NOTE FROM YOUR CHAIR, Anne Taylor
Thank you for electing me as your Chair which I see as an honour and a challenge. Thank you also to David for all he has done in his five years of office. He has worked tirelessly in many ways but particularly to develop and maintain links with RBWM.
What a wonderful year it has been, especially here in Windsor and Eton, where we have been able to share in various celebrations of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and to welcome the Olympic rowers. It was good to see the culmination of the efforts of the Diamond Jubilee Tribute team when the magnificent sculpture was unveiled by Her Majesty in early October and thanks must go to Andrew Melville for his work in leading this initiative. The ‘Facelift’ project is nearly complete with the difficult task of judging underway. We have already had a very good outing to Winchester and some interesting talks. Together with bulb planting near the new Diamond Jubilee Fountain the Society continues to aim to fulfill its objectives. I look forward to meeting you at future Society events.
The 52nd Annual Dinner will be held on Friday 22nd February 2013 in the Mercure Castle Hotel Banqueting Suite at 7.15pm for 8pm. Our guest speaker will be Dr Alastair Niven LVO OBE, Principal of Cumberland Lodge. Tickets cost £32.50 and can be obtained from Joan Biggs, as indicated on the booking form which accompanies this letter.
Once again the Society was privileged to hold the AGM in Upper School, Eton College and it was chaired by our President, Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen CB OBE. In his final Chairman’s report Dr David Murray Bruce reflected on a very successful year which saw the completion of the Diamond Jubilee Tribute Sculpture and Facelift 2012, both being initiatives led by the Society. In particular Andrew Melville was thanked for his hard work leading the DJT Committee. Grateful thanks were offered to Dr Murray Bruce by Gordon Franklin CVO for his hard work and dedication during his five years as Chair. Both David and his wife, Suzanne, have been loyal supporters of all aspects of the Society’s work. Anne Taylor was then elected as the new Chair of the Society. The Mayor, Cllr Colin Rayner, thanked the outgoing Chair for his dedication to maintaining vital links with the RBWM and said how important it is that the Society continues to be watchful and alert. He also encouraged members to get involved with the Neighbourhood Plan. The meeting was then addressed by Councillor Simon Dudley, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, who spoke about the role of the Royal Borough in the Olympics and Paralympics. Arguably Eton Dorney was the best Olympic venue outside London. Questions were answered and Vice-Chair, Chris Aitken, gave a vote of thanks. The evening concluded with the usual refreshments.
HERITAGE AND ENVIRONMENT
Since the last newsletter the committee has been involved with the following activities:
A. Planning Applications
We look at planning applications every week as they appear on the RBWM website and meet monthly to discuss any that we feel require action, as well as reacting more quickly to matters in the intervening period, when the need arises. We also monitor emerging developments for which planning applications may not yet have been made as well as buildings at risk. We are in regular contact with the Royal Borough’s Principal Conservation Officer, Anna-Marie Pagano, and have quarterly meetings with the Planning Department to discuss general planning and other issues. If you would like to help in any way – it wouldn’t be necessary to join the committee – please contact Andrew Melville.
The most important items which we have looked at recently are:
1)The Three Elms, Clarence Road, Windsor
The development of the Tesco Express store is continuing to go ahead despite recent refusal of planning permission for partial demolition of the boundary wall (12/02328). The RBWM Highways Officer, members of the Windsor Planning Panel and local residents were unanimous in their objection to the proposal on the grounds that it would compromise the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on the southern side of the junction. A previous application to install an ATM was withdrawn; a further application in relation to signage, the removal of a chimney and installation or air-conditioning units, and the creation of a new emergency exit was permitted. The Society has been deeply concerned by the Tesco development which it feels will have detrimental impact on neighbouring properties, traffic, parking and road safety, and on independent traders in the Colonnade shops in Clarence Road.
2)The Sandles and Rose Cottage, Eton (the Old Eton College Sanatorium site) (PA 12/02740)
This planning application proposes the demolition of both The Sandles and Rose Cottage. Both buildings were built in the 19th Century and are interesting architecturally but are not listed. English Heritage does not think they have sufficient merit for preservation and, on balance, we are inclined to agree provided the site is developed sensitively. Luckily a Tree Preservation Order has been placed on the large cedar tree on the site.
We make the following points:
i) Even with the reduced number of houses (17 in the preapplication down to 11) the site is too densely occupied.
ii) The gardens are miniscule. The houses are packed too tightly together.
iii) The height of the houses – 3 storeys – is excessive. The houses on the East side are too near the edge of the site and overlook their neighbours in Stonebridge Field. This is exacerbated by the inappropriate roof gardens, which we imagine, have been designed to compensate for the inadequate size of the ground-level gardens.
iv) The modern design is more appropriate for a town centre. Pitched roofs would be better and would fit in better with the neighbouring houses in Stonebridge Field
v) It would be nice if the design were to seek inspiration and make reference from the buildings which are to be demolished.
3)17 Gloucester Place, Windsor (PA 12/02727 and /02730)
This application proposes the demolition of the house and its replacement by two semi-detached buildings. Gloucester Place is a narrow cul-de-sac in the Conservation Area and while the present no 17 is an undistinguished 1950s construction. The proposal is objected against on the following grounds:
i) The design detracts from the architecture in a Conservation Area
ii) The proposed building is too large for its setting.
iii) The parking arrangements as shown are unrealistic and inaccurate.
iv) The telephone distribution pole will need to be re-sited
v) An underground basement is proposed in an area subject to flooding.
vi) Access to Gloucester Place will be restricted during the period of works to the considerable inconvenience of those living in the road.
Modifications to the design have recently been made eg the removal of Juliet balconies and of windows over-looking gardens but the ‘footprint’ of the proposed building is still too big.
B. Emerging developments:
1) The Bricklayer’s Arms
This popular and well-used Clewer Green pub and community facility closed in September and the site was sold to Mr Tom Bursnall, a Ward Councillor for
Clewer East, for redevelopment. Mr Bursnall’s intention is to demolish the late 17th or early 18th century vernacular building, formerly two farm cottages, and replace it with four townhouses. Clewer Green is a very old area of settlement connected directly with Clewer Village and the Clewer Estate, on whose land Windsor Castle was constructed. The Bricklayers Arms was one of the early houses tied to Ashby’s Staines Brewer; prior to this it had operated as a “beer shop” primarily for the bricklayers involved in the major building works (1850s until 1881) at the St John the Baptist Convent, Hatch (Clewer Green) Lane. Together with the neighbouring 17th century cottages and Victorian brick-built school, the building forms one of the remaining iconic views of historic Windsor. You can access an image here
A proposal to develop the site in Dedworth Road currently occupied by the extremely popular hardware store is now under reconsideration. Planning application 11/03438, involving the installation of a retail food outlet and 14 flats, had been withdrawn following objections by the RBWM Highways Officer. A number of aspects of the plan have been revised and the developers are keen to work with local residents to resolve outstanding issues and concerns which include the impacts on neighbouring properties, traffic, road safety and other local businesses
C. Other items of interest:
Windsor and Eton Neighbourhood Plan
The Neighbourhood Plan was launched on 24th October at Windsor Racecourse and about 60 people attended. This was enough to form the core of the Topic Groups. There were also information stalls manned by members of the Society and others at the Windsor Farmers’ Market on October 6th and the Windsor Independent Market on October 27th. We do urge members of the Society to join one of these groups. The August newsletter gave some details of this but to find out more go to the Windsor and Eton plan website
The Royal Borough annually runs a Community Bulb Planting Scheme which is an excellent way for volunteers to help beautify areas of the town. This year a small party of members planted 250 ‘February Gold’ daffodils on either side of the path leading up to the new Jubilee Fountain on The Goswells. We hope that next year more members will offer their services so a greater area can be planted.
Diamond Jubilee Tribute
The band played, the choir sang, and even the rain stayed away on the afternoon of 9th October when Her Majesty The Queen inaugurated the Diamond Jubilee Tribute and there were crowds of people thronging King Edward Court to witness this historic event. When The Queen, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, the Hon. Mrs Bayliss, descended the steps the dignitaries waiting for her included Charles Brims, the High Sheriff, and the MP for Windsor, Adam Afriyie. She was then escorted by the Mayor of the Royal Borough, Cllr Colin Rayner and Andrew Melville, Chairman of the Diamond Jubilee Committee, to the area outside Daniel. After brief speeches by the Mayor and Andrew Melville she unveiled the monument. The purple sheeting covering it fell dramatically to the ground and the 59 highly polished stainless steel spheres, surmounted by a glass faceted ‘diamond’- 60 spheres representing 60 years – twinkled in the light of the press flash cameras. Andrew Melville then introduced The Queen to Caroline Basra, the 15 year-old student from Windsor Girls’ School who designed the tribute, and to Norman Stabler and Barry Jezuph, directors of Craufurd Ltd, the engineering company in Slough which made it. She also met the Committee, the Panel of Judges and major donors before briefly talking to the crowd and making her way back to the castle. It was a day to remember and we have been told that The Queen greatly enjoyed the occasion. She certainly smiled a lot and seemed to be happy, despite suffering from a bad back.
Thanks are due to all committee members who worked so hard to ensure the successful outcome of this project, especially to David Lewis, who conceived the idea of the competition; Judith Diment, without whose determination and drive the funds required would never have been raised; and Tim O’Donovan, who arranged for Her Majesty to inaugurate the monument. The Royal Borough should also be thanked, not only for its financial support, but also for providing the team that helped bring this project to such a successful conclusion. Among many others to whom we should be grateful are, of course, the donors, the panel of judges, Caroline Basra and the Basra family, Windsor Girls’ School, Craufurd Ltd, and Martin Miranda, the manager of King Edward Court Ltd, who arranged and paid for the installation.
At the time of writing a shortfall of approximately £1,000 is anticipated. Although this is jointly guaranteed by the Society and a most generous member of the Society, it is not too late to make a donation. Please contact Andrew Melville, or send a cheque made out to ‘Diamond Jubilee Tribute’ to him at 15, Gloucester Place, WindsorSL4 2AJ.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Melville
We have started the season of talks at two venues ! At Upton House School on the evening of September 5th we were entertained by Malcolm Lock, the Chairman of The Friends of the RBMC, with a talk on Brunel and the Railways. There was positive feedback on this new venue from those who attended and parking was not a problem. The October meeting in the afternoon at Gardeners Hall was by John Penfold about William Morris and his achievements.
We look forward to seeing you at future meetings, the next one being on Wednesday 5th December at 8pm at Upton House School when the subject is The Parish Church Restoration.
Tuesday 16 October 2012 – Winchester and the Hospital of St Cross
We left Windsor on a beautifully sunny autumn morning and arrived in Winchester after a very good journey. Members were then free to explore all that was on offer in this lovely cathedral city with adequate time for lunch. Once back on the coach it was just a short ride to the The Hospital of St Cross where we were greeted by one of the Brethren, Clive McCleester – Clive is known to many of us as he was previously Verger at St George’s Chapel. We then split into two groups for our conducted tours. Our guides gave us an overview of the history of St Cross which was founded by Henry of Blois, a grandson of William the Conqueror, between 1132 and 1136 and created what is said to be England’s oldest charitable institution. Henry had been appointed Bishop of Winchester in 1129 at the age of 28. St Cross supported thirteen poor men, who became the Brothers of St Cross and then, as now, they were not monks. St Cross is situated in the water meadows alongside the River Itchen in the shadow of St Catherine’s Hill, and the ancient Hospital is renowned for the tranquility of its setting, and the beauty of its architecture. The Hospital is one of England’s oldest continuing almshouses, and the fine medieval buildings have provided food and shelter for hundreds of years. The principal activity of the Hospital continues to be the provision of individual, private apartments for a living community of about twenty-five elderly men. Known as ‘Brothers’, they wear black or red gowns, and a trencher hat for daily church and other formal occasions. At the heart of the Hospital’s inner quadrangle is a Norman church, its tower, chancel, transepts and nave soaring so high that it looks like a cathedral in miniature. Nearby stand a classic medieval hall and kitchen; a Tudor cloister; and another ancient hall in the outer quad that serves as a tea room. The extensive gardens are immaculately maintained throughout the year. Needless to say, members took advantage of the “Wayfarer’s Dole” which consists of a morsel of bread and a horn of ale! Our visit ended with lovely tea and cakes and we all agreed that we had had an extremely enjoyable day. (37 members took part in the visit).
Dates for your 2013 Diary
Tuesday, 16th April 2013 – Chiddingstone Castle, Kent
Chiddingstone Castle, a unique and unspoilt castle in Kent, can be traced back to the early 1500s, and during its life, the castle has undergone a number of architectural changes and has been owned and lived in by an eclectic mix of people and families. The castle served as a base for military forces during the Second World War, and then as a home for the Long Dene school until 1954 when the school was closed. Chiddingstone Castle was the home of Denys Eyre Bower between 1956 and 1977. Denys was a passionate collector who devoted his life to the collection of beautiful art and artefacts, many of which are on display. On his death in 1977, in order that people could continue to view his treasures, he bequeathed his life’s work to the Nation. Stunning Egyptian and Buddhist artefacts, magnificent Japanese armour, and beautiful Jacobean paintings are held in trust for the nation. The castle is set in 35 acres of grounds including a lake, a rose garden, and magnificent woodlands.
Wednesday, 12th June 2013 – Parham House, Sussex
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII granted the manor of Parham, which had belonged to the Abbey of Westminster, to a London mercer called Robert Palmer. Parham’s foundation stone for this superb Elizabethan house was laid in 1577 by Robert’s two-year-old grandson, Thomas; it was considered lucky to have this duty performed by the youngest member of the household. His mother Elizabeth was god-daughter to Queen Elizabeth I, and there is a legend that the Queen visited Parham. Thomas Palmer sold the house in 1601 to Sir Thomas Bysshopp and for 320 years Bysshopp descendants lived at Parham. In 1826 Sir Cecil, 8th Baronet, became the 12th Lord Zouche, and in 1922 the 17th Baroness Zouche sold the Parham estate to the Hon. Clive and Alicia Pearson. Clive was the second son of Weetman Dickinson Pearson, the 1st Viscount Cowdray
(Booking forms for both these visits will be available with the February 2013 Newsletter).
Changes are being made to the Society website (www.wesoc.org.uk) to include a 'scrolling news' feature; a new 'Blog' where topics of general interest can be discussed in a public forum; and a 'private' 'comments form' for individual information, requests etc. (which will not be published). The 'Activities' page now includes a list of all the Society's events in either date or calendar format. We are changing the look and feel of the website, to make it more interesting and up-to-date.
The site is currently a “work-in-progress”, so please be patient for a week or so, but after that we'd be pleased to receive suggestions for improvement, new pages or corrections. Our aim is to turn the website into an attractive 'shop window' for the Society, which can inform existing members, attract new members, and be a place of discussion for local issues. Your help in making it user-friendly would be greatly appreciated.
MEMBERSHIP and E-MAIL ADDRESSES
The membership consists of 429 members. Members who have not yet paid their subscription for the year 2012/2013 are reminded that subscriptions were due on the 1st October - £10 for single members and £15 for joint members.
The newsletter is available in an electronic form and members are asked to send their e-mail addresses and give their permission to receive the newsletter in this format, thus saving the Society a considerable amount of expense on printing and postage.
To request this change please contact the secretary at
The Annual Report will still be sent to members by post.
Enquiries about membership should be directed to:
Membership Secretary, Sue Wells,
10, Priors Close, Bray, Maidenhead, SL6 2ER.
MEET YOUR COMMITTEE
Following the AGM in October details of the President, Trustees and Councillor Representatives of the Windsor and Eton Society for 2012-2013 are as follows:
PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY
Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen CB OBE
TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIETY
Chair - Mrs Anne Taylor
Vice Chair - Mr Chris Aitken B.Sc
Secretary - Mrs Elizabeth Bye-Jorgensen
Treasurer - Mr Chris Simon FCA
Mrs Joan Biggs
Mr James Clark
Mrs Janet Dawson
Mrs Colleen Garrett B.Ed LTCL ASCM
Mr Dennis Garrett
Mr John Handcock CVO DL
Mrs Beryl Hedges
Dr David Lewis
Mr Andrew Melville
Mr Tim O’Donovan
Miss Sue Wells
Miss Rosemarie Wood
Mr Gordon Franklin CVO
Dr John Long CVO
Councillor George Bathurst
Councillor Colin Rayner
Our new Chair, Anne Taylor
Although Anne has been a member of the Committee for some time this seems a timely moment to (re)introduce her to old and new members.
