THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 94 November 2021
NOTE FROM YOUR CHAIR
Life is becoming more normal than it has been for some time, but it remains to be seen what happens over the winter. I feel fortunate that I have had my two jabs and now the booster, as have many of you.
We have had more Zoom talks, one from Hugo Vickers, now one of our members and another from Doctor Marc Morris, a nationally known historian of the Middle Ages. We hope to include one historian of note in our schedule, possibly when they have authored a book. We have also been able to record Dr Morris’s talk so that members who were not available at the time of the talk are able to access this.
I am aware that using Zoom excludes some valued members of The Society and a debate has been taking place among the Trustees to seek opinions about venues and timings. Janet Dawson who edits this newsletter has worked hard to produce a survey and we would be grateful if you would take a little time to fill it in so that, in making decisions, we are reflecting the memberships’ preferences.
I did receive a letter from the Queen’s Private Secretary replying to the letter of condolence I wrote to Her Majesty on your behalf following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
It has been my duty recently to attend two memorial services, one for Doctor John Long a previous Chair of this Society and one for John Handcock a long-time member of The Society. In both cases I admired how much they had contributed to The Windsor and Eton Society in their unique ways, and we have an obligation to ensure that The Society thrives and attracts new members at a challenging time.
The Facelift which was embarked upon rather late compared to previous Facelifts is taking shape and we now have projects we are launching to enhance Windsor and Eton ready for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. For someone to reign for seventy years is unique in our history and the aim is to ensure that both our towns look their absolute best for the occasion. We are linked both with the Royal Borough and the Windsor Celebration Committee chaired by Graham Barker, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, which includes our own Vice Chair Chris Aitken. National Plans involve a beacon lighting and a picnic on the Long Walk with screens linking Windsor with the celebrations taking place on the Mall in London. We are working with Paul Roach, the Windsor and Eton Town Centre Manager, to alert traders in Windsor and Eton to the Facelift and we will be looking for volunteers in the New Year to go out and visit premises. We are saving our major effort to the beginning of 2022 knowing that some retailers have suffered in the pandemic and that they are relying on Christmas to enhance their balance sheets.
There is a more detailed item on the Facelift below and I am grateful to all members of the Committee that was set up to carry the project forward. Susy Shearer has ensured that we understand the history of Facelifts and Alison Logan as Secretary to the Steering Group has worked hard to carry the project forward. It is always invidious to name people as everyone on the Steering Group has played their part and given of their time.
Can I thank our Trustees for all their work for The Society. We are considering what projects we will do in the future and, thanks to Malcolm Leach, we are developing our website as well as looking at ways to promote The Society through other more modern ways of communication
You will read in this newsletter from other Trustees about their Committees and the valuable work they do, such as the Heritage and Environment Committee, chaired by Theresa Haggart whose members monitor planning applications and plans of the Royal Borough which may impact upon our surroundings and residents.
I know it is early, but may I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a 2022 which delivers health and more opportunities for members to take part in activities that have not been possible for much of 2021
PLEASE GIVE US YOUR VIEWS
We know that members understand the difficulties that we have faced since March 2020 in deciding which, if any, of our regular activities we would be able to offer. Thanks to the technology available we have been able to offer a programme of talks, however we are acutely aware that not all of our members have internet access, and that even those who do may be looking forward to having the opportunity for social contact with other members at meetings again. It is still a very challenging process to organise meetings in halls due to the hiring regulations and cleansing requirements imposed on us by those letting out the venues, but we are continuing to review what is realistic for us to organise.
Looking to the future the Committee are very keen to hear the views of members about how we might offer all of you the best access to talks. Some of you will be eager to meet up in person again, some enjoy afternoon talks but find going out in the evening difficult, some of you work and can only attend talks in the evening, and some of you have enjoyed being able to stay at home and listen to talks if the weather is unpleasant. So please tell us what you think as we want to take your views and needs into account when planning our future programme.
A short and easy to complete survey accompanies this newsletter, and there is also room for you to add your personal thoughts and comments if you wish. We look forward to receiving your completed forms, either emailed back to us on email@example.com or sent by post to the address on the form. Thank you for your contribution to this discussion.
