from Bagshot - Christmas 2019
No, this is not a current photo, it is about 10 years old, but I think its much more Christmassy than would be one of the rain we are enduring at the moment. The Windle Brook through the village is running very high, but not enough to cause any flooding.
In the late summer newsletter I included a picture of some of the flags adorning the High Street. They were a gold and blue check which turned out to be Surrey's county flag. I've had a few people comment about that unknown fact.
For Halloween they were replaced by black & white skull-and-crossbones flags. Now, for Christmas, we have Christmas Trees with lights on.
Yaverland Tea Rooms
The question raised by Phil & Mike about the location of the Yaverland Tea Rooms was rapidly answered by Ray who wrote "I worked at Belle Vue Garage on the opposite side of the road to Yaverlands House. I think that during that time it was always flats. We at the garage had little contact with any of the residents but one day one of them came to us because she had locked herself out of her ground floor flat. We could see there was a small window open, took a ladder across and I was volunteered to try and gain entry. Once in I soon realised that the floor felt springy underfoot and after letting the lady back in I was told that it was the original sprung dance floor. This room was facing to the west (Camberley end) of the building and perhaps towards the rear of the property"
Bert's Gone Mad
The "Bert's Gone Mad" transport cafe features in correspondence from time to time. The latest information comes from Angela who tells us that the original property was built for her grandmother.
She writes: According to my mum, her parents Ernest Barnet and Constance Violet (nee Draper) had the Tea Rooms built in the late 1920's on By-Pass Road.
Only seeing this family picture a few years ago and not being from around the Surrey area I had no idea where it was let alone it still being around so it was just a picture to me.
On a very recent trip to visit Bagshot to have a look around as I am researching the Draper side of the family we walked past Jacks and from the front it looked very familiar to me, so on my return home I compared the picture I had to one of Jacks. They were very similar but I couldn't be sure, also the road was called London Road. On doing some research and looking for old photos I came across this website and clicked on the cafes heading. After reading about the Dolly Varden cafe and Bert's Gone Mad I was still unsure as there was no picture so I scrolled back and clicked on the Photos heading on the main page and there was a link to some photos of Bagshot circa 1980 that Lee McComish of Camberley had put on flickr. So I clicked on that and saw 2 pictures of Bert's Gone Mad Cafe. It was definitely the same cafe but minus the chimneys now and a few alterations but I had found my Nan and Grandad's Tea Rooms.
After doing a bit more
research of the Electoral Rolls I have
found that Ernest and Constance were there from 1927/28 - 1931/32 then
it changed hands and name and was known as By-Pass Cafe owned by a
Henry Grant and his wife Laura, then in 1937 Herbert George Rundle
purchased it and it became Bert's Kitchen, changing to Bert's Cafe in
1939 and again after 1950 to The Bert's Gone Mad until it changed hands
again and became Jacks
Comparing Angela's photo of the Violet Tea Rooms with my 2019 photo taken from as near the same spot as I could, there can be no doubt that this is the same building, now extended.
The site of the cafe is the subject of a controversial
planning application to build a large retirement home. The
application was rejected by the local council but the applicants are
appealing. There is considerable local opposition
both to the dominance that the proposed building would have and the
number of retirement and care establishments built or being built along
Anyone who has lived in the vicinity will know of the ring of sirens that got tested out at 10am every Monday morning. Their role was to warn of an escape from the Broadmoor institution, an event that has not happened for well over a quarter of a century. Some years ago it was reported that many of them were to be removed. This year it happened. It's amazing how you just don't take any notice of things that are repetitious and it was not until someone pointed the fact out to me that I realised that I had not heard the test for quite a while. Andrew has brought to our attention a video of the one being removed from the top of Camberley's multi-storey car park. So I guess that my recording of the sound of Bagshot's siren is now an archive item!
I provided an update about this near-derelict building in my Summer 2018 newsletter. This year the new owners started to demolish the building, but stopped once the roof and upper storey floor had been removed. They have gained planning permission for two different redevelopments of the site, and are currently appealing to get a condition relating to potential historic soil contamination overturned.
I am involved with a small team of volunteers cataloguing some of the documents that have been given to Surrey Heath Museum - some of the documents are so fascinating that our progress may not be as fast as it might be! In several places on my website there are references to the Kemp family (who owned the coal yard of which this site is the last remnant). Among the documents the museum has are the 1900 sales particulars when Richard Kemp's widow Emma Mirian (nee Webb) sold the gas works to the Ascot Gas Company for £2750. The documents even detail the price of gas (5s per 1000 cu ft, except to Bagshot Park who only paid 4s 6d).
They lived opposite the gas works in the house known as Moscow Villa, and also ran a coal business on adjacent property. Richard died in September 1899 and Emma in March 1901, both are buried in Bagshot's cemetery.
It looks like the gas company bought up the gasworks in order to close it down, as 1915 maps show no sign of the works and its gas holders.
Marie de Eedle's excellent book A History of Bagshot & Windlesham records that the Bagshot gas works were built in about 1865 by the Bagshot Gas and Coke Company Ltd whose shareholders were many of the local tradesmen and gentry. The company was wound up in 1877 and the works sold to Richard Kemp for £600. Richard was not a local man. He was born in Hampshire, married Emma in 1853 and lived in London but appears to have had his first child in Warwickshire. He probably had not come to Bagshot much before his purchase of the gas works. Prior records suggest that he was a hawker - so it is not clear where he got any experience of a gas business, or the money to buy it.
Richard & Emma's eldest son Richard John Kemp
(1854-1914) worked both within the coal business as as a delivery
agent, taking over the coal business on his fathers death.
The coal business appears to have been handed down from father to son
through 4 generations of Kemps each named Richard until it was
eventually wound up.
June Green writes: I am doing a bit of research into the village WI and would like to know the whereabouts of a house in Bagshot called March Hill. In 1927 it was the home of Stephen Evans, who was an ironmonger, and his wife Flora, who was President of the WI at that time. They had three daughters. Does anyone know where March Hill was?
This year has seen a bumper crop of apples. My trees are only a few years old and the crop weighed down the thin branches to such an extend that I had to tie them up to support them.
Two people who will have been well known to many Bagshot residents passed away recently - Buz Sincock aged 101, and Charlie Durden, for many years our local beat bobby. Condolences are extended to those they leave behind.
With best wishes to
those you hold dear.
The previous newsletter was late Summer
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 this website.
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.
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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org) 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) and http://mail.yahoo.com (Yahoo).