Autumn 2104 Newsletter

Autumn 2014 Newsletter
No. MC15
Conservation and
Management Plan ..
Who Does What......
Ford Lane, Lower Bourne and the ford
I am pleased to report that Diane Bradbury has agreed
to assume the responsibilities of Janet Radley as the
Day Visit and Tour Organiser. Diane will initially work with
Janet to ensure a smooth transition and she is already
actively involved. Janet has taken over from Tandy
Murphy the responsibilities of Secretary. This is an
opportune moment to welcome Diane and to thank
Janet and Tandy for their past hard work and
The Cluster Group
Meeting .................
Referendum ...........
Planning Report.....
New Website
Coffee Mornings....
Buildings of
AGM May 2014......
Another important change is that Andy MacLeod has
been appointed Deputy Chairman in place of David
Berry who wished to resign that appointment but
thankfully, to remain on the Committee with responsibility
for Membership. Our thanks go to David, for his past
efforts and continuing in his role as Membership
Secretary. Andy has passed his responsibility as
Chairman of the Planning Committee to Peter
Bridgeman. Peter has served on the Planning
Lectures in 2014....
and a
Committee for many years and is therefore well versed in planning matters. A past
member of the Committee, Roger Steel, was unanimously elected to re-join the
Committee during the course of the Annual General Meeting.
The Annual General Meeting in May, was well attended and resulted in lively
debates on a number of subjects. Most of the points raised will be dealt with
elsewhere within this newsletter. At the end of the meeting there was total
agreement with the view that the Society continues to discharge its responsibilities
and represents the true feelings of members. It was of considerable
encouragement to the Committee to receive this acknowledgement of their efforts.
A meeting has been held with F&C Reit, and the Agent acting for the owners of The
Woolmead together with their team of architects. Outline drawings of the possible
initial options available were shown, and we were able to make some comments
and express general views. Further discussions will be taking place and we are
hopeful that we will be given the opportunity to influence the design before public
consultation takes place. It is hoped that this form of early and mutually supportive
discussion will at least avoid the extremes of the East Street/ Brightwells disaster.
We remain optimistic that this relationship will prove constructive in the future.
Finally, I remain confident that we will continue to develop the operational
effectiveness and the reputation of the Society as a force for good in the Farnham
area. We would be unable to do this without the continuing support of all our
Farnborough Airport’s owner-operators have plans for expansion of flying, and
earlier this year ran a consultation in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority
(CAA). Details are available online at
This is not about tinkering with flight-paths for little noticeable difference. It’s about
setting the principles for potentially massive expansion of Farnborough, perhaps
as a passenger airport using predominantly larger and noisier aircraft. This is very
significant to Farnham residents’ quality of life in the long term.
Farnborough Airport is owned and run by TAG Aviation, a specialist provider of
business-jet facilities. Airspace operations and control near Farnborough are
complex. Although there were only 23,000 movements in 2012, TAG already has
permission for up to 50,000 aircraft movements per year at Farnborough.
TAG briefed Farnham residents at Sandy Hill on 23 April that they hope to expand
operations towards the 50,000 limit by 2019. But their strategy for Farnborough
development runs out in 2019. Broadly, if they can’t double the volume of business
jet activity in the next 5 years, commercial pressures could lead them to sell the
airfield for commercial airline operations serving London.
At page B22 of the Consultation papers: ‘CAA guidance for airspace change does
not provide a method for assessing tranquillity. ..…‘You may wish to consider the
potential effect on tranquillity when providing feedback.’ From a Farnham
perspective, my own analysis of the consultation papers led to 4 main points.
Firstly and significant to residents of Folly Hill, Sandy Hill and Upper Hale,
proposals for flight arrivals at Runway 06 (at Figure B10) include authorising flight
below 1000 ft above mean sea level (amsl) from the Folly Hill and Odiham Road
junction, where the ground is approximately 600 ft high. That implies some aircraft
on north-easterly approach to Farnborough flying at 400 ft above ground in that
area. That frightening prospect is unnecessary and unwanted.
Secondly, there is no apparent reason for allowing flight between approximately
700 and 1700 ft in the area above central Farnham, between Rowledge,
Wrecclesham, Dippenhall, Upper Hale, Hale, Runfold, Compton and The Bourne
(displayed on Figure B10 as 1000-2000 ft amsl). That would be unnecessary and
unwanted. By not establishing a protection zone around those areas shows a
disregard for Farnham’s population centres.
Thirdly, in order to shorten ground tracks, and thus reduce CO2 emissions and
noise footprints, flight arrivals from the north-west, towards the predominantly used
Runway 24 (at Figures B11 and E2) should primarily be routed direct to the start
point for the finals turn rather than to a runway-parallel holding leg. Then any
multiple arrivals could be separated by fanning them all out to the right (i.e. making
them join the holding orbit earlier, as currently depicted and proposed).
Finally, the consultation did not include details of any noise abatement procedures,
to significantly reduce the impact of increased flying activity. The plans do not
include maximum power settings related to aircraft altitude and distances from
take-off. This is routine for airports in city areas out of consideration for local
residents, but has not been included here yet. This omission must be corrected
and there should be further public consultation in that regard.
