Not many people can say they have buried 1300 people. In this 'Newsbeat' report Cathal O'Shannon meets gravedigger Paudge who dug his first grave in 1912 and continued in the job for 56 years.
During his lengthy career, Paudge has seen a number of changes in his line of work. When he first started on the job, people were buried in sections of the cemetery based on how much they could afford to pay for a grave. The costs for a grave in those days were £3, £2 or 30 shillings and £5 would pay for a funeral and a plot. When the system changed people were allocated the next available plot in the graveyard, regardless of their wealth.
Let King George go there, let you go next, let me go next, let the travelling man on the road go next, no exceptions made now sir, everyone folly suit sir, money don't count now sir.
At one point people used to reserve graves and Paudge would leave the plot vacant and dig other graves around the green space. However if the reserved plot was not paid for, it could not be held indefinitely and would eventually be sold to another person.
Paudge has his own grave, but is amused at the notion of digging it himself. He sees death as the great leveller,
The man with nothing in his pocket will go, and the man with the thousands will have to go too.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report by Cathal O'Shannon broadcast on 4 June 1971.