January 1, 2018
By kind courtesy of local resident Iris Marshall, a photo of the old Victorian boathouse that once used to be at Fleet Pond.
For location, see Boathouse Corner on the map below, just along from Fleet Station at the top; click to enlarge).
For more information on the fascinating and sometimes surprising history of Fleet Pond, take a look at our web site here and example pictures below.
March 2, 2017
Click to Enlarge
Colin Gray writes:
“The timescale for the final part of the above works is to complete by 31st March 2017. This could slip due the current wet weather but it is still the plan. This will include the cleaning out of the four stew ponds in Brookly Wood.”
For an interesting article on this part of Fleet Pond, see Hotspots and Hidden Gems – The Stew Ponds by Michelle Salter.
February 8, 2017
Cathy Holden writes:
“The ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ volunteer team morphed into the Time Team last Friday as we excavated a WWII site at the Pond. These concrete slabs were placed in situ when the land was owned and used by the military.
From the shape of them, our thoughts are that they were supports for large fuel tanks.
If anyone knows, please share with us.
Unfortunately, we didn’t unearth any interesting artifacts except possibly the remains of their china loo!”
Further fascinating history about Fleet Pond can be found here.
November 20, 2016
Michelle Salter, Secretary of Fleet Pond Society, writes:
How old is the pond? The first clear reference to the pond was in the 14th century, when “the great fishery (of) Fleet Ponds” is referred to in the Rolls of Account of Crondall Manor. By this time, there seems to have been a thriving fishery of considerable importance and two ponds.
Do any museums house records of the pond? Many Victorian naturalists visited Fleet Pond and references to its flora frequently appeared in natural history journals from this era, with herbarium sheets located at the Natural History Museum in Kensington and also at Reading and Oxford.
When was the pond used as an ice rink? In the 1840’s, the South Western Railway ran special excursions to Fleet Pond, including a “Skating Specials” in the Winter.
When was the pond, not a pond? In 1940, the MOD completely drained the pond to stop hostile bombers from using it as a landmark to find the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough (see photo above).
What title did the pond receive in 1951? The pond was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1951 and was one of the first sites in Hampshire to receive this distinction, due to the importance of the lake to waterfowl and the rich aquatic and heathland flora.
Ed. This article is a repost, it was originally published in October 2008.
June 7, 2016
A map of the Pondtail area of Fleet in the 1880s donated to Fleet and Crookham Local History Group (see link below)
From Get Hampshire:
Fleet and Crookham Local History Group is 30 years old, having been set up in 1986 following a wish from within the Fleet and Crookham Civic Society to have a museum in Hart.
The archive catalogue lists more than 8,800 items and the scans of material donated or loaned now numbers more than 58,000.
The group is now looking for a secure room in which to store archive material, with additional space for volunteers to work on cataloguing and scanning, and to carry out research and answer enquiries.
In 2007, the group was given a National Lottery award of £3,880 to increase public access.
This included purchase of display stands and providing copies of local history material, such as directories, census returns and topics relating to businesses, sport and graveyard memorials, in a set of red binders on open shelves in Fleet Library.
To widen contact with the public, the group invites enquiries and offers of information at its Meet the Local History Detectives sessions, held in Fleet Library.
The History Group’s web site can be found here.
You can find detailed information on the history of Fleet Pond on the FPS website here.
April 28, 2016
This year sees the celebration of the 40th birthday of Fleet Pond Society. As part of this we are are having an Exhibition in the Hart Shopping Centre as well as producing occasional articles that illustrate some of the major pieces of work carried out by the Society over this period. A previous article described the creation of the circular route round the pond (see here) and this one describes the building of the familiar and very popular Chestnut Grove jetty.
Cathy Holden writes:
“Along with the circular path, one of the first major tasks undertaken by the volunteers of the new society was the construction of a concrete jetty at Chestnut Grove.
Up to that point there had only been a small jetty created from railway sleepers.
The jetty was constructed using pre-mixed concrete and on the first run 200 sacks were filled by hand from the pile dumped in the road by the mixer.
The sacks were then lowered into position in the freezing water by Bill Wain and Peter Martin, the only people who owned waders.
However, by the time the mixer came round with the second load a much more labour efficient system was in place. The sacks were filled with the cement as it came down the shute and the volunteers formed a production line to get them out to Bill and Peter.
Further concrete was poured into the middle and then levelled out.
This jetty has been altered over the years to include an extension out to the right. It is still a favourite spot for visitors to feed the swans and other water birds, or just to look out over the Pond.
With thanks to Peter Martin for the use of his book ‘Fleet Pond Society 1976 – 2006’ for reference. This interesting book is still available from the Society.”
Photos courtesy of the FPS Archives.
March 27, 2016
An old photo of a (military) bridge at Fleet Pond acquired by FPS (see here)
Whilst walking around Fleet Pond, with its peace and calm, it’s easy to imagine that it’s always been that way. However the actual history of the Pond is quite varied: its origins and link to Winchester, its use for recreation for people living in hectic London at the turn of the century and well as its use by the military (Aldershot is nearby of course).
If you’d like to find out more whilst actually on a walk, there’s a history board at Boathouse Corner (see picture below and map for location).
If you’d like to delve deeper, try the Fleet Pond Society web site which goes into some fascinating details as well as providing a wide range of interesting pictures. As a taster, here are some historical photos: