Aylesbury Vale man shares delight at being the area's only grave tender
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An Aylesbury Vale man has celebrated the success of his new start up launched last year.
Andy Stephenson from North Marston, who had worked in construction for 25 years, was looking for a new source of inspiration.
The Bucks grandfather found a gap in the market and has become a local grave tender.
He said: “Coming out of Covid, I had been looking for something to do with my life.
"‘But I could only come up with the things I didn’t want to do! However a random Facebook post from a grave tender changed all that.
"Grave tending is well established in certain regions of the U.K. but not here. The family had always maintained my grandparents’ graves, so I had a basic idea of what was involved, but the more I looked into it, the more and more boxes it ticked.”
Memories Grave Tending, which is based in North Marston, is a service where Andy will improve faded gravestones. He will clean memorials, repaint any faded inscriptions, level graves that have sunk, lay flowers on special occasions and make sure they look great.
His service is aimed mainly at people who are unable to look after the graves of their loved ones themselves. This could be someone who lives too far away or is not physically capable of cleaning the graves themselves.
Andy added: “The main hurdle to be overcome was explaining what we do.
"But the results are so stunning ,when you see the before & after photos, that they speak for themselves.”
“All the local funeral directors, who have been so welcoming and helpful."
Members of Andy’s family now help out with the start-up. His wife, Chris, is involved in the back office admin and bookkeeping, but doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty when deadlines are tight. She also does the posies & wreaths which are left at the grave after a job is successfully completed.
Chris’ son Mark is a painter and decorator, so with his steady hand, he does the free hand painting work on the intricate inscriptions or marble work, where an eye for detail is essential.
Memories can be contacted on 07410 976188 or online here.