Saturday, September 09, 2006

KEY HILL OPEN DAY. Sat 9th September 2006.

Unlike last year, the weather was bright and warm for the Key Hill Open Day. As I walked through the cemetery from the Key Hill entrance to the centre of activities the first thing I saw was the "Burger Van", a welcome addition to the Open day. Then my eyes were drawn to the marquee and the crowds of people milling round... and it had only just opened.
The committee must congratulate itself again this year for the work and organization they must have put in.
Inside the marquee, a variety of stalls included bric-a-brac, Victorian dress, local history books and the all-important snacks stall run by Jan Hardware. Local artist and writer Ron "Smudge" Smith was there, selling and signing his pictures. The ever-popular tomb-bola stall was there with it's rotating coffin for drawing the tickets from ( not all that popular with me... I didn't win anything ;-) ). Colin Giles exhibited some of his vast collection of flat irons and enthusiastically chatted about their history. The Friends of Key Hill had their own stall of course, selling Key Hill souvenirs and recruiting people to their group.
Outside were hearses from various organizations which were later joined by a horse-drawn hearse.
The Grave-Yard tour kept Chris Sutton (and later Pauline Roberts) very busy.
Anyroad, enough from me, below are the best of today's photographs
[and you can also take another look at last years photos at]

The main marquee.

....people on the right start to queue for the Graveyard Tour.

A hearse from the Classic Hearse Register. Go to for more information.

The Lord mayor of Birmingham and the Lady Mayoress indulge in what must be the ultimate in window-shopping.. funeral directors.

Radio presenter Les Ross poses with Pauline Roberts.

The tomb-bola stall, run by Sue who is photographed here with her daughter.

Colin Giles with a selection of his flat irons. He tells me his collection exceeds 1400 irons altogether.
A spectacular sight. Mellisa Hackett of Earlswood Carriages displays a horse-drawn hearse. The company also have white horses and hearses and can deck the horses plumage in various colours. They can also provide a Dove Release Service (see below). The company can be contacted via Mellisa on 0121 745 1113 or 07932 592010.

The immaculately groomed horses.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor Mike Sharpe with his wife Thelma, give some attention to the horses.

A white dove in a cage at the N.Wheatley & Sons's stall.

This ultra-modern hearse features a glass roof and internal subdued lighting. The hearse was diplayed by N.Wheatley & Son's Funeral Directors of Birmingham. They can be contacted on 0121 440 1020.

Mellisa Hackett demonstrates one of the sevices which can be provided at funerals. She opens the basket...

.... and releases two white doves, a symbol of peace, faith and love.

As I leave, Pauline is leading another group on the graveyard tour.