Visiting the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe

We visited Hughenden Manor, the home of Benjamin Disraeli the influential prime minister during Queen Victoria’s reign.

We thought we’d visited all of the major National Trust houses in the South East of England. It appears not, as we’d not visited Hughenden Manor. It’s less than a couple of miles north of High Wycombe – so not that far away from us in Surrey Heath.

The day of our visit, this week, had us enveloped with hot weather, which saw us chasing the shade in the delightful gardens. It’s a most interesting house, with many of the rooms much as they’d have been in Disraeli’s time. Apart from the fascinating story of Disraeli, and his love of his country home at Hughenden, wonderfully told by the guides, the house was home during WW2 to the highly secret map making operations. This piece of the Manor’s history was uncovered by accident in 2004, again this story is wonderfully told by guides. Here’s my brief video montage of our visit.

Listening to Surrey Heath Heritage Gallery talks

Surrey Heath has a Heritage Gallery located in the Camberley Mall, don’t you know. I expect you do. Did you also know that the Gallery hold lunchtime talks? The schedule of them is in the image below.

I mostly find I’m doing something else on Thursday lunchtimes. This week I’m making an effort to listen to Roy Sellstrom’s talk on ‘The Military in Deepcut’. Roy is hugely knowledgeable on the topic, and being ex-armed services has the experience to add insight to the subject. Click on the image to expand.

Giant redwood tree avenue in Heatherside spruced up

I visited a friend in Heatherside yesterday. He was delighted to tell me about how the Borough Council had cleared vegetation between the Giant Redwood trees, and improved the path between the avenue of trees. They can be seen after a little way into Cumberland Avenue from the Maultway, and by looking right, there is a magnificent avenue of Giant Redwood trees. Once called Wellingtonia’s and now properly known as Sequoiadendron giganteum.

Redwood World has the details of the avenue of over 200 Giant Redwood trees, beginning in Yockley Close, through Heatherside Recreation Ground, almost reaching Upper Chobham Road. There’s a lovely comment in the Redwood World article, which says

“Thanks to Duncan who sent us some very interesting information about this avenue: I can tell you this avenue was planted in 1865 by my great great grandfather, Frederick Street (1835-1906). He did this on behalf of Augustus Mongredien – the then owner of Heatherside House (a pretty house which still stands beside the B311, at the northern end of the avenue), with its associated tree and shrub nursery which extended over some 30 acres nearby of what was then the Bagshot Heath.”

There’s nothing left of the nursery, but the avenue of trees.

From their introduction to the UK from California in the 1850’s the tree was called a Wellingtonia. A successful marketing ploy to associate the new tree species with a famous general. However, the rest of the world didn’t much like our cultural imperialism and by 1962 the name Wellingtonia was changed to Sequoiadendron giganteum.

Here are my photos, and a short video on recognising a Giant redwood with it’s familiar soft bark. Click on photos to enlarge.

July events: Sound Force Big Band at Windlesham Theatre on Saturday July 1st

Christopher’s Smile children’s cancer charity will benefit from the evening’s profits and raffle proceeds at a concert at Windlesham Club & Theatre with Sound Force Big Band.

An accomplished big band, renowned for their Glen Miller tribute act, play a wide variety of music, from soul to Kylie Minogue, and more.

Sounds like great value for a great cause – just £20 per head including a fish and chip supper.


My lovelies have been on a days’ holiday

My lovelies? Why, they’re my small cacti collection.

Yesterday they were treated to a holiday from the conservatory windowsill to a day on the patio table. Of course they have a good watering to make them feel happy.

Over the past few days we’ve been rewarded with some of them flowering. Here are the photos of their holiday, and the two newly into flower.  I thoroughly recommend the floriferous Tacitus Bellus, sounding like a Roman character from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, for its splendid flowers.

Camberley Society’s Public Meeting with Surrey Heath Council on its development plans

The Camberley Society is always keen to promote a Surrey Heath residents perspective on Surrey Heath Borough Council’s development plans.

To which end, the Society has arranged a public meeting with borough council officers and councillors in the Council Chamber at 7.0 pm on Monday 26th June 2017. The key topics the Society is concerned about include:

  • Proposed developments in the town centre and the Mall
  • Forthcoming road improvements
  • Camberley’s rail service
  • Frimley Health proposals for health and care

June Events: Packed programme at Lightwater’s Fayre in the Square on Saturday 24th June

This Saturday, 24th June 2017, from 9.0 am to 1.0 pm it’s Lightwater’s summer Fayre in the Square.

A packed programme of events includes young performers from Miss Becky’s Dance School, Terri Jayne Theatre Arts, GKR Karate display, and The Jazz Singer, plus a variety of stalls, and free food tastings.

Oh, and there’s Randalls Coffee and Wine Bar for all sorts of refreshments. What more could you want. Here’s a couple of photos from previous fayres,