When Memorial Renovation Isn’t Worth It

Sarsfield Memorials pride ourselves on being Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental mason business. We pride ourselves on providing quality products and an excellent service. However when memorial renovation isn’t worth it, we will tell you so even though we lose business as a result.

A couple of months ago we had a query regarding the restoration of an old family monument that is well over one hundred years old. The memorial, which was much taller than average, was situated in  a churchyard under some trees, leading to staining in addition to general erosion due to weather.

graveyard on summers day

When we discussed the possibility of the memorial renovation with the church concerned, we had to be realistic with the circumstances. The Diocese does not have the funds to maintain churchyards to the standards of years gone by. This meant that due to its location in the churchyard the memorial remained prone to both weathering and staining.

Another factor that had to be taken into consideration, one that is a sad reflection of today’s times, was the fact the memorial was also situated next to the churchyard wall. Being much taller than the wall, which could be scaled even if the gates were locked, made it a potential target for vandals.

Taking all circumstances into account, we advised the family concerned that they were probably best leaving the memorial as it was. We did not want a situation whereby their memorial became stained quicker than would normally be expected, or even worse suffer some vandalism.

After giving our advice we received a lovely letter from a member of the family, thanking us for our impartiality. It appreciated our “sound and invaluable advice despite the fact that you were talking yourself out of business. I am really impressed with your excellent service and if I ever need a stonemason in the future I will not hesitate to contact or Sarsfield or recommend your company to others”.

Receiving feedback like this makes us proud to represent Sarsfield Memorials.  For us, just being Liverpool’s oldest family run monumental business isn’t enough. We also want to leave a positive impression with anybody who contacts us, irrespective of whether we go on to provide a service.

George Patterson Liverpool Manager

Earlier this month Sarsfield Memorials have erected a headstone at the previously unmarked grave of George Patterson, who managed Liverpool FC before the Second World War.

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Patterson was born in Liverpool in 1887 and played semi professionally for Marine. In 1908 he joined Liverpool as an assistant secretary-manager to Tom Watson. When Watson who died suddenly in 1915 Patterson took charge of the team for the regionalised wartime competitions. On the resumption of the Football League in 1919, David Ashworth took charge of team affairs with Patterson remaining with the club as secretary.

In 1928 Matt McQueen, who succeeded Ashworth in 1923, resigned due to ill health.  Patterson replaced him as manager whilst also remaining secretary.  The eight years Patterson was in charge at Liverpool were not notable for success. The highest finish he could lead the Reds to was fourth in his first full season in charge. Most of the time was spent in mid table and after finishing nineteenth in 1936 he stepped down from the manager role, to be replaced by George Kay.

george patterson liverpool

Patterson reverted back to a sole secretarial role. After the outbreak war in September 1939 he left the club, but a connection remained as his son made some appearances for them in war competitions. Kay led Liverpool to the league title in 1946-47, with two players that had been handed their debuts by Patterson playing key roles. They were joint leading scorer Jack Balmer and midfielder Phil Taylor, who would himself go on to manage the club.

He continued to attend games as a supporter until the early 1950s when his health made it impossible. He died on 8th May 1955 aged 68 at his home in Skerries Road, which was just a goal kick away from the Anfield ground.

For many years Patterson’s grave was unmarked. After being located by the Liverpool FC Graves Association and Friends of Anfield Cemetery, funds were raised to have a new headstone made and this was put in place by Sarsfield Memorials in early July.