a crib sceneChristmas 2007

First let me apologise if you had been looking out for an autumn newsletter - there wasn't one. I'm afraid that I've got hooked on Family History and its far too addictive and time consuming! But also very satisfying.

Butterfly, oragne with brown spots. On a pink flower. We were all delighted at the recent news that Bagshot has a new infant - a son, born in our local hospital,  for the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and his wife Sophie).

What a year this has been for weather. It seemed as though we had a couple of weeks of downpour then a couple of weeks being parched.  If my memory serves me correctly the weather reporters declared that this summer had simultaneously been both one of the wettest and the hottest on record.

According to the experts the hot late summer should have resulted in spectacular golden leaves on the trees in the autumn, but it seems to me that as soon as the leaves turned the wind blew them off.

I thought that I would include a summer picture just to remind us that the present cold days and dark nights will be replaced in a few months time .

The downpours in August caused flooding again this year. Bagshot did not suffer to the extent that some places did. But that is no consolation to those who were flooded, in some cases for the second time in a few years. There were two issues: The Windle Brook, that rises at Rapley Lake and runs through the village on its way to Lightwater and on to join the Bourne, is normally a small trickle - but rose to overflow it banks at Guildford Road. The first of these pictures (all of which were taken some hours after the peak) shows the stream beyond the railway viaduct. Ex-pats will recognise the viaduct but not the building on the right which is housing built on the site of the former Parker's garden centre. The second picture looks in the other direction, away from the viaduct. Earlier the road had been completely closed. The third picture is one of the houses behind the trees on the left.

a stream nearly to the top of its banks cars driving through a flooded road flood water around a house

water coming up out of a drain The people I feel particularly sorry for are those who were flooded as a result of the drains and culverts either getting blocked or overloaded because they now have far more water discharged into them than they were designed for.

A particular and recurring problem is at the foot of Church Road. Seen here is the water gushing out from a drain where a heavy man-hole cover has been lifted by the pressure of water.  This is just one of several places at the foot of the road that were discharging water.

water flooded across a road It then flows all across the foot of Church Road encroaching on the cottages there (see picture below) ...
cars driving through a flooded road ... and across the A30 (London Road), from where it runs across some yards and parking lots and seeps up though the floorboards in some of the  shops on the High Street.
steel 'kissing' gate wrapped round with red and white tape. water encroaching on a cottage

Floods were not the only problems this summer brought. The outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease that emanated from Pirbright had its impact here as parts of the village were within the 'surveillance zone'. One land owner closed off all their permissive access land, although this was not considered necessary by the veterinary officials, and even attempted to close a public right-of-way.

Fortunately the problem eventually cleared.  I guess we cannot be too critical of those who wished to be very cautious.

I mentioned in a previous newsletter that Pantiles was likely to close. This happened at the beginning of the summer, I heard that with an ever-increasing number of nightclubs opening in Camberley, Pantiles simple ceased to draw a viable number of clients.  The site will be redeveloped to provide sheltered accommodation for the elderly.  However the planning approval was not straightforward as we have a wild-life issue in the area.  

The local heathland is home to several species of endangered ground nesting birds and many local planning applications get rejected for fear that the influx of people they would bring might result in increased usage of the heaths and, if this were without consideration for the wild life, might jeopardise the endangered species (or at least that is what I understand to be the issue). The planning application for the Pantiles redevelopment was initially rejected on the grounds that the residents of the sheltered accommodation might walk their dogs on the heath (which is more that a mile away) and the dogs might disturb the birds. The eventual compromise was that the plans were approved subject to the residents being banned from having pets and that no mini-bus trips for residents to the heaths may be organised! Construction work has yet to start.

After a very long interregnum, Bagshot now has a new Vicar. Rev David Chillman was installed by the Bishop of Guildford on 6th November.

There are two business growth areas at the moment. One is car washing by hand.  It seems that any available space, be it a disused petrol forecourt or a yard, gets used for this purpose - we now have three such businesses vying for custom. The other is charity shops where we have a third (Sam Beare Hospice) just opened up and seeking volunteer helpers.

orange bracken between tree trunks


There have been quite a few updates and additions to the website since the Easter newsletter:

Allend has provided part of the answer as to the origins of the naming of Rapley Lake.  The lake was not constructed until the 19th century by when the adjacent farm was known as Rapley's Farm.

Brian Marlow recommends a local book of reminiscences.

a rounded tree that has lost most of its leavesPicking up on the enquiry about training camps and a WW2 POW camp on Old Dean Common, Gordon recalls living there as a squatter, and James also recounts its civilian occupation.

Memories and recollections contributed by readers include:

Pamela Marler [nee Summerton] has identified a lot more of the faces in the 1950s pictures

Neil has provided a picture of the Jolly Tea Rooms and identified that they were demolished sometime in the 1970's

General enquiries

People enquires

green glass bauble with a red ribbon With best wishes to you and those you hold dear for Christmas and the New Year .

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.  The next newsletter is here

copyright 2007 Neil Bartlett and licensors. All rights reserved. Published privacy statement.

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.

221 prior to Easter 2006
854 prior to Christmas 2006
1261 prior to Spring 2007
1609 prior to Christmas 2007