THE WINDSOR AND ETON SOCIETY
Incorporating Windsor Heritage
NEWSLETTER No 96 February 2022
NOTE FROM YOUR CHAIR
Is it too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year, certainly at the time of writing it is Chinese New Year, the year of the Tiger?
Currently time is being taken up with the Facelift and you can read more details about this from Alison Logan, Secretary to the Steering Group. I am so grateful to the Facelift Committee who are all working hard. Bulbs are appearing now in the Heritage Garden and visits are being made to businesses asking them to engage in our activities. It is unique in our history that a monarch has reigned for 70 years. Our Queen has been an exemplar in her dedication to her country over this long time and Windsor and Eton have been fortunate in that her Majesty considers Windsor her home. Many members will have met her during her long reign.
The Society continues to hold its regular monthly talks. In addition, a talk has been organised in conjunction with the Chorleywood Bookshop and the Windsor Festival on the Queen’s birthday, Thursday 21st April. Details are in a separate section of this newsletter. The Jubilee will be a continuing theme for this year and Hugo Vickers has spoken on aspects associated with this in our February talk. I am particularly grateful to Philippa Johnson who, owing to changing Covid regulations, has had to find speakers who can use Zoom at short notice. We have had such a varied range of topics over the last season.
Thank you to everyone who filled in the Talks Questionnaire and to Katie Broady who collated all the information. We will use this to inform our planning in the future.
Lastly, can I make a request for anyone who has information about the earlier history of the Heritage Garden to get in touch please.
NEW EVENT – THURSDAY 21ST APRIL
A talk has been organised in conjunction with the Chorleywood Bookshop and the Windsor Festival on the Queen’s birthday, Thursday 21st April, at 7.00pm at The Old Court. The talk will be given by Tracy Borman who has authored a book about all the English monarchs from King Alfred onwards. Tracy is a co-curator of the Royal Palaces and regularly appears on history programmes; latterly one about the Tower of London. More details will follow in due course
A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR
The Society now has its own email addresses for the holders of certain Committee posts of which the newsletter editor is one. The November Newsletter was emailed out from this new address – email@example.com – and it came to my attention that a small number of people on the circulation list had not received their email. It appears to have been quite random which addresses were dropped off the list and I have a plan in place to check whether the same thing happens with delivery of this newsletter to those particular members. Unfortunately, as with any email, we have no way of checking who does or does not receive what was sent unless there is a “system delivery failure” message, which had not happened with these particular emails. Please could I ask that any member who does not receive their quarterly newsletter, or who knows of anyone who has not received it, lets me know so that I can rectify the problem. The newsletters are sent out during the 3rd/4th week of February, May, August and November. I would also advise everyone, as this is a “business” email address, to check it has not gone into your spam folder by mistake.
Activity on the Facelift is really accelerating now with lots to report to you.
New shoots from the bulbs planted in the Heritage Garden and River Street Garden in November are starting to appear although at the time of writing you have to look quite closely to see the new shoots. There should be a lovely display later in the Spring. Plans for new planting and a new seating area in the Heritage Garden are also progressing. A second working party is taking place on Saturday 19th March starting at 10.00am. Further details will be posted on the W&ES and Windsor Jubilee websites or just turn up at the Heritage Garden on the Saturday morning if you are able to help.
The period just before Christmas was spent recruiting “outreach ambassadors” whose responsibility it is to visit businesses in the town centre and encourage them to take an active part in the Facelift. We also prepared information packs for the ambassadors with briefing material for them on the Facelift, and leaflets and window stickers to hand out to their contacts. Immediately after Christmas, an event was held, again at the Castle Hotel, to give the ambassadors their packs and their allocated groups of buildings to visit. The ambassadors are now out and about in the town carrying out the visits and they will be reporting back by the middle of February on their first contacts.
A press notice was circulated to announce the start of the visiting programme and as a result an interview with Margaret Lenton was broadcast on BBC Radio Berkshire on the afternoon of 5th January. More publicity was secured on 10th January when Chris Aitken appeared on BBC London evening news during an item about the Jubilee celebrations, and was able to explain the Facelift to a wider regional audience.
Our partners at the Royal Borough are gearing up too, with a start made at the Guildhall with the basement steps at the back having been cleaned and the area painted. Two new benches have also been installed to replace the worn out ones in River Street.
