Photo by Dave Miles 2001
The fee for using the Bier was to be 1/- for each journey, the undertaker to return it clean and in good condition.
It would be available for the Church Yard and the Cemetery.
On 20th March 1935 the Bier was found to be in a poor state of repair and it was left in the hands of the Chairman and G.W. Clayton to have the wheels rubbered and thoroughly done up.
31st January 1936 the clerk, J.A. Bell, was instructed to call the attention of the local undertakers to the fact that the Bier provided was for hand use only and not to be towed behind a car.
On 30th September 1944 the Bier had been renovated and re-decorated.
In 1908, a decision to create a Public Cemetery was taken by the Parish Council and piece of land was specifically purchased for this use. The first part of the cemetery, just inside the Lych-gate, was divided into two areas.
- Part one, to the left, was consecrated ground and was reserved for Church of England burials and the area on the right, was no-consecrated ground and was designated for Methodist burials
- The official opening was held in October 1909 – Susannah Rickle was the first to be buried on Methodist side and Betsy Todd on the Church of England side.
January 7th 1910, Mr Maddison asked the council if the new Hand Bier would be available, for hire by the undertaker, to take a newly made coffin to the house of a deceased person.
- At a meeting of the Parish Council, on 17th September 1909, it was proposed that a Hand Bier be purchased.
- October 18th 1909 it was requested that Mr. Marks make a new Bier as per his specification.
At a meeting on 11th December 1953, it was agreed that five shillings would be charged for the use of the Bier.
The last coffin to use the Hand Bier was for Emma Dawson, who died on 3rd October 1964.
When the Bier was not being used it was kept in the Lych-Gate building at the cemetery.
Unfortunately, during January 2000, the Bier went missing. Its whereabouts is still unknown.
Photo by Tony Green
A Lych-gate is a roofed gate at the entrance to a church yard, where, at a funeral, the coffin awaits the officiating clergyman.
The gate was originally built with two rooms each side of the entrance, being designated a Mortuary and Store.
The cost was £93-15s-2d.
Photo by David Miles 2009
The official opening was on held 22nd October 1909, performed by Councillor Everton.
Whether the mortuary was ever used as such, is unknown at this time. Records show that for many years the gate was locked every evening. Tom Bristow, who lived in the Almshouses, was one of the designated persons to lock it up.
The original cemetery area is surrounded by metal fencing.