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FOWNC Newsletter No 49. January 2004. Free to members. Price £1.00 to non-members
Chairman's Report - Bob Flanagan
There is again progress to report as regards the capital works programme supervised by Jill O'Meara. City and Suburban Tree Surgeons are undertaking necessary tree works, ivy removal, and other vegetation maintenance within the cemetery. These works should be completed this month. In addition, Lambeth are to commission Atkins Water to design a new drainage system as well as a specification for resurfacing the highways and pathways - these items are intimately connected as the drains have to cope with run-off from the roads. A drainage jetting contractor has also been commissioned to clean the existing network of drains.
A number of other projects are starting to bear fruit. Electronic data entry of all the cemetery registers has now commenced. The data is to be placed on the BACAS server (the new cemetery management system). Secondly, guidelines specifying the nature of new harmonised information and other signs to be erected in the cemetery have been finalised and signs are to be manufactured for the entrance, office, crematorium, and for the Ship and Doulton paths. Noticeboards (one for Lambeth and one specifically for FOWNC) are also to be manufactured and installed.
The survey Lambeth have commissioned into the state of the Catacombs is progressing. The preliminary findings are to be presented to the Management Advisory Group meeting this month. It is thought that the danger to health (notably the risk of release of smallpox) posed by the steady deterioration of the coffins due to the unchecked ingress of water since the removal of the original above ground structure (the mortuary chapel) will necessitate urgent remedial action.
Some items, however, await further progress, notably the Landscape Historical Assessment requested by the Scheme of Management Committee, and the much postponed bid for Hertiage Lottery Funding. A starting point for the bid is to put together a 'Vision for the Cemetery', in effect a landscape management plan for which the Landscape Historical Assessment is needed.
ASCE - Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe
Members will be pleased to hear that FOWNC is a founder member of ACSE. The inspiration behind ACSE is Mauro Felicori, a Bologna council worker. A walk into a former monastery five years ago suggested the creation of a European network of historic graveyards. Mauro's visit to the Certosa in Bologna, converted into a cemetery after the suppression of the monasteries by Napoleon, made him curious about other historic cemeteries. He discovered that many deserved to be much more widely known and that there was no association to promote them. 'Cemeteries are really undervalued', Mauro has said. 'They have important sculpture and architecture. We need to make the public aware of them'. You can't write a history of sculpture of the last two centuries without including them. The cemeteries often cover hectares of land and face problems from under-funding to weathering, lack of publicity and theft of monumental sculptures'. Well done Mauro, just what we have been sayingÉ
ACSE has just launched a website (www.significantcemeteries.net) in several languages and aims to make member cemeteries more widely known. It also plans to pool information from members and publish a guide to European cemeteries. In Italy the most important monumental cemeteries are probably those in Milan, Bologna and Genoa, which often have huge chapel-sized tombs. In Florence there is also the unusual monumental cemetery attached to San Miniato Al Monte, a church at the top of the hill that looks out across the city. It has tombs that look like ornate miniature churches. Some of the 'significant' cemeteries are from the 20th C, such as Aldo Rossi's San Cataldo cemetery in Modena (1971-8).
ACSE has also drawn attention to a few of the spectacular cemeteries in Eastern Europe including the Mirogoi Monumental Cemetery in Zagreb, Croatia. The cemetery, designed by architect Herman Bolle in 1876, gives equal importance to the different religions buried there, Jews, and Orthodox and Catholic christians. Another important cemetery in the east is the Zale graveyard in Ljubljana, Slovenia, designed by the neoclassical architect Jose Plecnik in 1938-40.
Some of the 50 members of the association met in Barcelona earlier this month to discuss future projects. Among the strategies for cleaning up and improving European historic cemeteries is selling abandoned tombs where the family has died out. This passes on the costs of cleaning up the tomb and restoring it to the new owners, who are then responsible for maintenance, and it may also help to fund upkeep for the rest of the cemetery. The reasoning behind this move is that many ancient tombs belong to extinct families. The cemetery owners can sell them on to new families and so raise funds for maintenance. It has happened in Florence and other places (I have seen the results in Berlin) and I think it will happen in the UK once legislation permitting re-use of existing graves is enacted. Better this than lawn-conversion and illegal re-sale of family plots as has happened at Norwood.
