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Incorporating Windsor Heritage

NEWSLETTER No 81   February 2018

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It is good that we are just beginning to see some signs of Spring, and our newly planted bulbs are emerging alongside last year’s planting on Bachelors Acre.

Allan Boothroyd is making good progress in working with RBWM to pursue the improvements that the Society has funded involving landscaping around The Charles Knight grave area. Work on the trees is scheduled for mid-February.

We have had a number of interesting, well supported talks over the last few months and the last two of our season are well worth attending. Thank you to Philippa Johnson for organising these.

The Chair role of our important Heritage and Environment Committee has now been taken on by Anne Taylor. Anne has succeeded Andrew Melville, who has done such a fantastic job for 7 years in leading and promoting the important work of this team. The H&E Report demonstrates that the work continues apace, and a productive meeting with the RBWM Planning Team was held in January. Thanks to Andrew who thankfully remains a member of our very strong team, and good luck to Anne in her new role.


Our popular Royal Albert Institute Annual Music Event will be on Wednesday 6th June  at 7.00pm for 7.30pm in the Drawing Room at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park. This year the concert will feature The Queen’s Six and more details can be found on the Application Form.

Please join us for this very exclusive event which will be a most entertaining evening.

Tickets are priced at £20.00 for members of The Windsor and Eton Society and £22.00 for non-members and include a glass of wine. An Application Form is enclosed with this newsletter.


We are looking forward to welcoming Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, Guildhall, City of London to our Annual Dinner at Windsor Guildhall. There are no more tickets available for this event.

There are no more tickets available for this event.


The December talk was given by local historian Susan Ashley, who told us about the life and work of Doris Mellor and the Battle for Bachelors Acre. A Windsorian by birth she came to fame when she fought the local council to save Bachelors Acre, an historic piece of land in the centre of Windsor, from being taken over as a car park. The case was eventually heard in the High Court with Lord Denning ruling in Miss Mellor’s favour. We have much to thank her for as this space is again used by the public as a place of recreation.

The subject of the January talk given by Tony King was The Old Bath Road, from London to Reading, and stimulated a lot of interest. Tony had lots of photos to guide us along this historic road, with tales of highwaymen and coaching accidents, not to mention bad roads. A journey that would once have taken several days we now whizz along without a second thought.

In February we were treated to an insight into the work involved in Conserving the Royal Collection when Nicola Christie, Head of Paintings Conservation at the Royal Collections Trust gave us an insight into her work as a picture conservator. The Trust is funded from part of the entrance fees to Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and other Royal residences open to the public. It was interesting to hear of the detailed, time consuming and skilled work needed to look after the pictures and to see in detail some of the dramatic changes when the cleaning is finished, not to mention the discoveries made when a painting is x-rayed. Take a closer look next time you visit one of the Royal Palaces.

All these talks were well attended with about 70 plus people at each one.

Future Meetings

  • Wednesday 7th March  – 8.00pm – The Windsor Boys School

My Year as the Mayor of RBWM is the subject of the talk by Cllr Eileen Quick

(Please note the different venue for this meeting)

  • Wednesday 4th April – 8.00pm – Upton House School

PCSO David Bullock will speak on The True Story of Jack the Ripper


Future Outings                                                                 

Friday 6th April 2018  –  Highclere Castle, nr Newbury

In 1838, the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon commissioned Sir Charles Barry to transform his home into a grand mansion which would impress the world. In many ways Highclere Castle epitomised the confidence and glamour of the Edwardian period in the first few years of the twentieth century. During the First World War, Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, transformed the Castle into a hospital, and patients began to arrive from Flanders in September 1914. The Castle returned to a private home and in 1922 the 5th Earl and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.  During the Second World War, the Castle briefly became a home for evacuee children from north London.  Highclere Castle was used as the home of the Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey. (The booking form accompanies this Newsletter)

Thursday, 14th June 2018  –  Wilton House, nr Salisbury, Wiltshire

Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside and home to the Earls of Pembroke since the 1540s, Wilton House is first and foremost a family home and has been for over 450 years. Since 1544 when the buildings and land were granted by Henry VIII to Sir William Herbert, Wilton House has been inextricably linked to the political and artistic circles of England. The magnificent state rooms at Wilton designed by Inigo Jones include The Single Cube Room and The Double Cube Room the great room of the house. The House also has a world famous art collection by renowned artists such as van Dyck, Pieter Brueghel and Rembrandt. With over 22 acres of parkland and gardens, bordered by the rivers Wylye and Nadder, the Grounds are perfect for visitors to explore.

(The booking form accompanies this Newsletter)

Booking for multiple visits

Please remember that if you want to apply for both visits, separate cheques and stamped addressed envelopes are required.

