Greetings from Bagshot - Christmas 2019

snow covered road junction, a yellow building on th eleft and white on the rightNo, this is not a current photo, it is about 10 years old, but I think its much more Christmassy than would be one of the rain we are enduring at the moment.  The Windle Brook through the village is running very high, but not enough to cause any flooding.


In the late summer newsletter I included a picture of some of the flags adorning the High Street. They were a gold and blue check which turned out to be Surrey's county flag. I've had a few people comment about that unknown fact.

For Halloween they were replaced by black & white skull-and-crossbones flags. Now, for Christmas, we have Christmas Trees with lights on.

Yaverland Tea Rooms

The question raised by Phil & Mike about the location of the  Yaverland Tea Rooms was rapidly answered by Ray who wrote "I worked at Belle Vue Garage on the opposite side of the road to Yaverlands House. I think that during that time it was always flats. We at the garage had little contact with any of the residents but one day one of them came to us because she had locked herself out of her ground floor flat. We could see there was a small window open, took a ladder across and I was volunteered to try and gain entry. Once in I soon realised that the floor felt springy underfoot and after letting the lady back in I was told that it was the original sprung dance floor. This room was facing to the west (Camberley end) of the building and perhaps towards the rear of the property"

Bert's Gone Mad

The "Bert's Gone Mad" transport cafe features in correspondence from time to time. The latest information comes from Angela who tells us that the original property was built for her grandmother.

She writes: According to my mum, her parents Ernest Barnet and Constance Violet (nee Draper) had the Tea Rooms built in the late 1920's on By-Pass Road.

glass fronted white building with a pitched roof and a coach at the side.Only seeing this family picture a few years ago and not being from around the Surrey area I had no idea where it was let alone it still being around so it was just a picture to me.

On a very recent trip to visit Bagshot to have a look around as I am researching the Draper side of the family we walked past Jacks and from the front it looked very familiar to me, so on my return home I compared the picture I had to one of Jacks. They were very similar but I couldn't be sure, also the road was called London Road. On doing some research and looking for old photos I came across this website and clicked on the cafes heading. After reading about the Dolly Varden cafe and Bert's Gone Mad I was still unsure as there was no picture so I scrolled back and clicked on the Photos heading on the main page and there was a link to some photos of Bagshot circa 1980 that Lee McComish of Camberley had put on flickr. So I clicked on that and saw 2 pictures of Bert's Gone Mad Cafe. It was definitely the same cafe but minus the chimneys now and a few alterations but I had found my Nan and Grandad's Tea Rooms.

After doing a bit more research of the Electoral Rolls I have found that Ernest and Constance were there from 1927/28 - 1931/32 then it changed hands and name and was known as By-Pass Cafe owned by a Henry Grant and his wife Laura, then in 1937 Herbert George Rundle purchased it and it became Bert's Kitchen, changing to Bert's Cafe in 1939 and again after 1950 to The Bert's Gone Mad until it changed hands again and became Jacks

a red brick and white painted building, clearly extended at the front and with large windows.Comparing Angela's photo of the Violet Tea Rooms with my 2019 photo taken from as near the same spot as I could, there can be no doubt that this is the same building, now extended.

The site of the cafe is the subject of a controversial planning application to build a large retirement home.  The application was rejected by the local council but the applicants are appealing.   There is considerable local opposition both to the dominance that the proposed building would have and the number of retirement and care establishments built or being built along the A30.  

Broadmoor Sirens

Anyone who has lived in the vicinity will know of the ring of sirens that got tested out at 10am every Monday morning.  Their role was to warn of an escape from the Broadmoor institution, an event that has not happened for well over a quarter of a century.  Some years ago it was reported that many of them were to be removed.  This year it happened.  It's amazing how you just don't take any notice of things that are repetitious and it was not until someone pointed the fact out to me that I realised that I had not heard the test for quite a while.  Andrew has brought to our attention a video of the one being removed from the top of Camberley's multi-storey car park.  So I guess that my recording of the sound of Bagshot's siren is now an archive item!

a white 2 storey building with its roof and windows removed, behind a tall dark fenceMoscow Villa, 45 Guildford Road.

I provided an update about this near-derelict building in my Summer 2018 newsletter.  This year the new owners started to demolish the building, but stopped once the roof and upper storey floor had been removed.  They have gained planning permission for two different redevelopments of the site, and are currently appealing to get a condition relating to potential historic soil contamination overturned.

I am involved with a small team of volunteers cataloguing some of the documents that have been given to Surrey Heath Museum - some of the documents are so fascinating that our progress may not be as fast as it might be!  In several places on my website there are references to the Kemp family (who owned the coal yard of which this site is the last remnant).  Among the documents the museum has are the 1900 sales particulars when Richard Kemp's widow Emma Mirian (nee Webb) sold the gas works to the Ascot Gas Company for 2750.  The documents even detail the price of gas (5s per 1000 cu ft, except to Bagshot Park who only paid 4s 6d).

They lived opposite the gas works in the house known as Moscow Villa, and also ran a coal business on adjacent property. Richard died in September 1899 and Emma in March 1901, both are buried in Bagshot's cemetery.  

It looks like the gas company bought up the gasworks in order to close it down, as 1915 maps show no sign of the works and its gas holders.

Marie de Eedle's excellent book A History of Bagshot & Windlesham records that the Bagshot gas works were built in about 1865 by the Bagshot Gas and Coke Company Ltd whose shareholders were many of the local tradesmen and gentry.  The company was wound up in 1877 and the works sold to Richard Kemp for 600.  Richard was not a local man. He was born in Hampshire, married Emma in 1853 and lived in London but appears to have had his first child in Warwickshire.  He probably had not come to Bagshot much before his purchase of the gas works.  Prior records suggest that he was a hawker - so it is not clear where he got any experience of a gas business, or the money to buy it.  

Richard & Emma's eldest son Richard John Kemp (1854-1914) worked both within the coal business as as a delivery agent, taking over the coal business on his fathers death.  The coal business appears to have been handed down from father to son through 4 generations of Kemps each named Richard until it was eventually wound up.

March Hill

June Green writes: I am doing a bit of research into the village WI and would like to know the whereabouts of a house in Bagshot called March Hill. In 1927 it was the home of Stephen Evans, who was an ironmonger, and his wife Flora, who was President of the WI at that time. They had three daughters. Does anyone know where March Hill was?

a large number of red apples on thin branchesApples

This year has seen a bumper crop of apples.  My trees are only a few years old and the crop weighed down the thin branches to such an extend that I had to tie them up to support them.



Two people who will have been well known to many Bagshot residents passed away recently - Buz Sincock aged 101, and Charlie Durden, for many years our local beat bobby.  Condolences are extended to those they leave behind.

With best wishes to you and those you hold dear.

The previous newsletter was late Summer  and the next Christmas 2020.


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