Okay, I am totally guilty of alliteration abuse to suit my own purpose, I know – so sue me – (Please don’t – it’s just a figure of speech) but I just had to find a way to share these wonderful pics that I was lucky enough to capture yesterday and it isn’t Sunday; so, guilty as charged, Your Honour. Do everyone a favour; take me down and throw away the key.
I mean, come on… this is Autumn on a plate right here, right?
As much as it saddens me that the nights are pulling in and the Swallows have all but disappeared to toastier Southern climes, I have to ‘fess up: Autumn/Fall is one of my most favourite times of the year. What’s not to love? Apart from the futile battle I have with the constantly-swirling leaves whipping up outside my front door like a mini red and russet tornado and kids splattering unfulfilled pumpkins down my driveway, I couldn’t love this season any more: Halloween, Bonfire Night, adverts promising the delivery of your new sofa by Christmas – you just know Winter is coming…
No, not now, Jon; wrong blog.
Sorry folks. He knows nothing.
Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Autumn and its plethora of colours and ability to assault the senses in every which way it cares to; don’t you just love it? I do.
Here in my little-but-mysterious home (fishing) town of Grimsby (It’s near Hull if anyone asks) we don’t have a wealth of scenery for us amateur ‘togs to practice honing our minimal skills: there’s the old pontoon/docks and seafront (where I have taken many a ghostly snap. Check out my sister blog Crimes in Wonderland) and some rather flat scrawling plains that doubles as Lincolnshire, but one of my most favourite places is Scartho Road Cemetery.
Look, I know it’s a bit macabre, but to me, it’s a place of peace and reflection and when the local council workers aren’t knocking over gravestones with their ride-on mowers, it’s a wonderful place to take a stroll and remember those we’ve lost; and to pay our respects to those that didn’t make it back.
My beloved Nana and Grand Dad are laid to rest there ; together. My cousin, Great Grandparents, friends and older relatives that I didn’t have chance to meet all sleep in the same place – as do many of my family and friend’s loved ones too – so we visit often. Sometimes on our own, sometimes together, but there’s one thing you can guarantee when treading the dusty paths through this sacred place: you’re never alone.
When the sun is shining – which, granted, doesn’t happen all that often here – this place is a beautiful, serene, garden of ghosts that you can’t help feeling at one with; but don’t be scared. As my lovely Nana used to say: “It’s the living you want to be worried about, not the dead.”
There’s so many things to love about this local burial ground.
From its carefully manicured hedges that hide leaking taps for visitors to fill their moss-carpeted water bottles, to the sound of children’s laughter and frustrated ref’s whistles wafting across from the nearby school and playing fields (where I have spent many happy hours playing hockey and football and tormenting said frustrated refs), I have half a lifetime of memories of this place; some sad, but mostly fondly recollected. And strangely, when I am feeling down, it’s my ‘go to’ spot.
It’s as if it’s calling me home – or reminding me that I am still alive.
But in amongst the marble placeholders of mine and my fellow townsfolk’s history, lies another purpose. An inadequate-yet-well-intentioned tribute to the men and women that lost their lives – some never getting chance to return to their homeland – casualties from the First and Second World Wars.
563 persons are honoured here. Girls, boys, men and women – all too young to be resting in this beautiful place that most never called home – guarded by the ever watchful but always respectful flowers of peace; surrounded by grateful Grimbarians that probably owed them their lives.
This tiny fishing town on the coast saw more than its fair share of battles at sea, butterflies and bombers during both wars; killing many fishermen and service men & women, but also German Prisoners held at the nearby Weelsby War Camp and innocent civilians just doing their bit for the effort. We took it hard, we bear the scars, but we survived and still generations live on.
For those that don’t, we still remember.
And we thank you.
You might not be resting where you hail from, but to us, you can always call this place your home.