Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Breaking News - The 'One Show'

I have been writing every month for the last eight months to the 'One Show' trying to get our cause featured and at long last a call from the show's producer finally came today. I now await the outcome of our telephone conversation to see whether our efforts will eventually be rewarded with a showing on this most popular show.

Good news or not such good news! The producer of the One Show has now got back to me - the date that Undershaw will be featured is the 7th June - 2 days before the planning meeting. Interviews and filming for this will take place in the lead up to this date but unfortunately not on the site of Undershaw.

Due to much publicity and an overwhelming influx of visitors in the past the owners have declined to allow anymore filming on their land. I can't blame them really, the building is an embarrassment and it only shows how Fossway Limited, a financial company, have allowed it to become in such a derelict condition. It is criminal and shameful that our heritage has been treated in this way. Why on earth has this building been allowed to fall into such disrepair it deserves more protection and its history should be safeguarded from property developers looking to line their pockets. It is reasonable to say that history like this cannot be erased after 113 years of existence.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hindhead Hot Tubs and Andrews Lawnmower Open Days - Supporting Undershaw

I have mentioned in previous posts that several of the local businesses have been very supportive in our bid to save Undershaw. The most recent to add their voice to the campaign is Andrews Lawnmowers and Hindhead Hot Tubs, their premises being just yards from Undershaw. To promote their business and to support the Undershaw Preservation Trust they have decided to hold an open weekend on 15th and 16th of May just days before Conan Doyle's 151st anniversary of his birth date being 22nd May.

Arrangements for the weekend are currently being finalised but it is proposed for the shop to open its doors and allow you to wander around and marvel at the spectacular spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and saunas (perhaps trying them out as you go), check out all the mod cons in the lawn mower department and peek inside the timber framed sheds and conservatries whilst the children have fun on the Tractor rides. Refreshments, ice cream, balloons and soft music written and performed by John Meriton will all form part of the weekend.

There will be a raffle in aid of Undershaw and proceeds of this will go towards the erection of a bronze statue on the corner of the Hindhead traffic lights either of Conan Doyle or Sherlock Holmes. This of course will be subject to planning permission. The first prize on offer for this is a Mountfield Lawnmower and to celebrate Hindhead being the area of the hilltop writers there will be signed copies of various books from authors supporting the Undershaw Preservation Trust. Raffle tickets on sale now (£1.00 a strip) There will also be guest appearances from Sherlock Holmes and he may even have a case to solve: the curious incident of the empty house.

We are in the throws of arranging a possible display of vintage cars and appeal to local people that are owners of these cars to come along with their vehicles in a show of support for our businesses and Undershaw.

Hindhead Hot tubs opened in 1982 with Steve Andrews as its director. The lawnmower department is a family run business for which Steve also plays an important part with his parents and brother John Andrews.

This is going to be a fun weekend for all the family - so why not come along and support your local business and our national landmark. I will be adding to this once the press release has been finalised and I know more details of the event.

Harry, seen wearing his 'Support the Undershaw Preservation Trust t-shirt, from Shottermill junior school will be organising a competition amongst the pupils of his school to see who can design a motif for the Trust. Judging will take place on the Sunday and will be judged by Mr Sherlock Holmes. This picture was taken in what I call my 'office' but it is really the 'snug' in the Fox and Pelican in Grayshott who are also supporting the campaign.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

New Website, Car Stickers and T-Shirt

I mentioned several months ago that a very kind lady from Manchester donated funding for the Save Undershaw website which is now up and running. The link is: There is still work to be done and I am looking to insert a recent video of Undershaw. This recent video of Undershaw will also feature on 'YouTube'. Please be patient while work is still being carried out on the site. There is a section included which tells of peoples experiences of Undershaw. So if you have a story you would like to see published on the site please send it me at:

We have designed and due to go to print with the Save and Support Undershaw car stickers. Should you like one of these sent to you then please send a stamped addressed envelope to the Undershaw Preservation Trust, c/o Church Cottage, Tilford Road, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6RB. These are free - should you wish to donate something for the sticker then the Trust would be most grateful to receive your donation. It may help our cause for these to be displayed on your cars in the weeks leading up to the decision date on 9th June, please note this date has been rescheduled and of course can be displayed thereafter, especially if we are successful with our aims.

Should you wish to publicise our campaign by wearing one of our t-shirts then these can readily be made available at a reasonable cost.
I have learned today that sadly my supplier, who was first class in his work has decided not to continue with his printing business. You can still place your orders with me at the above address. I am looking at another company to see whether they are able to supply a similar service.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Sir Christopher Frayling

I have recently written to Sir Christopher Frayling to ask whether he would be interested in supporting the Undershaw Preservation Trust in our efforts to prevent the house from being divided into separate units, prevent over development and to ensure that public access is retained to the house and gardens. I have since received a reply in which Sir Christopher asks: "How can I help" and then goes onto say "I'd be delighted, of course, to lend my support".

Sir Christopher's interest in Conan Doyle is well known and his brother Nicholas Frayling has sent his best wishes for our endeavours.

Christopher read history at Churchill College, Cambridge where he gained a Phd in the study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He went onto teach history at the University of Bath and in 1979 was appointed Professor of Cultural History at London's post graduate art and design school, the Royal College of Art. Since 1996 he has been Rector in charge of the College.

He was chairman of the Arts Council in England until 2007 and was the Chairman of the Design Council, Chairman of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, and a Trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was a governor of the British Film Institute in the 1980's.

Christopher Frayling was awarded a knighthood in 2001 for "Services to Art and Design Education".

We now await further communication from Christopher with a decision on how he is able to support the campaign.

Time is now of the essence with a committee meeting due to sit on 12th May where a decision will be made by Waverley Borough Council.

May I take this opportunity to wish all my followers and those that have visited the site in the last month due to our recent appeal in the local papers and the Daily Mail, a very happy Easter. Keep yourself tuned in with the latest on Undershaw by visiting my weekly updates.