Fringe Box



Effingham Eye: Olympic Bronze for Ollie, Dry Day For Market, Protest Over Additional Homes Plan, Parish Council Goes To Church

Published on: 2 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 6 Aug, 2021

Chris Dick, offers his personal views on an Olympic win, an award nomination, the village market, a protest, a new notice board, a correction and a council possibly seeking divine inspiration.  

Effingham man wins Olympic bronze

Congratulations to Effingham resident Oliver (Ollie) Wynne-Griffith for winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s eight rowing event.

It was a truly remarkable win in high temperatures and humidity without the support of friends and family who had been unable to attend because of Covid restrictions.

But in one of those odd twists of fate, Ollie won while competing in the same event his great grandfather, Harold Rickett, did.

Olympic bronze medal winner Ollie Wynne-Griffith.

Harold had competed 89 years ago in the 1932 Olympics where he finished fourth. And to add to the twist, Ollie was seated in the same position in the boat as his great grandfather had sat.

Now the family can celebrate a medal after the GB eight was just pipped to silver by Germany and New Zealand, who took gold.

When interviewed by the BBC, Ollie said: “It feels quite emotional for me. My great-grandfather rowed in the men’s eight at the ’32 Olympics and came fourth, so it’s quite nice to get on the other side of that result for a bit of family history.

“Just getting to the pinnacle of sport, getting to the Olympic Games is an achievement in itself, to stand on the medal podium is an even bigger achievement.

“It’s quite an emotional moment. You try not to think about that moment through your training – just focus on the process and stuff – but once it comes upon you you’re not really sure how you’re going to react… it’s a very sweet moment for us.”

Ollie’s parents could hardly put into words their joy at their son’s success. Speaking to The Guildford Dragon News, his father Richard said: “It’s exciting, emotional and exhausting but also a moment that none of us will forget.”

Café owner nominated for Local Hero Award

Effingham café owner Euna Kang has been shortlisted to receive an award in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2021.

Out of 300 nominations chosen by the public, Euna has reached the final 10 in the Coronavirus Hero category. The other categories are Act Of Courage, Active Agers, Against All Odds, Charity Champion, Celebrity Hero, Young Hero and Hero Pet.

Euna Kang, shortlisted for Coronavirus Hero Award.

Euna said: “I had no idea I’d been nominated, I feel so honoured.”

She also explained that, since reopening her café, she had started a local campaign to end loneliness.

She said: “My daughter Layla and I want to reach out to those in our community who may have partners that suffer from dementia, those whose partners may be in a care home or perhaps are old and living alone and might like some company. We want to welcome them here at Layla’s and use us as a community centre.”

Euna added that for some reason her customers always chatted to other customers. Indeed, when it first happened she had been surprised as it was so unexpected. But now it has become a feature of her café.

To all of us that visit Layla’s Café we are not in the least bit surprised as the warmth of her welcome makes everyone feel at home.

Another dry day for village market 

The Revd Mandy MacVean.

The weather forecast for Saturday, July 24 had been dismal. Heavy rain and storms were due to start in the early hours of Saturday yet nothing happened. It was overcast but warm and pleasant.

The Revd Mandy MacVean greeted every visitor to the open-air market in the St Lawrence Church hall gardens while sitting under an awning … she was taking no chances!

Celia Cox, mentioned in last month’s Effingham Eye, was unfortunately not on hand to sell me another one of her magic umbrellas – they make excellent birthday presents for people who always lose their umbrellas when they most need them.

However, for something rather different, Nadia was on hand to welcome visitors to the Mandira’s Kitchen stall with some warming tasters.

Nadia of Mandira’s Kitchen.

The company is based at the Silent Pool, Shere Road, Albury. It produces award-winning Indian meals and more, including cookery lessons.

Readers can find out more via the website or enjoy the many tasters available at the stall.

Protest over an additional 114 homes

Protesters outside the development site, Lower Road, Effingham.

At the same time as the village market was taking place, around 30 residents gathered outside the former Effingham Lodge Farm site off Lower Road to protest against Berkeley Homes’ planning application for 114 additional homes.

The founder of the campaign Say No to Berkeley Homes, Heléna Lawrence, who had organised the protest, was joined by residents and Mole Valley Councillor Paul Kennedy,

The founder of the campaign Say No to Berkeley Homes, Heléna Lawrence, with Mole Valley District Councillor for Fetcham West Paul Kennedy (Liberal Democrat).

Ms Lawrence said: “As the founder of the campaign Say No to Berkeley Homes, I organised a very last-minute PR protest rally outside the site entrance. Despite the weather and last-minute organisation I was pleased with the turn out.

“I had many, many messages from people saying they’d been pinged through track and trace – didn’t want to be ‘seen to object’ due to links to the Howard School, and others explaining they had prior commitments planned – as to why many couldn’t attend the rally.

“We have until the 5th August to object but objections can still be logged, likely for another few weeks, but please do get them in ASAP. GBC currently can’t cope with the amount of objections coming through and the number showing isn’t the true reflection. The backlog is huge!

