THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 100 February 2023
NOTE FROM OUR CHAIR
At the time of writing, we are looking forward to the final act of our Platinum Jubilee Facelift celebration, when we hold the Prize Giving for winners of those who did most to decorate their premises. We are honoured to be welcoming Prince Edward on 6th February to the Castle Hotel. I am grateful to all those who took part and, in particular, the Facelift Committee which organised our activities. It was a pleasure to work with them as the meetings concentrated upon what needed to be done and delivery. We have a photographer present so it should be possible to record the highlights of this award ceremony for members to view.
I would like to mention our Secretary for the Facelift Alison Logan who, amongst a wide range of activities, minuted meetings and ensured that the plants put into the Heritage Garden were watered during last summer’s drought. Please, if you are in the Windsor Conservation Area, visit this garden in Church Street and see the Platinum Jubilee Bench, plus the plaque which is due to be installed to record The Society’s work.
We are continuing to hold talks at Gardeners’ Hall, but we are concerned to ensure that members can see the screen because the lack of adequate blackout creates problems seeing the presentation when it is sunny. We did, for the presentation about clocks at Windsor Castle, record the talk and we will evaluate the result.
Chris Aitken has organised a Musical Evening at the Old Court on 1st March which promises to be a superb event with quality musicians and ensures that we replicate a regular feature of previous annual programmes. Hopefully, you have reserved your tickets.
The Committee are thinking about what The Society might do to celebrate the Coronation on 6th May and we are considering holding a tea at the Castle Hotel. Please look out for further details when the event is finalised. Information is gradually filtering out about what is planned nationally, with Windsor Castle hosting a concert bringing into the town people from across the UK.
We are delighted that King Charles is becoming a regular visitor to Windsor and that he, building upon his lifelong interest in conservation and climate change, has taken on the role of his late father as Ranger of Windsor Great Park. The Prince of Wales and his family are now resident in Windsor and have been seen at local venues. Windsor and Eton values its close links with our senior royals.
MEET OUR NEW PRESIDENT
Lt Gen (Retd) Phil Jones CB CBE DL – Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle
Phil Jones served for 36 years in the British Army, departing the Service as a Lieutenant General. With over 15 international operational deployments, including three secondments to the UN and two to NATO in leadership roles, he gained operational experience in most of the major military campaigns of the past 30 years, including serving for over 3.5 years in Afghanistan. Senior positions included Brigade Commander in Northern Ireland, Military Advisor to the UN in Afghanistan, Military Attaché in Washington D.C., Director of the ISAF Force Reintegration Cell leading on the reintegration of former Taliban fighters, the first Chief of Staff of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, and Chief of Staff of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Command for Transformation.
On retirement from the Army in 2016, together with some old friends, Phil founded Othrys Limited, an ethical risk and resilience management consultancy. Phil was the company’s first Managing Director. He is also the Chairman of the Army Benevolent Fund, the British Army’s national charity, and he is a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Suffolk.
In May 2022 Phil was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to be Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle where he now lives with his wife Denise. Phil and Denise have two grown-up children: Emily and Tobia
THE WINDSOR & ETON SOCIETY / ROYAL ALBERT INSTITUTE ANNUAL MUSIC EVENT – WEDNESDAY 1ST MARCH
‘MUSIC FOR A WHILE’
Our popular Royal Albert Institute Annual Music Event will re-emerge after Covid on Wednesday 1st March at 7.00pm for 7.30pm in the Old Court St Leonards Road Windsor. This year the concert will be a recital of songs and duets by Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, Gershwin and Novello, performed by counter-tenor Tim Travers-Brown and soprano Susan Piggott, accompanied on the piano by Luke Bond.
If you have not yet ordered your tickets there are a few remaining, priced at £20.00 for members of The Windsor and Eton Society, £21.50 for non-members, and the price includes a glass of wine. An application form can be found on The Society’s website, or to check availability please contact Chris Aitken on email@example.com
Our Outings Programme restarts after 3 years with outings in April and June, the application forms for which are enclosed with this newsletter. Please note that if you are applying for both outings you need to send a separate cheque for each visit.
