the Cemetery back in the mid nineteenth century came about
because of the overcrowding in London’s churchyards. The burial grounds in the City
were widely acknowledged as insanitary and insalubrious, and living conditions for
the residents were poor, hygiene and disease being prevalent. The population in
the City was 900,000 in 1801 reducing to just 127,869 in 1851.
The London Metropolitan Archives has horror stories on record of coffins being
exhumed from churchyards in the middle of the night and sent to a ‘burn house’ to
make room for the newly deceased. In the 1850’s the churchyards and burial grounds
in inner London were closed by a series of Acts of Parliament.
The infrastructure and history of the churches in the City also tell us interesting
information about how the Cemetery came about and why we house remains
and memorials from City Churchyards. In a similar way to the high rise glass and
architecturally inspiring buildings we see on the City skyline today, before the
Great Fire of London in 1666 there were over a hundred church spires and towers
dominating the landscape. 97 of these were parish churches that fell within the walls
of the City. The Great Fire destroyed 89 of these churches and a significant amount
of the previously standing infrastructure. Sir Christopher Wren along with the City
authorities was responsible for planning the re-building of the City after the fire and
following an Act of Parliament passed in 1670, it was decided that 51 of the destroyed
churches were to be re-built. Of these new churches built in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries, many were then destroyed by enemy bombing during the
Second World War and by terrorist bombing campaigns during the 1990’s. Today,
a mere 38 survive but if you take a walk around the City you will see from the street
names, courtyards and City Gardens (have a look at the article on page 12 that the
heritage of their existence continues.
The Church with its collection of medieval and Tudor monuments to City dignitaries,
is known as the ‘Westminster Abbey of the City’. Inside are many fifteenth and
seventeenth century funerary monuments, including the tomb-chest of Sir Thomas
Gresham, who died in 1579, founder of the Royal Exchange and Gresham College;
monument to Sir Andrew Judd (d.1558) Lord Mayor and founder of Tonbridge
School; Sir William Pickering, Ambassador to Spain (d.1574) and Sir John Crosby
(d.1475). St Helen’s was also the parish church of William Shakespeare when he lived
in the area in the 1590’s.
Today a white painted gallery has been constructed across the west end and
this now houses an organ by Thomas Griffin dated 1743. The focus of the church
is the south wall where a rich Jacobean pulpit stands on a dais and the font, now
standing at the west end, dates from 1632. The two chancels are separated by an
arch dating from the late 15th century.
The remains of St Helen’s Bishopsgate’s churchyard now reside in the City of London
Cemetery marked by a monument in square 222.
Photos ©Hudson’s Heritage Group
The first in a series of articles about the remains of City Churchyards that are
interred at the City of London Cemetery, we would like to tell you about St Helen’s
St Helen’s Bishopsgate is a large conservative evangelical Anglican church in the
Lime Street ward of the City of London. It is most notable as one of the only monastic
buildings to survive within the walls of the City and also because its location is right
beside the striking ‘Gherkin’ Swiss RE building in St Mary’s Axe. Dating from 1204, St
Helen’s Bishopsgate has an unusual ground plan in that it has two parallel naves
which give it a wide interior, and mean that the church was once two separate
places of worship: a parish church with 15th century Gothic arches and the chapel of
the adjoining Benedictine nunnery. The nunnery was founded by William Fitzwilliam
in the 13th century and dedicated to St Helen and the Holy Cross. St Helen was the
mother of the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, and credited with
discovering the True Cross in the 4th century.
Despite surviving the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the Blitz during World War II,
the church was badly damaged by two IRA bombs in 1992 and 1993. The roof of
the church was lifted, many of the older monuments destroyed and one of the city’s
largest medieval stained glass windows was shattered, but the building has now
been fully restored by Georgian architect enthusiast Quinlan Terry.
Spend some time
By Dr Bill Webster, Grief Specialist www.griefjourney.com
For those whom conversations about ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’ may be difficult,
talking about ‘yesterday’ might be kinder and more appealing option. Memories
can be vitally important and yet we often neglect them, too consumed with
moving forward or dealing with reality.
How many of us have listened (and sometimes groaned to our grandparents) to
elderly relatives telling stories about their early days or what it was like growing up,
only to later crave hearing the stories all over again, or wish that we’d recorded
some of the information before the chance was taken away from us? How
many amazing stories, tales or recipes are lost in time because we take them for
The value of reminiscing can be very powerful – have a think about what you
should record before it’s too late. A collection of memories, may allow you to
participate in the future if you might not be there in person to share it.
Memories can help us come to terms with a situation and put things into
perspective. They help us to broaden our outlook and see that sometimes there is
another way to view things. Today might be a difficult day, but there have been
other better days. Helping someone remember the good days does not deny the
present; it merely serves to put it in a softer context.
As Soren Kierkegaard says, ‘We live life forward, but we understand it backward’.
For the listener, reminiscence has many rewards, not only is there the pleasure of
being helpful to someone, there is the satisfaction of learning and growing from
other’s wisdom and experience.
Why not ask someone close to you to reminisce, ask questions like:
What was it like for you growing up?
What are the happy times you remember?
What are some humorous incidents that you remember?
How did you meet…?
Complete the following sentence – I’ll never forget when we… or I’ll never forget
when we first…
Due to the society we live in, ‘legacies’ are often something that someone who
is facing a life threatening situation thinks about. Perhaps we should all consider
what we might leave our loved ones? It needn’t be material possessions; it
could be a thoughtful investment in things like letters, scrap books, video clips
or mementos. For example, do you rely on current digital technology to store
photographs when a nicer option might be to print and put them into an album
with a timeline or story recorded with them? Or are all your photographs just
sitting in a box with no references, date stamps or indication of the story?
The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium at Aldersbrook is provided by the
City of London Corporation which is a uniquely diverse organisation in that it not only
promotes and supports the City, and provides it with a full range of services but also
provides wider services for London and for the nation as a whole.
City of London Cemetery & Crematorium at Aldersbrook
Aldersbrook Road London E12 5DQ
Tel: +44 (0)20 8530 2151 Fax: +44 (0)20 8530 1563
Winter Open Hours: From 1 October 2011 until 30 March 2012 open from 9am – 5pm.
Cemetery Site Opening Times Christmas and New Year 2011-2012:
Sunday 25 December 9am - 3pm
Monday 26 December 9am - 3pm
Tuesday 27 December 9am - 5pm
Sunday 1 January 9am - 3pm
Monday 2 January 9am - 5pm
NB: The Cemetery Office will not be open on any of the bank holidays.