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Re: Coronavirus, temporary suspension of FoNC activities.

So disheartening after all the hard work from you and the trusty team of workers. It has not gone unnoticed and is much appreciated.

Joan M.

[We] had a walk round the Cemetery yesterday and I would like to say I have not seen it so neat and tidy since the old Cowes U.D.C. days, a great advert to all at F.O.N.C.  You are doing a grand job!

Graham L.

Brilliant evening, interesting and informative.  1st time here, we will be back.

Barbara H. & Ann B.

Lovely to sit and hear carols being played.  Lovely Remembrance tree.

Lisa & Julie C.

Very peaceful and a lovely warm chapel.  Thanks for all your hard work.

Shirley B.

So nice to remember all our loved ones at Christmas – thank you.

Darcie & Karen

Hi Jon

What a lovely idea.  Thank you.  Won’t be able to get there this year – but have hung my messages in spirit to Dad, Mum and daughter Faith.  Love and miss them.

Thank you for all the work you and the team do.  Have a very Happy Christmas.

Nicola M. Re: Tree of Remembrance

Hello Jon. We would like to thank you and all the team for what work you do, so THANK you. Have a peaceful and enjoyable festive time.

Allan & Jill B. Re: Tree of Remembrance

I came upon this beautiful place when out on a dog walk.  It filled me with peace at the right moment.  It would be so wonderful to have services here.  Such a peaceful place.


First visit in 42 years, what a pleasant surprise, well done.

Roger & Bron B.

Thank you for the opportunity to leave thoughts – beautiful chapel.

Sally G.

Lovely time spent here, surprised by how beautiful it is.

Liz W.

It was our pleasure to play for you this evening in your beautiful chapel.

The Isle of Wight Scottish Fiddlers

Amazing place!  Big thanks to Barry for the tour.

Randhir B.

Very interesting walk around the cemetery, we had a lovely afternoon with tea and cake.  Thank you all!

Northwood Floral Art Group

After a long gap in visiting I have seen amazing changes.  Well done

Betty D.

Visited again, tracing my family tree from Isle of Wight.

Gwynne & David W.

Good to finally have a chance to visit IoW Family History Society Resource Centre.

Paul M.

Thanks Roger, a brilliant walk and talk, plus wonderful weather, tea and cake.

Joan & Val.

Best festival walk we have done and the tea and cake was a fab bonus!!!

Howard G.

Thanks for taking care of the graves of Polish soldiers and seamen.

ORP BLYSKAWICA's Defence of Cowes, memorial service visitors from Warsaw, Poland

Hi Jon,

…we have visited the Island a couple of times recently and visited my father’s grave each time.

What a superb job the Friends have done over the recent years – it is a pleasure to visit!

We will be back in June – looking forward to the visit.

Pat T.

Re: Phoenix Choir concert 27 April, 2019

All Saints Church, Gurnard.

Funds raised for FoNC: More than £1000.

What an amazing amount of money Jon!  I am so very delighted.

It was a joy to see a packed crowd listening to the lovely Phoenix: they do have a great following don’t they.

So very pleased that we have been able to help you again.

Amanda C.

We’ve walked through the cemetery many, many times and our hearts are lifted by the wonderful changes we’ve seen. Well done, everyone concerned!!

Hilary and Dick K.

Dear Jon
Thank you so much for your extremely interesting message and a Very Happy New Year to you.  The testimonials made fascinating reading and I will continue reading them.

I don’t have a car any more so sadly I won’t  be able to get to the coffee mornings which sound really excellent.

With all good wishes for 2019 to you and all at Northwood.

S. P.

Great first visit.

Michael Q.

Wonderful work has been done and is continuing for the benefit of visitors.

Lu H.

Lovely ‘Tree of Remembrance.’

Peter A.

Finally seen the resting place of our Grandfather, who died in the bombing of Cowes during WW II.  Also Great and Great Great Grandfather

M. and J. (Father & Son)


My sisters and I visited the cemetery earlier this month and were most impressed at the superb work the Friends have completed on the chapels.  Well done! 

Also noticeable was the lack of ground-cover vegetation.  We took some hours to walk around to appreciate the new ‘openness’ so obviously the Friends have been working very hard to clear the ground to make access much easier.  If the opportunity arises please pass on our gratitude.

