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Book of remembrance

Our book of remembrance provides a lasting, dignified memorial to your loved one.

By having the name of your loved one inscribed in our book of remembrance, you can be sure that their name and your lasting message of love will be preserved for all time.

We have two books of remembrance - one at Saltwell Crematorium and one at Birtley Crematorium. Each is handmade and lettered on the finest sheepskin parchment by professional calligraphers, using skills and techniques devised by monastic scribes who laboured on lavishly illuminated medieval documents such as the Lindisfarne Gospels. This ensures the our books of remembrance will, in our care, last many hundreds of years.

Each book is displayed in an elegant glass case, with pages turned daily to display the inscriptions for that day. This offers family members the opportunity to mark the anniversary of a loved one's passing by visiting our crematorium and viewing their inscription in our book.

Each entry in our books may consist of two, five or eight lines of text. Entries of five or eight lines can enhanced with a suitable emblem such as a flower, animal, military badge or coat of arms.

Digital books of remembrance

Both crematoria have books of remembrance. Once entries have been seen in the book of remembrance, they can be accessed at any time, by using the  digital book of remembrance which sits alongside the original books.

Birtley book of remembrance (opens new window)

Saltwell book of remembrance (opens new window)

The digital book enables users to see their inscriptions 365 day of the year. It will not take the place of the original books of remembrance.  

Opening times

Saltwell and Birtley book of remembrance rooms will be open: 

April to September
Monday to Saturday 8.30am - 7pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am - 7pm

October to March
Monday to Saturday 8.30am - 3.45pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am - 3.45pm

Applying for an entry in the book

Information will usually be sent to the person who made the arrangements for the cremation five weeks after the cremation has taken place.

You can have an entry in the book if the cremation took place elsewhere.

Once an entry has been inscribed it cannot be removed. It is important that entries are submitted within four months of the date of death to ensure that they are shown for the first anniversary. If you have any queries about a book of remembrance please contact us. 

Application forms

Please print and complete the application form for the right crematorium, and follow the guidance notes.

Please note the books are only returned to us the month before going on display.

Information about the costs can be found on our fees and charges page.

Birtley book of remembrance application form (PDF) [145KB] (opens new window)

Birtley book of remembrance submission dates

Volume numberRemembrance dateSubmit entry no later than
1January to June30 September
2July to December31 March


Saltwell book of remembrance application form (PDF) [145KB] (opens new window)

Saltwell book of remembrance submission dates

Volume numberRemembrance dateSubmit entry no later than
1January to April30 September
2May to August31 January
September to December31 May


Once you have completed the application form you can either:

  • Bring it into the civic centre where you can pay by cash, cheque or debit/credit card
  • Post the form along with a cheque payable to 'Gateshead Council'  

The council reserves the right to vary any inscription as necessary or to refuse an entry which is considered unsuitable.

Contact us

Bereavement Services
Gateshead Council
Park Road Depot
0191 433 3816 or 433 3811 

Office opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm