H.G. Wells Society – Planned Events for 2016 in Woking and Bromley

As some of you know, I have studied the life, work and thought of British author H.G. Wells for over 35 years, and it has been my privilege to manage the H.G. Wells Society’s website since late 2000. 

2016 marks 150 years since his birth (and 70 since his death), and many events celebrating his life and work are being planned in Woking – where the opening chapters of “The War of the Worlds” were set, as well as his birthplace in Bromley. The following is reproduced from the society’s website. I will periodically repost news here at American Chimæra.

A group of local residents, enthusiastic H.G. Wells supporters, local community stakeholders and voluntary groups have met since end of 2013 to lobby support for an H.G. Wells programme for 2016. With the support from officers at Woking Borough Council, progress has been made in putting together a programme of ideas, projects and events.

Please note that this is not a definitive list, but merely a suggestion of what could be delivered in partnership with key groups and organisations and sponsorship.

To discuss any of the proposed ideas, events or projects, please contact:
Riëtte Thomas – Celebrate Woking Project Manager
Woking Borough Council – 01483 743805


Planning in progress during 2015

  • Commission an H.G. Wells Sculpture to be unveiled in September 2016
  • Commissioning of an art project with local artists working with Ochre studios, the Lightbox and Surrey Arts. Project starts in September 2016, with launch of exhibition at the   Lightbox end of March 2016 to May 2016.
  • Educational projects with schools starting in September 2015 to April 2016. Well known author Stewart Ross, artist Stuart Phillips, Photographer Richard Booth and Science Fiction illustrator Fred Gambino will lead workshops at local schools. Artwork will be displayed at an exhibition at Party in the Park 2016.
  • Work with Ambassadors to put together a programme of music, talks, film and drama during September 2016.
  • Work with the H.G. Wells Society to host a two day international conference in 8-10 July 2016.
  • Update the information in the H.G. Wells Conference Centre to make reference to the name of the centre around the building.
  • Completion of H.G. Wells trail to the sandpits on Horsell Common by Horsell Common Preservation Society by summer of 2016, working with volunteers from local businesses.
  • Update Celebrate Woking and Visit Surrey websites with H.G. Wells information as well as project information.
  • Secure funding/sponsorship for community projects.
  • In conjunction with the London Borough of Bexley and Bromley, the society is holding an event at Bromley Library on Saturday 24th September 2016. This will be a culmination of a series of events in Bromley during the week commencing 19th September which of course includes the 150th anniversary on 21st of H.G. Wells’s birth in the town. We have now confirmed the main speaker will be noted novelist and H.G. Wells Society vice president Christopher Priest. Other details coming soon.


H.G. Wells Programme for 2016: Celebrating 150 years of H.G. Wells, 21.09.1866 – 13.08.1946

  • 29 March – Launch of Ochre Studios Art Project “War of the Worlds” at the Lightbox for VIP guests/Official launch of the H.G. Wells Programme for 2016.
  • April 2016 – H.G. Wells art Exhibition at The Lightbox in partnership with Ochre Studios (1 April -31 May).
  • Easter holidays – Display in library / Readings from H.G. Wells books, tbc.
  • 23-29 May 2016 – Half Term at The Lightbox – tbc.
  • Talk about HG Wells @ The Lightbox – tbc.
  • 27 May 2016 – Proposed guided walk by Iain Wakeford: “Friday night on Horsell Common” – will take in the sandpits and the action that took place on the Friday in the book when the Martians landed. Meet at 7pm in the Horsell Common car park off Shores Road.
  • 18 June 2016 – Launch of the Summer Programme – tbc. “Pop up Performance in Jubilee Square” tbc.
  •  25 June 2016 – Talk about H.G. Wells tbc.
  •  25 June 2016 – Proposed guided walk by Iain Wakeford: “The Fighting Begins in Maybury” – will take in HG Well’s house and what happened to the Narrator in the book on the Saturday after the Martians emerged. Meet at 7pm in the car park on Horsell Common by Monument Bridge.
  •  2 July 2016 – “Pop up Performance in Jubilee Square” – tbc.
  •  8-10 July – H.G. Wells Society AGM and International Conference at the HG Wells Conference Centre.
  •  9 July – Party in the Park – Woking Park:“H.G. Wells Themed” with Science Fiction Film.
  •  23/30 July – Talk about H.G. Wells, tbc.
  •  24 July 2016 – Proposed guided walk by Iain Wakeford. “In the Storm at Pyrford” – will look at the return home by the Narrator in the early hours of the Sunday morning after taking his wife to safety at Leatherhead. Meet at 7pm in the car park at Pyrford Common.
  •  Jul/ Aug – Book display in Library / Readings / Book display in bookshop – tbc. Talk about HG Wells – tbc. Readings/display at Library. Summer activities @ the Lightbox – tbc.  Activities @ WWF – tbc.
  •  13 August – Mark H.G. Wells’s death in some form.
  •  28 August – Proposed guided walk by Iain Wakeford. “Woking in Wells’s Time” – A two hour stroll looking at some of the places associated with the author in the town centre and Maybury Road areas. Meet at 2pm at the town centre entrance of Woking Railway Station.
  •  21 September – Mark his birthdate in some sort – tbc. Proposed launch of Peter Beck’s book. “HG Wells’ War of the Worlds from Orson Welles to Steven Spielberg to Jeff Wayne.”
  •  18-24 September – Ambassador Programme of talks, music, drama and film – tbc. Unveiling of the Sculpture of H.G. Wells – date tbc.
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