Late Summer 2006a flower border with petunias of various colours

The next newsletter is Christmas.

Summer is just about over.  And what a summer it has been.  The hot weather started early and continued for a long spell with no rain. The resultant drought caused the water companies to impose restrictions on water use - principally banning hose pipes which has resulted in a lot of very brown lawns. The press has whipped up a measure of fury at the huge volume of water that is lost every day through leaks in the distribution pipes.  We had a burst water main one day that closed the A30 London Road and flooded a cafe and some other premises.
green shrubbery and dehlia flowers in shades of red and orangeWhile the gardens have needed the rain, the storms have seriously battered many of the plants, especially my petunias which then take quite a while to produce a new crop of flowers. Now, late September, the petunias are giving way to a delightful show of dahlias.

pinky-orange dahlia flowers

School children will not have appreciated this year's summer - most of the hot weather was before the schools broke up, August was rather dull with some very heavy storms, and then just as the schools went back we have had an "Indian Summer" through most of September!

ripening tomatoes on a vineWe have seen a number of campaigns in the village this year.  The government have been systematically taking away a lot of the work done by the Post Office and in consequence many owners of franchised sub post offices have found that their businesses have ceased to be profitable. So it was with Bagshot and our Post Office has closed. To add insult to injury the Post Office then declared that if mail cannot be delivered it will have to be collected from Woking, some 8 miles away, or pay 50p to be able to collect it from one of the several nearer Post Offices.  The closure of the Post Office occurred in the middle of a campaign to save the library.  Faced with a demand to cut costs the County Council proposed to close eight libraries.  All but Bagshot have been reprieved and the County have not told us why they have been reprieved and not ours, given that closing Bagshot was going to achieve the least saving of any.  Now we hear that there is a threat to close the excellent Emergency & Accident department at our local hospital.

I have written on previous occasions about the new Church Centre being built at St Anne's Church.  At long last it has been completed, albeit a few weeks late, and was formally opened by The Rt Revd Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford, in June.  The building provides meeting space, facilities for the Sunday School, toilets, kitchen and an office.  

Referring to the picture of the building under construction that I showed in the last newsletter, one of my correspondents writing from Canada said "... I like that they have kept to the yesteryear architecture ...".  Indeed they have.  The area in which the church stands is designated a "conservation area" and is under very stringent planning controls. It was a condition of getting permission to build the centre that it should reflect the church in both style and materials.  The congregation are pleased with an excellent and very attractive building.

glazed lobby connecting an old building to a new one.   hall interior with coffee tables

On average, Church of England vicars stay in a parish for about 10 years, so it should not really be a surprise when one announces that he is leaving to take up a new position.  But it always is.  And so it is that we have just said farewell to Rev Dr Stephen Brian and his family who have now moved to Oxfordshire.  The Parish wishes him well.

Bagshot is fortunate to have the services of Rev Bryan Pugh who will be conducting our services until a new vicar is appointed.  There are a number of different ways in which new clergy are selected, depending upon the background of the church.  For our parish the vicar will be appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the parish. I was one of the parish representative when Stephen was appointed, and the Lord Chancellor's office is in 10 Downing Street (the same address as the Prime Minister) and at the time we were in the throws of a General Election.  I can but guess what the postman thought of the letters emblazoned 'from 10 Downing Street' that he was delivering to my humble abode!. 

I have received a large amount of correspondence from readers since the last newsletter and as a result there is a lot of new material on the web site, including:

Recollections by Michael of Park View in the 1940's; by Douglas of the cottages on College Ride and of the Three Mariners from Lyn's mother. Robert and Roy both remember Fortunas ice cream.

We have some more about the boxing club; Fire Sirens;Pantiles' swimming pool, and yet more on the Wolfman escape from Broadmoor 15 years ago.

We have a 1950's picture of the old Shell garage at the end of Bridge Road and some information about it.

Among the queries we have::

John wants to find any history on Curley View Cottages in Guildford Road and others want to find out about Millfield, Weston House / Lake House and the Victorian cottages in Connaught Road

Lynda asks about The Jolly Tea Rooms which used to be by the Jolly Farmer.

Yvonne has provided a picture of the old Hero of Inkerman, but can you help date the picture?  

John is interested to find out about the RAOS in the 1880's, and if any pictures are available.

Tim asks about a coachbuilder called L & A Fisher Ltd, operating in Bagshot around 1970.

I've been prompted by a reader to add more pictures of Bagshot's four churches to the tour.

A query raised quite some time ago concerned the ownership of the various parts of the heath.  David, from the Heathland Conservation Society, has written with an answer and about the the reasons for the barricades.  

The 1st Bagshot Scouts are one of the oldest Scout groups and as part of their preparations for their centenary would like to contact former members and anyone else who can provide memories of Scouting in Bagshot in former times.  One of the Scouts has created the groups own web site.

Claire tells me that Bagshot Cricket Club now have 6 adult teams and over 100 colts (juniors) playing regularly for the club.  With just the one ground this gives them a problem.  They would like to use some fallow farm land adjacent to their ground for an additional pitch - but bureaucracy prevents them.  The EU have a policy of taking farm land out of use and paying the owners to leave it fallow - thus preventing any alternative use that would be for the benefit to the community.

Of people and families:

Some more of the children in the 1950's photos have been identified.  

Paul is seeking fellow descendants of the Morris Removals family

The enquiry for the Robert's sisters on the 'people' page had a very successful outcome thanks to two of my regular correspondents.

The 1881 census reveals the large numbers of staff employed by the Duke of Connaught.

Finally another joke that's doing the rounds by email:

With best wishes to you, and those you hold dear. 

God Bless,

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, writing on his own behalf and not representing anyone else or any organisation.

The previous newsletter was at Easter.

copyright © 2006 Neil Bartlett and licensors. All rights reserved.

ps: each time I do a mailing telling friends like yourself about one of these 'update' pages 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 touch.