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 Huntingdon 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.
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.
Churt Heritage Event
Churt Heritage invite you to attend their event ‘1883 – Who Lived in Churt? Details below.
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.
Guided Walks – Village Trees and Village Shops & Houses
We made the difficult decision to postpone these walks in October. We had very little interest, perhaps influenced by the chilly weather or other commitments during the school half-term, and as we like to make up a group of at least ten people we decided to postpone until next spring. There will certainly be Tree Walks as part of the Grayshott Hidden Gardens event, and for the others please keep an eye on this web site.
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 GH14, February 2019
Friends’ Evenings/Visits 2019.
Friends’ evenings for 2019, there will be more confirmed information in the next Newsletter but the first evening 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, 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 and a small charge for guests, with complementary light refreshments and a bar and of course a raffle as usual.
Date to follow – a visit to Huntington House, one of the substantial original local houses and grounds, now restored and will comprise a visit to the restored house , walk around the grounds , refreshments etc.
Tuesday October 22nd at the autumn meeting at the Village Hall – Grayshott in 1939.
Huntington House .
Following discussions, we have agreed to become involved with the owners of Huntington House and in return for some very useful financial backing and making available for a Friends’ visit. To provide for the residents afternoon talks on local history , produced a booklet on the history of the house and original owners the Jackson family and as weather permits to take vehicles along from the world of motoring history for all to see. We feel that it is of mutual advantage that local history can be put to good use in this way. A date for the visit to the house for Friends and guests will be announced shortly.
Web site / new finds.
Please take time to look at our web site, there is often news and new items of interest to look at. Also of course we will be most pleased to receive any offers of articles and other suitable news, finds etc. that can be included. Latest new find is a map of the Aldershot military area 1912 which shows the areas which can be used by the military for manoeuvres etc. and considerable area around Grayshott is included . Might be worth having a dig in your garden!!.
A document published by the Automobile Club ( now the R.A.C.) in February 1903 suggests caution boards to be erected on the Surrey section of the Portsmouth Road , the last board being at the ‘Seven Thorns’ , Bramshott. Boards will be diamond shape and have the donors name painted on . In connection with this is the original milestone 40 on the old A3 at Hindhead, this is now somewhat neglected so we are currently investigating what can be done to make sure this important item is preserved and not lost. More details and images of this important early signposting will be published on the web site shortly.
Hampshire Records Office.
Good news from here , Heather Needham has taken over some of the duties of Matthew Goodwin and an ‘Archive Ambassadors’ scheme is now in place and as part of this the annual ‘Community Archive Forum’ meeting will take place on Saturday , march 2nd and we will be represented by some of our committee.
Don’t forget to have a look at our regular feature articles appearing each month.
It is hoped that in the Spring/Summer 2019 there will be a new walk around the village centre , the old hamlet and in connection with the open gardens weekend to look at some of the more interesting trees around the village with a new booklet on this.
26th February 2019.
Liz Cross (Secretary) Richard Peskett, (Chairman) Tel: 01428 604862
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