The cemetery currently in use is on West Avenue, off the Wynd (A1068) which is the entrance to Amble from the North of the region.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it became obvious that Amble’s original Cemetery to the East of the town would not be sufficient for the increasing population and could not be easily expanded due to the possibility of coastal erosion. Therefore land was purchased at the West of the town; 11 acres of which were drained and landscaped for just under £4000- a considerable figure in 1903.
The Cemetery opened for burials in 1905. The entrance has a stone fountain dedicated to Mr W. Gibson, Clerk to the original Burial Board and Surveyor to Amble Urban Council.
The original site contained consecrated and unconsecrated areas and a mortuary. The mortuary building still stands but it is many years since it was used for this purpose and at present it is a valuable machinery and tool store. Over the years Amble Urban Council and lately Amble Town Council have obtained further areas of land to ensure interments can continue for the townspeople well into the 21st century.
In order to accommodate people’s wishes, the Cemetery has expanded to include a children’s section, areas for the interment of cremated remains and, to the west of the original cemetery, a natural burial area.
This was opened in late summer 2011. There is an increasing demand for this type of burial alongside cremation and normal interment and Councillors felt it was right to offer the townspeople as wide a choice as possible. Whilst still relatively new, in time it will become a beautiful copse as shrubs and wild flowers will be planted as part of the interment procedures. It is hoped these will become a haven for birds, insects etc. provided the rabbits and occasional deer allow them to grow to maturity!
In this natural area we will not allow marking of the grave in any way and no planting of flowers will be permitted. We understand that mourners may wish to place floral tributes on the area at the time of the interment- these will be left in place for up to 14 days then removed. No further flowers etc will then be allowed.
The placement of a memorial plaque on the commemoration monument placed near this area will be included in the interment cost. In Summer 2011, a new memorial monument was installed at Amble West Cemetery to commemorate those interred in the Natural Burial area of the Cemetery. This was made possible by a bequest from the late Councillor J.M. Hedley who served on Amble Town Council for over 25 years.
Family often move away from the area and find they can no longer tend their loved one’s grave; natural burial is the way to ensure that they are in an area which will remain beautiful for years to come for as shrubs mature and are tended, if needed replacements will be planted to keep the area flourishing.
Some families wish to make donations of seats or plants and shrubs in memory of their loved ones- we are always very grateful for their kind and generous offer but it must be discussed first as we have a duty of care to ensure that the gift takes into consideration all aspects of public safety.
WEST CEMETERY INFORMATION
To purchase a grave, an application form has to be completed. The form asks for the full name and address of the purchaser who must be 18 years or over. This is important as the deeds will be made out in the name given and can only be amended after issue by the completion of declarations and payment of additional fees. This can be carried out with the help of your Funeral Director.
Once the application has been completed and the necessary payment made, a receipt will be issued to the purchaser and the Register of Grave Purchases will be updated. The official ‘deeds’ to the grave are sent out usually within 3 months of the application. It is important the correct grave is applied for so please contact us if there are any queries over any aspect of the process.
Deeds are important documents and should be treated as such. Grave owners must ensure that the deeds to their grave are kept in a safe place. Duplicate deeds will not be issued if they become lost or mislaid. Should any owner wish to assign his deeds to another, this can only be done by applying to the Council. Both the grave owner and the intended ‘new’ owner must confirm that they are happy for this transfer to go ahead and to pay the appropriate fee. New deeds are not produced as a result of this, but a note is made in the register of grave owners, for future reference.
Fixed memorials are only permitted on graves where the exclusive rights to the grave have been purchased. If the Grave Deed is not available, the process will be delayed whilst ownership is confirmed.
Only qualified masons who are registered with the Council are permitted to carry out such works within the Council’s cemeteries. Monumental masons must have the required public liability insurance cover before carrying out any work on behalf of grave owners.
Before any work is permitted, a grave owner must give his/her consent on the form which must be submitted to the Council office by the mason who will be carrying out the work. This form asks for details as to the work to be undertaken, the grave number and section. All forms are checked before being processed.
In older sections where family wish to replace, or put in place, a memorial, often the original deed is not to hand. Council will make every attempt to assist in these cases by searching records to try and establish ownership and then the applicant will need to prove their relationship to the owner before the work can be authorised. If it emerges that several family members exist who could also claim ownership, then these will need to be consulted and agree for the transfer to proceed.
In the late 19th and early 20th century it was not uncommon to have unrelated babies or very young children buried in different areas of one grave space- in this instance endeavours will be made to trace each family involved for agreement to erect a monument. Each case is judged on an individual basis before Council authorise the erection of a monument.
It is the grave owner’s responsibility to ensure that any memorial is kept in a good and safe condition. Most masons will provide insurance cover but you may need to ask.
