I write this in mid December it really does not seem as though
Christmas is nearly upon us, even though I have added some winter
images to this page. The temperature outside is nearly 12C and
it does not seem very long ago that I last picked raspberries and
Yet all of a sudden the trees have lost their leaves to reveal
large growths of misletoe high in their branches.
Here in the south the autumn has been mild and with only
moderate rain. Our hearts go out to those in the north who
have suffered snow and extreme rain that has resulted in flooded homes.
Last time I reported, rather despairingly, how the A30 was to
be dug up
a third time in order to lay a fibre optic cable all the way to
Blackwater. We were delighted to find that this work caused
minimal problems - perhaps because it was not buried very deep, and for
the most part under the pavement rather than in the middle of the road.
The new development on what was the Waterers nursery site is still not
complete. The final building is there - but only partially
occupied. I understand that the planning consent that was
sought and granted was for the building to house a supermarket and the
continuation of the former garden centre business. The
supermarket is in place but the space for the garden centre centre
is vacant. I am told that they have pulled out and want, instead, to
create what some locals are describing as a mini-retail park
conflict with the interests of the local High Street shops.
A Royal Tournament in Bagshot Park
has written asking about a tournament held in Bagshot Park on 29th
August 1830 to raise funds for the building of St Anne's Church.
To put this in context - Queen Victoria's son HRH
Arthur, Duke of Connaught, lived in Bagshot Park, indeed the present
house was built by the Queen for him. The Duke was largely
responsible for the building of the Parish Church and numerous
fund-raising events were held. I had heard stories of fetes
the like being held in the Park with special trains being laid on to
bring the nobility down from London. But I had not heard of a Military
Terry has identified a lengthy newspaper
article in The Daily News of August 30th 1883 which waxes lyrically
about the competitive event. While this newspaper report does
specifically mention any boxing, Terry writes that a relative of his
was one of four boxers who were photographed. He is anxious
find out anything more about the tournament.
War Memorial Project
I have been participating with others in a project to research
the lives of those from WW1 who are commemorated on the village War
Memorial and on the Roll of Honour that is displayed inside the parish
church - both their lives and the effect that their death had on their
family. Some people have proved more difficult than
Turner served with the Canadian forces and died
leaving a widow, Harriet, living in College Ride, Bagshot.
But that is just about all we know about him, or his
Herbert Taylor, 2nd battalion
the Yorkshire Hussars (Alexandra, Princes of Wales' Own) died
November 1914. He had married in 1913 but we have not been able to find
any details about him prior to his marriage.
We have been unable to identify any connection with Bagshot
for several people:
The complete list and the outline life histories is here. In
cases I've just said something like "they had 2 children", I've not
named them because they may still be alive. Are you able to
add anything to this record? Plesae get in touch if you can.
Bagshot WI meet the Queen
This year has been the centenary of the founding of the Women's
Institute and among the celebrations was an event held in The Royal
Albert Hall and attended by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH the Princess
Royal and HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Representatives of
the 'home' WIs of the Royalty were invited to be seated in the Royal
Box. These were Sandringham WI (the Queen is its honorary
President), Cirencester WI which has the
Princess Royal as a member, and Bagshot WI on account of the Countess
of Wessex. Bagshot WI is itself 93 years old. An
event that some proud Bagshot ladies will remember for a very long time.
Margaret asks if anyone knows the history of the
nativity set which used to be in Bagshot shop windows during Advent in
the 1960's and 1970's and which is now at St Anne's Church.
Graham has published his own assessment of man's
influence on the area, including the PoW camp.
Neil's uncle recalls football matches with the Italian
Pat writes: I have been
following the article with regards the POW camp at Chobham common. Lets
turn this one on its head. If it wasn't a POW camp What was it?
We know it housed Poles. We know
there were a considerable number of Nissan huts. We know it had it's
own sewer beds. We know that it had wire fences. We know the area at
the entrance to Brick Hill is called, by the older residents, "The
Parade Square" We know that a large number of Canadians were camped
there prior to going to the D Day landings. We know there was a large
coke pen and it had been suggested that it might have been used by a
tank or mechanical corp. The current entrance only came into being
after the end of WW11. [Jul 15]
One of my interests is family history research, and one of the
fundementals is not to beleive any single piece of information, but
always to look for multiple, independent, sourses. As a
superb example, I have my great grandmother's birth certificate - and
her birth date is wrong by a month. How do I know this - well
the parish records show that she was baptised 2 weeks before the birth
date that her mother told the Registrar. In the Chobham Common case I think we do have enough independent, and
reasonably first hand, evidence to say that part of the area was used
as a PoW camp at some time at least towards the end of the war or just after.
Teresa Lord, another of Frankie Fortuna's grandchildren,
contributed her memories and asks about Wickham Cafe.
By coincidence Jack had sent me some circa 1920 post cards, two of
which show Wickham
Cafe and its tea gardens.
With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you and
those you hold dear. Neil home
The opinions expressed here are those of the author, writing on his own
behalf and not representing anyone else or any organisation. The opinions
expressed by contributors are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by
I get several bounce back as undeliverable because the
intended recipient has changed their email address, and I have no way of
knowing what it has changed to. So if you change your email please
remember to put me on the list of people to tell if you want to keep in
You will appreciate that it is particularly annoying if you have posted
an enquiry on the website and then when I get a reply I am unable to forward it to you.
There are two very obvious causes of changed email addresses. The first
is when I've been given a business email address and either you change employer,
or the employer changes their name and with it their email address. The second
is if you use an email address tied to your Internet Service Provider (addresses
such as email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) and you change your
ISP. For both of these situations there is a simple solution to the
risk of loosing an email address that you have given to people such as myself
who mail only occasionally, and that is to use an email address from one
of the many web-based free email service providers. These three seem to be
very popular, but there are many others:http://gmail.google.com(Google),http://mail.live.com(Microsoft Windows Live / Hotmail) andhttp://mail.yahoo.com(Yahoo).