THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 101 May 2023
NOTE FROM OUR CHAIR
I have written two letters on behalf of The Society; one to the King congratulating him on his Coronation and our pleasure that he has become the Ranger of the Great Park, particularly in view of his long-held environmental credentials and the other to the Duke of Edinburgh, saying how delighted The Society was that he had been elevated to his father’s Dukedom and how much those present appreciated his presence at the Facelift presentations.
The Trustees took the opportunity to say thank you to Alison Logan for her work as Secretary of the Facelift Committee. A small group of members has done further work in the Heritage Garden and planted more flowers. The Heritage Garden has to be kept as a showcase in Windsor and not be allowed to deteriorate. In addition, later in the year there is work required in the Remembrance Garden and around the Charles Knight grave. Volunteer gardeners would be very welcome.
At the time of writing, the Coronation will be next weekend 6th May. The Society is holding a celebration tea on Saturday 17th June at the Castle Hotel with Hugo Vickers as guest speaker. We hope he will tell us more about 6th May and put this Coronation into context with its predecessors. There are still a few tickets left.
A number of members went to Kelmscott to visit the home of William Morris. It was a delightful morning and we had the house to ourselves. Thank you to Anne Taylor who organised this visit, stepping into the breech in place of the late Rosemarie Wood. Anne has recently resigned as a Trustee and The Society has so many reasons to be grateful to her for the roles she has fulfilled including Chair. I am very grateful for the wise advice she has given me when I considered a course of action.
The Trustees after careful consideration are moving our afternoon talks from Gardeners’ Hall to The Old Court in Windsor. We have been concerned about the quality of presentations in Gardeners’ Hall and The Old Court has up to date equipment as well as not being at the mercy of bright sunlight. We have so far had two events at The Old Court, our AGM, and Music Evening, both of which attracted favourable comment. The evening talks will continue to be on Zoom and Philippa is well advanced on putting together her usual interesting and varied offers to our membership.
I shall be watching the Coronation at home and then in Wraysbury we have a picnic on the Memorial Ground on the Sunday, and an event on the Monday showcasing the village organisations which require volunteers. 70 years ago, I watched Queen Elizabeth being crowned on a 9 inch TV screen in a television that my father had made with numerous valves. It was the late Duke of Edinburgh who insisted on the TV coverage despite the opposition of Sir Winston Churchill.
FACELIFT 2022 – LEGACY
To build on the achievements of the 2022 Facelift and value the work that was undertaken there is an ongoing commitment to maintain the gardens. A small group met in the Heritage Garden on Saturday 22nd April to tidy it and plant some additional flowers in readiness for the King’s Coronation. The plants and bulbs put in last autumn are all doing well and the garden is well used and much appreciated by residents and visitors alike. There will be further information in due course about volunteering opportunities
Report on Outing to Kelmscott Manor on 5th April 2023
Although it was a showery day 35 members enjoyed a most interesting visit to this home of William Morris. On arrival we were given coffee and biscuits and heard a short talk about Morris: his work, family and time at Kelmscott. The house was furnished with many of his hand-crafted items and the room guides were extremely helpful. After an excellent cold lunch and a visit to the church by some members we took a rather circuitous route back to Windsor. Members enjoying the gardens
If you are applying for two outings, please send a separate cheque for each visit.
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.
About 30 members have already booked but there are still places available
(The booking form accompanies this Newsletter)
Tuesday 19th September 2023 – Kingston Bagpuize House, near Abingdon. Applications for this must be received by Friday 8th September.2023
Cost – £36 per head. This includes coach fare, entrance to the house and a tip for the driver.
Since Saxon times there has been a manor at Kingston though sadly the records are not complete enough to allow a full history to be established. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror granted the Manor to Henry de Ferrers. It was then leased to Ralf de Bachepuis whose descendants remained at Kingston for over 200 years. By the time of their departure in the late 1200’s the Manor was known as Kingston Bachepuis, now anglicised to Kingston Bagpuize.
After a brief ownership by Lord Ebury, the house was sold in 1939 to Miss Grace Charlotte Raphael. On her death in 1976, it was bequeathed to her only niece, Jean, Lady Grant, widow of Sir Francis Grant, 12th Baronet of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire. Leaving Scotland in 1979, she lived here with her second husband, the late Lord Tweedsmuir, until 1995 when she gave the house and gardens to Francis, her second son. Today, following Francis’ premature death in 2003, it remains the home of his wife and children.
When Miss Raphael moved from London in April 1939 into her new home, Kingston House, she was already planning a new garden. Sir Harold Hillier, was one of the notable plantsmen who gave Miss Raphael advice and his nurseries provided most of the trees and shrubs planted between 1949 and 1974. The gardens continue to be planted with areas to commemorate family and national events and there are many lovely shrubs and trees.
