Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The church at the centre of the cemetery is boarded up. There were remains of fires on the ground and graffiti adorning the walls. I hope it isn't left to rot. It's too imposing a building to deserve that fate.


Che-Jay said...

Some good photo's there, very eerie in a sort of way. You and pat should team up and do a photo graphic book of London, because between you you're making Nottingham look like paradise!!!

Rehan Qayoom said...

I had to queue for 20 minutes to get my train ticket because there was no lady at the counter. When I finally got there I knew what had taken others so long, she could hardly speak English and couldn't tell me the way to Abney Park. So just handed me a train map: as a result I took the wrong trains but when I did finally get to Liverpool Street station to catch the train to Abney Park the first 4 carriages were first class sop I had to trot along the platform and just as I got to the fifth carriage and pressed the OPEN button the train moved along and off! I was furious - GRRRRRRR - I could crush a grap! Because the next train wa snot due for another hour. So it looked as if I'd have to wait another yera or write to them and ask for the info. It's a poet's life! I went to BORDERS instead and sat opposite a good French bird who seemed like a Betjemanian Business Woman and knew the coffee girl who I fancy.

As a result of what happened to me on my venture to Abney Park, I set off nice and early to Norwood Cemetery the next time.

I visited Abney Park Cemetery on 10 September last year. Their 'Myths & Legends Day' was more for kiddies than adults but thankfully they had a tour led by a member (I think chairman) of the Music Hall Society which was free for once and which I enjoyed. I liked the completely bombed out shell of the chapel and the oft-remembered but little known Sarah Walker about whom I must find out more. I also saw the tomb of Reverend James Mather, the first internment in the cemetery whose gravestone was erected by the cemetery friends. He was the first person to translate the Bible into Hindustani. They have a polite and friendly team and a good guide book has been produced. On returning I wen tot BORDERS and while I was having coffee in came the darkling dame with another girl and bought her coffee. She had the book Body Language with her.

I visited the Abney Park tour 2 weeks and a day later. On the way funnily enough I went past the Celestial Church of Christ on the train with a sign 'Beware of Dog' on the door!

Sarah Walker (1798 - 1847) was the wife of Thomas Walker (died 30 July 1879 aged 64). They had a son called William Thomas Walker.

Abney Park is the only completely unconsecrated cemetery of the Magnificent Seven. The Gothic chapel is not built traditionally (to signify this) in the shape of a cross but is equally scaled all the way round. Queen Victoria had asked for all cemetery railings to be painted black after Prince Albert's death. The Abney Park railings were black until 1995 - The entrance floored with bricks from London Fields. Hackney Council brought the cemetery grounds on 8 January 1979 for £1. They havfe produced an impressive book which includes a comprehensive history. It is an amazing place and the guide was a brilliant old and energetic lady. We saw a scarlet, black and white butterfly. One of the ladies on the tour (married of course with a child) asked if I was an historian - "POET" I replied. Her reply was "I think they should make everyone a poet." I wonder what she could possibly have meant.