Some more good news. James Slattery-Kavanagh, who runs an IT firm (quotes.co.uk) and also runs websites for a number of local groups, has agreed to take on the running of the FOWNC website with immediate effect. He has also kindly offered to sponsor part of the costs and to join the committee. We are very grateful to James for the enthusiasm with which he has approached this task, and also wish to record our thanks to Rachel Ward for all her efforts on the website in the last few years. We will record progress in future Newsletters.
Thomas Allom (1804-1872) and the Dodd Mausoleum - Bob Flanagan
This note is based on Thomas Allom by Diana Brooks (115 pp, 1998; 65 monochrome & 8 colour illustrations, £9.95). Thomas Allom, a founder member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, is best known today as a topographical artist. Unfortunately, few of the buildings he designed have survived. Among those which do are the Ladbroke Estate in west London, Christchurch, Highbury, north London, and the William Brown Library, Liverpool. The heart condition from which Allom suffered in his later years, although he did not retire until 1870, may have meant that he had to take life more easily and he seems to have undertaken only one building project during the later 1860s. The small church Allom designed at Castelnau in Barnes in 1868 was his local church, and the subscription list tells us that he contributed £50 to the cost of its construction, a generous donation.
In 1865 Allom was commissioned to design a mausoleum at Norwood for George Dodd, a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and MP for Maidstone. George Dodd (d. London, 15 December 1854) was the son of George Dodd of Montagu Square, London. Little is known about him: he was elected FSA on 12 March 1835, and was one of the Gentlemen of Her Majesty's privy chamber from 1844. He was MP for Maidstone from 29 June 1841 to May 1853, when his election of 5 July 1852 was declared void. The mausoleum (grave 6,368, square 50), which is now Grade II listed, resembles a small Gothic chapel and the use of coloured marble suggests a northern Italian inspiration for the design. Damaged in the World War Two, it is sadly neglected. We know Allom designed the monument as the information is proudly carved on a panel by the door, but why commission Allom in the first place? After all no other churchyard or cemetery monument by Allom is known.
It seems that the answer may be that Dodd, after buying 16 houses designed by Allom in Kensington Park Gardens, wished his final resting place to be designed by the same architect. Besides the Dodd mausoleum lies a very different tomb - that of Amy Allom's father-in-law William Brumfitt Storr (d. 1865), founder of Debenham Storr, the Covent Garden Auctioneers. It has been suggested that the Storr memorial (grave 9,060, square 50) could also be Allom's work. According to Ms Brooks the top of the Storr tombstone features a replica of a drainpipe carved in pink granite in the form of a cross! She speculates on significance of such a strange memorial to a man who, as far as is known, had no connection with the plumbing trade or the manufacture of pipes. But is it really a drainpipe? I think not - it just looks like architectural ornamentation to me, but I'm open to contradiction. Any comments from the membership on this question?
Legends to Figures
1. Dodd mausoleum (rear elevation) (line drawing by Don Bianco)
2. Tomb of William Brumfitt Storr (line drawing by Don Bianco)
Alexander Muirhead DSc, MIEE, FRS (1848-1920) by Patricia Knowlden
On 16 December 1920, Alexander Muirhead was laid to rest in the family grave at Norwood (grave 20,839, square 21), joining his parents John and Margaret and his elder brother, John. Alexander was born in 1848 in East Lothian, the son of a farmer who moved into the world of wireless telegraphy, came south to London, and set up his own firm of telegraphic engineers. A solitary child after a fall with his nurse left him deaf in one ear, Alexander was always experimenting as when he planted a poker in a cabbage patch to see whether it would grow. Because of his deafness he was considered backward and had a private tutor. But from 1863 he attended University College School, London and proved an outstanding pupil, taking many prizes in mathematics and science. At University College he graduated BSc with honours, and then studied natural sciences in St Bartholomew's Hospital laboratory, obtaining his DSc (in electricity) in 1872. While there he attached wires to a feverish patient's wrist to obtain a record of his heartbeat - he had recorded the first electrocardiogram.
