Horncastle’s Stuart digs his way to the top for national award

Stuart Goodacre
Stuart Goodacre

A Horncastle resident has put the town on the map after he won a national award - he has been named Gravedigger of the Year.

Stuart Goodacre, Horncastle’s Cemetery Estate Manager, was named Gravedigger of the year in the 2013 Good Funeral Awards.

Stuart, who lives on the cemetery site itself, was nominated by a number of residents and found about the nominations on Facebook.

“I saw on one of the Horncastle Facebook pages that people were nominating me for this award,” he said.

“I think roughly 20 people nominated me.

“Then I found out it had been whittled down to the final six and I was invited to the awards ceremony on Bournemouth.”

Unfortunately, Stuart was unable to attend due to work commitments but he was delighted when he found out he had won the award.

“I was gutted to have missed it, but I had some training that I’d put back since the start of the year,” Stuart continued.

“But I’m really pleased to have won the award and to have received some acknowledgement for the work that I do - a lot of people don’t realise the amount of work that needs to be done.”

As well as digging graves for burial services, Stuart is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery grounds, the chapel and the office building.

Stuart has been Estate Manager since 2008, but was previously the assistant for seven years before taking over.

“I’m really thankful that people have noticed what I do up here,” Stuart said.

“From what I was told by the Good Funeral Guide I was nominated for how neat I keep the cemetery and for my attention to detail.”