The closing date for public comments was 12 May 2014, and the Farnham Society
commented before that date. A first report will be published in August summarising
responses to the consultation. A further report will be published in the first quarter
of 2015, giving more details of proposals under consideration following the
By David Berry
Local authorities have a statutory duty to manage conservation areas. Waverley
has responsibility for the Farnham Town Centre Conservation Area, which stretches
from The William Cobbett pub to Farnham Castle, and westwards as far as the
Memorial Hall. Councillor Carole Cockburn chairs a management group
comprising councillors, council officers, and members of other interested parties
including the Farnham Society. The group, known as FCAMP, is currently
overseeing a number of on-going projects in the Conservation Area.
The Bishop’s Steps run alongside Castle Street up to the Castle entrance. A project
started around two years ago to restore and improve the steps and develop the
garden area on the eastern side of the pathway between the steps and the Castle
wall. The financial difficulties and change of ownership at the Castle resulted in a
substantial delay. Repairs were made to the steps in 2012, with new paving and
edging. Electrical supplies for the lighting on the steps have been installed.
Members will have noticed the work in progress on the retaining wall, and brick
laying should be complete by the time this newsletter is distributed. A new gardener
has started work, and it is hoped that the garden will be completed by the end of
A project to de-clutter the town of unnecessary signage has stalled. As of 18
months ago only seven signs had been removed. Additional funding is needed to
continue the work and a further survey of the town will be carried out to prioritise
further removals. Surrey County Council have expressed support, but there are
safety issues to be addressed.
Maintenance of the ‘fingerpost’ pedestrian street signage produced a survey last
September which identified redundant signs to be removed, and signs to be
repaired and corrected. No action has as yet been taken following the survey.
Funding was originally offered by Farnham Town Council, but it is uncertain when
that funding will be available for work to proceed. A project for the signage of
Farnham yard has funding in place and designs approved. Work continues to
establish the historical provenance of names like ‘Fishy Stevens Yard’.
Shopfront guidelines have now been approved, though this has taken time
because of the need that Waverley consult with the other villages under their
authority. The group has not seen the details or recommendations, but were after
a limited colour palate and style being used in the Heritage areas, and a ban on
plastic or gaudy signage. These new guidelines can only be put into effect on
change of usage or ownership, and will not apply retrospectively.
The large bollards which were installed in the Farnham Library entrance are now to
be replaced with ‘Heritage’ cast iron bollards more in keeping with the town.
Plans to renovate the Culver Room at Farnham Library have been approved by
Surrey CC, and work should start shortly.
Improvements to the footpath through the Robert Dyas yard, between the Central
car park and Downing Street, entail replacement of the fence and new surfacing on
the footpath. The path is a permissive right of way which is privately owned and
paid for by Waverley (by a peppercorn rent with conditions). There are legal issues
to be addressed between the various stakeholders before work can proceed.
By Rachel Fenner
By Carole Hodgson
HIDDEN ART IN FARNHAM - Behind the police station site hoardings these
carved stone panels (1963) depict Farnham’s history of deer, cows, sheep, hops
and bishops, and should re-appear on the new walls of the Churchill Homes flats.
For email addresses see current Members’ Programme card
Sir Ray Tindle
The Old Courthouse,
Union Road,
Farnham GU9 7PT
Michael Blower
Runfold House,
Runfold St. George,
Farnham GU10 1PL
Alan Gavaghan
Linden House, Compton Way,
Moor Park,
Farnham GU10 1QT
1 High Park Road,
Farnham GU9 7JJ
Andy MacLeod
11A Menin Way,
Farnham GU9 8DY
Janet Radley
13 Lickfolds Road
GU10 4AF
David Berry
16 Monks Well,
Farnham GU10 1RH
John Cattell
12 Hale Place
Farnham GU9 9BJ
Michael Clements 42 Sandrock Hill Road,
Farnham GU10 4RJ
Social events,
Gloria Dyche
Hankley Wood,
Thursley Road,
Elstead GU8 6LW
Krish Kakkar
8 Douglas Grove,
Farnham GU10 3HP
Heritage Open Days Georgina Bridges 106 Greenfield Road
Farnham GU9 8TQ
Traffic management
Michael Murphy
Sirmoor, 29 Shortheath Road,
Farnham GU9 8SN
Peter Bridgeman
8 Vale Close, Lower Bourne
Farnham GU10 3HR
Heritage Open days
Erica Wilkinson
Powderham House,
Farnham GU10 5EB
Simon Bradbury
70 Middle Bourne Lane, Lower
Bourne, Farnham GU10 3NJ
Committee member Roger Steel
34 Lynch Road
Farnham GU9 8BY
We welcome some new members to our committee.
Has kindly offered to coordinate and manage Heritage Open Days in Farnham.
Has worked for 50 years as an arboricultural lecturer and consultant, retiring in
2005. He and his wife Leonie have lived in Farnham since 1988. Peter joined the
Planning committee in 2010 and has now been elected to the executive commitee,
where he is taking on the Chairmanship of the Planning Committee.
Returns to the committee, having stood down as a committee member a few years
ago to become a councillor representing Farnham Moor Park on Waverley BC and
Farnham Town Council. He has been involved in local issues since retirement as
director of his pharmaceuticals and healthcare company.
HODS 2014 AUTUMN NEWSLETTER by Georgina Bridges
Every year on four days in September, right
across the country, buildings of every age,
style and function throw open their doors. It
is a once-a-year chance to discover
architectural treasures and enjoy a wide
range of tours, events and activities that
bring local history and culture to life. All
entirely free of charge!
