Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Nunhead Cemetery Open Day 2014

Posted in Dying Matters Awareness week, South East London Humanist Group by sheelanagigcomedienne on May 18, 2014

The South East London Humanist Group had a stall at Nunhead Cemetery Open Day yesterday which also coincided with Dying Matters Awareness Week. South East London Humanist Group

Nunhead Cemetery Porch to burnt out chapel.

Nunhead Cemetery Porch to burnt out chapel.

The cemetery is the setting for the Victorian poet Charlotte Mew’s  exploration of death, insanity and social alienation In Nunhead Cemetery and is the setting for Maurice Riordan‘s final poem, The January Birds in The Holy a d, his 2007 collection. The Woman Between the Worlds, a 1994 science fiction novel by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre set in Victorian England, depicts the burial at Nunhead Cemetery in 1898 (in a closed coffin) of a female extraterrestrial. The novel avoids citing a precise location for this grave, in case some reader believes that alien remains can be retrieved from the site.

The cemetery also featured in Episode 2 of the 2008 BBC series Spooks, although it was credited as Highgate Cemetery.

 

The Friends of Nunhead Cemetery organise the annual Open Day. They have produced a few fascinating publications.

Nunhead Symbols – Friends of Nunhead Cemetery

Nunhead Cemetery

Nunhead Cemetery

Great Headstone NunheadNunhead goth

 

I did take a funeral here many years ago of a bus man. The ceremony was at Conway Hall but the burial was at Nunhead and he requested that his friends organise a routemaster bus to transport his friends.

Nunhead funeral

Nunhead in snow

Nunhead in snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the annual Open Days local groups are invited to set up their stalls. We had secondhand books,  50P for paperbacks and £1 for hardbacks alongside all our leaflets. Colin erected the gazebo. There was a non-stop stream of people as books are always a great pull. One young man was keen to take our Namings leaflet for his friends as they were due to have their first baby and he seemed quite confident that he would be asked to be an oddfather.

Myself, Denis and Hester in front of our BHA stall at Nunhead Cemetery Open day

Myself, Denis and Hester in front of our BHA stall at Nunhead Cemetery Open day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are our new leaflets.

BHA leaflets on our ceremonies

BHA leaflets on our ceremonies

Dying m Leaflet_1_Cover-2Dying Matters Leaflet_3_Cover_ImageDying m Leaflet10WebDying matters  5

 

 

 

 

 

 

A stall opposite ours was selling these beautiful chinese watercolours that were painted by members of a mental health group. I chose these three pieces  which they were selling framed for £5 pounds!!  They were a lovely bunch of people.

Painting by mental health group members Southwark.

Painting by mental health group members Southwark.

Pansies

Pansies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

 

It was very sunny when I was there from 11.00 to 12.30 as I had to go on to a family visit for a Naming Ceremony in Clockhouse,  Beckenham. Joanna and Jo, the parents, and  Ellington and Valentine were lovely and Ellington (parents jazz fans) was enthusiastic about singing Old MacDonald for the ceremony in June.

I don’t know the origin of the name Nunhead. The head of the nuns is called an abbess.

A Nun

A Nun

A head nun=abbess

A head nun=abbess

 

 

 

DO VISIT NUNHEAD CEMETERY. It is definitely one of London’s hidden treasures. It is near Nunhead station.

 

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