Monday 29 May 2023

Photographic History of Eton Wick and Eton - The End of Arnolds and Bonds shop.

The Bonds hand over their family greengrocery business and retire after trading in the village for over 90 years. The photograph shows Bob McGrath (on the left) taking over the business from Frank Bond on July 4th, 1988. Next to Frank is his sister Edith Stacey and Joan, widow of brother Albert Bond, who died in 1986. Joan ran the Bond's Eton shop. Bob McGrath formerly managed a Burnham supermarket. 

Roy and Joan Arnold retired in 1998 from their Butchers shop opened in 1951 by Roy's father Ted in the then newly built parade of shops. With Roy and Joan is daughter Julie. 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.

Monday 22 May 2023

History Group Talk 24th May 2023 - Brownsea


World War 2 Eighty Years On - Wings for Victory Week 1943

 Saturday.  May 22nd - 29th.  

Eton and district "Wings for Victory" week, a War Savings drive to raise £500,000 to buy aircraft.  Eton Wick opened their week with a Saturday night dance at the village Institute; followed by a lively concert on Tuesday evening, given by local artists and concert groups.  This show was enjoyed by the audience that filled the Methodist Hall (Alma Rd.). The next afternoon (Wed.) the Wheatbutts  resounded with joy and laughter as a village fete got underway in spite of the many wartime shortages and restrictions.

Various fund-raising activities, including a Sports Day held in the school garden enabled the children and staff of Eton Wick school, with the support of their parents, to raise £300 for the fund.

A board showing a hanging sword displayed the daily results of each of the eighteen parishes involved in the Eton District Wings Week.   Eton Wick showing a total of £2,567 for the week.

Later in the year (October) the Eton Wick and Boveney W.I. received an accolade on the Sunday evening National Savings Achievement Radio Broadcast following a report that their Savings Group had reached £8,000. The broadcast gave an impetus for the Group to exceed their target of £500 before the end of 1943. 

This special ‘Wings for Victory’ savings week closed with the biggest parade held in Windsor during the war and a unique experiment was tried on the day which prove successful.  A flight of Typhoon aircraft flew over the gathered spectators on Castle hill from one of which the pilot broadcast a message to those watching.  This was done with a hook-up from his aircraft radio transmitter to a receiver and amplifier system on Castle Hill.  The aircraft carried out a manoeuvre zooming over Thames Street  and back over the Castle before departing.   

The Hawker Typhoon was manufactured at Hawker’s Langley factory along with the Tempest, Fury and Sea Fury.  The Langley factory also produced many of the Hurricane fighters.

The establishment of anti-aircraft gun sites and other camps in the area brought an increase in trade to the local village pubs. American servicemen of the 9th USAAF stationed in camps at Bray, Maidenhead, Ascot and Windsor became a familiar sight in the village pubs. The Three Horse Shoes, managed by Amy Buck, had a spirit licence and supposedly a supply of whisky and became a congenial drinking haven for off duty American service men. Stories and memories have been told of their reluctance to leave at closing time, but when the sirens sounded they would make a very quick exit into their Jeeps and away to camp. 

Albert Bond with decorated cart
Wings for Victory Parade . Eton Wick


News was received by Mr and Mrs Borrett of Alderney Farm, Eton Wick from their son, Major Borrett serving with the Royal Engineers, that he was a prisoner of war in Germany. Major Borrett was on his way home from service abroad when the ship in which he was a passenger was torpedoed.  Major Borrett was picked up by the U-Boat and spent twenty-eight days as their prisoner including Christmas '43 and the New year before reaching land and internment.

Enemy air raids on London and other towns in a series of "Little Blitz". attacks brought about revived interest in Fire Guards. The successful meeting held in July at the village Institute by Eton Council, who were responsible for organizing Fire Guards, resulted in 40 people enrolling. A local organization of nine sections, with three being in Eton Wick, was set up with a programme of regular training.  Mrs Edie Miles recalled that her fire watching duties were around the houses in Vaughan Gardens. This group, reporting to Bill Cobourn landlord at the Shepherds Hut Public House, found that the arrangement that had a certain appeal for some of the fire watchers.  One night a week they took a duty watch in Eton. Other groups had different arrangements, as Eileen Cook.

