Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness December 2023

Published on: 14 Dec, 2023
Updated on: 18 Dec, 2023

Jan Messinger with her round up of news from the parish of Worplesdon

Silverbirch House care home officially opened

The Silverbirch House care home, off Keens Lane at 19 Tovey Green was officially opened on Thursday, December 7, by the Mayor of Guildford, Masuk Miah.

The official opening of the Silverbirch House care home.

In his speech he said he has been a local resident for 37 years and can see the care home is going to deliver outstanding care from outstanding staff, and people will have their needs met with respect and dignity.

Areas of the home are named after prominent persons, including Dr Anthony Hillard, retired GP of the Fairlands practice, who attended the opening, as well as Ann Tizard, who represented her late husband Ken, a policeman for 25 years.

The Silverbirch House care home off Keens Lane.

Guests were given tours of the home including a rainbow table, a digital interactive touch screen which creates opportunities for cognitive stimulation, social interaction and recreational enjoyment.

Also at the opening were Worplesdon Parish councillors and staff, the Rev Alex Russell, representatives from local organisations including the Sime Gallery, residents, and staff from owners the Barchester Group.

Christmas at the Christmas Bakery

The 163-year-old Christmas Bakery has a seasonal selection from biscuits and truffles in the from of reindeers, Santas, Christmas trees, to brandy-filled mince pies, chocolate Yule logs and traditional Christmas cakes.

Seasonal decorations at The Christmas Bakery.

The shop is decorated for the season with a candy cane theme.

Putting the Christmas trees in place

Willing volunteers have erected a Christmas tree inside St Mary’s Church at Perry Hill.

Up she goes! Installing the Christmas tree inside St Mary’s Church.

It was not an easy task as can be seen in the photo with lots of heave ho!

The Christmas Tree at the entrance to St Mary’s.

The Christmas tree beside the A322 by the road to the church was put in place by contractors and paid for by Worplesdon Parish Council.

Christmas services are being held between December 16 and Christmas Day.

News from Wood Street Village

Members of the youth club at St Alban’s Church have decorated an indoor tree.

Decorating the Christmas tree at St Alban’s Church.

The club meets on the first Friday of month from 7pm to 9pm at the church hall

The Christmas tree on Wood Street Village green.

There is a Christmas tree on the green and neighbours have been decorating their homes with lights.

There will be carol singing on Wood Street Village green on Saturday, December 16.

Wood Street Village Horticultural Society held its annual Christmas party on December 9, and on the same day Wood Street Infant School held its Christmas fair.

Local florist Homestead Flowers had a stall as well as making eco-friendly wreaths.

There will be more sessions in 2024 in the new flower barn.

Father Christmas is coming to Fairlands

It will soon be time to see Father Christmas on his sleigh around Fairlands and surrounding roads.

Map showing the route Father Christmas will be taking.

A map shows his route on Sunday, December 17, starting from Fairlands Community Centre at 4pm. 

Christmas decorations in the bar at Fairlands Community Centre.

The Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association’s club at the community centre has been decorated both in the bar and in the hall.

There are also new cycle racks outside.

Lighting up the green on Perry Hill

Christmas lights, provided by Worplesdon Parish Council, are on horse chestnut trees at Perry Hill green.

Christmas lights on Perry Hill green.

An online consultation survey via QR code for residents and non residents to consult on Christmas lights at locations across the parish will close on December 31.

A paper copy can be obtained by contacting Worplesdon Parish council on 01483 300094 or via its website. 

Worplesdon Pre school’s Nativity and end of term party

Worplesdon Pre school  is set for its nativity play and end of term Christmas party day on Wednesday, December 20.

The new term beings on Wednesday, January 3.

Christmas productions and carols at Worplesdon Primary School

Worplesdon Primary School is in full swing with its year groups’ Christmas productions and carols.

School finishes for the holidays on Friday, December 15, and the new term starts on Wednesday, January 3.

WI’s Christmas party

Worplesdon Women’s Institute held its annual Christmas party on Wednesday, December 6.

Worplesdon WI’s Christmas party.

They were joined by Guildford Borough Councillor Honor Booker (Worplesdon ward) at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Get your tickets for Burns Night on January 27

Worplesdon’s popular Burns Night celebration is being held on Saturday, January 27, at 7.30pm at Normandy Village Hall.

There will be the traditional supper and Scottish reeling.

Tickets are available from St Mary’s church office, or call 01483 233091.

News from the Sime Gallery

Around 100 people attended the gallery’s second annual lecture, held at St Mary’s Church.

The Sime Gallery’s second annual talk held at St Mary’s Church.

Professor Spalding gave a talk about art between the war years, and there were plenty of interesting questions asked by the audience, with tea and homemade biscuits after. 

There will be an exhibition of Sidney Herbert Sime’s works of art at Chris Beetles Art Gallery in Ryder Street, St James, London during January. 

