Published: 2 February, 2017
• I EXPECT Highgate Cemetery’s management is secretly delighted at the publicity generated by the late George Michael’s interment there.
It’ll be interesting to know whether his fans wishing to leave floral tributes in the cemetery in his memory will be charged an entry fee for the privilege.
If fans are charged to enter, let’s hope Highgate Cemetery (HC) does the right thing and donates the proceeds to charity (one other than Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, of course).
Chief executive officer Ian Dungavell was minuted at last year’s AGM as saying it was “nonsense to think that the cemetery should not encourage tourism” and he hasn’t disappointed.
Where else can one buy those essential HC-branded scented candles (£18 each), Karl Marx-themed honey (£8 a jar) and “ironic” notebooks (£2 for eight pieces of A5 paper)? I wonder what future delights we can expect Brand HC to offer up for visitors to buy, buy, buy – perhaps its own fashion or perfume range?
I have a splendid idea that will complement the above-mentioned, overpriced, tat and really up those treasured TripAdvisor ratings: a permanent café in the West cemetery’s courtyard! Here punters can savour an organic extra skinny soya latte and a reviving cake as they watch mourners attempt to file through the tour groups to visit their loved ones.
After all, why send valuable tourism pounds elsewhere when you could milk (and sugar) visitors onsite yourself? Heck, it’s not like HC’s a working burial ground or anything…
Church End, Finchley