A gravestone the shape of a car, one lying flat on its face and another reduced to a pile of rubble are just some of the more unusual headstones on this year's Warrnambool cemetery tour.
Warrnambool Family History Group's Ray Welsford said he had wandered the cemetery picking out the more unusual or interesting gravestones and researched their history.
The tour visits the grave of Warrnambool race car drivers Colin and Eileen Dunne.
"They were both killed in a horrendous race car accident at Cowes in January 1940, and their gravestone is in the shape of a stylised racing car," he said.
Teenager Jack Denham, the cabin boy on the La Bella when it ran aground at the back of the breakwater in 1905, was one of eight to perish in the shipwreck and is buried in Warrnambool.
"He was washed overboard and his headless remains came ashore east of the mouth of Hopkins River four or five days later. The coronial inquest decided it was him," Mr Welsford said.
"One of the plumbers of the day made him a very elaborate headstone out of tin plate rather than stone, and over the years it rusted away."
The tour also visits one of several headstones damaged when Warrnambool was struck by an earthquake in 1903.
The gravestone of the Watsons, who were early surveyors of land in Warrnambool, was one that toppled over as the ground shook.
"It was a big high octagonal stone in three pieces and it's now in a pile on the ground," he said.
"They did not have children so there was probably no one left to worry about fixing it.
"There is another one beside it it flat on its face, but I haven't included it on the tour because the inscription is facedown and it's big heavy basalt stone.
"Apart from being unable to shift it, it's also illegal to shift it - you can't interfere with a headstone unless you are the family."
Mr Welsford said they will also visit the oldest dated headstone in the cemetery in the corner near Proudfoots which belongs to Elizabeth Lane.
The tours run:
- January 1 at 6pm,
- January 2 at 10am,
- Wednesday, January 5 at 2pm,
- Saturday, January 8 at 2pm,
- Sunday, January 9 at 6pm,
- Wednesday, January 12 at 10am,
- Wednesday, January 26 at 2pm.
Meet at the rotunda for the 90-minute tour. A donation of $5 is appreciated.
IN OTHER NEWS:
- Coastal land sale opens door for housing estate
- Rates are on the rise again next year
- Community stalwart farewelled
- Town bounces back after tough run
- Can speedway's new year's day specialist o it again?
- The stories you cared about the most in 2021
- Best news photos of 2021
- South-west's 2021 sporting highlights
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.