Sarsfield & the ‘New Normal’

At Sarsfield Memorials we are slowly adapting to the ‘new normal’ or ‘different kind of normal’ following the lockdown caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. There are however some changes to the way we are operating.

black and white photo of grand daughter of founder of business

When restrictions were at their tightest in April and May, we regrettably were unable to offer any kind of service apart from giving advice by phone or email. Sarsfield Memorials has always prided itself on delivering a personal face to face service and this was impossible. In terms of working in cemeteries, most of what we do requires two people due to the size and weight of memorials and it wasn’t feasible to do this within the social distancing guidelines. Keeping our staff safe, and not playing any part in the spread of the virus, was our primary concern.

As restrictions are relaxed, we are now able to offer a personal service again, albeit in a very different way to what we have been used to. Visiting inside your home remains out of the question, but we can see clients in their gardens, maintaining the two metre rule (or one metre plus by wearing face coverings).

We have also been able to meet clients in cemeteries to discuss their loved one’s new or refurbished memorial. As coffee shops and restaurants are opening we like to support other small businesses and are happy to arrange to meet you in premises open to the public. In accordance with social distancing and any rules that the individual premises may have, we’ll be happy to buy you a tea or coffee. We understand that some families may not wish to discuss a memorial in this way and we are here to help you in anyway we can to find a solution that both you as a customer and us as a small business are comfortable with.

When it comes to the processing of orders, the global supply chain did slow down during the pandemic, with many material suppliers not operating. This means that whereas we usually aim to have your memorial fixed within 6 to 12 weeks of ordering, 12 to 18 weeks on individually designed memorials is now a more realistic timeframe.

Please be aware too that some services cannot be offered at present due to circumstances beyond our control. These vary across local authorities who have had to make their own adjustments to cope with staff shortages caused by sickness or staff shielding during the lockdown. One example is in Liverpool city council cemeteries and in Sefton council cemeteries, where there have been no interment of cremated remains.

We will continue to review our working practices as government guidelines change. In all cases yours and our safety remains paramount. Please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and arrange a socially distanced meeting.

10% Discount For Restoration of Pre 1960 Graves

During the Covid 19 lockdown there has been a huge increase in the number of people researching their family trees and considering graves restoration. Many have had more time on their hands due to being furloughed from work, while cemeteries are one of the few public places that have remained open for people to go and check on graves of family members they have located.

graves restoration

The digitising of burial records up to the year 2000 for all Liverpool city council run cemeteries has opened the door for family researches looking into relatives who lived in that area. Committee members from the Friends of Allerton Cemetery have advised us they are receiving requests almost daily or assistance in locating graves there. Previously it would be just once a week or fortnight.

Inevitably, there may be disappointment at locating the grave plot of an ancestor only to find that there is no headstone, or one exists but is in a poor state of repair. However, within local authority-run cemeteries, permission is not usually required to clean up a memorial or re-gild the lettering.

It is tempting to try cleaning the memorial yourself, but you must be very cautious about this, as chemicals can cause the memorial material to deteriorate further, also damage can be caused to lettering. In the past year, a number of new local companies have been offering grave cleaning services, of varying standards.

At Sarsfield Memorials, we have been in the memorial business for 73 years and are Liverpool’s longest running family independent firm of monumental masons. We never compromise on quality and can assure you that we will only use the most suitable products in graves restoration and cleaning. Likewise, we will properly re-gild lettering and we can repair and replace leaded letters not simply paint over.

For anyone who has located an old family grave during lockdown and are looking at renovating the memorial, up until 31st August 2020 we are offering a 10% discount for cleaning, renovation and refixing of all memorials that were fitted before 1960. This we hope will go some way to helping out anyone who may be tempted by those offering lesser quality services, as well as bringing older sections of cemeteries into better shape. Please note however we cannot offer this discount where cemetery fees may apply for carrying out cleaning, in Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese run cemeteries for example Ford and Yew Tree cemeteries.

If you would like to discuss the restoration/cleaning of a memorial, please contact us here for a free no obligation quotation.