WITH IAIN WAKEFORD
Welcome to the Heritage Walks Website.
For information on Iain Wakeford's Heritage Walks around Woking and North West Surrey; copies of some of his most recent publications (and details of how to buy them); articles on local history; and archive of historic documents.
Although this site has been 'up and running' for a couple of years now, it is still very much a 'work in progress'. The aims of this site are several, and it was always envisaged that it would take some time for it to be complete (if that is possible with a subject such as history).
The first priority was to provide an up to date list of my monthly Sunday afternoon ‘Heritage Walks’ together with details of any public walks, talks or displays I am involved with. A pdf of my current programme is to the right. So long as that part of the site is maintained and kept up to date, I feel that i have at least achieved something!
My ‘Heritage Walks’ are free and open to all - there is no need to book, become a member or pay a fee - I just advertise where and when I am going to be and people turn up (or not) to join me on a ‘stroll’ around the area. On the walks I stop every so often and talk about the history of places on the route and if anybody else has some useful information on the history or heritage of the area, they are free to chip in as well. There is absolutely nothing ‘formal’ about the walks - everyone joins me at their own free will (and risk)
I will always be at the start of the walk (or will send someone in my place if there are unforeseen circumstances) come rain or shine. Each walk lasts about 1½ to 2 hours and most are circular so that you have no worries about how to get back. I try not to do the same walk or route too often, so if you have joined me on a walk in the past, please do not assume that the next walk advertised in that area will be the same - the chances are it will not.Unfortunately whilst most are suitable for people of all ages, only a few are accessible to people with wheelchairs (or pushchairs).
As well as walks I also give talks to private groups or societies (and occasionally to the general public). If you are the booking secretary for a local group, you may like to know some of the talks that I do (although to be honest just about any subject to do with local history on the area is possible, given enough notice). I should point out that unless asked not to, all talks will be illustrated and that I will bring along my own laptop and projector (and screen if required) for the presentation. The most popular talks include A Brief History of Woking; The Industrial History of Woking; and Woking in the 1950's, 60's and 70's; as well as talks based on the books contained on this website such as Wells, Woking & the Real War of the Worlds; An Illustrated History of Woking Town Centre and the various villages covered by the self-guided heritage walks. Please note that due to work committments, I am only able to give talks/walks at the weekend or in the evenings and I do make a charge for the service. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Occasionally I will also be invited to put on a display of local history at a village fete or fair. The display will usually consist of a stall of at least some of the publications on this website, together with any maps, old photographs or other memorabilia I hold on the area. Please email email@example.com for more details.
The second aim for this website was to put on the internet all of my recent publications so that those not able to buy the books locally can have access to them (and hopefully be encouraged to purchase them). Added to this I intended to eventually add pages of new (‘web-based’) publications covering a much wider area than would be economically possible in print. Some progress was made in this direction, but I appreciate that there is much more that could be done.
A third 'aim' was added after a few months - to put on-line some of the notes and illustrations that I contributed (from June 2010) to the Woking Informer, but when that column was transferred to its larger sister paper (the Woking Advertiser), the task of writing the expanded articles each week meant that something had to give. Maybe one day when I have time I will go back and add them to this site too.
Having said that, in January 2014, my Woking Advertiser column took on a slightly different form with a Chronological History of Woking being written, starting with the Geology and Geography of Woking and then progressing each week through the prehistory and history of the area - eventually right up to the present day. The text and illustrations sent to the Editor each week (together with other notes and illustrations not included in the newspaper) can now be found in the 'History' section.
Finally (although perhaps the most important element of this site) I wanted to include pages of research and sources so that anyone with an interest in Woking’s history can have access to my ‘archive’ of local material and memorabilia. Whilst there are obviously many items in my collection awaiting scanning and uploading to this site, in the main this last aim has been largely achieved.
Some people have asked if my walks, or indeed this site, are 'official' in any way - the answer is that almost everything I do is very much 'unofficial' and independant of any organisation, authority or public body. I would like to note that if you find this website of interest please feel free to tell anyone its address, but please do not place a ‘link’ to it from any other site or ask me to do likewise. As I say, this site is free and independent of any organisation or authority and I want it to remain (and be seen to remain) that way. Any comments or views expressed on this site should not be taken to be the views of any company or organisation that I may be associated with.
If you have any constructive comments to make about the site, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org although I cannot guarantee that I will make any alterations or even be able to reply straight away.
Heritage Walk to the Ruins of Newark Priory, in the Wey Valley between Pyrford and Ripley, during the Woking History Festival in 1991.
All the contents of this website are copyrighted and should not be reproduced in any form for commercial purposes without prior agreement. Anybody wishing to copy material for private and research study purposes may do so. © Iain Wakeford, 2015.