Headstone testing to get under way in Hawick’s Wellogate cemetery

Wellogate Cemetery, Hawick.
Wellogate Cemetery, Hawick.

The latest round of head stone safety testing is under way in the town.

Headstones in the Wellogate Cemetery are to undergo tests after concerns were raised over the state of headstones across the region last year.

The work is part of an ongoing Scottish Borders Council policy to check the condition of the headstones.

The latest phase got under way in September last year, with around 17,500 memorials in a further 18 cemeteries to be checked.

Testing was completed in Denholm’s cemetery in March this year, with 387 headstones tested and 125 made safe and at Wilton Cemetery work was completed in April, with 1,421 headstones tested and 590 made safe.

The next cemetery to be checked is Wellogate in Hawick, work at which began last Monday, June 10.

Yesterday, councillors representing both Hawick and Hermitage and Hawick and Denholm wards were invited to find out more about the testing process at Wellogate Cemetery.

As part of the process, if a safety concern is discovered the memorial will be made safe by socketing into the ground or by laying it flat.

If a memorial has to be made safe, the family – who are responsible for the memorial – can contact a monumental mason with a view to having it restored.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Due to the age of many of the headstones we are testing, there is now no identifiable owner or next of kin which means we cannot contact all family members directly.”

To find out more about the testing process go to www.scotborders.gov.uk/headstonetesting.