Alexander became scientific adviser to his father's firm where both brothers were directors, and all three worked on the duplexing of submarine cables, but it was Alexander who became famous worldwide for their installation. After John senior's death in 1885, when the grave with its conspicuous obelisk was set up, the firm continued for another ten years until Alexander's brother John also died. The telegraphic companies then persuaded Alexander to manufacture cables himself and the factory at Elmers End was established. His health, but not his spirit, had been affected by a severe viral illness in 1891. Nevertheless in 1893 he married Mary Elizabeth Blomfield and they settled at The Lodge in Shortlands.
Muirhead became involved in the development of wireless after a lecture on Herzian waves by his friend (Sir) Oliver Lodge in 1894. The Lodge-Muirhead Syndicate was formed in 1902 and the two men conducted many experiments between masts at Elmers End and Downe. In 1911, Marconi, who had a more developed business sense, still found it necessary to buy them out. Muirheads had always diversified, and among other things Alexander continued to work on dynamos, insulating compounds, fire alarms, and telephones. During the 1914-18 war equipment for service use was naturally a priority. But his health further deteriorated and he died on l3 December 1920. Three days later his wife Mary and his younger brother Francis with his sons, who were to carry on the business, gathered around the Norwood grave for the funeral, which was conducted by the Minister of Bromley Congregational Church. Dr Muirhead left substantial bequests to the Established Church of Scotland, and to the Royal Society.
To quote the obituary written by Oliver Lodge, Muirhead 'was a man who achieved much under exceptional bodily disabilities, and his devotion to accuracy was of great service in the development of cable telegraphy... by his friends he was much beloved'.
Legend to Figures
Alexander Muirhead FRS (line drawing by Mary Konior, 1991)
The Muirhead tomb at Norwood (line drawing by Don Bianco)
Memories of Muirheads by Ron Smith
I worked at Muirheads at Elmers End from 1956 to 1962 as an apprentice. Peter Goff was my foreman; he later became managing director. The Royal Navy had taken over the factory during WW2 and their influence was still there in the 1950s and 60s due to the Cold War. Approximately 1,000 people were employed there, over 500 on the production lines, mainly women. Working conditions were very good and there was an excellent canteen and social club. The factory was modern, bright, and clean. The very large machine shop had up-to-date lathes, milling machines, etc., many of them automatic. Among the many products were mechanical computers to deliver torpedoes from ships and submarines; also ships' stabilisers - electrical controls that had been developed from the gyroscopic platform of V2 rockets captured towards the end of World War 2. For these controls, based on magslips and synchros, a large department was established.
During the war instruments were developed especially to combat the 'Doodlebug' (V1) menace. Muirheads had taken over a number of properties in Elmers End for research and development and did a lot of secret work on radar, communications, fax machines and other electrical instruments. The Muirhead family contributed a great deal in both WW1 and WW2, and during the Cold War, to the defence of the realm. In 1940, Muirhead began development of a wide range of electro-mechanical servo components. Muirhead grew its product range both organically, through licensing, and by acquisition to ensure that its technical edge was maintained. In 1972 it acquired Vactric Control Equipment Ltd to form Muirhead Vactric Components Ltd. Today, Muirhead is acknowledged is a leading manufacturer of precision-wound servo components, position sensors and electrical control systems.
Postscript - The firm was established by Alexander Muirhead in 1895, the year that his nephew, Francis Heron Muirhead, was born in Beckenham. Francis joined the firm, retiring as director when he was 72. In 1995 there was a double celebration in the Muirhead family when both he and the firm achieved their centenaries.
A Chronology of Muirheads
John William Hobbs (1799-1877) by Janet Hobbs Johnson
John William Hobbs was born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on 1 August 1799, the fifth child of William and Frances Sharpe Hobbs. His father, a singer and the bandmaster of the Henley volunteer corps, detected a musical talent in his young son at an early age, and John William sang in public for the first time aged three. Not long after, the William moved the family to Canterbury, where he had been appointed lay clerk, singing for morning and evening services at Canterbury Cathedral. John William sang with the Canterbury Boy Choristers. His singing soon attracted the attention of John Jeremiah Goss, vocalist and organist, and a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. John William was articled to Goss and moved to London to continue his musical studies.
