The Restoration and Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries – some welcome news.

In our recent blog, The Future of our Cemeteries – the debate continues. We wrote “It is not enough to  stand idle and wring ones hands. The Deane Road project has led the way. The 250th anniversary of the Brady Street Cemetery would be a good time for others to take up the challenge.”  The Sunderland Jewish Community has done just that…….”

We have been advised of a recent message on the Sunderland Jewish Community Facebook site by Stephen Levey which states that some remedial work has been completed at the Ayres Quay cemetery and the weeds have been cut down. Tombstones, both upright and broken are being protected.

Stephen Levey has been instrumental in getting action on Ayres Quay which has laid abandoned and neglected for at least 50 years and probably longer. [Our thanks to Mr D Gordon for providing this very welcome news.]

Photos of Ayres Quay before the weeding and tidying can be seen here and photos of the few visible tombstones at that time are here

If anyone living nearby is able to obtain photos of the cemetery as it is now, we would appreciate being able to add them to our collection to highlight what can be achieved.

5 comments for “The Restoration and Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries – some welcome news.

  1. Tracie Oliver
    May 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I have visited Ayres Quay today. . It is in a terrible condition. Please someone do something about it.

  2. David
    July 1, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Do you know that this cemetery was last used over 150 years ago. Nobody has been buried there since 1856. It has been utterly derelict and abandoned since at least 1956 and probably long before then. Of course it would be nice to something about it but the Jewish cemetery at Bishopwearmouth is a more urgent concern. Although there has been no Jewish community in Sunderland since 2006 burials still take place at Bishopwearmouth. There are at least 900 headstones. I know as I have photographed every one of them.

  3. ADMIN
    July 2, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you Tracie, perhaps you can get a local group of volunteers together to try and do something about it? Much has been achieved in this way.

  4. ADMIN
    July 2, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Hi David,
    Yes indeed, although it would be nice to think that all can be preserved. However, given the costs of the continued upkeep of the now ‘unused’ cemeteries there is something to be said for leaving them undisturbed and allow nature/wildlife to have a place there too. To some extent this also protects from acts of vandalism.
    Bishopswearmouth is still in use, I’m afraid its a long way from me, what is the conditions? I’ll email you direct regarding this.

  5. Jane Johnson
    November 10, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I would be happy to volunteer to clean up this cemetary.

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