Thanks go to Alison Logan, Secretary of the Facelift Steering Group for this report
HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT
We have been able to have one meeting face to face, but the rest of our meetings continue to be held on Zoom, which has worked well.
Quarterly Meeting with RBWM Officers
In November we have had an initial meeting on Teams with Officers to agree the format of these meetings and we are awaiting an actual date for the first of the reinstated meetings.
We have just received a copy of the Condition Survey of the Grade 1 Listed Guildhall, that we had been waiting some months for. We are in the process of studying this and will discuss this in our next HEC meeting. We also have a Teams meeting arranged with Officers to discuss this survey and the need for a full Conservation Statement for the building to ensure that maintenance work is planned for rather than completed as an emergency repair.
Platinum Jubilee Facelift.
Plans are well underway on a list of projects for the Platinum Jubilee Facelift of Windsor. Ambassadors have been visiting the businesses in the Conservation Area to see if they have plans for the Jubilee and to encourage them to be part of the project. These ambassadors will be working with their group of businesses throughout the Facelift project. Each business has been given a leaflet compiled by a WES Platinum Committee member and a Conservation Officer which includes suggestions of how buildings can be improved. This will be expanded at a later date to become a more permanent document for future use with new tenants to inform them of any permissions needed for works to buildings within the Conservation Area. This would include a palette of suitable colours of paint, types of signage etc that are acceptable. Further information can be found on the WES website and will continue to be updated regularly.
Windsor Public Spaces Transformation on Castle Hill
Although all the investigative work was completed some time ago there will not be any work started on this until after the Platinum Jubilee. This will ensure that the area is kept clear of roadworks leading up to the Jubilee.
Letters written after the January 2022 Meeting
PA 21/03765 – Site of Former Pine Lodge, Hatch Lane, Windsor – New pedestrian and vehicular entrance gates with piers
It was thought that the extra parking spaces could affect some trees. It was considered that the access gates could cause a detrimental impact on the street and was contrary to the Clewer Corridor – country lane effect and urbanizing the area too much. Whilst it was known that other developments along Hatch Lane had gates it was hoped that this would be refused so not to set a precedent.
Objection letter sent.
PA 21/03709 – Harte and Garter, 31, High Street SL4 1PQ – details required by conditions 2 (colour scheme) and 3 (internal works) of listed building consent 19/01988/LBC for consent for installation of a replacement plant including 3 flues, 2 extraction ducts and 4 condensers within the rear courtyard, and with internal alterations, external repainting and advertisement.
Letter sent pointing out the lack of a submitted colour scheme and that the architectural features needed emphasizing.
PA 21/03640 – 22 Clewer Avenue, Windsor, SL4 3QB – detached outbuilding to provide residential annexe accommodation for purposes ancillary to the residential use of the existing dwelling – retrospective
Plans inspected and, with 200 reviews on Airbnb, concern was expressed about it being a business and whether change of use or other planning specifications were required. There was also no parking space . Letter of objection sent
PA 21/03654 – Alfred Cottage, 286 Dedworth Road, Windsor, SL4 4JR – subdivision of the existing dwelling to create 2 dwellings to include relocation of the front door and two storey rear extensions, removal of existing chimneys, alteration to fenestration, allocated refuse and bicycle storage and alteration to existing vehicular access following demolition of existing elements
This is a NDHA, a statement had not been submitted and there was concern that one chimney had already been removed. With the additional two dwellings on this site it was thought that the area was being over-developed and that the proposed works to this property would remove all redeeming features. Objection letter sent.
Letters written after the December 2021 Meeting
PA 21/03236/FULL – Land at Junction of Duncannon Crescent & Hemwood Road, Windsor –construction of 1 new dwelling with new dropped kerb and all associate works including parking and boundary treatment ()
A letter was written as we believe there would be a loss of amenities on the estate and TPOs could be in jeopardy. This sort of development needs to be objected to now and in future.
PA 21/03510/FULL – 55 Wood Close, Windsor, SL4 3JZ – single storey front and rear extensions
This application has a little smaller footprint at the front than the previous one in August which was refused, but this one still is out of keeping with the street scene.
PA21/03397/TLDTT – Junction of Alma Road and Frances Road, Windsor – application for determination as to whether prior approval is required for a proposed 15.0m Phase 8 Monopole C/W wrapround Cabinet at base and associated ancillary works
This was on highway land with cabinets littering this green space and the pole an intrusion to seeing King Edward VII Hospital. Some planning documents were not accessible.
