THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 91 November 2020
NOTE FROM YOUR CHAIR
I apologise for the lateness of the Annual Report, which I delayed to wait and see what we would do about holding the talks and the AGM. Next year the Annual Report will contain larger print and be checked and re-checked. There have also been difficulties over printing.
At the time of writing we are looking at further months of restrictions because of Covid-19. We made the decision to use Zoom so talks could continue using the resources available to us, and I note the number of people listening is steadily growing. I realise that this leaves out those who do not have access to computers, e-mail or mobile phones and we are deeply sorry. If we went to Gardeners’ Hall we would be required to social distance and wipe down everything and we could only allow 30 members to attend, which is really not possible. In addition to our talks continuing, the Heritage and Environment Committee meets using Zoom thereby ensuring that Planning Applications are monitored and The Society makes its views known.
Thank you to everyone who returned their forms telling us whether they had e-mail or not and the Membership Secretary has been able to update her records as a result. I also value members whom I see in Windsor (socially distanced appropriately) who stop and make their views known.
We have had three remarkably interesting talks since September; one showing how aircraft are handled at Heathrow, one about the Savill Garden and one about Charles II’s Baroque Palace at Windsor Castle. Thank you to Philippa, who always comes up with a varied programme but who now also has to establish the speaker’s ability with Zoom, and thanks also to James Clark who acts as our Zoom Host.
It does not seem sensible to try and hold our 2021 Annual Dinner in February and this will be delayed until September. Our summer Royal Albert Institute Music Event is under review and we have provisional bookings for the outings that were cancelled last summer. We hope to hold an event in February, again using Zoom, in conjunction with the Chorleywood Book Shop when Tom Holland will talk to us about his research about D-Day and the subsequent campaign which liberated France. I zoomed into talks by authors during the virtual Windsor Festival and enjoyed the experience.
We have a new Chair of the Heritage and Environment Committee, Theresa Haggart, who is taking over from Anne Taylor, who will remain a Trustee. Anne’s considerable service to the Society in various roles was marked by appointing her as an Honorary Vice-President at the AGM as you will read in the report.
The 74th AGM of the Society was held on 26th October 2020 using Zoom. The meeting, attended by some 60 members, was chaired by our President, Sir James Perowne, and the necessary business of reporting and the election of Officers and Committee was undertaken. It was proposed by our Chair, and agreed by those attending, that Anne Taylor should be appointed as an Honorary Vice President of the Society in recognition of her many years of dedicated service as Chair of The Society, Chair of the Heritage and Environment Committee and as a Trustee and Executive Committee Member.
At the end of the business meeting our Chair, Margaret Lenton, gave members an interesting talk on George IV, as this year is the 200th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Meeting using Zoom meant that we unfortunately had to forgo the usual opportunity to socialise and share light refreshments.
A Message from our New Vice President
Dear Margaret, Sir James and fellow Committee members,
Thank you very much indeed for your very kind words at the W&ES AGM yesterday. I really appreciated your tributes which culminated in the honour of a Vice Presidency.
It seems a long time ago, 2005, when Gordon Franklin brought me on to the Committee to help with the Senior Schools Forum. As Michael Whatmough would tell you, this became very difficult and we finally ceased that aspect of the Society’s activities. I then edited the Newsletter for 3 years until 2012 when I became Chair. As you know, this role continued longer than anticipated and then I assumed the role of Chair of the Heritage and Environment Committee.
I think The Society has an important role to fulfil, particularly in the heritage, activities and future of Windsor and Eton and I am only too pleased to continue to support those who are now leading us into what may be a very different era for the towns.
Thank you all again, most sincerely
Four former Chairs of The Windsor and Eton Society.
From left to right: Anne Taylor, Dr John Long, Michael Whatmough, Dr David Murray Bruce
Dr John Long CVO
It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Dr John Long CVO. John was Chairman of The Windsor and Eton Society from 1990 to 1998. He was a learned and conscientious man and during his time leading The Society he initiated the Senior Schools Forum to which the five senior schools in Windsor and Eton would send a small team of Lower Sixth pupils to give a presentation on a topic of local interest. These presentations would be given to members of The Society and all five teams would be rewarded with some monetary gift for their school provided by sponsors secured by John. He was Chairman when the Clewer Manor Area Planning Action Group was formed to raise public awareness about the redevelopment proposal for the site which had been occupied by Haileybury School, centred on a grade II listed building with 22 acres of parkland. Planning permission was eventually granted for the site, now Longbourn.
Such was John’s deep and characteristic modesty that his invaluable foresight and pro-active efforts on behalf of The Society to seek and secure listing for Clewer Manor (just months before the start of the campaign) was only revealed several years later. He and Gordon Franklin, who succeeded him as Chair, were at the inaugural quarterly meeting of The Heritage and Environment Group with RBWM. Clewer Manor was an agenda item. Those meetings have continued since that time.
Perhaps John’s greatest legacy to The Windsor and Eton Society is the small book, “The First Fifty years of The Windsor and Eton Society”. Together with Beryl Hedges and with contributions from former Chairmen and Committee members he produced a concise record of events and activities of The Society from its inception in 1946.
Outside his distinguished career with ICI Paints he will also be remembered as a sincere Christian gentleman who was a Methodist local preacher who worshipped in Windsor and for his work with St George’s House as Director of Studies and later, Warden.
Our condolences have been sent to his son and daughter.
It was also sad to hear of the death of Pamela Whatmough, wife of Michael Whatmough who was Chairman from 2004 – 2007. Pamela was a regular attendee at all Society functions and she provided a welcoming smile and great support when Michael was Chairman.
Our condolences have been sent to Michael and family
A PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Letters written after November 2020 meeting
20/02676/FULL – 22 Manor Road, Windsor SL4 5LP -Detached outbuilding ancillary to main dwelling
Letter written asking for a condition to be placed that the dwelling should be ancillary to the property and not a separate dwelling.
20/02747/FULL – 21 Grove Road. Windsor SL4 1JE – New dropped kerb, new front pier, and rear extension
Letter written asking for the dropped kerb to be refused as detrimental to the important historic property/terrace. Possible NDHA
20/02730/TLDTT – Telecommunications Mast At Junction of Vale Road and Shirley Avenue, Windsor – Application for determination as to whether prior approval is required for 1x 20m Phase 8 streetpole C/W wraparound cabinet on concrete base, 3 cabinets, 3 antennae and associated ancillary works
Letter written regarding the increased number of cabinets proposed and the siting adjacent to and within a few yards of balconies of a new development already given planning permission but not yet started.
The Guildhall – Letter written to Cllr Johnson regarding The Guildhall
Asking for a meeting to discuss the state of disrepair and the need for a ‘Conservation Plan/Statement or Maintenance Plan for the Guildhall’.
Alexandra Gardens – Letter written to Cllr Johnson regarding future plans for Alexandra Gardens.
Letters written after October 2020 meeting
20/02129/FULL – The Ridings, St Leonard’s Hill, Windsor SL4 4AT – Garage conversion including front and rear extensions, and new front boundary treatment with 2 automatic vehicular entrance and exit gates
Letter sent due to over development and potential damage to TPO trees.
20/02205/ADV & 20/02204/FULL/02204/FULL – Pure Spa, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor SL4 3BW – Consent to display 1 non-illuminated replacement fascia sign & change of use from Sui Generis to Class E
Letter sent as in conservation area and design of sign out of keeping.
20/02403/TCA – 27 Chaucer Close, Windsor – Fell a Maple tree
Letter sent requesting reason for the work.
20/01689/FULL – 22 Gallys Road, Windsor SL4 5QY – Relocation and new boundary treatment to facilitate the change of use of amenity land to private garden .
Letter sent as this is loss of amenity land.
20/02441/ADV & 20/02433/LBC49 – Thames Street, Windsor SL4 1PU – Consent to display 1 non-illuminated fascia sign & consent for new signage
Letter sent regarding repainting of the building and the signage of this listed building.
B Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after August 2020 meeting (held end of July)
(Appeal Refs: 20/60044 Planning Ref 19/01222/FULL and 20/60045 19/01223/LBC) Theatre Royal, 31-32 Thames Street, Windsor – Telecommunications Installation on theatre roof
We expressed concern about fire risk and also the weight of installations on the roof of a Grade II building.
20/01693/FULL – Cancer Research UK, 81 Peascod Street, Windsor – part 4 storey part 3 storey extension with undercroft to enlarge non-residential space at ground floor and create 3 flats at first, second and third floors, following part demolition of the existing building
No listed building application or Heritage Statement. Proposed building out of character to surroundings.
Letters written after July 2020 meeting
20/01291 – Auntie Anne’s, 12 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DU
We have many concerns about the signage and shop front in this Conservation Area in Windsor’s historic core
20/01239121 – Springfield Road, Windsor, SL4 3PZ – Construction of 3 dwellings etc following demolition of existing dwelling
This seemed an overdevelopment of the plot and would cause harm to the established character of Springfield Road.
Letters written after June 2020 meeting
20/01145 – Windsor Garden Centre, Dedworth Road, Windsor SL4 4LH – Demolition of existing buildings and structures and the construction of a Class A1 discount food store with associated access, car parking and landscaping
We expressed concern about the bland design, lack of landscaping and proximity to The Old Farmhouse.
Letters written after May 2020 meeting
20/0093 – Essex Lodge, 69 Osborne Road, Windsor, SL4 3EQ – Construction of 10 flats with associated landscaping, parking and bin store and alterations to the existing access, following demolition of the existing building
20/00719 – 8 Bexley Street, Windsor – Single storey front extension: Single storey rear extension, 1 rear dormer with Juliet balcony and alterations to fenestration, following demolition of the existing rear storey element
This was considered out of character with this Victorian Street, particularly through the addition of an external front porch and the widening of the front window opening.
20/0067937 – Alma Road, Windsor – Rear extension and conversion of building to create 5 flats
There was a similar application earlier this year to which we had objected and it was withdrawn. This is slightly amended but we expressed the same concerns about over development and impact on parking.
20/00663 – The Duke of York PH, 19 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor – Mixed use development comprising of a convenience store (A1) and 6 residential flats above with associated access, refuse and cycle storage, parking servicing and landscaping
We expressed concern about the mass of the building, the parking and access and various amenity aspects.
Letters written after April 2020 meeting
20/00366 – 34 St Andrews Crescent, Windsor – Hip to gable roof extension with 3 side dormers to provide additional habitable accommodation and a new side canopy
We considered the large box dormers to be excessive in size and to be visually unattractive in the road.
20/00464/5 – Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Castle Hill, Windsor – Repaint window frames and façade
Given the position of this building and its heritage we had several concerns about this application and, in particular, the colour selected
19/03351 – Thames Hospicecare, Pine Lodge Hatch Lane, Windsor
Drawings have been amended. We requested sight of these amended drawings
C Other Updates
Resignation of Anne Taylor as H&E Committee Chair
Anne Taylor has now stepped down as Chair of The Heritage and Environment committee and on behalf of the committee the new Chair, Theresa Haggart, would like to say a big thank you to her for all her hard work. Anne has ensured that the work the committee carries out is always done to a very high standard so that The Windsor and Eton Society’s voice is heard in areas of planning and historical importance in our two towns. Fortunately Anne will still be working as a committee member, which will be invaluable in maintaining continuity of the work undertaken.
Quarterly Meeting with RBWM Officers.
Due to Covid-19 this meeting has not taken place.
The Windsor Neighbourhood Plan
The WNP has passed the examination process and will go out for Referendum in May 2021. Although this has been ready for some months no voting could take place this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, therefore the earliest date is May 2021. The emerging WNP should have more weight now in planning matters, even though it has yet to go to referendum.
The condition of the Grade 1 Listed building is still of great concern and letters have been sent to the Leader of RBWM and Councillors asking for a meeting to discuss our concerns and to try to ensure its ongoing maintenance and preservation.
The original plan for our talks season was to hold just the first two talks using Zoom, but unfortunately the continuing concern about Covid-19 as we moved into Autumn, the associated restrictions, and now the current Lockdown have severely limited what can be organised. This has also impacted on our ability to realistically plan for future “in-person events” and so we have no viable alternative but to extend the use of Zoom for the foreseeable future. On a positive note this means that our talks programme has been able to continue and the talks to date have been well attended. We regret that whilst we cannot meet in a hall some members are not able to join the talks, but we will return to holding our talks in the usual way when it is realistic for us to do so.
Our September talk, the first of the new season, was given by Wing Commander Alan Clare, who spoke on Heathrow and what makes it work so smoothly. Drawing from his experience in air traffic control, Alan described to us the pilot’s procedure in taking the plane through what looked like a maze from the gate to take off and back again after landing. We were shown the map of the runways with all the numbers, signs & lights that guide a pilot through this maze. The reason for spacing between flights and for stacking was also explained. Whenever we fly again we shall have a much better understanding of what is involved in getting us safely into the air and down again!
In October John Anderson, the Keeper of The Savill and Valley Gardens, gave us a very interesting and beautifully illustrated talk about his work. Many of the members attending this Zoomed talk know the gardens well but we had our eyes opened learning of the history and background work that makes them so iconic. There are National Collections of several different species of plants from various parts of the world. Hearing of the planning for the future upkeep and care of these plants and trees was especially interesting as well as learning about propagating replacements to keep the most important species going and, as a safeguard, sharing them with other important gardens. We will now visit with added knowledge and are lucky to have, so close to us, such an amazing garden and whole of the Virginia Water area to lift our spirits.
In November Barbara Askew, whom we know well, told us about Britain’s Lost Baroque Palace – Charles II’s Windsor Castle. After reminding us of the turbulent early years of Charles II’s life (with the civil war, his father’s execution and exile on the continent), Barbara showed us wonderful pictures of parts of the Castle which were remodelled in Baroque style after the monarchy’s restoration. Three rooms remain much as they were designed by Hugh May at the time, but others were destroyed in subsequent rebuilding schemes. What a shame the Castle is closed, due to the second lockdown, and we are unable to visit again to refresh our memories.
- Thursday 3rd December – 3.00pm – Zoom Meeting
Grandma Flew Spitfires – a talk by Richard Poad on the forgotten story of courage, skill and sacrifice.
- Thursday 7th January 2021 – 3.00pm – Zoom Meeting
Hackney Carriages in Windsor, Past & Present – a talk by Rebecca Seear which was postponed when we went into Lockdown at the end of last season. The concept of a ‘Hackney Carriage’ (what we now call a cab or taxi) dates back to the first licences issued by Oliver Cromwell in 1654.
- Thursday 4th February – 3.00pm – Zoom Meeting
War Horses – a talk by Alan Carr
Dates for your Diary
- Thursday 15th April 2021 – Rye and Great Dixter House & Garden, East Sussex
- Thursday 17th June 2021 – Leeds Castle, Kent
We now have dates for these two outings which were postponed from last year. The visits will be dependent on the Covid-19 regulations in place at the time but, we will look forward hopefully. More details will follow in the February newsletter.
As mentioned in other sections of this newsletter, being able to access Zoom to run our talks programme and the AGM, as well as the Executive Committee and H&E Committee Meetings has proved an asset in helping The Society to function in these challenging and restrictive times. Some of us had never used Zoom before September, others were more experienced and there will be some members with internet access who are nervous of “giving it a go”. To evaluate whether the information that we sent out was helpful people who were new to Zoom at our first talk were asked to share their experiences by completing a short questionnaire. The results are very positive and we hope this will encourage others who are apprehensive about using Zoom to “have a go”. The numbers of people joining the talks have steadily increased and we hope that this is an indication of people feeling more confident in using it.
