Greetings from Bagshot
I concluded the last newsletter by referring to the imminent Royal Wedding. Like many towns and villages we had our street party in the 'old' part of the High Street. The weather was kind and everyone had a good time. Further photos of the event can be seen on our sister Bagshot Events site.
It is hard to imagine that, prior to the opening of the bypass in the 1920's, the road seen in the second of my two photos was the route of the main road from London to both Southampton and the West Country. Bagshot's was one of the first bypasses to be built - and I think we can see why!
The long hot dry spell in the spring resulted in many heath fires. One that featured on the national news during May was Swinley Forest that spans Bagshot's northern border between us and Bracknell. Fortunately for us the fire was on the Bracknell side and the wind was not blowing in our direction. A considerable area of woodland and heath was destroyed.
By the time of St Anne's Church's fete in July the weather had turned. Fetes in the rain are not fun so on the day the organisers adopted 'plan B' - move inside to the Church and Church Centre. Some attractions had to be curtailed, you could only bounce on the bouncy castle between showers, the plant stall and the BBQ soldiered on outside under gazebos and we discovered that pews are ideal for displaying second hand books! Despite the weather attendance was surprisingly good and a healthy sum was raised.
Previously I have written of the road works on the A30 associated with the
housing development on the former Waterers Nursery site. At long last that
is complete and the development is well under way and the first houses occupied.
Mind you, no sooner had those roadworks been completed than the A30 was dug
up elsewhere and another couple weeks of single file traffic
Though well away from Bagshot, expats may well recall the Devil's Punchbowl at Hindhead on the A3 London to Portsmouth road (location). For those who don't know it, the Devil's Punchbowl is a huge natural bowl-shaped feature and the A3 contoured its way round the side into Hindhead. Traffic congestion was horrendous, not so much due to the road around the Punchbowl itself but because it funnelled into Hindhead. There was no alternative route available at ground level - the only option was a very long tunnel. It has been decades in the planning - and is now open and the old road through the punchbowl is being dismantled to be reinstated as the natural heath land. It has been said that this is the only road infrastructure project to be equally supported by local residents, environmentalists, conservationists and motorists!
Many of the visitors to my site are trying to trace their family history.
If you are one of these, or think you might become interested in family history
in the future, then you may wish to sign the petition at
The information on birth, marriage and to some extent death certificates is vital to confirm a pedigree. Currently the only way to get the information off a Birth or Death certificate is to buy a certified paper copy costing £9.25. The same is true of Marriage certificates unless it was a church wedding and you can identify the church and you can track down the original Church registers (which won't now be held by the church). All a researcher needs is the information, not a legally Certified Copy, and this petition seeks to have this made available, perhaps in electronic form, at a realistic price.
Additions to the website since the last newsletter include
- Peter Summerton offers one more names for the members of the darts team
- Norma provides a link to the procedings of the Old Bailey case for the manslaughter of Emily Jane Popejoy and June provides some additional information and clarifies the Popejoy's house.
- We have a clear location for the Laurel Cottages on Jenkins Hill
- It pays to be patient if you post an enquiry on this website, and sometimes it pays off. Three years ago a correspondent wrote of the time he spent at Bagshot Park with the Army Chaplains. Now his Padre has responded.
- Some more information is emerging about the marriage at which the Duke of Connaught is said to have officiated.
Several contributions concerning the PoW
- Ian has written to tell us about some war-time aerial photographs that identify exactly where various of the PoW camps (and other war-time artifacts) were, and I've found a map showing at least some of the post-war remains.
- Helen is researching the life of her grandparents who squatted in one of the camps after the war and would like to know about life in camp.
- Frank tells us something about his father's time as a prisoner.
- Three contributions concerning the former maternity home, and I've taken the opportunity to provide the explanation for what can appear to be misleading place names appearing on birth certificates.
- More about the Fortuna family and cafe from Frankie's grandaughter.
- Pete Mallaband recalls being the Seltones' drummer
- His neice tells us about Eric Dane, and Charles Kirby remembers the Bagshot Heath racing
- Paul Rutter wrote to point out that Dick Turpin was executed in York, not Gibbet Lane as was quoted in one of the highwaymen stories. I agree. But I did say the story was rather fanciful! I have now amended the page to make this clear. We have to acknowledge that most if not all these stories of highwaymen owe as much to legend as they do fact. There is even ample evidence that William Davies was not the Golden Farmer despite the prevalence of the story quoted.
- A grandmother's memories of being an 'inmate' at the RAOS 110 years ago.
- Graham remembers his time working at Hart Dene garage and the history he was told of some of the buildings near-by. And Jayne remembers her time at Pantiles.
Can you help answer these queries?
- The granddaughter of the owner of Stanley's Drapers in the Square circa 1910 would like any more information about the business that anyone can tell her.
- Do you remember VLT Products on the A30?
- Yet another proud owner seeking information about Fisher carvans.
- Soulby in Vicarage Road and its connection with the Draper family.
- Wayside, 24 London Road
- Steve has provided a photo of a Lupin cafe and wonders if this is the Bagshot one
- The Beeches, Guildford Rd, the home of Dr Charles Harry Hanger East
- How come there was a "spare" visiting valet at Bagshot Park at the 1911 census?
- Can you help identify these people or families?
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 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).
221 prior to Easter 2006
854 prior to Christmas 2006
1261 prior to Spring 2007
1609 prior to Christmas 2007. Then reset/new counter
330 prior to Spring 2008.
358 prior to Summer 2008 - but counter may have got reset
387 before Christmas 2008
434 before May 2009
no record for Dec 2009
563 in Sept 2010
566 before Christmas 2010
503 before Easter 2011
495 before Sept 2011