  • If only one cheque is sent this causes complications for all concerned should you not be allocated a place on both trips

If you are held on a waiting list the additional envelope is required should you be allocated a ticket at a later date.


We must begin by paying tribute to Andrew Melville and thanking him for all he has done to lead the H&E Committee for the past seven years. Members of this group know what an excellent and diligent Chair he has been. Although stepping down as Chair Andrew will remain on this committee, which is good for the Society because we will still benefit from his vast experience and expertise. Anne Taylor will now chair the H&E committee.

This report covers the planning applications which were considered at the December and January meetings of the committee. The main items which we have looked at are as follows:

A  Planning Applications

  • 33 Kings Road – Consent for part single part two storey extension following some demolition – (PA 17/03888/LBC and 17/03890/FULL)

We were concerned that the plans show a parking space for a car in front of the property. For a listed building in a Conservation Area we felt that front parking should not be allowed.                                                     Pending


  • 131-133 Peascod Street – land at rear on Goswell Hill. Proposal for new restaurant – (PA 17/03685/FULL)

We expressed our support for this proposal and hoped that the cobbled street would be retained to ensure the character of the area.                            Pending


  • 33 and 39 Poolmans Road – Land to rear of these properties. Enclosure of open space, retrospective – (PA 17/03660/FULL and 17/03702/FULL)

We expressed our concern that land laid out and intended as amenity green space was being enclosed contrary to both the existing Development Plan policy and to the council’s emerging policies.                          Pending


  • 1 Thames Street – Windsor Wine and Gifts. Change of use to restaurant -(PA 17/03611)

We welcomed the prospect of having a quality restaurant in Windsor town centre and hope a positive solution to the Conservation Officer’s observations can be found. Subsequent to our letter the Conservation Officer has said that the plans are acceptable together with conditions regarding the windows and materials.    Pending


  • The Cockpit Eton High Street –  re-development as residential units –

(PAs 15/02783, 15/02786)

We have written expressing concern about the suggested name for this development, which seems to have no connection with the history of the building, and suggesting alternatives.                                                      Pending

 9-11 Imperial Road and 3-4 Almond Close – Outline application for two x 4 bedroom dwellings and sixteen x 2 bedroom apartments (PA 17/03740/OUT)

This follows on from a previous application (PA 17/01296) to which we had objected and which had been refused. We sent a letter re-asserting our objections as before, ie we feel that this is a case of over-development, that there is little opportunity for meaningful planting and also that the design is visually incongruous. We also think that the question of parking should be revisited.                                                                               Pending

B Planning Application Updates

The following were mentioned in the November Newsletter

  1. 151 -153 Vansittart Road – demolition of 2 bungalows and redevelopment to provide 5 houses – (PA 17/02154)                          

We were concerned with the closeness of the houses to the Vansittart Recreation Ground boundary and with the insufficient parking provision. The garages, as specified, are too small for cars. Road safety implications have not been fully considered especially with regard to the impact on cyclists and pedestrians.    Refused

  1. 117-117a Dedworth Road – Demolition of 2 buildings and construction of 7 unit apartment block alongside purpose built Dental Practice building – (PA  17/02289)

The design is an improvement on the previous scheme. The Highways Officer was concerned about the adequacy of the parking provision. We suggested that this could be solved by sharing out of hours parking with the residents of the flats.                                                                                                      Refused

  1. 151-153 Clarence Road – Construction of 3 storey building with 14 flats following demolition of current buildings – (PA 17/02566/OUTLINE)

This building is on the corner west of the Clarence Road ‘fountain’ roundabout. We were concerned about access onto Clarence Road and also that the plans show an area available to cars which does not appear to belong to the Applicant.                                                                                                             Refused

  1. 73 Grove Road – construction of rear dormer to extend existing loft conversion – (PA 17/03554)

We wrote in objection to this proposal affecting a dwelling in a terrace of two storey Victorian cottages. The Inner Windsor Conservation Area Appraisal highlights the importance of uniformity in such terraces. We considered that the proposal was not of a good standard of design, as required by NPPF Section 7, and would fail to conserve or enhance the character and appearance of the CA.  Pending.  Extension of time: 9th February1 Leopold Place, 140 St Leonards Road – infill of undercroft parking area to form garage – (PA 17/03089)

  1. The original planning application giving permission for the construction of the building included a condition prohibiting changes without planning permission. The tendency is for such spaces to be used for things other than cars and eventually turned into living space. This would exacerbate the parking problem.  Withdrawn

