Of two former Methodist burial grounds at Bank Top in Southowram, one was destroyed in 1993, even though I have always remained entirely sure, that relatives could have continued with burials and their graves and gravestones were legally protected.
My help was not sought until 1994, when it was too late to prevent the destruction. In view of relevant cases currently before the courts, I am making here an urgent plea, for copies of any photographs taken whilst the destruction was taking place. It would also be very helpful to receive copies of any receipts for any money paid at any time, in connection with those graves or what is locally known as the “new” burial ground which survives on the opposite side of the road. Burials can still take place there, if spaces still exist in family graves. Some if not all were dug to take four bodies. The landowner must by law have a burial register with a plan of the graves and allow inspections by anyone at all reasonable times. They must also issue on request, copies of recorded burials. Those copies and the register must be accepted by any English court as proof of the burials which have taken place. Damage to or alteration or destruction of any burial register, still carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Please draw this urgent request to the attention of anyone connected with graves created in either property. Retain all original photographs, receipts, newspaper articles or anything else and send copies by email to email@example.com or photocopies to 7 Knox Road, Harrogate, HG1 3EF, noting your name and address.