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Incorporating Windsor Heritage

NEWSLETTER No 86   May 2019

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This has been a memorable first year for me as your Chair and I have been grateful for the untiring support of the Committee. The Society is so well served by its Committee Members. In addition, I greatly admire the work done by the Heritage & Environment Committee which monitors the planning applications which come into the Royal Borough. I have also sat in on occasional meetings with Royal Borough Officers where our concerns are aired. We are not entirely impressed with the response to pre-declared agenda!

The quality of talks during the Autumn/Winter season, which have been well-attended, have given members variety and high quality and recently included information about the Royal Estate given by the Deputy Ranger and the Battle for Cookham Common.

Our 73rd Annual Dinner in February was a great success and there is a report on this later in this newsletter. We have also had our first outing in April, which occurred on a beautiful sunny day when we visited the ancestral home of the Lansdowne family, but I will allow Rosemarie to write in more detail.

We are also looking forward to the Music Event at Cumberland Lodge on 5th June, organised by Chris Aitken, and the outing to Rodmarton Manor on 13th June.

We have temporarily filled the vacancy of Secretary thanks to Catherine Sutton taking on the role, but when she leaves we will need a permanent replacement. There is also the post of Treasurer where we need a replacement for Chris Simon.

We have members who attend every meeting tirelessly and we are very grateful, but we do need new members so please ask your friends to come along, particularly those interested in our heritage.

We do try to keep members abreast of related history events such as the ‘Desert Island Discs’ being planned for Queen Victoria’s birthdate, 24th May at the Old Court. It is easy for us to contact those who have given us their e-mail addresses but it is more difficult to update others between quarterly Newsletters. We are looking at methods of communication but if you can let us have your email address it would be helpful. We plan to arrange an event in August at Holy Trinity Church to celebrate Prince Albert’s birth.

I meet many members while out in Windsor or Eton and welcome the fact that you speak to me. Thank you.


The report of this committee must begin with the resignation of a stalwart member, namely John Edwards. John has been an active member for over 15 years and has campaigned for various important causes involving buildings, developments and highways in Windsor. He has a passionate interest in and care for our heritage and has never been afraid to defend his views and fight his corner. The Society owes a lot to him and The Heritage and Environment Committee is very grateful for all the work he has done over many years. He was presented with an initialled pen at our April meeting in appreciation of his commitment.

John is now moving to Old Windsor as his life enters another busy phase and we send him our very best wishes.

A  Planning Applications
Letters written after February meeting

  1. 56 – 57 Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Thames Street, SL4 1QW – non material amendments to planning permission 18/00255/FULL for part of the ground floor to be used as a conference/meeting room instead of a coffee lounge as originally annotated on the approved plan – (PA 19/00210)
    At a consultation in 2016 we had been led to believe that the coffee lounge would have public access as we were concerned about the loss of the Chocolate Theatre Café. We encouraged the hotel to provide this amenity. Pending
  2. 28 Springfield Road Windsor SL4 3PQ – single storey rear extension and second floor rear extension – (PA 19/00012/FULL)
    We had no objection to the single storey addition but considered the second floor extension had a poor relationship to the terrace of Victorian cottages. Permitted
  3. 8 Black Horse Close SL4 5QP – Variation under Section 73a planning permission 18/00253/FULL without complying with Condition 2 (C3 Occupation) for the construction of a three storey terraced dwelling with new vehicular and pedestrian access and associated parking following the demolition of existing extension and garage – (PA 19/00021)
    We expressed our concern that the insufficient parking spaces and the number of houses becoming HMOs (House of Multiple Occupancy) in this residential street would have a very detrimental impact on amenity and road safety. Refused as a Non-Material Amendment, a new application PA 19/00991/FULL has been submitted

 Letters written after March meeting

  1. 19 Arthur Road, Windsor – single storey side/rear extension, alterations to rear fenestration, raising of ridge, second floor rear extension with rear dormer and 4 roof lights to facilitate a loft conversion – (PA 19/00290/FULL)
    We were unhappy about the raised roof ridge and the structure being out of keeping with neighbouring properties. Refused

 Letters written after April meeting

  1. Avanti 98 Peascod Street Windsor SL4 1DHconsent to retain alterations to shop front, further works to re-paint shot front and new signage – (PA 19/00683/LBC)
    We were very unhappy about several aspects of the alterations to this Grade II listed building which was formerly Wellington Public House. Demolition of parts of the façade without Listed Building Consent caused particular concern. Pending
  2. Windsor Physiotherapy, Essex Lodge, 69 Osborne Road Windsor SL43EQ – demolition of existing building and construction of a new building comprising 10 x two bedroom and 2 x one bedroom flats and associated parking alteration to existing access and new bin enclosure – (PA 19/00916 FULL)
    We were concerned about loss of this heritage asset on this prominent site and the design and lack of landscaping of the proposed development which are not in character with the area. (See below) Pending
  3. 35 Park Street, Windsor – consent for the partial removal of chimney breast at ground floor level and removal of existing cupboards to accommodate new kitchen unit – (PA 19/00842/LBC)
    This is a listed building in an important street in a conservation area. We were very concerned about the proposals and the seeming lack of proper process. Pending

