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Incorporating Windsor Heritage

NEWSLETTER No 88   November 2019

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Recently, on 14th October, we had the last outing for 2019 to Bletchley Park. It was a pity about the weather, but the visit was enjoyed, and thanks are owing to Rosemarie for her meticulous planning.

The season of talks has begun and a record number of members came to hear about the Military Knights.  Philippa always manages to secure such a varied programme.

We have held the AGM and I was able to thank all the Trustees for their work. We said goodbye to Chris Simon and thanked him for his outstanding work as Treasurer, and we welcomed his successor Fred West. We heard a presentation about the work of the Heritage & Environment Committee given by Anne Taylor and Alison Logan, who has prepared such a valuable list of heritage assets. 

There are two dates for your diaries – our Annual Dinner is to be held on 21st February 2020 at Windsor Guildhall, and on Wednesday 11th March 2020 we are hosting a lecture at 7pm at The Garrison Church/Holy Trinity. Next year we, as a country, will be remembering the end of the Second World War in Europe and in the Far East, so our main events are therefore based around this theme. There are further details of both of these in this newsletter and a booking form for the Annual Dinner is attached. Please do come and support these events


Our Annual Dinner 2020 will be held in Windsor Guildhall on Friday 21st February and our Guest of Honour will be Geoffrey Pidgeon.  As a former MI6 officer he played a pivotal role in the D-Day landings and was the youngest member of the Secret Intelligence Service when he joined in1943. As well as setting up wireless communications for the Normandy landings in June 1944, he undertook covert missions across the Channel and at RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire, known as Winston Churchill’s “most secret airfield”. Those who read the Times newspaper on 29th October will have seen that Geoffrey has recently been awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government.

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.

AGM 2019

The 73rd AGM of the Society was held on 21st October 2019 in the Upper School at Eton College. 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. Chris Simon, the retiring Treasurer, was given a small presentation in recognition and thanks for his 10 years of service to the Society

At the end of the business meeting members were given a presentation about the work of the Heritage & Environment Committee by Anne Taylor and Alison Logan. Anne, the Chair of the H&E Committee, began the presentation by outlining the process by which they look at and respond to Planning Applications, and she stressed that the committee has members with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. A rota of members checks the RBWM weekly list of planning applications, a letter to RBWM is written when deemed necessary, and the process is then monitored. Members of this Committee also meet quarterly with the RBWM for important round table discussions on matters affecting local heritage and the environment. Alison Logan then talked about the compilation of the Local Heritage Assets List and explained that whilst many local buildings are listed or are in the Conservation Areas, much of the local heritage currently has little or no protection. The Non-Designated Heritage Assets List (or Local Heritage List) has been created by the Committee, with special input from Alison, to try and provide a degree of protection. There are now about 150 assets on the register, a third of which came from previous Conservation Appraisals. It is hoped that this Local Heritage List will help to protect the assets by drawing attention to them during the Planning Application Process. As RBWM currently do not have the resources to take over the Local Heritage List it is the intention of the Committee to continue to update it and there is a possibility that it might be attached to the Neighbourhood Plan.

The evening concluded with some time to socialise whilst enjoying light refreshments.


The Society is inaugurating an Annual Lecture, the first of which will take place on Wednesday 11th March 2020 at 7pm at The Garrison Church/Holy Trinity, Windsor. The lecture will be given by James Holland, an English historian, author and broadcaster who specialises in the history of World War II and who, along with his brother, was identified by the Economist as one of the leading historians of his generation.

Please put this date in your diary. There will be a small ticket price and more details will be available in the February Newsletter


The committee have been looking at the usual number of varied applications, and updates on our communications are given below.

More importantly, however, we would encourage members to look at the latest version of the Borough Local Plan, details of which can be found at https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/blp There are some significant amendments including using the front car park at King Edward Hospital (the area with the statue) for housing.

Unfortunately the public meetings in Windsor will have taken place before you receive this newsletter but we encourage you to get involved. The final date for comments is 15th December.

A  Planning Applications

Letters written after August meeting

Squires Garden Centre, Maidenhead Rd, Windsor – Erection of 37 dwellings etc – (PA 19/01755/FULL)
We raised objections on the basis of poor standard of amenities for occupants of some flats eg no outside space, rooms with no natural light. And lack of internal space.
Pending  – amended in Sept.

