A letter came into the Chandler’s Ford Today office recently asking abut the graveyard in Pine Road, near the junction with Hursley Road. I’d never noticed this before, and neither had the editor. “You like local history”, said the editor, “and you’ve got a long weekend coming up. Go and find out about it”. OK, that may not actually be how she said it, but it is how I heard it.
I put my research hat on and delved into the internet.
First stop was the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 map. Yes, there it is; marked as “Cemy” – though it is difficult to pinpoint the location accurately
Next port of call was Google Maps. Using their satellite view and zooming in as close as it would allow, I could easily see the gravestones on a small triangle of land lying between Simpkins Court on Hursley Road and the end of Laidlow Gardens.
The grounds appear to be well maintained. The grass is tidy; paths are clearly defined; trees and bushes are not growing out of control; and the graves are not hidden under layers of undergrowth. So not some long-forgotten relic of a bygone era.
I then looked at the Eastleigh Borough Council website where I learned that this was the Pine Road cemetery, opened in 1906 by the then Chandlers Ford Parish Council before being passed to Eastleigh Bough Council in the “early 1930s” (though I thought Eastleigh Borough Council wasn’t established until 1936). It has separate areas for Anglican, Roman Catholic and Non-Conformist burials. All Christians may be going to the same place, but it would appear that the different denominations will be entering through different doors.
The cemetery is now full, unless you are to be the second burial in a pre-purchased grave. Writing that sentence reminds of a radio report about burials that revealed that in a double grave the bodies are generally laid one above the other, rather than side-by-side as is commonly thought. The reporter had a mouth-before-brain moment when he responded with “so which body goes in first?”
Wow! I’d found out a lot already, and not even had to leave the comfort of my armchair. Time now for a site visit.
Wait for the next instalment, when I will tell you more.