LAUNCH OF FACELIFT 2022
The Facelift held a successful launch on 13th September at the Castle Hotel hosted by the Manager Mr Goss and attended by The Society’s President Sir James Perowne, The Vice Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, Graham Barker, The Mayor of the Royal Borough, Councillor John Story, together with a good number of Borough Councillors, W&ES Members and citizens of Windsor. The Mayor told us that as well as the Queen’s Jubilee there is going to be another important anniversary for Windsor, as next year will be the 100th anniversary of the town being granted Royal status by King George V. So 2022 will be a truly historic and landmark year, even more reason to ensure that the towns look their very best next summer.
Our Facelift Committee are meeting regularly and have been getting on with the task of identifying both key projects which can be progressed immediately, and people to help move things forward when the time comes in the New Year to start visiting building occupiers and encouraging them to take an active part. The Facelift’s main focus will be on refreshing public spaces around the town centres, encouraging building owners to spruce up their premises, and facilitating decoration of both towns with flower displays in the Jubilee colours of purple and white. Among the priority projects which are getting underway are the refurbishment of the Heritage Garden in Church Street, a similar effort for the little garden at the top of River Street, encouraging the use of the Harte and Garter Hotel building for a Jubilee display, and a general clean and paint for the listed Windsor and Eton bridge.
Individuals, businesses, and the Borough itself have been badly affected by the pandemic and are critically short of funds. The Facelift will, therefore, rely on the wider community to help with both sponsorship and voluntary labour, so we do need Members to come forward with offers of help and with donations.
A first working party was held at the Heritage Garden in Church Street on 6th November, when we cleared overgrown vegetation and planted bulbs. We received very positive responses from two of the adjacent businesses who were so pleased to see their immediate surroundings improving that they kindly provided the workers with complimentary coffee and a plate of sushi which was much appreciated! If you can help with future efforts to “clean, paint and plant” or perhaps by sponsoring a floral display, a garden planter, a bench or an information board, then please contact one of the Committee or leave your details on the Facelift email at firstname.lastname@example.org A £30 donation, for example, would buy a good-sized shrub, and £80 would sponsor a flower basket for the whole of the summer, including watering!
Thanks go to Alison Logan, Secretary of the Facelift Steering Group for this report
HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT
We continue to hold our monthly meeting by Zoom which has worked well.
Quarterly Meeting with RBWM Officers
We are working on getting these meetings back in the diary. There will be an initial Teams meeting on 5th November to discuss the reasons why The Society is looking to reinstate them.
We have requested to see a Condition Survey of the Grade 1 Listed Guildhall, that we had been told had been completed at the time of our last meeting, as we continue to have concerns regarding the condition of the building. We will be looking at setting a date for a follow up meeting with Cllr Johnson and other RBWM Officers.
We still have not seen the suggested guide for new business tenants as to any permissions needed for works to buildings within the Conservation Area. This would include a palette of suitable colours of paint, types of signage etc that is acceptable. A member of The Platinum Jubilee group is undertaking a draft W&ES guide in conjunction with the Platinum Facelift project.
The Non Designated Heritage Asset Document.
The Non Designated Heritage Asset (NDHA) Document developed by The Society is part of the final Windsor Neighbourhood Plan documentation and has now been updated to include additional locations.
Platinum Jubilee Facelift.
Plans are underway on a list of projects for the Platinum Jubilee Facelift of Windsor. The first event has been the working party planting bulbs and clearing/pruning the shrubs in the Heritage Garden on 6th November 2021. Further information can be found on The Society’s website and will continue to be updated regularly
Letters written after the November 2021 Meeting
43 Alma Road, Windsor – Subdivision of the existing dwelling to create 2 semi-detached dwellings, including the enlargement of the rear basement light-well, two storey side extension, two storey rear extension, single storey side/rear infill extension, increase in height to the side boundary wall with addition of a privacy screen, raising of part of the existing roof, alterations to fenestration and widening of the existing access to include turntable and new drop kerb following demolition of the existing part single storey part two and three storey rear element (PA 21/02886)
We have objected as this planning application is over-development of the plot.
Letters written after the October 2021 Meeting
7 Reed Way, Windsor – Variation of Condition to convert garage to accommodation (PA 21/02468)
As there appeared to be no compelling reason to change the conditions it was agreed to write and object as a matter of principle.
