Tuesday, 23 February 2010

BBC Visit

Alas, no news from the BBC. I will chase them up towards the end of the week with the hope that they will film at the site of Undershaw early next. TV publicity is our next step of the campaign, but is proving more difficult than we thought. I will update you should I hear anything further from the beeb.

Waverley Borough Council - Planning Application

As most of you that visit this site are aware a planning application to convert Undershaw has now been submitted to the Council. If you feel as strongly as I do to the development of apartments then I urge you to object with a viable reason as to why you are objecting. You can mention that public access to the HOUSE and garden must be retained (after all that mere pavilion that they intend to erect is no compensation for visitation to the house itself), and that the property must not be split up into separate units and that the integrity of the house must not be lost.

The direct link to the ojecting or supporting page is: http://waverweb.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/%28RefNoLU%29/WA20100173? Lets ensure that Undershaw is saved by the people who care, us! Lets prevent this planning application from going through as was done back in 2006/2007.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Even More Messages from Conan Doyle

I have written several articles within this blog about recent messages that are claimed to be from Conan Doyle through a collection of Doyle's books from Roger Straughan's bookshelf.

I met Roger when organising my first open day at Undershaw and since then we have remained in fairly close contact. I often ask Roger whether any relevant messages have come through concerning the campaign and quite often he has one of two messages for me.

Roger continues: The first thing that I read was all about money - Arthur Conan Doyle was always practical! "....unless you can offer cash down instead of promises". "Alas, I have no money except these few shillings". Roger said that this was relevant but pretty obvious so he asked his bookshelf something more specific relating to Undershaw and read from another book an account of a delapitated house which the builder was very proud of: "Yes its not one of your twopenny-halfpenny blocks that looks as though they have been turned out by a machine at so much a dozen. It's a select house,Sir. There is style about it. Chinks! Why, yes, Sir I like chinks. They promote ventilation, and all good architects aim at that.....Holes in the roof? Well, it's an advantage to know when it's raining without going outside to look" (Uncollected stories p. 264)

A more recent message: Roger claims nothing specific from Doyle though he tried before sending an email to me and read "We shall deserve what is coming to us". Roger thought this maybe aimed at our efforts.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Breaking News - BBC to visit Undershaw!

Would you believe it! With the planning application now in from the developers for the conversion of Undershaw, the BBC have very kindly offered to go ahead with their article for BBC London News.

I will be in talks with them during the next few days and hopefully have something arranged for either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. I will update you all as soon as I have a fixed date.

It has been especially hard this week concentrating on the campaign when my little canine friend has been quite poorly. I have been trying to concentrate on the many things that I have to do to keep the momentum going and this has proved to be quite a strain and all so draining. So to have this news of the BBC has been an added boost.

Invites have been sent out to Jeremy Hunt, MP, Richard Doyle (great nephew of Conan Doyle), John Aidiniantz from 221b Baker Street, Sally Morgan (Princess Diana's Psychic), The Victorian Society, SAVE Britain's Heritage and the local paper, The Haslemere Herald.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Scott Clifton Lucy and Paul Weaver

I am trying to trace two gentleman that formed 'The Undershaw Club' in association with ACD Holdings back in 1999. The name of these gentleman are Scott Clifton Lucy who we believe now lives in London, SW18 and Paul Weaver (of Price Waterhouse Coopers) who we believe resides in the States. If anyone knows the whereabouts of these guys then please let me know or alternatively if you are these guys please make contact as a matter of urgency.

Breaking News - Residential Plans for Undershaw Now Registered

This is to let you all know that the real battle has now begun to save Undershaw from being split up into individual units. Plans to build the proposed apartments have now been registered by Waverley Borough Council. We have until 19th March to object/comment on this application.

You can comment in two ways: the first electronically via a link from the application on the Waverley website www.waverley.gov.uk/planning or you can put your comments in writing to the Corporate Services and Planning Department, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1HR quoting the application reference number which is WA/2010/0173.

The target date for determination of applications is eight weeks after registration and the Council achieves on average 80% of applications within this time.

If the application has received five or more letters of comment from the public (from different addresses) then it will be subject to public speaking procedures at Committee. This allows one objector, the Town or Parish Council and one supporter to speak at the meeting to put their views to the committe. The final decision on an application will be published on the web site, but if you wish to be notified of the outcome of an application, please write to the address above and enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope.

This is a very crucial time for Undershaw and it will all depend on whether the support is out there from you the public. We need you, as a matter of urgency to write and object to Undershaw being converted to apartments and importantly for public access to be retained to the house and gardens. Please send your letters of objection now!

Please remember, if you haven't already signed the on-line petition then please do so now. I will be printing this off in the next couple of days and submitting with my letter of objection to Waverley Borough Council.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Help from Near and Afar

The campaign to save Undershaw is gaining momentum with 3 offers of help arriving in my in box at info@saveundershaw.com in the last couple of days. The first was from Paul a local gentleman who tells me of his soft spot for Undershaw as his wedding reception was held there and that he dined there many times when it was a hotel.

His line of business is connected with EPK (Electronic Press Kit). He has suggested as an alternative to the BBC; considering making an EPK. He thinks that to get local and national broadcasters interested in featuring the story of Undershaw's plight would be to consider shooting a professional video interview and selected video footage (and equivalent radio interview) and then packaging it generically for broadcasters to use as they see fit - either to re-edit and provide narration or to transmit unchanged. http://www.greenfieldtv.com/ Looks like we need someone to carry out the interviews!

