The Society is alarmed at the authorities allowing the western and middle parts of LKY to develop into a disgraceful state with most headstones hidden under a morass of weeds and long grass. A letter published in the 'Berwickshire News' on 19 July 2012 by club member illustrates the concern.
19 July 2012
LENNEL KIRK YARD
During 2011, the authorities managed a very complex landslide at Lennel Kirkyard, stabilising precious headstones and ensuring that the memory of forebears was not forgotten in this peaceful resting place overlooking the Tweed . This was a well-organised piece of local government, and of course why it is there. Last Sunday, a plaque was dedicated to James Charles Purves, a Crimean War hero, who is mentioned on a fallen headstone in the Kirkyard. It is of course quite right that the authorities ensure that unsafe headstones are laid flat and the Coldstream and District Local History Society is now on course to reinstate the headstone through community funding. This is a good example of Cameron's 'Big Society', where authorities work with communities to resolve issues.
Also last Sunday, two relatives of Purves visited the Kirkyard to view the headstone before they came to the church service but were barred from doing so due to the mass of long grass and weeds. Someone going into the middle part where the Purves headstone lies would struggle to find it. The situation is basically disgraceful. There is no other way of describing it.
While dedicating a plaque to a local hero is a big plus for Coldstream, at the same time Lennell Kirk Yard is a huge disgrace for in recognising a man who gave his life in tragic circumstances. Others buried at Lennel are also not given the respect they deserve. Provosts, one whose two sons were lost in First World War, Adam Thomson of the Free Bible Fame, long-service Ministers, leaders of the local militia, Town Clerks, a record-breaking footballer, people who were instrumental in maintaining Coldstream as a vibrant town as well as many ordinary people who met their maker and were probably buried then in a beautifully-kept kirkyard.
As we travel round the Borders, other kirkyards are in a reasonable state and this is likely to be because they are in or around a town centre, which is not the case with Lennel. Here locals have said for some time they are willing to assume the role of cutting the grass, if budget cuts prevent the authorities devoting time to it, but it seems that health and safety gets in the way. I would call upon the authorities to find a solution before Coldstream's conscience kicks in and takes over.
Trevor Swan, The Jingler,
Lees Mill Drive,