(The booking form accompanies this Newsletter)
THE WINDSOR & ETON SOCIETY / ROYAL ALBERT INSTITUTE ANNUAL MUSIC EVENT
‘MUSIC FOR A WHILE’
On March 1st our Royal Albert Institute Annual Music Event was enjoyed by an audience of about 80 members and guests at The Old Court. Counter-tenor Tim Travers-Brown and soprano Susan Piggott, entertained us with a varied and entertaining recital of songs and duets by Purcell, Handel, Mozart, Schubert, Rossini, Gershwin and Novello, accompanied on the piano by Luke Bond. After the concert the audience had the opportunity to socialise with both the artistes and each other over a glass of wine and nibbles.
In March James Vivian, Organist & Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, gave a talk about the St George’s Chapel Choir. He began by explaining about the early beginnings of choral music in St George’s Chapel. From 1348 there has been tutoring of boys to sing in some of the services. Over the years the number rose and fell until today’s number of 23, now including three girls. James highlighted several of the most notable Directors of Music over the years whose music has become well known and loved by many: John Marbeck, Sir George Job Elvey, Sir Walter Parratt, Sir Henry Walford Davies and Sydney Campbell to name but a few.
Our April talk was by David Baskerville, a volunteer with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, who gave us a very informative account of this organisation. He told us how the first air ambulance, a hot air balloon, helped rescue injured people from the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. Thames Valley has one helicopter which, with the backup fleet of five critical care response vehicles fitted with the same advanced medical equipment, can have up to nine callouts a day in the Thames Valley area. From its base at RAF Benson the helicopter is able to reach a scene anywhere in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire in just 15 minutes whilst the cars are based strategically around the area. The doctors and paramedics in both helicopter and cars undertake extensive training to be able to treat a whole range of injuries and can now, with the equipment they have, treat casualties at the scene. As well as saving lives they provide an aftercare service continuing to help those they have treated. There is an excellent web site which is well worth looking at.
Members who have attended the talks in Gardeners’ Hall will be aware that since the addition of skylights and new glass doors to the car park we have been unable to make the hall sufficiently dark to see the speakers’ visual presentations. This situation is unsatisfactory for both speakers and audiences and has been raised with the managers of Gardeners’ Hall, but there is no plan to provide blinds to improve the situation. The Trustees, therefore, after careful thought about the options, have decided to move our afternoon talks to the Old Court. The benefits of this venue are the better seating, which is tiered and more comfortable, it has good acoustics, provides a dark space for viewing slides and we do not have to set up or clear away furniture. There is also the option for members to remain on after the meeting and socialise over tea and coffee in the lounge area. We realise that the downside is the lack of a car park or on-street parking, but there are car parks within a reasonable distance and buses that service the town centre. We hope that members will understand that we are trying to provide a better experience when you attend the talks, and also to be fair to our speakers.
HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT
Platinum Jubilee Facelift.
The Platinum Jubilee committee had one more meeting after the Platinum Facelift Awards Ceremony event to close that part of the project. There has been more work undertaken in the Heritage Garden including more planting around the bench area and weeding of the rest of the garden which took place in April. This is an ongoing project and plans are being made to continue this regularly. This will involve encouraging more volunteers to get involved.
Windsor Yards Development
Following the second meeting with members of the HEC the developers revised the plans which were submitted. This removed one of the additional two storeys proposed for the Travelodge. The committee then studied the additional documents of the submitted application very carefully and although we support the development, we were still a little concerned about the additional storey of the Travelodge hotel. This was discussed and a further letter was sent to planning.
Quarterly Meetings with the Borough to be reinstated
The HEC had the first of these meetings, as reported in the last newsletter, but unfortunately the next meeting was not arranged before the Local Election period. We will be engaging with officers to sort the date for the next meeting after the elections have taken place.
The RBWM are embarking on a Heritage Strategy which would then lead to an Action Plan. We are hoping to be involved in this project.
Letters written after the April Meeting
8 College Crescent, Windsor, SL4 3PG – part single, part two storey front/side extension, two storey rear extension, solar panels, raising of the ridge, 1 rear dormer and alterations to fenestration – (PA 23/00645/FULL)
These plans were inspected, and it was thought the height was out of keeping and the design incongruous.
Andrew Yard, 48 High Street, Eton, SL4 6BL – consent for repairs to roof of main building – (PA 23/00768/LBC)
Concerns raised over the change of name from The Cockpit to St Andrews Yard and it was agreed to advise RBWM of this. The Society is happy to see the works being carried out properly and hopes that they continue.
Land Adjacent The Hatch and South of Maidenhead Road and North of Windsor Road, Water Oakley, Windsor – reserved matters (appearance, layout and sale) pursuant to outline planning permission 22/00934/OUT for the erection of up to 135 new dwellings, areas of public open space including play spaces and pocket allotments, together with associated landscaping, car parking, footpath/cycle connections and vehicular access onto Maidenhead Road – (PA 23/00582/REM)
Letter sent regarding, design, layout, positioning of the affordable housing units, amenity spaces, gated areas etc.
