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Information for Visitors

The Drake Memorial Park was created in 1943 as a lawned cemetery. Our founders intended to create a place of beauty with a natural, parkland feel. This was, and still is, in contrast to most other cemeteries where headstones and monuments form a rather different landscape.

People have chosen Drake Memorial Park for over 60 years because they appreciate its natural, uncluttered setting. It is vital that we preserve this distinctive identity. We need the support of every visitor to the Park to help us achieve this.

Drake Memorial Park is open every day for pedestrian access from 8.00am to dusk. Vehicle access is from 8.00am to 4.45pm Mon to Fri and 11.00am - 3.45pm Sunday's.

The administration office is open and the Superintendent or his Deputy are generally available for advice and consultation on Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 12.00pm and 1.00pm to 4.00pm. It is advisable to make an appointment by telephone in advance of a visit.

Vehicle access to the Park is at the discretion of the Superintendent and is not of right. It is generally only permitted during weekday opening hours, but access to certain sections of the Park may be restricted when an interment is taking place.

All vehicles must leave the Park before 5.00pm when the gate is locked to traffic.

Do remember that there are many elderly and frail visitors to the Park, and that you should drive with extreme caution, observing the 10mph speed limit at all times.

Please also take particular care not to deviate from the designated roadways and turning areas. Some graves are quite close to the roadways and people become understandably upset if they see vehicle track marks on or next to these graves. We reserve the right to exclude admission to any vehicles we observe being driven persistently without appropriate care.

Finally, please give way to our grounds staff driving Park vehicles and machinery in the execution of their duties. We may occasionally ask you not to park in places where work would be obstructed.

During working hours, our grounds staff are required to carry out a variety of tasks in the Park, including the digging, filling and reinstating of graves, as well as general maintenance work. These activities usually involve the use of equipment and machinery.

For your own safety, please keep well away from working areas at all times. It may occasionally be necessary to restrict access to your own plot in order to carry out work on it or a neighbouring one. We endeavour to minimise any inconvenience this may cause, and request your co-operation during these periods.

Anniversaries may occur on any day of the year, and the bereaved often wish to visit the grave particularly at these times. The Park is therefore open for pedestrian access every day even though snow or ice may exist. We may, however, restrict vehicle access in icy conditions.

Please take extreme care when visiting the Park in the winter months, and avoid times when ground conditions may be hazardous.

Dogs are a difficult issue for cemeteries. Some people consider that they are not appropriate, and we have occasionally received complaints about dog fouling on graves. However, where a dog was owned by the deceased person, it would be unkind not to allow the bereaved to bring it into the Park when visiting the grave.

Being sympathetic to all views, we have taken a middle line. When attending a grave, dogs on a leash are allowed. This obviously includes assistance dogs which are always welcome.

If you do bring a dog into the Park, please be sure to remove any fouling and place it in the general waste bins provided. Cemeteries are included in The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. Under this Act we can prosecute owners who fail to clean up after their dogs.

All visitors must conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner, and anyone showing the effects of excess alcohol or drug abuse will be refused entry to the Park. The Superintendent and his Deputy have full power to exclude or remove any member of the public at their discretion.

The following activities are expressly forbidden within Drake Memorial Park:

  1. the soliciting of gratuities;
  2. the reproduction of music;
  3. the playing of games;
  4. the distribution of advertising material;
  5. the transaction of commercial activity;
  6. the holding of public meetings.

Legal redress will be sought against anyone who wilfully damages the environment of the Park or who knowingly obstructs or threatens the staff of Drake Memorial Park when they are engaged upon their normal authorised duties.