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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Graveyard scores award hat-trick
Adfa chapel cemetery
Three generations of Mr Evans' family are buried in the graveyard
A chapel graveyard in a Powys village has won the title of best-kept small cemetery in Britain.

But Maldwyn Evans, 73, who has looked after the cemetery at Adfa near Welshpool for 35 years, will not enter the competition again.

Mr Evans, who places flowers on graves for relatives too far away to attend, said winning the title three years out of the last four was "enough".

Judges said the graveyard was kept to an "extremely high standard".

It won the category for cemeteries smaller than 3.5 acres in the national competition.

Three generations of Mr Evans' family are at rest in the cemetery which motivated him to adopt the role of grass cutter and gardener.

With 200 shrubs, plant pots and flower tubs, Mr Evans said during the summer he was working at the chapel nearly everyday.

Maldwyn Evans
I've got a hat-trick of awards which I'm very proud and pleased about
Maldwyn Evans

"I've got a hat-trick of awards which I'm very proud and pleased about," said Mr Evans, who collected his award at a special ceremony in Harrogate on Tuesday night.

'In my system'

"I've won the award in 2002, 2004 and now 2005, but I don't think I'll enter next year. Three wins is enough."

Mr Evans was head gardener at the University of Wales' Gregynog Hall, near Newtown, from 1975 to 1997.

"From May to August I can be at the cemetery everyday strimming, mowing or planting," said Mr Evans.

He also places flowers and plants on graves when relations are too elderly to tend them.

"I can't give it up because it's in my system, but I suppose I started looking after the graveyard because my parents, grandpartents, uncles, aunts and cousins are buried there."

The awards are organised by the Memorial Awareness Board, which represents monumental masons.

Chapel minister Peter Williams said he hoped it would encourage others to restore and look after small graveyards.

"Far too many are neglected and overgrown and its such a shame because they can be very peaceful places to relax and think," he said.

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