It 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
What 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.
Previously 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
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
David gives us his memories of the RAOS
and its very unofficial school song
Hilda Williams (nee Draper) provides an answer to the enquiry about
Soulby in Vicarage Road and its
connection with the Draper family that featured in the last newsletter, and
also the sale of cottages in
Tim adds to the memories of the various Broadmoor
With 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
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
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.
The opinions expressed here are those of the author, writing on his own
behalf and not representing anyone else or any organisation. The opinions
expressed by contributors are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by
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
You will appreciate that it is particularly annoying if you have posted
an enquiry on the website and then when I get a reply I am unable to forward it to you.
There are two very obvious causes of changed email addresses. The first
is when I've been given a business email address and either you change employer,
or the employer changes their name and with it their email address. The second
is if you use an email address tied to your Internet Service Provider (addresses
such as firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) and you change your
ISP. For both of these situations there is a simple solution to the
risk of loosing an email address that you have given to people such as myself
who mail only occasionally, and that is to use an email address from one
of the many web-based free email service providers. These three seem to be
very popular, but there are many others:http://gmail.google.com(Google),http://mail.live.com(Microsoft Windows Live / Hotmail) andhttp://mail.yahoo.com(Yahoo).
221 prior to Easter 2006
854 prior to Christmas 2006
1261 prior to Spring 2007
1609 prior to Christmas 2007. Then reset/new counter
330 prior to Spring 2008.
358 prior to Summer 2008 - but counter may have got reset
387 before Christmas 2008
434 before May 2009
no record for Dec 2009
563 in Sept 2010
566 before Christmas 2010
503 before Easter 2011
495 before Sept 2011
510 before Christmas 2011