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Incorporating Windsor Heritage

NEWSLETTER No 84   November 2018

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I have now been your Chair since June 2018.  I have been even more impressed by the activities undertaken by the Society and the support I have received from both Chris Aitken and Anne Taylor, for which I am very grateful.

Sitting in on the Heritage and Environment Committee meetings, I am aware that the Society has members who have a great love of Windsor and Eton, in depth knowledge of the history and concern to conserve the character of the area.

My husband and I went on the Society outing to a unique venue which we had not visited before- Eltham Palace, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

I do hope members will introduce themselves to me, I am not bad on names after a second introduction!  In addition, we rely on members bringing their friends and new members are welcome.


Our Annual Dinner 2019 will be held in Windsor Guildhall on Friday 22nd February and our Guest of Honour will be Sir Jonathan Marsden KCVO FSA. Sir Jonathan was formerly Director of the Royal Collection and curated a major exhibition of ‘Victoria & Albert Art and Love’ in 2010. It therefore seemed particularly appropriate to invite Sir Jonathan to speak to us in the year when we mark the 200th anniversary of the births of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and members and guests who attend will enjoy a menu of 1816 themed dishes in a venue that displays their spectacular portraits.

Tickets, which include a pre-dinner drink are £45 per head. We are limited to 80 guests and tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so please apply early to avoid disappointment. An application form accompanies this newsletter.


The 72nd AGM of the Society was held on 22nd October 2018 in the august surroundings of the Upper School at Eton College. It was somewhat daunting to be under the eyes of Wellington and George Canning with other distinguished alumni looking down. The meeting was chaired by our President, Sir James Perowne, and the necessary business of reporting and the election of officers and committee was undertaken.

At the end of the business meeting, unusually, beer was handed out prior to the Society hearing a history of brewing in the area from Will Calvert, Director of the Windsor and Eton Brewery. The audience was treated to a description of the growth of the smaller niche breweries following legislation which curbed the activities of the major breweries.  Everyone agreed that this was an interesting and informative talk, which was followed by questions. Many members could remember sites that had been identified as being where breweries had existed in the past. We look forward to the Windsor and Eton Brewery going from strength to strength. The evening concluded with some time to socialise whilst enjoying additional light refreshments.


This report covers the work of the Heritage and Environment Committee since the August Newsletter.

A  Planning Applications

Letters written after August meeting

Three Tuns, 8 Market Street, Windsor, SL4 1PB – consent to retain x1 repainted hanging sign, retain x2 sets of hand-painted lettering to the front elevation, retention of x6 wall mounted signs, retention of 3 menu boxes and remove existing individual fret-cut lettering and replace with hand painted gold lettering. (PAs 18/01932 & 18/01933/LBC)                  Permitted                                                                

66 Bexley Street, Windsor, SL4 5BX – 2 front facing rooflights, 1 rear facing dormer and raised ridge. (PA 18/02110)                                         Permitted

 114-116 St Leonards Rd., Windsor – proposed barrel roof with 4 dormers to provide an additional flat following demolition of plant room. (PA18/02001)                                                                                                             Refused

Flat 3, Rafts Court, Brocas St., Eton, SL4 6RF – formation of a sunken roof terrace. (PA 18/02250)        Permitted

 Letters written after September meeting

  • Eton College, Slough Road, Eton – New buildings for recreational activities (PA 18/02033)

We met on the site and were shown the plans and the areas for development. We wrote expressing support but, as part of the development is on green belt,  we stressed that the ‘very special circumstances’ for such development should be a commitment by Eton College for community use of the facilities. We also requested that the extra parking space should be available for use at public events at the College.            Pending

  • 61-63 Dedworth Road -a series of applications relating to the discharge of conditions attached to the planning permission for the former Mahjacks site (PAs 18/0018/02420 and 02438/39/40/41/42/43/44/45/46)

Several conditions of the planning consent for this development have not been complied with and residents have been inconvenienced.  While there is little to be done about the past actions of the developers, it was decided that we should write noting the non-compliance and asking the Borough to keep a close eye on progress to ensure that conditions are complied with in future.                                                    Pending

  • Land to the rear of Maynard Court, Clarence Road, Windsorerection of 2 maisonettes with associated parking following the demolition of 4 garages (PA 18/02085)   