The Impassable Gulf by Sidney Sime.

The founding patron of the Sime Gallery barrister and grandson of Sime’s aristocratic patron Lord Howard de Walden, Thomas Seymour, will be opening the exhibition at a reception on January 9.

Sime’s first exhibition was 100 years ago in St George’s Gallery in London.

Many works are being loaned for the exhibition and the Sime Gallery will be open by appointment only between December 6 and February 7.

Surrey’s hidden gem is Worplesdon’s Sime Gallery. It really does bring art and history and the fascinating story of Sime’s life together. Click here for website.

Fire closes popular café

Rokers Farmhouse Café had to close at short notice on November 20 due to electrical fire.

Rokers Farmhouse Café is currently closed.

No-one was injured and staff thanked the fire service for their quick response.

Due to damage the cafe is without power, it is being refurbished, but no date has been given for its reopening.

The latest new buildings at Rokers.

However, the latest new building at Rokers Animal Feeds, Equestrian and Country Store will soon be in use. 

Order fruit and veg online with Chessman Bros

Grocers Cheesman Bros’ farm shop is off Broad Street, while you can easily order fruit and vegetables online. Click here for website.

Cutting trees on the common for Christmas 

Whitmoor Common Association held another successful “cut your own Christmas tree” session on December 3, raising funds for St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School at Rydes Hill.

Last year’s funds supported the school’s parent teacher association to help renovate an area of the school for additional comfort for parents and children.

News from Worplesdon Parish Council

At a meeting of its general purposes committee six planning applications were looked at along with a proposed list of payments for approval.

A third version of its 2024-2025 budget was discussed, there was an application for next year’s jazz festival, removal of a bus shelter on Jacobs Well Road for safety reasons.

The flood forum met on November 17, with the next meeting in March.

The more often residents report flooding to Surrey County Council on every occasion they witness it, it ensures resources are prioritised to deal with it.

Parish council staff will be on leave from December 18 to January 2.

It welcomes its new member of ground staff, Andy Conor. He will working on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Antisocial behaviour seen on Wood Street Village green can be reported to the police.

Seasonal greetings banners can now be seen in each area of the parish.

One of the parish council’s seasonal banners.

On stage at Perry Hill and Fairlands

The cast of Honk.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall at Perry Hill played host to Sunflower productions’ Honk in November, while at Fairlands Community Centre Fairlands Players staged their pantomime Aladdin, which was very well attended. 

Backstage picture of Fairlands Players who staged Aladdin at the community centre.

Shop has a new front door

New front door at Fairlands post office and party shop.

Fairlands post office and party shop has a new front door following an attempted break in.

Knitted topper on the postbox.

There is a fantastic seasonal topper to the postbox outside.

Pond looks bigger

The pond on Chitty’s Common by Keens Lane has been opened up and looks bigger than ever.

The pond on Chitty’s Common.

It is a great place to enjoy the local wildlife.

Fly tipping nuisance and flooding

More fly tipping!

As always, dark nights and lots of rain bring fly tipping to Gooserye Road on the edge of Whitmoor Common.

And there is often flooding on the public footpath at Rickford near Norton Farm and the Christmas Bakery (see above) and other footpaths near Merrist Wood College.

Fly tipping and flooding can easily be reported to Surrey County Council.

College links up with Shooting Star children’s hospices

In the new year Merrist Wood College will be working with the charity Shooting Star children’s hospices.

It promises to be a great learning opportunity for students, as used Christmas trees will be turned into environmentally friendly wood chippings, which will then be used for the animals at the college.

The arena at the college is lining up a range of equestrian events that will feature show jumping, dressage and the Sara Jane Lanning Clinic.

Open to the public, tickets are available to purchase via 

Tickets can be bought as a Christmas gift or perhaps a gift of golf lessons at Merrist Wood Golf Club. 

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness December 2023

  1. G Burch Reply

    December 20, 2023 at 9:03 am

    I would like to point out that the Christmas tree beside the A322 by the road to St Mary’s Church and Christmas lights on the two horse chestnut trees on Perry Hill Green, weren’t paid for by Worplesdon Parish Council, as stated, but were paid for by the taxpayers of Worplesdon.

    Worplesdon Parish Council procured this arrangement and I politely suggest that Worplesdon parishioners use the link to the survey (provided on this page) should they feel that these illuminations (and the tree provided at Wood Street) were worth the £8,000 that it has cost this year.

    The survey closes on December 31.

    • Perry Hill Resident Reply

      January 7, 2024 at 11:34 am

      Yes very much worth it. That’s something like a £1 a resident, which is a tiny fraction of a person’s basic state pension in 2024.

      At this spirited time of year, I am glad that the parish council is not constituted with Ebenezers and that we can continue to enjoy such traditions in our community too.

      Merry Christmas, one and all!

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