The Custodian was in day-to-day charge of the running of the Cemetery. He was also a Special Constable. He lived in the Lodge.

Custodian’s duties
The Custodian, who was also a special constable, was in charge of the entire Burial Ground

Duties of Custodian
The following list of duties forms part of a printed document entitled ‘Regulations’, dated 7 November 1848. The first two clauses concern general regulations.

3. That there shall be a Custodian appointed by the Board, at weekly wages, who shall live in the Lodge rent and rates free:

That he shall be sworn a Special Constable, and that his duties shall be:

  1. To maintain order in the grounds.
  2. To keep a register book of appointments for Funerals, so as to prevent Funerals clashing.
  3. To keep the paths clean and in order, and also the edges of the grass cut to the width of one foot.
  4. To keep the Chapel clean.
  5. To keep the Avenue in order.
  6. To lock the gates at appointed times.

That the Custodian shall not be allowed to receive any fees or to undertake any duties other than the above unless specially permitted by the Executive Committee.

7. That to meet the cost of Custodian’s salary, and such further expenses of cleaning the Chapel and of all other works as are left to the care of the Executive Committee, and for which the interest of the Repair Fund is either inapplicable or insufficient, the Incumbents and Churchwardens of each Parish and District be requested to agree to a payment of £1. 10s. per Quarter …

8. That the Custodian have power to enter on the various portions of ground for the purpose of exercising his office as constable.

9. That no worker in stone, brick, metal, or wood, be allowed to undertake any work in the grounds without exhibiting to the Custodian a written permit from the Incumbent (or some one on his behalf) in the ground of whose parish the work is to be done, authorising its execution.

List of Custodians
A complete list of custodians is yet to be compiled. For the first 30 years of the Cemetery’s existence we know that a Custodian (sometimes known as ‘Porter’) was appointed and lived in the Lodge but do not know his name. Nor do we yet know in which year after the Second World War the appointment of a Custodian was discontinued. From 1948, the post was apparently titled ‘Superintendent’.

The following incomplete list is drawn from Cambridge street directories:

Dates Name
1861 Charles Simpkin
1874-81 William Crick
1883-97 William Coote
1897-1915 Thomas Stanbridge
1916-40 Thomas George North
1948 Sidney Coulson
1951-75 George Richardson

Source: Cambridgeshire County Archive, R72/054, ‘Cambridgeshire Parochial Burial Grounds (Mill Road)’, Box 2
Sources: Spalding’s Cambridge Street Directories; Kelly’s Cambridge Street Directories

By Ian Bent