Harvest Greetings

Suddenly it is no longer 'late summer' but the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  The celebration of Harvest is a timely reminder to me that my newsletter is overdue - unless I choose the excuse that it allows me the opportunity to use some Harvest Festival photos which, come Christmas, will feel too far out-of-date.

an arrangement of frui, flowers and a loaf in teh shape of a stack of corn in front of a decorative cross  a church altar with many filled supermatket shopping bags in front

Our church was decorated as becomes the season and many gifts were brought to our Harvest Festival service. In years gone by it was traditional to take fresh fruit and vegetables to such a service - a real harvest from our gardens. How to deal with such produce before it deteriorated was always a problem. Nowadays most churches ask for canned food and non-perishable items. And so by the end of the Harvest Festival service the altar was surrounded by supermarket carrier bags filled with both goodies and necessities. The gifts given to St Anne's church are taken to Aldershot to support the Step by Step project who help homeless young people to achieve their full potential.

There is a joke about London busses that you wait ages for one and then three come along together.  So it has been with feel-good factors.  We have had nothing to shout about then in 2012 we have had the Queen's Jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics, a Brit won the Tour of France, a Brit won a tennis major for the first time in over 70 years, and Europe's golfers even managed to retain the Ryder Cup.  Feel-good and be-proud it most certainly has been.

The year started very dry and before the winter was out the water companies imposed a hose-pipe ban that was expected to last all year. So after a hot spring the inevitable happened and the weather became wet wet wet.

And so it was for the Jubilee though this only dampened spirits a bit.  Bagshot had its street party closing the whole of the High Street.  The afternoon started off fine.  My wife and I had decided to watch some of the River Pageant on TV then go down to the village later in the afternoon. It was sunny when we left home but 5 minutes later it was a downpour!  But still some people were sitting at the tables!.

people sheltering under umbrellas by decorated tables

people sheltering in doorways, lots of flag bunting overhead

Nick Ransom of UKTeenTV reports on the Bagshot Jubilee Street Party

Prior to the 'big day' St Anne's Church had a Festival of Flowers in celebration of the Jubilee with over two dozen arrangements themed on events, ceremonies and visits during Her Majesty's reign, sponsored by many Bagshot individuals, groups and businesses.

an arrangement of white flowers with a church nave in the background

flower arrangements in the window reveals of a church

an arrangement of flowers of various colours
The banner seen behind is that of the Duke of Connaught which hung in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

an arrangement of purple flowers depicting a coronet

Some people were instantly inspired by the Olympics, but I think for most people it was something that grew on them. The Olympic Torch Relay was claimed to pass withing 10 miles of nearly everybody in the country.  It did not come through our borough, its nearest point being Ascot.  I don't think too many people were inspired to try to get there to see it.  I was in Sussex on the day that it went through that county.  Its route was going to cause us problems travelling home unless we waited until it was well past.  So we decided to join in, got the bus to Chichester and found a raised bank to stand on near the Festival Theatre.  And there we waited in the rain as sponsors' vehicles and the like went past. Then the rain abated and a minibus stopped right where we were waiting and out popped a torch bearer.  Before too long the runner came along and we witnessed the change-over right in front of us.

2 runners in white tracksuits holding Olympic torches, and a crowd of onlookers

It was not until I was looking at my photos later that I realised that there were several people facing the 'wrong way' - the police need to be complemented on the way they achieved the desired level of security so unobtrusively, I just had not noticed them at the time.

I am sure we all have our favourite memories of the Olympics - whether that be the James Bond stunt in the opening ceremony, or particular events.  I took an interest in the TV coverage of the road cycling events because they were traversing places that I was familiar with from my formative years.  Indeed the time trial event went past the end of the road where I used to live.  I think I'll claim that places have changed a lot for I only recognised a handful of places!

Additions to the website since my last newsletter include

I have had a message from Janet Dowling who had been looking at my material about the Jolly Farmer  and is seeking help from my readers "I would like to ask about more information on William Davies who was the original Golden Farmer, was also a highwayman for 40 years until he was unmasked and hung at Gibbet Lane. I am writing a book on Surrey Folk Tales (to be published April 2013) and would be interested to know what people local to the area have to say about him, and any local tales of what he did!"  Drop me a line if you wish to be put in contact with Janet.

Tev Hall wrote: "A big thanks for the website. I have not ever lived in Bagshot, but I lived in Windlesham until I was about nine and moved to West End and stayed there till a move to Fleet (Hampshire) in 1975. I used to go to most of the pubs in Bagshot at various times with my friends (the usual pub crawl) and have very fond memories of the Bagshot area (well in between the pints anyway Ha Ha). I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading your web pages and thanks for your dedication to it (a very time consumming thing I'm sure)."

Thirty years ago the Windlesham Society set up a sub-committee with the aim of producing a series of leaflets describing walks in the civil parish which covered all the public rights of way in Windlesham, Lightwater and Bagshot. The publication costs of the 18 walks in the series were met by Windlesham Parish Council. They proved very popular with the public and were updated and re-printed over the next 15 years to take account of changes in land use, new development etc.

Now the walks have again been revised by former parish councillor and retired journalist June Green, and they are being published on the parish council's website so that they can be downloaded and enjoyed by residents. Initially four walks were published, others will follow.

The walks are all circular and range in length from just over a mile to four and a half miles. They are illustrated with maps and colour photographs, and in addition to a clear description of the route to follow, they contain historical and other details of interest relating to the area.

June said: "I know many people enjoyed using the original walks leaflets; now there are many newcomers to the area who might not be aware of the rich rights of way heritage we have in Windlesham civil parish. All the walks are easy to follow and not too strenuous, and most can be tackled by all members of the family. I hope a new generation of walkers will download them from the website and set off to explore the area."
Tim Price, Clerk to the Windlesham Parish Council, is very pleased that the leaflets are available again. He said: “The Windlesham Walks were always very popular and the revised leaflets have been produced to a very high standard with colour photographs. They are much more easily obtained now that they can be printed directly from the website. It would be interesting to hear from people who use them”.

These walks are now listed on my walks page.

I often add a note to the end of these newsletters reminding readers to update me if they change their email address.  I have had yet another example of the importance of this.  Eight years ago some material about the ornate ceilings in Bagshot Park was added to the website.  This had been prompted by someone seeking contacts with anybody who had any information about a Bagshot builder called Boyce - an ancestor who may have been involved.  Most new visitors to my website arrive because they have spotted something of potential interest when using an Internet search engine - but this is a process of chance and it is often many years later that something crops up.  I have just had a message from someone who is also related to a Bagshot builder called Boyce. Is this the same person?  We will never know because the email address I have for the original enquirer now bounces.  Please, please, if I have published an enquiry for you then keep me updated when you change your email address.

You may have noticed that many websites now have pop-up messages about their use of "cookies".  This is in response to recent EU legislation. Cookies are little bits of supposedly plain-text data that are written by a web page and which can be read back later.  I say "supposedly" plain text for most appear to be coded so that you have no way of knowing what actually has been stored.  I make very little use of cookies.  If you use the facility that exists on many of my pages to change the font size then the page will set a cookie which will be read by the next page you visit so as to keep using your preferred font size. If you were to read the cookie file on your computer you would find that my cookie really is plain text - it will say something like "font size = 10".  


With best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

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