I was intrigued and sympathetic to the lady who wrote to last week’s Telegraph regarding the attrition and wearing away of inscriptions on memorials around Sheffield Cathedral.
Intrigued because this has always been the situation in my lifetime and sympathetic because I try and avoid walking over them unlike most of careless humanity. There are worse organs of destruction than one’s ‘plates of meat’ however, how about the wheels and weight of motor vehicles? This occurs not only in the Cathedral yard but in St Mary’s at Bramall Lane, the oasis that is Upper Chapel and formerly outside the Samaritans offices adjacent to the 1804 Methodist Chapel that is now West Street Walkabout and St Marie’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.The laying down of memorials, some of them no doubt originally in that position, and the use of them as pavements is to be found even in pristine envirionments like St Nicholas Church of Bradfield.It is sad and to be deplored but ineviatable. These are invaluable historical records as well the resting places of generations gone by. A photographic record of them ought to be made and put on Picture Sheffield but who will do it?
I would point out two memorable memorials that the Cathedral has and make a plea for one of them. Firstly, a memorial to a young Cavalry Officer damaged by careless in work in the Cathedral yard and now lovingly restored. Secondly, a unique Mento Mori complete with hourglass and skull and crossbones to remind us of our mortality. The latter is in the forecourt of the Cathedral and really needs some TLC/protection. I raised this some time ago with the now defunct Friends of Sheffield Cathedral.
I hope someone within the Cathedral takes this issue up.