Visitors recall fearsome encounter at Highgate Cemetery

Regarding the letter from John Oakes that Highgate cemetery is very grateful to its tourists (H&H letters, January 25). When I and some friends turned up for a tour a crotchety woman of about 90 grudgingly let us in and proceeded to harangue us with a l

Regarding the letter from John Oakes that Highgate cemetery is 'very grateful' to its tourists (H&H letters, January 25).

When I and some friends turned up for a tour a crotchety woman of about 90 grudgingly let us in and proceeded to harangue us with a long list of don'ts and can'ts. Anyone foolhardy enough to ask a question had their head bitten off and hurled into Dunce's Corner.

One elderly man was practically in tears. Another visitor decided not to join the tour.

When the tour was over, we got more hectoring. There was also pressure to give extra money. She said that the £5 we'd paid for the tour didn't cover the costs so we should put a donation (preferably of the paper rather than coin variety) into a green box which she demandingly held out for us.


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Far from seeming very grateful, she behaved as if we should be grateful, almost as if the cemetery was her own personal domain.

Semir Ali

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Junction Road, N19

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