Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Windsor Home

From about 1966 to 1977 I lived in a house  at 74 King's Road, Windsor. It was set behind some grand old buildings overlooking the Long Walk. It was situated in an exclusive area.  A narrow drive just off King's Road itself led to not just 74 but also to number 76. Both the houses were apparently designed in a very modern style for their time by an architect who lived at the latter. His name was Edward Whiteley.

 I used to visit his wife Beryl now, and again as I a child. She was a very idealistic, and intellectual woman. She kept her home spotlessly clean, and there was very little furniture in the place. Sadly, she had no children by Edward.

Sometimes, I would read books aloud to her outside her front door. She notably introduced me to Alice In Wonderland, and Alice Through The Looking Glass. I introduced her to the comic world of Catweazle which was a well-known TV series. I read the book based on it to her, and she was much taken by it. Infact, I actually met Richard Carpenter the author of Catweazle via the Puffin Club, and even got his autograph which I treasured.

We hardly saw Edward Whitely. Indeed, we used to call him Red Ted as we thought that he might have been a spy for the Communists! Infact, I recall seeing inside his home the large volumes of Karl Marx's Capital. At the time, I did not understand, and appreciate their full importance, but I do clearly recall the white bearded image of Marx himself on the covers. Beryl was also very left of centre too. In this respect, she, and Edward were like two peas in a pod.

My mater, pater, and myself though were very right of centre. My mater would sometimes have arguments with Beryl which may have lead to a rift in relations. As for myself, I in later life moved from right to left wing of the political spectrum as it seemed to be infinitely more ethical than Capitalism.

Anyway, if I recall rightly Edward was the architect who designed the YWCA, or Young Womens' Christian Association next to the drive that lead to our property. It overlooked the Long Walk, and has since been demolished. However, it was originally opened by the Queen, and I recall trying  to film the event with my pater's cine camera.

Ofcourse, it must be remembered here that we are talking about the sixties, and the seventies. It was the time of the Soviet Union, and the insanity of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) via nuclear war, and pamphlets on the "ridiculous" Protect and Survive. Apart from that, there were the Powers Cuts which were a minor "inconvenience". Almost everyday too the News on the television reported strikes as well as the shootings of soldiers in Ireland.......

Anyway, it was at the Windsor home that I had my psychic experiences. The key ones are documented in the article entitled The Realization of the Psychic.  They occurred in the main in my bedroom which was small, and comfortable. There was a "cupboard" whose shelves acted as place for my many annuals, and books on history (which included notably writings by R.J. Unstead, and the Larousse Encyclopedias on Ancient/Modern History, and Archaeology, et cetera).

I used to have binders which stored the excellent full colour magazines of Tell Me Why (the original large A5 size ones). I learnt a lot about the world, and its culture through them. Later on, I "graduated" to collecting Look and Learn. This too was another excellent educational magazine....but Tell Me Why was my original delight.

Ofcourse, like many children of the day I used to collect the splendid TV 21 which produced comic strips of the excellent Gerry Anderson puppets series notably Thunderbirds, and Captain Scarlet which were all the rave.

Once, I recall that Beryl had a friend who worked as a puppeteer at the production "factory" of the series in nearby Slough (on the local trading estate to be more  precise). I asked the former to ask the latter what the meaning was of SIG in Captain Scarlet, and was told that it meant Spectrum is Green.

Once as a child apparently, I shot right in front of a car driven by Princess Margaret along with the Queen at a Polo Match. Fortunately, they stopped just in time....

PS. Before living in Windsor I lived in the first half of 1960s in Ditton Road, Langley. It was there that mater, and pater met Bobby Schultz. She was married to a German POW. Anyway, she claimed that she was directly descended from King Henry IV, and the Bollingbroke family. She certainly had a stately air of "superiority" about her which I liked.


Some Relevant Material

The link below shows King's Road, and the drive leading to 74, and 76. Opposite it can be seen the Long Walk, Windsor.







The following is from Thamesweb, and deals with The Long Walk.

The Long Walk

Updated September 2008
See also

The Great Park
Home Page

The Long Walk
Panoramic View

The Royal Windsor
Home Page

"Imagination cannot picture an approach of greater magnificence, produced by circumstances which ages alone could bring about, and of which ages alone can produce a rival."