Ian J.

Thank you so much for showing me around and sharing your wonderful knowledge.  Keep up the great work.

Julie G.

Having followed the history of the project over the years, truly impressed by the restoration and all your efforts.

The 'J' family of Scotland

What a transformation!   Fascinating Cement Mills ‘ovens’ lecture.

Bernie C.

My 1st visit to a wonderful poetry afternoon.  So impressed with the restoration of this beautiful building, well done to all concerned.

Ann B.

Hi Bazz

… Congratulations to you all for getting information out to everyone in such an accessible form.


Hi Annie

Many thanks for your kind words. We love ‘feedback’ and thankfully it is as good as always, very positive.

Very much appreciated. Bazz Sowerby. FoNC

Ann L.

Gloriously restored – stunning!  Thank you to all the volunteers who made this happen.

Sheila G.

Thank you Bazz Sowerby for such an interesting morning at the Family Heritage centre, I really appreciated the time and trouble you took to show me the system. What an amazing place it is and well worth a visit. I will go back on Friday and start to sort out all my relatives places and my ‘tree’ I can’t wait to move on to the Island and look forward to seeing the centre again. The two buildings are fantastic and well done to all the volunteers and trustees who have turned it into such a great building. Your enthusiasm shows in the way you had the patience to explain so many things. Thank you once again it’s really made my holiday digging around my late husband’s ancestors.


Jackie W.

We found the grave of our great grandmother – a long journey from New Zealand but we found you Eva.

Yvonne T. and Glenda M.

Such a beautiful chapel and the talk at the Isle of Wight Stroke Club encouraged us to visit with our mainland visitors.  BRILLIANT!

Linda & Christopher T.

Wonderful transformation from my memories just after the war.

Margaret & Robert P.

Thank you so much for all your help and your patience with my questions.  Truly special.

Sally A.

Beautifully restored, lovely old funeral bier and excellent wildlife outside!

Julie W.

Excellent Resource Centre. Thank you.

Shirley M.

Thank you for a friendly visit and to see your hard work.

Terry & Edith C.

What an amazing transformation of two beautiful, historic, religious buildings.  Congratulations to the Friends of Northwood Cemetery and the workmen for their enthusiasm over the years.

Louise B.

This is putting an old building [West Chapel] to a really good use [Heritage Resource Centre] and the volunteers are so very helpful.  Keep up the good work.

Graham & Rosemary T.

Beautifully restored chapel and interesting talk from the guide.

Jayne D.

I recently visited Northwood Cemetery for the talk on Yarmouth Pier and was delighted to read in On The Wight of your prestigious Conservation Award. It is well deserved, congratulations.

Christine E.

Re: 2018 IW Conservation Award

Fantastic news – a wonderful achievement.

So pleased [for all involved] that all your dedicated hard work has been recognised in this way, the transformation is stunning.

A wonderful example of what can be achieved when community organisations come together to make a difference.

Linda O.

Dear Jon,

Congratulations on Friday’s award!

May wife and I were on the Island last week and were very impressed by all that FONC has done.


Alan D.

Re: 2018 IW Conservation Award.

Many congratulations and well deserved!

Delighted that the support shown by  HLF and all the hard work undertaken by Friends of Northwood Cemetery, Isle of Wight Council, professionals and project team have been recognised and for making the dream a reality!

A real lasting legacy for the Island.

Janis M.

Re: Yarmouth Pier Talk

We both thoroughly enjoyed Ruth’s talk, it was an interesting subject and she is a very good speaker.
We were most impressed by the very warm welcome we received, and by the work that has been done, and is continuing to be done, to save and preserve such a beautiful place.  We’d both driven past it on many occasions but had no idea what went on within the gates.
We will be keeping an eye on your website for future events.

Chris E.

I must say your website has been fantastic at Northwood on information and I can’t rate it high enough.

I’ve found 46 relatives from various branches of the family at Northwood so far.

Jeremy P.

Don and I were visiting the plot where my very elderly neighbour is to be buried on the 10th May.

I’ve organised the service in the Chapel which I think she would have liked.

It really is an asset to the community.

So, well done all of you.

Jill & Don R.

