by Eleanor Quince, University of Southampton

On Wednesday 20th December an Exhibition was held at the Round About Café in Mansbridge to showcase research undertaken as part of a community project with the University of Southampton. The project, ‘Swaythling in the Great War: Equine and Air Support for the Front’, focussed on three investigations into the vital role played by Swaythling during World War One. Local residents worked with students and staff from the University to uncover information about the Remount Depot, the US Naval Air Service base and the contributions made by people of Swaythling to the war effort.

Findings on display included a timeline of events in the local area, from the opening of the Remount Depot in 1914 to the delivery of planes to the US Naval Airbase in 1918. Images of the Remount Depot, used for the stabling and training of army horses and mules, showed how it was comprised of three large camps and explained how, between 1914 and 1919, it processed nearly 400,000 animals. A map of North Stoneham Farm showed where the US Naval Air Service base had been established and information on those who served there articulated its role as a launch site for the Northern Bombing Group, in readiness for bombing raids along the Belgian coast. Extracts from letters and diary entries illustrated personal involvement in the war.

A huge thank you to all who supported the event.

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by Anne Dempsey, Street Rep.

Could residents please be aware of two issues that have been reported to our street reps. With the poor street lighting, please be aware of dog walkers at night and drive slowly when returning home. There have been several near misses!

Secondly, the grass outside your home is a footway and needs to be kept clear. Many of our older residents find walking on the stony road difficult so, if you could be mindful of this and keep a path clear, it would be much appreciated.

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Unaudited accounts were presented at the AGM in October. We are pleased to say that our honorary auditor, Martin Robinson, considers the accounts to be an accurate statement of the financial affairs of HCERA for the year ending 31st August 2017.

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I am looking for 2 internal original Herbert Collins pine doors (preferably the same detail as in the photo) with the following minimum dimensions – Height 1962mm & Width 756mm. The current finish is not a concern.

Please email


Ever fancied taking up the fascinating hobby of beekeeping? Learn the ropes with a view to taking over two local colonies.

Tel: 8055 6056 or email HCERA.

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Arnwood Timber Ltd, 61 Millbrook Road East, SO15 1HN

for making skirting boards, picture rails and architraves matching the original.

Tel: 023 8023 2327

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by Julie Ozwell, Woodhill Properties Limited

My familiarity with the houses on your Estate started when I was about 11 years old, in the 1950’s. My father, Herbert Collins, would tour around his Southampton properties and take me with him. During the working week, he would be at his office in Carlton Crescent, but on Saturday mornings, he would get out the ancient Austin and do an inspection. If he saw any untoward paint colour or anything unapproved, he would knock the door and ‘have a word’ with the resident. Of course, many residents knew him and wanted to chat. He would incidentally point out to me important design features – it must have been satisfying for him to see the culmination of many years work and it was good training for me!

I remember too, answering the door at home, 38 Brookvale Road, to a resident with a parking grievance (nothing changes!) and being told by my father in no uncertain terms, that he was not available and the man should call at the office in business hours.
His ideas were of his era, Victorian and early twentieth century, but his designs have stood the test of time, making this area a very pleasant place to live in the twenty first century. I hope you agree.

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by Ray George

Herbert Collins Estates Limited was incorporated on 9th October 2017. Company number 11003580 is a company limited by guarantee. It has members not shareholders. Each member guarantees £10, which only has to be paid if the company becomes insolvent.

The rules by which the company is run are its Articles of Association. These articles are the model articles for a private company limited by guarantee with additional and amended provisions.
These additions and amendments can be seen at

To allay fears that the company might make exorbitant charges for consent to make alterations, one of the articles says: “The company may not exploit for monetary gain the granting of consents required under the covenants, but this shall not prevent the company making a small charge.
All owners in the Conservation Area and Summerfield Gardens are entitled to be members. Other residents may be admitted by the directors.

The company and the residents’ association are separate organisations, but the Articles of Association establish several links. One of these is the right of the HCERA annual general meeting to appoint a director for 3 years, each year.

At the AGM, a number of people were proposed to be directors. Our Catch 22 is that to be a director you must be a member and to appoint members you must have a quorum of directors. Fortunately, both Hilary Crane and John Dixon were proposed at the AGM and are founding company members, so I can and therefore have appointed them as directors, thus allowing us to move forward.


The Association’s AGM took place on Tuesday 10th October at St George’s School. The importance of this meeting was reflected by the record attendance of about sixty people. The chairman thanked Una Chandler for delivering Newsletters etc for many years in Ethelburt Avenue, but she has now had to give this up. Fortunately several people volunteered to do this. Richard Ross, of number 9, filled the vacancy as street rep for Field Close. The regular items on the agenda were disposed of very quickly with nothing raised even under any other business.

We then passed on to what everyone had come for. The second part was very professionally conducted by Ken Hickling and comprised questions asked by the members and answered by the Freehold Acquisition Working Party: Hilary Crane, John Dixon, Ray George and Brian Johnston. Michelle Hickling did a remarkable job capturing everything on a flip chart. This is presented in the supplement that follows this Newsletter. At the end, a resolution “Herbert Collins Estates Limited should acquire Woodhill Properties Limited’s interest in the Estate and in other land, subject to contract” was passed unanimously with no abstentions.

For information, the “other land” referred to in the resolution is property leased for 999 years at Thornhill, Southampton and represents about 20% of the total ground rent income. Woodhill Properties Limited gave us no option but include this in our acquisition.

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by Ray George

In our Spring Newsletter, we referred to horror stories in the press about new-build housing being sold leasehold. You may think we have been using these to frighten residents and think that they have no relevance to our situation of older properties with fixed ground rents.

On the contrary, there is a local example of a company that uses restrictive covenants as a money making machine. £5000 was required for the sale of the freehold with a £5 per year ground rent. To be fair, if that is the right word here, it was to be unencumbered by covenants. £30,000 was demanded for approval to build a house. They did settle in the end for £2,500 which does suggest they weren’t too confident of their ground. Currently over £16,000 is being asked for breach of a covenant, made in the 1930s, by raising the roof. It is hard to see that the covenant which burdens the land touches and concerns the land purported to enjoy the benefit of the covenant. These last two examples are of freehold properties that were never leasehold.

How do they suddenly pounce on a breach of the covenants? Perhaps by keeping an eye on the online weekly list of planning applications in Southampton or they come to light when the property is being sold. A question asked in Enquiries before Contract is “Where restrictions have in the past required any person’s consent or approval of plans does the Seller have written evidence of that consent or approval?”.

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