£545,000 GUILDHALL – DRAFT CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2022/23 to 2024/25
A condition survey has recently been carried out and a letter was sent seeking a copy of the survey and a meeting with relevant officers at The Guildhall to discuss. Copy of the report has been received and meeting arranged to discuss this.
Updates to Planning Applications mentioned in previous newsletters.
Letters written after the November 2021 Meeting
43 Alma Road, Windsor – Subdivision of the existing dwelling to create 2 semi-detached dwellings, including the enlargement of the rear basement light-well, two storey side extension, two storey rear extension, single storey side/rear infill extension, increase in height to the side boundary wall with addition of a privacy screen, raising of part of the existing roof, alterations to fenestration and widening of the existing access to include turntable and new drop kerb following demolition of the existing part single storey part two and three storey rear element (PA 21/02886)
We have objected as this planning application is over-development of the plot.
34-35 Thames Street – Letter to Cllr Johnson regarding the lack of progress on the derelict site at and the scaffolding.
Concern about the state of the building and the scaffolding as it has been in place for years. A holding response was received but still waiting for a full reply.
Letters written after the October 2021 Meeting
60 Smiths Lane, Windsor – New two bedroom dwelling with associated parking, new drop kerb and demolition of existing single storey elements to 60 Smiths Lane (PA 21/02547)
Due to it being built right up to the road it was considered detrimental to the area.
Land at 6 Ash Lane and 6 Ash Lane, Windsor – Garage conversion to 6 Ash Lane, part single, part two storey wrap around extension, new shared access, extension of the existing access and addition of a parking space to create 1 dwelling (PA 21/02614)
Plans inspected and we objected as the building protrudes out beyond the boundary and the design and parking is not acceptable.
Nell Gwynn Chinese Restaurant, 6 Church Street, Windsor – Listed Building Consent and PA 21/02592 FULL – Consent to replace existing UPVC window with joinery casement window, reduce the size of dormer to side elevation, reinstate roof covering using existing removed tiles, existing dormer refinished, removal of temporary propping, 1 new conservation roof light, reposition of opening to head of stairs and internal alterations on third floor and roof. (Part-retrospective) (PA 21/02593)
Concern expressed about the deterioration of the building and the plans were discussed. It was agreed to draft two letters expressing concerns and objecting to the application.
Listed Building Consent Granted
Letter written regarding the video screens in shop windows.
We are concerned that there are an increasing number of shops that have installed these and are asking if that is appropriate/permitted in the context of the Special Advertisement Control in Peascod Street in the Conservation Area.
Letters written after the September 2021 Meeting
Squires Garden Centre, Maidenhead Road, Windsor – Erection of 30 dwellings including the relocation of existing access along Maidenhead Road with associated parking, internal circulation, informal public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure (PA 21/02467)
Letter written objecting to the plans for the following reasons.
- Flats still very close to the corner and the 1 affordable house was tucked away.
- Whilst the number of flats is now 7 less and the building is smaller, the large roof could possibly accommodate additional flats subject to further non material alterations to the planning application but access and outdoor facilities are not adequate.
- The 2 ½ storey houses appear too big and may impinge on existing dwellings behind.
New plans have been added and this application will be looked at again.
Mercure Castle Hotel, 18 High Street, Windsor, SL4 1LJ – new outdoor seating area with entrance gates, decking, steps, access ramp and handrails, pergola, arbour and planters.(Retrospective) (PA 21/02063/FULL)
Letter sent in support
Letters written after the July 2021 Meeting
Alexandra Gardens, Barry Avenue, Windsor – Observation wheel and refreshment unit to be sited from 1st July to 30th September 2021 (PA 21/01599)
Letter sent as there did not appear to be enough detail of technical requirements and how long it would be on site.
Letters written after the June 2021 Meeting
Ruddles Pool, Maidenhead Road, Windsor (Appeal21/60045)
Submitted letter re-sent to ensure Inspector has our comments
Letters written after February 2021 meeting
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 incorporating ancillary restaurant and bar, integrated service area and engineering operations to create frontage landscaping area to provide lay-by, pavement and parking space (PA 20/03514/FULL)
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, the difficulties caused by the increased traffic congestion and parking space.
Our recent Talks Survey sought answers to important questions, namely members’ preferences around attendance of talks, views on hall meetings, Zoom meetings, and timings.
