Friday, July 17, 2009

It's The Old War Of The Roses Thing

Following yesterday's blogpost, Willow asked whether I had inherited Uncle Harry's "sweet tenor voice"? As anyone who has ever had the misfortune of hearing me sing will know, the answer is "no". But as I suggested in a post last week, I may have inherited a burial plot from him, or at least from his father, Abraham Moore. On Monday I drove over to Bradford to see if I could find grave E988 in Bowling Cemetery and, despite it being a vast acreage of stone monuments, I eventually tracked it down to a pleasant path-side location commanding fine views over Bradford city centre (it is the second plot from the left in the photograph above). And the good news was that there was only Alice and Abraham - Uncle H's mother and father - in there. What little I know about cemeteries and grave plots tells me that this means there is still unused space (I believe you can get about six decent-sized coffins to a plot but I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong).
When Isobel got home from work that night I enthusiastically described my adventures and told her about the possibility of unused space, hinting that she may like to accompany me to the cemetery on her next day off. I was anxious to ensure that she was fully behind the scheme before I got too involved in a fight with Bradford Council in order to try and establish my legal title to the plot. Sad to relate, she was rather troublesome and uncooperative about my jolly scheme, raising objection after objection. "We had never met Abraham and Alice and were only vaguely related to them by marriage". I felt sure they were charming people, I countered, and we would have loads of time to get better acquainted. She was "intent on leaving her body to medical science and therefore there would be nothing left to bury". As far as I understood the bodies for medical research process, I responded, you got a bag full of bits back at the end of the day. "There was supposed to be a family plot in Liverpool and that would be a more suitable location, if location there had to be."
At last we had got to it : the real reason for her reluctance. It was the old War of the Roses thing. Isobel's mother's family came from Liverpool (which despite what local government reorganisation may say is, and has always been, part of Lancashire) whereas my family all come from Bradford (which is undoubtedly part of Yorkshire). As the argument escalated, I let it be known that I knew what was behind her opposition to Abraham Moore's grave space. "You just want us to be buried in that Usher grave in Liverpool", I said, "and I can tell you now, I wouldn't be seen dead in it".
The argument continues, the matter of our final resting place is still an open question.

1 comment:

  1. One is reminded of the occasion when Earl Tostig asked his brother what Harold Godwinson would offer Harald Hardrada, Harold famously replied, "Six feet of English ground, or as much more as he might need as he is taller than most men."


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...