Central Co-op Celebrates the Renovation of D.H. Lawrence’s Family Headstone
Posted by sam bishop | Published: 23/05/2023
The close family of D.H. Lawrence, the celebrated English writer known for classics like Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, and Lady Chatterley's Lover, are buried in Eastwood Cemetery in Nottinghamshire, and Central Co-op has partnered with The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum in Eastwood to restore the graves, including:
• Lydia Lawrence: D.H. Lawrence’s mother
• Arthur Lawrence: D.H. Lawrence’s father
• William Ernest Lawrence: D.H. Lawrence’s elder brother
The project started when Dr Andrew Harrison, Lawrence biographer and head of the D.H. Lawrence Research Centre in Nottingham, noticed that the headstone was getting to be in very poor condition. The funding to restore the headstone then came from The D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum and Broxtowe Borough Council, who own and manage the nearby D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum.
The Co-operative Society was a huge part of Eastwood town life during Lawrence’s lifetime. His mother attended the reading rooms above the shop, which was on the main Nottingham Road, and even towards the end of his life D.H. Lawrence could remember the family’s co-op number.
A celebratory event was held on Saturday, 20th May which saw attendees gather at the Birthplace Museum and then walk to see the refurbished grave.
Nichola Roberts, Floral and Masonry Manager at Central Co-op, said: “When Central Co-op’s masonry team were approached about the restoration of the DH Lawrence family headstone, we jumped at the chance to honour the family of such a prestigious writer. The team worked tirelessly to restore the headstone at Eastwood Cemetery, and it was a pleasure working with the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum to make this possible. The Co-operative Society played a big role in DH Lawrence’s family history, so we’re honoured to be given the opportunity to make sure they’re remembered properly.”
Carolyn Melbourne, Museum and Collections Officer at the Birthplace Museum, said: “We’re really pleased that we have been able to assist in the restoration of the Lawrence family grave. Many of the people who visit us at the museum go on to explore the wider Eastwood area to see the places that Lawrence wrote about in his works and this includes visiting the grave. Having is restored is a tribute to the legacy that Lawrence continues to leave in the town, county and across the world.”
Dr Andrew Harrison, Director of the D.H. Lawrence Research Centre said: "The Lawrence family grave in Eastwood Cemetery is an important landmark in the town, commemorating not only the author's life but that of his brother William Ernest, who tragically died of erysipelas in 1901 at the age of twenty-three, and the lives of his mother and father, who died in 1910 and 1924 respectively. The D. H. Lawrence Society is proud to have contributed to the upkeep of it."
Alan Wilson, Chairman of the D.H. Lawrence Society added: “We are thrilled to have this monument restored so beautifully, serving as a visual symbol of the legacy of D.H. Lawrence, his family, and a close connection with the Eastwood heritage.”
About Central Co-op
Central Co-op is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK, with a heritage stretching back over 175 years and interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.
Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its 7,700 colleagues serve customers across 440 plus trading sites in 21 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Its purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all.
It actively campaigns for food justice and works with FareShare Midlands and a network of local food banks. It also adds £1 to every Healthy Start Voucher redeemed in store and supports six schools in partnership with Magic Breakfasts.
The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter. The Society is also a member of Diversity in Retail and it is fully committed to addressing the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon and food waste, increasing recycling and investment in community Sustainable Spaces funded by the carrier bag levy. It recently launched its Malawi Partnership to support farmers and producers in the country through the Co-operative International Trading Development Fund.
It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £109,769.25 shared out between 121 good causes in 2022.
Press office contact: Sam Bishop, PR Specialist