 Sir Christopher Wren Hotel – part 3 storey/part 2 storey rear extension etc following demolition of existing building – (PAs 19/01900/FULL and 19/01901/LBC)
We requested an on-site meeting with the architects which enabled us to understand the plans and the vision more clearly.

Trinity Wildlife Garden –
We sent comments on these plans but were disappointed not to have received notification of this proposal when it was first activated at the beginning of this year.
New plans adopted

 34-35 Thames Street, Windsor
We have expressed concern about the state of this building, the lack of progress with works and the detrimental effect it has in this highly sensitive location opposite the Castle in the town centre.

There were no letters written after September meeting

Letters written after October meeting

6&7 Market Street, Windsor – consent to repaint shop front with internal alterations to the ground floor – (PA 19/02359)
We were happy with the original paint colour but did not feel the amended colour was suitable.

 Windsor Dials, Arthur Road, Windsor SL4 1RS alterations to the existing roof structures to create an additional office floor, creation of new entrance lobbies and core areas and refurbishment of the elevations and public realm to buildings 1 and 2 Windsor Dials – (PA 19/02416)
Our main concerns are the adverse impact of the size on neighbouring buildings and inadequate parking provision.

 32 Peascod Street, Windsor SL4 1EA – consent to paint shopfront window frames and wooden soffits including new advertisement – (PA 19/02497)  
We have written to Tesco asking if they would reappraise their façade designs in order to maintain some of the character of Peascod Street, quoting their shops in Winchester and Richmond as good examples.

 The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, 10 – 11 Castle Hill, Windsor SL4 1PD – repainting of the window frames, exterior of the building and addition of 3 banners – (PA 19/02530)  
This is a key listed building in a prominent position and we were concerned that some aspects of the proposal were inappropriate

 Harte And Garter Hotel, 31 High Street, Windsor SL4 1PQ – consents for single awning and gold lettering – (PAs 19/02628, 19/02630, 19/02631)  
There were various concerns that the developments for this prominent listed building seem to lack cohesion.

 Sel Et Sucre, 7 Church Street, Windsor SL4 1PE – repainting of existing building and shop front, new signage and addition of a step to main entrance. Replica warrant to be refurbished and relocated on front elevation -(PAs 19/01393/FULL, 19/01364/LBC and 19/01394/ADV)
We were very unhappy about the altered position of the plaque which is a recognised feature of this building.

B  Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters

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 – (PA 19/00991/FULL)
Our concerns were exactly as mentioned for the March application PA 19/00210

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 – (PA 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.

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.
Refused – Now to Appeal 19/6009

114 – 116 St Leonards Road, Windsorproposed 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.

207 St Leonards Road, Windsor 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

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
Pending to panel

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


This event on 27th August was organised in conjunction with the Friends of Holy Trinity Church. It was well attended by members of both organisations and a number of guests, who enjoyed an entertaining evening followed by refreshments. Unfortunately one of the speakers was unable to attend at quite short notice, but Margaret Lenton, our Chair, did a sterling job as a “stand-in” and gave an interesting talk on Prince Albert’s background and his considerable contributions to the national life of this country. Brandon Mudditt from Holy Trinity Church spoke about Prince Albert’s links with the church, where he laid the foundation stone. Both talks were interspersed with music from the period. An organ recital was given by Robert Jones, a Windsor resident and former lay clerk of St George’s Chapel, who is currently Director of Music at St Bride’s Church, London, and who plays the organ for Maidenhead Choral Society and the Taplow Youth Choir. Three songs composed by Prince Albert were performed by Robert’s son Orlando, a former Head Chorister at St George’s Chapel and currently a music student and co-director of the College Choir at Christ Church Oxford.


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.


Monday 14th October 2019 – Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes

Despite the inclement weather 33 members enjoyed the visit to Bletchley Park. How this site has changed since it was first rescued by the Trust which now runs it! We had a brief talk from a member of staff on arrival and there was good written and audio information, including a film about people who worked there, their various jobs and how they had to live and work in great secrecy. Members were able to visit the Hall, which now contains rooms recreated to show Alistair Denniston’s Office and an exhibition celebrating the life of Bill Tutte, who broke the Lorenz machine code used by Hitler to communicate with his Generals. Key huts show where code-breaking took place and members commented upon the basic conditions and the gloom caused by blackout and the brick surrounds to guard against bomb damage. The later buildings have exhibitions celebrating the life of Alan Turing and showing many aspects of the work there including Japanese translation. There are surprising displays such as that showing the contribution that pigeons made to winning the Second World War, particularly as Bletchley Park had a loft. There was plenty to see, though no one had time to venture into the Museum of Computing, and many said they would have to return. All in all, a day which demonstrated what a collection of geniuses can achieve when using their brains in the service of their country to break the codes of the Axis powers and Japan, which the enemy thought impossible. Everyone enjoyed the day and it is a tribute to Rosemarie that, even in her unanticipated absence, everything ran so smoothly.


