2019 Friends’ Evenings – Dates
The Spring Friends’ Evening is now confirmed for Tuesday 7th May at the Fox & Pelican. We’re planning a Grayshott Heritage quiz evening, so start brushing up your local knowledge. All the questions will have a local history theme, you will need to form up into teams of 4-6, either on the night or before, and there will be a cash prize for the winning team. Doors open at 7pm, proceedings commence at 7:30. As always, it is free for Friends, with complementary light refreshments and a bar.
We also hope to organise a Friends’ summer visit to Huntington House, one of the major older houses in the area and now carefully restored. The Autumn evening is scheduled for 22nd October at the Village Hall, the theme being Grayshott in 1939. Meanwhile if anyone has suggestions for future evenings, or how we can improve things, please get in touch through the Contact page.
Spring Tree Walk
We plan to hold a tree walk in association with the Hidden Gardens of Grayshott. Scheduled for 10:30 on Sunday 26th May, the walk will be about 1 1/2 miles around the village centre and end back at the village green in time for the event’s opening at midday. The walk is free buy places are limited; if you would like to make a reservation please get in touch through the Contact page.
New Find – A World War 1 Map
One of our members has just acquired this Ordnance Survey map of the Aldershot District army manoeuvre area from the time of the First World War. Grayshott had been within the area of the Army’s Aldershot Command since it was formed in the 19th century.
Maps like this are fairly common survivors, they were printed in their thousands, issued to every officer on manoeuvres and they are still being found in sheds and attics. This is a lovely copy, and has obviously been used in the field, being worn, grubby and tea-stained. It was issued in 1912, and thick red line and the paler turquoise area were printed on, to show the Command’s boundary and Longmoor Ranges as they were immediately before the war. The interesting thing for us is that its owner then hand-coloured turquoise and yellow areas to show extra training lands, some of them outside the Command, that were added during the war.
Around Grayshott we can see that Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Land of Nod, Golden Valley, Devil’s Punchbowl and Hindhead Common are all thus coloured. Most interestingly, so is Kingswood Firs, which at the time was owned by James Mowatt. Mowatt’s son Osmond served in the army and died of wounds in 1917.
The nearby heaths had long been used by the army, as described in our article The Battle of Ludshott Common. And the Rifle Brigade was just one of many units that were billeted her. The map is a reminder of just how close the villagers must have felt to the war – as well as their own sons, fathers and husbands in uniform, they were surrounded by the sight and sound of thousands of young men in training.
One such, Rifleman JE Taylor of the Rifle Brigade, wrote in a letter to his local newspaper of his time here.
‘Last Friday we left Blackdown and marched to Grayshott . They paraded us at 9am and, on marching off, we were joined by three more battalions ….. When we had all got into our stride it was a grand sight. On arriving at Grayshott at 5, after marching about 20 miles, we were marched to our billets.
I was rather disappointed to find that ours was a schoolroom. We had to sleep on the floor the first three nights with only three thin blankets ….
We are training with the Battalion now, and the last three days they have fairly put us through it. On Wednesday we paraded at 6:30, and had marching and doubling till breakfast. After that the recruits had some more marching and doubling in a field four inches deep in snow, and also an hour’s drill with the rifle. I thought my fingers would have dropped off with the cold …..
On Thursday we had a field day, another big march and more skirmishing. Then we halted for dinner; water, dry bread and cheese ….. After dinner we had some battalion drill, then marched back arriving about five o’clock. Today we paraded for breakfast at seven, and later formed up for a route march of sixteen miles ….. through some grand country. The trees around here are nearly all firs, and there are plenty of them ….’
So if you are walking across the commons on a sunny spring day, please spare a thought for Rifleman Taylor with his frozen fingers and dry cheese sandwich
Some New Articles
Residents of Grayshott may have seen our series of articles in Grayshott Today magazine. For those further afield, we are putting them onto our website on a new page called Grayshott Through the Ages.
Latest Loss – The Golden Hind
The latest building to succumb is the Golden Hind Cafe at Hindhead, more recently known as Cooper Brothers furniture shop. Time and decades of pounding from recent traffic had taken its toll, and the building was sadly beyond economic repair. It was demolished in May 2018
Latest Newsletter: Number GH15, April 2019
Our first evening of 2019 will be the Grayshott Heritage Pub Quiz at the Fox and Pelican on Tuesday 7th May – so start brushing up on your local knowledge! All the questions will have a local history theme and you will need to make up teams of 4-6, either on the night or before. There will be a reasonable cash prize for the winning team.
Doors open at 7pm and proceedings will commence at 7:30pm. The quiz is free for Friends, with a small charge of £3 for guests (payable on the night). There will be complementary light refreshments, a cash bar and of course a raffle.
Please could you let us know as soon as possible if you would like to come to the quiz as there is limited space? CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP or email/phone Liz (contact details below).
Our Autumn Friends’ Evening will be on Tuesday October 22nd at the Village Hall and the theme will be ‘Grayshott in 1939‘.
HUNTINGTON HOUSE VISIT:
We are planning a visit to Huntington House probably on the afternoon of Saturday June 29th. Huntington House is one of the substantial original local houses with grounds. The visit will include looking round the restored house, a walk around the grounds and refreshments. We will email you with further details when the event is confirmed.
WEBSITE / NEW FINDS:
Please take time to look at our website https://grayshottheritage.com/, there is often news and new items of interest to look at. Also, we would be very pleased to receive any offers of articles and other suitable news, finds etc. that can be included. A brochure of the ‘Sally Lunn’ a notable catering and entertainment establishment which existed on the southbound side of the Portsmouth Road at Hindhead has turned up.
The original milestone 40 on the old A3 at Hindhead has been somewhat neglected and we are currently investigating what can be done to make sure this important item is preserved and not lost.
NEW PATHWAY NAME:
It has been put forward that the pathway from Headley Road to the Crossways Road car park should be given a name and a suggestion is “Chapman’s Walk’. The name is taken from Chapman, Lowry and Puttick whose business was formed in Grayshott some 120 years ago with offices and yard on the site of the now Crossways Road car park.
Could you help us by taking minutes at our meetings? This would involve coming along to our committee meetings, taking the minutes and then distributing them to the other committee members by email. Meetings are generally held every 5-6 weeks at the Fox and Pelican at 7:30pm on a Tuesday evening. Please contact us if you can help, we would love to hear from you.
HAMPSHIRE RECORDS OFFICE:
John Childs attended this forum on behalf of GH, another successful meeting at the Records Office, Winchester bringing together representatives of organisations within Hampshire with like interests and aims.
It is hoped that in the Spring/Summer 2019 there will be a new walk around the village centre, the old hamlet. In connection with Hidden Gardens of Grayshott on Sunday 26th May and Monday 27th May a new self-guided walk booklet is being produced to look at some of the more interesting trees around the village.
CAN YOU HELP?
We have been contacted by Manfred Adam, from Germany, who stayed as a student with the Dewhirst family at 23 Kingswood Firs for short periods during the 1960s and 70s. He would like to get in touch with them but thinks they moved away from Grayshott. Does anyone either remember Manfred Adam or know of the Dewhirst family? If you have any information, please contact Liz (contact details below).
Richard Peskett, (Chairman)
Tel: 01428 604862
Liz Cross (Friends’ Secretary)