 B  Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters

  • 9–11 Imperial Road – outline application for 2×2 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. Permitted
  • 207 St Leonard’s Rd. – demolition of outbuildings, 2 storey extension and conversion of resulting building to 4 x one bedroom dwellings – (PA 18/03181)
    Concern about lack of parking and resulting vehicle movements on already busy, congested road – B3022 Still Pending
  • The Sebastopol, 137 Clewer Hill Road, SL4 4DW – demolition and construction of 6 x 1bedroom and 3 x 2bedroom apartments – (PA 18/03360)
    A previous application was refused. We have no objection to the idea but thought the design rather bland and uninspiring for a significant corner site. Permitted
  • Squires Garden Centre, Maidenhead Road, SL4 5UB erection of 39 dwellings, creation of new access off Maidenhead Road and provision of parking, internal circulation, public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure – (PA 18/03754)
    We requested that the hedgerow and trees bordering the A308 be maintained, in particular 2 oak trees, and that the large block on the corner be of less bland design and complement the neighbouring ‘Willows’ buildings. Withdrawn
  • Meejana, 1 Church Lane, Windsor SL4 1PA – re-painting of building, installation of 2 awnings, replacement door and shop window (retrospective) Consent to display illuminated and non-illuminated signage, menu board and vinyls – (PA 18/03665)
    We supported this application both in terms of the proposed paint palette and the replacement door and windows. Refused

 C  Letters have also been written about the following:-

  1. Essex Lodge, Osborne Road, Windsor – (PA 19/00916/FULL)
    We became aware of the latest application for this site sometime after our April meeting and have now submitted our objection to the proposed demolition and erection of 12 flats. Essex Lodge features on the list of Non-Designated Heritage Assets we compiled in collaboration with the WNP Forum, and with support from RBWM Conservation Officers and advice from Historic England. The Victorian Society, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, WNP and local residents have also written to oppose the loss of this significant Victorian landmark, and it is hoped a new application will be submitted to retain and redevelop the existing building. A proposal is also being put forward by the Victorian Society and SAVE to extend the Inner Windsor Conservation Area boundary to include Essex Lodge, which we support.
  2. Borough Wide Design Guide
    During March the Borough published a detailed Borough Wide Design Guide which, if adopted, will provide developers with detailed advice on what will and will not be acceptable in relation to the design of new developments in the Borough. Under the overarching themes of “Royalty” “River” and “Green”, the document covers a wide range of topics apart from just what buildings look like.  There are sections on open spaces, character, layout, scale, solar design, outlook, parking spaces and more.  The public consultation ran until 25th April and the Heritage and Environment Committee considered the guide at its April meeting and submitted comments.   While complimenting the Borough on the very detailed document we also had some concerns and a number of detailed queries and suggestions for changes.  The Guide will now be revised in the light of comments and presented to Cabinet for formal adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document.
  3. Windsor Business Quarter 67 Alma Road – (PA 18/00095 – PA 18/60072 / NONDET)
    We have written requesting Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) for trees on the site of the former Imperial House. The reply we received suggested that we wait and trust the developer. We are very unhappy about this but will wait until the Planning Inspector issues his report on the proposed development of this site.
  4. The Cockpit, Eton High Street(PAs 15/02783 & 15/02786)
    We wrote to the developer enquiring about the lack of progress and resulting impact on the building and Eton High Street. The courteous reply said that progress should begin shortly now that some difficulties had been resolved.

D  Other Items of Interest:

  • Windsor Neighbourhood Plan
    After five years in the making the final draft of the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan (Regulation 15 Submission Version) was delivered to RBWM Town Hall on 18th April. The Council will now undertake a final consultation on the main document and its appendices* before appointing an Examiner who will consider whether the correct process has been followed with respect to the formation of the Plan; if any further revisions are considered necessary; and whether the Plan can now proceed to a Public Referendum. If the Plan is successful at the Referendum stage, it becomes what is termed a “made” Plan and will carry legal weight in planning decisions. Over the next few months, the Committee and Forum will also be starting to put together the WNP implementation and delivery strategy.
    *Appendices to the Plan: 1- Glossary; 2- Committee and Forum members and WNP roles; 3- Urban Open Spaces List; 4- WNP Design Guide, incl. General Guide, Areas, Shop Fronts and Parking; 5- Local Viewing Corridors; 6- Non-Designated Heritage Assets List; 7- Windsor Extracts from RBWM Townscape Assessment

