Life returning to normal: No.1

We’ve a long way to go before life fully returns to normal. Some activities are returning to normal, which should be appreciated by us all. This bike meet is one such.

Passing Jack’s fish and chips emporium on the A30 in Bagshot on Wednesday, I couldn’t resist stopping by and gazing at the variety of motor bikes, mostly old, as were their owners. Good to see. Click on images to expand.

Bagshot’s mini-retail park adorned with lavender

Yesterday I was the driver taking my dear wife to Waitrose in Bagshot for a small shopping of essential items.

Turning into Waterers Way from the A30 is to be greeted by clusters of lavender in full bloom. Such a pleasing sight, made all the better with them being bathed in sunshine. The lavender planting extents into the car park. Definitely a successful planting plan, where so often such public spaces are often untended.

Admiring the Earlswood Park display of rhododendron flowers

The show of rhododendron blooms at Exbury Gardens, Bodnant, and RHS Wisley are out of bounds for now. Yet, a mass showing of rhododendrons can be seen in all their loveliness near the Waitrose store in Bagshot.

They can be seen in Earlswood Park, which is the land given in mitigation to the adjacent housing estate and Waitrose retail development. See the background about this below in the photo of the map of the area – expand the photo to read the details. The land was previously occupied by Notcutts Garden Centre, and before that by Waterers Nurseries, hence the stands of mature rhododendrons.

I’ve taken many photos of these rhodo blooms, they’re being among my most favourite plants, and from what I saw when out photographing them, bumble bees as well. Below is a small selection of those photos, chosen for their colour. I’ve posted the photos without size reduction. Click on photos to expand and then for greater expansion click on the full size option at the bottom right of the screen.

I’ve written about the display of these rhodos before, and promised myself to identify some of them. It’s not just the flower that needs photographing, the leaves need to be done too, especially the underside, and that’s what I forget to do, having been overcome with the need to see as many flowers as I can. Well, here’s a lockdown challenge.

Small change in Bagshot leaves a good impression

I drove through Bagshot last week, and couldn’t fail to notice the changes to the village square.

Simply had to go back and visit the square to view the changes, and in doing so the changes gained my admiration. Gone are the untidy parked cars. Now it’s a flexible public space. I haven’t got a comparable photo of the square before the change, the one I’ve posted below is the nearest I’ve got.

Wouldn’t it be great if other Surrey Heath villages had such improvements to their village centres to improve their ambience. I don’t imagine that the budget for this work would be very big.

Today’s diversion from politics 1of3: British Water Tower Appreciation Society

Amazingly, there’s an appreciation society for so many things in the UK. Heck, I’m a member of one of them, The Milestone Society.

I’ve been tempted to join societies such as The Letter Box Study Group, having found a rare example of an Edward VIII pillar box in Prior Road in Sunningdale see HERE, and a Victoria one in Crawley Ridge. The Pill Box Study Group also interests me, as I have an odd, to my wife anyway, fascination for these war time relics.

Thanks to Ferrers who commented, see below, on my brief article about Blackhill Water Tower in Bagshot heath.

Dr. Barry Barton, author of “Water Towers of Britain” has a build date of 1923.
Dr. Micheal Gould and Dr. David Cleland in their paper “Development of design form of reinforced concrete water towers” give the capacity of this tower as 200,000 gallons.
That is the sum total of information that I have on this tower.

Ferrers, British Water Tower Appreciation Society (Archives)

So, wonderefully, now you know there’s a apprecition society for Water Towers.

Tree of the week No.3: The shapely Jasmine Box

At Bagshot Railway Station there’s a shapely Jasmine Box tree, sometimes also known as evergreen privet whose proper name is Phillyrea latifolia. It’s an uncommon tree in the UK, and so Bagshotians should be pleased to have an easily accessible mature specimen. The tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order. While uncommon it’s sold by nurseries as a shrub, given its slowing growing nature.

It’s a member of the olive family, and was introduced to the UK from the Mediterranean in 1597 by the herbalist John Gerard. It was first planted in gardens belonging to the Earl of Essex. In the formal gardens of the 17th century it was clipped and trimmed by topiarists, though now seems to have, sadly, fallen out of favour.

The tree flourishes in the UK’s wetter climate and fertile soils than in its native Mediterranean habitat. It benefits from a being allowed to grow freely to achieve its wide rounded shape. It’s a robust tree, happy in most soils and in a coastal setting, and is suitable for hedging.


  • A roundly shaped little evergreen tree, growing to 9m [30ft] in the UK.
  • Densely leaved, with leaves that are dark green and glossy on top, with shallow teeth to the leaf edges.
  • The bark is dark grey, and lightly ridged.
  • Small greenish-white flowers appear in May-June.
  • Small round fruits, containing a single seed, turn purple and eventually black.

Other notable specimens in UK [some taken from Architectural Plants tree web page]

  • The Vyne (National Trust), in Hampshire
  • Ickworth House (National Trust), Suffolk
  • By the war memorial in Trumpington south of Cambridge
  • The Washington roundabout on the A24, West Sussex
  • Outside the church in Chideock, Dorset

Images of Jasmine Box at Bagshot Station, Surrey [ click on images to expand]

  • Mature tree
  • Greyish, lightly ridged bark
  • Leaves on tree
  • Close-up of leaves on a twig

Further information sources:

A weekly motor bike meet at Jack’s chippy in Bagshot

I’ve previously reported, HERE, on the weekly motor bike meet on Wednesday lunch time at Jack’s Fish and Chips in Bagshot.

