Greetings from Bagshot - Christmas 2018

an illuminated Christmas tree in a village centre

Christmas decorations are appearing all over the village.  Here in The Square (which is actually a triangle) we have the village's illuminated Christmas tree.  The inevitable safety barrier round it is put to good use every year with hundreds of 'wishes' pinned to it.  You should also be able to spot some of the illuminated trees adorning the upper storey of some of the shops.

In addition the the various Christmas services organised by the village's churches there will be "Carols in the Chapel" again this year. The chapel in question is in the cemetery on the site of the chapel of ease that was built in the early 1800s and served the village until the building of St Anne's church in the 1880s.  The present building, originally built as a mortuary chapel, is quite small and so the participants spill over to the grass outside.

It did not take long for answers to come in to two questions posed in the last newsletter:

The high seat seen on the edge of a cleared area of Swinley Forest is just that, a High Seat used by marksmen, in this case presumably for culling deer.  The elevated position gives good visibility and shooting in a downward direction aids safety as any round that misses its mark will rapidly hit the ground rather than take a longer trajectory.  Apparently such high seats are widely used both here, on the continent and in the USA. Thanks to Ian, David Berry, Michael, Gerald, Groggy and Alldav for this. 

The lion living above Leonard's butchers shop was actually a very large Chow Chow dog which would stand in the open doorway of the loading bay on the first floor overlooking Park Street.  Thanks to Ian and Bob Weller for this. 

The picture that I suggested was of a juvenile cuckoo has been queried by Michael

The page about the Royal Albert Orphan School (RAOS) has been revised to include information provided by John Hills about the history of the building prior to its use by the RAOS, and revision to the description of the Inauguration Ceremony and the  'foundation stone' prompted by John Billingham.  

Angus remembers living opposite The Bird in Hand

In the last newsletter Joanne queried when the Hero closed down, suggesting that it was a lot later than I thought.  She is right, Andrew tells me that it burned down in 1999, having been closed down a few years earlier.  A couple of websites says it was destroyed by fire in 1991.  

Surrey Heath Museum, which has for many years been tucked away in the council offices, has relocated to the main shopping mall in Camberley sharing space with The Heritage Gallery. The museum has an ongoing programme of cataloguing material that they have been given - in particular thousands of photographs.  David has written asking if any of my readers can help identify any of these three gentlemen. The best guess is that they were Bagshot Councillors.

head and shoulders of a seated man man wearing a blue suit sitting at a desk. man wearing a dark suit sitting at a desk
Julie from the University of Sydney, Australia, has written to say they have mortgage details from circa 1800 for the  Fighting Cocks.  Incredibly the mortgage is for 1000 years.

Remembrance Sunday

One of my correspondents wrote on 12th November: "I was just thinking about Bagshot yesterday and how I should have been there yesterday morning for the Remembrance Day celebrations as my ancestor is mentioned on the war memorial. I was in the UK, but actually flying out of the country at 11 am. I was so happy when the pilot stopped the plane on the taxi way and said that they were going to observe the two minutes' silence - I had thought that it had been forgotten."

The Remembrance Service in the parish church was well attended with extra seats having to be brought into church, and then more people waiting at the War Memorial. The 'in' thing at the moment seems to be painting stones and them placing them in a public place. Many are really very artistic. This year we found the memorial surrounded with painted stones, many with the names of the fallen.

Clergy and members of youth organisations gathered by a war memorial7 staones painted with various remembrance themesa stone painted with stylised poppies and the words Lest We Forgetpainted stones in front of an inscription on a war memorial

a black outline of a WW1 soldier Readers in the UK will probably be familiar with these black silhouette figures. They have been appearing all over.  There are three in our village, this one being in the church grounds next to the war memorial. Clearly they are promoted by the Brtitish Legion, but I do not know how they are financed or who has actually done the installation.

The war memorial has not always been in the church grounds. It was initially at the junction of Church Road and London Road (A30).  The memorial is described here along with a profile of all the soldiers associated with Bagshot who gave their lives in the Great War.


I have been given these two photos taken from a drone. The first is looking south-east along Church Road

The second is a view we don't normally get of our church.

Redevelopmentbrick built house with white upper storey surrounded by mature green shrubs

Decent sized houses are ripe for demolition. It seems more often than not that their replacement is a care home with insufficient parking for the staff and visitors. This former family home on London Road, and its neighbour, were boarded up shortly after this photo was taken and are now awaiting demolition.

Parking is a growing and severe issue.  Station Road is now filled with parked cars, both overspill from the station car park and staff working at the care facilities on London Road.  So the council have now decided to ban parking on the majority of the road.  Nobody knows where they think the cars are going to move to!

County and local councils are finding themselves cash-strapped and are having to cut services and make charges where they can.  The county are now charging for parking at countryside recreational facilities such as Chobham Common and are threatening the close Bagshot's Children's Centre and the local refuse disposal site.

Next month's 'meet the councillors' Q&A forum organised by The Bagshot Society could prove quite interesting!

On a more positive note, our library has just celebrated the 5th anniversary of becoming a volunteer-led Community Library. Under the volunteers the opening times have been increased and new activities including Rhyme Time and Story Time started.


In last summer's newsletter I included the photo of a 'high chair' which I had never come across before.

Don't expect me to make a habit of such pictures, but here is a photo of on old earthenware pipe running along the bank of the embrionic Windle Brook stream.  A little way upstream from here are the remains of an old sluice which I assume was the feed to the pipe. 

Further  downstream the broken pipe gets higher and higher above the  stream - not because it goes uphill but because the stream falls faster.  What's it all for?  My guess is that it was the feed for a hydraulic ram - a water pump that uses flowing water in pipe as the energy to pump water uphill.  There is evidence on old maps that there was such a pump further down stream, and others elsewhere on the Bagshot Park estate.  I have it on good authority that they were used to pump water up to the estate's kitchen garden.

baubles on a red ribbon


  • Jennifer asks if anyone has any information on George Dare and his wife Sarah whose son James was baptised in 1826. 
  • Contact with Lindsey Duckers, resident DJ at Pantiles in the late 1970s, is sought by Barrie Dammarell.  This enquiry is now closed as contact has been made.
  • Joanna asks about Snuff Lane, or perhaps Blind Lane, circa 1900.

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you and those you hold dear.

The previous newsletter was in the summer.  

chestnut and husk


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