The Copper Horse on Snow Hill, and the view north along The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle and the George IV gateway. This picture was taken in the 1930s and shows the young Horse Chestnut and London Plane trees shortly after the replanting of the Long Walk. The removal of the old trees along the full length of the Long Walk was not completed until 1946.

The Long Walk was commenced by Charles II from 1680-1685 by planting a double avenue of elm trees. The central carriage road was added by Queen Anne in 1710. The original planting comprised 1,652 trees placed 30 feet apart in each direction. The width between the two inner rows was 150 feet, and overall 210 feet. It is a little less long than the three miles of popular rumour being around 2.65 miles (2 2/3rds miles or 4.26 km) from George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle to The Copper Horse.
   In 1859 a Commission, of which the Duke of Bedford was President, inspected the Long Walk, and recommended ("...after mature consideration...") that the old trees, when dead, dangerous, or decayed, should be gradually replaced by young elms between the Castle and the Double Gates, adjacent to Park Street, but from that point to the Statue of George III on Snow Hill, the soil proved unsuitable for elms and so there should be a gradual substitution of oak for elm in that part of the avenue. This plan was therefore adopted on a small scale in 1861, when a small enclosure was planted with oaks on the east side in the line of the Avenue. In 1879, three other enclosures were formed on the same principle, one either side of Snow Hill, and another opposite the plantation created in 1861.
  Elms were felled and replaced with Horse Chestnut and London Plane working north from the Copper Horse end, significant work being undertaken in 1921 and in the early 1930s at which time the decision was made to widen the distance between the lines of trees on each side of the avenue.

The Long Walk in the 1920s

The Long Walk in the early 1900s.
Many of the trees by this time were in need of replacement.

Edwardians take a stroll

Edwardians take a stroll in the Long Walk, early 1900s

1908 Cars in Long Walk

Edwardian motor cars in the Long Walk for a Garden Party
at Windsor Castle, Summer 1908

Pond in Long Walk

The pond in the Long Walk photographed at the turn of the last century, around 1900. The pond no longer exists, though we have no record of when it was filled in.

Views of Windsor Bought

We are always keen to be offered either scans (JPG) of Windsor as it was, or old post cards, engravings or books and booklets to illustrate forthcoming Windsor Website stories. Please contact The Editor

Following an outbreak of elm disease at the beginning of WWII, the avenue at the northern end was felled in 1943, work starting on 30th August of that year, with the entire replanting completed by February 1946. The avenue as we know it today at the northern end dates from that time, planted with London Plane and Horse Chestnuts. The original plan was to decide after a period of thirty years or so which species to retain, but during the subsequent thinning in the 1970s, the mix was retained.
The Long Walk 01
The view north towards the Castle in 2000

Long Walk in snow

A similar view after a rare fall of snow 28th December 2000

Arriving by road from the south-east, from Old Windsor, you will cross The Long Walk and enjoy views up and down the avenue, towards the Copper Horse southwards, and the Castle to the north.
NB There are no official parking places nearby, and cars and cycles are not permitted to ride along the Long Walk. If arriving by coach the driver will slow down for a few moments to allow photographs but will be unable to stop. Car parking may be possible in the side roads to the west, but the best plan is to park in one of the town centre car parks and walk east from The Guildhall past the Parish Church into Park Street, entering the Long Walk through the Park Street gateway, middle left of the picture above and below.
Long walk in 1945 - trees replanted

A similar view of The Long Walk in 1946 showing a single avenue of newly planted trees

The Long Walk, nearer the castle - 1930s

The Long Walk near Windsor Castle before the old trees were
cut down in 1943 and replaced with young saplings

Long Walk Trees CU

The magnificent avenue in detail, with Horse Chestnuts along the inner rank and
a second, outer avenue of younger London Plane

Horse Riding

Windsor Great Park and the surrounding areas provide superb opportunities for horse riding. Permits are required to ride in the Great Park upon application to:
The Crown Estates Office, Windsor Great Park, Windsor, SL4 2HT
Tel: 01753 860222

Jubilee Procession April 2002

Pictures of Rolls Royces and Bentleys in the Long Walk, April 2002

Queen's Golden Jubilee Rally in Long Walk

See also our story about the Saluting Cannon The Royal Salute in the Long Walk

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