This site has a complicated history. We objected to a previous application which was refused and then granted on appeal. The developers have built the shell up to roof level with a larger footprint than that approved. The current application is retrospective for this larger development following enforcement action. An appeal has been dismissed for three flats instead of two                                                                                Permitted

 G.Motorpoint, 437-441 St Leonard’s Rd., Windsor, SL4 3DT – construction of 56 bed hotel (PA 18/02391)

This application follows the refusal of one for a 61 bed hotel. We objected to the previous application. The developers have worked with the planning officers on several designs. The latest, although an improvement, was not thought to be very attractive and other objections to the development also remained. It was decided to write a simple objection letter re-iterating our previous points.                                                     Pending

  • Guildhall High Street Windsor – partial exterior painting of ground floor western elevation (PA 18/02421)                                                      Permitted


Letters written after October meeting

 Barnespool, Eton – work to trees in Conservation Area (PA 18/02537 TCA)

 We supported this work.                                                                                                              Permitted

Flat 1, Bedford House, Madeira Walk – fell cedar (PAs 18/02694 18/02694 TCA)

This tree is old and should be felled for safety reasons but we requested that it be replaced with a tree which will complement the area.                                                                                                            Permitted

9–11 Imperial Road, Windsor – outline application for 2 x 2 bed dwellings, 14 apartments, parking etc. following demolition of present buildings (PAs 18/02637 18/02637, 18/02637) 

This site has already won an appeal for development but these are new plans. We still have serious concerns about the parking provision and the impact of vehicle movement on this very busy section of road.       Pending                                             

B        Planning Application Updates

1        Street Record, Shirley Avenue, Windsor – (Appeal PA 18/60066/REF PA 17/00482)

Our concerns are twofold: the height of the development in an area of low rise housing and the loss of employment in the area as offices/light industrial work is replaced with housing.                                                                     Still Pending

2        Windsor Centre For Advanced Dentistry, 1 Dorset Road, Windsor SL4 3BA – Advertisement Proposal: Consent to display an external trough lit double sided post mounted sign – (PA 18/01571)

We are happy about the post and sign but not the illumination in a primarily residential area which is also a conservation area                                    Refused

3        Mahjacks, 61 – 63 Dedworth Road, Windsor SL4 5AZ – Variation Under Reg 73 Proposal: Variation of condition (24) (under Section 73) to substitute approved plans with amended plans for mixed use development with retail unit at ground floor and 13 x apartments above, with access, car parking, servicing and landscaping following demolition of existing buildings approved under PA 15/04147 – (PA 18/01037) 

There is already permission to build flats on this site which we considered to provide substandard living conditions in terms of space and light. Our concerns were expressed in this letter.                                                             Still Pending

4        151 – 153 Vansittart Road, Windsor – Construction of 5 dwellings with associated parking following demolition of the existing dwellings – (PA 18/01786)  

This is a revised application for this site. There are only minor amendments. We wrote again expressing our concern at over-development on the plot.     Refused

5        Windsor Business Quarter, 67 Alma Road, Windsor (PA 18/00095 – PA 18/60072 / NONDET) 

As an appeal has already been lodged by the developer against the non-determination of the above planning application, it was decided to write another letter to the Planning Inspectorate urging them not to allow the appeal. This letter did not replicate the one previously sent to the RBWM planning committee but focused on the many reasons for refusal which the Borough decided not to major on. The appeal hearing will be held at the Windsor Racecourse on 26th March 2019 and is scheduled for up to 8 days.

C Other Items of Interest:

1.Quarterly meeting with RBWM

At this meeting we had informed discussions about several items of on-going interest to the Society. These included positive, sensitive progress on the Cockpit building in Eton; RBWM Shop Front and Advertisement Guidelines; the growing need for clearer guidance for applicants with regard to a “heritage colour palette” for use in the Windsor Town Centre Conservation Area; and on-going development of the Non-Designated Heritage Assets List, which Officers agreed should be directly linked with the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan. We were advised that the Riverside Feasibility Study is presently on hold until next year and there is a continuing review of the security barriers. There was discussion of enforcement of planning breaches and we were pleased to hear that the enforcement section will give priority to monitoring the Mahjacks site. Improvements to the Charles Knight Grave site are now very close to completion, considered an important achievement for both the Society and the Council.


200 bulbs, provided by RBWM, have been planted at the Charles Knight Grave area by members of this committee. It was slightly disappointing that the request to Society members for help yielded only one volunteer. Hopefully there will be a good show of daffodils in the spring.


Our first talk of the season in September was a very interesting talk on The history of the Theatre Royal Windsor by Mark Piper, a former Executive Director of the theatre. John Counsell took over the running of the theatre in 1938 until he handed over to Mark in 1986 after which Mark became one of the longest serving theatre managers in the UK, stepping down in 2006. He told us of the theatre’s high points which included visits by the Duke and Duchess of York, later to become Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. There were also financial struggles to keep the theatre running but with luck and dedicated backers the theatre has gone from strength to strength.

In October Leslie Grout, local historian, gave a fascinating talk on Windsor Memorials. He took us on a ‘walk’ starting with the George V fountain and the memorial to the Windsor martyrs on the corner of Thames Street and Datchet Road, past the statue of Prince Christian Victor and up the hill to the castle. He also talked about other memorials behind the Guildhall and at Batchelor’s Acre, ending up remembering where the Quaker Meeting House had once been in Sheet Street. We were very glad to be reminded of our memorials and motivated to take another look at them, as over time some do deteriorate.

Our talk this month was given by Jerry Rendell on his book Profiles of the First World War: the silhouettes of Captain H. L. Oakley. Captain Oakley was one of the most talented and prolific silhouette artists of the twentieth century. He was Jerry’s great uncle, which brought a personal story to the talk. The images he showed us were extraordinary in their detail and yet somehow managed to capture a sense of life and movement of their own, all this done with a sheet of black paper and a pair of scissors. Captain Oakley had served with the Green Howards in the First World War and captured every scene from the men in the trenches to the officers. There are many silhouettes of horses but also some of aeroplanes and tanks as well as the daily life of the ordinary people trying to maintain their lives amidst the horrors of war.


  • Thursday 10th January  – 3.00pm – Gardeners’ Hall

Chris Aitken, our Vice-Chair, will speak about The Prince Philip Trust Fund for RBWM, of which he is the Secretary, and a Trustee

  • Thursday 7th February – 3.00pm – Gardeners’ Hall

Margaret Lenton, our Chair, will speak about Bletchley Park


Thursday 18th October 2018 – Eltham Palace, Greenwich

We had an excellent journey, and, arriving in glorious sunshine, immediately made for the Orchard House Café for morning coffee. The Art Deco mansion was built in the 1930s by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld and is a wonderful example of more modern architecture blending beautifully alongside the Great Hall of the medieval Eltham Palace and Gardens. The Great Hall was built for Edward IV in the 1470s and Henry VIII spent much of his childhood there. On entering the Palace we were immediately in the circular entrance hall, a mix of Art Deco and cutting-edge Swedish design. The panelled dining room is characterised by geometric and stylised shapes. Virginia Courtauld’s bedroom and luxurious golden bathroom is set in a lavish gold mosaic niche containing a statue of the goddess Psyche, and her walk-in wardrobe contains beautiful period dresses, hats and accessories. Even the Courtauld’s pet lemur, Mah-Jongg, had centrally-heated sleeping quarters on the upper floor! We moved from Art Deco into the magnificent medieval Great Hall with its minstrels’ gallery and glorious hammer-beam roof which was built for Edward IV five hundred years ago. The hammer-beam roof is the third-largest in England.  There are 19 acres of historic gardens to explore, including the rock garden with its series of pools and cascades running down to the moat and the sunken rose garden.  We arrived back in Windsor around 5.30 and all 28 members who took part in the visit agreed that we had a very enjoyable day.


Thursday 11th April 2019 – Bowood House, Calne

Bowood House is home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne.  It hosts a wealth of unique art and antiques with many historical treasures – the library and chapel, the laboratory where Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774, the sculpture gallery, the orangery and a range of exhibition rooms. Nearly 300 years of amazing artefacts and antiques from the family history are on display. The House is surrounded by 2000 acres of Grade 1 listed ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, with a mix of plantations and sweeping lawns leading down to a mile long lake, and the Italian inspired terrace gardens and the herbaceous border surrounding the Georgian house.

