Reading Old Cemetery at the eponymous junction was undergoing seasonal tree cutting, pruning and other grounds maintenance work on Saturday 6 February 2016.
Reading Borough Council described the spring clean, led by the Parks Team as involving:
- cutting back overgrown brambles and vegetation
- clearing graves that are visually interesting
- creating sightlines to highlight focal points
- clearing away any litter
Other groups who were expected to participate included the Reading Tree Wardens.
The timing and scope of the work was planned to balance the many and varied purposes of cemetery today. It is still occasionally used for burials, but no new plots are available. It is valued by local residents and wildlife for its peace, tranquillity and natural habitat. It is also historically a very interesting cemetery, for its layout and architecture and also for the Reading residents buried here during the second half of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Graves include many who lived or worked in Katesgrove, including members of the Barrett and Andrewes families. Barrett, Exall and Andrewes was an ironworks on Katesgrove Lane and so it is fitting that they are memorialised with two large cast iron urns. The Barrett family memorial was on the east side of the now demolished Dissenters Chapel in the cemetery and the Andrewes memorial on the west side.