2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of Heritage
Open Days. It’s become Britain’s largest
grass-roots cultural event, organised by a huge network of people who share a
passion for places, history and culture. Locally, over 1,400 organisations and some
40,000 volunteers organise thousands of site openings and events, jointly
attracting over 1 million visitors.
12 Tanyard Square
The Farnham Society is very proud to have
brought HODS to Farnham. Each year a
team of dedicated and imaginative Farnham
Society volunteers work tirelessly to bring the
event to fruition and each year it grows!
HODS is generously co-funded by Farnham
Borough Council.
This year we are focusing on Bricks and The
Farnham Pottery takes centre stage. With a
24 West Street
grant from the South Street Trust the Pottery
has created an exciting 4 day program of events, celebrating all things brick and
terracotta. The Pugmill Bakehouse will be firing up their wood-fired brick oven, there
will be workshops, talks by experts, an exhibition and a pottery trail. In fact there is
so much going on that its impossible to mention it all here, so please visit their
website Also on the brick theme, there will be a talk at the
Museum of Farnham by historian Angela Peers-David, who will be introducing ‘a
Brief History of Brickmaking - an intriguing
journey through Farnham’s built heritage’.
Throughout the summer the Museum of
Farnham has been running the ‘Finding
Farnham Community Dig’, on the HODS
Saturday join them to discover what was
unearthed. There will be a variety of
different living history displays and handsFarnham Pottery
Farnham Castle
on activities led by experts, David
Graham and Dr Anne Sassin will present
a round-up of all the finds at 4pm.
There will be tea and tours going on at
the Castle on Thursday afternoon.
Come and discover the fascinating
history of the Bishops Palace with the
Castle Guides and enjoy a delicious tea
in the Great Hall, with the Farnham
Chamber Music Society creating just
the right atmosphere.
On Friday morning we are proud to
present a new HODS initiative “Virtual
Accompanied by projected images,
Michael Blower and Angela PeersDavid present their usual walking tours
of Red Lion Lane and the architecture
of Castle Street respectively, but from
the comfort of the Farnham Maltings,
The Maltings
no walking required! On Saturday the Maltings will also be putting on a pop-up
craft workshop for all ages. Drop in and get creative.
To mark this year’s centenary of the Great War, St Andrew’s infant school and
Frensham Heights will have exhibitions about life in their schools during WW1, as
well as other activities.
The Antiques Warehouse in Runfold is housed within stunning Elizabethan tithe
barns, and they will be pulling out all the stops for HODS this year. There will be
displays of restoration techniques such as gilding, caning and french polishing by
master craftsmen, tea and homemade cake, live piano music and a mini ‘Antiques
Roadshow’. Why not bring your treasures to be identified and valued by specialist
Gordon Patrick.
This is a small taste of the full program. We’ve about 30 properties open with all
kinds of tours and events going on, there are lots of walking tours, performances,
workshops, talks and exhibitions. For full information the HODs Brochure can be
downloaded at www.
With so many fine buildings, a vivid history and a thriving crafts community it is only
right that HODS should grow and grow. We are always looking for new properties,
so if you’d like your property to become part of the program, or if you’d like to join
the organising team, please get in touch. [email protected] or call
Georgina on 07595 466810.
Twice each year, several of the local civic societies meet up as a ‘Cluster Group’ to
discuss areas of common interest. The last meeting was in June, and included
representatives from the Farnham Society, Farnborough Society; Fleet and Church
Crookham Society; Odiham Society; and Yateley Society. Discussion included the
following matters of concern.
The planned expansion at Farnborough airport, which will affect several areas in
Large numbers of new houses are planned in several areas. There are plans for a
thousand or more houses in Fleet. A large development is proposed in
Farnborough at Sun Park, a former military site. Yateley are anticipating an
application for one hundred and fifty houses. In addition, there are proposals for
more than four hundred houses in Badshot Lea, which comes within the Farnham
Society’s area of interest.
In Odiham most applications are for infill housing within the village. As they are in
conservation areas there are already restrictions in place.
Hart local plan is currently being written. Hart Council is cooperating with Surrey
Heath and Rushmoor Councils. Worryingly, there was no mention of Waverley’s
involvement. Hart’s plan does not yet offer a firm proposal for numbers of houses,
with several different figures having been put forward.
There was discussion as to whether a neighbourhood plan would be of any value
in the absence of a local plan or core strategy. It was suggested that a
neighbourhood plan could contain several options, each based upon different
numbers of new houses. A neighbourhood plan for Odiham is to be prepared.
On traffic matters, Yateley were aware of a proposal for a junction improvement on
the A30 at the Eversley road junction.
At the time of the meeting, the Farnham Pedestrianisation referendum was coming
to the end of the period for voting. The Fleet and Church Crookham representative
knew nothing of the referendum, even though she works in Farnham.
The Odiham and Yateley Societies each have a current major project. Yateley are
staging an exhibition for the centenary of WW1. The plan is to open the exhibition
later this year, initially in a local school, with a view to moving on to other venues
later. Odiham will hold a display in 2015 marking the 800th anniversary of the
Magna Carta. They also reported that they now have a digitised tithe map.
The Farnborough and Yateley societies both hold regular members’ meetings,
though in the case of Yateley they are poorly attended. Yateley hold Summer and
Winter social gatherings for their members.
The Fleet and Yateley societies are both involved in wildlife type activities, with
Yateley members forming a conservation team to assist rangers on Yateley
common on Sunday mornings.
