Our Delliefure Natural Burial Ground will be ten years old this year, and we have a new custodian, Mr John Diffey!
John lives with his wife Kathleen less than 10 minutes away from the burial ground, at Cromdale Station just the other side of the River Spey. Here he has refurbished the old train station, once operated by the Great North of Scotland Railway Company. The station’s old line connected those living in the Highlands and the many whisky distilleries to the rest of the UK. John has converted a 1916 train carriage (a GNSR 3rd Composite Brake Carriage for any enthusiasts reading) that accommodates four people.
If you need any more encouragement to visit, then the Speyside distilleries produce more whisky than any other region. Close to Delliefure are the Cragganmore, Aberlour and Glenfiddich Distilleries, to name just three. There’s also some fantastic game fishing!
January 2015 will be John’s first month as custodian but this isn’t his first involvement with the natural burial ground. In 2011, he took part in our working party to help clear branches that had broken under heavy winter snow. Around thirty people came that day and all got stuck in to help repair the damage. Since then, John has had an ongoing connection with Delliefure and was delighted when asked to take up the custodial role.
His vision for the burial ground is simple – to give others the chance to enjoy the beauty of it. He sees Delliefure not as a place of sadness, but rather as an opportunity to make the grieving process as gentle as possible.
John believes that forming a relationship with the burial ground and the area will help give families a sense of peace. The calm of the flowing river, the calls of the wildlife, the trees festooned with lichens and surrounded by bracken all changing through the seasons make Delliefure an invigorating and inspiring place to be. John’s knowledge of the area and it’s trees and wildlife, and about what works well at a funeral are all things he’d like to share, so do get in touch, he’d be delighted to hear from you.
John at Delliefure as he begins his custodial role, 2015
The 'camping coach' at Cromdale Station.
John (right) at the Delliefure working party, 2011
Stories and thoughts from Elaine and James.
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