“Thank you to everyone in the community, the kind words and continued support to keep going with this campaign is nothing short of amazing! Let’s keep going in this fight”

Cllr Kennedy said: “These latest applications are an outrage. The developers are now demanding an extra 110 homes [now increased to 114] in the green belt to fund the very same new school which they originally persuaded Conservative ministers could be funded by development profits on 295 homes.

“Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed the destruction and overdevelopment of our countryside simply to provide the funding which successive Conservative education ministers have failed to provide for our area. We all want to help the school, but this is not the way to do it.

“I am confident that Guildford Borough Council will reject this outrageous demand. And that this time their decision will be upheld by an inspector, because they now have a Local Plan with a five-year housing supply. But with Robert Jenrick as Housing Secretary, who knows?”

Although not present and unaware of the protest, Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford Mole Valley and Clare Curran, Surrey County Councillor for Bookham and Fetcham West, both said afterwards, that in 2018 Guildford Borough Council did not have a Local Plan with sufficient allocated homes, but that this was no longer the case and the Local Plan demonstrated more than sufficient new homes for the borough.

They wrote: “We appreciate the attraction of a new school but it is planned for 2,000 students rather than the current 1,600, at a time when there are places available for pupils in other nearby secondary schools. We want to see the claimed increase in building costs for a new school questioned by GBC including the justification for the increase in pupil numbers.

“This new proposal is even more inappropriate development in the green belt and the buffer zone area. Overall it increases the number of houses in Effingham village by nearly 40%. We believe that the very special circumstances that applied to the previous application in 2018 do not apply in this case and that these 110 [now 114] additional homes would add further to the strain upon our road and traffic, drains and other essential infrastructure. This development would fundamentally change the character and environment of Effingham as a small village and threaten the fragile, wider local infrastructure.

“We do not support this proposal and expect GBC to support the local community and our concerns by rejecting it.”

Sir Paul added: “Liberal councillors are renowned for constantly demanding central government taxpayers money as they do with the local council tax-payers as if the funds come from the mythical money tree, not from the earnings of the taxpayer.”

For more details about how to comment on these planning applications for or against, before the August 5 deadline, see the The Guildford Dragon NEWS’ previous story: Residents’ Association Challenges Developer’s Bid For 110 More Homes

Parish Council seeks spiritual enlightenment

At Effingham Parish Council’s July meeting things were returning to pre-Covid normal … well almost.

Effingham Parish Council’s public meeting held in St Lawrence Church.

On Tuesday, July 27 the council, that is the secular civil council rather than the church council, took the unusual decision of holding this public meeting in a church.

Clearly councillors need all the help they can get, so where better to hold a public meeting than in the house of the Lord? In truth, there was concern among some councillors that the village hall might be too small for social distancing.

However, the rector, the Revd Mandy MacVean, was delighted to offer St Lawrence Church for the council to use. Mandy and her husband Paddy were in the audience for much of the meeting.

Mandy said: “It’s wonderful that the council could make use of the church as the building is mostly empty in the evenings. It would be great if it could be used more often like this.”

About a dozen residents attended to hear two presentations from councillors about Berkeley Homes plans for an additional 114 homes on the former Effingham Lodge Farm. The council then debated and voted on whether to object or support the plans.

In truth, the chances of the council supporting the plans were remote. Judging by the number of objections sent to the borough planners and the recent protest, you’d have more chance of thumbing a lift on Richard Branson’s next Virgin Galactic rocket plane flight than witness the council supporting these plans!

The parish council voted to write to the borough council and object. For more detail see The Guildford Dragon NEWS story: Effingham Parish Council objects to Berkeley Homes plans for more homes

Wildflower walk

Residents join a guided nature walk over Effingham Golf Club.

It was good to see some residents attend one of Effingham Golf Club’s guided wildflower tours.

The visit had been organised through the parish council’s climate change working group and was led by Jon Budd, the course manager.

Further improvements to shopping parade

Grassed area now planted out with trees and flowers.

Although Covid restrictions had held back the improvements outside the shops in The Street, this project is now complete and looking so much better than it did a year ago.

Noticeboards outside Layla’s Café.

The next project will be to replace two of the old noticeboards and make safe the crumbling pavements outside Layla’s Café in The Street.

The council also hopes that anyone concerned about the state of local paths and pavements should contact Surrey County Council or use the website Fix My Street to report local problems.


Last month’s edition implied that the Effingham Open Gardens event takes place every year. This is not correct, the events take place every other year with the village harvest festival in between.

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Responses to Effingham Eye: Olympic Bronze for Ollie, Dry Day For Market, Protest Over Additional Homes Plan, Parish Council Goes To Church

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 3, 2021 at 7:45 am

    “Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed the destruction and overdevelopment of our countryside”. Sorry, this is untrue.

    The previous LD leader on GBC wholeheartedly and enthusiastically supported the Tory Local Plan, which is bringing such ruin to our villages. Just recently, the LDs on the GBC Planning Committee voted to approve the outrageous plan for 139 homes in the tiny village of West Horsley.

  2. Jan Messinger Reply

    August 3, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Isn’t it wonderful to see what’s going on in our villages in the borough? We have so much to be proud of and so many people doing so much.

    Great news from Chris Dick.

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