Here is some initial headline feedback on the findings and thanks go to all who took the time to respond.
- Happily, the vast majority of respondents had enjoyed the content of the talks, whether in the hall or on Zoom.
- 55 replies were received – whilst this is only 18 per cent of membership, we are unable to tell how many of the replies were from couples, which would make a higher percentage of the membership who responded. (We had chosen to make the Survey anonymous, though many were happy to supply their details).
- Most respondents had, before Covid, attended the Gardeners’ Hall afternoon talks, but considerably fewer had attended the Upton House evening talks.
- Zoom is more popular for evening meetings than for afternoon meetings.
- Zoom meetings are more popular than meeting in a hall in the evenings, particularly in the winter, for reasons such as night driving and winter weather.
- Amongst the reasons given for preferring Zoom were current anxieties about social mixing and preference for watching in the comfort of home.
- The main reasons given by those preferring hall meetings were the wish for social interaction and the atmosphere of a group meeting (together with a dislike of Zoom technology by some).
- Responses to the start time options for evening meetings showed 7.30 pm was the favourite for both hall meetings and Zoom, followed by 7pm. The most unpopular start times were 6pm and 6.30pm.
- A large majority of respondents would be interested in access to recorded talks.
The Committee is concerned to take members’ views into account and will use the information from the survey when discussing and reviewing how we deliver our Talks Programme in future (post Covid) seasons.
In December Malcolm Leach, our administrator and the current owner of the Manley Gallery in Eton, gave us a fascinating talk on the 130 years of the gallery in its various locations. The first gallery was located at the bottom of Peascod Street, moving to the prime location on the corner at the top, then to Thames Street before ending up in Eton High Street. Malcolm told us of all the Royal Warrants that had been awarded to the various members of the Manley family.
When we had to postpone our scheduled January talk in Gardeners’ Hall, Richard Poad came to our rescue again with “Top of the Thames” finishing off his earlier talk of a boat journey along the Thames from Kingston to Oxford. This time he started at the source of the river winding along watching as it grew wider, passing not only beautiful bridges & inviting pubs but also Inglesham Church & Kelmscot along the way eventually arriving in Oxford.
In February Hugo Vickers gave us a very timely talk on The Queen’s Jubilees. It was good to see photographs spanning the whole length of her reign as well as a short film of the moment she was crowned. We were reminded of all the places around the world she has visited during the 70 remarkable years that we have been lucky enough to have Her Majesty as our Queen. We all hope that everyone will remember the Queen’s age at this happy time as we celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
- Wednesday 2nd March – 7pm – Zoom Meeting
Sir Ian Macfadyen, one of our Past Presidents and former Governor of the Castle, will tell us of his visit to the Ukraine in 2013.
- Wednesday 6th April – 7pm – Zoom Meeting
Canon Martin Poll will talk on the Royal Chapel in the Park.
We are not yet able to plan a programme of outings with any reliability.
A significant amount of work has been done over recent months to improve and update our website. As well as wanting the website to be an informative resource for anyone thinking of joining The Society the Committee also hope that it is a useful resource for members. If you have not visited it recently please take some time to do so and if you have any suggestions or comments please contact Malcolm Leach on firstname.lastname@example.org . The website address is https://wesoc.org.uk
The Society’s membership now stands at 293, down by 3 since the last report owing to non-payment of some subscriptions by the year end. The committee are pleased to welcome one new member.
At the moment about one-fifth of the membership receive their Newsletter by post. We would like to reduce this to save expense, so if you are happy to receive your newsletter by e-mail, please let me know at email@example.com The Annual Report continues to be sent to everyone by post.
Please remember to let us know if your postal address or email address changes so that
our records remain up to date. If you have a question about membership or other queries I am happy to try and give you an answer or find someone who can!
Windsor Town Forum – The next 2 meetings are scheduled for Tuesday 8th March and Tuesday 17th May, both at 6.30pm. The meetings are scheduled as virtual online meetings but please check the RBWM website nearer the dates 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
Maidenhead Heritage Centre Thames Cruise with live commentary – Tuesday September 6th 2022 at 10am – Our January speaker Richard Poad asked us to make members aware of this event that may be of interest. The cruise will go from Maidenhead to Marlow and the return trip will also go downriver to Bray, returning at approximately 3pm. There will be a fully licensed bar on board which also serves hot drinks. Tickets will be on sale from April 2022 at Maidenhead Heritage Centre.