Play Spaces - current and former
A message from Nick about children's play area prompted this list. My children have long since grown out of such places so I cannot add any personal input, if you want to give them a 'parent rating', or add others that I have missed, then please do so via the message pad.
School Field is situated in School Lane between the Infant School and the railway. There is an entrance with some parking at the school end, and a pedestrian entrance near the arch under the railway. Facilities include a games field, climbing structure and a pond. Not aimed at toddlers.
There is an area of play equipment adjacent to what used to be the Connaught Community Centre (now sold off by the County Council for commercial use) at the end of Whitmoor Road. Also accessible by a footpath by the side of Connaught Junior School. Facilities are aimed at toddlers and other young children and include small swings, low slide, rocking devices, etc.
BPFA Playing Fields
There used to be play equipment at the edge of the Playing Fields at the end of College Ride. I do not know if it is still there. Parking available.
There is some basic play equipment in a fenced off area at the most northerly part of Freemantle Road. No off-road parking.
Frank Papworth writes: Mar06
My swimming pool contribution got me thinking. I thought I'd search for a few things from my childhood memories (50's/60's). The first one was "the copse", but I found no mention of it.
The Copse was bounded on the one side by the Junior school (until the 60's when the senior school was built this was the junior and senior school), the railway and the Cedars estate. Dim recollections suggest it was probably a part of the Cedars that could not be developed for housing due to the swamp. Anyway this was off limits to kids as there was a locked gate at the end of the dirve that ran up from Cedar Close. Of course this made it all the more attractive and we would hop over the gate. There were other ways in, walk along the railway embankment, through a gap at the bottom of the school field.
It was a kids adventure playground. There was pond/swamp that had an island and in better days may have been an attractive part of the Cedars gardens. Now it was overgrown. Kids had made stepping stones across to the island that were quite an adventure to cross, at least for a six year old. There were some hills and trees where we could play cowboys and indians, hide and seek etc. No computers in those days.
I guess 'progress' eventaully caught up with the copse and it was turned over to housing. A great loss, but Bagshot was full of places to go.
From Frank's description of the location, I think the area did indeed become housing as St Mary's Gardens.
Robert Allen has written to say that he, too, enjoyed playing in the copse. Apr06
And James Legge writes : We too played at the copse in the early sixties and can remember an old car sitting in the water for years it was a great place to get newts and tadpoles and the locked gate was exciting too. Dec07
And Gillian Trueman : The Copse was behind my house in Waverley Road and we had a hole in our back hedge we used to push thru to get there. I remember many years of great games as mentioned by other people but I always remember going onto the island and building a fire, mixing flour and water together and putting it round a twig. This would then be placed just inside the fire to cook. It tasted good in those days!!!!! Wouldn't be able to do it now!!! There was also a very large swing which hung from a branch of an Oak tree. Wow! what memories. You are right it is now St Mary's Gardens. Oct08
Sylvia Eastwood (nee Champion) writes: I remember the copse there was an entrance to it at the top of Waverley Road next to the Police House and opposite Ken Galloways house. PC Henshaw lived there and I was friends with one of his daughters called Sonia. The lake use to ice over and kids use to walk on it across to the island in the middle. Nowadays that would be considered very dangerous and it was but fortunately none of us got hurt. Jan10
Margaret Soane writes: Back in the late 40's, early 50's there used to be the Scout hut in the copse where Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides used to meet. I also used to get into the copse as living in the High Street our garden backed onto our fields (now Cedar Close) and there were ways by which we could find our way into the copse. But when going to the Brownies (run at that time by Pam Draper of Waverley Road) we had to go the official way down the High Street and up Waverely Road. Having moved away in 1952 I have no later recollections of what happened to the copse. Oct10
The site of the copse can be found on old maps. See here. By exploring maps of differing dates you can track the history of this area from open fields to a brickworks, the copse and pond that were left by that work, and finally devolopment of a small housing estate. During this period you will also see the creation of new roads.
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