Salford, Agecroft Cemetery: Kelly & Ronnie Williams April 2013

Salford’s Agecroft Cemetery, opened in 1903 and was originally called the Northern Cemetery.  The cemetery was created due to concern that Weaste Cemetery would soon be at capacity.  The cemetery is on the banks of the river Irwell and an embankment was included in the design to prevent flooding.  A more comprehensive history of the cemetery can be found here.

We last visited around Christmas when many of the graves at Agecroft Cemetery are brightened with flowers, candles, Christmas cards and other small gifts.  I always like to walk and take a look around Salford’s cemeteries at this time of year, you get a real sense of a community that remembers.

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Agecroft Cemetery

There are many memorial benches at Agecroft Cemetery but this particular one caught my eye because of the sentiment on the plaque, the family are keeping memories alive and tell us ‘You are not forgotten’ because they reminisce ‘And speak of you often.’

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WE MENTION YOUR NAME AND SPEAK OF YOU OFTEN GOD BLESS YOU MAM YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.  KELLY & RONNIE WILLIAMS TOGETHER AGAIN APRIL 2013 “THE WARHORSE”

Kelly and Ronnie Williams are reunited on this bench.  I was intrigued by the words, ‘The Warhorse.’  Presumably this is a nickname and suggests someone with a strong character, someone with a long experience of battling through life, working hard to the end and succeeding.

 

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Ashdown Forest:Luke Power & Tom Dawes July / Nov 1994 -14/09/2014

On a sandy ridge in the High Weald of East Sussex is a beautiful woodland.  A Norman deer hunting forest, today Ashdown Forest is visited by walkers and those seeking the places that inspired AA Milne and the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.  Ashdown Forest is a stunning combination of woodland primarily made up of sweet chestnut, hazel, alder, silver birch, oak and Scots pine and open heathland with heather and low-growing shrubs.

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Looking over Ashdown Forest

It was a sunny early spring day when we climbed out of our campervan to explore this natural area.  Finding this memorial bench to Luke Power, 20, from Turners Hill, and Tom Dawes, 19, from Forest Row, I wanted to know more about these two young men.  Luke Power and Thomas Dawes were both motorcyclists who very sadly died following a collision with a Range Rover at Chuck’s Hatch on the B2026 at its junction with Wren’s Warren on Sunday 14 September 2014.

Linda Dawes, the mother of Tom Dawes movingly said, ‘Life goes on but Thomas will never be forgotten. He will always be loved and in our hearts and thoughts forever.  He was born to be wild.’

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Luke Power Tom Dawes July/Nov 1994 – 14/09/2014 In Loving Memory of Our Boys.  Truly Loved & Dearly Missed.  Forever In OUr Hearts & Thoughts.  Never Forgotten By All Their Family and Devoted FReidns XxXxXxX

The death of Luke Power and Tom Dawes at such a young age clearly devastated their family and also touched their friends.  The memorial bench I stumbled upon was erected following a collection at a memorial football match between a team of Sackville School teachers, led by Luke’s brother, and a team from the Forest Row Football Club.  The match raised the money to erect the bench near the spot where the two young men died.

Local bikers and friends arranged a memorial ride on a glorious September day.  One friend posted photographs on Facebook and paid tribute to the two bikers, writing, ‘If Tom Dawes and Luke Power could have been in there today they would’ve been in their element! Such a lovely day and an amazing turnout. Rest In Peace Boys.’  The photographs show a banner, ‘We ride together, We die together, Burn rubber not your soul, Our ‘Lukey’ Our ‘Tom’ see you in your garage.’  The number of people at the event show how loved and missed the two are.