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, looking for a country retreat in Kent, saw its potential, and had the style, imagination and funds to carry out the necessary modifications.


Our first talk of the season in September was Swan Support. Wendy Herman and one of her colleagues gave a very informative talk on the work the charity does to protect these magnificent birds on our stretch of the Thames. It is hard to understand the mind-set of people who deliberately want to harm them, and we were shown some graphic pictures of the injuries that some swans have been subjected to – shot wounds as well as tangled fishing lines caught in their beaks or round their necks.

The Military Knights Tale was the title of our October meeting and Colonel Barrie Firman & Colonel Charles Webb, two of their number, gave a very entertaining and informative talk on the history of the Military Knights of Windsor. This group of twelve retired army officers live within the walls of the castle and represent the Garter Knights during the services in St George’s Chapel. Many people will have seen them but do not really know what their important and historic role is today.

Our November talk was given by Fergus Bain on “Fire Insurance Signs and their relevance to social history”These metal plaques marked with the emblem of the insurance company which were affixed to the front of insured buildings as a guide to the insurance company’s fire brigade and were used following the Great Fire of London until municipal fire services were formed. We were able to see actual examples of these from his collection, as well as pictures of the machines and equipment used to fight fires, which seemed grossly inadequate by today’s standards.


Thursday 5th December – 3.00pm – Gardeners’ Hall

David Jenkins will speak on “The history of the Order of St John, the Order in England and its connections with the Royal Family and members of the Order of the Garter”. The symbol of the Order, a white eight-pointed cross on a black background, is an international symbol of first aid. However, the eight-pointed cross was also worn on the robes of those first Brother Knights in the hospital in Jerusalem, and it has remained unaltered through the centuries, as an enduring emblem of humanitarian care, and of a charity that dates back almost 1000 years.

Thursday  9th January  – 3.00pm – Gardeners’ Hall

Richard Poad will tell us the story of The Dunkirk Little Ships as 2020 is the 80th anniversary of that historic event.

Thursday 6th February – 3.00pm – Gardeners’ Hall

Canon John White will talk about The Grotesques of St George’s Chapel”. The College of St George has been working in partnership with the City and Guilds of London Art School in establishing an imaginative carving programme to produce exciting new grotesques for St George’s Chapel. The replacement sculptures aim to reproduce the scale and detail of the original mediaeval conception, whilst allowing students the opportunity to be inventive in designing new carvings. The new grotesques replace heavily eroded Victorian ones, which themselves replaced medieval carvings of unknown design.


We have 343 members of the Society which represents a decrease of 3 members since the last newsletter. The Committee would like to welcome two new members:

Former Chairman Dr John Long is moving to be near his daughter in Wiltshire. He has contributed much to this Society and we wish him contentment in his new home.

Some 150 members receive their newsletter by email and the committee would like to encourage more members to receive it by this method as this saves the Society a considerable amount of time and money. If you happy to do this then please let Sue Wells know. This does not affect receipt of the Annual Report which is still sent to members by post. Members are also asked to let Sue Wells know if you change your email address so that our records remain up to date.


Following the AGM details of the President, Trustees and Councillor Representatives of the Windsor and Eton Society for 2019-2020 are as follows:

PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY:      Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE

Chair                                   Mrs Margaret Lenton
Vice Chair                          Mr Chris Aitken
Secretary                           Vacant
Treasurer                          Mr Fred West
Mr James Clark
Mrs Janet Dawson
Mrs Philippa Johnson
Mr Malcolm Leach
Mrs Anne Taylor
Miss Sue Wells
Miss Rosemarie Wood

COUNCILLORS:   To be advised

We are still in need of someone to take on the role of Secretary. If you think you might be able to consider this position and would like more information please contact Margaret Lenton.


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, the Agenda and dates of future meetings when available, can be accessed through the RBWM website http://www.rbwm.gov.uk


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.

New Testament Studies; St Mark’s Gospel – 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 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