The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier in Portsmouth Naval Dockyard

In our recent Four Forts Cream Tea summer cruise with Gosport Ferry it also included a cruise around Portsmouth Naval Dockyard.

The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier  – HMS Queen Elizabeth – was in port. I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a few photos and a brief video.

Surrey Heath Police crime bulletin: July 2018: 1st Update

Surrey Police Community Engagement Volunteer, David Howie, reports on recent thefts, burglaries, and criminal damage in Surrey Heath, in the latest InTheKnow Bulletin for Surrey Heath.

  • Crime no.45180071905 – On 06/07/2018 at 19:00, in Victoria Court, Victoria Avenue, Camberley. Attempted break-in to empty flat
  • Crime no.45180072519 – Between 05/07/2018 from 13:17 to 06/07/2018 21:00, in Old Dean Road, Camberley. Theft of off-road bike, a gold pen and a scooter from shed.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180072697 – On 08/07/2018 from 19:00 to 21:00, in Brackendale Rd, Camberley. Keys are believed to have been taken by suspect reaching through the ground floor window
  • Crime no.45180073610 – Between 09/07/2018 from 18:30 to 10/07/2018 at 11:00, in Church Hill, Camberley. Have used B&B guest room without paying for it and have stolen items from hospitality tray and the room.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180072441 – On 08/07/2018 at 04:40, in Cumberland Rd, Camberley. 3 youths have been seen to ‘smash up’ a road sign
  • Crime no.45180072566 – On 07/07/2018 from 22:02 to 22:55, in Charles St, Camberley. Victim’s car door has been damaged whilst in a car park.
  • Crime no.45180074073 – Between 04/07/2018 from 10:00 to 10/07/2018 at 18:00, in Cumberland Rd, Camberley. Car windscreen severely damaged by thrown glass bottle whilst parked on the drive
  • Crime no.45180074127 – Between 11/07/2018 from 23:00 to 12/07/2018 at 05:30, in Arena leisure Centre, Grand Avenue, Camberley. Two windows and a glass door smashed
  • Crime no. 45180071931 – On 06/07/2018 at 14:05, in High St, Camberley. Damage to motor vehicle parked in the High St
  • Crime no. 45180072513 – On 08/07/2018 from 00:00 to 11:30, in Highland Rd, Camberley. Overnight vehicle has been damaged whilst parked in the street
  • Crime no.45180072836 – Between 06/07/2018 from 20:00 to 07/07/2018 at 12:00, in London Road, Camberley. Wing mirror on passenger side of Audi A3 has been kicked off.
  • Crime no.45180073127 – On 09/07/2018 at 12:00, in Waverley Close, Camberley. Have entered into a van parked in an allocated parking space and stolen a wallet and its contents.
  • Crime no.45180074433 – Between 01/05/2018 from 22:48 to 12/07/2018 at 13:37, in Buttermere Drive, Camberley. Spare wheel stolen from vehicle.
  • Crime no.45180074562 – On 13/07/2018 from 00:00 to 01:00, in London Road, Camberley, Vauxhall Corsa has been left unlocked and suspect has entered vehicle and stolen items from the vehicle.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180073016 – On 09/07/2018 at 16:52, in Le Marchant Rd, Frimley, Tools and chequebook stolen from plumber’s Ford Transit van.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180073532 – On 09/07/2018 from 14:00 to 19:00, in Park St, Camberley. Theft of bicycle from cycle rack
  • Crime no.45180071830 – Between 01/07/2018 from 00:30 to 03/07/2018 01:00, in Frimley Grove Gardens, Frimley. Have entered house and stolen a camera from within
  • Crime no.45180072804 – Between 08/07/2018 from 16:00 to 09/07/2018 at 05:50, in Tomlinscote School, Tomlinscote Way, Frimley. Three school kitchen windows have been smashed overnight.
  • Crime no.45180072978 – On 08/07/2018 at 00:00, at Pine Ridge Golf Centre, Old Bisley Rd, Frimley. Graffiti has been sprayed on fairways of golf course causing damage.
  • Crime no. 45180073342 – Between 30/06/2018 from 00:01 to 10/07/2018 at 10:29, in Beresford Close, Frimley. Damage caused to council fencing
  • Crime no.45180071682 – On 06/07/2018 at 12:21, in Worsley Road, Frimley. Two suspects have attended the location and caused damage to a motor vehicle.  (Insufficient evidence)
  • Crime no. 45180072004 – On 06/07/2018 at 10:28 in Waitrose, Frimley High St, Frimley. Theft of credit cards from person.
  • Crime no. 45180071598 – On 06/07/2018 at 01:00, in Houlton Court, Bagshot. Suspects have gained entry to detached house in residential area through insecure window.  Have stolen two high value BMW motor vehicles with keys.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180072722 – On 08/07/2018 from 12:30 to 18:30, in Guildford Rd, Bagshot. Has returned home to find front door kicked off its hinges – believed someone has attempted to burgle house.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180074576 – On 06/07/2018 at 06:30, in Gloucester Road, Bagshot. Criminal damage to gate.
  • Crime no.45180072958 – On 07/07/2018 from 22:00 to 22:45, in High St, Chobham. Whilst parked in car park vehicle has been damaged.
  • Crime no.45180073406 – On 09/07/2018 from 08:00 to 21:00, in Church Road, Bagshot. Catalytic converter stolen
  • Crime no.45180073875 – On 10/07/2018 at 19:10, in High St, Bagshot. Criminal damage to motor vehicle following road rage incident.
  • Crime no.45180074175 – Between 11/07/2018 from 19:00 to 12/07/2018 at 08:00, in Freemantle Rd, Bagshot. Malicious damage to hire car
  • Crime no.45180073164 – On 09/07/2018 at 22:00, in Brookleys, Chobham. During an argument has made threats to commit criminal damage.  (Under investigation)

National e-newsletter of Neighbourhood Watch for July 2018

Here’s the July 2018 edition of the popular National Neighbourhood Watch e-newsletter Our News. Inside there’s lots of advice on keeping you safe, member offers and news on how Neighbourhood Watch members are shaping the future of Neighbourhood Watch.