Yateley have had requests from local schools for assistance with local history, but
have been unable to find people to accept the task.
The cluster group will hold another meeting, towards the end of the year.
PS The two Fleet and Church Crookham representatives were wearing sweaters
with Society emblems. Is this something our society ought to consider?
Jeremy Hunt initiated a referendum on his proposal to address Farnham town
centre’s traffic problems by means of part-time pedestrianisation involving shared
space. A public meeting was called, at short notice, in June to discuss the idea.
The initial meeting was heavily oversubscribed, and two subsequent meetings were
held, one immediately after the initial meeting and another the following week.
Concerns were expressed that the wording of the referendum was poor so people
were not sure what they were being asked to support; and that there was no
alternative route proposed for vehicular traffic displaced from the town centre.
Shared pedestrian and vehicle use for Downing Street, The Borough and the
southernmost part of Castle Street was shown in a diagram.
4,327 were in favour of part-time pedestrianisation by means of shared road space
as suggested in the accompanying plan, and 3928 voted against. Of the 30,542
people entitled to vote, however, only 27.26% took part in the referendum, meaning
that just 14.17% of eligible electors voted in favour.
Surrey County Council published a paper on Farnham town centre traffic more
than twenty years ago, and concluded that closure of town centre roads to traffic
would require the construction of new roads outside the town centre.
OLD AND NEW - the old Town Hall in Castle Street and the new Town Hall in
South Street built in 1904
PLANNING REPORT by Peter Bridgeman
As this is my first report since taking over as Chairman of the Planning Committee,
I should like to take this opportunity to thank Andy Macleod for his excellent term of
office and to congratulate him on being elevated to Vice Chairman of the Society.
This report aims to keep members up to date with planning issues but, as these are
turbulent times in the planning world, there are many fast-changing situations and
by the time you read this the situation may well have altered.
As many of you will know, there is ever-increasing pressure and Government
encouragement to build more houses, both to stimulate the economy and provide
much-needed homes. One of the important roles of the Society is to attempt to see
that this is carried out without adversely affecting the rich heritage of Farnham and
also so as not to overstretch the already creaking infrastructure which includes
schools, roads, waste disposal and the environment. We have to accept more
residential accommodation but we shall endeavour to see that Farnham in the
future is as good a place to live in as it is today.
This extra pressure to build more homes stems largely from the Government’s
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) introduced in 2012. Nationally this has
already resulted in an increase in applications. Historically and currently about 80%
of applications are allowed, with the remaining 20% refused; however many of
these go to appeal. The rate of success on appeal has risen sharply over the last
two years by some 50% for appeals heard at full planning inquiries. The main
reason for this increase in successful appeals is that only some 14% of local
planning authorities have updated their local plans in line with the NPPF. Waverley
Borough Council is one such authority with no up-to-date plan. You will already
have received or should soon be receiving a questionnaire from Waverley BC
seeking your views on the
All should read this
carefully and respond accordingly. To meet Government guidelines it will likely be
necessary for more than double the number of new homes to be built in Waverley
from 230 at present to 470 per year, which equates to 8460 by the end of plan
period, 2031.
One of the most important options in this consultation is the use of Dunsfold Park
for housing. This former WWII aerodrome covers some 250 ha (625 acres) and is
about 3 miles south-west of Cranleigh. 86% of this is brownfield land - the largest
area in the Borough. Basically, the more houses that are allocated to Dunsfold, the
less there will need to be on greenfield sites in Farnham and other parts of the
The options are as follows:- (their order not mine!)
Build 1800 homes at Dunsfold and 2650 on greenfields sites, including 1500
in Farnham (31%)
Not build at Dunsfold and build 4450 on greenfield sites, including 2700 in
Farnham (45%)
Build 3400 at Dunsfold with 1200 on Greenfield sites, including 700 in
Farnham (21%)
Build 2600 at Dunsfold and 1900 on Greenfield sites, including 1000 in
Farnham (25%)
The Society is disappointed that the options do not include build 5000 homes at
Dunsfold, as this would have avoided the use of greenfield sites throughout the
Borough. Clearly the best option for Farnham is option 3, and
Waverley BC has also proposed a
. There is no Green Belt in
Farnham but if this protection were removed from some of the nearby villages it
could benefit Farnham. On the downside the removal of Green Belt could open the
way for ‘fracking’
We are also expecting the publication of the
which deals specifically with Farnham. This is being prepared by
Councillors Carole Cockburn, Roger Steel and Patrick (Paddy) Blagden in
conjunction with Farnham Town Council. It is of significant importance to publish
this document as soon as possible so that it can be a material consideration in
determining applications. It was a little surprising to see a banner across Downing
Street in August encouraging the public to respond to the Neighbourhood Plan
when the last we heard was that it will not be available until nearer the end of the
The Planning Committee meets every two or three weeks to look at the current
batch of planning applications. Of the fifty or so on the Parish register, ten to twelve
are selected for more detailed examination by the study of plans and documents
at the Town Hall in South Street. Of these, the Society objects to perhaps two or
three and sometimes writes in support of an application or simply comments on the
proposals. To ensure we are representing a broad view on what is right or wrong,
we could do with some younger blood on the committee. So, if you are interested
in the future of our town and can attend the meetings on a Monday afternoon every
two or three weeks, please contact me.
Filming has recommenced after a delay of nearly two years for
planning consent. We did not object to the application in principle but wanted to
ensure strong conditions to safeguard local residents and the environment.
