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Last Updated: Monday, 9 February, 2004, 12:35 GMT
200,000 left to cemetery
Ford Park Cemetery
The cemetery trust needs 500,000 to complete its clean-up
A Devon widower has left more than 200,000 towards the upkeep of a cemetery in Plymouth.

Sydney Potter, a former engineer from the city's power station who lived in the St Judes area, died in February 2003, aged 93, leaving much of his personal estate to the Ford Park Cemetery Trust.

Mr Potter was a frequent visitor to the 34-acre cemetery where he visited five family graves at the 150-year-old burial ground.

Four years ago the cemetery was threatened with closure - now the trust said it expected it would be able to speed up a series of planned improvements.

Properly honoured

The Ford Park Cemetery Trust was formed in April 2000 to take on the ownership and management of the cemetery after the former Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse Cemetery Company went into liquidation.

Under the charitable trust, well over three quarters of the site has been cleared of brambles and volunteers have spent more than 30,000 hours to help the cemetery's up-keep.

Trust Chairman Dr Henry Will said: "This generous gift reflects in a dramatic way what the trustees and our supporters are already well aware of, namely how much this cemetery means to so many.

"To return the cemetery to a condition, which properly honours those who are or will be buried here, will require repairs and improvements to the infrastructure, such as buildings, roads and boundary walls, costing well in excess of 500,000.

"This bequest will enable us to undertake some of these improvements sooner than we expected."

It is hoped the bequest will grants to allow the job of restoration to continue.

Mr Potter was buried with his wife, Winnie, who died in October 1996, at the cemetery.

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23 Sep 03  |  Somerset

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