St Ives Churchyard Project

Leadgate Task Force, at the request of Fr. David Cleugh, agreed to take on the task of clearing and preparing the plot in St Ives Churchyard that had historically been where stillborn babies had been buried without markers.


Fr. David Cleugh and the Church Wardens at the overgrown site

After the initial visit to assess the task work began on Friday 7th April 2017 with the initial clearance of brambles, low branches, general overgrowth, and removal of large stones. Two volunteers; Janet Lavery and Lennie Curry hacked their way through the undergrowth for 4 hours (8 man hours) and in total managed to fill 14 large sacks of waste which were taken to the Council Dump in Stanley.

A Memorial headstone was uncovered from the undergrowth of 5 month old Alan Coombe who sadly died in a house fire at Pont Bungalows on 4th November 1965.

Day 1-1

Memorial to Alan Coombe aged 5 months

The bulk of the work was done over the Easter weekend, 13th -17th April 2017 inclusive, when Janet worked 23 hours assisted by Lennie 8 hours and Chris McCabe 4 hours. This was mainly the digging over and weeding the patch; hard physical work but rewarding as the patch began to take shape.


The final push was completed over the period 19th – 21st April and done by Janet and Lennie saw this project complete and ready to hand back to the Church for the final phase of grassing the site and placing a dedication plaque.

In total the project took over 55 man hours and around 60 large sacks of debris were taken to the Council dump.


The Task Force Chairman Richard Judd with the main workers, Janet and Lennie

The completed site was handed back to Fr. David and the Church Wardens on 3rd May.


Overall a very satisfying project and we look forward to seeing the patch when it has been turfed and the plaque put in place.

David Lavery

Media coordinator