Triple Repair & Restoration

Sunday 1st September saw the Trustees carry out three restorations in one day. The first required lifting equipment, the second sheer muscle power, and the third a delicate operation to straighten a leaning memorial. All three were achieved after several hours of hard work.

The Griffiths headstone before repositioning.

The first – a quarter of a ton marble headstone to the GRIFFITHS family of 46 Lammas Street was lowered into place after preparatory work in securing the stone base. This headstone had been lying on the ground for fifty years. During this work two holes were drilled into the sides of the marble headstone and two steel rods inserted to take the enormous weight of the marble when lifted from the ground and into position. After a lot of maneuvering, left, right, up and down we finally managed to lower the marble into position and are very pleased with the result

During restoration

Thank you to Robert Goodridge and his son Thomas, and to Chris Dzioba for their really hard work that day which was much appreciated.

Finally in position with Robert Chris & Tom (left to right)

The second memorial to be restored was that of the NICHOLAS family from Water Street. Please refer to the drop down menu under the “What’s in a name” for further information.

the stone base minus the headstone

This engraved stone headstone had also been buried in the ground for decades face down and was initially moved by hand whilst the base again was made secure ready to receive the headstone back into position.

The second phase was to manhandle the headstone back into position and using special resin to secure it to the base. Once this was done wooden supports were used to ensure its safety.

The NICHOLAS family headstone back in position

The following day we returned to remove the supports and the area surrounding the base will now be cleaned up.

For the purpose of the photograph below showing the wording engraved on the headstone it was necessary to rub self raising flour into the lettering to show up the wording otherwise the photograph would not capture the script. This is a “technique” I often use to reveal engraved headstones that have been weathered over the years.

the engraved stone memorial finally reveals it’s past with the help of self raising flour.

The third and final restoration was to upright a leaning memorial to MASTER   MARINER WILLIAM JONES and family. This polished red marble cross had      been leaning at an angle of almost 45 degrees and was in danger of toppling    over, let alone being a safety risk to visitors.

the leaning cross before restoration
after realignment
“Safe Home,Safe in Port”

Restoration Continues

Major ground restoration has begun at the north section of the cemetery at the rear of the church. This has involved the use of heavy machinery in order to remove four damaged and fallen headstones to the boundary wall so that the cemetery ground can be levelled sufficiently for the use of a mower and also the removal of a considerable amount of old rubble which had been dumped there previously. This area will be seeded during the course of the next week and will be a massive improvement to this area which is the first thing the public see when walking along the footpath. The charity is indebted to Mr. Mick Butler of West Wales Gardening for his efforts and hard work in bringing this area of the cemetery back to an acceptable standard. Due to financial constraints the charity will be looking to scale back any further major restoration until next year but will continue where possible the repair and restoration of damaged and broken memorials, one of which in particular will be restored this Sunday with the use of  hydraulic lifting machinery. A full story of this restoration will appear in due course. The photograph below shows the five memorials rescued from the ground during the restoration. One which is broken in two will be restored in the near future.

Memorials removed from the ground that had fallen over and buried in the earth

In the beginning…..

An example of the overgrowth, in particular Ivy that covered the cemetery boundary wall. The local TA from Picton Barracks were extremely helpful in assisting in removing some of it over a two day period in 2017. As can be seen from the photographs there is some obvious improvement ! We continue to bring the grounds back into shape and will shortly have contractors on site to progress further the restoration of the cemetery.

News Update. Saturday August 3rd 2019

As you will see from looking around the website, we are beginning to add information as and when time allows. The charities latest newsletter sent out to “Friends” was delivered this morning, containing all the latest information.

Over time, I will be adding all the stories that have appeared in the previous newsletters  under the heading “what’s in a name” so do keep checking the menu for any additions. Also the memorial database continues to be added to, and this will take some time to complete. We are still awaiting the outcome of our application for a small heritage lottery fund grant. Competition is fierce, and I will spread the news of the decision as soon as it is known. Thank you for taking the time to look at our website and do get in touch if you have any comments.