Aged 14, John William joined Goss and others as principal vocalists in singing Handel's Messiah, at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford. One month later, 'Master Hobbs' appeared as a principal singer along with Goss and others at the Norwich Grand Musical Festival. By 1815, 16-year-old John William's voice 'had developed into a tenor of limited compass, but of remarkable purity and sweetness'. In August 1815, he became a 'singing man' of three College Chapel Choirs at Cambridge - King's, Trinity, and St. John's.
Whilst at Cambridge, John William met and married Sarah Leach from the nearby village of Histon. Sarah was five months pregnant with their first child when John William was elected a probationer lay clerk at St. George's Chapel in Windsor. Their daughter, Frances Margaret, was born in 1822. When John William accepted his appointment to St. George's, he joined his father, William, who had been elected a lay clerk three years earlier. While at Windsor, another daughter, Sarah, was born to Sarah and John William. One month later, John William's wife died and their daughter died the following month.
Two years later, John William was appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in London. Soon after he moved to London, John William met a woman named Elizabeth Brook. They married in 1829. Elizabeth, the daughter of Mary and Joshua Brook, Office Keeper of the Commissariat Treasury Chambers, was baptized 9 January 1801 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. John William and Elizabeth's first child was born in 1830. By 1841 they had four daughters and two sons, besides Frances Margaret, John William's surviving daughter by his first wife. One of Hobbs' daughters, Clara Anne, married William Hayman Cummings (1831-1915), a former student of her father's, who became a well-known singer, organist, composer, author, professor of music, and principal of London's Guildhall School of Music. He is best known today for his adaptation of a cantata by Mendelssohn to Charles Wesley's carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
John William continued his productive musical career. In addition to his duties at Westminster Abbey as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, he was a well-known glee club singer. He also continued to sing at the Three Choirs Festivals. In addition to his illustrious singing career, John William composed scores for over 100 songs. These included ballads, marches, serenades, love songs, sacred songs, patriotic songs, canzonets, and cavatinas. He set some of his compositions to the poems of Lord Byron and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His daughter Beckie, who also composed music, wrote the words for at least three of his compositions.
Many of John William's songs became very popular, notably When Delia Sings, Phillis was My Only Joy, The Captive Greek Girl, and My Ancestors Were Englishmen. Several of his compositions including, When Delia Sings, were rearranged and republished posthumously as late as 1929. As a singer and composer, John William was associated with many of the musical organizations such as the Melodist's Club, the Vocal Society, and the Round, Catch and Canon Club. He was also a Freemason.
Despite his many accomplishments as a professional musician, John William endured many disappointments in his life. As a young man, he lost his first wife, and their baby daughter. Frances Margaret, his eldest daughter immigrated to America in the early 1850s. His elder son, William Arthur, refused to follow in his father and grandfather's footsteps as a musician, and also immigrated to America. John William never saw either of them again. Elizabeth, his wife of 35 years, suffered a stroke and died on 17 April 1864. Two years later, John William was afflicted with an ailment that rendered him bedridden for the rest of his life. Henry, John William's younger son, graduated from St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School and then left for Australia in 1871, where he died aged 30. His daughter Elizabeth and her family immigrated to Australia in the 1870s, just a few years before John William died.
John William died at home on 12 January 1877. He was buried at Norwood joining his parents and his wife in the family plot he had purchased in 1842 (grave 444, square 112). Eventually, his son-in-law and daughter, William Hayman and Clara Cummings, and their son, Herbert Edward Cummings, were buried in the same plot. The original tombstone, now destroyed, also commemorated his son, Henry Addison Hobbs, who died in Australia, and his great grandson, Captain Eric Cummings, who died in Mesopotamia at the beginning of World War I. In 1987, the gravesite was illegally resold and reused by another family whose tombstone now stands in place of the Hobbs monument.
Legend to Figure
William Hayman Cummings (undated photograph)
William Collingwood Smith (1815-1887): Painter in Watercolours by Betty Griffin
William Collingwood Smith was born at Greenwich in 1815. His father was a clerk at the Admiralty and an amateur artist. William was a largely self-taught artist, but had studied under J Duffield Harding for a time. Although a painter in oils originally, he later gave up oils for the water colours for which he is best known. In 1843 he was elected an Associate, and later a Member, of the ('old') Society of Painters in Water Colours (later the Royal Water Colour Society), serving as its Treasurer and Trustee for twenty years, and founding its Art Club. He was also a member of the ('new') British Society of Painters in Water Colours.