60 Smiths Lane, Windsor – New two bedroom dwelling with associated parking, new drop kerb and demolition of existing single storey elements to 60 Smiths Lane (PA 21/02547)
Due to it being built right up to the road it was considered detrimental to the area.
Land at 6 Ash Lane and 6 Ash Lane, Windsor – Garage conversion to 6 Ash Lane, part single, part two storey wrap around extension, new shared access, extension of the existing access and addition of a parking space to create 1 dwelling (PA 21/02614)
Plans inspected and objected as the building protrudes out beyond boundary/design and parking is not acceptable.
Nell Gwynn Chinese Restaurant, 6 Church Street, Windsor – Listed Building Consent and PA 21/02592 FULL – Consent to replace existing UPVC window with joinery casement window, reduce the size of dormer to side elevation, reinstate roof covering using existing removed tiles, existing dormer refinished, removal of temporary propping, 1 new conservation roof light, reposition of opening to head of stairs and internal alterations on third floor and roof. (Part-retrospective) (PA 21/02593)
Concern expressed about the deterioration of the building and the plans were discussed. It was agreed to draft two letters expressing concerns and objecting to the application.
Letter written regarding the video screens in shop windows.
We are concerned that there are an increasing number of shops that have installed these and are asking if that is appropriate/permitted in the context of the Special Advertisement Control in Peascod Street in the Conservation Area.
Letters written after the September 2021 Meeting
Squires Garden Centre, Maidenhead Road, Windsor – Erection 21 of 30 dwellings including the relocation of existing access along Maidenhead Road with associated parking, internal circulation, informal public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure (PA 21/02467)
Letter written objecting to the plans for the following reasons.
- Flats still very close to the corner and the 1 affordable house was tucked away.
- Whilst the number of flats is now 7 less and the building is smaller, the large roof could possibly accommodate additional flats subject to further non material alterations to the planning application but access and outdoor facilities are not adequate.
- The 2 ½ storey houses appear too big and may impinge on existing dwellings behind.
Letters written after the August 2021 Meeting
Verge Opposite Windsor Gospel Hall, Ruddlesway, Windsor – Proposed 15.0m phase 8 monopole C/W wrapround cabinet at base and associated ancillary works (PA 21/02145)
Plans inspected and apart from reduction in height plans still unacceptable.
55 Wood Close, Windsor – Single storey front and rear extensions and alteration to fenestration (PA 21/02288)
This development is a post war suburb. The front garden would disappear which would be detrimental to the estate and against what the Boroughwide Design Guide requires.
Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after the July 2021 Meeting
Alexandra Gardens, Barry Avenue, Windsor – Observation wheel and refreshment unit to be sited from 1st July to 30th September 2021 (PA 21/01599)
Letter sent as there did not appear to be enough detail of technical requirements and how long it would be on site.
Letters written after the June 2021 Meeting
191 Maidenhead Road, Windsor – Construction of 1 flat with garaging underneath, 1 new cycle and bin storage following demolition of garages 10-15 (PA 21/01472/FULL)
This is a repeat of an application already refused. Previous letter updated and re-sent.
French Connection Unit, 15 Windsor Royal Station, Jubilee Arch, Windsor – Repainting of the exterior shopfront and render with a new fire safety door to the ground floor front elevation (PA21/01442-3)
Ruddles Pool, Maidenhead Road, Windsor
Submitted letter re-sent to ensure Inspector has our comments (Appeal21/60045)
Letters written after April 2021 meeting
Land north of Camperdown House, Alma Road, Windsor – Erection of 4 semidetached dwellings with associated parking, landscaping and vehicular access (PA 21/00686)
It was appreciated that the number of dwellings had been reduced but the design of the dwellings could be improved. Letter written objecting to the impact on the Conservation Area; loss of public car parking; the importance of keeping the vista from Vansittart Rd to Trinity Church; and the lighting/safety aspect of the pathway.
Letters written after February 2021 meeting
Boots,17-18 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DU – Part demolition of building with retention of reduced retail store footprint and redevelopment of the demolished section of building for new build hotel incorporating ancillary restaurant and bar, integrated service area and engineering operations to create frontage landscaping area to provide lay-by, pavement and parking space (PA 20/03514/FULL)
Letter written requesting that the front of the building is reconsidered to create a front fascia more in keeping with the Conservation area, concern about the bulk and height of the building which will affect the amenity and light of the block of flats next-door, the difficulties caused by the increased traffic congestion and parking space.
