Armed with the research I’d already undertaken, I set off on my bike to see what I could see at the Pine Road Cemetery.
The vehicle entrance is a little way down Pine Road from the Hursley Road junction. It doesn’t look like many vehicles go in there. There is also a pedestrian entrance further down Pine Road.
The entrance leads to a tree-lined path that curves through the middle of the cemetery.
My immediate impression was how tranquil it was. I may have been less than 100 yards from the nearest house, but I could have been in the middle of nowhere. There was nobody else around (apart from the several hundred below my feet, that is).
I was chatting to a funeral director recently and he mentioned that people generally don’t like to live next to a graveyard. I was surprised as they are lovely places to wander through. And you couldn’t ask for quieter neighbours! In fact, my only gripe to Eastleigh Borough Council about this cemetery is that there is nowhere to sit. Sometimes I like to sit and think, and sometimes I like to just sit. This is perfect spot just to sit.
Wild flowers abound, such as these, which I’m hoping someone can identify for me. Apologies that I didn’t notice that the camera focused on the leaf rather than on the flower in one of the photos. Every picture tells a story, and in this case the story is that the photographer couldn’t use a camera.
Some of the trees had reddish bark that was highlighted in the sunlight. Again, I’m sure someone can identify the species. This particular tree also served as a useful prop for my bicycle.
Many of the gravestones were weathered and covered in lichen and moss, which made the inscriptions difficult to read.
But a few were remarkably clear, despite their age and proximity to the trees and foliage.
I’m not sure what MMS means on the first of these stones. Interestingly, the amount of space suggests that these were intended as a double plot, with space left on the gravestone for the inscription of the subsequent departed. I wonder why this was never completed.
There is no military section in the cemetery (as there is, for example, in the Brookwood Avenue cemetery in Eastleigh), but a few military graves are dotted about.
A few memorials were still intact:
But many were broken – perhaps deliberately lowered to the ground for safety reasons.
There is no longer any indication of where the of the denominationally-separated areas are, though this monument is probably in the Roman Catholic section.
Here’s a curiosity. The deceased apparently lived in Woburn, Bedfordshire. So why did she end up in a cemetery in Chandlers Ford?
And finally, this inscription is different to the usual “fell asleep” euphemism. I wonder what the accident was.