Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Shore Women – Cemetery Poems

Shore Women Poems on display
Shore Women Poems on display

On a beautiful, sunny morning during the summer, (one of the few), five members of the Island writing group Shore Women visited Ryde Cemetery. Kate MacDonell, a member of RSHG and a Shore Woman, outlined briefly the history of the cemetery and conducted a short tour. The other writers were particularly impressed by the interpretation panel. Then armed with maps and walk leaflets, everyone wandered off for inspiration and writing time. The morning concluded with a strawberry picnic on the grass outside the Lodge.

All the writers enjoyed the visit and found it a great source of inspiration. Several poems were written which were discussed at follow up meetings. Themes included diphtheria epidemics, the cemetery wall and the natural history of the site. A small exhibition of this work was displayed in the north chapel at the recent Heritage Open Days.


I meet your great-great grandchild
flowers in hand
spilling drops of water by your head.
She’s found your name on her school computer,
found out where you lived, the part you played
within your village.

Sought out your tombstone, brought you roses
learned your date of birth, entered it
within her birthday book,
gone to her history books to learn
about the year when you were born,
the things you would have seen,

felt new pride in her unusual name.

Joan Waddleton

If you would like to know more about Shore Women visit their website.