Thursday 13th June 2019 – Cirencester & Rodmartan Manor

Our first stop will be in Cirencester where there will be time for lunch before we go on the short journey to Rodmartan Manor. The Manor is a supreme example of a house that was built, and all its furniture made, according to Arts and Crafts ideals. It is one of the last country houses to be built and furnished in the old traditional style when everything was done by hand with local stone, local timber and local craftsmen.  Ernest Barnsley and the Cotswold group of Craftsmen, who, beginning in 1909, built and furnished the house for Claud and Margaret Biddulph, were responsible for the revival of many traditional crafts in the Cotswolds which were in danger of dying out. The gardens are delightful and we will end the visit with tea and cakes.


Following the AGM details of the President, Trustees and Councillor Representatives of the Windsor and Eton Society for 2018-2019 are as follows:


Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE


Chair                      Mrs Margaret Lenton

Vice Chair              Mr Chris Aitken

Secretary               Mr Graham R Morley

Treasurer               Mr Chris Simon FCA

Mr Allan Boothroyd

Mr James Clark

Mrs Janet Dawson

Mrs Philippa Johnson

Mr Malcolm Leach

Mrs Anne Taylor

Miss Sue Wells

Miss Rosemarie Wood


Councillor Eileen Quick

Councillor Colin Rayner

MEET OUR CHAIR – Margaret Lenton

Margaret was awarded an Exhibition from Royal Holloway where she graduated with a History Degree. She is now working on a further degree about Bletchley Park. Her career was in teaching and she was for 22 years the Principal of Slough Grammar School.

Margaret and her husband John have lived in the area since 1988 and Margaret has involvement in many local organisations. She is a JP and for 22 years was an active member of the Berkshire Bench, regularly chairing Courts. She is a Governor of Churchmead School, and, as an historian, is a member of the 800 Committee which celebrated Magna Carta in 2015 and currently chairs the revived Thames Valley History Festival. In addition, she is Chairman of Wraysbury Parish Council and is the immediate past Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Margaret is also actively involved in many larger organisations. She is the Secretary of the CASTME, the Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Maths Educators and is an honorary fellow of Brunel University, having served on the Council for eight years. She is also Chairman of Trustees of ‘True Honour’ which supports Mrs Athwal who gave evidence in an Honour Killing case and the charity now works with those facing abuse.


The Society’s membership now stands at 354. The committee would like to welcome three new members who have joined the Society since the last newsletter.

Over 150 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.


Windsor Town Forum – The meeting scheduled for Monday 29th October was postponed. The next scheduled meeting is on Tuesday 12th March 2019 in the Council Chamber, Guildhall, Windsor. Minutes of previous meetings, and dates of future meetings when available, can be accessed through the RBWM website http://www.rbwm.gov.uk




  • New Testament Studies: The Gospel and Letters of John – tutor Jeremy Hurst
  • Behind The Headlines: News as Fact or Fiction – tutor Ian Mulholland
  • American Art – tutor Sandra Smith
  • 3H Literature: Innocence, Guilt And Social Justice – tutor John Still


  • World Heritage Architecture – tutor Keith Hasted
  • Literature: Short Stories and Poems – tutor John Still

WEA Windsor Special Events – Study Days

Saturday 23rd February 2019 9.45am to 3.45pm

An Introduction to Opera  

Tutor Robin John

Upton House School, 115 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor SL4 3DF

Hot Lunch, tea and coffee are included at these events and the fee for each is £40

Full Details of all Courses are in the WEA Brochure 2018-19, which are now available, or search for Windsor Branch courses and enrolment on www.wea.org.uk/southern

Enrolment – contact Malcolm Lock mlweawindsor@gmail.com

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This is the second time in succession that the venue for the Annual Dinner of the Society will be Windsor’s historic Guildhall. Whilst we enjoy what we hope will be another delicious meal and an entertaining evening in the Upper Chamber it may be of interest for members to reflect that the Food Office – the local branch of the Ministry of Food – was located there during the rationing of the 1940s.

Food Offices issued ration books to all residents once a year, temporary emergency coupons to people going away to visit relatives, and permits for butchers, grocers, cafes and hotels. They also sold powdered milk for babies, cod liver oil and orange juice for small children and vitamin tablets for pregnant women. A local press report in 1950 stated that once the Food Office had vacated the Guildhall Chamber it would again be used for Council meetings and the downstairs room, where the meetings had been taking place, would be redecorated and continue to be available as a meeting room for local organisations.

Perhaps we should be relieved that 2019 is the bicentenary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and not the centenary of the introduction of food rationing, or we could have been experiencing a menu themed around wartime rations rather than one themed around recipes contemporary to their births!

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