It's six years since I went to Woodgrange Park, and I don't mind admitting I trudged along Romford Road with a certain amount of trepidation. Was it even still there, or had Badgehurst finally succeeded in selling it off? There was a moment of panic when I saw a Tesco Express that was surely new... but then, no, there was the sign pointing into the cemetery. All was well.
Well, no it isn't. The chapel has gone, demolished in 2006. It's been replaced with a pile of debris, containing the smashed-up remains of several gravestones: you'd've thought after the Emmerdale fiasco, they'd have been more careful. But it's not all bad. Maybe it's the time of year, maybe it's the loss of the chapel, but the drive into the cemetery did seem a little less overgrown to me.
Further back, it seems that everything's been given a very strong dose of weed-killer. This is immediately noticeable in the older section to the right of where the chapel was, and in the larger section to the left and back which is now the Muslim burial section. I've said many times, if anything is to save Woodgrange Park, it will be the Muslim community. There are many, many more graves now than in 2005, and I really hope that this signals the beginning of a new era for this long and badly neglected cemetery.
Visiting: Woodgrange Park station and turn left. Watch out for the little sign pointing into the cemetery; it looks more like a car park from outside. Few livings about, even in the recently used parts. Someone possibly official was clearing some of the older graves when I was there. No one objects to photography.