The application for fourteen houses at the Farnham College site
was refused by members but as it was recommended for approval by the officers;
there is bound to be an appeal
We are still awaiting an application for the Heron Court, Ford Lane site
but we have been assured they will retain the locally-listed house.
Members of the Society met with representatives from the
Woolmead who outlined alternative schemes for the redevelopment of this
important part of the town centre. We can expect more details soon and an
application by 2015.
Full consent has been granted for retirement homes on the former
police station property and, as you will have noticed, the site has been boarded up
and demolition could start soon (see photos on page 5).
In Badshot Lea the local landowners and their agents have used the
opportunity to rush for planning permission whilst Waverley BC is without a Local
Plan. Current applications total 177 homes with plans for approximately 200 homes
to be submitted in the next few weeks. There are also plans for a further 185 homes
in Weybourne, just a few hundred metres from Badshot Lea. The Badshot Lea
Community Association is currently in discussion with two of the developers in an
attempt to mitigate some impact of this largescale development through improved
or additional amenities.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of properties
being suggested for future applications on both brown-field (formerly built on) and
particularly on green-field sites. Some of these greenfield sites are quite
substantial and worrying, eg. Frensham Vale (50+ homes), Gardeners Hill Road
(50+ homes), Waverley Lane (190), Coxbridge Farm (350 homes), the Hopfields
site (say100 homes) and Hale Road (250 homes). We are working with and
supporting local residents’ groups with their plans to oppose too many
applications. If all of these, including Badshot Lea and Weybourne, result in
planning applications that are successful on application or appeal, we could see in
the order of 1500 new homes in Farnham in the very near future. However, please
remember it is not just Farnham facing these pressures. Other parts of the Borough
and most other towns will have to face the prospect of more building and there has
to be a strong case to control development. As I have already said, in Waverley,
one of the most important options is to maximise the use of Dunsfold Park, the
biggest brownfield site in the Borough. So please take time to read and return the
options questionnaire and again I recommend you to go for
If you have strong views or queries on any of the points raised please contact us.
Members have, no doubt, noticed that the Farnham Society’s website has been out
of action in recent months, while undergoing redesign. The Society felt that the
website needed to move on in several ways.
There should be a Farnham Society brand. The website and other publicity material
– such as newsletter and membership leaflet – should all use a common format so
as to be identifiable readily as belonging to the Farnham Society. The brand had
somehow to represent Farnham, the Society’s ‘lamp post’ logo had to be retained,
and the overall effect had to be visually pleasing both on screen and on the printed
page. Readers will have noticed the new format of our front cover, which matches
the new web pages.
The site should operate with the latest technology – which has changed since the
time of our first website. This includes the ability to connect with social media such
as Facebook. Modern mobile phones and tablets provide internet access, so the
site should operate in a way compatible with such devices.
Also, the site should be easy to run so that day to day operation could be handled
by the Farnham Society, and that professional support would only be brought in for
major changes. This meant that creation and updating of any content should be
simple. Additionally, a designated Webmaster should have editorial control, so as
to vet the content of any new article before it was published on the site. It was
recognised that the website would be something ‘living’, in that additional pages
might be added over the course of time. Therefore it was important that the site
should support ongoing development.
Two local website designers were approached and invited to tender for the task.
After much deliberation, Lee Broughall was selected. Lee is resident in Farnham,
having worked for the University of Creative Arts for a number of years, managing
the galleries and delivering exhibitions. He recently went into business as a website
designer, and has undertaken a number of commissions for local clients.
Lee has been working to roll out the new site progressively. In particular, there was
a requirement to support the forthcoming Heritage Open Day. Members may have
noticed that the old website, while displaying a reconstruction message, offered a
link to the HODS brochure, as an interim measure. The first working version of the
new site should display information about the Society and about Farnham.
Features such as a Members’ area, involving the additional complexity of controlled
access, would be left until a later phase of the roll out. The home page has been
based on a brick theme to echo that of this year’s HODs.
By the time you receive this newsletter, hopefully, you will be able to access our
new website at
The 2013 – 2014 season featured two coffee mornings. The first was at The Old
Farmhouse at Elstead, which, for more than forty years has been home to Richard
and Hilary Grey. And they’ve loved its special charm, the attractive grounds that
hug the river, the wonderful and continuing memories of bringing up their five
children; and the parties and events, the precious personal milestones . . .
Hospitality they do well, as members of the Farnham Society found when accepting
an invitation to visit the Greys’ remarkable home for a coffee morning in October
last year. Almost forty visitors enjoyed the opportunity to wander through house and
grounds but they couldn’t have guessed just how long and colourful a history would
be revealed to them.
Richard announced that the centuries’ old barn in which everyone had gathered
actually dated to . . . 1446! (And in fact, the open-hall house has timbers dating
from 1362). He revealed that a small cottage on the roadside (for a farm hand)
dated to about 1300, and it was joined to the main part of the house in about the
17th century.
That cottage has served Mr Grey as part of a gallery for showing early watercolours
– including annual exhibitions, since 1971, the year after the family moved in. These
events have continued, and Farnham Society members were delighted to have the
opportunity to view the extensive collection – and in such an historic setting.
They also inspected a number of publications with written and pictorial references
to the house – whose barn, which could be as old as the house, originally housed
wool and hay. “Today it has very different uses,” said Richard. “Anything from
family parties to charity events!”
