Discover H.G. Wells’ connection with Woking

Discover H.G. Wells’ connection with Woking

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of H.G. Wells – one of the nation’s greatest literary talents and public intellectuals. He made Woking infamous in the late 19th Century by choosing Horsell Common as the location for his Martian invasion in his science fiction novel, War of the Worlds.

To celebrate Wells’ connection with the Borough, a series of talks, guided walks, arts project and themed activities will be taking place throughout 2016. Delve into the world of Wells at these forthcoming events:

26 May, 7pm

H.G. Wellsʼ fantastic transport

Talk by Professor Simon James

The Lightbox, Woking GU21 4AA

Cost: £6 (booking required –  

Head of English Studies at Durham University and Editor of The Wellsian, the journal of the H.G. Wells Society, Professor Simon J. James’ talk will consider the relationship between Wells’ creative imagination and the theme of transport, in particular the bicycle.

Wells’ fictional and non-fictional writing is persistently occupied with the theme of transport, both realistic and existing, imaginary or fantastic. From the humble bicycle to moving walkways, gliders, tripods, the anti-gravity sphere and time machine, Wells uses technologies of transport to expand the scope and possible reach of his fiction.

27 May, 7pm

Friday night on Horsell Common

Guided walk with Iain Wakeford

Meet at Six Crossroads car park, off Shores Road, GU21 4HQ

Cost: Free

Ogilvy, the astronomer from Ottershaw, discovered the first Martian cylinder near the sandpits on Horsell Common early on Friday morning and by the afternoon crowds of people from Woking (including the Narrator) had gathered to see these strange creatures from Mars.

This walk follows in Ogilvy’s and the Narrator’s footsteps to discover what Horsell Common was like when Wells was researching and writing the book, and to hear what happened on the first Friday of The War of the Worlds.

More information

To discover the fascinating and inspirational Wells in Woking programme of events and activities, please visit