Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 60

SAM PERRIN SA bankrupt. Who looks after these headstones now? As it stands, no one but volunteers from local councils and friends organizations. We thoroughly research each cemetery’s history. We discover people who weren’t well known but who had an interesting incident happen to them or who did something unusual. It’s not necessarily about the famous or infamous. People just love to hear intriguing stories that they wouldn’t know by reading a book, or going online. We created a “Vice and Virtue Tour" for Abney Park because it is the final resting place of some fantastically interesting people—from abolitionists to police officers killed in the line of duty to musical stars. Rebecca Jarrett's buried there. She was a reformed prostitute who worked with a journalist, W.T. Stead, in1885, to expose how easy it was to procure an underage prostitute in London. Through her help, the age of consent was raised. Another of my favorite people buried there is Benjamin Mitchell Jenkins. He conducted an orchestra of 150 mandolin players, 130 of whom were women. He's part of the Virtue part of the tour because after the First World War, he taught blinded servicemen how to play mandolins and guitars. You could apply the Vice and Virtue theme to a tour of any cemetery. I have had adverse reactions when people hear that I am a cemetery tour guide. People have expressed everything from raised eyebrows to horror. When people feel apprehension about taking a guided cemetery tour it's largely down to the fact that they We celebrate the lives of the people who are buried and the ornate funerary art and architecture. 60 | ART OF DYING