Among the books displayed was a copy of Gertrude Jekyll’s ‘Old West Surrey’
which includes photographs of the property. Literary figures had lived in the house,
one being A.G. Macdonell, whose ‘England their England’ was written here, and he
had included the classic story of The Village Cricket Match – based on matches
played on the Tilford cricket green.
Michael Blower, who had introduced Richard and Hilary Grey, concluded the visit
with warm thanks to them, and the great appreciation of the Society.
Our second coffee morning was at Priorsfield School, near Compton. We had, as
our guides, not only current students and members of staff but also our own Jenny
Thorpe, an ‘old girl’ of the school.
The building started life as a house named Prior’s Garth, designed by Charles
Voysey and built at the start of the twentieth century. The original parts of the
building are still full of Voysey features, including fireplaces, door and window
furniture, and details such as ventilation grilles. The house was acquired after only
one year by Leonard Huxley, who was a master at the nearby Charterhouse School.
He and his wife Julia started an all-girl school at the premises, which they named
Prior’s Field. The only boy pupil at the school was their son Aldous Huxley.
The building was extended on various occasions, firstly by Thomas Muntzer within
five years of the school being established. The most recent work was the addition
of a new sports facility in the current century. All alterations are in keeping with
Voysey’s original style and character. Outside is a garden inspired by Gertrude
Today the school supports several hundred students between the ages of 11 and
18, some as day students and some as boarders. A number of the students are
from overseas. The school is strong in creative arts, as shown by the extensive art
Finally, a note of thanks to the school catering team who treated us all to coffee and
home made cakes – school dinners have certainly improved since my time!
In the Society’s
efforts to preserve
significant parts of
our heritage, we
have looked at how
buildings which do
not have statutory
listed status might
given some formal
recognition. To this
end, it has been The Crafts Study Centre, Falkner Road, Farnham 2004
suggested that all
[email protected]
worthy local buildings should be identified as Buildings of Merit.
As part of Farnham’s Heritage Open Days, 11 – 14 September, the Farnham
Society is supporting Michael Blower’s exhibition “Farnham’s Buildings of Merit”, to
run from 12 – 24 September in the Kiln Gallery at Farnham Maltings.
The exhibition will show examples of buildings, other than existing statutory listed
buildings, which are considered to assist in defining criteria for gauging what is a
Building of Merit.
Our 67th AGM was attended by approximately 50 of our members. Reports on our
activities during the year were presented, and new officers and committee
members elected. These issues have already been featured in the current or
previous newsletter and so are not repeated here.
Following the Chairman’s report, questions raised from the floor prompted a lively
The Society has proposed a public meeting for later in the year, possibly October,
to explore what options are available to develop Farnham, reflecting its ambience
as a market town, while taking account of the requirements of a 21st century
population and the need for affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure. It
was hoped that by providing a public arena for discussion with professional
architects and others, a plan for Farnham would emerge. Jeremy Hunt’s support
had been sought. Mike Bryan asked whether the committee had considered the
possibility of attracting major developers’ interest and finance potential with the
idea of giving impetus to any plans put forward. The Chairman replied that we
would attempt to attract the interest of potential developers.
Celia Sandars pointed out that the South East Area is water-vulnerable and the
threat of lack of water should be researched. The Chairman replied that
consideration was being given to setting up a database dealing with all
infrastructure problems. We wish to be in a position where we can identify existing
problems supported by the necessary evidence and to be able to project future
Mike Bryan asked if, given the massive difficulty in convincing the Local Authority
of the impact of future housing growth in the area, there was any prospect of
encouraging MPs with adjoining constituencies to agree that there should be
co-ordination over planning matters. The Chairman said that this was part of the
reason for the meeting with Jeremy Hunt in June last year. If a regional planning
committee could be formed, it would have to involve neighbouring MPs.
Jerry Hyman suggested the proposed October meeting may be too late to talk
about East Street. He referred to the illegality of works at the Riverside site due to
the lack of proper planning consent. The Secretary of State’s Screening Order
made it clear that an Environmental Impact Assessment had to take into account,
the total impact of the East Street development. He wondered how members felt
about supporting a judicial review. The Chairman thanked Mr Hyman for adding to
the information about East Street and said the Society was in touch with Matthew
Evans, Head of Planning Services at Waverley, about the programme for
undertaking a full Environmental Impact Assessment.
Zofia Lovell, Chairman of South Farnham Residents’ Association and a member of
the Society’s Planning Committee expressed concern about the future of more
people coming to Farnham. Referring to the de-selection of Councillors Roger Steel
and John Ward by the Conservative Association, she asked if members should
take action by writing to their own Councillor, to the Farnham Herald or to Jeremy
Hunt to protest at the de-selections and ask the reasons why such action had been
taken. Celia Sandars suggested re-electing the Councillors involved as
Independents if that was their wish, and Anne Thurston asked if the Society would
be prepared to support a non-political candidate.The Chairman said he would like
to think the Society would give support to an Independent candidate who upheld
the aspirations of Farnham. The Society had tried to keep out of the political arena
but had been dragged into it by events, and if the only way to protect Farnham was
by political action, so be it. Zofia Lovell, referring again to Roger Steel and John
Ward, emphasised their concern to do the right thing for their constituents, in
contrast to those who sat on influential committees and did nothing for Farnham.
The Chairman pointed out that there are other Councillors, not present, who do
support Farnham and have its best interests at heart. David Wylde said that, as
someone at the heart of the Farnham Petition, he was sure that appropriate
independent candidates could rely on enthusiastic support.