I was in Cowes for my aunt’s funeral on 4th April and took flowers up to the family graves after the service.  I was most impressed with all the work that has been done there.  Well done to all.  Will look forward to my next visit in June.

Best wishes

Marcia F.

Thanks [for the Friends of Northwood Cemetery, May Newsletter] all the best and keep up the excellent work.

David G.

Hi Jon,

Many thanks for the May Newsletter.   The wife and I did manage to visit the Island a few weeks ago and visit my father’s grave.   The cemetery is looking so much more modern and ‘cared for’ than I remember it in the distant past.

Congratulations and very well done to all concerned!


P.S.  Managed to photograph the squirrels as well!

Patrick T.

Lovely improvement; hope it will be used by the community.

Mary & Malcolm J.

Wow.  What an amazing place.

Hazel & Philip W.

What an improvement to appearance.  Thank you.

Brian F.

Congratulations on all your hard work.

Gwynne & David W.

Jon, Congratulations and happy birthday to all concerned.  You should feel very proud of your achievements.

Sue B.

Became Friends of Northwood Cemetery today.  A wonderful work; love it!

Sue & Roger B.

We held my Dad’s funeral service in the chapel on February 8th and it was wonderful. We were proud that his service was one of the first to be held there since its amazing restoration. So pleased that this was possible.  Thank you.

Lu F.

Wonderful to see the new life here.  A long journey but so worth it!  Well done.

Jackie H.

Beautiful Chapel.  Lovely to see it restored.

Julie C.

It’s wonderful to see the transformation of the Cemetery and the Chapels.  It’s so beautiful and a lovely peaceful place to come.

Karen M.

Remembrance Tree – a super idea.  The Cemetery has much improved.  Thank you FoNC.

Carmine B.

Wonderful idea and such a beautiful Chapel.  Thank you.

Chris & Pat E.

Popped in this morning. Wonderful progress. Will drive through if sun shines next week. Interested to see how far end is looking. All involved at Northwood Cemetery should feel VERY PROUD of the results of all their efforts. Wishing all a very happy Christmas, so well deserved.

Joan M.

Beautiful place after a lot of work.  Remembrance tree super idea.  Thank you.

Nicky P.

FoNC Trustees

Jon, I just want to say a HUGE thank you for all that you have done as Chairman. It is really quite remarkable. My father would be so proud of the improvements. Well done to you and the Committee.

Regards from

Charles H.

What a difference!  A job well done! Congratulations to all involved.

Peter & Sally D.

Thanks, you are to be congratulated on a wonderful job. Almost unrecognizable from my last visit in 2011. It all looks amazing.  Best wishes,

Sue B.

Hi Bazz

Many thanks for your reply, having had a need to use the website recently for my Aunt I found it very useful & informative.

Mike C.

Such an interesting visit and great help with Genealogy.

Jean & Kate F. Arthur & Rose P.

Thank you to everybody concerned with staffing the Open Day on Saturday 14th October 2017.  Welcoming, Advising, Explaining, but not Overpowering. Perfect for a “stranger”.

Don H.

Congratulations – what a lot of work has been done.  The cleaned up graves are spectacular!

Janet G.

A joy to see the completed work, fantastic and well done!

Bernie C.

Super job.  What a wonderful site.  Lots of natural and cultural heritage to enjoy.


Pete F.

The whole cemetery is looking great and the chapels are amazing.  Well done!!!

Catherine & Clive R.

Truly a legacy work for all the future generations of Cowes.

Dominic M.

Congratulations and hats off to you and the team for a great job well done!


Barry & Linda B.

Let me thank you for giving me the honour of opening your Natural Burial Ground on Wednesday; what a great day and a testament to the hard work you’ve all put in.

Ian Q.

Dear Jon, Can I congratulate you on yesterday’s exceptional and brilliantly planned official launch. This was greatly informative and gave that due credit to those involved, from the outset, in delivering what is a rewarding project for the future pleasure and engagement with our community. I add to this that if it wasn’t for your vision and drive this project would not have taken place.


Geoff B.

What a wonderful day it was!   I am so glad I was able to take part.

It was all entirely memorable and so well organised, including the lunch and the chance to look at the remarkable photos taken by the children.

