Fringe Box



Effingham Eye: Effingham Grinds to a Standstill

Published on: 27 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 31 Mar, 2020

Chris Dick offers a brief round-up of cancelled events and facilities, views on dog walking, shopping options and a good deed…
My editor wanted an Effingham Eye to publish. “No problem,” says I, somewhat foolishly. There really isn’t much going on.


So, we have no bars, clubs, sporting events or cafes. The churches are closed and this month’s Effingham Parish Council (EPC) meeting has been cancelled. Even the EPC and Church magazines home deliveries are on hold.

Roundabout Effingham magazine available outside the supermarket at The Laurels Parade

However, as part of your daily exercise or during that essential food shopping trip, why not pick up a free copy of the Roundabout Effingham, available from outside the Village Supermarket next to the hand sanitiser and protective disposable gloves.

King George V (KGV) buildings and fields

KGV fields are open for limited use

In line with government guidelines, the KGV trustees took the decision to close the village hall, clubrooms and function rooms, 3G pitch, car park and playgrounds.

But the grounds remain open for dog walking and joggers.

Dog walking

Our son’s German shepherd “Sam”.

Away from the KGV, having been saddled with our son’s two large energetic dogs to join our own mutt we decided to again walk at our usual Wisley & Ockham Common off Old Lane. However, this was not to be as the car parks were closed.

Closed off Surrey Wildlife/ Surrey County Council car parks

A poster announced the car parks had been closed to promote social distancing and stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

It was true that the car parks had been heavily used over the weekend (March 21/22). But, with hundreds of acres to enjoy, people melt away on the common. In fact, we had witnessed no groups of people abusing the government’s rules. Indeed the few people around were being careful to avoid coming anywhere near us. Perhaps the size of Sam may have had something to do with it.

To me closing the car parks seemed an overreaction by Surrey County Council. Surely part of the car park spaces could have been taped off to prevent too many dog-walkers and their cars? After all, one would find far more people parked at any of the local supermarkets.

And on the day before the closures, Monday, March 23, there were far fewer cars in the car park. Around five in total.

Two cars were empty, presumably dog-walkers out walking their dogs in the glorious sunshine.

However – and here the complaints will inevitably start – the other three cars contained single men just sitting and waiting. Not an unusual sight in this car park. They did not appear to have dogs with them. But maybe what they had in mind had dog in the title, even if it was probably non-compliant with social distancing.

Or perhaps I was just being too suspicious and they intended to take a brisk walk for their daily dose of exercise.

Surrey Wildlife/ Surrey County Council were not asked to comment.

Talking about Social Distancing

Successful social distancing on the A3.

Taking the decision to walk the dogs somewhere else I was confronted by the extraordinary sight of a virtually empty A3. This was social distancing taken to a new level.

Food Shortages

The Laurels shopping parade Effingham

Readers will be pleased to note that; Bevans the butcher, the bakery, Parkers & Son hardware shop and the Village Supermarket all remain open for business.

Sadly, Layla’s Cafe and the hairdresser’s are not.
The Plough Pub 

The Plough Pub Orestan Lane Effingham with landlords George & Ewa Gillett

Worth a special mention is the Plough pub in Orestan Lane.

The pub is open for take-away food and deliveries in the Effingham and Bookham areas on Fridays and Saturdays 6.30 – 8.30 pm.

To help local elderly residents the pub is also offering free lunches on Thursdays for the over 70s who live in Effingham, delivered directly to your door. Please make sure you register before Thursday by calling 01372 303105.

The NHS Applause

At 8 pm Thursday, March 26 there was a national round of applause for our wonderful NHS staff.

Here in Effingha,m the participation was astounding. It reminded me of hearing the reaction to Italy scoring a goal in the World Cup when we were visiting my cousin in Rome. Utterly amazing and quite moving. Clapping and cheering, with neighbours acknowledging each other from their front doorways.  Brilliant!

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Responses to Effingham Eye: Effingham Grinds to a Standstill

  1. Felicity Colman Reply

    March 29, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I entirely agree with your comments about closing car parks in open areas to promote social distancing is counterproductive. My daughter lives within view of Stoke Park and says the pavements and park are very busy. It would seem better to encourage people to spread their walks to order local open areas to promote safe social distancing.

    I live south of Sheepleas where the car parks were closed during the week which immediately led to my local woods having many more walkers, in a smaller area.

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