Fringe Box



Effingham Eye: Conservation Area Appraisal, Pub Latest, Community Orchard, Graves And More

Published on: 10 Feb, 2020
Updated on: 11 Feb, 2020

Chris Dick gives his personal report on Effingham events including; praise to a council, grave goings on, an orchard is cleared, sad news for pub goers, a spruced up parade and so much more …

Conservation Area Appraisal

What a pleasure to start this edition by offering praise to Guildford Borough Council (GBC).

Okay, it is unusual, but credit where credit is due. GBC has, with help from some well-informed Effingham residents, carried out a first class Conservation Area Assessment (CAA).

These assessments, once adopted, can add a layer of protection that needs to be taken into account during the planning application process. Indeed, without this borough council assessment these areas can be exposed to inappropriate development.

It is clear from reading the GBC draft for Effingham that we are the custodians for future generations and should do what we can to protect and enhance our semi-rural village.

Effingham’s Conservation Area looking west towards St Lawrence Church.

Its beautiful countryside setting, listed buildings and monuments, together with its picturesque flint walls and informal trees and shrub banks, is under constant threat of development.

Sadly, thanks to Berkeley Homes and the Secretary of State’s decision, we recently lost the farmland to the north at Effingham Lodge Farm. Of course we will gain a new secondary school and some apparently much needed new homes. But it was a high price to pay.

The draft CAA is open for anyone interested to make a comment even if it is as little as one sentence. The draft and comments can be viewed here. The consultation closes midday February 24.

Former Lord of the Manor’s grave collapses

Willock Pollen vault at All Saints’ Church in Little Bookham.

On Sunday, January 26 the congregation of All Saints’ Church, Little Bookham was surprised to find the roof of a burial vault in the grounds of the church had collapsed.

The vault is understood to contain several coffins and one container of ashes from the Willock Pollen family. It is an important monument as Henry Court Willock Pollen, who died in 1934, was Lord of the Manor of Little Bookham.

But, along with roofing and heating repairs, blocked drains and crumbling plaster that all needs attention in both our parochial churches, this is just another cost that will require yet more fund raising.

Work starts on community orchard

Volunteers start work on creating the new orchard.

A group of volunteers got together on Sunday, January 26 to start the clearance operation on the land opposite the Methodist Chapel in The Street, Effingham.

The intention is to plant out the space with fruiting trees and bushes making the best use of the west-facing brick wall for espaliers.

Subject to the predictable wind-fall loses, the produce will be given to those most in need with some perhaps also being sold at the new St Lawrence Church markets … more about that below.

Farmers’ Market

The Revd Mandy MacVean is currently advertising stall spaces for the new St Lawrence Church market in Effingham.

Mandy is keen for those living in Effingham and surrounding villages to take up this offer. The stalls will range from home-made jams, locally grown vegetables to craft items.

Those wishing to take part should contact the Revd Mandy MacVean on

Sir Douglas Haig pub possible redevelopment

Josh Chambers (left) with some pub regulars and other residents outside the Sir Douglas Haig pub.

The campaign to save the Sir Douglas Haig pub in Effingham has hit another setback.

On January 7, while being interviewed, the then manager Josh Chambers received a telephone call telling him to stop trying to keep the pub open.

After the call Josh said: “My boss said that he has heard about our campaign to save the Haig and, if I don’t stop, I will be sacked this afternoon.”

Then on Monday, January 27 the village learnt Mr Chambers had left Effingham and the pub for good.

Mr Chambers, whose whereabouts are unknown, was invited to comment but no reply has been received.

The Laurels

It seems like years since Cllr Paula Moss and the parish council first spoke about improving the land outside the shops in The Street. The grassed area had become much in need of sprucing up.

Improved use of land outside Effingham’s shops.

Now all the delays are over and work is well under way.

Fresh oak perimeter posts replace the old rotten ones. New benches and raised tree-planters wait in anticipation for planting out. Indeed, it already looks so much better. So well done to Cllr Moss and Effingham Parish Council.

While taking no praise away from those involved, perhaps there could be some further thought about the numerous freestanding advertising boards. They do not really enhance this excellent council initiative.

Covert cameras

My thanks to the reader who wrote in after last month’s article about the cameras placed in the Wisley and Ockham car parks. I should have made clear that most of the cameras are of course overt. They are easy to see and in plain sight.

However, the second car park at Wisley and Ockham does not have cameras which are as easy to see. Well, not when the shrub and trees were in leaf. Indeed, for the past year several people were convinced there was no camera coverage at all!

Camera in Wisley and Ockham Common car park.

But there was a camera which has been subject to vandalism. Now you know it is there, perhaps you can spot it in the above photograph. It’s winter so it can be seen if you are particularly observant.

And this just in…

Patrick MacVean and Chris Butler discover two previously unrecorded graves

Today (Monday, February 10) Patrick MacVean and Chris Butler discovered two graves in the vestry of St Lawrence Church during their renovation work.

There was no mention of the graves in the graveyard records although their deaths were recorded in the parish records.

Just the initials and date of deaths are engraved on the graves.

A quick search found the graves belonged to William Farley, who had been vicar at St Lawrence from 1793 to his death in 1837. The second grave was that of his wife Dorothy Farley, who had died in 1829.

It is rare for anyone to be buried inside a church. However it appears Revd Farley decided to bury his wife under the new vestry which had only been completed the previous year.

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