19 Longbourn, Windsor, SL4 3TN – erection of a single storey granny annexe ancillary to the main dwelling – (PA 23/00491/FULL)
It was agreed to tweak the previous objection letter and resend.
Land Bounded by Willow Path and The Limes and Windsor Road and Dedworth Road and Oakley Green Road, Oakley Green, Windsor – outline application for access only to be considered at this stage with all other matters to be reserved for the construction of up to 320 new homes, land for a Special Educational Needs(SEN) school, a multi-functional community building alongside an area of strategic open space including play spaces and orchard planting together with associated landscaping, car parking, footpath/cycle connections and vehicular access on to Dedworth Road, following demolition of existing structures – (PA 22/01354/OUT)
Letters written after the March meeting
Windsor Yards re-development – (PA 22/02893/FULL)
This application was discussed again in the light of the recent photographs taken, the developer’s response and additional papers submitted. It was agreed that all would view the additional papers after which a letter was sent. This went to April’s Management Panel and was permitted but the final letter is not on the website yet.
Handelsbanken, Independent House, William Street, Windsor, SL4 1BA – (T1 and T2)Cherry – fell and grind out stumps (004/1994/TPO) – (PA 23/00417/TPO)
It was agreed that the TPO should be enforced – letter of objection sent.
Land at 20 Firs Avenue, Windsor – the erection of 1 end of terrace 4 bedroom dwelling with associated parking (PA 23/00420/Full)
It was pleasing to note that Highways require more parking. It was agreed to draft a letter supporting this requirement.
Church Street Garden – There is a serious problem with rodents in this area and a letter was sent to the Borough seeking input to resolve this.
Letters written after the February Meeting
On footpath outside 113 Peascod Street, Windsor – Installation of BT Street Hub and associated display of advertisement to both sides of the unit following removal of BT infrastructure; Consent to display 1 internally illuminated Street Hub with double sided digital screens – (PA 23/00176/FULL – 23/00175/ADV)
The plans were discussed and it was agreed that a strong letter of objection should be sent.
Old Beams, 1 Roses Lane, Windsor, SL4 4JU – detached annexe ancillary to the main dwelling following the demolition of the existing outbuilding – (PA 23/00129/FULL)
The plans were inspected and this separate building is in a very cramped space and ignores the character of the adjacent NDHA. There will also be parking issues in this very narrow lane.
Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after the January 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 September Meeting
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 requesting 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
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 PD rights to extend are removed otherwise the owners could extend again.
Letters written after the July Meeting
Mezze Grill Kitchen, 98 Peascod Street, Windsor – signage application (PA 22/01367/22/01375/22/01376)
New plans added January 2023
A very warm though belated welcome to Sheila Chaudhuri and Liz Anderson, whose names were missed in the last Newsletter. We have 301 members and extend a warm welcome to 7 new members:
It is good to see friends of members coming on board, sometimes as a result of attending our events and being invited to join our outings. We offer excellent value for the subscription fee, and there are always events to look forward to. Please continue to spread the word!
It is also good to keep in touch with you by phone, letter and e-mail. Please let me know if you have any queries on your membership.
Most of you now have a Standing Order set up for your subscription, which is a great help for administration. If you don’t already have one, please e-mail or phone me, and I will send you a form. It means I will never again have to chase you for money! (Unless you are very organised, it is easy to forget that subs are due on 1 October).
The Gift Aid Scheme provides valuable income for the Society, and has now risen to around 83 per cent of our membership ! 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.
MEET YOUR COMMITTEE
Meet our Secretary, Anne Casson
Anne was born in Highgate, North London, to parents who had come to the UK from Buenos Aires for their further education and then to support Britain in the war. Her home always had an international feel to it; perhaps this is why Anne enjoys travelling so much. Anne met her husband, John, in Oxford and after that moved around the country with her three children and an adopted son with Cerebral Palsy, as John followed his career in education. Anne too was a teacher, whose real interest was developing Religious Studies Departments in a variety of schools around the country. She is still deeply interested in the development of faith.
On retirement, Anne and John moved to Dartmoor to renovate an eleventh century manor house and its large, south-facing but neglected garden. This was a work of love culminating in the garden being open to the public. For family reasons, they moved back to Highgate and sold the house to the local historian, Ian Mortimer. It often features in his popular history books.
In London, with a grandson a chorister in St Paul’s Cathedral, Anne was able to indulge her passion for the music and art on offer in the capital. She continued her involvement in church work, this time with the Diocese of London. Their son, working in Eton, suggested John and Anne move nearby. They have not regretted this decision and enjoy getting to know the wonderful people and opportunities in Windsor.
Windsor Town Forum – The next 2 meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 31st May and Tuesday 18th July, both at 6.30pm. The meetings are scheduled to be virtual meetings on line but please check nearer the dates. 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