A Christmas tree with lights in a village centre. Small cards attached to a barrier around it. Christmas Greetings from Bagshot

Bagshot is getting ready for Christmas. We see here the village's illuminated Christmas tree in 'The Square' with its hundreds of messages from the village children affixed to the inevitable barriers.

As you may know, the local heathland is quite a rare habitat and is protected by statute. At first sight it seems a little perverse that a major aspect of its conservation is chopping down trees! But the trees - pine and birch - are invasive and their presence will eventually kill off the heather. Hence they get removed. The irony is that the heathland with its poor soil and heather is not natural but the result of ancient man's attempts at cultivation and farming. A complementary conservation process for heathland is to run rugged cattle in and this is done in some other areas. The cattle eat the sapling trees and grasses and thus encourage the heather. I understand that there are plans to run cattle on Bagshot Heath and some fencing has been erected to contain the cattle.

But, returning to the removal of trees - it is now traditional that on one weekend prior to Christmas and on one of the local heaths the conservators encourage the public to come and help cut trees.  The bribe, of course, is that you can take away your own Christmas tree. I am not sure whether this is where our specimen came from.

A lady in  ablue jacket viewing  a board featuring various aspects of Scouting.1st Bagshot Scout Group was formed in 1909 - one of the oldest Scout Troops in the country. They celebrated their centenary in style on the 7th June 2009 with a big gathering in the grounds of Connaught school. The many past and present members of the group were joined by numerous civic dignitaries. There were exhibits ranging over very many years and, as former Scoutmaster Ron Frost (who led the troop in the 1950s having himself gained the Kings Scout award) commented "how Scouting has changed since then - as I knew it would have done".

The group have their own website at www.bagshotscouts.org.uk and you can read about their history by following the "History of 1st Bagshot" link

Enquiries posted on the website can take a while to get answered - these things often hinge on the 'right' person doing the 'right'search on Google etc.  One such is Alvar Anderson whom several people wanted to contact. Alvar has written "What a wonderful surprise to find so many old friends on the web site. I would love to hear from any one. I was part of the Seltones, boxing club, and cadets. I am now living in Canada."  

You may be interested to know that Surrey has its own BBC web page from which you can access live audio from BBC Surrey local radio.

a double shop front within a covered mall. Cave man models in the wendow. How do you like our Camberley iron age men?  Like many town centres, Camberley now has a number of vacant shop premises and a group of local organisations have agreed with the shopping mall management that one can be used for a community project. The idea started off to promote our rather beleaguered local museum - and grew.

The Heritage Gallery houses a diverse selection of displays ranging from history to art. The iron age men were borrowed from the County's resources and provide an eyecatching shop front and resulted in more than one parents being pulled into the gallery by a small child!

The people who have pulled it all together are to be congratulated for creating a superb package. There is enough of any one subject to be interesting, but not so much as to be overwhelming. I particularly like that, on a visit into town you can pop in for 20 minutes or so and take in one theme - perhaps family history, or an art display, then come back another day and 'do' something else - perhaps look at the maps produced by "gentleman cadets" at the RMA which have never previously been available to the public, or play a game trying to identify household objects that our grandparents used.

In the few months since it opened the gallery has had nearly 12,000 visitors. The shop shown here has now been let to a retailer and the Heritage Gallery will be moving to a location opposite Argos in the New Year.

Alan Gosden, one of this site's regular contributors, sadly passed away earlier this year.  Alan was brought up in Bagshot and had been living in Sheringham, Norfolk for some years. He retained a strong interest in Bagshot and in his family's history. I am sure that all who have read Alan's contributions to this web site will wish to join with me in expressing condolences to his family.  Alan's niece is continuing his family history research and will be pleased to hear from anyone interested in the Gosden or Berry family history.

There have been quite a few additions to the website since the last newsletter, including:.

Reminescences, etc

Enquires & information sought

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year 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 opinions expressed by contributors are their own and are not necessariy endorsed by this website..

The previous newsletter was Spring.

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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