His main subjects were marine views, river scenes and landscapes, and he produced a total of over 1000 paintings and sketches, traveling widely in Britain and the Continent and covering much of then current interest. Many of his pictures were engraved on wood for reproduction in the Illustrated London News. His shipping scenes included HMS Dreadnought, which saw service in the Battle of Trafalgar and later became a hospital ship for seamen at Greenwich; and Seascape with man-of-war and two hulks.
His works are represented in various public and private galleries. A water-colour of the Thames at Old York Gate and Stairs, looking towards Westminster Bridge, dated 1840, is in the Frank Sabin collection. Sir J Witt, whose collection of prints of works by artists, famous and minor, are kept at Somerset House, owned a Collingwood Smith picture, The terrace, Haddon Hall. Cattle at a pool in evening, Arundel Park, dated 1850, is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. A water colour La Santa Salute from San Giorgio, Venice was in the collection of Frederick J Nettlefold at his home, Norwood Grove. Other works included alpine scenes and French views (The Loire from Amboise, and Rouen Cathedral). A lock in a river, dated 1857, was up for sale at Christies in 1978.
He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1836, and then at the South London Institution in 1838, continuing at both until 1855. He also exhibited at the 'Old' Water Colour Society and at the Suffolk Street Galleries. At his home, Wyndham Lodge, 13 Brixton Hill, Collingwood Smith ran one of the largest schools of art in London, teaching drawing and painting lessons to amateurs and future professionals as well as military and naval officers. His wife Jane Sophia Egerton was also an artist.
He died on 15 March 1887 and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery (grave 21,669, square 86). In his obituary (Illustrated London News, 2 April 1887) he was said 'to have continued the development of that style of correct landscape painting which gained much acceptance in English eyes before the more imaginative treatment came into favour. As faithful transcripts of nature, his pictures have considerable merit, and some of them are remarkable for their truthful representation of the aspects of the country at different seasons of the year. His views of British mountain and lake scenery are distinguished also by their fidelity to local conditions.'
Legends to Figures
William Collingwood Smith (Illustrated London News, 2 April 1887)
View of Old York Gate and Stairs, looking across to Westminster Bridge, water colour by William Collingwood Smith, c.1840 (from Frank T Sabin collection, Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art)
Grave of William Collingwood Smith at Norwood (line drawing by Don Bianco)
Book review - Paul Graham. The Father of Modern Sport. The Life and Times of Charles W. Alcock by Keith Booth. Parrs Wood Press, 2002. Hardback, £16.95, pp 289.
This book, the first full-length biography of Alcock, is dedicated to Bryon Butler, the sports journalist, who did not live long enough to achieve his ambition of writing it himself. The title is an amalgam of two descriptions of Alcock, 'the father of English sport' (Butler) and 'the inventor of modern sport' (Eric Midwinter). Butler's article in The Daily Telegraph paying this tribute was reproduced in the FOWNC Newsletter No.13 (January 1993), whilst members may recall that Midwinter spoke about Alcock at a FOWNC meeting in March 1999.
Given the multifarious nature of Alcock's career, the book is organised in four broad chronological bands: Sunderland childhood, Harrow schooldays, work in sports administration, and the consequences that flowed from it. Whilst it is well known that Alcock captained England against Scotland on the football field in 1875, Mr Booth points out that he was a double international (of sorts) as he once played international cricket, though curiously for France against Germany in Hamburg under an assumed French name! This was hardly 'playing the game' in the best Harrovian tradition. He also captained the first FA Cup winning side (the Wanderers, who beat the Royal Engineers in 1872) though admittedly they only had to win one tie to reach the final itself. Alcock was not an uncritical admirer of all ball games, regarding lawn tennis as 'an effeminate amusement' seducing the youth of England from the more manly summer game.
