Ashley tackled some low hanging branches whilst Naomi and Rachel cleared a grave and weeds that surrounded it - only after refreshments had been provided for tea drinkers of the group by David the church warden.
David wanted the group to pay particular attention during the session to clearing the grave of Francis Boott - an American physician and botanist who was a resident of Great Britain from 1820 until his death in 1863.
Boott’s grave is significant as he’s remembered as a pioneer of using ether anaesthetics in England. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he went to Harvard College and moved to Derby aged 19. Following some years training as a merchant and heading back to America for family reasons and some botanical expeditions, Boott settled on studying medicine in 1820 and moved to London where he was tutored by Dr. John Armstrong. Gaining a doctor’s degree in Edinburgh in 1824 allowed Boott to return to London and set up his practice in 1825 where he remained until 1832.
Boott was especially noted for; “his treatment of fevers, in which he followed the practice of giving abundance of air to the patient, a course which at that time was vehemently objected to by the profession at large.”
The first use of ether as an anaesthetic in Britain (for a dental procedure) was in Boott's house at 24 Gower Street on 19 December 1846. This is commemorated by a plaque on the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which now stands on the site.
Unfortunately, the immediate cause of Boott’s death was disease of the right lung, induced by pneumonia and he died at his home in London on 25th December 1863. Find out more about Boott's life
It was great to see what a difference the group could make to this grave and the garden surrounding it.
GoodGym Derby volunteers are next at St Matthew's Church on Saturday 20th August - sign up here to get involved.
Thanks to everyone for coming along to improve this section of the church's garden.
We joined a network of scouts, parents and leaders in beavering away at the overgrown garden, squirreling rocks from the undergrowth, and transporting them to an orderly pile next to the hut.
The group had provided us with cubs of water - much appreciated in the 29-degree temperature – so that our group of explorers would be prepared for our jog back through the park.
Join us to clean up some of the bridge and lower outdoor steps at Derby's River Gardens so we can maintain keeping this area looking its best.
We'll be provided with brushes and scrapers and will just need to wear old clothes/trainers. Any of the waste cleared from steps (moss and weeds) can be put into the River Derwent - it doesn't need to be bagged and taken away.
Meet at the location - bridge by River Gardens - for anytime during the task.
From Fred the hair brush (rest in piece-s) to names of Tracey's cars like Bumble who she used to bumble along slowly in, there wasn't a quiet moment and so many questions were raised.
After Ashley was chastised for daring to mention Christmas in August, the group hotly debated their thoughts on festive celebrations with some firmly believing it really is the most wonderful time of the year whilst others needed a little more convincing. Everyone was however happily on the same page with reference to the Lionesses recent win and updates from the Commonwealth Games happening in Birmingham.
As the group hadn't visited one of Derby's green spaces in a while, they took the litter picking session to Darley Park and covered just over 3km clearing the park of rubbish. The most interesting item the group found was a car badge which was left by the side of the road in case anyone returned to collect it.
Thanks to Ashley and Tracey for helping out and for the great photos Tracey took.
We've had a couple of Group Runs to St Matthew's Church on 2nd July and on 16th July, and have been amazed at the difference we've made. So many of the memorial slates can now be seen in the Garden of Rest, and overgrown graves have been cleared.
There´s still lots that we can help out with so join us to make even more of an impact with a few hours on a Saturday morning.
This is a Community Mission (no run) so we will meet at the church. Please bring a pair of gardening gloves and wear clothes you don´t mind getting dirty.