Wednesday 5th April 2023 – Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade
Applications for this must be received by Friday 17th March
(Kelmscott require final numbers and payment before 22nd March)
Cost – £48 This includes coach fare, entrance to manor, tea/coffee on arrival, cold buffet lunch, introductory talk and a tip for the driver.
Kelmscott Manor was the country home of William Morris – poet, craftsman and socialist – from 1871 until his death in 1896. The manor was reopened in April 2022 after a major restoration project undertaken by the Society of Antiquaries. The house contains a collection of his possessions and works of Morris and his associates, including furniture, textiles, carpets and ceramics. Visitors can explore all three floors of the manor, including the attic spaces which would originally have been used for farm labourers. Morris’s bedroom contains many of his original books, and a collection of Dürer prints. Other rooms display furniture from Red House in Bexleyheath, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith and other family homes. There are also further works by Rossetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The garden includes many old trees, including a very old black mulberry at the rear of the house. The front garden is walled with a summer house in one corner, and both the wall and the summerhouse are Grade II listed. William Morris named both his London residence “Kelmscott House” and the “Kelmscott Press” that he founded, after Kelmscott. He was buried in the village churchyard in a tomb designed by his friend and colleague Philip Webb.
Thursday 15th June 2023 – Leeds Castle, Kent
Applications for this must be received by Wednesday 7th June 2023
Cost – £36 This includes coach fare, entrance to the castle and a tip for the driver.
Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and in the 21st century it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain. The resulting New Leeds Castle has externally changed little today and was finished by 1823. Unfortunately, the cost of the rebuild caused Wykeham Martin financial difficulties and he was forced to sell the contents of the Castle at auction, but his son Charles, with the help of his wife’s substantial dowry, was able to rebuild the family fortune. When the Wykeham Martins acquired land at Hollingbourne in 1895, Leeds became one of the largest private estates in Kent. By 1925 the family was forced to sell the property to pay death duties and it was acquired by the Anglo-American heiress the Hon. Olive Paget, then Mrs Wilson-Filmer, who, looking for a country retreat in Kent, saw its potential, and had the style, imagination and funds to carry out the necessary modifications.
For your diary
Tuesday 19th September 2023 – Kingston Bagpuize House near Abingdon, visiting Dorchester on Thames en route with time to visit the abbey and have lunch.
(Application form will be with the May newsletter)
In December, Theresa Haggart, Chair of our H&E Committee and also one of the Windsor Ambassadors, gave a talk on the important work the volunteer Ambassadors do during any crowded event in Windsor. The team, developed from those recruited for the 2012 Olympics, not only help the police but are ‘there’ for people, answering questions, directing them where to go, pointing out the nearest facilities, places to eat etc. They have been particularly busy this year with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and Her late Majesty’s funeral. During the lead up to the funeral they were on duty asking the people bringing flowers to dispose of the wrappings to facilitate their eventual composting and during the procession along the Long Walk they kept an eye on the crowds. Windsor is very lucky to have such a dedicated team working behind the scenes.
Our January talk, entitled ‘Windsor Castle, its clocks and their makers’ was given by Fjodor van den Broek, Horological Conservator for Windsor Castle. Fjodor started at the beginning of the history of clocks in the Castle and the local people who had made and maintained them. One of the most prominent was the Curfew clock which in its present form was made by John Davis, a local blacksmith, in 1689 and later maintained by Dysons. Another earlier blacksmith turned clockmaker was John Tresilian (1478) whose metalwork in St George’s Chapel shows the skills used are very similar to those needed for clock making and the term clocksmith came into use. The large turret clock looking over the Quadrangle was made by Benjamin Vulliamy (1780-1854). These two important clocks still keep time today.
