Meeting Dates 2017

All meetings to be held at Ley Hill Memorial Hall in the Rear Committee Room (unless specified otherwise)
Start time 7.15pm
Thu 12th January

Thu 2nd March

**DATE CHANGE**
Thur 27th April

Annual Parish Meeting, 19:30, Ley Hill Methodist Chapel

Tue 2nd May
Annual Council Meeting, 18:45

Wed 14th June
19.15 St George’s Church, Tylers Hill

Thu 27th July
Latimer Parish Hall, Latimer

Tue 12th September
Latimer Parish Hall, Latimer

Wed 25th October

Wed 29th November

The Gravediggers Hut, Tylers Hill Burial Ground – a New Year update

Despite the most atrocious weather this year we should complete the rebuild very shortly. As is usual in these projects more rot is found as you take things apart and we had to replace all but one of the main frame base plates before we could even make a start on the major re-cladding work. A number of volunteers have been up there regularly all year putting in a few hours work each time and slowly but surely we have rebuilt the whole hut. We have used traditional methods and replaced things exactly as they were, although I am told that the quality of timber available to us today is not as good as it was 100 years ago.

At the time of writing (see photos) we have completed all the woodwork (with the exception of the windows) and have re-tiled two thirds of the rear roof. It is now time to hand over to the professional roofers who will take care of supplying proper old type matching tiles and finishing the gable front and ridge sections. Then we will fit guttering (black plastic, I’m afraid not quite like the original cast iron) and replacement hand made windows.  Inside the hut we will be retaining and displaying numerous tools that have been used over the past century, many of these are blacksmith made items that probably came from the local forge.

Potted History of the Gravedigger’s Hut

Following Chesham Cemetery’s decision to double burial fees for people from outside of the Town Council area, Latimer Parish Council wrote to Lord Chesham hoping he might donate some land for a village burial ground. That was in 1902 and the Lord was amenable to the request but due to certain legal requirements and formalities the conveyance of the plot was not completed until March 1905. The land was described at the time as being a garden/orchard of 1 rood and 23 perches in size.  The Bishop of Oxford performed a consecration ceremony at the site on 27th January 1906.

Mr H.J.Hills of Tylers Hill was appointed the first gravedigger at a rate of 6/6 per 7 feet deep grave, half price for infant plots. The first person buried was a Mr. George Loten, a licensed victualler, who died aged 62 years at Charing Cross Hospital. He was buried on November 22nd 1906 in a common grave number 231 in the consecrated area behind the church. There are several unmarked common graves in that area, and the nearest memorial is that of Albert and Annie Hardacre, who are buried approximately 2 grave plots to the right of Mr. Loten’s grave. This area is only a few feet in front of the hut.

The Gravedigger's HutThe councillors soon decided a “Tool House” was required and Jessie Mead’s estimate of £27/10/- was accepted, this price to exclude the cost of the concrete base and brickwork footings. The building was completed by 1907 when the council agreed to settle Mr Mead’s final bill of £28/15/- including some “trestles etc.”

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The hut is owned by the Parish Council and they agreed to sponsor the rebuild within a budget of £2000. By using volunteer labour this has been achieved and the refurbished hut should be open and ready for use by the gardeners and gravediggers by the end of the year.

Great skills to the project have been applied by Cliff Wardle, John McManus, Richard Pearce and Lindsay Faulkner with further assistance being given by Mike Appleby, John West and Brain Hutchins. Richard and Chris Tramp agreed to apply their professional roofing skills at an advantageous rate for which we are extremely grateful and allowed us to keep within the strict budget.

Should anyone wish to look over the project please contact me.

Neil Lamond 01494 774996.

4th November 2012