Anne studied mathematics at London University and gained her teacher training diploma at Cambridge. She began her teaching career at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London and then moved to Ranelagh School, Bracknell. Having been a teacher of mathematics and Senior Guidance Tutor to the Sixth Form she retired in 2004 but then became Clerk to the Governing Body until August 2012.
Anne is married to David and they have lived in Windsor for the past 42 years. She was first co-opted onto the W&E Society committee in 2004 to help organise the Senior Schools’ Forum. In February 2009 she took over the editing of the Newsletter and became Vice Chair in 2011
Windsor Town Forum
Monday 4th February 2013 at 7.00pm Council Chamber, Guildhall, Windsor
Local Councillors’ Surgery
There are no longer any mobile Councillor surgery sessions held outside the Post Office in Peascod Street, Windsor. There are now local ward surgeries.
Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal
We have been asked to draw members’ attention to this appeal which aims to raise £200,000 to build a statue of a pair of Windsor Greys on the roundabout along by the Long Walk to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s coronation. The statue will be created by sculptor Robert Rattray in the spirit of an original design by the late Althea Wynne, and is planned to be completed by October 2013. Information is available on the appeal’s website: windsorgreysjubileeappeal.co.uk . Donations can be made:
· online via the website
· via banks to Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal – HSBC 404702 a/c 51507478;
· by post to 35 Queens Rd., Windsor, SL4 3BQ (postal donation form available to download from the website) with cheques made payable to Windsor Greys Jubilee Appeal.
Town Centre Carol Service
The annual Civic Town Centre Carol Service will take place on Tuesday 11th December 2012 at 6.30pm at Windsor Parish Church. Singing will be led by the Parish Choir and the Supers’ Choir of St George’s School, Windsor Castle and our Society’s Chair will read one of the lessons. The service is followed by seasonal refreshments and a collection will be taken for Thames Hospicecare and the work of the parish.
Saturday 23rd February 2013 10 am to 4.30 pm Windsor Branch Event – St George's School " A Thing More Glorious – The Coronation. David Thomas explores its evolution, regalia and ceremony". The day will be led by David Thomas, a historian who is well known for his passion for the history and pageantry of the monarchy. The day should be of special interest to members of the Society in view of Windsor's links to royalty over the centuries. Tickets £35 including coffee and lunch. Book early (see below).
The spring WEA programme features "Researching Local History" led by Hester Davenport at the Windsor Library on Tuesday evenings. The other evening course, on the modern novel, will be presented by Jan Frederickson in the E Berks College. The Morning Courses include "Charles Dickens: Life and London", "Watercolour Painting" (practical), "Looking at Paintings" and "Literature: Tragedy and Comedy".
For more information and booking please contact Malcolm Lock (tel 01753 863753 email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Slough Branch, with support from the Windsor Branch, is also running a special day on Saturday 26th January 10 am to 4 pm at the Slough Library when Guy Hurst, the popular local lecturer on astronomy, will present "Our Amazing Galaxy". Suitable for all comers, new to astronomy or experienced. Tickets £18. Tea & coffee included.
In taking on responsibility for editing our Society’s Newsletter I aim to maintain the high standard set by its previous editor Anne Taylor. However, if any member has comments or suggestions on how the Newsletter and its content might be enhanced or improved please feel free to contact me.
Published by The Windsor and Eton Society www.wesoc.org.uk
Edited by Janet Dawson, 13 Newberry Crescent, Windsor SL4 5SN
Chair: Anne Taylor, Canon Cottage, Bishop’s Farm Close, Oakley Green, Windsor
Secretary: Elizabeth Bye-Jorgensen, 55 Edinburgh Gardens, Windsor SL4 2AW