He also feels and it is most apparent to him that the former splendour of Undershaw is not evident to the casual visitor of this site, nor to anyone seaching the web. The period details, the staircase and stained glass, the family crests and snooker room - all of these differentiate Undershaw from "just another neglected mansion". I do actually agree with him, I do need to include the building in all its splendour back in the good 'ol days. Where does one start to locate photographs of this kind? Can anyone help?

The second offer of help has come from Andre who explains that he is a huge Conan Doyle fan. Andre is from Savannah, GA and is a paranormal investigator in his spare time. He has been in talks with tv production companies about possible paranormal pitches for shows. He has recently worked with Pilgrim Film and TV and on speaking terms with NorthSouth Productions and Pangolion Pictures.

Andre has already gone ahead and mentioned to the VP of Production of Pangolion about the campaign to save Undershaw and the possibility of a TV documentary on the house and the paranormal. He has suggested that he could also put the idea to NorthSouth production director. At this stage he cannot guarantee anything, but this way it is highlighting an awareness.

Finally Angela, from the United States and founder of S.O.S. Tidewater Paranormal Research http://paranoralsos.com/ has kindly included the campaign on her website http://paranormalsos.com/help_save_undershaw.php

I would like to thank all three of these lovely people for their interest in the campaign and hope that all three will be a big part of what could be the making of history.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

On-Line Petition to Save Undershaw

Please don't forget to pledge your support by signing the on-line petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/undershaw. A section will come up asking for a donation to the ipetitions website, you can bypass this and your name will still register. Please may I ask you to include a comment when signing the petition as this will have the extra clout when submitting to the council especially if you feel as strongly as I do. We need to be heard!

Thank you to everyone that has been visiting this blog and for those that have signed the petition, your help with the campaign is paramount. I do hope you will continue to follow our progress and the continuing saga of Undershaw.

For those of you not too sure how to use this blog, you will see down the left hand side the 'blog archive' of various articles that I have written. If you click on the dates or the year (2009) it should take you back to the beginning of November when I started the blog. Happy reading.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Breaking News - BBC have called off visit to Undershaw

I have today learnt that the BBC will not be rescheduling their visit to Undershaw. This is a heavy blow to the campaign and is the third time we have been unsuccessful with TV coverage. So close and yet so far! This has enevitably left the Trust a little disheartened and disappointed in the short term. The BBC have said that if anything definite occurs with Undershaw, i.e planning is submitted or the house is bought, they would be willing to feature an article then. This really doesn't help with what we are trying to do now.

We appeal for help from anyone that has contacts with the BBC or ITV or even the Sky channels to help with getting our main source of publicity off the ground.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Help from a Photographer

Help is on its way from all sources, some small and some quite substantial but all these will make up the final outcome for Undershaw. Recent help has been from NickG who has offered help with the photography. Here are a few of his works of art which he has sent me to use for the blog. He will continue to use his expertise in capturing what Undershaw is truly about.Nick has recently written to me with the following:

I am a member of a website that takes an interest in preserving abandoned buildings which are part of our heritage by photographing them, it's called 28dayslater. I have started a thread on this site to help your cause towards saving Undershaw House and have included links to the petition to sign and also to your blog within this thread. You can see the thread here:


The website 28dayslater has over 13000 members and I think it will help increase awareness for you.

All being well I am meeting up with Nick and a friend of his who is a part time journalist to chat over ideas. My thanks to Nick for his involvement in this way and to whatever help he is able to offer.

Receiving help of this kind is a tremendous boost to the campaign and if you feel there is something you are able to offer in this way, please make contact. Help from all areas will be gratefully accepted.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Devils Punchbowl Hotel offers its help with the Campaign

The campaign would not have gained the recent momentum and outcomes without the help from our local businesses in the area. One exception has been the Devils Punchbowl Hotel. The hotel was built around the same time and has survived the modern day climate unlike Undershaw 'that tatty old building up the road'.

The hotel has been the venue for several of our awareness days. They have provided us with the utmost of help on both occassions for our guests for which their generiosty is gratefully appreciated.

I can fully recommend the Sunday lunch carvery at the Punchbowl, it is reasonable, tasty, and plentiful. How can anyone complain about the food that is served in this hotel? The staff are a good lot, friendly, polite and ever helpful. With its reasonable accommodation tarriff, good food, friendly atmosphere and helpful staff, you cannot go wrong - book in for a few days, take a wander down to Undershaw and marvel the spectacular views especially as the spring is drawing near. Don't forget to mention that you support the campaign to save Undershaw. The staff would be only too happy to provide you with information about Undershaw, of their involvement, the Trust, the area and how you can help.
With the new management firmly in place at the Punchbowl entertainment has been added to the already friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Quiz nights, live entertainment, Wii nights and of course coming up is their valentines night, with its own special valentine menu and of course the Michael Jackson tribute night which is scheduled for the last Saturday of February. Not to be missed! There is even talk of a fund raiser for Undershaw - this would be exceptional if as many supporters as possible could drop by. By attending this you will be supporting both the Punchbowl and Undershaw.

Both these buildings are cloaked in so much history and both need the support from you the public to see them survive for many more years. You can support the Punchbowl by just visiting and sharing a drink in their bar or comfy reception area or even trying their tasty Sunday lunch.

Denise can be found busying herself in many duties as Assistant Manager at the Punchbowl Hotel and has involved herself with our campaign to save Undershaw, realising that saving Undershaw could create better business in the area for all small and large businesses alike. A move that of course the hotel fully supports.