  2. 55 Queens Road, Windsor SL4 3BQ – loft conversion with two rear dormers to form habitable accommodation – (PA 17/02716)We did not object to the principle of the conversion but raised concern regarding the proposed modern front Velux windows whose design was counter to recommendations in the Conservation Area (Inner Windsor) Appraisal. While the application was approved, our views were upheld. This resulted in a condition being placed on the permission requiring details of the proposed Conservation Area style roof lights to be submitted and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority, and that the development must be carried out and maintained in accordance with the approved details.                                                 Permitted

C Other Items of Interest:

  1. Quarterly meeting with RBWM

At his request Cllr David Coppinger, RBWM Lead Member for Planning, met with members of the H&E Committee and RBWM Planning Officers in January for our Quarterly discussion of Windsor and Eton planning matters. He is keen to meet and talk to residents to ensure that he is appropriately briefed on local opinion and that residents are aware of the constraints on Planning Officers. He is also hoping to attend our February H&E monthly meeting. Other agenda items included cases where development work had taken place without prior listed building consent, the lack of response to our concerns about the extent of demolition work at York House and a discussion of the precise process of uploading documents to the planning website as some files could not easily be accessed. We were disappointed that RBWM did not at present feel able to progress work to approve the NDHA list because of the need to concentrate on completing the Local Plan. They did however ask to see a copy of the list and this is being tidied up ready to send to the relevant officers.

  1. Borough Local Plan

On 31st January 2018 the Council sent its Proposed Submission Borough Local Plan, supporting documents, and all comments received during the BLP Regulation 19 Consultation to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for independent examination. This represents the start of the formal Examination process. The Submission documents forwarded to the Planning Inspector are listed on the RBWM website, and hard copies of these should still be available to view in Windsor and Maidenhead libraries.

  1. Windsor Neighbourhood Plan

Currently, the WNP policies are being refined by the steering group with support from our consultants, AECOM, and the necessary background work is being done to draft the policies into a final form. Much took place in 2017 which has had to be taken into account in the WNP document, including the Borough Local Plan submission, and this has slowed progress, but we are hopeful we will reach a conclusion in 2018.

Timetable to date

  • Nov 2016: WNP Pre submission consultation
  • Jan-April 2017: Analysis of results from pre-submission consultation and revision of draft
  • May 2017: BLP Reg 19 Consultation published and taken into account.
  • June 2017: Revised WNP sent for “Healthcheck” to an independent examiner
  • July to Dec 2017: Feedback from the “Healthcheck” and from the RBWM received and reviewed. Redrafting continues.

The WNP Area is regarded as having “complex” needs and some unique issues. As a consequence, we have been offered extra government support by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Additional technical support in the form of free consultancy hours has been agreed via the government agency, Locality, which will cover a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). In addition, we have been approved to apply for additional grant funding via Locality to cover some specific matters, and we are currently waiting to hear if this application has been successful. Due to this re-work we will most probably have to re-submit our Plan for the Regulation 14 Pre-Submission Consultation. We hope to do this in the Spring, followed by preparation of the Final Draft for submission to the Council later in 2018. The Referendum should follow.

  1. Charles Knight Grave Area

We are pleased to report that a good degree of progress has been made in the past few weeks and we are confident that we should have a completed restoration project by May. Clearly, this is almost entirely dependent on RBWM.

Work to remove four diseased/dead trees at the site will be carried out from the 12th-14th February. These will be removed entirely and the stumps ground down to below ground level and poisoned to prevent re-growth. The trees will be replaced by 2-3 metre saplings as part of the landscaping. These saplings are already at the RBWM Parks Department awaiting planting. The Castle Hotel Manager is being extremely helpful in allowing access for the heavy vehicles required for this work.

Production of the information plinth is now underway and is expected to take 4-6 weeks.

Landscaping for the site has been designed and, following a meeting on site on Wednesday, it is confirmed that this work will commence as soon as the trees are removed.

  1. Windsor Yards – the new name for King Edward Court

We referred in our last newsletter to our dismay at this change of name, and subsequently had a meeting on 5th December with representatives of Aberdeen Real Estate Operations Ltd, the leaseholder, and Jones Lang Lasalle, who manage the site for them. They accepted that the way the change of name was handled could have been carried out in a more democratic and sympathetic manner but they felt this change of name would help with rebranding the shopping centre. However, we were encouraged by their obvious commitment to making a success of the site which is so important to the commercial interests of the town.

  1. Windsor Riverside

We had a useful meeting on 10th November with representatives of GL Hearn and Allies and Morrison who have been commissioned by Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to prepare the Windsor Riverside Feasibility Assessment and Options Appraisal. Over the past few weeks they have been undertaking site visits and drawing together the baseline information, and they have spoken with a number of key people and stakeholders to inform their understanding, including the Windsor and Eton Society. We are pleased that the Royal Borough has taken this initiative in relation to a very important part of the town and look forward to studying their conclusion in due course.


Windsor Town Forum – The date of the next meeting, due to be held in June or July, is not yet available. Meetings are held in the Council Chamber, Guildhall, Windsor and start at 6.30pm. Minutes of previous meetings, and dates of future meetings when available, can be accessed through the RBWM website http://www.rbwm.gov.uk



  • The English Renaissance & the Architecture of Christopher Wren – tutor Keith Hasted.

This Course starts on Wednesday 18th April and runs for 7 weeks Fee £60.20

  • Literature: Short Stories and Poems – tutor John Still.

The course will include short stories by Henry James, Willa Cather, Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Conner and John McGahern. The poems will include works by Robert Browning, T.S.Eliot, Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy

This Course starts on Thursday 3rd of May and runs for 7 weeks Fee £60.


Full Details of all Courses are in the WEA Brochure or search for Windsor Branch courses and enrolment on www.wea.org.uk/southern

Enrolment – contact Malcolm Lock  E-mail: mlweawindsor@gmail.com


The Society’s membership now stands at 356, a decrease of some 6 members since November. 

The committee would like to welcome four new members who have joined the Society since the last newsletter

Over 90 members receive their newsletter by email and the Society would like this number to increase thus saving the Society a considerable amount of expense. Please let the Membership Secretary know if you are happy to do this. The Annual Report is still sent to members by post



Meet our Secretary – Graham Morley

 Graham was born in the London Borough of Lewisham and later moved to the Borough of Ealing where he went to school. After staying on at school and securing an engineering apprenticeship with Smith’s Industries he studied engineering at Willesden College of Technology, and later at the Reading College of Engineering, gaining his AMIME. Graham’s passion for engineering opened up a parallel part to his life, mainly commercial, where he worked in the motor industry, studied law and was Finance Director for two of the largest motorcycle dealers. He became a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and an Associate Member of the British Institute of Management.

Graham has been a researcher and historian specialising in WW1 and Family History for over 40 years. He is a member of the Society of Genealogists and a Friend of National Archives and has carried out many commissions for families in the UK, Canada and America. He specialises in bridging the gap between today’s family and their past ancestors, in particular abandoned children brought up in Foundling Hospitals and those orphaned by some family disaster where their roots are difficult to establish.

Graham has been married to Sally for 52 years and they have two children and five grandchildren. He has lived in Wraysbury for over 42 years and is secretary of the village’s Road Association. He is also currently working in the parish archives to produce a more modern history of the village, which is to be published this year. In addition, as this is the centenary of the end of WW1, he will be preparing a display of artefacts for Wraysbury Village Hall in conjunction with the lighting of the beacon on November 11th.


. . . . Storing our small amount of equipment for talks

Does anyone have some spare space in which you would be prepared to store the speaker system and laptop that is used for our talks. If you feel able to help with this please contact our Talks Organiser, Philippa Johnson on 01753 865914 or by email on pf.johnson@btinternet.com

. . . . Social media / website

We are still looking for someone who can help us broaden our communications with the local community by enhancing our website content and communicating on Social Media. If you, or someone you know, has these skills and might be prepared to help us, please contact any Executive Committee member for further information .


At our December talk we heard about Doris Mellor’s success in preserving Bachelors Acre as a place of recreational use for the public. Looking at the Acre today one might be forgiven for thinking that her success in the House of Lords was the end of the story, but that is far from the case. It was to be several years after the 1975 judgement before plans for remodelling the area were drawn up, and even then there was concern expressed by the Society that the financial pressures of delivering on the Council’s 1981 Tourism Strategy might delay it further. Prior to work commencing the spectre of a car park reared its head again when the Royal Free School tried to use the section allotted to it as a playground for car parking for school functions, but this was ruled as unlawful. In June 1984, after the work had been completed, RBWM Councillors agreed to a controversial proposal to establish, through a Bill to Parliament, the legality of holding weekly markets on Bachelors Acre. A similar proposal 5 years previously had been shelved because of the strength of opposition to it from residents and tradespeople. However, in November 1984 the Council began canvassing public opinion and, as might be anticipated, views were mixed and strongly held. Many of those opposed to legalising a market were of the view that Doris Mellor would have been opposed to it, but this view was contested by our Society since minutes of a 1972 meeting of the Society’s Landscape Subcommittee, of which she was a member, made positive reference to its possible use as a market site.  Use of part of the Acre for a Saturday market did eventually go ahead, but this was relatively short-lived as the market did not thrive and was eventually closed.

Published by The Windsor and Eton Society www.wesoc.org.uk

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