Arthur’s Story

I was asked to chair the Friends of Brompton Cemetery. I accepted, since the challenge responded to four of my main interests.

First was history: the place is full of wonderful stories to be discovered, ranging from Emmeline Pankhurst, Richard Tauber, Metropolitan Anthony and John Wisden to Beatrix Potter and the Time Machine. Second was restoration – after long periods of relative neglect, decay and a closed, leaking Chapel, the cemetery was crying out for help.Third was community involvement, and fourth was the need for effective management, which had been a strong interest in my career. Four selfish reasons for saying Yes!

As chair of the Friends of Brompton Cemetery for the last 21 years, I have tried to provide the leadership and drive to establish them as an effective and growing organisation. When recruiting new volunteers we emphasise that we want our work to be enjoyable and personally fulfilling in ways which suit each individual. We want people to have fun and companionship, while enabling our organisation to deliver serious contributions to the cemetery and public well-being.

Having work matching my interests and which I can share with my wife and family is very positive for me. My interest in cemeteries makes me a family joke, with visits to children living abroad usually starting with a trip to the local cemetery or crematorium. I continue to learn much from meeting all sorts of people and from the cemetery’s wonderfully rich tapestry.

If to any extent I have helped others to find personal development, satisfaction and enjoyment in volunteering in or visiting the cemetery that would be wonderful. The cemetery is a place for the living, and such a joy when more and more people come to find how it can respond to their own interests and needs.

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