Woman calls for Rubery burial ground to be repaired after vandalism - The Bromsgrove Standard

Woman calls for Rubery burial ground to be repaired after vandalism

Holly Clement 15th Feb, 2024 Updated: 16th Feb, 2024   0

CALLS have been made for Birmingham City Council to maintain an historic burial ground in Rubery which has fallen victim to vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Shirley Ronan, who lives in Frankley, is urging the authority to take action on the Hollymoor Hospital burial ground which she claims has has been neglected for 20 years.

Shirley’s late father, Roy Nowell Sullivan spent over a decade lobbying the council to recognise the burial ground which had more than 1,600 bodies interred in it from 1884 to 1936. Some gravestones were removed in the 1960s.

Shirley said, in the late 1990s, Birmingham City Council promised the family the site would become a ‘haven of tranquility’ in a very built up area. But, she added, since then, nothing had been done.

In October 1998, the family held a memorial for Roy on the grounds, former MP Richard Burden attended the service along with local vicars and councillors, in memory of his dedication to the plot of land.

Two decades ago, the council installed an iron gate, padlock, and hedging around the perimeter to restrict access to the site. But, Shirley said, since then there had been significant breaches, allowing unauthorised access and, consequently, the condition of the ground had deteriorated.

“It is so upsetting to see it like that, even though it has been 20 years, it breaks my heart and I am not letting my dads hard work go to waste.”

Since her father’s death, Shirley has inherited his passion for the ground and she said she would not be letting the issues go until the promises made by the council were fulfilled and kept.

Shirley is urging the council to secure the grounds, so the local community becomes aware it is a burial site and do not neglect the land anymore.

She added: “It has been 21 years since the memorial and the council has not kept its promise to our family.

“I will pass this passion for the protection of the ground onto my grandchildren, so the community will know to have some respect for the soldiers and patients souls which rest there.”

In his writings, Roy spoke of the burial site. During his memorial service, Shirley read a quote from it, reading: “Perhaps the next time you pass this little piece of countryside, you can pause for just a moment.

“That little act would be the greatest memorial of all.

“The only message I wish to pass on to those who now reside by this little piece of England is you have a lot to relate to.

“What you have is worth preserving for future generations.”

A Birmingham City Council has said:

“The Secretary of State for Health passed the former burial ground at this site to Birmingham City Council on 20 October 2000, making it the authority’s responsibility to manage and maintain the site and to keep it clean and tidy. When the land was acquired it was laid as grass only – as it is now – and as such the council is complying with the covenants imposed on it, grass-cutting, hedge-trimming and litter-picking.”

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Bromsgrove Standard newspaper


Now, every week, you can also listen to a roundup of Bromsgrove & Droitwich Standard Local News


Advertise with the Bromsgrove Standard to reach your audience

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts