War Of The Worlds And Woking, Horsell Common

“An Everyday Town Once Had A Mysterious Visitor.”

No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being scrutinized, written down, rearranged and composed into a short but powerful novel. A man busied himself, merging intelligences greater than Man’s and yet as mortal as his own.

A leafy suburban town became the focus of his writings, the first strike point of an invasion from outerspace. From Mars. One world crept silently towards another. Thus was born, War Of The Worlds.

Herbert George Wells.

Some Shots Of The Wonderful H.G. Wells’ Martian Sculpture/Rendition To Be Seen In Woking
woking martian
A Long Shot Which Shows The Height Of This Impressive Work Of Art

woking martian statue
An Almost Vertical Shot Of The Daunting Martian Sculpture

woking war of the worlds martian
A Close Up Showing The Detail Of The Martian’s Body

woking martian picture from hg wells war of the worlds
Another Close Up Shot. Notice The Detail, Especially The Tenticles

war of the worlds woking martian
The Inscription Which Can Be Found Near The Martian

woking martian war of the worlds crashed pod
The Crashed Pod In Which The Martians Landed Is Located A Distance From The Martian Itself

As well as the Martian, a Crashed Pod and Bacteria Trail were built. The surrounding area was changed too to compliment the structure.

The Woking War Of The Worlds Martian Sculpture was conceived, designed and built by Michael Condron, Sculptor in 1998 and still looks as cool as it did then.

It is a shame that Woking didn’t utilise and build upon, even work with Universal Studios to promote the town centre and surrounding countryside (Horsell Common inparticular).

21 Comments For This Post

  1. Emily Says:

    That is so cool. I am reading the world of the worlds and I was looking for some information and I came across this web site. This is awesome!!!!

  2. Cpt.Fail Says:

    Bloody yanks, they always steal our stuff and ruin it! they should have had it set in the Uk!

  3. matt Says:

    Matt says yes they should it would have been interesting to see a film version of the novel set in england

  4. woodcarver Says:

    War Of The Worlds was a favourite of mine when young . I also lived for years on the edge of Horsell Common !
    As a previus contributor opines, Tom Cruise and Hollywood made a wonderful story into a farce !!

  5. Dai Says:

    In the HG wells book the hero took shelter in 3 bonsey cottages on Horsell Common. The Duckett family lived there inthe 1960s. Unfortunately the cottages were demolished to make way for “progress”

  6. arch9enius Says:

    The Martians didn’t get ‘em but the council did.

  7. Ailie Donaldson Says:

    That IS in Britain, not America…?

  8. Ailie Donaldson Says:

    Oh nevermind. I see you mean the Hollywood cinematic adaptation. So who did the original version of the film as there was one before the Tom Cruise release.

  9. Paul Fishwick Says:

    The Cycle Woking Project is rebranding the Woking Cycle Network, by naming all the Cycle Trails as Planets, based on H G Wells War of the Worlds with the Martians coming from the planet Mars. The Mars Trail runs under the Martian in the town centre and joins National Cycle Route 4 (Chertsey) to National Cycle Route 22 (Guildford) via Woking. More details on the web site wwww.cyclewoking.org.uk

  10. Dafydd ap Gwillym Says:

    Never mind, at least Jeff Wayne’s wonderful music version kept faith with the original story!

  11. Mozman Says:

    I think it would be great if we could get a cinematic adaptation of the story, set in england in the 1800’s when the novel was published, which actually stays faithful to the locations, characters and events. For example, in every version or adaptation of the war of the worlds, the martians are all different in appearance or description, as are their tripod fighting machines. America just went too far with modernising the story, and ruined it completely.

  12. Luke Langley Says:

    I’ve driven past Horsell common hundreds of times. You can picture the martians landing much better if you know the Common well and live in the Surrey area

  13. spud Says:

    Totally agree with Mozman, it gets irritating them taking all the best and completely trashing it in their own name. Even historic events in WW2 for that
    matter.

    FACTOID: I live down the road from a bloke who was drove the second tank across
    Nemagan bridge with the BRITS, the yanks were nowhere to be seen, the Germans did
    intend to blow it up if the brits got that far but the explosives did not go off.

    The Germans had sent men down the river the night before we moved by water to set
    them up but somehow the fuse didn’t work.

    The lead tank was actually shot killing all inside and the bloke was due to be next across. Fate had played a part the shock from a nearby shell had knocked a drink flask between one of the pedals and so he had to stop and free it, while he did the other tank went around him and copped the second shell in the side.

    According to many an account when the brits met the yanks outside Arnheim it was
    a fairly small cursery force who were coming the other way warning them that the
    Germans were coming!

    You dont see that in the movies.

  14. spud Says:

    Maybe its a conspiracy, the idea is they can wipe all other countries history clean away with complete bullsh*t before eventually consigning us all to nuclear armegeddon and claim that everything that ever existed was their invention from literature to the light-bulb to the television to the discovery of radiation and the very atomic bombs that they will eventually use to destroy us all!

