Memorial garden for ‘lost’ burial site to be designed by relatives

Ground for Brookside memorial garden, a forgotten graveyard, with new fencing.
Ground for Brookside memorial garden, a forgotten graveyard, with new fencing.
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Design plans for a memorial garden in Rustington are to be decided by relatives of those buried there.

Brookside Memorial Garden will commemorate the 57 people still buried at the site and provide a place of reflection for the community.

Following an appeal in the Gazette, project leader Sue Sula has received offers of help to clear the ground and is now seeking those who have a direct interest in the forgotten graveyard.

She said: “My main concern is to see if we can talk to any relatives or people who know someone who may be buried there.

“Most of these people are going to be of the older generation themselves, so they may not be direct relatives, it may be a few generations.

“It’s their input because it’s for them and it’s their loved ones who are buried there.”

The project secured £7,800 in funding from West Sussex County Council to help tranform the site from a disused area to an appropriate memorial.

Sue hopes that the garden will be finished by summer or autumn this year and remain for generations to come.

“I’m at the stage now when we are designing and creating. I really want to get in touch with as many people as possible to be involved,” she said.

“We’ve achieved so much within a short time and I can see that we could have it open within the next few months.”

The completed garden would be open to the public during the day as a space of contemplation. For Sue, the area holds a particular significance.

She said: “I’ve lived in Brookside all my life, my grandparents actually built the houses in the avenue.

“I thought if anyone is going to take up this mantle, it’s me.”

Sue said the council had agreed to help remove the debris on the area, which was taken over by the Crown after a developer went into liquidation. A facebook page has attracted offers of help, but volunteers are still welcome.

“We really feel that we wanted to get the public involved in this,” said Sue.

“It’s not for me, it’s for generations to come.”

A full list of community members buried at the site is available from Sue via the Rustington Past and Present facebook page.

Alternatively, email sue@rustingtonpastandpresent.co.uk

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