There was discussion on how to motivate people to join the Society. The Chairman
said a scheme had been put in place to distribute publicity to newcomers to
Farnham via the town’s estate agents, but it was difficult to maintain the necessary
pressure. Zofia Lovell expressed the need to reach out to young families who would
be concerned about school places and other infrastructure issues. The Chairman
agreed there was a need to continue trying to attract younger members, despite
their busy lives. Celia Sandars suggested a wider audience must be reached for
the proposed public meeting in October.(Meeting subsequently cancelled)
Rosemary Mansfield suggested a leaflet hand-out in the Lion & Lamb Yard.
During the year we have enjoyed a full programme of evening lectures.
In January, Paul Vickers presented a tour of Aldershot military camp during
Edwardian times. This was a time when Aldershot military town had reached a peak
in development, following rapid growth during Victorian times. The nation had
recently come through the Boer War, fighting a guerrilla army, and was questioning
the effectiveness of our forces in such a conflict. Now, one hundred years later, we
are still faced with the problem of ‘asymmetric warfare’.(Wars between unequal
In March, Neville Lyons, a relative of Joe, talked about the Joe Lyons Coffee shops,
The company originated in the 19th century, when an established tobacconist
sought to set up a business to provide catering at exhibitions. It grew from there,
using innovative management techniques, which led to the firms involvement in the
management of munitions factories during World War Two. In the post-war period,
the firm was instrumental in the introduction of Information Technology into the
business world.
June’s lecture, on the English Heritage project ‘Britain From Above’ which aims to
collect early aerial photographs, was presented by Phil Jacob. Aerial photography
was pioneered during WW1 as a means of reconnaissance. The activity began after
the war, and English Heritage now have access to several hundred thousand
images. These need to be identified and preserved. In some cases, the
photographs carry minimal information regarding when and where they were
taking, so much detective work has been required. Nearly one hundred thousand
of the photographs have been scanned, to be made available on the website,
where they can be viewed at no charge. See
Our last lecture of the season, in July, about the Mary Rose, was presented by Alan
Tutton on behalf of the Mary Rose Trust. It is now more than thirty years since the
wreck was raised. A new museum has recently been opened to display the ship
and the artifacts recovered from the sea bed. The work of preservation continues,
with the ship in a controlled environment enclosed by glass screens. These will be
removed in a few years time. Meanwhile, there is concern that dredging of the
channel outside Portsmouth Harbour, for the latest generation of warships, will
affect the wreck site. Work will continue for many more years on this remarkable
We have more lectures arranged for the 2014 - 2015 season..
On October 15th, Alan Windsor will be speaking about the Sir John Soane’s
Simeon Monument in Reading, Berkshire. Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was born
near Reading. He became the architect of the Bank of England, and many
remarkable country houses. He left his former houses in Lincoln's Inn Fields to the
nation as The Sir John Soane's Museum. The monument was commissioned by
Edward Simeon, a director of the Bank of England, in 1804. and it still stands in the
Market Place.
In a change to our advertised programme, on Wednesday 19th November, the
scheduled talk by Dr Tony Rice, on the subject of "Oceans and Climate" has been
cancelled. There will instead be a talk by two of our members, Hans DuMoulin and
Sam Osmond, titled "Sir William and Dorothy Temple of Moor Park".
This is a double bill about Farnham's most famous couple, who retired to Moor
Park. Hans DuMoulin will be talking about the career of Sir William Temple who laid
the foundations of the Anglo-Dutch alliance which was sealed by the marriage of
Princess Mary to William of Orange in 1677. Sam Osmond will follow by describing
the romantic love affair which Sir William conducted with Dorothy Osborne who
became his wife. We hope that Tony will be able to speak at some later date.
On Monday 19th January 2015, Martin Angel of the Bourne Conservation Group will
speak on Farnham's Natural History - its fauna and wildlife and their conservation.
Martin spoke to us a few years ago about wildlife in The Bourne. The venue for both
talks will be St Joan’s Church on the Tilford Road, time 7:30 for 8:00.
On 17 July, the hottest day of the year so far, a full coach of 53 members arrived at
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a day with a maritime theme. To see the hull of
the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship, more than 30 years after she was raised from
the Solent, is a stunning experience, currently viewed through the windows of a
‘hotbox’ as 100 tonnes of water are removed from the timbers after years of
spraying with preservative. Once dry, the hull will be displayed in an open museum
environment (scheduled for 2017) and that will be an even more impressive sight.
The unique collection of artefacts, retrieved from the ship and the silt of the sea
bed, are displayed in this new museum in beautifully designed mirror-image
context galleries running the length of the ship, and other themed galleries illustrate
the working lives of the crew. The condition of these objects is quite remarkable,
like the leather shoes, chests full of yew longbows, a vast array of tools from the
carpenter’s cabin and instruments used by the Ship’s Surgeon.19,000 objects were
found. Many are kept within environmentally controlled conditions to prevent
disintegration, but others are on display The bronze cannons bear Henry’s crest
and the initials H I (Henricus Invictissimus)
HMS Victory currently had her topmasts struck for restoration, but below decks was
where the real interest lay, giving a very real impression of life on board Nelson’s
flagship. Other options were HMS Warrior, the first iron-hulled armoured warship
powered by sail and steam, Action Stations – a series of interactive displays
bringing the modern Royal Navy to life, and the Royal Naval Museum with its
famous William Wyllie Panorama of Trafalgar. Finally, a boat tour of Portsmouth
Harbour was particularly welcome, bringing the relief of a sea breeze on this
swelteringly hot day.