It is on his achievements behind the scenes as an administrator rather than on the field of play that Alcock's reputation rests. Amongst the photographs reproduced is one of the restored monument in the cemetery and another of the inscription on it recording his inspiring work as Secretary of both Surrey CCC and the FA. It is Mr Booth's contention, however, that Alcock primarily regarded himself, not as administrator, but as a journalist. Citing census returns and marriage and birth certificates, he shows that this is the profession that Alcock invariably proclaimed when asked.
His contribution to the development of sports journalism is identified by Mr Booth as one of his four main achievements alongside his work to introduce 'the competitive device', international fixtures, and professionalism. Alcock founded and edited magazines dedicated to both football and cricket but his main literary achievement is claimed to be 'Surrey Cricket: Its History and Associations' which he edited with Richard Webster (Viscount Alverstone) (see FOWNC Newsletter No. 26), with Alcock undertaking the majority of the work.
The FA Cup competition was his idea, based upon inter-house games he participated in at Harrow. Previously, all football matches were played solely for glory. In cricket, curiously, Alcock opposed the introduction of a similar knockout cup competition in 1873, ninety years before this innovation was finally achieved. Mr Booth muses that the reactionary position may have been more that of the Surrey committee Alcock served, rather than his own. This may be being too kind to Alcock, who might simply not have been radical enough to propose such a major change in the operation of the older game that already had the county championship to provide the competitive stimulus.
Alcock organised both the first Anglo-Scottish football fixtures in the 1870s. He also organised England's first home Test Match (at his beloved Oval of course) in 1880 but only after conducting a 'Kissinger-style' diplomatic mission. This took him to Canterbury (to persuade Lord Harris to captain the side), to Brighton (to persuade the Sussex committee to forego their fixture against the tourists), and finally to Scotland (to recruit two of England's finest amateur players who were happily slaughtering the local grouse).
Although from a gentleman-amateur, public school background, Alcock was amongst the first to realise that sport was becoming a business. He had the foresight to realise that professionalism in football was inevitable and needed to be recognised and controlled. Only in this way could the schism that was to afflict rugby for a century and the shamateurism that was rife in cricket, where the expenses paid to 'amateurs' often exceeded the pay of the professionals, be avoided. When Alcock first played, the game was one where leading fixtures were played between all-amateur teams in public parks with no general agreement about whether players could hack opponents or even catch the ball. He oversaw its evolution to one with codified rules, dominated by professional clubs and where the first £1,000 transfer of a footballer occurred in 1905.
It is recorded in the preface that the grave (grave 14,689, square 86) in the cemetery was rededicated in 1999. Indeed, Bob Flanagan's article on that event that appeared in the FOWNC Newsletter 36 (September of that year) is included in the bibliography (as is Bob's Sportsmen booklet of 1995). Mr Booth gives full credit to FOWNC, Surrey, the FA, and English Heritage for the restoration. He reminds us that arrangements were made at that time to include the monument on the Cemetery Superintendent's schedule of maintenance. Sadly, four years on, nothing appears to have been done to honour this undertaking.
Mr Booth concludes that Alcock was neither an original thinker nor a revolutionary. His strength lay rather in seizing upon existing ideas and developing them. This is a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of an industrious and dedicated man who helped transform the face of sport in Britain. His story is told against the background of the social mores and class assumptions of the day. They frequently impinged upon his career and several such incidents are beautifully and wittily illustrated. The book was short-listed for book of the year (2002) by the Cricket Society. It is a must for anyone interested in the development of professional sport.
Review of Recent FOWNC Events - Jill Dudman
This year our contribution to London Open House Weekend, a series of tours with viewing of the Greek Chapel on Sunday 21 September, attracted about 70 visitors. The event was held simultaneously with Lambeth's annual family memorial service in the crematorium chapel, and tours were timed such that visitors to the service could also fit in a tour. One cannot help remarking on the appalling state into which the Grade II*-listed Greek Chapel is falling; the water damage worsens with every succeeding year. The problem arises from the flat roofs of the side wings, which meet the main side walls some distance below the main roof - it is said that the lead was stolen off these flat roofs many years ago, and water is now penetrating very far down the main walls, judging by the state of the plasterwork. Thanks to all those who conducted tours, staffed the bookstall, and to Don Bianco for giving a talk about the Chapel to each tour party.
