Thursday, 13 May 2010

Where I live...

  This is Bracknell or otherwise known as Bracknell Forest where I live. Well the picture opposite is a compilation of the town centre map and images outside the train station where I spend a lot more time than I would like! 
Brief History of the Bracknell Forest - People have been living in the Bracknell Forest area since the Iron Age. Bill Hill is a Bronze Age barrow and Caesar's Camp, a hill fort, was built by the Celts well before the Romans invaded England.  
The name of Bracknell - then called 'braccan heal' first appeared in an Anglo-Saxon document as a landmark on the boundary between Winkfield and Warfield.  The meaning of the name is thought to be ' a piece of land belonging to Bracca on a projecting spur of the parish'. In 1086 the Domesday-book first mentioned Easthampstead  meaning 'the homestead by the gate'.  All of this part of Berkshire was the Royal Forest of Windsor and the gate allowed deer to move to another area.  By 1535 it was called Estehampstead. Old Bracknell is mentioned in a Goring charter of 1463 and on Norden's map of 1607 there are two nearby places Old and New Bracknell.  In 1759 a new road from Virginia Water through Priestwood Common to Reading was constructed, now called the A329.  By 1847 Bracknell was 'a small village situated on the main road to the west of England'.  The railway came in 1856 and a market started in 1870 which was held where Bracknell and Wokingham College is now. In 1948 it was decided that Bracknell would become a New Town with a population of 25,000.  It was to be ‘a self-contained country town combining the amenities of town life with the advantages of the country'. Residents moved into Priestwood, the first neighbourhood, in 1951. Bracknell Forest was formed in 1974 and became a Unitary Authority in 1998. By 2006 the population of Bracknell Forest had reached 112,200. []                             

   Bracknell railway station is a railway station serving the town of Bracknell in Berkshire, England. The station, and all trains calling there, are operated by South West Trains. It is on the London Waterloo-Reading line. The station was opened by the Staines and Wokingham Railway in 1856, and was taken over by the London and South Western Railway in 1878. Following re-development in 1975, the entrance to the station is situated directly underneath the Bracknell Quintiles building. The station's goods sidings closed in 1969.            

                                        The Forest - Up until researching for this post I honestly believed that Bracknell Forest was exactly that! A town within a forest, but apparently that is not the case...  There is no forest called 'Bracknell Forest'. This name is often confused with Swinley Forest (or Woods), which is an area of the Windsor Estate between Bracknell and Bagshot. Owned and managed by the Crown Estates, it comprises 2,600 acres (11 km2) of woodland (mainly Scots Pine). It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and has protected areas for the birds that live there. [].  
Easthampstead Baptist Church is literally across the road from where I live. The building is charming and I eagerly wanted to photograph it from the day I first saw it and here, I present to you my impression of this sanctuary for worship of our Creator. It was established on its present site in 1962. Initially this was a small group of Christians who met in their homes.  Today the church is a thriving organisation that exists to demonstrate the love of God through community activities, Sunday gatherings, children's work, school's work, social events, action events and prayer meetings. Over 200 people (adults and children) regularly attend one of the 3 Sunday morning gatherings. Chris Porter is the Senior Minister there and they also have a number of other members of staff and leaders. 

This is the power distribution point round the corner that supplies electricity to my neighborhood (Easthampstead). I thought it was really cool so I took a picture of it!   

The last image I have is that of traffic speed cameras. We have one on the  South Hill Road (the main road my road comes off -- The speed camera is diagonal from the Baptist Church). 
 I dislike speed cameras but fully support the concept of safe driving. Car accident statistics indicate that at least four people involved in car accidents die every hour. These accidents could be due to the fault of the driver, the other driver, or due to a faulty vehicle. he main causes for car accidents are reckless and negligent driving and alcohol. Teenagers, according to the statistics, cause most car accidents Inexperience coupled with irresponsible behavior and a lack of respect for the safety precautions are the main causes for such a high number of teenage car accidents. Another reason is the inattentiveness of the driver. []. 

So there you go, a little look around my local neighborhood and town :-) hope you enjoyed the images and the whistle tour through history...

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