THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 92 February 2021
NOTE FROM YOUR CHAIR
It seems such a long time since we entered “lockdown” for the third time. We have, however, been able to keep some activities of The Society going using Zoom, which sadly excludes some who do not have Internet access.
Philippa Johnson has managed to re-arrange the monthly talks using Zoom and the numbers watching and contributing have steadily risen. These talks have been interesting and varied and Richard Poad, from the Maidenhead Heritage Centre stepped into the breach to fill a gap.
We cannot hold the Annual Dinner at the moment, but I have two additional talks to announce to you. James Holland has been booked to talk about his book concerning the Invasion of Sicily in 1943. (It was originally intended that Mr Holland would deliver the inaugural Annual Lecture last year about his book concerning D-Day and the liberation of France, but Covid intervened.) The event is scheduled for 10th March at 7.00pm to 8.00pm by Zoom. The Society is working with the Chorleywood Bookshop which hosts similar events for the Windsor Festival. Members will be able to purchase copies of the book if they wish.
In addition, Marc Morris who has written about Anglo Saxon England has been booked for 8th October at 7.00 p.m. to give a talk by Zoom. I got to know about Mr Morris and read his work during the 800th anniversary celebrations of Magna Carta in 2015. Old Windsor was the site of the Palace of Edward the Confessor. Both these historians have national profiles, regularly appear on television, and contribute to the BBC History Magazine. The talks are free to members of The Society and details of the talks and how to access them will be forwarded. I am grateful to Malcolm Leach and James Clark who have managed the Zoom access and to Sue Wells, our Membership Secretary, for emailing the information and links.
It has been my sad duty over recent months to send letters of condolence on your behalf to late distinguished members of The Society. These recently have included Dr John Long, whose Obituary was in the November newsletter and John Handcock, whose Obituary is included in this newsletter.
I do welcome the comments made to me by members either by email or when I meet them whilst shopping in Windsor, and these are fed back to the Committee. I do hope that some degree of normality returns but, in the meantime, I have learnt to get used to my face mask and social distancing, both of which regulations are likely to remain for some time. Stay safe
John Handcock CVO DL
It was with great sadness that we learned that John Handcock died peacefully on 11th January after a week in hospital. As many will know, John had been unwell following a serious stroke some time back, but had tackled this with his usual positivity. John had turned 90 in October last year, an event which in normal circumstances would have been much celebrated.
John was born in Reading, but his long association with Windsor began as one of the first 10 pupils at Upton House School, of which his mother Gladys was a co-founder. He attended Imperial Service College Junior School and Aldenham School, graduating in law at Kings College, London. He was admitted as a solicitor three years later and became a partner in a Windsor law practice in 1957 where he worked until he retired in 1995, after which he was a consultant in his profession for 4 years. During his working life John also served his profession through one year terms as President of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Incorporated Law Society, Chairman of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Professional Council, an 8 year term as Director of the Solicitors’ Benevolent Association and 8 years as part-time Chairman of Social Security Appeals Tribunal. The local professional and business community also benefitted from John’s knowledge in the capacity of President of the Windsor, Eton & Ascot District Chamber of Trade in 1960-61 and of the Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce 2012-13.
John’s membership of The Windsor and Eton Society exceeds 60 years and he was a Trustee and member of our Executive Committee for many years bringing his wisdom, experience and vast local knowledge to The Society. Of course John’s local involvement went much further than that – as Captain of Lay Stewards at St George’s Chapel, with The Rotary Club, The Prince Philip Trust Fund for RBWM, The Royal Albert Institute Trust, Windsor Festival Society, Windsor and Eton Operatic Society, Windsor and Eton Choral Society, The River Thames Society, Windsor Advisory Centre, Windsor and Eton Club 41, Windsor and Eton Sea Cadets, Windsor Local History Group, and Friends of King Edward VII Hospital. There were very few positive aspects of life in Windsor to which he did not contribute
In 1986 John was honoured by being appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire and in 2002 received the honour of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) having been made a Lieutenant of the Order (LVO) in 1991. He is also a Citoyen d’Honneur of Ville de Dreux, France which was awarded to him in 1976
He brightened so many lives with his smile, his good counsel and his love of life and will be sadly missed.
Our condolences go to John’s wife Peggy and to John’s family.
HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT
A Planning Applications
Letters written after February 2021 meeting
20/03496 – 56 Queens Road, Windsor, SL4 3BH –
New front boundary treatment, new rear raised decking, alterations to the roof to include 1 rear dormer with Juliet balcony, new rear pergola, new outbuilding and alterations to fenestration
Letter written objecting to the large square box roof extension in the conservation area.
20/03514 – Boots, 17-18 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DU –
Part demolition of building with retention of reduced retail store footprint and redevelopment of the demolished section of building for new build hotel
Letter written, requesting that the front of the building is reconsidered to create a front fascia more in keeping with the Conservation area, concern about the bulk and height of the building which will affect the amenity and light of the block of flats next-door.
21/00089 – Garage Block to the rear and side of 191, Maidenhead Road, Windsor SL4 5JN –
Construction of 1 flat with undercroft to provide parking and provision of existing garage for proposed flat following demolition of garages 10-15
Letter written due to over development of a very small plot, overlooking other properties and traffic issues.
Letters written after January 2021 Meeting
20/03278 – 121 Springfield Road, Windsor, SL4 3PZ –
Construction of 2 semi-detached dwellings with integral garages following the demolition of the existing house)
Letter written as to the design of the internal long corridor not suitable for disabled occupants or young families with buggies etc. Also requesting a condition to ensure garages are kept as one of the required parking spaces.
20/03264 – 121 Springfield Road, Windsor, SL4 3PZ –
Construction of 3 dwellings following the demolition of the existing house
Letter written to request refusal as a terrace is an over development of the plot and is out of keeping with the rest of the properties on the road.
20/03330 – 94 Dedworth Road, Windsor. SL4 5AY –
Details required by condition 4 (refuse) 5 (cycle parking) 6 (landscaping screen) of planning permission 17/00660 for extension to existing apartment No.94A and creation of two additional two-bedroom apartments
Letter sent requesting landscaping at front and cycle storage for the properties.
20/03310 – The Ridings, St Leonard’s Hill, Windsor, SL4 4AT –
Part single, part two storey, part first floor side extension two storey rear extension, new front porch with balcony above loft conversion and new front boundary treatment with automatic vehicular entrance and exit gates
Letter sent regarding the potential damage to the trees and tree root areas which was highlighted in the previous application.
20/03262 – Duke of York, 198 St. Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3DL –
Mixed use redevelopment comprising a convenience store (Use Class E) and 5 residential flats above (Use Class C3) with associated access, refuse and cycle storage, servicing, parking and landscaping
Letter sent due to traffic issues entering and leaving the site, position of the loading bay on St. Leonard’s Road, the bland frontage of the building and insufficient landscaping on the site.
20/03404 – Pure Spa, 2 St Leonard’s Road, Windsor, SL4 3BW –
Consent for signage and repainting of window frames and doors to the exterior of the building
Letter sent asking for more information regarding the shade of colours proposed as they appear to be out of keeping in the conservation area.
20/03283 – 151-153 Clarence Road, SL4 5AP –
Variation of materials to existing material schedule under 19/03509/REM for the reserved matters application (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale)
Letter sent regarding the proposed black slate cladding to the front of the building as being out of keeping with the area.
20/03211 – 53 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HH –
Part single/part two storey rear extension with 1 Juliet balcony, 1 vent to roof of existing single storey rear extension, 1 new roof light to north elevation and new steps to rear following demolition of existing elements
Letter sent regarding the first floor balcony, proposed style of windows being out of keeping with the NDHA property.
Letters written after December 2020 Meeting
20/02947 – 40 Elm Road, Windsor SL4 3ND –
Detached outbuilding ancillary to main dwelling.)
Letter written to request condition to prevent the separate occupation of the annex.
20/02976 + 20/60091 Appeal – Thames Hospicecare, Pine Lodge, Hatch Lane, Windsor –
Provision of housing development 2nd Application
These plans were discussed and other views taken into account. It was agreed to write accepting the changes which had been made since the first application and to write regarding the appeal advising that a much improved scheme had been submitted.
B Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after November 2020 meeting
22 Manor Road, Windsor SL4 5LP – Detached outbuilding ancillary to main dwelling (PA 20/02676/FULL)
Letter written asking for a condition to be placed that the dwelling should be ancillary to the property and not a separate dwelling.
Permitted including the condition
21 Grove Road. Windsor SL4 1JE – New dropped kerb, new front pier, and rear extension (PA 20/02747/FULL)
Letter written asking for the dropped kerb to be refused as detrimental to the important historic property/terrace. Possible NDHA. Withdrawn
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 (PA 20/02730/TLDTT)
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. Refused
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’.
Letter written to Cllr Johnson regarding future plans for Alexandra Gardens.
The reply confirmed that RBWM have no plans to develop Alexandra Gardens.
Letters written after October 2020 meeting
The Ridings, St Leonards Hill, Windsor SL4 4AT – Garage conversion including front and rear extensions, and new front boundary treatment with 2 automatic vehicular entrance and exit gates (PA 20/02129/FULL)
Letter sent due to over development and potential damage to TPO trees
Pure Spa, St Leonards Road, Windsor SL4 3BW – Consent to display 1 non-illuminated replacement fascia sign & change of use from Sui Generis to Class E (PAs 20/02205/ADV & 20/02204/FULL/02204/FULL)
Letter sent as in conservation area and design of sign out of keeping.
PA 20/02204/FULL Change of use
Permitted – (but with the condition it did not permit change of internal or external alterations.)
22 Gallys Road, Windsor SL4 5QY – Relocation and new boundary treatment to facilitate the change of use of amenity land to private garden (PA 20/01689/FULL – retrospective)
Letter sent as this is loss of amenity land.
Letters written after May 2020 meeting
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 (PA20/00935)
C Other Updates
Quarterly Meeting with RBWM Officers.
Due to Covid-19 there have not been any of these meetings although the H&EC will suggest that this means of communication is reinstated using Zoom meetings.
The Windsor Neighbourhood Plan
Although the WNP had passed the examination process some months ago it has yet to go for Referendum due to Covid-19 restrictions on elections. The Covid legislation states that Neighbourhood Plans that have been examined and have a Decision Statement from the Local Planning Authority but cannot go to referendum due to Covid restrictions should carry significant weight in planning matters. The WNP was discussed by councillors and on 2nd February 2021 received the Decision Statement. The final document has now been finalised and is on the RBWM Website and the Windsor Neighbourhood Plan website (www.windsorplan.org), ready for the Referendum on 6th May. (Date now confirmed for local elections).
The condition of the Grade 1 Listed building is still of great concern. Although 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 RBWM have not taken up our offer for a meeting yet.
Windsor Public Spaces Transformation
We were contacted by Cllr Rayner in December about this project regarding the pedestrianisation of Castle Hill and works to the surrounding roads. We reviewed this project but a number of questions had arisen which we felt needed answering. We wrote a letter to Cllr Rayner with some of these questions and Chris Aitken and Theresa Haggert were invited to a Zoom meeting with Cllr Rayner and Tim Golabek (Service Lead, Transport and Infrastructure) to discuss them. They were able to clarify that the proposed barrier on Castle Hill would only be closed when the Castle was open to visitors during the day. The barrier would be open in the evening for events at the Castle. They also confirmed that the work to the cobbled roads would only be repair work where necessary and not replacement of the cobbles. Other issues of access etc were still to be finalised. (The consultation ran until the 10th January 2021. The analysis of feedback and finalisation of designs finished on 31st January).
Low Traffic Networks
A letter will be sent from the committee regarding this project
Hotel application for Mellor Walk
The Heritage and Environment Committee were invited to a pre-submission discussion regarding the proposed application for a hotel in Mellor Walk. The committee were of the opinion it would not comment on the discussions at the meeting but would review the application when the full application was submitted
Our talks using Zoom have been very well attended. Around fifty screens have been logged in for many of them, and as some screens are used by couples the numbers of attendees is even higher. Although we miss the social contact we enjoy at a normal meeting it is good that we have been able to provide members with something interesting to do for an hour or so during these dark winter days of lockdown.
In December Richard Poad, Chairman of the Maidenhead Heritage Centre, gave us a fascinating talk titled Grandma Flew Spitfires. During the Second World War people with any flying experience were invited to join up to help with moving aircraft between their places of manufacture and the various airfields where they were needed most. Originally women had not been seen as qualifying for this role, but they were not to be put off and proved their worth by flying thousands of miles, in a large variety of aircraft, without any radio communication and only rudimentary maps. This was a truly inspiring story, which Richard hoped could also provide some good role models for any young girl today.
Richard Poad returned “virtually” on a cold January day, in another lockdown, to tell us of his boating trips under the title of Three Men in a Boat from Kingston to Oxford, of course with acknowledgment to Jerome K Jerome. He showed us some lovely illustrations of river scenes as they were in the late 1800s as well as how they are now; in some places little has changed. It really was a talk to help us look towards brighter days.
Our February talk was given by Rebecca Seear, the present owner of the Windsor Hackney Carriages. She told us the history of how this form of taxi service came about when enterprising people bought old carriages to provide such a service in London. One of the first carriages in the Windsor trade had originally belonged to Sir Daniel Gooch of Windsor fame, and is still used today. Some may remember the line of carriages waiting on Thames Street for fares; latterly as the numbers dwindled they moved to Castle Hill. Rebecca and her horses are now the only ones left to have a licence to drive along the Long Walk where they bring smiles to those who see and hear them trotting along.
- Wednesday 3rd March – 8.00pm – Zoom Meeting
- Alan Clare will be back to give us a talk on The Berlin Wall and the East German Border, which Alan assures us will be “something very different” as although we all remember The Wall there was a lot going on behind it being built.
- Wednesday 7th April – 8.00pm – Zoom Meeting
- The last talk of this season when one of the committee members from Abbeyfield Maidenhead will talk on that organisation and how Sir Nicholas Winton (after whom the Abbeyfield in Dedworth Road is named) became involved.
Wednesday 10th March – 7.00pm
A talk by James Holland about his book on the Invasion of Sicily in 1943.
This is a joint venture of the Windsor & Eton Society and Chorleywood Bookshop and there will be the opportunity for members to purchase copies of the book. The talk, which will be hosted on Zoom, is free to members of The Society and details of the talk, together with the link, will be emailed to members nearer to the date.
Unfortunately, due to the present lockdown and unpredictable future, our visits in 2021 have had to be postponed. However both of the following will be rebooked as soon as the venues have their 2022 diaries in place, as will a visit in October 2022. Our next visit will be in April 2022.
April 2022 – 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. In medieval times, it was an important member of the Cinque Ports confederation, and was almost entirely surrounded by the sea. 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 books and articles. Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.
June 2022 – 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 Society’s membership now stands at 297, a decrease of 15 since the last newsletter.
Many 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. Please also remember to advise the Membership Secretary if your email address has changed so that our records remain up to date.
The Annual Report is still sent to members by post.
Meet our Treasurer – Fred West
Fred hails from the north-east of England and was born in the house owned by his family for over 80 years. Living close to the Lake District and the Scottish mountains and even closer to Hadrian’s Wall, rock climbing became his favourite pursuit. Unfortunately little has stirred his passion for supporting the ‘Black Cats’ since they won the FA Cup in 1973.
Shortly after marrying Su, they ventured 4,000 miles by Land Rover in winter to Europe, through the frozen landscape of eastern Turkey and into Iran where he had been seconded for a couple of years as one of the team setting up a new engineering and manufacturing plant. Su started a school at the British Council which generated great interest from local and expatriate children and from adults keen to learn English. During this period they took advantage of visiting some of the historic sites of Iran including Isfahan, Shiraz and Persepolis.
On return, settling in Windsor, they had three girls who all attended Clewer Green and Brigidine schools. Two of their daughters still live in Windsor while the other has lived in Australia for the past ten years. Prior to retirement Fred fulfilled marketing, financial and investment management roles in a number of international companies. Su taught young children at schools in the area, latterly at Brigidine, but sadly passed away in 1995.
More recently, for around nine years Fred was director of a Surrey based charity offering mediation to families and to children. With his partner Jenny he has travelled to Africa, New Zealand, America, India and of course Australia. He is currently part of the Steering Committee preparing the Neighbourhood Plan for Englefield Green where they now live. Fred and Jenny between them have nine grandchildren!
Windsor Town Forum – The next 2 meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 24th March and Wednesday 26th May, both at 6.30pm. The meetings are scheduled as virtual meetings on-line but please check the RBWM website nearer the date for confirmation. 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
River Thames Historical Cruise – Thursday 2nd September 2021 – We were asked by one of our speakers, Richard Poad, if we would publicise this cruise which is being organised by Maidenhead Heritage Centre. The return cruise goes from Maidenhead to Temple Lock with live commentary en route. More information will be available in due course on www.maidenheadheritage.org.uk or by calling 01628 780555 once the Centre is open again.
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT – A CHALLENGE FOR LOCKDOWN
How well do you know our local heritage sites? Can you identify the location of these features? The answers are at the bottom of the page. (All photos courtesy of Anne Taylor)
Answers to picture quiz
1)Windsor Parish Church, 2) Windsor Methodist Church, Alma Rd/Clarence Rd 3) St Agnes Church, St Leonards Rd. Spital
4) St. Andrews Churchyard, Clewer Village 5) Clewer Memorial Recreation Ground, Dedworth Rd. 6) Harte & Garter Hotel
7) Former Brigidine School, now Queensmead House School 8) Ellison House (former almshouses), Victoria St 9) Entrance to Central Station (opposite the Castle)