The front page of the local paper was dominated by a striking picture of men in hard hats and High vis jackets assembling a plastic prefab grave block.
This is in many ways an elegant solution to the problem that the local grave yards are running out of plots and though there remains some land most of it is currently unsuitable for burials. The system works by digging a very large trench – in this case in sandy ground – and filling it with a plastic framework that divides the trench into 12 compartments which are then backfilled until required.
The prefab system will allow graves to be closer together , and will of course make a little more space for those who really wish for this option.
This is the engineers solution to what will be an increasingly pressing problem for many communities. As the population ages more of us will die. More options for disposal of the dead will be required.
Aesthetically perhaps it is more of a problem. Many of us live our lives in closely packed little boxes, The prospect of waiting for judgement day in another one does not strike me as immediately appealing.
So what is to be done? Having been to quite a few crematorium services this seems to me to be about efficient disposal – but not what I would wish for.
I much prefer the idea of a green burial - http://www.woodlandburialground.co.uk/What-Is-a-Woodland-Burial/ but so far there are very limited options for this. It is OK if you live in Dorset or the Wirral.
I have probably got a few years to go yet – but I hope that by the time I need one there will be some green burial sites nearer to where I live.
Most of our graveyards are a legacy from the Victorians. They are full up. We need a different option now.