Surrey Heath Museum Exhibition: Don’t Take Chances – Go to Francis

Surrey Heath Borough Council announced, yesterday, that the latest exhibition at Surrey Heath Museum is an insight into the work of celebrated local photographer Ron Francis.

This is the last exhibition in Surrey Heath Museum until March 2018. So it’s your opportunity to show support for the museum.

What do you know about the GHQ Line and military defences?

Explanation first. The GHQ Line [General Headquarters Line] was a defence line built in the during World War II to contain an expected German invasion.

The defence line comprised hundreds of concrete pillboxes and anti-tank defences. Here in Surrey Heath we are above the GHQ Line- see map below – though we do have a smattering of pillboxes, notably one on Deepcut Bridge Road at its junction with Old Bisley Road. As ever, wonderfully, there’s a group of people dedicated to their preservation – see the Pillbox Study Group website.

Chris Kolonko, a military heritage specialist, in his Mapping the GHQ lines in Google Earth, provides the necessary detail on the location of each of the defences. Here’s a screenshot from one of his maps. If you’re interested, you’ll find much more to discover on his maps.

Listen to Trefor Hogg talk about Charles Raleigh Knight, the founder of Camberley

1-Exhibition preview eveningSurrey Heath Museum host a TALK by Trefor Hogg on Charles Raleigh Knight –  the founder of Camberley.

The talk, on Friday 10th March, is from 6.0pm to 7.0pm, and costs £2.50. To book your tickets, call Surrey Heath Museum on 01276 707284 from Wednesday – Saturday 11.0am – 5.opm.

Here’s the tweet from the Museum about the talk,

trefor-hogg

Accepting the challenge to discover more about the bowl barrows in Brentmoor Heath

My admiration is boundless to the vast, nay, I’d say, encyclopedic knowledge of the readers and commenters to this blog. Yet again Speeedicus triplicatum leads when he says in comment to THIS blog article,

I’ve never found much online about the 4 Barrows next to the Red Road …..

He continues to add this wonderful piece of history about the bowl barrow site,

… The [Surrey Wildlife Trust information board] by the barrows always makes me smile when it waxes lyrical about the ‘tool marks’ on a nearby Sarsen allegedly made by Bronze age masons … actually, the Stone was trundled down from the A322 Roundabout construction in the 1970s by a JCB with sharp teeth in its Bucket !

Couldn’t resist Speedicus’s implied challenge. After some time googling, here’s what I’ve discovered about the burial mounds,

  • The Chobham website has some information on burial mounds in our local area
  • The Makers of the Heath by Iain Wakeford has a cracking photo, though focus is on Woking, useful none the less
  • Surrey barrows 1934-1986: a reappraisal by Leslie Grinsell, who surveyed the barrows in 1932, is the authoritative source, though a somewhat dry academic description. [Note: Click on Accept to download the PDF file]. Oh, and his report says there are 12 such barrows in Surrey Heath. But where?  More work for me to do methinks.

Below are photos of [click to expand], of the barrows, the information board, the sarsen stone, an aerial photo from the 1930’s [my, how things have changed], and a contour survey 1930’s survey,

Your challenge, should you wish to accept it, is to find ghost signs

Ghost signs or ghost adverts – whichever you prefer – are the faded hand-painted adverts found on walls.

sparvell-way-ghost-signThese signs are part of a bygone era of advertising. Some are for products no longer available, which promotes a moment of nostalgia, which for me is anything to do with smoking. Something I gave up over 35 yrs ago.

Camberley has one on the wall of a building in Sparvell Way, near the junction of Park Street and London Road. It’s best viewed from the opposite side of the road, on the pavement in front of the entrance to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. I’ve photographed a couple of times, and noticed it’s continuing to fade [Click on the photo of Camberley’s ghost sign to enlarge].

Isn’t it nearly always a Briton with a fondness for the obscure, because as you might imagine there’s one who’s doing his best to record and preserve them, and not just in the UK, but worldwide. His name is Sam Roberts. His website is ghostsigns.co.uk.