blue & gold checkered flags on poles fixed to a buildingGreetings from Bagshot - Late Summer 2019

Bagshot is adorned with gold and yellow checkered flags in the numerous brackets mounted on shop fronts.  They are part of the decorations, financed by the Bagshot Business community, that are put up at Christmas (when illuminated Christmas trees are used) and for other events.  These flags were put up for the Bagshot Bash street fair and replaced a host of different nation's flags that went up for the World Cup.  

"So what are these then?" has been a common question.  The answer, perhaps rather unexpectedly, is that this is the Surrey flag - I bet you did not know that!  A bit of research (Wikipedia, where else?) reveals that this is not just the notion of the seller of the flags but is a "traditional design" that was registered as Surrey's flag in 2014 (does not say by whom and on whose authority).   The flag is derived from the coat of arms of William de Warenne, a Norman nobleman who was created Earl of Surrey under William II Rufus. He is among the few who are documented as having fought for William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. At the time of the Domesday Survey, he held extensive lands in 13 counties.

There are some more photos of the decorated High Street below. 

In the last newsletter I had some pictures of pipes that I guessed were the feed for an hydraulic ram.  Greg wrote supporting my theory:
"I reckon you are correct on your Ram Pump theory.  For many years I worked at the Imperial College Field Station in Sunninghill which was completed in 1878.  It is similar in design and appearance to Bagshot Park which was built in 1879.  The same architect maybe?  
Very close to the lake at Imperial there was  a similar pipe which ended with a pit containing a Ram Pump.  It is, as far as I am aware, still in situ."  and later added  "I have spoken to a 90+ year old ex-employee of Imperial College and he remembers the ram pump at the location I mentioned. He remembers that when he started in 1945  an old estate gardener told him the ram pump was for pumping the lake water to two locations on the estate, one to a set of fountains and another branch to a smaller pond which then fed an ice-house.  Apparently, the pipes slowly reduced in diameter which increased the pressure.  This may be a bit of vague memory but it may be relevant.
"The ice-house, which no longer exists, was marked on an old estate map and as a mad keen metal detectorist at the time I finally tracked it's location down and found much zinc plate which they used to line them with.  No sign of the lead pipe for the fountain though.  It may have been ripped out pre-WW2.  Apart from an unexploded anti-aircraft shell nothing more of interest came to light!"

a short metal spigot set in a concrete block surrounded by grass near a road.   Adrian has identified this metal spigot next to the Cricketers as being the base of a Blacker Bombard from WW2. [Nov 18]  

The Bombard was a short range anti-tank and anti-personnel mortar designed for use by the Home Guard.  The one here would have been manned by the First Battalion of the Surrey Home Guard. 

The concrete block would have been surrounded by a pit which provided the firing position, and protection, for those manning it.   Adrian speculates that his father may have helped dig the firing pit.

You can read more about the Bombard, and see a photo of an installation, at


This location is just outside the gates of Bagshot Park and Adrian has also brought to my attention a limited-edition illustrated book, dated 1912, entitled "Royal Gardens" by Cyril Ward that contains a chapter on Bagshot Park.  It can be seen on-line at

Enquiries and additions to the website since the last newsletter include

In the last newsletter we had three photos the local museum were trying to put names to, with the suggestion that they might be local councillors from the 1970s.  No names have been suggested, but one reader pointed out that the date is more likely to be the 1980s as the wall calendar showing in one picture is for 1982!

Jack Herbert White (1919 - 1942)

Sergeant Jack Herbert White (RAF) is one of the people commemorated on our War Memorial.  He was an air gunner on Short Stirling bombers of 7 Squadron flying from RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire.  He died on 29 July 1942 when his plane was shot down over Wilhelmshavenin in NW Germany.  I have been contacted by Willem from the Netherlands who is involved in a project to research all those who lost their lives in this incident.  Jack's father was Harry (Henry) White, one of the many siblings of the two White brothers (Jack and James) who were killed in 1916 and are also commemorated on our memorial.  Henry had married Lily Mary Houchen in St Anne's in 1919 and Jack, their only child, was born later that year. Can you add anything to Jack's story, or perhaps know of a photo of Jack?

Re-use and expand

For as long as I can remember there has been a squat, almost derelict, building on Bridge Road next to the garage.  It transpired that it was an electricity sub-station.  It has recently had a significant make-over and turned into offices.

a smnall squat flat-foofed red brick building a white painted building, obviously the former now with an extension at the side and a second storey added.

Village Clean-up

In May the Bagshot Society organised a community clean-up, clearing rubbish and over-grown vegetation from several areas.  You can read more about it here.  The source of the funds the Bagshot Society obtained to buy the tools used is interesting.  You may remember the LIBOR scandal earlier this decade when it was realised that one of the major financial indicators was being manipulated for individual gain. Banks got heavily fined.  Normally fines just go into the treasury coffers, but on this occasion it was decided to use the money from the fines to fund community projects, of which High Street clean-ups is one.

a group of 10 people, som ein hi-vis tabard, and a collection of rubbish colling tools.two young people dragging a large filled reg sack


Sure Start Centres were a government funded initiative about 12 years ago to provide services to expectant & nursing mothers and families with pre-school children. Many services that had previously been clinic-based (eg baby weighing) moved to the common location of a Sure Start centre.  Bagshot's centre was established in what had been the original school building in School Lane.  Long term funding was never guaranteed and the cost eventually fell to local and county authorities.  Subsequent budget cuts meant that the centres could not be sustained, and ours has now closed - leaving the problem of how and where to provide the 'clinic' services.

We have also seen cuts to refuse disposal facilities with Bagshot's Household Refuse site being re-branded a Recycling Centre and accepting little more than can be recycled kerb-side.  The sceptics suggest that this is a ploy to close the site completely on the grounds that it does not get used enough. We shall have to wait and see what effect this might have on fly-tipping.


More photos of the High Street and the flags.

a grey painted shop front with checkered flags from its upper storey, and further shop fronts and hanging flower baskets visible further along. several shops fronts in red brick buildings, with checkered flags. Also a bus shelter in front.

Finally something totally different and unconnected to Bagshot.  Consider a fully-autonomous self-driving car, now consider a second car that only differs in that it has a human driver - no automation.
Which will be the more fuel-efficient, and by how much?  Click the box to reveal the answer.

The human, by about 20%. The explanation is that an autonimous car needs a huge amount of compution. Those computers consume about 4kW and that is why it is less efficient

With best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

The previous newsletter was last Christmas  


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