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Incorporating Windsor Heritage

NEWSLETTER No 87   August 2019

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At the time of writing this for the Newsletter, the Society will have finished its Summer expeditions and be looking forward to the Autumn/Winter series of talks to be held at Gardeners’ Hall and Upton House School.

My husband and I were able to attend the two visits, always well-organised by Rosemarie. We have another treat in store with the visit to Bletchley Park in October.

The talks arranged for the Autumn/Winter season offer members an interesting and varied programme which I hope will enthuse our membership. They cater for many tastes.

We are looking at how we can communicate better to the wider community what the Society has to offer. We already use e-mail to communicate with members and now look to include Twitter. However, we do understand that some members do not have access and they will not be left out, and where we use modern methods of communication we need to ensure that these are kept fully up to date. We plan to hold new events and these include an annual lecture, the first to be held in March at a prestigious venue, and an appropriate guest lecturer is being sought.

One of the Society’s principal committees is the Heritage and Environment Committee. This includes members who understand planning rules and law and the committee considers all planning applications made to the Royal Borough. This is such an important aspect of the work of the Society; we do not seek to disown all modern architecture but to preserve the character and heritage bequeathed by our predecessors, and we now have a well-prepared list of heritage assets. We have asked the Chair, Anne Taylor, with members of her committee to talk about this work at our AGM on 21st October so that all members are kept fully briefed.

This year we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the births of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. In conjunction with Windsor Festival and The Old Court many members attended Queen Victoria’s Desert Island Discs on 24th May. On 27th August at 6pm we will, in conjunction with the Friends of Holy Trinity Church, hold an event to celebrate the birth of Prince Albert (one day late). This will take the form of a talk about the Prince, organ music and maybe a song composed by him, and a talk by a member of Holy Trinity about the link with the church where he laid the foundation stone.

We now have a date for the Annual Dinner 2020, Friday 21st February at the Guildhall, Windsor. Our guest will be Geoffrey Pidgeon, who worked with Bletchley Park and helped equip the Special Liaison Units which travelled with the commanders in the field in Europe and the Far East, relaying intelligence. This will fit with the commemoration of the end of the Second World War and the later 8th May Bank Holiday to celebrate VE Day.

Catherine Sutton is acting very ably as our temporary Secretary and I am personally very grateful to her, but we are still seeking a Treasurer to replace Chris Simon our very competent current occupant of the post who is retiring in October.

I hope to see you at as many of our events as possible.


The AGM of our Society will be held in the historic Upper School, Eton College at 8.00pm on Monday 21st October 2019. We are again very grateful to the college for allowing us to meet in such prestigious surroundings. After the formal proceedings there will be a short talk followed by the usual refreshments

As we approach this important event in the Society’s calendar members are reminded that subscriptions for those who do not pay by bank standing order are due for payment on 1st October. 


The ever popular Royal Albert Institute Annual Music Event took place on Wednesday 5th June in the Flitcroft  Room at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park.

This year the concert featured the exciting young quartet Improviso and they delighted the audience with a programme including Teleman, Bach and a series of brilliant improvisations. This vibrant group, who have recently gained a number of awards for innovation and have performed in the Wigmore Hall and on Radio 3, had everyone enthralled by their unique and stylish performance. The concert was an unusually engaging musical experience and everyone left on a real high.

We had a full house with every ticket sold. Our challenge now is to repeat this very high standard next year—which we intend to do 


A  Planning Applications

Letters written after April meeting

  1. Ruddles Pool, Maidenhead Road, Windsor SL4 5TW – part change of use of dwelling (C3) to a place of worship (D1) with new vehicular access and associated car parking – (19/00906/FULL)
    We did not feel that this site, in the green belt and on the banks of the river, was an appropriate site for the proposed development and we were also concerned about parking issues.

 Letters written after May meeting

  1. Mercure Castle Hotelconstruction of third floor to provide an additional 30 guest bedrooms with associated passenger lift(PA 19/01183/FULL & 19/01184/LBC)
    As we had done in a previous application for this site we requested a ‘green wall’ for the side of the building backing on to Bachelors Acre
  2. 114 – 116 St Leonards Road, Windsor proposed barrel roof with 3 dormers to provide additional flat following demolition of plant room – (PA 19/01025/FULL)
    This was a revised application and we were still unhappy that the additional floor and its unusual design were inappropriate in this setting.
  3. Thames Court, 1 Victoria Street, Windsor SL4 1HB – consent to erect non-illuminated hoarding along the northern and part of the eastern elevations of the site and for an internally illuminated crane lightbox (PA 19/01165 FULL) We consider an illuminated light box to be inappropriate in a Conservation Area and detrimental to the character and amenity of the wider area.
    Permitted but with no lighting as we requested
  4. 151-153 Clarence Road, WindsorReserved matters application (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) pursuant to outline planning permission PA 17/02566/OUT (allowed on appeal) for demolition of 151-153 Clarence Road and construction of a 3 storey building with accommodation in the roof and associated car parking and landscaping [25 April – Amended design and scale. Floor plans, elevations and site plan have been amended] – (PA 18/03584/REM)
    These were amended plans and we were unhappy about the additional height .
  5. Tapas Revolution, 18 Thames Street, SL4 1PL – painting of shopfront and alterations to existing awning (retrospective) and consent to retain the internal alterations for the WC and bar area, painted shopfront and alterations to the awning (retrospective) – (PAs 19/00872/FULL & 19/00873/LBC)
    This is a Grade 2 listed building. Alterations have already been carried out without permission and we requested that the building be reinstated.
  6. Enzo’s,  83 – 84 Peascod Street, Windsor SL4 1DH – consent to install new fascia lettering following removal of existing fascia sign, re-paint shopfront including first floor window frames – (PA 19/01068/LB)
    We were happy about the new colours and fascia treatment but had concerns about some of the documentation.
  7. Wagamama, High Street, Windsor – Change of use to provide external seating area and associated display of windbreak advertisements – and consent to display non-illuminated windbreak/banner adverts – (PAs 19/01059/FULL & 19/01060/ADV)
    This is proposed within the entrance to Royal Windsor Station and we expressed concerns for several reasons.

Letters written after June meeting

  1. Nell Gwynn Restaurant, 6 Church Street, SL4 1PEconsent to upgrade the existing mechanical, electrical and plumbing services ,internal alterations to the first and second floor bathrooms, internal joinery repairs to floors and decorative mouldings, new slate hearths, replacement of the rear ground floor roof to include 2 roof lights and the repair of the existing window to the kitchen – (PA 19/00848/LBC)
    We enquired about the progress of restoration of this building following partial collapse in late 2016.
  2. 32 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1EA – consent to display 1 x internally illuminated projecting sign, 2 x non illuminated fascia signs with vinyl lettering, 1 x internally illuminated fascia sign, 1 x non illuminated wall mounted sign and frosting to window – (PA 19/01404/ADV)
    We consider the signage inappropriate in front of a Grade 2 listed property and in its location.

Letters written after July meeting

  1. S G Autopoint 437-441 St Leonards Road, Windsor SL4 3DTconstruction of 50 bedroom hotel – (PA 19/01513/FULL)
    We are still unhappy about the amount of traffic this would generate and the architecture of the proposed building
  2. Site of Former 61-63 Dedworth Road, Windsor SL4 5AZ (Mahjacks site) – mixed use development with retail unit at ground floor and 13 apartments above, with access, car parking, servicing and landscaping following demolition of existing buildings (Part Retrospective) – (PA 19/01714)
    Our objection was based on the poor standard of amenities in this proposed over development of the site.
  3. 23 Hatch Lane, Windsor SL4 3QY single storey side extension (Retrospective) – (PA 19/01353)
    We considered this proposal to be discordant within this area where it is also opposite a listed building.


B  Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters

  1. Windsor Business Quarter 67 Alma Road – (PA 18/00095 – PA 18/60072 / NONDET) 
    As an appeal had 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 was scheduled to be held at the Windsor Racecourse on 26th March 2019.
    Appeal upheld
  2. 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. Also requested that the extra parking space should be available for use at public events at the college.
  3. 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.
  4. 56 – 57 Sir Christopher Wren Hotel, Thames Street, Windsor SL4 1QW – change of Use from Class A3 to function/conference room to be operated in conjunction with existing hotel facilities – (19/00991/FULL)
    Our concerns were exactly as mentioned for the March application PA 19/00210
  5. 8 Black Horse Close, Windsor SL4 5QP – variation under Section 73a to planning permission for PA 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)
  6. Avanti, 98 Peascod Street, Windsor SL4 1DH – consent to retain alterations to shop front, further works to re-paint shop 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.
  7. 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)
  8. 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.
  9. 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


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 contacting Malcolm Leach, Website Editor.


Thursday 13th June 2019 – Cirencester & Rodmarton Manor
We left Windsor on a cool and damp morning and after an easy journey we arrived in Cirencester. As usual everyone headed for suitable coffee shops!  We had until 1.30pm to look round the town and to have lunch, whilst avoiding the short sharp showers. We then went on to Rodmarton Manor, a supreme example of a house built, and all its furniture made, according to Arts and Crafts ideals. Rodmarton 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 built and furnished the house for Claud and Margaret Biddulph, were responsible for the revival of many traditional Cotswold crafts which were in danger of dying out. The building was given Grade I listed status in 1952 and has been described as the single best example of the Arts and Crafts movement. Our guides were very informative as they conducted us through the long hall, drawing room, library and formal dining room. They told us that the library was originally a ballroom which was regularly used for performances, though the formal dining room was not often used due to its distance from the kitchen. Unfortunately we were unable to visit the upstairs rooms as they were in the process of
being rewired. We finished our visit with delicious cakes, tea and coffee and the 36 members who took part in this visit all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable and successful day.

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.

New Entries

Tuesday 21st April 2020 – Rye and Great Dixter House & Garden, East Sussex
Rye is a small town two miles from the sea at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. Rye was to become part of the Cinque Ports Confederation in 1189, and subsequently a full member. One of the oldest buildings in Rye is Ypres Tower, which was built in 1249 as “Baddings Tower” to defend the town from the French, and was later named after its owner, John de Ypres. Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm over 40 years of writing books and articles. Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, it is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.

Tuesday 16th June 2020 – Leeds Castle, Kent
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 was looking for a country retreat in Kent. She saw the castle’s potential and had the style, imagination and funds to carry out the necessary modifications.


Our new season of talks begins on Wednesday 11th September at 8pm at Upton House School when Wendy Hermon from Swan Support will give a talk on the work of this organisation. Their swan rescue centre treats and cares for sick and injured swans within the Thames Valley and surrounding areas and Swan Support are also passionate about educating the public with regards to the detrimental effect human behaviour and carelessness can have on swans and other water birds.

The full programme of talks for this season is included with this newsletter.


The Society’s membership now stands at 346, a decrease of 1 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.
Sadly, Dorothy Massey (nee Burch), one of the oldest members of the Society, died at the end of June. She was a member of the Society from its inception, had served on the Committee, and will be remembered by many long-standing members. 


Windsor Town Forum 
The next scheduled meeting is on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at 6.30pm in Grey Room, York House, Windsor. Minutes of previous meetings, and dates of future meetings when available, can be accessed through the RBWM website http://www.rbwm.gov.uk

Windsor WEA’s new courses will be starting again in September. All are very welcome to attend these Tutor based classes and the full brochure is available from Windsor Library and other local libraries or on the WEA website.

London’s Smaller Art Galleries

Tutor Dalila Castelijn

Literature: Finding A Voice
Tutor John Still 

New Testament Studies; St Mark’s Gospe
Tutor Jeremy Hurst
What Have the Europeans ever done for us?
The influence of art from the continent of Europe on British Art – Tutor Sandra Smith
Literature: Problems of Love and Identity
Tutor John Still.

The Architecture of Spain and Portugal
Tutor Keith Hasted

Literature: Poems and Short Stories
Tutor John Still

All classes are at Windsor Youth and Community Centre, Alma Road, Windsor SL4 3HD

Saturday 19th October 2019 – 9.45am to 3.45pm
Impressionism in Britain ,   Tutor – Sandra Smith
St George’s School, Windsor Castle SL4 1QF

Saturday 22nd February 2020 – 9.45am to 3.45pm
Capability Brown,    Tutor – Adam Smith
Upton House School, 115 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor SL4 3DF.

Booking is by phone 0300 303 3464 or online supportservices@wea.org.uk.

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