In February Graham Barker, Chairman of the Windsor Platinum Jubilee Celebrations organising committee, spoke about the planning behind the events, telling us also of one or two mishaps in the course of achieving a most fitting commemoration of a unique event. He paid tribute to the many people who had been involved in what was often some complex planning to make the event such a success, among the highlights being the parade of 70 cars and the Long Lunch on the Long Walk. In turn, as a member of that committee Chris Aitken paid tribute to Mr Barker’s chairmanship.
Both the January and February talks were recorded as a trial of giving members who cannot attend in person the opportunity to view the talks at a later date.
- Thursday 9th March 2023 – 7pm – Zoom
St. George’s Chapel Choir – a talk by James Vivian, Organist and Director of Music at St. George’s Chapel
- Thursday 13th April – 7pm – Zoom
Thames Valley Air Ambulance – a talk by Ruth Dunkin, Head of Community and Events TVAA
These are the last talks of our 2022/23 season, the new season will start in September
The Facelift Project marked its conclusion with a celebration and award ceremony for over 100 guests at the Castle Hotel on the evening of Monday 6th February. We were honoured that His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex accepted The Society’s invitation to attend. His Royal Highness met the Facelift Committee and distinguished guests, including the Mayors of The Royal Borough and of Eton and presented the Facelift awards. After the award ceremony, His Royal Highness spent over half an hour chatting to guests. It was a relaxed and enjoyable evening and we have had many messages saying what a good time was had. Photographs of the winning entries and of the event will be able to be viewed on the W&ES website.
HRH The Earl of Wessex meets Margaret Lenton, Chair of W&ES;
Lt Gen Phil Jones, Constable & Governor of Windsor Castle;
Christine Bateson, Mayor of RBWM
The major prize-winners were:
- Best window display – in Windsor, Fat Face and in Eton, A Dog’s Life;
- Best building improvement – in Windsor, The Ivy Brasserie and in Eton, 122/3 High Street;
- Best floral display – in Windsor, The Duchess of Cambridge and in Eton, The Henry VI;
- Best public realm improvement – in Windsor, The Heritage Garden project and in Eton, The Queen Elizabeth Arch.
While we have come to the end of the Facelift project itself, the Heritage and River Street Garden renovations and the Queen Elizabeth Arch will be lasting reminders of the hard work and efforts of the many volunteers who helped to deliver both the Jubilee displays and these more permanent improvements. We still have a plaque to install in the Heritage Garden to commemorate the revival of the garden and the generous SEGRO donation which made it possible, and there will be a small ceremony to unveil this later in the spring. We seem now to have assumed responsibility for keeping these gardens looking good and we hope that Members will continue to support this effort.
It just remains to thank all those Members whose support, physical or financial, contributed to the success of the project. The Facelift Committee could not have done it without you.
Thanks go to Alison Logan, Secretary of the Facelift Steering Group for this report
Photo is copyright and courtesy of Gill Heppell
HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT
Platinum Jubilee Facelift.
The Platinum Facelift Awards Ceremony took place on 6th February at the Castle Hotel. Alison Logan’s report is also in this newsletter .
Windsor Yards Development
Members of the HEC had a meeting with the developers to discuss the proposal. The committee then studied the documents of the submitted application very carefully and although we support the development, we were a little concerned about the additional two storeys of the Travelodge hotel. A further meeting has taken place and we requested further photographs of views etc. We await these and will discuss this further at our next meeting.
Quarterly Meetings with the Borough to be reinstated
The HEC has had the first of these reinstated meetings, setting out some of the issues that concern us. This included lack of planning observance in the Conservation Areas, litter and fly tipping in Church Street, and lack of Enforcement. The RBWM are embarking on a Heritage Strategy which would then lead to an Action Plan. It was agreed that The Society’s guide to businesses, that was produced in collaboration with the Conservation Officer for the Platinum Jubilee, would be sent to the Borough. This would then be available for prospective new tenants of the shops and businesses to guide any plans for alterations before any planning application is submitted. We are due the next meeting this month.
Vision for Windsor Workshop Public Realm
There has not been any further information published regarding this, but we hope that the report and any proposals are ready for consultation again soon.
