Decision time on arson-hit chapel

Fire at Eastwood Cemetery chapel, off Chewton Street.
Fire at Eastwood Cemetery chapel, off Chewton Street.

The future of the fire-ravaged Eastwood Cemetery Chapel is now in the hands of Broxtowe Borough Council, after public consultation ended this week.

At a cabinet meeting earlier this month, councillors decided to ask the public what should happen to the building after a devastating arson attack. More than 2,000 questionnaires were sent out.

People were asked whether they would like to see the landmark rebuilt or for the structure to be bulldozed.

The consultation, sent out by council leader Cllr Milan Radulovic, gave a deadline for people to submit their views by Wednesday (June 18).

Members of Eastwood-born DH Lawrence’s family are buried near to the chapel and now the DH Lawrence Society has called for the chapel to be restored.

Malcolm Gray, chairman of the society, said that he would like to see it become a community facility.

He added: “It would be great to turn it into a DH Lawrence heritage centre, but that isn’t going to happen. The Lawrence family graveyard is there and as a society we would like to see it restored.”

David Brock. editor of the society’s newsletter, said that it is important to preserve anything that has a link to Lawrence to keep community spirit in Eastwood.

He added: “I endorse what Malcolm has said.

“The chapel is a place of pilgrimage. While the remains of DH aren’t there, there is a moving tribute to the author on one of the headstones.

“People come to Eastwood because of DH, we should not underestimate the importance and greatness of his history.”

A spokesperson for the bocouncil said the next step is for the cabinet to meet and consider the consultation results.