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Effingham Eye: Village Market, Open Gardens, Litter Picking, Parish Council, Social Club Closing, Pub To Re-open

Published on: 2 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 4 Jul, 2021

Chris Dick, offers his personal views on the latest parish council discussion, a social club closing, a vibrant village market, open gardens and classic cars, security concerns over potential future illegal incursions, a refurbished bar and some other rubbish … no really … rubbish.

Effingham Parish Council meets … or does it?

Remember last month how Effingham Parish Council had met but then didn’t make any decisions. Well this month they’ve done it again. Well, that is partly true.

Because of the Covid restrictions the council was authorised to use Zoom virtual meetings up until May 2021. Those arrangements have now come to an end and therefore, with effect from July 27, meetings will take place in person rather than via laptops.

It might be worth noting that the July 27 meeting will take place in St Lawrence Church rather than the village hall but this could change.

The June meeting was therefore the last virtual Zoom discussion with decisions deferred to the chairman and clerk.

Berkeley Homes circulates above plan to residents.

Leaving aside domestic planning applications and routine council housekeeping items, the main topics of interest were the Berkeley Homes planning applications that included the 110 additional homes.

To say that there was a level of confusion over these applications is an understatement.

The confusion was over whether the applications, which had initially been available on Guildford Borough Council’s website, were active or not. It seemed that one or more of them had subsequently been taken down. It all got both complicated and drawn out as some councillors seemed able to access the plans while others could not.

With the chairman repeatedly trying to move the meeting forward some of those in the audience gave up and left while others (not sure if there needs to be an s at the end of others) resorted to playing Sudoku.

Covid-19 seals fate of another village club

The village bar closes.

Residents may be disappointed to read that, like the Royal British Legion Club in Lower Road that closed its doors in 2016, another local club has closed.

Effingham Playing Fields Association, better known as the village bar or EPFA, closed its doors in June. It was located within the King George V (KGV) village hall complex, Browns Lane, Effingham.

Sir Barnes Wallis CBE.

The social club had been opened along with the village hall and rugby club in 1965 by the then chairman of the parish council, Sir Barnes Wallis.

Barnes Wallis was perhaps best known for inventing the bouncing bomb used by the Royal Air Force in the “Dambusters” raid to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley during the Second World War.

In the club’s 56 years it served the community through social events, firework displays, village fêtes and supporting the local football team. At times it had struggled to make a profit and cover all its overheads.

At one low point, in its relationship with the managing trustees, negotiations over the use of the premises deteriorated to such an extent that they ended up in court.

EPFA club chairman Alan Brown.

EPFA chairman Alan Brown said: “The court case had no winners apart from the solicitors. To end the dispute we signed a new agreement resulting in less use of the premises and reduced opening hours. Sadly we never recovered the costs of our legal fees.”

Mr Brown went on to explain that the club had been unable to gain financial support during the pandemic lockdown and as a result had been unable to pay its rent.

Speaking on behalf of management trustees, Rob Hope explained that discussions and agreements between the trustees and user groups were always kept confidential. However, it was fair to say that discussions regarding how members of the club might continue to meet at the premises were ongoing.

Mr Hope said: “The EVRT [Effingham Village Recreation Trust] website makes clear what facilities are available for hire at KGV and enquiries are regularly received from a range of individuals and groups.

“EVRT assesses all enquiries and actively looks to work with all viable groups to generate income and support the obligations on the charity; these are to provide facilities and grounds to the local community to meet the trust’s charitable objectives.”

Open gardens and vintage cars displays

Above and below, two of the gardens open to the public.

Contrary to a dismal weather forecast. the Effingham and Little Bookham open gardens and classic cars event took place on Sunday June 20, in dry weather.

The Revd Mandy MacVean by the refreshments and tickets sales in the Jubilee Gardens.

After missing out last year’s event because of the pandemic, this time it was organised by the Revd Mandy MacVean and her husband Paddy. The latter organised the vintage car display.

Above and below, some of the many vintage cars on display.

Ten private gardens were opened to the public. There were several new ones as well as a few from the 2019 event. This time there was also a display of classic cars and an art studio.

Heavy rain a few days earlier had done little to harm the displays. Not to detract from all these beautiful gardens it was wonderful to see how some owners had embraced invertebrate ecosystems with areas of wilding.

Here are a few of the many photographs of those garden displays.

Anyone who likes gardens, fabulous vistas, great designs and amazing art, reasonably priced refreshments and classic cars should keep an eye out for next year’s event.

The event raised more than £2,000 for the St Lawrence and Little Bookham churches.

The following pictures feature some of the gardens on display.

What a load of rubbish…. picked up

On Saturday June 8, the Revd Mandy MacVean and the residents’ association organised a litter pick.

Residents gather before the litter pick began.

About 30 volunteers took part and worked in pairs. They filled 18 bags of rubbish which Guildford Borough Council had kindly agreed to collect.

Vivien White, chairman of Effingham Residents Association, said: “It was a very successful litter pick. Thirty-three enthusiastic residents helped and many said that they had enjoyed it.

“Most stayed on afterwards to have a well deserved complimentary drink at Loolabells and chat with other volunteers.

“We will aim to do another litter pick in the autumn when the vegetation has died back, which volunteers said they would be happy to join.

“Our impression was that Effingham is much cleaner than last time we did this. Effingham is lucky to have a number of community-minded residents who regularly litter pick around where they live and it is the through routes which have the most litter.”

Concerns over possible future playing field incursions

King George V playing fields and recreation grounds.

Residents of Barnes Wallis Close, Effingham have written to the King George V management trustees regarding concerns over possible future Gypsy/ traveller incursions onto the playing fields’ car park off Browns Lane. Barnes Wallis Close sits alongside the overflow car park.

Their somewhat opinionated letter of concern, copied to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, was widely circulated and initially resulted in the police visiting the residents to apparently establish the veracity of their concerns.

The main concern appeared to be over the opening times of the car park at weekends.

The matter is ongoing whilst it is being considered by the trustees.

Open-air market

On the last Saturday of June (26) there was evidence of life slowly returning to normal as the Effingham open-air market took place in the St Lawrence church hall gardens.

Celia Cox with her parents Chris and Cary Deveaux.

Once again, Celia Cox was there with her stall of plants and …err … umbrellas. Unfortunately, this time she had sold out of what she referred to as her “magic umbrellas” that miraculously come alive with colour when it rains. Celia said that they would be available next time.

There was a useful selection of stalls with a range of unusual items as well as cakes, artisan breads and refreshments available.

Heléna Lawrence, founder of the Say No to Berkeley Homes Campaign.

Also present was Heléna Lawrence, founder of the Say No to Berkeley Homes Campaign which is opposing the building of 110 extra homes on green belt land at Effingham.

Heléna will be running a zoom session Monday, July 5 at 8.15pm on how to comment on planning applications.

Please email: nomorehomes@outlook.com to receive the zoom link and confirm attendance.

Berkeley Homes update

Effingham Lodge Farm as it looked in February 2021.

Following on from the previous paragraph, Berkeley Homes has submitted applications 21/P/01283 and  21/P/01306 to Guildford Borough Council’s planning department.

The latter refers to the additional 110 homes at the former Effingham Lodge Farm and four self-build properties off Lower Road, Effingham.

Anyone wishing to comment on these planning applications should do so by July 23, 2021 via email or through the borough planning website.

Stop Press: Please see the first piece about the parish council meeting which discussed these plans. As of last night (June 29), it is unclear whether these plans will actually be accessible when this article is posted. It is also possible that the deadline date for comments may go beyond July 23.

Birdwatcher’s Diary No. 234 reports on Effingham Golf Club

It was wonderful to see the results of Malcolm Fincham’s recent visit to Effingham Golf Club.

Readers may recall last month’s Effingham Eye where I mentioned Malcolm’s uncanny ability to identify a sparrowhawk from a mile away simply by the characteristics of its flight pattern. But until he posted his latest Birdwatcher’s Diary No. 234 I had not seen the photo he had taken.

In his article there is a plethora of other beautiful photographs which have drawn praise from other experts.

Haig pub to reopen with new name

The former Sir Douglas Haig pub undergoes a refurbishment.

In other news, the Sir Douglas Haig pub is undergoing refurbishment and is set to reopen in October with a new name, The Queen Stage.

According to its website, the pub will cater for cyclists as well as all others. It will offer food, drink and accommodation. It will be a “new flagship cycle pub and hub.”

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