A view from the main entrance 5-Mar-2009
In 2003 Doncaster Council set out plans and options for reversing the decline of Hyde Park Cemetery and, for example, significant work has been carried out on the Chapel as a result. More>>
However by the end of 2005 these efforts seemed to have stopped. And they had stopped short of getting either the Chapel or the Lodge back into use. So, as a simple observer, a future successful restoration now seems less certain. And the money invested so far has not been able to be put to any practical use.
Checking again March 2009 no work on either building seems to have occurred since the 2005 update. The scaffolding is still being used to stop the stone entrance arch collapsing and the moss inside the fence around the chapel has spread. Marking the years of inactivity. Even though Council staff are seen visiting this seems to be clear up work rather than any form of restoration. A scheme to give local employment and training through restoring the 100’s of damaged graves is just the sort of initiative needed during a recession to avoid social problems that a full scale depression could bring.
Friends of Hyde Park Cemetery
The voluntary support group established a few years ago planned to play an active part in the restoration and conservation of the cemetery. Also to help maintain the site and promote the cemetery. And a professionally designed FoHPC web site was created - but the web pages lacked any obvious updates when checked in 2006.
Looking for the web site in March 2009 found that it had been taken off-line and its web address (URL) registration had lapsed. There are signs that some attempts have been made to restart the group - or at least move it from its semi-dormant state - in 2008. But no actual positive results have been found as yet. So the future is uncertain.
Update at 23-Mar-2011 -
Two years on and there has been much progress with the FoHPC group. In October 2009 grant funding provided a means to start practical work. Since then the web site is back - and being updated - events are taking place and many improvements have been made; along with the removal of much rubbish. Another funding grant in January this year should enable the good work not just to continue but to extend. Looking ahead the new Heritage Circuit around Hyde Park Cemetery is due to be launched in May 2011. More at the FoHPC website
Our own hopes of gaining support / funding for a full photographic archive have made little progress. This is chiefly because any funding would obviously have gone to the official support group. And since the FoHPC started out with a series of photographs as their main web resource it seemed likely that a photo archive was an key objective. Clearly this objective has gone now that the web site has disappeared. This means that our modest effort has become the only one actually available.
But without external funding it seems unlikely that we can build a comprehensive on-line photo archive. Especially since such an archive is unlikely generate enough income to support its costs. It would need grants to be establish the archive and operate as an community / educational resource.