What a lovely idea to stage the afternoon dedications too and provide an excuse to get people to walk through the cemetery and see the fruits of all the hard work that has been going on over the years.

The whole team deserves an award for the planning and foresight over the 10 years culminating in that unforgettable day.

Rosemary S.

Dear Jon, can I congratulate you on yesterday’s exceptional and brilliantly planned official launch.

This was greatly informative and gave that due credit to those involved, from the outset, in delivering what is a rewarding project for the future pleasure and engagement with our community.

I add to this that if it wasn’t for your vision and drive this project would not have taken place.

Geoff B.

Proud to have involvement in this project.  Congratulations to all the many people who have achieved so much.

Bridget K.

Many congratulations on all your hard work so well rewarded.  I am so impressed.  It helps us learn so much about the remarkable people who are interred here.

Richard S.

A beautiful place with a wonderful community story.  Thank you, Friends of Northwood Cemetery.

Jennifer I.

CONGRATULATIONS to each and everyone that made this project the enormous success that it is.  WONDERFUL!!!


Have just read the latest edition of the FoNC newsletter (always informative) and congratulations to ALL concerned in the restoration of the two lovely chapels.

I watched their deterioration over many years during which I made irregular [trips] from the mainland to visit my parent’s grave and noted with despair the subsidence of one chapel and the use of the other as a groundsman’s hut. So well done and a big “Thank you”!


David H.

We have walked round the cemetery a couple of times recently and are both so impressed at what has been achieved, particularly with all the natural areas which are such important habitats for so many different species.

Our best wishes for your future efforts.

Gordon & Brenda

Once again, thank you for an excellent Newsletter. Please continue to accept the annual subscription, the other monies were straight gifts towards the ongoing work in the Cemetery.
Along with my sisters I hope to visit in the Autumn.  Although we have not set a date it would be good to be able to view the restored chapels.
My best wishes to you and all the hard-working volunteers at Northwood.

Ian J.

Lovely to see little Don restored. I was often taken to the cemetery by my aunt who told me Don’s story. I always left a sweet for him in the crook of his arm & was always excited to see if it had gone!! I must add I was very young at the time!

Ann S.

On visiting the cemetery today for the first time since Xmas I was amazed by the amount of restoration that has been done to both the grounds and the stones. It made me walk a different path and stop to read the stones of soldiers who had passed. I have never seen so many crocus and daffodils there…….beautiful!

My dad would have been both impressed and interested in the work being done.

Debby S.

Thank you for the latest Northwood Cemetery update – what amazing work you have all done.  Just wish that I lived on the island and could physically help too.

I will send the sub. for next year as  requested.  Also wish that my relations had memorial stones instead of just a plot – they obviously could not afford it.

Thank you once again


Patricia S.

Dear Jon,

Just a quick note to thank you profoundly for the fascinating tour you led around the cemetery.  We were impressed by all the hard work, love and care that has gone into its revival, especially when so much of the work is voluntary!

The children thoroughly enjoyed their visit and are still talking about some of the things they discovered; this is reflected in the writing they have produced as a result.  So far, they have written a short information leaflet aimed at their own age group, and today they produced some moving poetry using personification!

What has impressed me most, is how very strongly they feel that the cemetery is an important part of their community; they have spoken at length about taking their families ( and dogs) there for walks.

Our thanks again for your time and care.  Please pass our gratitude on to Mr Almond too.

Warm regards

Jane P.

Barry, thank you very much for responding so swiftly. I believe it was you who put the marker on my Fathers grave?

That is exactly where I thought it should be, but I could not read the vase, I’m so pleased. I’ve cut the grass to make it look better and when we put Mother there I shall have a new headstone made.


Barry, thank you so much for taking the trouble to find my great great grandfather’s plot and for taking the photos. I wasn’t surprised that he didn’t have a headstone.

Gill J.

Am sending you information regarding the Humphreys family, in order that it be added to your records. I could not remember where they buried on the Isle of Wight until I stumbled upon your web site.

Many thanks. It is nice to be able to pass the information on to other member of the wider family.

Valerie P.

Good afternoon Barry, thank you very much for your time, it was very kind of you to spend so long with us.

Almost certainly next year we will come to the Island for a couple of days, without doubt we will visit Northwood Cemetery to see how the restoration of the two chapels is progressing.

