The Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery are hosting two - yes, two!! - tours of Jesmond Old Cemetery as part of our contribution to the annual success that is the Heritage Open Days initiative in Tyne & Wear. 

Our tours also coincide with National Cemeteries Week, which runs from the 10th - 18th September, and is being promoted by the National Federation of Cemetery Friends as an opportunity to explain to the general public just what Cemetery Friends do.....so come along and find out what we do!!

Our first tour is on Friday 9th September at 14.00 - 16.30 with our second tour taking place on Saturday 10th September at 10.00 - 12.30.

Pre-booking is required but we have increased the numbers of visitors we can accommodate to 40 on each tour..... that's a lot of potential guests but we are confident that we can ensure everyone has a great time.

Please pre-book here: http://jesmondoldcemetery.eventbrite.co.uk 

Meet us at the Jesmond Road entrance entrance to the Cemetery, where we will have refreshments available. No charge but all donations gratefully received.

Come dressed for British summer....... and wear suitable footwear. Unfortunately, due to the design and nature of Jesmond Old Cemetery, disabled access is very limited.


As part of the 175th anniversary celebration of Joe Wilson's birth, the following lovely plans are in place:

The Mayor of Newcastle is supporting the efforts of Joe's Canadian great-grandchildren, Kasandra Keith and George Wilson, to celebrate the Tyneside Bard, with a 'blue plaque' being unveiled at Joe's birthplace in Stowell Street later this year.

Ed Waugh, the Tyneside playwright, has organised a celebration of the 175th anniversary of Joe's birth at the Irish Centre, Gallowgate, Newcastle, just across the street from Joe birthplace, on 29 November 2016. The last few tickets remain on sale from the Irish Centre.

Dave Harker has just completed a full-length and lavishly-illustrated book, The Gallowgate Lad. Joe Wilson's Life & Times.
Dave has published several articles and books on North East songwriters and songs, including Gannin' to Blaydon Races! The Life and Times of George Ridley (Newcastle: Tyne Bridge Publishing, 2012), Songs and Verse of the North East Pitmen, c.1780-1844 (Durham: Surtees Society, 1999) and Songs from the Manuscript Collection of John Bell (Durham: Surtees Society, 1985). 

The Gallowgate Lad is under serious consideration by a Tyneside publisher and there have been 50 pre-orders already, including 6 from the dramatist Lee Hall, but it would greatly help if you could indicate an interest in buying a copy by emailing Dave on d1harker@btinternet.com

Dave will be available for giving talks once the book is published.


The Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery were once again collecting The Chronicle WISH tokens earlier this year - all monies raised will go towards funding a new bench to be situated near to the 'still born' baby area of Jesmond Old Cemetery.

We managed to collect over 6,500 tokens, raising £86.87 in the process, so thank you to everyone who contributed.

Ta. X


In the annual Historic England 'Heritage Angel' awards, sponsored by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery were 'longlisted' from over 160 applications nationwide, just missing out on being one of the 6 finalists. However, the Friends were are awarded a prestigious 'Certificate of Commendation' for their valued work in 'saving Jesmond Old Cemetery'. We are very proud of this award, particularly as Cemeteries are not particularly fashionable in terms of heritage kudos but, hopefully, our work in Jesmond Old Cemetery will help raise awareness of their importance to society on lots of levels.


The efforts of the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery have been recognised in a report by Historic England, entitled 'Heritage Counts'. Read an account of this in The Journal. For a more in-depth insight into the report, click here


Check out the Jesmond Old Cemetery FACEBOOK page; it's run by one of the Friends, Malcolm, and is updated on a regular basis with images and history of the many interesting individuals buried within Jesmond Old Cemetery. 

Just search FACEBOOK for Jesmond Old Cemetery and then send a request to join the group - you won't be disappointed.


Follow this link to read our latest contribution to an article in the Evening Chronicle: 



The 13th of April 2014 was a very special day in the history of the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery as we celebrated the rededication of the Thomas Burt Memorial in some style. In restoring the Burt Memorial, the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery raised nearly £1,700, with the Northumberland area of the National Union of Mineworkers donating £1,000, the City Council's Bereavement Services Department donating £200, Waitrose at Jesmond 'Community Matters' scheme raising £140.66, the Evening Chronicle's 'WISH' campaign donating just over £74.00, with the Friends contributing £278.04.

Local firm, Classic Masonry, restored the Burt Memorial on our behalf and they made a great job of it.

The rededication service was carried out by Reverend Rob Hawkins from the local
Jesmond Methodist Church, with the Backworth Colliery Band and the Heaton Voices Community Choir providing a range of stirring, thoughtful local tunes and songs - a fitting tribute from the local community .

In attendance was
Ian Lavery M.P., who praised the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery for their hard work and dedication in helping to restore not only the Burt Memorial, but the Cemetery in general. Denis Murphy, Secretary of the Northumberland area of the National Union of Mineworkers was also present, as were local Councillors and residents of Jesmond. 

Our campaign to restore the Burt Memorial began in October 2011, when we were contacted by Denis Murphy who asked for our help in locating and restoring the Memorial to such a fine local man. After receiving a generous donation from the Northumberland area of the NUM, we set about raising the rest of the money. One of our first initiatives was to enrol with the
Evening Chronicles' 'WISH' campaign and then we contacted the local Waitrose in Jesmond for financial help via their 'Community Matters' scheme. A kind donation from the City Council and some additional fund raising by the Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery helped us to reach our target. A long 'funding' journey but worth it and testament to the generocity that still exists in these difficult times. 

Check out the fantastic video of the event, filmed by Ian Ground,

Check out The Journal's report on our rededication service


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