Saturday, May 2, 2020

"Bringing back memories to people" during lockdown

Every day since the lockdown began, 37-year-old Ryan van Emmenis has been taking walks around his neighborhood in Winsford, Cheshire, England, cleaning gravestones. After tidying a family member's marker, he noticed how many more were weather-worn and dirty. So he resolved to take 20 minutes out of his daily walk to clean up stones in two local cemeteries.

So far he has tidied up 24 stones in St. Chad's and Swanlow Park cemeteries. He owns a cleaning company, and uses industrial cleaning products for older stones. "Some of these stones I'm cleaning are over 100 years old -- and algae, moss, etc. can really have a negative impact on them. Since Emmenis published a few pictures of his work on social media, he's been flooded with praise from neighbors. Some said they hadn't been able to visit their family graves for 20 years, adding, "you're bringing memories back to people."

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