Jack’s on the A30 in Bagshot is blessed with a large car park, unusually so for a chippy. It’s ideal to host a weekly gathering of motor bikes old and new. We drove past last Wednesday, the final day of lovely sunny weather, before the current rains.

I said to my dear wife that I wanted to take a closer look at the bikes, and also, why not stop for lunch. Brief appointment in Camberley duly completed, we returned and found a parking spot. I met some one I know who owns a collection of bikes, of the go-faster variety. Me, I’m equally fascinated by older bikes, possibly because they’re the ones I recognised when way back I followed motor bike road racing.

Possibly because it was a fine day, there were a large number of bikes, and Jack’s fish and chip restaurant was busy. There was a particularly fine example of a 1954 Francis Barnett, to whose owner we happily chatted after our plaice and chips lunch. Here are a few photos of some older bikes and a short video of the bike meet.

Surrey Heath Police crime bulletin: August 2018

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.45180081282 – On 30/07/2018 from 02:00 to 06:30, in College Ride, Camberley. Shed has been broken into and a tin of paint removed. This paint has then been thrown over the doors and windows of victim’s residential property.
  • Crime no.45180081354 – On 30/07/2018 from 14:30 to 14:45, in Mitcham Road, Camberley. During daylight hours have attended residential property and removed items from the address (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082842 – Between 01/08/2018 from 22:00 to 02/08/2018 at 07:00, in Frimley Road, Camberley. Attempt burglary dwelling.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180080142 – Between 01/06/2018 from 12:00 to 27/07/2018 at 01:30, in Highland Rd Camberley. Harassment by repeatedly throwing eggs at victim’s car
  • Crime no.45180081162 – On 29/07/2018 at 11:08, in Multi-storey Car Park, Albert Rd, Camberley. Male has forced barrier of car park up to let a car out the car park causing damage to the barrier mechanism
  • Crime no.45180081285 – On 29/07/2018 at 11:45, in Love Coffee, The Square, Camberley. Graffiti on advertising board of The Square shopping centre in Camberley.
  • Crime no.45180082230 – On 01/08/2018 at 14:45, in Multi-storey Car Park, Albert Rd, Camberley. Damage to barrier.
  • Crime no.45180082577 – Between 27/07/2018 from 00:00 to 29/07/2018 at 00:00, in Woodbridge Drive, Camberley. Fence post has been removed from entrance to allotments. Has been left in the garden to a residential property.
  • Crime no.45180082646 – On 01/08/2018 22:00, in Surrey Avenue, Camberley. Damage has been caused to victim’s front garden gate and wall by unknown teenagers
  • Crime no.45180082738 – On 20/07/2018 00:00, in Horseshoe Crescent, Camberley. Theft of electricity.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082089 – On 01/10/2016 at 11:49, in Mytchett Road, Frimley. Criminal damage/civil trespass.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180081079 – Between 28/07/2018 from 00:00 to 29/07/2018 at 23:59, in Frimhurst Farm, Deepcut Bridge Road, Deepcut. Peugeot Expert vehicle has been broken into.
  • Crime no.45180080608 – Between 21/07/2018 from 13:09 to 28/07/2018 at 13:09, in Green Lane, Bagshot. Shed door handle has been damaged situated within a communal gardens from what appears to be an attempt to break in.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180081823 – On 31/07/2018 at 13:00, in Windsor Court Road, Chobham. Neighbour has entered property and taken money whilst the victim was asleep.
  • Crime no.45180082198 – On 29/07/2018 at 10:00, in Marigold Drive, Bisley. Laptop has been taken from home address.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082181 – Between 31/07/2018 from 16:15 to 01/08/2018 at 10:40, in Windlemere Golf Centre, Windlesham Road, West End. Have gone to the location and have forced entry to the store shed.
  • Crime no.45180082529 – Between 01/08/2018 from 11:35 to 02/08/2018 at 11:36, in Four Walls, Blackstroude Lane East, Lightwater. Wooden shed containing equipment for go karting broken into and items taken.
  • Crime no.45180080579 – Between 27/07/2018 from 22:00 to 28/07/2018 at 07:30, in Lightwater Country Park, Lightwater. During hours of darkness have set fire to a 4×5 ft path of grass on rugby field.
  • Crime no.45180081982 – On 31/07/2018 at 22:30, in Blackstroude Lane East, Lightwater. Damaged to fence caused by travellers on quad bikes (Under Investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082763 – On 02/08/2018 from 06:00 to 15:00, in Windlemere Golf Centre, Windlesham Road, West End. Window broken at golf clubhouse.
  • Crime no.45180082024 – Between 31/07/2018 from 18:30 to 01/08/2018 at 07:37 in Premier Inn, London Road, Bagshot. Vehicle interference attempted access to commercial van parked overnight at Premier Inn by screwdriver – damage caused.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082030 – Between 31/07/2018 from 20:30 to 01/08/2018 at 07:45, in Premier Inn, London Road, Bagshot. Theft from a white Peugeot Partner motor vehicle. (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082032 – Between 31/07/2018 from 21:45 to 01/08/2018 at 07:00, in Premier Inn, London Road, Bagshot. Theft from a white Vauxhall Vivaro motor vehicle.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180082033 – Between 31/07/2018 from 19:30 to 01/08/2018 at 06:30 at Premier Inn, London Road, Bagshot. Theft from a white Citroen Dispatch motor vehicle.  (Under investigation)
  • Crime no.45180080097 – On 26/07/2018 at 00:01, in Arthur Close, Bagshot. Theft of bikes and scooter which were secured with a chain and lock.