We both very much hope that all will progress satisfactorily. Thanks once again and all the very best.

Ken & Paula H.

I think the work the association does is wonderful, congratulations! I will drop a donation in ASAP.

Patricia C.

Dear Jon, David & Richard,

Today my friend and I came to the Cemetery to pick up the Yew logs. My friend will be making Diggeridos from this lovely wood and I shall be making things to sell for Ability Dogs for young people. We are both very grateful.

Tamara H.

Dear Barry, thanks very much for your rapid response and for the information – just what I wanted!

Kevin T.

Dear Barry, thank you very much for your help & for sending me so much wonderful information, it is much appreciated. “Happy New Year”.

Ursula D.

I have enjoyed visiting your web site and have found it very informative, thank you.

Peter N.

Thank you so much for the information you sent regarding the graves. It was very kind of you to take the trouble.

I have forwarded the email on to my relative I have made contact with in the USA who is a great granddaughter of EDB. The work you do to enable this searching to have a positive outcome is truly amazing. Thank you so very much.

Gloria M.

Dear Jon, thank you for the newsletter – and what news!!

My congratulations to you all for your unceasing hard work which has paid off!! Amazing!!

Heather L.

I live on the mainland or I would have come along. My Nan and Grandad are buried there as is my aunt so I go there when ever I’m on the island. A big thank you to your group for your hard work you do.

Paul T.

That is a really good newsletter Jon and very interesting and nicely produced. Thank you.

Marianne P-S

Dear Jon, wonderful news (re: lottery funded grant); well done for all your hard work.

David would have been so pleased too! And that’s an excellent newsletter this month as well. I am passing it on to friends.

Gay B.

So good to read about the fundraisers’ successes, the wonderful number of birds and about the life of Alfred Fenning (re: Latest Newsletter). Congratulations.

Jan T.

Hi Barry, a very special thanks for taking the time to meet us at the Cemetery. It meant so much that you took the time to explain things to us and making it so interesting with such a personal touch.

Trevor and Giesela M

Hello Bazz, we both want to thank you so much for the help, information and time you gave us. We were thrilled to have visited Northwood Cemetery and able to pay respect at the grave of our relatives Grandfather and Grandmother. We have told another relative Michael, about the visit and he was pleased.

I am digging out the pictures, service record and WW1 medals for William Johnson and I will photograph and send to you by email in due course for you to append to his burial record. We were impressed with everything ‘The Friends of Northwood Cemetery’ have done and still working on. What a lovely spot you have there Bazz.

Catherine & David M.

Dear Barry, I must say how much I enjoyed the recent FoNC Newsletter. It was really well put together and very interesting to read from beginning to end.  Your contribution, as always, was really interesting. I liked the coverage of the Blitz and was fascinated by the history of the Plot Markers and the story about Rees Owen Williams. All in all it was a darned good read and one of the best ones for a while. Well done to all.

Judy O.

Dear Jon, I was at the Cemetery yesterday paying my usual annual visit to tidy our two graves. The Cemetery was looking good, a credit to all who work so hard there.

Brenda P.

Dear Jon, both of us have, indeed, enjoyed reading the newsletter as always and are very impressed with how amazing the Cemetery looks every time we visit.

Nic and Lu

Dear Bazz, when I was on the Island in early April I was able to tidy up my family’s graves and was very impressed by all that you and your FoNC colleagues have achieved. It’s wonderful.

Alan D.

I visited Northwood Cemetery after a trip to surgery and was astonished at all the clearing that has been carried out on that side. I cannot recall being able to walk up that side since the early Sixties. The sweep of wild daffodils and primroses outdid anything viewed by Wordsworth!

I do hope that you will pass on my appreciation for all the hard work of the volunteers. I also visited East Cowes Cemetery and the volunteers there are making excellent progress, no doubt inspired by the results at Northwood Cemetery!

Joan M

Lovely to see the Chapel in good use and nice to meet some of those who achieved so much.  Well done.

Bob & Sue H.

Brilliant!  All the hard work and commitment shows.

Paul F.

You have done a Fantastic Job.  Well done to you All.

Nick & Jan C.

Well done, a dedicated band of workers.  All the very best for the future.

Allan & Jill B.