Responses to the questionnaire showed that everyone for whom it was their first experience of using Zoom found it easy to access Zoom, to log into the meeting, and to see and hear the talk. The FAQs about using Zoom that were included in the last newsletter were found to be helpful and comprehensive. Nobody reported difficulties with either seeing or hearing the speaker, or in viewing the speaker’s illustrations on the screen. There were comments that, dependent on where one usually sits in the hall, hearing the speaker was clearer through Zoom, and viewing some of the more detailed and complex illustrations was probably easier. Everyone who was new to Zoom, without exception, felt they would have less confidence to ask a question, though there were comments that this might change with increased familiarity of use. Positive overall comments about listening to talks on Zoom were: sitting in a comfortable chair; being able to listen whilst enjoying a cup/glass of “something”; and being able to adjust the volume to suit individual need. Negative overall comments were the loss of the atmosphere of a social gathering and being unable to chat socially and catch up with other members. Overall everyone who responded said they would join future talks and would encourage others to try it.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the questions about their experience, which we hope will be encouraging to others. Do give it a try and join the next talk if you have internet access. The FAQs on using Zoom can be found in the August Newsletter, which is also available on The Society’s website if you cannot find your own copy.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH MEMBERS –
A PLEA FOR YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
All members will have read in the previous Newsletter that we are attempting to move to using emails as our primary means of communication with members.
The reasons for this are very simple
- we want to communicate more with members about talks and events
- when we need to do this quickly email is the most efficient method of communication
- posting printed communications is both expensive and time consuming to prepare
The Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged many people to use email as the most practical and efficient way to communicate in these unique circumstances. Our Zoom talks recently have been a huge success in the absence of physical meetings, they are accessed using a laptop, tablet or smart phone and so that you can access them we need to send the link to you by email.
Since our previous request we have had a good response from members whose email addresses we did not have but we think there are still members with an email address who have not yet responded. It is our intention where possible to move to sending all communications to members by email from 1st January 2021. If you have an email address and are not yet receiving our communications by email can you please send your details to our Membership Secretary who will add you to our list.
When doing so please double check that you have sent your address through correctly as we have had a handful of communications returned as undeliverable to the address that we have recorded.
Whilst it is our wish to move to using only email communications, any members who cannot access email can continue to receive hard copy communications such as newsletters by special arrangement. Unfortunately it will not be possible or practical to distribute in hard copy all the information sent out by email, such as reminders of events. Please let us know if you fall into this category by contacting Margaret Lenton.
We are really grateful for your support and want to make sure that we are able to keep you up to date as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The Society’s membership now stands at 312, a decrease of 19 since the last newsletter. The committee would like to welcome one new member who has joined the Society since the August newsletter.
If we do not already have your email address you can send this to the Membership Secretary. Please remember to advise us if your email address has changed so that our records remain up to date.
MEET YOUR COMMITTEE
Following the AGM, details of the President, Honarary Vice-President, Trustees, Executive Committee and Councillor Representatives of the Windsor and Eton Society for 2020-2021 are as follows:
PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY
Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE
HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY
Mrs Anne Taylor
TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIETY/EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Chair Mrs Margaret Lenton
Vice Chair Mr Chris Aitken
Secretary Mr Jonathan Palmer
Treasurer Mr Fred West
Mr James Clark
Mrs Janet Dawson
Mrs Theresa Haggart
Mrs Philippa Johnson
Mr Malcolm Leach
Mrs Anne Taylor
Miss Rosemarie Wood
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER
Miss Sue Wells
COUNCILLORS To be advised
Windsor Town Forum – The next 2 meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 25th November 2020 at 6.30pm and Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 6.30pm. The November meeting is a virtual meeting on-line. There are no details for the January meeting so please check the RBWM website nearer the date to see how this is going ahead. 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