No One Would Have Believed that during the last years of the 19th Century a resident of Woking would sit down and pen what is, arguably, the first classic of modern science fiction. A story which would inspire other writers, dramatists, film-makers and composers for the next century and beyond !
The War of the Worlds...
...has never been out of print ! It presents itself as a factual account of a Martian invasion starting with the landing of a space craft at the near by Horsell Sand pits "A cylinder with a diameter of about thirty yards" - The story unfolds and is narrated by a middle-class scientific journalist with characteristics similar to Wells's at the time of writing.
Since its publication - The War of the Worlds has spawned half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, various comic books, a television series, and parallel stories by other authors..
But few have directly featured Woking Town !
Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, UK. It is part of the Greater London Urban Area and the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Waterloo station. Woking is 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding the surrounding district, has a population of 62,796,with the whole local government district (the borough of Woking) having a population of 92,400 (mid 2009 estimate).Currently, Woking is a Conservative constituency, with Jonathan Lord as Woking's Member of Parliament.
In literature, Woking is where the Martians first land in H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. In music, "Town Called Malice" was written about Woking by Paul Weller and recorded by his band, The Jam. The song reached No. 1 in the UK Charts.
Though Woking's earliest written appearance is in Domesday Book, it is mentioned as the site of a monastery in an 8th century context, as Wochingas. In Domesday Book it appears as Wochinges, being held in 1086 by King William the Conqueror, Walter FitzOther, constable of Windsor Castle, and Ansgot and Godfrey from Osbern FitzOsbern, then bishop of Exeter.
Modern Woking was formed in the area to the south of the Basingstoke Canal (opened in 1794) around the railway station, built in 1838 at the junction between lines to London, the south coast, and the south-west of England, and the private railway to Brookwood Cemetery, which was developed by the London Necropolis Company as an overflow burial ground for London's dead. As a result, the original settlement 1 mile to the south-east, on the River Wey, became known as "Old Woking". Later, Woking Crematorium at St John's became the first crematorium in the United Kingdom.
The War or the Worlds - Woking.com
Web site is dedicated to seeing Woking
recognised as the origional setting of
the story, and in doing so change the
way the story has been re-developed
over the past century...