Richard Goodridge (Chairman)

A letter from our Chairman, Richard J Goodridge. MBE

Become a Friend of the Thomas & Elizabeth Mayhook Charity.


I am writing this letter to appeal to all of the former parishioners along with relatives and friends of those buried in the church grounds at St David’s, also neighbours, and anyone interested and connected with the history of Carmarthen, to be aware that finally, a major clearance operation has began over two years ago to bring the north and east sections of the cemetery back to a place of dignity to those buried there. It is unfortunate that the church itself was closed in 2003 mainly due to storm damage and safety issues. In 2011 the church, along with the surrounding land/cemetery (north and east sections) had been sold to a private developer. The charity is named after my late grandparents (Tommy and Bessie as they were affectionately known) who are buried in St David’s Cemetery. The charities role is to take over the maintenance and upkeep of this section of the cemetery and to repair and restore where possible as many memorials as possible, and for this to happen we are reliant on donations of any kind, large and small, one off donations, or by the enclosed standing order mandate, which will ensure a regular income for the charities work of annual maintenance.

I am delighted to inform you that the charity gained official charitable status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with the Charity Commission in December 2015, and in October 2017 the charity officially became the owners of the cemetery (north and east sections) which is a microcosm of Carmarthen’s rich military, social, economic, industrial, cultural, and maritime history, as inscribed on many of it’s memorials of those interred there going back to February 1841. With an area the size of the Cardiff Principality Rugby pitch (12,000 square metres) and over 6,500 burials, together with a stone boundary wall 200 metres long and eight foot high the effort required will be monumental but very much achievable if we receive sufficient support. On the 15th September 2015, myself, my brother and a friend of ours planted nearly one thousand daffodil bulbs at the entrance to the church and cemetery, thereby creating an oasis of colour between January and March each year, as there are two variants of the flower which come into bloom at different times. We also planted a further thousand bulbs at the rear of the church in October last year, resulting in a mass of colour along the footpath.

The task ahead of the Trustees is an onerous one that will be achieved providing we receive the much needed financial support and backing of local inhabitants and businesses, and of those now living further afield with an interest in the history of Carmarthen. I have attached a Friends of the Thomas & Elizabeth Mayhook Charity standing order mandate payable monthly, the amount you wish to contribute is entirely at your discretion though we do ask for a minimum of £4.00 per month if possible, and anything larger will be a bonus and most welcome. If you know of someone who would like to support us please send a copy on to them. You will receive regular newsletters keeping you up to date on all our activities. Ideally we need at least 50 Friends to raise the funds required on an annual basis. Not everyone is able to afford large donations so this gives more people the opportunity to lend their support and gives the charity a much needed regular income, however small. It’s not much to ask for such an important local charitable cause. One off donations are also welcome, payable to the charity.

We do not process your data on this website. Please click here to download  the donations pack which includes pdf forms for you to print at your convenience. Once downloaded to your computer please print and fill out the form relevant to your chosen donation then return it to the Treasurer. Please contact us if you would prefer the pack in Word format.

The Standing Order Mandates should be returned to the persons Bank for processing and the Gift Aid Form returned to the Treasurer of the Charity together with any “one off” cheque donations.

Name and Address of Treasurer:

Robert Goodridge
SA31 2NY

Rest assured that in time we shall restore this sacred and important cemetery back to a respectable and pleasant place in which to visit, and I thank you in advance for your support. However you decide to support us your interest and support is much appreciated indeed.

Richard J Goodridge. MBE

Meeting with HRH The Prince of Wales

HRH The Prince of Wales Reception at Llwynywermod, Llandovery. Both I and my brother Robert ( left & second left in the photograph) were invited to Llwynywermod, Llandovery on July 4th to a Reception hosted by Prince Charles as beneficiaries (representatives of the Thomas & Elizabeth Mayhook Charity) of The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund. His Royal Highness was very interested in the work we had done and was pleased that the money had been used to such good effect. It was a particularly warm and sunny evening and a most memorable occasion to which we were both proud to be part of. The photograph is reproduced by kind permission of the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation.

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