A KEIGHLEY brewery has given its support to a graveyard trust.

Timothy Taylor's is sponsoring the organisation set up four years ago to restore and maintain historic Dockroyd graveyard in Oakworth.

More than 2,500 people, 572 of them children aged under five, were interred at the former Wesleyan Methodist burial ground between 1844 and 1969.

Following its formal closure, the graveyard fell into decline and became overgrown with self-seeded trees, ivy and brambles.

Andrew Heaton, who himself has ancestors buried there, bought the site in 2019 and with volunteers has restored it.

The trust has also worked extensively to uncover more about people laid to rest at the location, and the stories behind their lives – including a lawmaker in the infamous Dodge City and a trailblazer for women’s football, plus men who built Manorlands at Oxenhope and Timothy Taylor’s Knowle Spring brewery.

The first burial to take place at the site was that of a one-year-old boy, Thomas Ickeringill, and the last person to be interred there was 70-year-old Mabel Falkingham.

Mr Heaton, who chairs Dockroyd Graveyard Trust, has compiled a new book spotlighting some of those buried there.

The publication, Dockroyd History Makers, also examines stories about influential families that lived in the area during the years the graveyard was functioning.

As part of its support for the trust, Taylor's is sponsoring the book – available at dockroydgraveyardtrust.org.uk/dockroyd-history-makers

All proceeds from sales will go towards maintaining the graveyard.

Jean Sugden, a trustee of Dockroyd Graveyard Trust, says: "It continues to amaze me that a small Wesleyan Methodist graveyard in a West Yorkshire village has impacted so many lives.

"As you pass the graveyard, remember these are not just old dusty Victorians, they are real people with real families, and this is the reason for improving the graveyard and showing respect to our ancestors.

"A big 'thank you' goes to Timothy Taylor’s brewery, which has helped support us in our mission through its generous sponsorship and promotion."

Scott Cameron, senior brand manager at Timothy Taylor’s, says: "As part of our commitment to the local community, we are very proud to be the new partner sponsor of the Dockroyd Graveyard Trust.

"The work the trust has done in uncovering some of the key figures within the Keighley area is valuable, making sure we don’t forget the men and women who laid the foundations for our town, including Timothy Taylor’s brewery."