Park Crematorium, Aldershot
The Park Crematorium is the crematorium for the town of Aldershot in Hampshire and surrounding districts, including North East Hampshire and parts of Surrey and Berkshire. It was designed by Frank Taylor, the Aldershot Borough Surveyor, and opened in July 1960. Today it is operated and maintained by Rushmoor Borough Council.
Located near Aldershot Park and between Aldershot Cricket Club and the Lido, in addition to the crematorium the facility also has 16 acres of grounds in the Gardens of Remembrance which was formerly Kiln Copse, a woodland at the edge of Aldershot Park. Here ashes can be interred. The hall holds about 80 people in addition to an organ. The complex was renovated in 1996-1997 and includes a memorial room containing Books of Remembrance.
Sir John Betjeman
"Between the swimming-pool and cricket-ground
How straight the crematorium driveway lies!
And little puffs of smoke without a sound
Show what we loved dissolving in the skies,
Dear hands and feet and laughter-lighted face
And silk that hinted at the body's grace.
But no-one seems to know quite what to say
(Friends are so altered by the passing years):
"Well, anyhow, it's not so cold today"—
And thus we try to dissipate our fears.
'I am the Resurrection and the Life':
- Comedian Arthur English was cremated here and his ashes buried in the crematorium gardens with those of his first wife.
- Aldershot-born Norman "Dinky" Diamond, drummer in the 1970s with the band Sparks was cremated here.
- Elaine Batt, mother of songwriter and musician Mike Batt, who designed the costumes for his The Wombles band.
- Air Vice-Marshal Frederick "Freddie" Hurrell, Director-General of the RAF Medical Services from 1986 to 1988.
- The Park Crematorium on the Rushmoor Borough Council website
- The Park Crematorium on Remembrance Online
- Books of Remembrance on the Rushmoor Borough Council website
- Betjeman's 'Aldershot Crematorium' on The Writer's Almanac
- Ed. Kevin J. Gardner Faith and Doubt of John Betjeman: An Anthology of His Religious Verse Google Books pg 26
- Douglas J. Davies and Lewis H. Mates, Encyclopedia of Cremation, Routledge (2005) - Google Books pg 303
- Norman "Dinky" Diamond biography - Sparks Tribute Site
- Funeral for costume creator who will be remembered for The Wombles - Get Surrey 11 July 2013
- Hurrell's obituary in the Militarian (2008)