Although our Cotswolds tour is yet to come in mid-September, this will be the last
of my one-day outings as I step down as Visits Organiser. I have enjoyed the role
immensely during the last three and a half years and that is largely due to the
members who come on visits, some for the first time, many as regulars. All of them
are great company, always so appreciative of the effort made on their behalf and it
has been an absolute pleasure to share the various experiences with them.
We’ve had our moments – like the time Sam Osmond led our tour of English
Heritage sites and, despite my negotiations in advance to have the gates at Netley
Abbey unlocked for us, with an email reminder the week before, and a phone call
the day before, when we arrived they were firmly closed It’s an uncomfortable
feeling to have 45 people standing in the road behind you and a heavy chain and
shut padlock in front. But a phone call to EH and I was given the number for the
combination lock. A cheer all round and in we went!
I must say a special thank-you to Jenny Thorpe, a member of our Social SubCommittee, who enthralled us with her carefully researched history on our
Northumbrian tour last year, and who has been my companion and navigator on
so many of the recce visits we always do for each venue. We’ve had great fun, and
her directions have always got us there, apart from our efforts to find an alternative
route to Lord Malmesbury’s home, Greywell Hill House, in 2013 when a road was
blocked, and we wound up on a housing estate ...!
I am delighted to say that Diane Bradbury will be taking over from me, and all those
faithful followers will be in very good hands. So a warm welcome to her, and I hope
she enjoys the job as much as I have done. Diane is in the process of planning the
programme for next year and I’m sure it will be an appealing one. I know you will
all give her the same support as you have so kindly given me, and I shall look
forward to seeing many old friends on next year’s visits, this time as one of the
I would just like to introduce myself to everyone, and to say
that I am already working on a programme of visits for 2015.
I am looking forward to getting to know all of you and I am
hoping very much for your support in my new role.
Diane Bradbury
Have you seen a bad pothole? Report it and Surrey County Council will be liable for
subsequent damage claims. They are therefore more likely to repair it.
Emergencies should be reported by telephone to the Contact Centre on:
0300 200 1003. Non emergencies can be reported online at
Select ‘Problems on roads and highways’ Then click on ‘You can report a nonemergency problem online’. Select ‘Pothole’ (it is under ‘Popular) and you will be
taken to a page where you can identify the pothole location. SCC will inspect the
pothole within five days, and if it is identified as a safety risk it will be repaired within
28 days. SCC are responsible for most roads in Surrey, including pavements, but
are not responsible for motorways and trunk roads (the A3) which come under the
Highways Agency, nor are they responsible for private roads.
Being a member of The Farnham Society enables you to have your say in the future
of Farnham and helps us to protect your town. It also entitles you to enjoy the
opportunity to attend evening lectures at reduced cost and join other members on
interesting visits throughout the year.
Please help us by paying by standing order, and completing a gift aid form, if not
already doing so.
Donations and legacies are welcomed to support the on-going work of
The Farnham Society.
Forms can be obtained from the website: or please
contact our Membership Secretary: David Berry, 16 Monks Well, Farnham
GU10 1RH Tel. 01252 781801 [email protected]
Individual member:
Couple members:
Senior member: (over 65 yrs):
Senior couple: (one over 65 yrs):
Life member:
Couple - life members:
The Society welcomes the following new members
Mr & Mrs N Bicknell
Mrs R Brockman
Mr M Conoley
Mr R Grey
Mrs P Hall
Mrs B Hanson
Mrs C Mally
Mr G Mollart
Miss J Norris
Mrs A Price
Mrs J Stinton
Mrs M Stubbington
Mr & Mrs J Ward
The next Farnham Society Newsletter will be published in February 2015
2014 - 2015 PROGRAMME
8:00 pm at St. Joan's Centre
(next to St.Joan's R.C. Church)
Tilford Road, Farnham GU9 8DJ
Ample car parking available
Members £2, Non-members £5,
Students £1.50.
Light refreshments from 7.30 pm.
The public meeting proposed for
October 2014 will not now be going
26 November 2014
8 pm at St Joan’s Centre,
Wednesday 15 October 2014
Sir John Soane's Simeon Monument
by Alan Windsor
Wednesday 19 November 2014
Sir William and Dorothy Temple of
Moor Park
by Hans DuMoulin and Sam Osmond
NOTE: this is a change to our
Monday 19 January 2015
Farnham's Natural History- its fauna
and Wildlife and their conservation
by Martin Angel
Monday 16 March 2015
Literary Farnham
by Rosemary Wisbey, accompanied
by Jenny Thorpe and David Wylde
Day visits for 2015 will be
announced in the next issue of the
18 – 20 September 2014
to include
Rodmarton Manor,
Stanway House,
Upton House and Gardens,
and a half day tour of Cotswolds
historic towns
Staying at the Thistle Hotel,
Cheltenham – half board
HERITAGE OPEN DAYS Thursday to Sunday, 11 - 14 September 2014
Volunteer helpers at the venues would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Gloria Dyche on
or Georgina Bridges
Editor: Simon Bradbury, graphics: Mike Clements 19.08.14
Printed by Riverprint Ltd, 9 Riverside Park, Farnham, Surrey