No unauthorised memorials or mementoes are permitted on any grave.
Older Sections Kerbs and concrete/chippings within the kerbs were allowed in these areas in the past but are not to be replaced due to health and safety considerations. These areas are time consuming and difficult to maintain. Any new graves in the future will be excavated as Lawn Graves.
Lawn graves All new graves are lawn type graves and are excavated for two bodies or one body and 2 cremated remains caskets unless specified otherwise. Memorials are permitted within guidelines. A planting area of 0.75m by 0.23 m approx. (2’6” by 9” approx.) in front of the memorial is available for bedding plants only. No kerbs are allowed in these sections to facilitate grounds maintenance.
Childen’s Sections Designated areas for the interment of babies/children are available. A smaller plot is available for the burial of one child. In exceptional cases where the burial of non-viable foetal remains has previously taken place, it may be possible to accommodate a further burial.
Cremated Remains Sections Due to the demand for something more permanent by way of memorial, or the comfort of knowing that your loved ones will be ‘together’ when
the time comes, you can arrange to have ashes interred in a grave in a cemetery.
Ashes may be buried in full graves. New full graves would need to be purchased in advance of the burial. If there is an existing used grave and space is available, ashes can be buried here provided the
right of burial is valid.
The cremated remains grave spaces are smaller than that for full graves and the deeds to the grave must be obtained before any fixed memorial is allowed. Memorials are permitted, but size restrictions are in place. It must be noted that no full body burials can take place in these sections.
Natural Burials These are only allowed using the services of a Funeral Director as there are laws which must be adhered to regarding the preparation method of the body and the type of casket used.
The interments take place in an area where there are no designated pathways and no memorials or markers are permitted. Shrubs are planted and allowed to grow to 2 metres to create a natural area.
Whilst there is sufficient land for future interments, it is possible to reserve a plot in this area.
A stone memorial , situated near to the area, has dedication plaques placed on it. The cost of displaying these is included in the interment fee.
Things you need to know to enable an interment to take place
The body or ashes must be in a wooden or biodegradable casket, which bears a name-plate and date of death of the deceased. In the case of Ashes, a cremation certificate, given to you after the cremation, is also required. For natural burials, only a biodegradable casket is permitted.
The Council Office needs to be contacted to arrange a booking for a date and time for the interment to take place. A minimum of 48 hours notice is needed to allow time for the grave to be prepared and for the paperwork to be completed.
A ‘Notice of Interment’ form, which you will receive from the Office must be completed and signed by the person applying for the interment. In any instance where the deeds to the grave have been purchased, the grave owner or his/her representative must be the person responsible for doing this.
Deeds have to be brought to the Office, with the notice of burial. Should the deeds be misplaced or lost a signed declaration will have to be submitted with the notice of burial. A fee will be charged.
A Funeral Director can help with all these procedures; however you can carry them out yourself.
If the interment is to be carried out without the services of a Funeral Director known to the Council, the fees for the interment must be paid before 10am on the day prior to the proposed burial. (Burials booked for a Monday, fees must be paid by 10am on the Thursday before.)
If you are not using a Funeral Director, on the day of the burial you will be met by a member of staff who will show you to the graveside and carry out the interment.
It is understandable, given this emotional time that the majority of people will have funeral arrangements made via a chosen Funeral Director. Most Funeral Directors offer pre-payment plans to help spread the costs of burial/cremation which can prove to be expensive.
Many people leave instructions with their families/representatives as to their wishes as to what happens next when they die with a view to making the process easier.
It is your right to organise a funeral without the use of a Funeral Director, however their services will be required if the body is to be embalmed. It is your right to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital etc, in order to carry out a funeral without a Funeral Director.
A civil funeral is a celebration reflecting the wishes of the deceased and their family. It is a personal and dignified tribute, created by a professional celebrant who works closely with the family or executor and Funeral Director. The ceremony is appropriate for cremated remains or burials in a burial ground as the civil funeral may be held anywhere except religious buildings and churches.
The celebrant will aim to create a highly personal ceremony with the help of family and / or friends, recounting the person’s experiences, attributes and qualities using music, poetry, readings and personal anecdotes. Your funeral director will be able to provide information on local celebrants who can lead the funeral.
Searching the Records
We receive many requests to search burial records. This can involve a considerable amount of time and a fee is charged accordingly. Please help us by providing as much information as you can when making requests for searches. Identifying the date of death or within five years of the date of death is of great assistance to us when searching through our records.
If you wish to visit our office to arrange a search through records, it is advisable to contact us by telephone or email prior to your proposed visit to confirm that a member of staff will be available.
To search by post, please send details to the Council Office.
Cheques should be made payable to Amble Town Council.