Fringe Box



Letter: Guildford – The Talk of Chorleywood

Published on: 3 Aug, 2015
Updated on: 3 Aug, 2015

chorley wood signFrom Tony Edwards

“Isn’t that the place with all the goings on in the council?” asked a middle aged woman to whom I’d not been introduced. “Something about someone appearing at the Old Bailey for pretending to be something they’re not?” She peered over the top of her D&G sunglasses, searching my face for a reaction.

“Fraid so,” I said. “Guildford seems to have rather more than its fair share of controversy.”

A man in a green corduroy suit shuffled about on the spot, looking at his feet. “Yes, I heard that. Read it somewhere. Could it have been the ‘Eye’?”

A prop forward of a man with red hair gave a solemn nod of the head, sighed, and drained his wine glass. “Couple of pieces in the ‘Eye’,” he declared in a blunt Scottish accent. “Aye, and more to come I’ll be bound.”

I hadn’t expected a barbecue in Hertfordshire to be the venue for an impromptu debate on the morality of local government in Surrey. But here we were in Chorleywood with Guildford as the hot topic of conversation.

“A friend in nearby Cobham says he thanks his lucky stars the place is run by some other council and not Guildford,” said the women with the designer sunglasses which were, by now, perched on her head like a tiara, “but she’s concerned that the Guildford lot are trying to build thousands of houses right next door in Cookham or somewhere.”

I managed a fragile grin. “Ockham,” I corrected.

She returned a blank look, eye brows raised in anticipation. “Sorry?”

“Ockham,” I said, “the place is called Ockham.”

Her expression softened. “Yes, that’s probably it.”

The informal debate in Chorleywood didn’t actually reach any firm conclusions about the state of local politics in Guildford. But one thing was abundantly clear – the “goings on” in our leafy borough are no longer merely of local interest and are finding both a voice and an audience well beyond the county borders.

What the hacks at the ‘Eye’ dish up one day is very often served up with a dollop of speculation by the national dailies soon after.

As the man in the green corduroy suit put it: “With all that intrigue and back stabbing, sounds like Guildford should be an honorary suburb of Midsomer.”

It started to rain shortly after and the conversation switched to the weather and how David Cameron had reneged on Tory promises.

Tony Edwards is a member of the Wisley Action Group

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Responses to Letter: Guildford – The Talk of Chorleywood

  1. Mary Bedforth Reply

    August 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Very droll. GBC’s fame is spreading. I was reminded of Kenneth Williams’ lines: “Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!”

    As for the purchase of silly hats mentioned in the previous piece (a snip @ 6 for £1,560) the whole thing becomes a laughing stock.

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