Monday 22 April 2024

Photographic History of Eton Wick and Eton - Eton Women's Fellowship

The Eton Women's Fellowship was founded in 1963 after the Mothers' Union disbanded. It meets weekly at the Eton Church Hall and as well as Eton residents, attracts members from Eton Wick, Windsor and Slough. Social events include talks, quizzes, outings and parties. This is a photograph taken at their Easter Bonnet Competition in 1998. 

Standing left to right are: Mrs Day, Mrs Weeks, Mrs Mummery, Mrs Bell, Mrs Brades, Mrs Bolton, unidentified, Miss Hill, Mrs Batt, Mrs E. Edwards, Mrs Cook, unidentified, Mrs Leary, Mrs Butler, Mrs Pratt. 

Those seated are: Mrs Bowyer, Mrs Pidgeon and Mrs Golding.

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

Wednesday 17 April 2024


Post War photo of the Blue Bus

Eton Wick demands a better bus service.

Bitter complaints at liveliest meeting held for many years - so ran the headline of the Windsor and Eton Express reporting the evening meeting held on Monday April 17th in the village hall. Some very lively speeches were heard as village residents put their complaints of the inadequate and irregular service that was not always able to get war workers to their jobs. The practice of stopping sometimes at places other than the official stops and poor Sunday service were among the points raised. A general demand for an early morning bus from Dorney and Eton Wick into Windsor at quarter past seven was unanimously agreed but the grievance was voiced that the early morning buses were so full, workers were left behind and it was suggested that relief buses should be run. 

The claim that the Blue Bus did not keep to time and that drivers made unofficial stops across the common brought loud shouts of "Yes" from the meeting. As the meeting progressed the raised voices of protest became louder and the Chairman had to appeal for order and he then asked for concrete facts that the buses were not running to schedule, warning people they must be prepared to put their names to the claims and if necessary, go to the police court to swear to the facts. The complaint about unauthorized stops by the drivers brought out the comment "The artful ones". 

It was said that whilst people were waiting in the queue at the official village bus stops, the artful ones walked to Dorney Gate and stopped the bus there, with the result that when it got to the official halt it was full. This caused bitter feelings in those who had been waiting, perhaps in the rain, and then left behind. Several times the Chairman had to call for order before the discussion could be continued but he assured the meeting that the complaints would be sent to the Traffic Commissioners with a copy to the Eton U.D.C. It had been one of the most lively meetings held in the hall for many years. 

Mr. R. Weatheral of the E.U.D.C. took the Chair, with representatives of West Ward, Councilors Pert, Harding and Chew. The complaints had a successful conclusion with the Traffic Commissioners approving additional journeys and Bus stops. A new bus was purchased with twelve extra seats and the improved service commenced in January 1945. 

Air Raid warnings

Air raid warnings were still interrupting social gatherings as experienced by the ARP Cricket club at their annual supper and social held at the Bridge House Hotel, Eton. Their enjoyment was interrupted by the sirens giving their warning of a possible raid, whereupon, the Chairman, Mr G. Johnston asked members to leave and report to their posts for duty. 

An increasing number of air raid alerts prompted the Council to review the available firefighting equipment resulting in obtaining an extra trailer fire pump; this was put at the disposal of Eton College as their fire risk was greater than that of Eton Wick. 

The British Restaurant in Eton 

Since its opening in May 1941 the British restaurant at the Church Hall, Eton, had gone from strength to strength. A gross profit of £53 - 14s was achieved by Mrs Graham and her voluntary workers and because of this success the Council authorized the purchase of a refrigerator at a cost of £135. During the current eight-week period 4,369 meals were served. Forecasting an influx of summer visitors and the extra wartime inhabitants who were using the restaurant, a ticket system was considered for the regular customers. The forecast of summer visitors did not materialize and the restaurant lost money for the first time, but the number of regulars remained the same.  

A change of troops at the Dorney Common Anti-Aircraft camp

Easter brought a change of troops to the camp with a troop from 608 Battery taking over once more. 564 Battery moved to Canterbury, eventually going overseas to Hoboken on the Dutch - Belgium border. This changeover took place during the weekend of April 8th. and is remembered by Private S. Stanford, a cook with 564 Battery, now Mrs. Sylvia Newall and residing in Eton Wick, she married her husband George on Easter Saturday at the village Church, St. John the Baptist and following their seven days leave, her husband, who was serving with the RAF Regiment, returned to his unit in Lancashire and Sylvia joined her unit at Canterbury. 

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