Blackwater, Hampshire


Blackwater, Hampshire

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.328
longitude= -0.772
official_name= Blackwater
population=
civil_parish= Blackwater and Hawley
shire_district= Hart
shire_county = Hampshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Aldershot
post_town= CAMBERLEY
postcode_district = GU15
postcode_area= GU
dial_code= 01252
dial_code1=01276
os_grid_reference= SU855595
ambulance_service= South East Coast

Blackwater is a small town in the north-eastern corner of the English county of Hampshire, lying in the Hart District.

Location

It is situated on the borders of both Berkshire and Surrey about 5 km (3 miles) north of Farnborough, 3 km ( 2 miles) west of Camberley and 25 km (16 miles) east of Basingstoke on the A30 road. Blackwater is situated 50 km (31 miles) southwest of London. An old marker stone signpost near the Agincourt club on the A30, in western Camberley marks 30 miles, and the centre of Blackwater is less than one mile from that point.

This relative proximity to the capital (the nearest point in Hampshire, and closer than much of Berkshire) has made the town popular with commuters. Blackwater is part of the Blackwater Valley conurbation which includes the towns of Farnborough, Aldershot, Camberley, Sandhurst, Yateley, Frimley and Farnham. The River Blackwater flows through the length of this urban area. The town lies at the point where the A30 trunk road from London to Land's End crosses the River Blackwater. It is served by Blackwater railway station which is on the main line almost precisely mid-way between Reading and Guildford.

Anomalies

Due to its postal location, it is commonly perceived that the town lies in Surrey, as a western suburb of neighbouring Camberley (and is Blackwater's 'post town'). It is in fact just within Hampshire, the boundary being marked by a road bridge crossing both the River Blackwater and a main rail line (near Blackwater rail station), and the Hampshire county sign. The town is somewhat unusual in that it is covered by two separate STD dialling codes, the 01252 (Farnborough area) and 01276 (Camberley area) prefixes.

Furthermore, televisions on the north side of the town (around the Frogmore and Darby Green districts) are set-up to receive the Meridian broadcasting signal (for central-southern England) whilst the south side of the town, plus the adjacent sub-village of Hawley, receives an ITV London signal (covering southeastern England and London).

Character

Blackwater has occasionally received a bad press for the appearance of its built environment, especially given that it is a 'gateway' town into Hampshire on a main national route (the A30) and is deemed not to give a good first impression of the county. The 'high street' area (the A30) is a dual-carriageway lined by an unkempt 1960s shopping parade and a large, unsightly brick building which is now an Aldi supermarket. A new Lidl supermarket was built opposite Aldi in 2003, cementing residents' fears that the town was only attracting 'cheap and cheerful' (or even 'downmarket') retail outlets. However, given the fact major shopping complexes such as The Meadows (less than 1 km away in Sandhurst) and The Main Square (in Camberley) are in very close proximity to the town, this is perhaps not surprising.

Rush-hour traffic is also a considerable problem as the town is situated on a major traffic intersection. It is just 2 km north of the M3 motorway (at junction 4) with the A30, which is effectively the town's 'high street', resembling a car park for at least three hours of every day. However, much of Blackwater consists of several highly desirable housing areas covering many different styles, interspersed with larger swathes of 1960s housing. The house prices are typically high for an area within a Home Counties distance from London.

ub-villages

There are two sub-villages to the north, Frogmore and Darby Green, which are generally considered as districts of Blackwater (as they are within the same GU17 postcode), however, these technically fall within the auspices of the larger town of Yateley, situated 3 km to the northwest (under Yateley Town Council), even though they merge with the Blackwater urban area rather than with Yateley. Frogmore has its own modern village hall, village green, church, pub and a small shopping parade. Darby Green has a shopping parade (including a Tesco Express), a pub and a small youth centre. There is also a modern medical surgery between the two sub-villages on Frogmore Road.

The sub-village of Hawley, which has its own village hall, primary school, church, private leisure centre, cricket ground and equestrian centre, lies less than 1 km to the south on the road towards Farnborough, and is regarded as one of the most affluent communities within the entire Blackwater Valley area.

Economy

Employers in Blackwater include Sun Microsystems, whose UK headquarters is located at the M3 motorway junction on the site of the former Guillemont Barracks. [cite web | url= http://www.hart.gov.uk/employment_study_jul_06-2.pdf | format= PDF | publisher= Hart District Council | title= Local Development Framework - Employment Needs Assessment | pages= pp. 4-25| date= July 2006 | accessdate= 2008-07-16]

Popular Culture

The Reuben single Moving to Blackwater refers to Blackwater. Reuben are from nearby Camberley.

References

External links

* [http://blackwater.parish.hants.gov.uk/ Blackwater and Hawley Town Council website]


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