Greetings from Bagshot - Christmas 2016

a small chapel with a steeply pitched roof, gravestones and trees, all covered with snow.As I write this newsletter in mid-December Christmas does not seem that imminent despite the fact that the big day is only just over a week away.   There are several reasons for this: the commercial Christmas starts so early that you almost get bored with it by this time, and the weather is incredibly mild - it was warm right through to the end of October, then November turned cold with frosts somewhat earlier than normal, but December is proving to be the warmest on record.  To add to this we have a family birthday in December so our own decorations don't go up until after that.   The snow photo from 2010 is just wishful thinking for this year!

However, all around me, everyone is preparing for the season.  The shop fronts all through the village are decorated with illuminated Christmas trees and we have a big tree again in The Square (which for those who may not be too familiar with the village is not square but triangular).  This tree is decorated with lights. Its surrounding fence is adorned with laminated cards with wishes from the village children and others - many of which are quite poignant.

All the churches have published details of their Christmas Services which includes carol services and a Christingle service in the run-up to the 25th.  This year there is going to be a Carol Service in the old Chapel in the cemetery (seen in the phototo the right).  This will be a first.

150 years ago Bagshot was part of Windlesham parish and the village had a small Chapel of Ease.  Following the creation of Bagshot Parish a new church was built, largely under the patronage of the Duke of Connaught, at the top of what became known as Church Road and the old Chapel demolished.  This was in the 1880s.  Sometime later, and I don't know when, a mortuary chapel was built on the site of the original chapel and this remains today.

We are seeing several changes at the moment.  Sparks Garage by what was The Jolly Farmer has been demolished.  I understand that it is planned to build housing on the site.

The Bird In Hand pub has not traded for several years and has stood there looking forlorn - but bizarrely with some of its windows re-glazed.  Work has now started on revamping the building and its forecourt. Advertising banners declare that it is going to become a drive-through coffee outlet.  Everyone I have spoken to is bemused at someone thinking that we need another catering outlet.  Since it is located right next to the "Waitrose" junction people also wonder how vehicles are going to be able to get in and out safely and without adding to the traffic congestion that that junction already causes.  As I think I have described previously at peak times southbound traffic can tail back for the best part of a mile

The M3 roadworks that I described last time are nearing completion.  Thay have taken longer than we were originally told!  I heard one suggestion that they had been extended to include some additional work rather that reopen the road and then close it again to start a new project a few months later!   There had been plans to do major roadworks on the A30 through Camberley concurrently with the regular M3 closures diverting traffic onto the A30.  The A30 works were eventually put on hold a week before they were due to start.trees with golden colour leaves

Unrelated to the main M3 roadworks was the need to deal with a weak bridge over the motorway in neighbouring Windlesham.  The road was closed off ready to take it out, then reopened again.  The story I heard was that the contractors had overlooked the fact that the bridge carried utilities and no arrangements had been made to divert them.   Late November the bridge was eventually demolished - by blowing it up. You can see a video at  It will be about a year before the bridge is replaced.

The Windle Brook pub / diner that had been built on the site of the former Hero of Inkerman pub has changed hands, been restyled and painted grey, and now trades as a Steak House.

The unit next to Waitrose in the development on the site of the former Waterer's Nursery / Notcutts Garden Centre remains empty.  I am told that the planning consent for the development was quite explicit as a Waitrose supermarket and the continuation of the Notcutts business, but that Notcutts pulled out despite being the owners of the site, and that the proposals now being made for the unit's use differ too much from the original approval.

In a move to save money the County Council have started turning off street lights in residential areas between midnight and 5 am.  It is an interesting question as to whether this resultant increased darkness will have an effect on wild life and plants.  I am not sure whether we will ever know.  Somehow I doubt that the fox that walks through my garden most nights will be too concerned.

Bagshot Infant School has supported children with special needs for over 30 years and was among the pioneers of integrating such children into main-stream eduction.  In conjunction with two charities, The Children with Special Needs Foundation and HEART the school has developed a new facility - a 'nurture space' - that will be especially beneficial for children with social and emotional needs.

St Anne's church are seeking photos of two past vicars - William Frederic Yates Rooker (incumbent from 1908 to 1910) and John Melhuish MA (incumbent from 1952 to 1965).  If you know of any please let me know and I will pass on the message.

They have also been given this photo. It is most likely of a procession associated with the inauguration (if that is the right word) of the War Memorial in the early 1920s.
civillians, soldiers and two clergy in a street procession a detail from th eformer picture showing the two clergy.
The question is "who are the clergy?"  The most likely answer is that the gentleman wearing white robes is Rev Robert William Hall Stuart, MA (Cantab) who was vicar from 1920 to 1934.

Updates since the last newsletter include

Patience is a virtue.  Many questions asked via this website will only get answered when someone stumbles across the site (and the question) when searching for something related.  Back in 2010 Peter Davies asked about Fred and Anna Leitinger who ran the Hero in the 1960's.  I have now heard from their daughter Maria and been able to put her and Peter in contact.

a decoration of a red bow and gold coloured balls Queries that have been raised.


With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you and those you hold dear.

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