Letters written after the January 2023 Meeting
Windsor Yards re-development – (PA 22/02893/FULL) – These plans had just been submitted but it was agreed that a response from The Society was required. Letter sent regarding the additional two floors on the hotel.
Former Windsor Garden Centre, Dedworth Rd, Windsor – details required by Condition 23 (biodiversity enhancements)of Planning Permission 20/01145/FULL for the demolition of existing buildings and structures and construction of a Class A1 discount food store (PA 22/03278)
Letter sent regarding lack of required documentation
18 Bexley Street, Windsor, SL4 5BP – basement extension, new front bay window, part single, part two storey side/rear extension, rear glass veranda, new roof to the rear with raising of the eaves, alterations to fenestration, new boundary walls and a detached outbuilding (PA 22/03373 FULL)
9A High Street, Windsor – two storey rear extension and alterations to existing ground floor to create 2 additional residential dwellings, new access to basement, alterations to fenestration and to existing car park spaces following demolition of existing two storey rear extension (PAs 22/02649/FULL & 22/02650/LBC)
The plans were inspected and proposed timber cladding seemed out of place
Letters written after the December Meeting
84 Gallys Road, Windsor, SL4 5RA – garage conversion, subdivision of the property into two semi-detached dwellings and new dropped kerb (PA 22/03086/FULL)
Letter sent regarding the amount of parking.
High Street, Windsor, SL4 1LB (formerly Woods of Windsor) – consent for internal alterations and change of use to the ground floor to accommodate a food shop and bubble tea takeaway (PA 22/03086 LBC and 22/03184/FULL)
3 Keepers Farm Close, Windsor, SL4 4JA – 2 front rooflights, hip to gable, 1 rear dormer and side gable window (PA 22/03078/FULL)
We felt the drawings were very poor, sketches without dimensions/seemingly not to scale. Rooflights and dormer design very questionable.
Letters written after the November Meeting
Avida, 49 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DE – change of use of Class E (Commercial, Business and Service) to Sui Generis (Laser clinic) (PA 22/02401/FULL)
26 Upcroft, Windsor, SL4 3NQ – single storey front extension, part single, part two storey rear extension and 1 rear dormer to accommodate the loft conversion (PA 22/02883/FULL)
We felt the large rear dormer was over dominant and needs to be smaller on main part of roof.
Refused December 2022, new application submitted January 2023
Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after the October Meeting
28 Alexandra Road, Windsor, SL4 1HR – 2 new rear dormers and 3 front rooflights (PA 22/02484/FULL)
Plans inspected – It would appear to have too many front roof lights for the area.
19 Longbourn, Windsor, SL4 3TN – erection of a single storey granny annexe ancillary to the main dwelling (PA 22/02540/FULL + 22/02541 Certificate of Lawfulness)
Plans inspected and it was considered not suitable for this location, too close to a neighbour’s fence, trees would be damaged, incongruous and the locations plans are very poor.
PA withdrawn and Cert of Lawfulness Refused
199 St Leonards Road, Windsor, SL4 3DR – 1 front rooflight, two storey side extension with gable roof, 2 rear dormers, 1 rear Juliet balcony and raising of the existing chimney following the demolition of the existing single storey side element (PA 22/02536/FULL)
The plans were inspected, and it was agreed that suitable matching materials ought to be used to complement the existing.
Letters written after the September Meeting
38 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HJ – single storey rear extension, 1 side and 1 rear dormer and alterations to fenestration (PA 22/02024/FULL)
It was agreed it was a pity the chimney and feature bay windows would be gone.
110 Tinkers Lane, Windsor, SL4 4LP – subdivision of the existing dwelling to create 2 dwellings, single storey side/rear extension, new outbuilding and alterations to fenestration (PA 22/01894/FULL)
A letter was written requested that ‘Permitted Development Rights be removed to ensure that there could be no further extensions to these buildings without full Planning Permission.
