After leaving Woking station and town centre, 16 Polyramblers were soon walking along the quiet (apart from the interruption of cyclists) Basingstoke Canal.  The canal is bordered by trees and the autumn leaves were covering the water.  We reached St John’s lock and, soon after, we crossed to the other side of the canal that meandered alongside woodland.  We had lunch at the Nag’s Head pub and then made our way to Brookwood Station where we met our guide ‘on the other side’  of the railway.  We did a tour of the cemetery led by a member of the Brookwood Cemetery Society.  The weather was suitably grey for such an activity but it remained dry.  We learnt that the cemetery opened in November 1854 and was the largest in the world.  It had its own railway and a private station outside Waterloo station.  In the cemetery, there were two stations to serve each part of the cemetery: one for the Dissenters and one for Anglicans.  The tour concentrated on the Victorian era but the cemetery continues to serve all faiths and many nationalities.  It was designated as a Grade I Historic Park and Garden in 2009.  The cemetery has many majestic trees, many planted when it was opened – such as the giant sequoias – and is a haven for fauna and flora.  Our guide took us to the grave of famous people including Caroll Gibbons – famous musician, John Singer-Sargent – famous artist, Dr Robert Knox – anatomist and Edith Thomson who was hanged for adultery.  We stopped at several beautiful memorials and mausoleums to learn their story. In the grounds, there is also St Edward Orthodox Church and we were welcome by a member of the St Edward Brotherhood, the monastic community that serves the Church and shrine of  St Edward the Martyr.  We only skimmed the surface of Brookwood Cemetery; it is a very extensive place.  Our guide was knowledgeable and our visit was very interesting.  There is also a large military cemetery but this will be for another visit. 


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Saturday 27 September: Kemsing Circular Walk

Eight Polyramblers aligned at Kemsing station to be met by Kim and Siew Kee who were leading the walk.  It was a beautiful sunny day, ideal for walking.  After a short walk on a country lane, we were soon in fields full of sheep.  Walkers and sheep wanted to go across the same bridge over the motorway so there was a bit of a bottleneck but the sheep went one way and we went the other, walking along newly ploughed fields, Continue reading Saturday 27 September: Kemsing Circular Walk

Saturday 19 September: Sole Street Circular

Meeting at Victoria Station – our  9.07 train was platformed early so 5 of us boarded early.  On reaching Sole Street station more of us gathered together on that platform. Kim  & Siew Kee met us, having arrived by car.  On leaving the station a large apple tree was pointed out to me hanging over the road bridge. We proceeded northwards through the village, and after some fields and a lane we reached Owletts – a National Trust manor and formerly the  family home of renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker.  Continue reading Saturday 19 September: Sole Street Circular