'Bagshot at the Millennium' is the name I gave to a personal project to create
an archive record of Bagshot as it is now. It comprises about 2500 images,
plus text and other information all published on a CD ROM.
As a record of Bagshot today, the CD could be a useful contextual addition
to the records of anyone accumulating the family history of their Bagshot
The idea for the Millennium Disc started in 1999 and its origin was from
something very different to the final item.
St Anne's church needed to extend the photographic records of its artifacts
and of the building fabric. That led to the thought of capturing the record
electronically on a computer CD ROM, and then the idea of adding a textual
record as well, and finally to say "why limit it to our church, why not about
our community" - in other words to make it a record of our parish and its
life at the turn of the millennium.
Thus my plan was to capture a record of Bagshot during the last six month
of 1999 and the first six of 2000. As well as the pictures of St Anne's needed
for their archive I hoped to include: copies of the parish magazines, information
about Bagshot organisations and businesses, descriptions of issues affecting
the parish and opinions on those issues, a who's who of the congregation
with pictures and thumb-nail profiles, a selection of essays on anything
that anyone thinks records life today or memories of earlier years.
I was able to get permission to use extracts from the Camberley News, which
was a great help, and the WI and Bagshot Evangelical Church provided me with
information, as did a few businesses. The who's who came together nicely,
but text was thin on the ground, and I eventually gave up approaching further
external sources because I was getting very little response.
Then things changed direction a bit, or more accurately one aspect expanded
a lot. My wife gave me a digital camera for a birthday present so instead
of taking prints and getting then scanned I was free to really 'go to town'
- or at least to all the corners of Bagshot.
And that is indeed what I did. I got my 25000:1 Ordnance Survey map out,
sorted out all the footpaths and access areas and visited every part of the
parish that I could get to so the record is as comprehensive as I can make
it. When I started checking just where the boundaries are I was surprised
how far Bagshot extends to the north west. I also found some delightful areas
to the west which I had had no idea about at all. There are almost 2500 images
in the record, over 1500 of which were taken on the digital camera.
I found that Bagshot is really quite small, less than 2 miles by 2 miles,
but very diverse within that. We have housing from 'affordable' to very expensive
(and that is without counting our Royal mansion), though none of the excesses
to be found in neighbouring Windlesham. We have open space from farm land,
though playing fields, to the relatively unique heath from which our Borough
(Surrey Heath) derives its name. Most parts are very attractive, but there
are regrettably a few parts that are a disgrace. Tracts of the land north
of Old Dean have been severely damaged by illegal off-road driving, there
are burned out cars to be found and a few places where dumping is rife though
these are very localised. Intriguingly I found public footpaths that abruptly
end . at the county boundary.
When I started compiling the millennium record I had no idea how much work
it would entail and how long it would take me to complete it. But then I
did change the objective when I was given the camera! However it has been
a most enjoyable, satisfying and educating experience.
My thanks go to all those who contributed pictures, or to the who's who,
or the other material I got. Most importantly I need to thank my wife for
her support and forbearance.
Copies of the record have been given to the Surrey History Centre and to
Surrey Heath Museum, which was always my intent, and they have been well
Michael Page (for the County Archivist, Surrey History Centre, Surrey County
Council) said "Thank you very much for sending us copies of 'Bagshot at the
Millennium'. It is a fine piece of work and a very impressive record. I am
sure future historians will find it of enormous value."
Sharon Cross (Curator, Surrey Heath Museum) said "This is a most valuable
addition to our resources and will be of considerable interest for researchers
and visitors, both now and in the future. It is quite unusual to have such
a comprehensive picture of a local community - we certainly have nothing
to compare within the material we already hold. this project will
provide a good deal of information for the social historian generally, as
well as its local interest."
have been made since I 'completed' the project and I continue to add records
of changes in the village to my source material.
Although the creation of an archive record was always my primary objective,
copies can be made available to anyone interested. Pricing is rather arbitrary,
but discs (which work in PCs and Macs) are £10 each, the bulk of which
is a donation towards St Annes new church centre project.
Data provided only for personal background information.
While every effort has been made to provide correct information no assurance
as to its accuracy is given or implied. Check any facts you wish to rely