Memorial garden planned at cemetery dedicated to babies and children
A memorial garden dedicated to babies and children is to be created at a Black Country cemetery.
The Friends of Lye and Wollescote Cemetery Chapels has begun fundraising to create a special area in the grounds where parents can reflect upon their loss and grief.
It came after volunteers working to clear the grounds located the graves of more than 500 stillborn babies who were buried between the late 1890s and the late 1990s.
They want a way to remember all of the babies and children that were laid to rest at the cemetery since it first opened in 1879.
They are aiming to raise £2,000 to create the memorial garden, which will include a bench and hope to start work next month, so it can be completed by the summer.
Organiser Gelda Timm said the discovery of the stillborn babies came after she helped a family locate the grave of their daughter Isabella who had been buried there more than 40 years ago.
"Last year I saw this family with balloons walking through the cemetery and they were looking for the grave of their daughter.
"They knew she had been buried there but they didn't know exactly where.
"I went through the records and located the grave.
"I could see how much joy, and sadness, that finding the grave brought to the family.
"They live in Scotland so the friends tend to the grave for them now.
"I decided to research all of the graves and discovered there were well over 500 stillborn babies buried there.
"At the time the babies would have buried together and parents wouldn't have known exactly where their child was buried.
"I've spent hours researching these babies and it's been very upsetting but it's made me determined to do something to remember these little babies.
She added: "When I saw what it meant to the family, nobody could fail to be moved by it. We decided to create a memorial garden."
To help raise money towards to creating the garden volunteers are holding a stall at a Christmas fair taking place at Beech Tree Social & Welfare Club, in Wassell Road, Stourton, near Stourbridge, from 12.30pm on Sunday.
Anyone wanted to find out more about the memorial garden or get involved in the project can contact the Friends group via their Facebook page or the website tflwc.org.uk
Opened in 1879 by the Lye and Wollescote Burial Board, the cemetery, which covers just under nine and a half acres, was passed over to the council in 1933.
The recently restored chapels are now known as the Thomas Robinson Building,