Ceme­tery is closed again

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life - BY JOHN FISHER LEEDS

HILL­TOP CEME­TERY in Leeds has been closed to the pub­lic for a sec­ond time af­ter Leeds City Coun­cil civil en­gi­neers classified the Gelderd Road site as danger­ous.

Two years ago, the col­lapse of a grave and grave­stone forced Leeds Jewish Or­tho­dox Ceme­ter­ies to close the ceme­tery for re­pairs. Hill­top re­opened in June 2007 with as­sur­ances about its safety. But fur­ther sub­si­dence has cre­ated more danger­ous con­di­tions.

No fur­ther buri­als will take place at the ceme­tery, which dates back to the early 1870s. LJOC chair­man Dan Co­hen ex­plained that struc­tural prob­lems were the re­sult of coal min­ing tun­nels run­ning un­der the grounds.

“Th­ese col­lapses [of land] can oc­cur at any time and in any part of the ceme­tery and while the Coal Au­thor­ity will al­ways seek to re­pair the col­lapse, they can­not pre­vent them from oc­cur­ring.”

Mr Co­hen added that un­til LJOC was cer­tain that the prob­lems had been re­solved, “we can­not in good con­science al­low peo­ple on to the ceme­tery”.

Fam­i­lies of those buried at Hill­top have been in­formed about the clo­sure. There have been some 20 funer­als in the last 30 years, the most re­cent in Novem­ber 2007.

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