, 2022-09-04 03:00:00,
The gravestone in Helensburgh cemetery is in loving memory of someone, but it’s hard to tell exactly who. Exposure to 92 years of Scottish weather has rendered it grimy and grubby, but two small streaks of white at the bottom corner catch Ryan Nott’s attention on a rainy day in May. And so, the next day, the 31-year-old student accommodation manager comes back with a car boot full of equipment. He wears long sleeves to cover his arms and black rubber gloves. As the cemetery echoes to the cheers and chants of football fans watching a match on TV in the nearby flats, Nott starts to spray. The gravestone slowly begins to sizzle as the hydrochloric acid he’s splashed on the memorial stone creates a noisy, bubbling fizz. A grey smoke curls up towards the sky and as he scrubs the memorial with a steel brush, a light sweat beads his brow.
The stone features four intricately carved roses and each one is speckled with green moss and white lichen splodges. Nott takes out another brush, not unlike a children’s paintbrush, and works the acid into the petals. Quickly – so quickly that it almost seems like a magic trick – it becomes apparent that the headstone is made of white marble. Gorgeous, glistening, gleaming white marble on which the names of three long-departed sisters appear.
This is the 23rd gravestone that Nott has cleaned in this cemetery in the past year. Genealogy has been a hobby of his since he was 12, when a teacher sparked his interest by asking the class to…
To read the original article from www.theguardian.com, Click here