Wings for Victory Parade - Salute taken by King George VI
March past by Wren’s of H.M.S President III D.E.M.S. Service

Remembered that Mr Clark, her group leader, held the view that it was not right for young ladies to be out at night and therefore they signed the book and then went home. Her Grandmother, Mrs Dace, also a fire-warden in charge of the group located near to the Eton Wick Post Office had different ideas and kept every one of her group on duty.  Wartime regulations made consistent failure to report for fire watch duties without adequate reason a chargeable offence. 


These special saving weeks to raise sums of money for the war effort had named targets for war equipment and specified sums to aim for. There had been national Spitfire weeks in 1940, war weapons weeks in 1941, Warship weeks 1942, Wings for Victory 1943 and Salute the Soldier in 1944.

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 


Monday 15 May 2023

Tough Assignment - Chapel Officials in 1986


Church Stewards

Messrs Michael Tierney


Peter Morris,


Vernon Wigmore


Mrs Joyce Stevenson and


Miss Daphne Hogg.

Property Stewards

Miss Daphne Hogg and


Mr Neville Thorman

Communion Stewards

Mesdames Pat Allanach,


Margaret Ball and


Valerie Morris.


Mr Philip Clack


Mr John Gidney


Mrs Kathleen Wigmore

Assistant Organist

Mrs Joyce Stevenson

Class Leaders:

Mrs Mabel Reynolds,


Mr Neville Thorman,


Mrs Beulah Tierney


Mrs Ivy Hogg


Sunday School Superintendent

Miss Betty Ison


Mr Peter Morris


Mr Neville Thorman


Mr Philip Clack


Paul Morris,


Miss Betty Ison,


Mrs Valerie Morris.


Jane Dowell,


Bill Brown

Sisterhood President

Mrs Joyce Stevenson


Mrs Hilda Paice


Mrs Edie Harman

Thrift Club

Mrs Margaret Ball

Sick Visitor

Mrs Yvonne Webb

Women's Work Secretary

Mrs Edie Harman


Mrs Joyce Stevenson

Home Missions Secretary

Neville Thorman

Overseas Missions Secretary

Mrs Joyce Stevenson

JMA Secretary

Mrs Laura Clack

Ladies Club President

Miss Betty Ison


Mrs Anne Mitchener


Mrs Laura Clack

5.50 Youth Group Leaders

Mr Vernon Wigmore


Mrs Kathleen Wigmore

Mums and Tots Club Leader

Mrs Laura Clack


Pastoral Committee Secretary    Mrs Beulah Tierney

Representative                                 Mrs Margaret Ball

Family Committee                           Mesdames Esme Slade and

Representatives                               Edie Harman

Neighbourhood Committee        Mesdames Laura Clack and

Representatives                               Pat Allanach

Caretaker                                            Mrs Elizabeth Ansell

Chapel Membership - 43;              Sunday School Scholars - 24 

The Eton Wick History Group is most grateful for the kind permission given by the Eton Wick Methodist Chapel to republish this history, Tough Assignment on this website.

Saturday 6 May 2023

Coronation of King Charles III on 6th May 2023

We will all be celebrating on this day, and a number of events are planned in and around the village. which may be covered elsewhere in this magazine edition. The village hall will be handling both ends of the age spectrum, by giving a Coronation mug to every under 18,¹ and providing a lunch in the hall for those who will be now experiencing their second coronation.² 

We have just experienced something that everybody living in the UK today will almost certainly never see, that is a monarch reigning for 70 years in Elizabeth II. The reasons for Elizabeth coming to the throne at the tender age of 27 were pretty unprecedented, namely two world wars. an abdication and a reluctant King who smoked to excess and died in his 50's. 

Although Elizabeth was at a tender age in 1952, she was not the youngest queen. that title belongs to Mary Queen of Scots who came to the throne in 1542 aged 6 days. Henry VI. a local lad born in Windsor Castle. came to the throne in 1429 aged 8 months and 26 days. Henry had an eventful reign. also being king of France, he had his own local issues with Scotland. and also some with the French, so nothing much changes does it? In his spare time Henry set up Eton College and had a pub in Eton named after him. Our own King Charles III now holds the record as the oldest monarch to take the throne at 73. 

