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Effingham Eye: Café’s Facelift, New Home For Community Store, Farmers’ Market Coming Soon

Published on: 17 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 18 Jul, 2020

Chris Dick offers some insight on local matters; at last the much-awaited farmers’ market is to open, Layla’s gets a facelift, the community shop finds a new home, a councillor resigns and a set of badgers surprises a young family.

Layla’s café reopens

Welcome back Euna Kang and Ian Shier. After kindly lending their premises free of charge during the lockdown to the temporary Community Store – which has now moved a 100 yards north – Effingham café Layla’s has reopened.

A new sliding bifold frontage for Layla’s as it reopened on July 15.

It now boasts a bifold glass frontage and additional outside seating.

Apart from the socially distanced seating little has changed and the welcome from Euna makes every visit worthwhile.

Community Store moves to the Haig pub

With the reopening of Layla’s the management of the Community Store was faced with either relocating to another venue or closing altogether.

There was no indication regarding if or when either the butcher or mini supermarket would reopen. That said Bala has just started work on the Village Supermarket and hopes to reopen in five or six week’s time.

The small volunteer management committee took the decision to relocate to new premises – if only for a few more weeks until the end of September..

The Community Store has relocated to the Sir Douglas Haig pub, The Street, Effingham.

In an unexpected move, the Revd Mandy MacVean contacted Castellum of Weybridge, the new owners of the Haig pub. She proposed that, while the property lay empty, the company lend the premises to the Community Store, free of charge.

Director Chris Wingrove immediately agreed. He later told The Guildford Dragon NEWS: “Castellum are delighted to be able to assist the community in this way. It’s been our intention from the very beginning to be part of the community and work with everyone, with the aim of making the pub and this site an integral, in keeping and vibrant addition to the village.”

Chris Wingrove added that plans for the site had just been submitted to Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and could be viewed on the GBC planning portal.

Effingham Parish Council

Zoom parish council meetings are now routine.

The most recent public meeting was held June 30 where it was announced that Alison Mayell had resigned from the parish council.

Although the news caught most of the councillors by surprise the resignation was fully understandable and had come as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

It’s no secret that Alison was a first-class councillor and will be missed by her council colleagues and us mere mortals.

Much of the meeting was devoted to Effingham Recreational Trust; its new trustee Robert Hope, how funds had been spent on new staff, better connectivity, accounting programs and converting the former caretaker’s flat for office use.

Some of these issues were put back to the end of the meeting when the public were asked to leave the meeting.

Part of the meeting centred on the duties that the various councillors were being asked to fulfil. This led to some spirited objections particularly over, for example why there was a Highways Working Group and who the chairman should be.

Actually, it was a relief to hear the councillors disagreeing with each other and offer their own particular points of view in a robust and forthright manner.

Unfortunately, the meeting had so much to cover on the agenda it did begin to drag and I was tempted away to watch another episode of Game of Thrones!

Churches reopen for private devotions

In line with government restrictions on social distancing, All Saints Church in Little Bookham will be open from 10.30am to 12.30pm every Tuesday and Saturday for private prayer.

However, those wishing to attend should be prepared to wear a face mask while inside the church.

While All Saints has limited opening, the Revd Mandy MacVean said: “We want to reopen St Lawrence again but this will not happen until we are absolutely sure how to do it safely.”

A new market in gardens of church hall

After a delay of three months, the Effingham Farmers’ Market will finally get under way on Saturday, July 25.

The market will be held in the gardens of St Lawrence Church Hall, Church Street on the fourth Saturday of every month between 10am and 2pm.

St Lawrence Church Hall.

These arrangements will continue for the next three months and thereafter it will most likely be held inside the hall.

The many stalls expected include a popular local gin producer, hand-made chocolates, locally produced jams, jellies, cakes, flans, pasties, samosas, sausage rolls, various cakes, cheese straws, brownies, fudge, rocky road and coconut ice.

There will also be Moroccan hand-made craft and natural beauty products, hand-made body butters and creams. And of course there will be a fruit and vegetables stall as well as cheeses and fresh free-range eggs. Refreshments and fresh coffee will be available.

There is plenty of free parking close by, however the hall’s car park will only be available for store holders and the disabled.

Looking forward to feature more wildlife at golf club

Following some local favorable comments on an article about Effingham Golf Club’s efforts to improve and enhance its ecology, I hope to do a follow-up piece.

A view of of Effingham Golf Club’s clubhouse, taken looking over downland grasses where there used to be two tennis hard courts.

The recent article Ecology in Full Swing at Surrey’s ‘Nature Reserve’ Golf Club [who comes up with these corny titles?] did not cover any of the night-time animals captured on a low-light camera or those creatures rarely seen during the diurnal activity around dusk and dawn. Hopefully this can be addressed over the summer.

In one instance, one of the groundsmen took his young children out to see what the camera had caught on its memory card. They were surprised to see the subjects of what they had been hoping to see captured on film – namely a family of badgers – playing around right in front of them.

Rare scabious bee recently spotted in the grounds of Effingham Golf Club. Picture by Darren Paintin.

And just in the last few days another groundsman spotted what he believed to be a rare scabious bee. This sighting has been reported to Surrey Wildlife Trust.

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