Spring is the Time for New Headstones

Winter is almost over and if you are considering a new memorial for a grave or replacing/renovating an existing one, now is a good time to do it. At Sarsfield Memorials, the oldest independent memorial mason in Liverpool headstones are the core part of our business and Spring is always a busy time for us.

Liverpool headstones

In Spring the ground is much firmer and settled providing the perfect conditions for memorial installation. As we leave the dark winter months behind us, a newly erected headstone at your loved one’s grave for the Spring and Summer provides a fitting tribute. It is somewhere where their lives can be commemorated in a perfect way, surrounded by the newly sprouted flowers. We have a wide selection of headstones available to order and examples are here. However if you do not see what you require please contact us as we can usually tailor memorials to suit your wishes.

Erecting new headstones in the winter can be problematic due to the soil being frozen or extremely soggy, making it impossible to pour the cement for the foundation. Inclement weather and the darker nights can also mean that even if you were to install a headstone in November or December, if it is a lighter coloured material it may already be in need of a clean by the time you are visiting in the warmer months.

Spring is naturally a good time to have a headstone cleaned after the battering they can take in the winter months. Even the most durable granite memorials need a clean from time to time, while the softer and lighter materials such as marble and Portland stone can become discoloured especially if they are near falling leaves.

Relatively newer headstones can sometimes be cleaned with just warm water if the right material is used to apply it. We do not recommend cleaning your your memorial yourself though as using the wrong methods can cause lasting damage, damaging the gold leaf or causing staining or chemical corrosion to softer stones. At Sarsfield Memorials we have a range of options available for repair and renovation, from a simple clean to re-gilding of inscriptions, we are always happy to share our knowledge and expertise with you at no cost, if it is something that you can do yourself.

The images on this blog page show how memorials can be made to look as good as new after a clean. If you do not live locally we will update you with progress, providing before and after photographs. If you would like to discuss the installation of a new memorial or cleaning/restoration of an existing one, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a free no obligation quote.



Utting Avenue – Sir John Utting

Utting Avenue, one of the boulevard style roads developed by Liverpool Corporation in the 1920s, is named after Sir John Utting, a doctor who was the city’s Mayor during the First World War.

Utting Avenue

Sir John was born in Norfolk in 1852. After qualifying as a surgeon he spent three years travelling abroad before settling in Liverpool in 1877, becoming a general medical practitioner in Anfield. In 1899 he was elected to the City Council as a Conservative member for the Kirkdale ward, putting great energy into serving others despite his already busy work schedule.

The three years that Utting had spent travelling made him an ideal candidate to be on the Port Sanitary Committee and Chairman of the University of Liverpool School of Hygiene. When war broke out i 1914 he joined the Reserve Medical Corps, being attached to the First Western Hospital at Fazakerley.

In 1917 Utting was released from his regiment to be Mayor of Liverpool. During a busy year as Mayor he raised £80,000 for the Red Cross and also set up the Million Shilling Relief Fund. This was established to raise funds for soldiers from Liverpool who were being held as prisoners of war in Germany.

Utting Avenue

After the war Utting became Chairman of the Finance Committee. He proved himself to be very shrewd with public funds and he always put the ratepayers’ interests first. He was knighted in 1924 and the same year it was announced that the new boulevard leading towards the corporation housing developments at Norris Green would be named Utting Avenue. 

After a brave fight against pneumonia and pleurisy Utting died on 17th February 1927 at his home St Annes Hill, Anfield Road. This no longer stands was on the site of what is now a car park for Liverpool Football Club. 

A memorial service took place at St Nicholas Church followed by a burial in Anfield Cemetery, where 5,000 watched his coffin being taken to the grave. Sadly his headstone is now lying flat with the inscription face down