Tottenham Park Cemetery – the UK’s biggest cemetery for British Turks – remains closed on the instructions of the local authority. The Tottenham Park Charitable Trust (TPCT), which represents the relatives of those resting at the popular North London burial ground, was informed by the cemetery’s private owners Badgehurst earlier today that further urgent works were required to ensure trees meet “safety criteria” before the site re-opens to the public.
Enfield Council had previously ordered the immediate closure of the site following health and safety concerns: inspectors feared the spire on a disused chapel could topple over, risking serious injury to visitors. The owners were ordered to lock the gates to the cemetery on Friday 16 February and given five days to make the structure safe.
While this immediate work appears to have been completed, inspectors have ordered additional health and safety measures to be taken due to the precarious state of trees on site. A statement posted on TPCT’s Facebook group page today said:
“Cemetery update. Further to a phone call to Badgehurst’s office earlier today. I have been informed that the health and safety issue with the spire on the chapel has been dealt with and passed the safety test. But the council have now pulled them up about the safety of the trees and unfortunately the cemetery will remain closed until the trees meet the safety criteria and are approved by council surveyors.
“When I asked when can we expect the cemetery to re open and would it be open by mothers day [sic] I was told that there was no guarantee that it would be open by then as they are waiting for contractors to go in and the weather is not helping. I was told that they are doing the best they can to get the cemetery open as soon as possible”.
Many relatives have voiced their dismay at not being able to visit their loved ones on special anniversaries, while others have asked the TPCT committee if the cemetery will be ready and open for Mother’s Day on 11 March. One group member, Fevzi Hussein, wrote:
“Hi everyone. The owners were given a period of time to make good the safety work required. Unless someone can tell me otherwise I think the council were then supposed to step in, do the work, then pass the bill on to the owners. The continuing impasse is not acceptable and we have loved ones that we wish to go and visit.
My son’s passing is approaching the 10th anniversary and I will be going to pay my respects. I said this before – maybe we should all go down en masse.”
Another, Ali Zihni, responded, “I am with Fevzi Galatyali Hussein my brothers [sic] anniversary is this week my mum and dad are distraught, sitting back will just allow them to do as they wish and drag things on.”
Cemetery owners Badgehurst ask relatives to contact them
Badgehurst have asked TPCT to inform concerned relatives to send them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and that Badgehurst will “put your name on the list of people to contact to inform when cemetery will be open.”
Today’s TPCT post from Ms Pirgot adds: “Please take note that this is not in the hands of the council or the committee members but solely down to Badgehurst and I advise you all to send emails or contact Badgehurst by phone. (01375891440)”
Main photo © TPCT, taken Nov. 2015