Christmas Greetings from Bagshot


It rained for the Coronation of King Charles III. But what else should we have expected, the Met Office tell us that it has rained on every Coronation Day since records began 120 years ago!

The post box topper that appeared survived the rain, and it did not dampen the enjoyment of those who ventured out for the celebratory 'big bash' in the High Street in the afternoon, though it may well have curtailed how many people turned out.
 

Congratulations to Prince Edward, now appointed Duke of Edinburgh.



 
Our village library was saved from closure 10 years ago when it became a Community Library staffed by volunteers.  

A celebration was held at the beginning of December attended by our MP, the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Pat Tedder, the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Valerie White, local Councillor and chair of the library's trustees along with those involved with running the library and members of the public.


 
St Anne's Church hosted a village Christmas Tree Festival at the beginning of December.  This was a whole-village event with over three dozen trees sponsored and decorated by local businesses and organisations.  The proceeds were shared with the Shooting Stars children's hospice.
 

Last year I recorded that the scourge of 2022 had been the disruption caused by the laying of fibre optic cable.  That seems to have finished only to be followed by more road issues.

The bypass suffered significant surface damage during the winter and early spring. The cause is classic - water gets into cracks in the surface and then freezes during the cold spells (which have been more severe this year than we have had for a while). Ice expands and so further damages the tarmac surface. Traffic does the rest, breaking up the road surface, a process that continued long after the frosts ceased.  The council patched up the worse places but were on a loosing wicket with the same problem occuring throughout the county.  I am pleased to say that it has been resurfaced in time for this winter.  Let's hope that a utility company does not come and dig it up too soon because that will trigger the problem all over again.

The photo of French marigolds has got nothing to do with this topic, but I thought something a bit lighter might be appreciated.

The speed limit on the A30 through the village is 40 mph and there have been fatalities.  There has been a public campaign to get this reduced to 30 mph and some while ago we were told that a reduction has been approved. We are now waiting for it to be introduced. Social media is awash with duff information as to when this will actually happen.

Still with roads, or more particularly the footbridge over the M3 to Lightwater Country Park.  Without warning we discovered it was blocked off due to being 'dangerous'.  Various explanations emerged including being hit by high-sided vehicles which was then moderated to 'at risk of being hit'.  A few weeks later the motorway was closed for a weekend and the bridge removed.  We don't enjoy the motorway being closed as the diversion is the A30 through the village - you can guess what the congestion was like.  As far as I can make out, the root cause is that when the motorway was widened from 3 to 4 lanes the fact that the bridge is convex with the outside lower that the middle was overlooked and the outside did not provide the required clearance above the new lane.

The motorway is going to be closed again early next year to do carriageqay and drainage repairs.  Oh the joy!

Bagshot Community Pre-School / Playgroup was started in 1982 by a group of parents who wanted a follow-on from a Mother & Toddler group.  The playgroup initially met in the BPFA Pavillion at the far end of College Ride, then from 2005 in the original building at the Infants School. It was, from the start, a  not-for-profit organisation and registered as a charity (no 1023351) in 1993.  Unfortunately it wound up earlier this year.

June Green, a journalist and prolific author, has been a frequent contributor to this website and village life.  It is with sadness that I record that she passed away this year.

There was a bit of a fuss on social media when notices appeared on several graves in Bagshot's cemetery that the headstone was deemed unsafe and would be laid flat if those responsible for them did not address the problem.  The fuss especially featured the grave of Emily Jane Popejoy.  

The local council (who are responsible for the cemetery) have an obligation to periodically check for headstones that may be unsafe - however it is the descendents of the interred  who are responsible for the graves themselves, not the council.  Needless to say, few can now be contacted. 

Five graves, including Emily's and Bagshot's first vicar (Rev Frederick Aylmer Pendarves Lory), have been deemed as heritage memorials and will be secured by the council, with the remainder being laid down.  

Flat headstones have been laid down in a manner that I think is quite acceptable.  But some, like this one (which is not Emily's) have been dealt with in a manner that I personally think is disrespectful.

The children's play area in the School Lane field has had a significant make-over, and new adult fitness apparatus has been installed.  The other play areas in the village will also get make overs.

Thanks to the Mayor of London introducing the extended ultra-low-emission zone we have an excellent new bus service. As bizzare as this sounds it is the case.  Heathrow airport is (just) within the zone and so airport and airline workers with older non-compliant cars would have to pay 12.50 a day for the privilage of going to work.  So the airport is sponsoring a number of  new bus routes to facilitate access.  One is Flightline 730, a coach service that runs between Heathrow, Bagshot, Camberley, Frimley and Basingstoke.  Perfect for travel and a welcome additional service.

Ten EV vehicle chargers are being installed in the village centre car park.

Addition to the website this year include:

Enquiries


With best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

Neil 

My previous newsletter was last Christmas  

 

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