street of old buildings with car tracks in snow cover Spring Greetings

Perhaps the snowy scene is not too appropriate to a 'spring' newsletter - but I did take the photo since the last newsletter. We really are not accustomed to living with snow and about 3 inches of the white stuff seemed to bring the county to a halt. The shops in the High Street have never known weekday trade so good as people decided that they could not go to work so walked down to the village instead.

In the last newsletter I reported on the rather wet "Village Day" held last December. Another is planned for 16 May and as I finalise this newsletter the weather forecast is far from promising.  If it gets washed out again then it will be so disappointing especially as the weather for the past few weeks has been dry and very warm.

Our one remaining financial institution in Bagshot is the local branch of the Nationwide Building Society - but a few weeks ago they announced that it was to be closed. I understand that Nationwide were surprised at the volume, strength, and reasoning behind the protests that resulted. We had a, very peaceful, demonstration outside the branch (photo below), petitions, support from councillors and our MP, and a deputation to head office that was covered by the national press in a follow-up to a previous report that described this mutual as no better than any bank.   But all to no avail as the management had clearly made up their minds. Now a lot of villagers are retaliating by withdrawing all but a few pounds from their accounts - leaving just enough that the account is still open and a thorn in their side as they will still have to furnish statements, reports and so on.
a large group of people carrying banners outside a Nationwide branch

Down-sides to the current recession include many vacant retail premises and the local council cutting back on the opening of the museum. But a silver lining to vacant shops is that a consortium of local voluntary groups have negotiated with the management of the Camberley Mall to use one of the shops in the Mall to promote the museum and bring together aspects of local history, archaeology and art to a wider public. They hope to open in June and the plans that I have seen look most exciting.  While I appreciate that many of the readers of this newsletter are ex-pats, if you are local and would be interested in finding out more about this project and perhaps volunteering a couple of hours a week then I will be happy to put you in contact with the organisers.

It has been some while since the last newsletter and so there have been quite a few updates to the website including:

With best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

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 Christmas 2008. The next one is here.

copyright © 2009 Neil Bartlett. 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.

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