Click HERE to read it on the Neighbourhood Watch website. Alternatively, you can read it below. To expand the newsletter, click on the upward facing arrow at the bottom of the image below.

Photo Quiz No.49: Answer: Seated Man sculpture on Woking Station

The 49th Photo Quiz asked where this statue could be seen? It’s a sculpture in bronze and cor-ten steel by Sean Henry, entitled Seated Man, 2011. It can be seen on platform 1 in Woking railway station.

I saw it from platform 2, while waiting for a London train, and was initially mildly discomfited by it. Had to visit the statue to find out more about it.

Below the photo of the statue, I’ve posted a photo on the adjacent plaque that gives more information. Click on image to expand.



Seeing the Solent Forts up close

The Solent Forts are sea forts, sitting in the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, also known as among Palmerston’s Follies.

We’ve passed by the forts on numerous occasions while taking ferry crossings to the Isle of Wight, or further afield, from Southampton or Portsmouth. I’ve always wanted to get a closer view of them, and so it was that we booked on a Four Forts Cream Tea Cruise with Gosport Ferries.

The weather for our cruise, on Wednesday this week, was perfect – sunny, though with some scudding clouds, and sea nice and calm – ideal for taking photos, of which I took many.

The four Solent Forts, part of the Palmerston Follies as they’re also known, were built between 1865 and 1880 as sea defences to Portsmouth naval harbour. Lord Palmerston served two periods as Prime Minister, in 1861 and 1865, during which time protection from threats of invasion from France featured in military thinking. A Royal Commission, reporting in 1860, recommended extensive and ambitious defensive fortifications. Dozens of forts [see Palmerston Forts for map] were built inland to protect Portsmouth and Gosport naval shipbuilding activities, including four sea forts. None ever fired their guns at invaders. It was their huge cost, and cost overrun that acquired the name Palmerston’s Follies.

The four Solent Forts are,

The forts were decommissioned in 1960, becoming steadily more derelict. Spitbank Fort was acquired by a private buyer in the 1980’s. All the forts, apart from St Helen’s Fort, were later acquired in the early 2000’s by a company owned by Mike Clare. Clare, a serial entrepreneur, built up the Dreams bed retail business, selling it for £200 million in 2008. Not content with early retirement he formed Clarenco, a business to pursue his love of unusual and iconic properties by turning a hobby into a business.

It’s reputed that Clare has spent around £30 million to create hotels in Spitbank and Horse Sands Forts, with plans to convert No Man’s Land Fort into a museum. They are now for sale, price, a snip at £11 million.

The visit to the forts on a Gosport Ferry Cruise is to be recommended. Our ferry boat, the Spirit of Portsmouth is a newish boat, well appointed, comfortable, and with a friendly crew. They even let me visit to bridge to pester the crew with questions, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We weren’t able to get close to St Helen’s Fort due to it being low tide.

There, that’s enough of the history. Now you’ll want to see my photos, and my video.

Council promote ‘Tennis in the Park’ with court & booking improvements

Surrey Heath Borough Council reveal,

Plans for a new Online Booking System and Annual Tennis Pass revealed, offering tennis for the whole family all year round for just £39.

As part of our commitment to help residents live a healthy and active lifestyle, Surrey Heath Borough Council is working in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to get more people playing tennis more often, and to make sure our park tennis facilities are sustainable.

Earlier this year we held a public consultation to understand the views and motivations of both existing and potential parks tennis users. Responses showed improved court conditions and a clearer, simpler booking system were the main factors that would people more likely to play at parks tennis venues.

In response, a range of court improvements have been completed at our London Road Recreation Ground venue in Camberley, including jet washing, moss treatment, surface repairs, court binding and repainting to offer a more attractive and playable surface for users of all standards.

We will also be introducing ‘ClubSpark’ soon – a simple, customer-friendly online booking and payment system for our park tennis courts. In tandem with the new booking system we are introducing a great value Annual Tennis Pass that allows a household of up to 5 people to play Tennis in the Park all year round at any of our four venues across Surrey Heath for just £39 – meaning the whole family can play for the equivalent of just £3.25 a month.

Players can also use the system to book courts on the traditional “Pay as you Play” basis at the current rate of £5.75 per court per hour. As our busiest venue, London Road Recreation Ground has been selected as the pilot site for improvements, including a new gate-access system that works in conjunction with ClubSpark.

The aim will be to make similar improvements over time at our remaining park tennis venues at:

  • WatchettsRecreation Ground
  • MytchettRecreation Ground
  • Frimley Green Recreation Ground

These major changes will be supported by a diverse coaching programme catering for all ages and abilities and targeted opportunities for low-cost tennis.

To celebrate the new-look tennis offer, we will be taking part in the national “Great British Tennis Weekend” initiative on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July.

SHBC will be offering free access to all our park courts all weekend, and will also be offering free coaching on Saturday 21 July at London Road Recreation Ground courtesy of our new coaching partner, the National Tennis Association. The Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Dan Adams, will attend the launch of the event with an LTA representative at 10.30am, followed by a day of free tennis opportunities for children and adults, including coaching sessions between 11am – 3pm.

Places are limited and must be booked in advance. To register, please visit

To register your interest in our Annual Tennis Pass, please email

Further updates will be posted on our social media channels and at