Following the AGM on 18 October, we were pleased to welcome long-time FOWNC member Prof. Michael Slater, whose biography of Douglas Jerrold was published last year. The theme of his talk was the family buried in the large Jerrold vault at Norwood, currently undergoing complete restoration. Apart from Douglas, one of the major figures of 19th century literature, the most notable other person here is his son William Blanchard Jerrold, a playwright and journalist like his father, and a prolific travel writer. Perhaps his best-known work is London: a Pilgrimage, produced in collaboration with the illustrator Gustave Doré. A Jerrold daughter was married (for a time) to Henry Mayhew, author of London Labour and the London Poor, a match of which her father Douglas thoroughly disapproved. One fascinating fact emerging from the talk was that Philip Harben, the 1950s TV cookery expert, was a direct descendant of Douglas Jerrold.
There was a brief moment of panic a couple of weeks before the talk scheduled for 15 November, when we discovered that the former conservation officer of the Friends of War Memorials, who had been booked long ago to give a talk appropriately close to Remembrance Day, had moved on to pastures new. However, her successor in the post for only a month, Pedro Gaspar, giving his first public talk on the subject, was a very able replacement. He explained how FOWM are helping with the restoration of memorials across the country, and with the important task of compiling an inventory of the vast number of them. War memorials can take many forms, and can even be a building or part thereof, leading to problems when redevelopment becomes necessary. There is often no clearly established owner of a memorial in a public place - and, sadly, all too many have suffered vandalism.
Forthcoming FOWNC Events - January-April 2004
General tours will be held on the first Sunday of each month (4 January, 1 February, 7 March and 4 April). January to March tours start at 11.00 and the April tour starts at 14.30, at the Cemetery main gate off Norwood Road, and they last for 1?-2 hours. There is no formal charge but we welcome donations of £1 per person (£0.50 concessions) towards conservation projects.
Talks will be held at Chatsworth Baptist Church, Chatsworth Way (off Norwood Road), SE27 (enter by second door on right in Idmiston Road) as detailed below, starting at 14.30. There is no formal charge but we welcome donations of £1 per person to help cover the hall hire.
Saturday 21 February: Australian cemeteries - Margaret Jackman
It seems to have become a tradition for FOWNC members, when on holiday in foreign parts, to take photographs of the cemeteries they encounter. Margaret, our earliest Secretary, visited Australia last year and will be showing her slides of cemeteries near Melbourne dating from Gold Rush days. While there she also pursued some research on the Australian artist buried at Norwood, Adelaide Ironside.
Saturday 20 March: Sir Thomas Stevenson and the Trial of Adelaide Bartlett - Bob Flanagan
For the first time, the FOWNC chairman will be giving a talk based on his professional expertise as a toxicologist. Stevenson was one of this country's leading forensic scientists in the late 19th century, and appeared as expert witness in this famous trial.
FOWNC Committee - January 2004
Chairman & Publications Officer:
Bob Flanagan, 79 Durban Road, London SE27 9RW (Tel: 020 8670 3265)
General Secretary & Tours Organiser:
Jill Dudman, 119 Broxholm Road, London SE27 0BJ (Tel: 020 8670 5456)
George Young, 12 Swinburne Court, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8EP (Tel: 020 7274 5267)
Rosemary Comber, 63 Bradley Road, London SE19 3NT (Tel: 020 8653 2741)
Paul Graham, Flat 4, 9 St Andrews Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 4DT (Tel: 020 8287 6976)
James Slattery-Kavanagh, Quotes, 20A Camden Hill Road, London SE19 1NR (Tel: 020 8766 8822)
The FOWNC Newsletter is published three times a year by the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery, 79 Durban Road, London SE27 9RW.
Registered Charity No 1063450. Member of the National Federation of Cemetery Friends
Website: http://www.fownc.org, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you would like further information about the Friends, please contact the Membership Secretary (address above). The annual subscription is £3. Copyright FOWNC, January 2004.
West Norwood Cemetery is one of the metropolitan cemeteries founded to deal with the expanding population of London in the early 19th century. It was opened in 1837. It has 65 Grade II and Grade II* listed monuments and includes memorials to Mrs Beeton, Sir Henry Doulton, Dr William Marsden, Baron Julius de Reuter, Charles Spurgeon and Sir Henry Tate.