Letters written after the August Meeting
Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Unit 60 & 61 Windsor Royal Station, Jubilee Arch, Windsor, SL4 1PJ – consent to display 4 internally illuminated fascia signs, 1 externally illuminated projecting sign and 2 non-illuminated banner signs (PA 22/01953/Advertisement Proposal)
It was believed that this was in the strictly controlled area of the station so letter of objection sent.
58 Gallys Road, Windsor, SL4 5RA – replacement dwelling with 1 rear outbuilding (PA 22/01867FULL)
Letter sent regarding a condition on the need to ask that the Permitted Development rights to extend are removed otherwise the owners could extend again
Letters written after the July Meeting
Santander, 97 Peascod Street, Windsor – consent to display 1 non-illuminated awning, internally illuminated fascia sign and 1 non-illuminated projecting sign / new shop front, awning and signage (PA 22/01562/22/01561) Refused
Jones Bootmakers, 133 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DW – consent to display 1 internally illuminated projecting sign to the front elevation and internally illuminated fascia signs to the front and rear elevations / alterations to the shop front including new and replacement signage to the front and rear elevations and installation of rear wall-mounted air-conditioning units (PA 22/01536/ADV & 22/01535/FULL)
Mezze Grill Kitchen, 98 Peascod Street, Windsor – signage application (PA 22/01367/22/01375/22/01376)
New plans added January 2023
Letter written after the January 2022 Meeting
Alfred Cottage, 286 Dedworth Road, Windsor, SL4 4JR – subdivision of the existing dwelling to create 2 dwellings to include relocation of the front door and two storey rear extensions, removal of existing chimneys, alteration to fenestration, allocated refuse and bicycle storage and alteration to existing vehicular access following demolition of existing elements (PA 21/03654)
This is a NDHA, a statement had not been submitted and there was concern that one chimney had already been removed. With the additional two dwellings on this site it was thought that the area was being over-developed and that the proposed works to this property would remove all redeeming features. Objection letter sent.
Letter 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.
MEET YOUR COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee are extremely pleased to welcome Anne Casson as The Society’s new Secretary. Recruitment to this key post is never easy and we are grateful to Anne for stepping into the gap that has existed since Jonathan Palmer stepped down at the AGM.
WINDSOR TOWN FORUM – The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 20th March, at 6.30pm in the Grey Room, York House. The schedule of meetings for May onwards is not yet on the RBWM Calendar. 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
We have 296 members and extend a warm welcome to 8 new members. It is great to have new members joining at a time when we are opening up with more talks and visits in 2023. Unfortunately we have lost 3 members owing to non-payment of subscriptions.
Most of you now have a Standing Order set up for your subscription, which is a great help for administration as it saves me chasing people for cheques, cash or transfers! If you haven’t already set up a Standing Order and can consider this, please e-mail or phone me, and I will send you a form.
As you know, the Gift Aid Scheme provides valuable income for The Society and three quarters of our membership participate in this scheme. If you are a UK tax payer and have not yet made provision for us to claim tax relief on your subscription, please do contact me: Katie Broady, Membership Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is good to keep in touch with members by phone, letter and e-mail. Please let your friends know about us – I am here to help with any queries about joining The Society or about your membership.
FROM THE EDITOR
In addition to all the milestones that have been reported on in this newsletter there is another minor milestone for The Society in that this is the 100th edition of its Newsletter. I am unsure if they were always issued quarterly, but 100 copies suggests at least 25 years of reporting to members on events and matters of interest. During Covid we missed one issue in May 2020 as we were all in Lockdown and had nothing on which to report or events to offer. I was quite surprised when I realised that personally I have been responsible for editing 41 editions in slightly over 10 years, having taken over from Anne Taylor as Editor when she became Chair of The Society in October 2012. The well written items that are sent to me by contributors and, in particular, their timely delivery make my job as editor relatively straightforward. However, I can imagine that editing the newsletter and getting it out for printing was quite a daunting task in its early days, when computers and software, let alone email, were less available and more difficult to use. I do not have any copies of the original newsletters but would be very interested to receive information about them.