 Imperial House Appeal Inquiry

  • In 2018, the Imperial House developers appealed against RBWM for non-determination (and refusal in January 2019) of their application for a mixed-use development for offices and 217 Buy-to-Rent flats. The Inquiry was held at Windsor Racecourse from 26th March over a six-day period, including several site visits. In addition to the Appellants (Salmon Harvester) and Defendants (the Council), a “Rule 6 Party” was invited to make representations on behalf of The Society and the local residents’ group. Several H&EC and WNP members, residents, Councillors and planning officers also attended, some speaking as objectors, citing the proposal’s overbearing scale, mass, bulk, height and insufficient on-site parking provision. The Inspector’s Report is expected in May.

Our popular Royal Albert Institute Music Event takes place on Wednesday 5th June at 7.00pm for 7.30pm in the Flitcroft Room at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park. This year the concert will feature the exciting young quartet Improviso who have been exploring historically informed improvisation and 17-18th century chamber music together since March 2017.

Due to the slightly larger venue this year we still have some tickets left for the event. Tickets are priced, as last year, at £20.00 for members of The Windsor and Eton Society and £22.00 for non-members and include a glass of wine. 

One of the highlights of the Society’s year has been our 73rd Annual Dinner, held in the Guildhall. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and members and guests sat under the double portraits of the young Queen and Prince at tables named after the Queen’s nine children, an interesting alternative to numbered tables. Among our guests were our President, Sir James Perowne and Mrs Perowne; the Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough, Cllr. Paul & Mrs Lion; the High Sheriff, Graham Barker and his wife and our Guest of Honour Sir Jonathan Marsden. After the toasts Sir Jonathan gave us a different view of Queen Victoria in an entertaining talk about the Queen’s portraiture, her writing, and how often she attended the theatre. This highlighted the Queen’s and Prince’s joint influence on the art and culture of the country as a result of their marriage. He also talked about his project of recording all the sculptures in the Royal Collection which is nearing completion.





 An enjoyable meal, loosely following a menu of 1816, was provided by Fiona who coped very well with the vagaries of the kitchen. The room looked splendid and thanks go to Valerie Butler who did the flower arrangements.


Thursday 11th April 2019 – Bowood House, Calne
We left Windsor on a cold but sunny morning and after an excellent journey arrived at Bowood House in record time. We started our visit with morning coffee and biscuits and then were free to explore at our leisure for the rest of the day. Bowood House is home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne and is filled with a wealth of unique art and antiques. The Orangery is now a gallery displaying parts of the Lansdowne Collection of paintings and sculptures and the Sculpture Gallery contains three important pieces from the 18th century collection of classic marbles, as well as two 16th century Brussels tapestries. The collection of over 5,000 books in the Library are the remnants of libraries at Lansdowne House and Bowood, and alongside the ante room to the Library is Joseph Priestley’s laboratory where he discovered oxygen in 1774. The Bowood collection of watercolours includes works by David Roberts, Edward Lear and also one of Turner’s earlier paintings of Malmesbury Abbey. There is also an amazing collection of Napoleonic treasures including a bronze death mask of Napoleon. The gardens are glorious and the House is surrounded by 2,000 acres of Grade 1 listed ‘Capability’ Brown parkland. There is a mix of plantations and sweeping lawns leading down to a mile long lake, Italian inspired terrace gardens and the herbaceous border surrounding the Georgian house. The 36 members who took part in this visit enjoyed the day which included uninterrupted sunshine.

Thursday 13th June 2019 – Cirencester & Rodmarton Manor
Our first stop will be in Cirencester where there will be time for lunch before we go on the short journey to Rodmarton 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. If any members are still deciding whether or not to take part in this visit, there is still capacity for 3 or 4 more members

Monday 14th October 2019 – Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes
Explore, experience and enjoy the once top-secret world of iconic Codebreaking Huts and Blocks set within an atmospheric Victorian estate. Bletchley Park is a nineteenth-century mansion and estate near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, constructed in the Victorian Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque styles during the years following 1883 for the English financier and politician Sir Herbert Samuel Leon. During the Second World War, the estate housed the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and among its most notable early personnel were the GC&CS team of codebreakers including  Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander and Stuart Milner-Barry.

In February our Chair, Margaret Lenton, gave a most interesting talk based on her on-going research into the people who were involved in Bletchley Park. This was an extraordinary time and the dedication and skills of these people were pushed to the limit to unravel the Enigma Code. Bletchley Park is an interesting place to visit.