The 75th AGM of the Society was held on 11th October 2021 using Zoom. The meeting was, unfortunately, not well attended and our President, Sir James Perowne, was unwell and unable to be there to chair the meeting. The necessary business of reporting and the election of Officers and Committee was undertaken, Katie Broady was newly elected to replace the retiring Membership Secretary, Sue Wells.
Many thanks for a warm welcome from the Committee and other members since taking on the role, and my thanks for Sue Wells’ help during the handover.
The Society’s membership now stands at 296 – it had gone down, but is now up by 10 since August 2021. The Committee would like to welcome the 10 new members who joined the Society since the last newsletter
At the moment about one-fifth of the membership receive their Newsletter by post. We would like to reduce this to save expense, so if you are happy to receive your newsletter by e-mail, please let me know at email@example.com The Annual Report continues to be sent to everyone by post.
Please remember to let us know if your postal address or email address changes so that our records remain up to date. If you have a question about membership or other queries I am happy to try and give you an answer or find someone who can!
The Kiss was the title of our September talk, the first of this season, and was given by Hugo Vickers. His book of the same name tells the story of Joan Kappey and her sister Christian who lived in Clarence Road, Windsor. Mr Vickers became friendly with the family and gave us a glimpse into their world of impoverished friends. Joan had received a kiss from a younger man and became obsessed with him, lining her walls with his photographs. It is certainly a lost world, especially as regards all the written correspondence that Mr Vickers had to deal with after her death enabling him to write her story. Her more outgoing sister Christian was a member of The Windsor & Eton Society.
The October talk, our second joint venture with Chorleywood Bookshop, was given by Dr Marc Morris, author of The Anglo-Saxons, a History of the Beginnings of England. Starting with the arrival of Saxons and others in the years after the withdrawal of the Roman legions, Dr Morris illustrated the different patterns of early Anglo-Saxon settlement and the gradual formation of kingdoms, leading eventually to what can be recognised as “England” from the late ninth century until 1066.
In November Charlotte Manley CVO OBE, Chapter Clerk of St George’s Chapel gave us a beautifully illustrated and interesting talk about the history and architecture of the Chapel. The title of the talk was St George’s Chapel, Glorious Building, Intriguing Detail, and Charlotte selected specifics on which to focus, drawing our attention to many smaller and some almost hidden details that she has found of particular interest.
- Thursday 2nd December – 6pm – Zoom Meeting (Please note time change)
Celebrating 130 Years of Manley’s Gallery, Eton. Malcolm Leach, the current owner, presents the history of the gallery.
- Thursday 6th January 2022 – 3pm – (hopefully in Gardeners’ Hall)
Paris Cemeteries – a talk by Leslie Grout.
- Thursday 3rd February – 7pm – Zoom Meeting (Please note time change)
Hugo Vickers returns to speak about Her Majesty’s Jubilees in Windsor. In this Platinum Jubilee Year the talk will be directed towards the Queen herself and her enormous contribution.
We are not yet able to plan a programme of outings with any reliability
Windsor Town Forum – The next 2 meetings are scheduled for Thursday 13th January 2022 and Tuesday 8th March, both at 6.30pm. The meetings are scheduled as virtual online meetings but please check the RBWM website nearer the dates for confirmation. Minutes of previous meetings, the Agenda and dates of future meetings when available, can be accessed through the RBWM website http://www.rbwm.gov.uk
MEET YOUR COMMITTEE
Following the AGM, details of the President, Honorary Vice-President, Trustees, Executive Committee and Councillor Representatives of the Windsor and Eton Society for 2021-2022 are as follows:
PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY
Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE
HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY
Mrs Anne Taylor
TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIETY/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Chair Mrs Margaret Lenton
Vice Chair Mr Chris Aitken
Secretary Mr Jonathan Palmer
Treasurer Mr Fred West
Ms Katie Broady
Mr James Clark
Mrs Janet Dawson
Mrs Theresa Haggart
Mrs Philippa Johnson
Mr Malcolm Leach
Mrs Anne Taylor
Miss Rosemarie Wood
To be advised