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Effingham Eye: History Group’s First 10 Years, Trustee’s Resignation, Birdwatcher’s Visit, Parish Council Latest

Published on: 2 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 5 Nov, 2020

Chris Dick offers some information on the local history group, the resignation of a trustee, some unhelpful behaviours, a birdwatcher’s visit, parish council titbits … and of course much more. 

Effingham Local History Group

My thanks to Jeremy Palmer (now Councillor Palmer) for adding his comment to last month’s Effingham Eye article.

In it he offered some useful information and a link to Effingham Local History Group’s (ELHG) online Heritage Day exhibition.

Jeremy Palmer.

Jeremy said the history group’s members were proud it had just reached its 10th anniversary and had created a new website.

Jeremy added: “Over the past 10 years the group has provided four major exhibitions, published five books and provided 12 smaller displays at a variety of village events.”

He explained the group had made contributions to other groups’ research and activities as well as recorded oral interviews recounting the memories of some older Effingham residents.

Over the decade the group had acquired an impressive archive of objects and materials, which were used to support the exhibitions and books.

Readers may wish to know that ELHG always welcomes new members as well as people who wish to share their memories of Effingham or its residents. Contact details can be found here.

Birdwatcher visits Effingham Golf Club

Effingham Golf Club’s course manager Jon Budd (Left) with birdwatcher Malcom Fincham by the golf club reservoir.

While planning a further piece on Effingham Golf Club’s working farm, sustainability projects and it’s aim to win a nationwide ecology contest, I revisited the club grounds.

This time with Malcolm Fincham who, along with his photos, writes his Birdwatcher’s Diary column in The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

Having introduced Malcolm, who has written more than 200 articles for the Dragon, to course manager Jon Budd, it was impressive to listen to some of their phenomenal ornithological knowledge.

Of equal enjoyment was the reaction of the golfers whom we encountered during our two-hour visit.

Once their humorous concerns had been allayed, that we were not there to film their attempts to hit the ball, they showed genuine interest in the club’s ecological endeavours and the efforts the club was going to with its ecology programme, planting of lowland grasses and of course the national ecological competition.

It will take several visits before Malcolm is ready to share his results. This means we may have to wait until spring next year for the first of his Effingham Golf Club birdwatcher’s articles.

There will be a similar delay before it will be possible to write about the golf club’s farm and its growing season.

The results of this year’s national ecology competition will be announced in January.

Howard of Effingham School’s Covid news

Following two (or possibly more) confirmed cases of students with Covid-19 at the Howard of Effingham School, the sixth form was closed about a week before half-term.

The 250-plus students were told not to visit their fellow students during the break.

Effingham Parish Council news

Effingham Parish Council (EPC) held its regular monthly Zoom meeting, to which the public have access, on Tuesday, October 27.

Before the normal business got under way, two prospective candidates were invited to give a five-minute presentation on why they should be chosen to fill the parish council’s casual vacancy.

The successful candidate was Jeremy Palmer.

As seen above, Jeremy is also an active member of ELHG and someone willing to comment in The Guildford Dragon NEWS on local matters.

Other council matters that might be of interest include:

Item 333/20: The clerk had contacted Taylor Wimpey / Cratus to request that Effingham Parish Council be invited on to the Former Airfield Community Liaison Group.

Item 329/20: The resignation letter from EPC appointed Effingham Village Recreation Trust managing trustee Tim Clarke. Tim had completed two years of service to the charity. More about this below.

Item 352/20: Considered the purchase of a wildlife camera (cost £86 including SD card and batteries) to establish if allotment thefts are actually carried out by animals. This, with some well-placed good natured humour, was approved.

Item 341/20: There was an update from the climate change working group.

Of interest, after last month’s EPC meeting I caught up with Cllr Jerome Muscat who chairs the latter’s working group,

Jerome Muscat chairman of EPC’s climate change working group.

Jerome explained how the group’s early stages of gathering ideas were well under way and that the group’s first meeting had centred on a possible cycleway to Effingham railway station by upgrading bridleway 131 along the old London Road to the north of Effingham Common through the woods.

Jerome said: “We’ve had a mass of positive responses and ideas. These range from new cycle paths, better recycling, biodiversity schemes including how to encourage invertebrates with, for example, leaving the grasses to grow longer on council land and verges.

“We have the possibility of funding from Surrey County Council for some electric car charge points. The question now is where these might be sited.

“We are considering a village-wide survey to establish a baseline for domestic energy saving through, for example, insulation.”

Jerome added the group wanted to engage with other councils to be able to speak in a louder voice where and when needed.

Clearly some of the parish working groups will have major significance over the years to come. With this in mind, next month I hope to catch up with Cllr Bronwen Roscoe, who chairs the highways working group.

Residents wishing to share their ideas or willing to assist Jerome and his group can contact him via the parish clerk, using this link.

Good intentions are no excuse

Small charities always struggle to recruit and retain good volunteer trustees.

It was therefore a pity to learn that one of the Effingham Village Recreational Trust trustees, Tim Clarke, had resigned. The reasons for this were not made public.

Cars parked length of Browns Lane and other nearby roads as the KGV car park remains closed.

However, in recent months The Guildford Dragon NEWS has reported on a number of incidents concerning Effingham Village Recreational Trust / the King George V (KGV) recreation grounds and village hall.

Some residents have quite rightly aired their health and safety concerns over the car park’s continued closure by writing to the trustees about, for instance, how some families now struggle to get their children or less abled passengers out of their vehicles safely from Browns Lane into the KGV grounds.

Unfortunately, perhaps through frustration, others have taken a more direct approach; locks cut, driveways and entrances deliberately blocked, retractable bollard glued up, to name but a few.

Sometimes these protests have included a degree of harassment through unsolicited telephone calls to trustees and parish councillors and even face-to-face confrontation.

It is a credit to all our volunteers that they take it on the chin and do little or nothing about these somewhat extreme behaviours.

It may seem counterintuitive, but police officers have been called on more than one occasion to protect Gypsy families (who had illegally set up camp on the KGV) from the actions of one of these residents who genuinely believed it was acceptable to take direct action.

Surely these have not been the actions of frustrated residents defending their community, as they claim. Having witnessed and reported on a number of these altercations, it is more a sad indictment on those who should know better.

And worse still it leads to the resignation of our hard-working volunteers.

Well done to those residents who direct their genuine concerns in writing to those groups best placed to handle them.

Residents wishing for an update on the status of the KGV car park can click on the new Effingham Village Recreation Trust’s website.

That said, residents should not expect daily or even weekly updates as this voluntary work must fit around other priorities.

When the trustees have something to say we can be sure they will and it may well involve asking residents to help raise the necessary funds to improve security.

And finally…

Be sure not to miss the Dragon Interview with Cliff Hackett about the new Effingham Roundabout magazine and supporting Bulletins.

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Responses to Effingham Eye: History Group’s First 10 Years, Trustee’s Resignation, Birdwatcher’s Visit, Parish Council Latest

  1. Derek Tanner Reply

    November 4, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I took your advice and went to the EVRT page with regards to parking and there is nothing there.

    Being a regular user of the village club, parking on a totally unlit road at night is an accident waiting to happen.

    We then have to walk through the unlit car park to gain access to the clubhouse.

    Our female bar staff then have to lock up often on their own can be a bit scary to say the least.

    Put a 2 metre substantial bar over the gateway would solve the problem although some would say trade vehicles have to enter. Well, if it is permanently locked, they can’t anyway.

    Our drayman have keys for our cellar so I’m sure regular trade deliverers could be trusted with a key or is that too simple?

    Let’s just wait for a serious injury to occur before a solution is found.

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