Christmas Greetings from Bagshot

sunset over a lakeIt would be usual for the Christmas newsletter to have 'seasonal' images - by which I mean wintery. But this year that hardly seems appropriate as it has been an exceptionally mild autumn. In August, when the weather was not particularly hot, the forecasters were warning us not to expect an "Indian Summer" - but no, with the exception of one short but very cold spell it has been very pleasant through September and October - who would have expected shorts to be worn into October. November has been the mildest for a very long time and even as we moved into December not all the leaves had fallen from the trees.

We read of many examples of nature thinking spring was already here with some birds nesting and I read today that field-grown daffodils are blooming a full six weeks earlier than normal. I have no idea where or under what conditions these are being grown for there is no sign in my garden of such bulbs appearing.

a green bauble with red ribbonWhat a contrast to last year!.  But perhaps things are changing. We woke this morning (December 16th) to the first snow of the winter, though it hardly settled and was gone by mid morning.

The Bagshot Business Association, ably helped by many others, have done their usual good job with decorations in the village.  We have an illuminated Christmas tree in the Square and illuminated trees adorn many of the buildings in the High Street. The main tree is surrounded by Christmas messages from the children. We had "Carols in the Square" on the 1st December. Thanks go to Rev David Chillman (St Anne's Church) and to Chris Conry and Robin Coe (elders at the Brook Church) for leading the carol singing, and to the Village Cafe, The Co-operative, Hardys and The Three Mariners for providing very welcome hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies on a cold and wet night.

a group of people, some with 'save our library' bannersPreviously I have reported on the likely demise of the village library as part of the County Council's financial cut-backs. I will admit to being totally sceptical of suggestions made that the library might be able to be kept if manned by volunteers. I thought this to be no more than a ploy to "appease the natives" until later some "reason" would be found as to why such an arrangement "could not be permitted".  I take it all back.

A significant campaign in support of the library was mounted, and, yes, that is actor and adventurer Brian Blessed adding his weight to one of several rallies. Our companion current affairs website has an interview with Mr Blessed.

The outcome is that the library has been saved and it will be staffed by volunteers. During early December a new "self serve" terminal for the issue and return of books and DVDs (and the collection of fines for any that are overdue) was installed, and a team of volunteers are being trained for the roles they will play.

Among other contributions since the last newsletter

a decorated truckWith the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign next year, how about a feature on the website about village pageants in years gone past.  Do you have any photos you could contribute? If you do then let me know and I'll give you a dedicated email address to send them to.

To get things going this is one of several pictures from 1977 that Adam Papworth has kindly sent.

The new housing development at Waterer's Nursery site is now well advanced, all the associated roadworks are complete and the first residents have moved in.


Call me stuck-in-the-mud if you wish, but I don't "do" internet social network sites. I'll not bore you with my reasons but this is a considered and deliberate choice. From time to time "webmaster" gets system-generated messages saying that someone or other wants me to "like" them or "be a friend" on facebook or "share a comment" on google+ or "join" their diary, or something similar. Sometimes I can't even place who the initiator is out of the 600 or so people who get my message about this newsletter. Please don't think I'm being rude when I don't respond, but I just don't subscribe to these services.

Wishing you and those you hold dear peace and happiness this Christmas.

Neil
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