Barring tragedies Charles will be succeeded by William V and he by George VII. so if you check their various ages and do the maths you will see why we state that no-one living today will see another 70-year reign. 

Anecdotes — These are a few anecdotes collected from °Wickites" who remember snippets from their childhood at the time of the death of George VI and the coronation of Elizabeth II. 

Apologies in advance if any of them have misremembered, they were very young, and it was an awfully long time ago!! 

"My first memory is arriving at Porny playground. There is an uninterrupted view of the Round Tower. The flag was at half-mast. I burst into tears. I was inconsolable. My world as I knew it had changed forever. My next memory (presumably a few days later) is of the whole school being walked up Castle Hill to watch the procession for the proclamation of Elizabeth II at Victoria's statue. 

Just before coronation day all Porny children were presented with a coronation mug by a local dignitary. My parents had a Coronation party for friends and family at their newly built home in Tilstone Close. I had a new dress (a rare occurrence). It was blue and white with a beautiful. smocked bodice. bought from the Bunny Shop in Eton High Street. I thought it was lovely. 

My maternal grandparents bought me a die-cast model of the Golden coach with its 8 Windsor Greys (I don't know what happened to it). We all crowded around a small piece of furniture. with a 9° screen and a magnifying screen in front of it to watch the proceedings. Afterwards my dad was passing round drinks and cigarettes from a wooden box. I took one. He said -You've taken it lady, now you can smoke it". It was awful. I coughed and coughed. felt sick and dizzy and have never put a cigarette between my lips since!! 

My younger brother remembers standing outside Tom Brown Tailors with his classmates to watch the Queen in an open carriage with lots of horses and soldiers on her way to Windsor. (I have no recollection of this). Nearly everyone eventually went to the ABC Cinemas in Thames Street to watch the coronation on the big screen and see pictures of Hilary and Tensing on top of Everest. We all clapped and cheered." 

Jacquie aged 10½ in 1953 

"Myself, and my younger sister, lived on the main road at the junction with Tilstone Avenue. We had a street party in Tilstone and it was organised by Mrs Wilkes and Mrs Wilson. There were lots of tressle tables and benches (I don't know where they came from). My mum had to borrow lots of small bowls as she was in charge of making the jellies. They were left to set in the back porch and covered with a sheet. She also made lots of rock cakes. My auntie made bowls of fruit punch and Bonds supplied some fruit. We were very excited watching balloons being blown up with a pump. (Could it have been helium?) We went to the brook at Dorney Common edge to let them go. We didn't want to lose them. balloons were a special treat and some of the children got upset. We watched the Coronation on our newly bought SM screen television. The Village Hall had lots of decoration and there was bunting around the rec. 

Pat Cole aged 14 and Nita aged 8 in 1953 

"My father had a position with what was then known as the War Office (later Ministry of Defence) in Whitehall. He had been able to secure tickets for seats at an upstairs window on the route of the Coronation Procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace for my brother Philip (15 years old) and me (11 years old). I cannot recall many details now 79 years after the event but do recall how lucky we felt and how excited we were at the time. 

Shortly after Coronation Day there was a Royal carriage procession along Eton High Street which was decorated with bunting. I believe this procession continued over Windsor bridge and up to the castle. Pavements were lined with excited loyal subjects cheering the new Monarch. We lived at 122 High Street. Eton practically opposite the entrance to Porny school and had a balcony which gave us great views of the procession as it passed by. I have a small photograph taken at the time from an upstairs window. I also have feint recollection of a street party along the length of Eton High Street which I feel sure was replicated on a national scale.' 

