WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF EAST COWES? WHAT DO WE DO?
A "Friends of East Cowes Cemetery" group was suggested by Margaret Lloyd and set up as a community organisation in 2006, changing its name to "Friends of East Cowes" in 2007 on completion of the Lottery-funded Old Kingston Cemetery project. Most of us live in East Cowes and we all care about the town: we want to make it an even better place in which to live. And we don't just talk: we are ready to roll up our sleeves and carry out small projects to improve the quality of life for everyone.
We've planted trees, picked up litter and gone for walks, looking at the Town with fresh eyes to see what other practical improvements we can make. We can't tackle larger works, that's for the Town and County Councils and even the town centre developers, but we apply for small grants to cover the cost of materials and equipment for our projects. We have lots of ideas for the future.
"Can anyone join in?" Of course! anyone can lend a hand, young or not so young, helping for a single morning or coming along regularly to plan and carry out new projects. You won't need special skills, just focus on the things that interest you. So, if you prefer planting bulbs to mixing cement, that's fine. If you can use a computer, take good photos or make a bird box, great. Otherwise just lend a hand!
We usually meet up one evening a month at East Cowes Heritage Centre to update and plan activities, and on the morning of the first Sunday of each month we carry out "tidy-ups" at Old Kingston Cemetery.
The FRIENDS of EAST COWES Committee:
KEN WHEELER (Chair): Ken moved to the Island in 2003 from Northampton. After being made redundant from an Island publishing firm he now works from home in the same field and produces most of the Friends' printed material.
MARGARET PRIOR (Secretary): Margaret moved to the Isle of Wight from Essex in 1993 and moved to East Cowes in 1999. A former town councillor and mayor, she has especially enjoyed the challenge of recording and digitising the burial database for the Friends' website.
MARGARET LLOYD (Treasurer): Born in East Cowes, Margaret has been Chair of Governors at East Cowes Primary School, and now Queensgate Primary School, for several years. It was she who had the vision to set up the Friends group. Margaret is a former county and town councillor and mayor, and especially enjoys providing the refreshments for the cemetery 'tidy-ups'.
PETER LLOYD: Born in East Cowes, Peter recently retired from his own general building business. A current town councillor and former mayor, he enjoys the practical, hands-on aspects of our projects.
JANET GRIFFIN: Janet moved to the Island from Gosport in 1966 before settling in East Cowes. She is also a member of the IW Family History Society and the Ventnor & District Local History Society. She enjoys delving into archives.
SARAH BURDETT, BEM and DAVID BURDETT: Members of the Isle of Wight Society and founder members of East Cowes Heritage Centre, David and Sarah moved from Shoreham to the Island in 1972. Sarah is a former teacher and David is a Master Mariner (Merchant Service). They work tirelessly to discover and promote the heritage of the Town and also enjoy tidy-ups and other activities.
LINDA SHIELDS and DIANE PALMER: our newest recruits. Linda was born on the Island and enjoys helping with the monthly 'tidy-ups'. Diane recently retired from local government and is co-ordinator at East Cowes Community Library.
To find out more about the Friends, please contact us (see top of page).