Paul Sedgwick, the Deputy Ranger of the Windsor Estate, spoke to us in March. We learnt the true facts of how the estate is run and heard of the widespread, varied and unique wildlife that abounds there, much of it not seen by the public. We also learnt of the number of ancient trees, the diseases they are susceptible to, and the programme of nurturing new species to replace those that succumb. It was sad to hear that the biggest threat to the estate is from the many people who enjoy this wonderful area; partly due to their numbers putting stress on the environment but also because they leave huge amounts of litter and also bags of dog mess. We are so very lucky to have the park as a beautiful place to enjoy and a great deal of hard work goes into keeping it looking the way we love it.

Our final meeting in April was preceded by the Committee’s reception for new members, and early arrivals for the talk joined us in a glass of wine and some nibbles. The talk on The Battle for Cookham Commons 1790-1852 was given by Keith Parry from the Maidenhead Heritage Centre. It gave us an insight into the amount of common land that existed several centuries ago, its importance to rural communities of the period, and the economic and political threats to its existence. It was also interesting to see the changes to the relative sizes and importance of Cookham and Maidenhead over the years.

Future Meetings
Our next season of talks begins on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 8pm when the speaker will be Wendy Hermon from Swan Support. Please put this date in your diary and further details of the venue will be available nearer the date.

Changes to the Society’s website have been made over the past six months to include photographs and more information about forthcoming talks, visits and events.

The Committee decided to make our most recent Newsletter available on our site, but allowing a short period for members to receive it before it is made available in this way to the general public. Previously each newsletter had been available on the site only when the next one was sent to members.

Over the coming months it is hoped we can link our site to comparable organisations within Windsor and Eton to attract a wider audience.

There is always a thirst for news of events, talks and items of interest within or about our community, and we ask all members to contribute potential postings for the Website by emailing Malcolm Leach, Website Editor.

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WANTED  FOR THE WINDSOR & ETON SOCIETY                         


The Society needs a Treasurer to succeed the current holder of the office, Chris Simon, who has done a great job for us over several years. Please can you help? You do not need to be a qualified accountant but what is required is common sense and attention to detail.  Duties include receiving and making payments on behalf of The Society, making reports of the financial situation to the quarterly committee/Trustees’ meetings, the Charity Commission and preparing the accounts for the annual audit. The current Treasurer is leaving the Society’s accounts in very good order. 

The Society also needs a Secretary. Although we have a temporary replacement, we will need someone in the future. Might you be able to assist us? The role involves taking minutes for the quarterly meetings and distributing papers to the committee, assisting the Chair with compiling the Annual Report, helping to arrange the AGM, and sending e-mail communications to members. As with the Treasurer what is needed is common sense and attention to detail.

If you are interested in either of these positions and think you can help, please contact Margaret Lenton by e-mail or phone.

The Society’s membership now stands at 347 members. The committee would like to welcome four new members who 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 and please advise us if your email address changes so our records remain up to date. The Annual Report is still sent to members by post.

Meet Our Website Manager – Malcolm Leach
Malcolm has been part of the Eton community since 1986 as a business owner and, more recently, as a resident. As a painting restorer he is deeply involved in the understanding and preservation of our historical past and feels that the antiquarian engravings, watercolours and oils of Eton and Windsor that he works on give him a wonderful historic reference to the buildings and landscape of the towns, and an insight into ways of life that are now long gone.

As an Eton business owner Malcolm was an active member of the original Traders Association, and later a founding member and Chairman of the Eton Community Association. The ECA has been instrumental in challenging planning, development, infrastructure and environmental issues in Eton as well as creating cultural and social events for members of the community. He is still involved with ECA as Treasurer.

In 2014 Malcolm became an Eton Town Councillor, involving him in a wide range of local issues with the opportunity to be instrumental in safeguarding Eton’s heritage and progressing the town with a sympathetic and informed eye. He feels that his position as business owner and resident places him in a special position to see both sides of the discussions relating to the personal and commercial community. Whilst a Town Councillor’s power is very limited, they do have a voice within the RBWM, and Malcolm has always believed you need to be actively involved to make a difference.

Malcolm and his wife, Katie, live off the High Street and enjoy the wonderful pubs, restaurants, shops and theatre facilities which are within easy walking distance and they make use of the easy transport access to London for various events. Eton College plays a huge part in Eton life and they have many friends within this close, wider community.

Eton is a special and a major part of Malcolm’s life, which is why he decided to become part of the Windsor & Eton Society last year. He feels privileged and delighted to be a small part of a group dedicated to preserving and nurturing our heritage.

Windsor Town Forum – The next scheduled meeting is on Thursday 18th July 2019 at 6.30pm 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

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