October 2022

 

Our wonderful mausoleum is looking a bit sad as weeds are growing out of the cracks in the marble. Some years ago the stained glass window was vandalised and is now covered with a perspex screen and grid. The key to the bronze door has been lost.

 

We have appointed a heritage surveyor to advise us on the way forward. Ideally we need to gain access through the door which would need a locksmith to manufacture a new key. If this does not work there may be other options.

 

We have continued to transcribe and research more graves. About 6,000 have been done so far. We are always looking for more volunteers to join us in this interesting work.

 

September 2022

 

We had a busy month in September. Heritage Open Days saw the launch of our new publication, 'The Worthies of Tunbridge Wells as photographed by Henry Peach Robinson'. Carol gave a stimulating talk about some of these men and we had an exhibition in the Friends chapel.

 

Later in the month saw the celebration of Battle of Britain day

 

We have done a bit more work on George Abbott’s grave and discovered a little more of the wording. On the right hand side it reads ‘Teacher, Lover of the Child’s Mind’. George was passionate about promoting the study of nature to children. Still a lot of work to do to read the rest of the inscription and to make sense of the rock formations placed on his grave.

 

We are now going to concentrate on working on the history of the cemetery as next year it will be the 150th anniversary of its opening. This will be a major work. If anyone has any old photos or records connected with the cemetery, we would love to hear from you.

 

August 2022

It has been all go preparing for our Heritage Open Day publication and exhibition - The Worthies of Tunbridge Wells who were chosen by Henry Peach Robinson to be photographed in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Year 1887. Henry Peach Robinson was a nationally and internationally accredited photographer who lived in Tunbridge Wells for about 20 years and is himself buried in the cemetery.

 

The booklets we have produced for this event are now with the printers and we look forward to welcoming many people to our presentation on Saturday 10th September and exhibition on Saturday and Sunday 10th and 11th.

 

It has been fascinating researching these people. Of the 150 photographed, 70 are buried in the cemetery but the Memorial Inscriptions Group have concentrated on 27 of these with interesting stories to tell. We have the founders of 2 well known stores, Waymarks and Weekes, a Tunbridge Ware manufacturer, 2 Mayors, 2 Schoolmasters, a Station Master, the Superintendent of the Police, the Captain of the Fire Brigade, the creator of The Courier and many more from all walks of life.

 

Whilst looking for the graves of these Worthies, one of our most interesting finds was that of George Abbott, a surgeon and geologist. He founded the first museum in Tunbridge Wells and many of his geological finds are on display in The Amelia. Although we knew roughly where his grave was sited, it was overgrown with brambles and a tree had grown through the middle. The only clue to it being the correct grave was the wording on the base kerb, which read ‘Surgeon, Geologist’. We will be going back armed with thick gloves and secateurs to discover the rest of the wording. Please get in touch if you fancy helping to discover more about this interesting grave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in getting involved with the work of the Memorial Inscriptions Group, or becoming a Friend of the Cemetery, please contact us

B15 98 Abbott.JPG
B15 98 Abbott grave wording.JPG

The overgrown grave and the barely legible inscription