  15. Scott Says:

    Jeff Wayne who did that War of the Worlds soundtrac stills owns the rights to the original War of The Worlds story, and he won’t release them, that’s why you never see a version set in Victorian England.
    (I know there was a 50’s american film version also that has nothing to do with the book.

  16. Nortman Says:

    @Spud So if you guys could have won the war yourselves, why did you need “lend/lease”? It did help our economy before we entered the war (thanks, by the way). I suppose the Americans were a bunch of cowards for not invading Berlin too? You better read some more history books, because your boy “Monty” was the one who demanded the Brits a greater role in the invasion. My grandpa says he’s sorry he couldn’t be at your bridge, but he was busy flying paratroops and cargo behind enemy lines in an unarmed C47 transport. Remember also that the Americans were fighting on two fronts at the same time. My neighbor down the road must have just missed the Brits after V-E Day in the Pacific Theatre. Even the Russians made it to the last of that “dance”.

    As far as WotW goes, the changes all started with the Orwell broadcast on Halloween. Europe was already turning to a powder-keg and the people here in America (the average family types) always thought of the problem as “half a world away”. Americans have this problem, for generations, that they’ve been relatively safe for so long (our last war was in the mid 1800s) that unless the problem almost literally drops in their back yard they don’t care. And when they are attacked they usually respond with disproportionate force. Orson Wells played on that feeling in the radio broadcast and terrified America with it. It was great!

  17. Cesil :) Says:

    @Nortman I agree with almost everyone on this site the new Armerican adaption of War of the Worlds is pretty crap and has drifted so far from the story that it really shouldn’t be called War of the Worlds anymore, it’s merely used the name as an incentive to make people want to watch the crappy film. Although I will note that Jeff Waynes adaption doesn’t completely stick to the entire story as written in the book, it is by far the best adaption I have ever come across of the real thing. With a note to Nortman, I am not attacking America itself over the bases of a book (British and Americans are a completely different stock of peoples despite the use of the same language), but America does have a terrible track history for taking British stories and adapting them to their own likeness and in doing so completely ruining them. Yes Orsen Wells not Orwell you twonk (they’re completely different people Jeez George Orwell wrote 1984 and Animal farm) was a complete genius, the new film adaption is a load of crap end of. The fact is that British books, drama’s and films seem to have a dark realistic grit that I haven’t seen utilised successfully by many American films etc. As you said America has been safely well off for a large number of years and is perhaps what contributes to its bright smiles perfect teeth approach to Art and film. Contrastingly I have not seen many British examples in film that are as well polished as their American counterparts. Yet it is my belief that if you are going to attempt an adaption of such a horrifyingly dark and realistic tale such as H.G. Wells War of the Worlds then you should really try to uphold that gritty approach, not hire Tom cruise and stick some kids in there for a cute factor. Oh and by the way America only joined the second world war when it was their own arses on the line (bombing of pearl harbour). Also the reason Britain needed the USA’s aid was because they’d already been in the war for a vast ammount of time and the USA who had been comfortably sitting on their backsides replenishing their market after the depression had a fresh faced Army without the burden of countless deaths and casualties to demoralise them. Through most of WWII America supplied to the black market and nearer to the end they finally cottoned on to the fact that things were going tits up in the rest of the world other than communism. :) although you could say the British only joined the fist world war when their own assets were at risk. Thanks for listening Folks :P In short I loved reading War of the Worlds and couldn’t sleep for a week afterwards :).

  18. phillip brown Says:

    there are more world of the world stuff in woking, the subway has a fantanstic meremoral. Shame the film could not be correct and be set on horsell common

  19. Used Cars Says:

    I would dearly love to visit these monuments. I am a huge fan of the book and Jeff Wayne’s musical adpatation. I think the council should be given huge plaudits for allowing this to be built. There aren’t a great number of council bodies who would recognise literature as being such a major factor in a town’s formation and culture.

  20. Stephen Murray Says:

    Hi felow Wells fans, I have just finished building a replica prop of the Time Machine and are planning a martian war machine for my back yard. We are hoping to get funding in conjunction with the Steampunk community. As we have a popular culture museum here in oxford north canterbury New Zealand. Does anybody know how to get in contact with the artist. Love to get some advice in planning the build. We have ideas of our own of course,. but would love to get hold of him. We love that Woking has done this, and we only found out yesterday when researching if anybody had already done this. Well done Woking, as we are visiting England next month we shall be able to see it in person. WOuld love to talk to anybody involved in this project while we are there

  21. Gerrie Says:

    Hi everyone
    recently the History channel showed World War 1 and the story of Martians. apparently 1914 was the year when Martian attacked earth and the war carried on for 3 years and England, France, Germany and USA were fighting together against the alien invasion. that took me by surprise because my father was there and does not recall any one fighting against Martians. there are no records of it anywhere yet History Channel even showed a Martian Museum where “apparently” alien crafts were captured. they even showed an alien (which to my surprise looks like what we see in the movies and on the web). can anyone share some light on this subject. to me this is unreal and History Channel is blowing smoke in our noses.

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