A bright sunny day, just right for a trip to Winchester. The coach dropped 37 society members near King Alfred's statue and we then had 2/3 hours to go where we pleased. Visits were made to The Cathedral, The Great Hall with Round Table, The County Archives and to various exhibitions. After lunch at one of the many eateries in the town we were then taken to the Hospital of St Cross and were given guided tours which gave us an overview of the history of St Cross as well as sight of the peaceful grounds and the old buildings. Several members claimed their Wayfarer's Dole which is a morsel of cake and a horn of ale which fortified them for the trip home. It was an excellent trip.
The small group updating the W&ES website met to review progress. It is hoped that members will feed back comments about the updated site and will find it more informative and helpful than previously.
A belated Happy New Year to all our members.
Monday 7th January
H&E meeting. There is always much to discuss. In particular there is concern about the possible demolition of old buildings which are important historically and form an integral part of the history of Windsor.
Thursday 10th January
An excellent talk about Windosr Castle Fires by Richard Day. Richard had been with the Windsor Castle Fire Team at the fire we can all remember and he had a wealth of knowledge and a fantastic selection of slides to show us. Everyone enjoyed this talk.
Wednesday 16th January
Visitor Management Forum to which the W&ES Chair is invited. It was interesting to hear the review of 2012 as it was both Diamond Jubilee and Olympics year.
Thursday 17th January
Visit to Mercure Castle Hotel to finalise arrangements for the society's Annual Dinner on 22nd February. Do buy your tickets.
Monday 4th February
Windsor Town Forum. Discussion about access to town centre during snow raised. Could there be clearly defined pedestrian routes which are kept clear? Also information about Wraysbury plans for 2015 Magna Carta anniversary.
H&E meeting. Sara Davidson RBWM Conservation Officer attended the meeting. She has been with the council since October and she talked about her work. There was discussion of a Non Designated Heritage Register, looking particularly outside of conservation areas for buildings of significance. Various planning applications considered included Mahjack's, Bricklayers Arms, and The Sandles.
Thursday 7th February
Facelift Walkabout and Awards. HRH the Earl of Wessex accompanied by the Mayors of Windsor and Eton and Andrew Panter walked through Windsor and Eton viewing various properties and sites. This culminated in a ceremony in The Mercure Castle Hotel at which awards were presented. The Chair of W&ES was invited to say a few words in recognition of the fact that this project had been initiated by the society. Particular thanks to Susie Shearer for her hard work and to all other persons involved with the success of this project.
Meeting. An excellent talk by Sandra Smith, a local WEA tutor on ‘Is Impressionism important?’ Members thoroughly enjoyed her clear delivery and ideas.
Wednesday 20th February
Newsletter packing, posting and emailing. It would be a great help if all members with email would agree to having their Newsletter sent to them in this manner. It would save much time and money. Janet has produced another very good edition with her extra ‘From the archive’ section.
Friday 22nd February
The W&ES Annual Dinner. This was a good occasion held at The Castle Hotel and attended by nearly 130 members and guests. Members enjoyed a good meal and our guest speaker was Dr Alastair Niven LVO OBE retiring Principal of Cumberland Lodge.
Tuesday 26th February
Meeting to consider the future of Windsor Parish Church.
Monday 4th March
H&E meeting. A lot of discussion about Bricklayers Arms and draft letter considered. General concern about developments in the town centre with no or insufficient parking.
Wednesday 6th March
Meeting. An evening meeting at which Tony King gave an excellent graphical presentation and talk about the cinema. Members were transported back to their childhood as well as seeing recent developments in the film world.
Wednesday 13th March
Executive Committee Meeting at The Brigidine School. The meeting considered all items relating to finance, outings, newsletter and planning were progressing well. Beryl Hedges has resigned as talks organiser after many years service. Appreciation was minuted. A replacement for her is needed. If you think you could do this PLEASE contact the Chair. There are suggestions for speakers and it is not necessary for the organiser to speak at meetings if unhappy to do so. It was agreed to give a contribution to the Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal.
Friday 22nd March
Meeting with RBWM planning. The quarterly meeting with Simon Hurrell and Sara Davidson was very constructive.
Tuesday 26th March
Visitor Forum. Discussion about the possibility of an Eton Trail with which the W&ES may be able to help. The Windsor Wayfinding scheme is being reviewed and W&ES would like to be involved in those consultations if possible.
Wednesday 27th March
Windsor Urban Development Control (Planning) meeting.
There were three applications on which the society had sent letters to RBWM.
Bricklayers Arms –Our letter had focussed on the ‘Character and Distinctiveness of the Local Area’, the building being a ‘Non-designated Heritage Asset’ integral to the distinctiveness of the area and its associations with the brick making industry and the adjacent Victorian cottages and school building and the former CSJB convent, the proposed design of new houses not being in keeping with their surroundings and development of the area of Clewer, the building being a rare period building and a community asset. In the event that it would be demolished we requested further consideration of the design of the planned houses in the context of their environment. However, it was disappointing that the heritage aspect was hardly considered and the application was successful.
Mahjacks – Our letter raised concerns about the proposed development being too high and oversized for the plot and also requested that traffic issues be considered carefully. This application was also successful.
17 Gloucester Place – This is in the Windsor Conservation area and our letter focussed on the proposed design not being sympathetic with this historic area. This application was not successful.