Stuart Goodacre, Gravedigger of the Year 2013, appeared on R4’s Pick of the Week. He is the third winner of a Good Funeral Award to be interviewed on Britain’s premier spoken word wireless station. This isn’t silly-stuff publicity, it’s serious publicity.
A good many people in Horncastle nominated Stuart. Here’s a taste of the sorts of things they said about him:
* Stuart is a caring young man who treats all his ‘clients’ as though they are close family members. He digs the grave by hand and cares for them afterwards as he would wish to find them he he was their son, brother or husband. Stuart takes enormous pride in his work but also displays thoughtful sensitivity.
* Stuart deserves the award as he gives a tremendous amount of effort digging every grave by hand. He also personally attends each ceremony and overlooks them with a high level of care.
* Horncastle cemetery has never looked so good Stuart Goodacre does a fantastic job, Stuart is a very dedicated lad and is a credit to the town , he always has a cheery smile and is willing to help and advise anyone that comes his way. If he hasn’t got a mower or strimmer in his hand he is guiding someone to a grave that someone can’t find.
* Stuart keeps all the graves as if they belonged to members of his family with the attitude that if he was visiting the grave of a relative he would like to find the grave like those he tends.
Stuart’s surname disguises a pun. God’s Acre is another name for a burial ground. It derives from the German, Gottesacker (lit. God’s field), and is the term the Moravians use for their cemeteries. There is a Moravian God’s Acre in Chelsea. Note: the grave markers are democratically identical and laid flat, giving rise to the legend that Moravians were buried vertically.
The Moravian God’s Acre, Chelsea