Outline History

THE  FIRST  FIFTY  YEARS

The Windsor and Eton Society grew out of the widespread national determination following the Second World War to build a better society in Britain. Leading citizens of Windsor and Eton were similarly determined that these two closely involved towns should take on a new and better life.

From the first, Sir Owen Morshead, Librarian of Windsor Castle, Mr R Weatherall, an Eton 'beak', Mr Raymond South, a Windsor Councillor and History Master of Windsor County Boys' School, were involved. They saw the urgent need for establishing such a local citizens body. As a result of their discussions, a meeting was arranged at Windsor Guildhall on Friday, January 18th 1946. The large attendance unanimously agreed to the formation of a society to be called Windsor and Eton Society. It was to be non-party and non-sectarian and the first of its objectives was to encourage among people of Windsor and Eton an active interest in the history, present affairs and future prospects of their towns and to afford them the opportunity for constructive suggestions.

The proposed aims of the Society were:

1) To encourage among the people of Windsor and Eton an active interest in the past history, present affairs and future prospects of their towns, and afford them an opportunity for constructive suggestions.

2) maintain and extend the present amenities of the two towns, and in particular to care for old and interesting buildings

3)To provide encouragement and facilities for the enjoyment of the arts and sciences, recreation and culture.

4)And so in general to enhance the good names of Windsor and Eton, and increase the esteem in which they are held.

5)The Society shall be non-party and  unsectarian, but shall not thereby be prevented from organising events of political or religious interest."

These were outlined to those present, and the motion to establish a society to pursue them was unanimously accepted. This was the first meeting of the Windsor and Eton Society.

 

The following is a list of significant events in the history of the society

1946  18th January Meeting at The Guildhall agreed to the formation of The Windsor and Eton Society

1947   First outings arranged and first AGM held in October

1948  First 'Guide to Windsor and Eton' sponsored by the society

1948  Small archaeological group formed to gain material on the history of Windsor

1949  Small Windsor History exhibition set up in the Guildhall.

1951 Proposals made to the Council for restoration of the Guildhall to incorporate permanent exhibition

1951  Princess Elizabeth opened exhibition in the newly restored Guildhall

1951-52 First series of Music Concerts

1961  Inaugural Annual Dinner

1961   First Windsor Facelift

1961  Windsor Heritage group formed

1964   Architectural and Planning Sub-Committee formed to assist the Town Council with safeguarding local amenities and to alert the public to threats to the amenities of Windsor and Eton

1966   Formation of a Landscape Sub-Committee to maintain vigilance on the Royal Borough's heritage of land not already occupied by buildings with Doris Mellor as secretary

1967  Yehudi Menuhin concert out of which The Windsor Festival was born

1969  Start of the battle for Bachelors Acre with diligent research by Miss Doris Mellor

1969  First Windsor Festival

1970  Major Tree Survey of all significant trees in the Borough

1974  The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead formed in Local Government reorganisation

1975  Bachelors Acre registered under provisions of Commons Act of 1965

1977  Miss Doris Mellor awarded MBE

1977  Architecture and Planning and Landscape sub committees amalgamated

1982  Small Guidhall Museum closed

1991  Annual Forum established with various local residents' associations and local members of Borough Council

1994  Local Senior Schools invited to present projects based on current local issues to the Annual Forum