Mike Newland - 6 February 2023 

I was living with my parents and grandparents in Eton Square and went to Eton Porny School. We didn't have a television, so we went to my aunt and uncles in Spingfield Road, Windsor and watched the Coronation and what I think was a 12" Bush TV with a magnifying glass in front on the screen. We were all excited because my uncle Mac was in the procession and followed the Coronation coach and was the Royal Standard bearer. He was a regimental Corporal Major in the Royal Horse Guards which later become the Blues and Royals. As I recall the weather that day was wet and the only memory I have is seeing Queen Saloti of Tonga who insisted on riding in an open top carriage and getting soaked: 

Barry Alder aged 10½ in 1953 

We thank all the above for their interesting anecdotes. In terms of street parties, we are told they were in The Wheatbutts field and on what was known as the 'new' Rec (opened in 1952 by Prince Philip), alongside numerous gatherings on a street-by-street basis. On a more sombre basis we also received memories of the funeral of King George VI. and his journey from the ceremony to where he is entombed, at Windsor Castle. He was taken to Windsor Central station by special train. 

Children from Eton and Eton Wick were taken to watch the train cross the viaduct from Chalvey to Windsor, those lucky enough to live on the right side of Somervile Road could actually watch from their back gardens! Similarly, those elder children attending Ragstone Road secondary school³ could watch from their playground. For those with an interest in railways the locomotive hauling the train was No. 4082 Windsor Castle'. 

We would hope that all our readers will enjoy the coronation weekend, maybe a unique one in history, hopefully there will be plenty of events in or around the village, and if nothing else the young ones will appreciate another day off off school and extra cakes, as they did on Coronation Day 1953. 

As previously mentioned, the Village Hall trustees will be organising Coronation celebration mugs for village children, together with a large screen broadcast and lunch in the Village Hall for our senior citizens. 

Note 1

Note 2

Note 3 Ragstone Road secondary school is now called Slough and Eton Church of England Business & Enterprise College.

This article is republished here with the kind permission of the Eton Wick Village Hall Committee. It was published in the April 2023 edition.

Monday 1 May 2023

From the Parish Magazine - Eton Wick History Group - 100 Years 1897 -1997 Queen Victoria's Jubilees

Frank Bond introduced the April meeting of the Group with a request for suggestions for marking the Millennium; he thanked the donors of the raffle prizes and also those kind members who provide the refreshments for every meeting. Mr. Bond gave a special welcome to Eddie Wilkes; it was "lovely to see him back again"; also, he drew the members attention to the copies of Norman Oxley's book about Arthur Young Nutt, who fulfilled a period of service at Windsor Castle from 1867 to 1912, engaged initially as a draughtsman and attaining the position of Surveyor to the Dean and Canons of St. George's Chapel, Custodian of the Royal Mausoleum and Head of the Office of Works at the Castle. 

Examples of A.Y. Nutt's work were to be seen in the photographs and illustrations of the talk which followed Mr. Bond's introduction: John Denham spoke of "100 Years 1897-1997 (Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee)" In fact, the talk drifted back even further to 1887 and covered Queen Victoria's Gold and Diamond Jubilees when Eton and Eton Wick both joined with Windsor for the celebrations. 

The Jubilees provided a wealth of proof of the tremendous loyalty and enthusiasm which the public held for Victoria and the Royal family, and the ingenuity of people like Mr. Nutt with his ceremonial arches at the College end of Eton High Street and on Windsor Bridge, the parties, the processions, the military bands and the street decorations. 

Mr. Denham was also able to entertain with anecdotes about more local everyday matters, such as the savings bank, which was introduced for local children in 1897, their increasing numbers which resulted in pupils being refused from Boveney Newtown; the licensing for marriages of Eton Wick Parish Church and its first marriage between Ann Deverill and Alfred Seymour. 

Eton Wick's Football team's game against the Eton Temperance team on 20th November 1887, when Eton Wick lost 2-0: We heard how Toddy Vaughan had planted the oak tree on the green in Common Road - this could have been in either 1887 or 1897 and the History Group are going to fix a plaque to the tree, with due celebration, later on this year. 

We look forward to our next meeting, scheduled for 25th June, when the topic for discussion will be °THE IINFLUENCE OF ETON AND ETON COLLEGE ON ETON WICK", 

Perhaps those who have not yet returned their questionnaire to Mr. Bond could do so before that meeting.