On Monday 13th Feb was one of the most interesting days I have had in a long time. For several weeks I have become aware the possible removal of the burial ground for Unitarians on SWinton Hall Rd. As a person baptised a Roman Catholic and as a believer I dont think its right, nomatter what the religion is that those resting in peace are dug up unless its absolutely necessary to do so.
Over the years I have been involved in many campaigns, sometimes initiated alone by myself sometimes on just a point of principle. Campaigns have grown some won some lost, some drawn. As soon as I became aware a burial ground was threatened it pricked my conscience.
I am not a Swintonian, I am a Proud Prestonian but Lancastrian just like many Swintonians today born before 1974. In true Preston spirit it has always been in my nature to challenge anything that is clearly not acceptable.
Having made enquiries about the chapel yard for Unitarians, the number of people resting 313 in total, all SWintonians and a World War 1 soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice the least I could do is to at least try to stop the proposals to have their remains dug up.
For a childrens hospital maybe, for any hospital maybe, for another importane and necessary building maybe, but for an Asda supermarket and a few more car parking spaces and because the company needs to raise a lot of money and fast, so they propose digging up 313 Swintonians, Lancastrians from their final resting place ?
An outragious proposal. Therefore, knowing some would accuse me of losing SWinton jobs and the consequences to myself (on a political basis) because no doubt the accusations will fly my way, sometimes you have to do things knowing you are doing the right thing even though it may backfire on myself in other ways.
Dorothy Tildsley, author of "Remembrance - recollections of a wartime childhood in Swinton" has offered her support, her daughter Sharon, local historians like Lizzie leek and Sue Tydd who does voluntary work in the city to do with Salford cemeteries and relatives of the deceased and SWinton people, together all helping each other a growing campaign is now in full swing to challenge what is being proposed.
We are not opposed to the Asda just that we do not believe the burial ground should be disturbed. If it has to then we believe no Asda at this location.
Today, myself and Sue Tydd met Mr Rodney Cadman whose ancestors were Unitarians and influential ones too. They have family plot at the chapelyard and the Cadmans are mentioned in the meetings of the Unitarians and Mrs Tildsley recalls a well-respected family. having met Mr cadman today it was confirmed to him that he did have 1 more relative resting than he thought. Having learned of the location of the family plot at the chapel yard, Mr Cadman going through his family history, showing us old photographs Mr Cadman had clearly researched his own family 200/300 years back already but even he admitted he had learned information, kindly researched and provided by Sue Tydd.
Mr Cadman is a descendant of a family that owned a well-known Swinton company Cadman's the plasters I think in Swinton and they helped to build Swinton Town Hall.
In a book of his company that he did have involvement in he showed us evidence that they employed an apprentice J Blears brother of Pte W L Blear the comemmorated WW1 soldier buried at the chapel yard and I clearly saw members of the Wallwork family also employed as apprentices.
Generations of Swintonians well know Swinton families going way back whose ancestors back then were probably a lot closer to each other than we all can ever imagine but then Swinton was a hamlet and has grown over the years into the town that is now.
Therefore, its clear to me that many a true Swintonians ancestors that date back to 1800's/1900's probaly all new each other in some way or other.
Mr Cadman is fully supportive of our efforts and likes the idea of a remembrance garden and is a bit bemused I think as to why a Prestonian is involved he says and I had a little friendly chuckle when he said his ancestors originate from Cheshire, a slight hint of disappointment as he thought they were Lancastrians but couldnt help myself in informing Mr Cadman that I am a Lancastrian born & bred ! LOL