Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness February 2022

Published on: 12 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 17 Feb, 2022

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

National Lottery grant for the Sime Gallery

Inside the Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

The Sime gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall has received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund totalling £85,040, which includes £5,000 match funding from the gallery itself.

The grant, that covers three years worth of funding, will enable it to achieve a wider audience under the direction of a community engagement officer, stage exhibitions of Sidney Sime’s work and enable further restoration and conservation of artwork in the collection.

Some of artist Sidney Sime’s work on display at the gallery.

The grant will also help to increase its retail opportunities and to appoint a gallery technician to assist in display and exhibition preparations, as well as connecting with other art organisations, schools, and to generally improve visitor experience.

The gallery’s trustees say this large financial commitment recognises the importance of artist Sidney Herbert Sime (1865–1941) and the gallery that has a vast collection of his varied art. This includes landscapes, oils, illustrations, theatre designs, theatrical caricatures, local caricatures and a collection of more than 500 catalogue items that include original sketchbooks, drawings, etchings and paintings.

Guildford Borough Cllr Bob McShee (Worplesdon) on a visit to the gallery.

Click here for the gallery’s website and also check social media on Instagram and Facebook for more details of Surrey’s hidden gem and meet ‘Worplesdon’s master of the mysterious’, whose works are often compared to Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen and Hokusai.

The gallery will be hosting a children’s activity afternoon on Thursday, February, 17, from 2pm to 4pm, during the half term holiday.

There will be plenty of activities available and a visit to the gallery too for accompanied four- to 10-year-olds. See the gallery’s website for details.

News from the Witmoor Common Association

The association is holding volunteer days on the common on Sundays, February 13 and March 13 with further dates later in the year to be announced. For details call the chairman Paul Rijbroek on 07881 727947.

It is holding its annual meeting at 7.30pm on June 1, at Worplesdon Memorial Hall. It will be holding a summer barbecue from 6.30pm on June 3 on the common adjacent to the Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road.

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s new conservation manager Adam Bolton has met with the association’s chairman to hear of the valuable the volunteer Sunday work parties are undertaking that have recently included ‘scrub bashing’, ie, cutting back unwanted vegetation.

Cheesman Bros’ prize draw for online customer orders

Fruit and veg wholesalers and retailers Cheesman Bros is running a prize draw of a freshly picked in-season fruit and veg box.

A selection of Cheesman Bros’ fruit and veg.

The draw is for new and existing customers using its online ordering service. Starting on Monday, February 14, and running until until Monday February, 28 one order will then be picked at random as the winner.

Customers are also welcome to visit its farm shop at Luxford Farm, off Broad Street, Wood Street Village.

Pubs round-up

The Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road is offering Sunday roasts from noon to 4 pm, along with starters or items to share.

The Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road.

It will be hosting quiz nights on the second Thursday of the month starting on February 24, at 7.30pm. Cost to enter is £2 per team of four people. There will be a cash prize for the winning team and a bottle of wine for the runner up.

The pub is planning a spring wine and beer food pairing dinner showcasing products from different countries each month. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor space to socialise in.

The Royal Oak pub’s Mother’s Day menu.

The Royal oak pub at Wood Street Village has a three-course Mother’s Day menu for £20, along with a pizza and pint deal for £10 when the Six Nations Rugby matches are screened.

Out litter picking

Litter picking in Wood Street Village.

Volunteers from Wood Street Village went litter picking on Saturday, February 5.

Look out for the next one in October. Roadside litter seems to be on the increase throughout the parish particularly on highways with no footpaths beside them.

Cricket club seeking coach for winter nets sessions

Wood Street Village cricket club is looking for a coach to support winter adult nets sessions. These are held at St Peter’s Catholic School in Merrow on Sunday mornings from 10am to 11.45am, until the end of March.

Colts playing cricket on Wood Street Village green.

The club plays its matches at Toby’s Oak on Backside Common, starting on April 30 through to August 27. It is always looking for new members of all abilities and age groups. Its colts will resume playing late spring.

Click here for its website or its Facebook page.

News from Worplesdon Parish Council

At its most recent meeting nine planning applications were scrutinised. These included an application for Merrist Wood Golf Club to redesign the course. If passed this will involve substantial re-landscaping with a good deal of lorries entering and leaving the site on a regular basis.

Also discussed at the meeting was damage to Perry Hill green, the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations, Wood Street Village green’s maypole event on May 7, and other events on the green.

Click here to see the parish’s celebrations for the jubilee, and check back regularly as more details will be posted when announced.

Latest payments were approved and a review of the annual health and safety report and all risk assessments.

Vehicle tyre tracks in the grass on Wood Street Village green had been reported to the parish council. It’s head groundsman was quick to repair the damage by tamping down the grass with the addition of soil to make good. Any antisocial behaviour of this kind, that often takes place at night, can be reported immediately to Surrey Police.

Vehicle tyre tracks across Wood Street Village green.

There have been burglaries recently in Fairlands and in Gravetts Lane, picnic benches owned by the parish council have been vandalised, as well as eggs thrown at vehicles travelling on the A323 Aldershot Road.

There continue to be vacancies for parish councillors. For more information abut how you could influence the decisions made on behalf of your local community, contact the parish clerk, Gaynor White, on 01483 300094 or email to

Dance lessons for young people

Dynamic Performing Arts holds weekly dance sessions for 4- to 11-year-olds at Worplesdon Memorial Hall. It is also holding Encanto-themed workshops during the half-term holiday.

Dynamic Performing Arts in action.

For more details email to: Antonia@dynamicperformingarts .

It has held its dance classes at the hall for 10 years. And many of the hall’s users are long-standing hirers. The hall is celebrating its centenary this year and is asking people to share their memories and photos of using the hall and its events in past times. Email Jan Messinger at

The hall’s celebration weekend will be on October 14 to 16. More details coming soon.

Goin’ fishin’

Britten’s Pond, off Saltbox Road.

Britten’s Pond is a popular spot for anglers and will be hosting its Roy Herbert Match on Sunday, March 6. Anglers will meet at 8am to draw the ‘swim’ or place around the pond where they will fish from and the competition is from 9am to 3pm.

Antiques shop is not closed!

Maintenance under way at Perry Hill Antiques.

Although the front of Perry Hill Antiques shop looks empty and might be closed, owner Dave has assured people this is for maintenance purposes only.

Spring has sprung at St Mary’s Church

St Mary’s churchyard at Perry Hill is full of snowdrops in flower as well as the odd daffodil.

Snowdrops at St Mary’s Church.

A coffee and cake morning takes place every Thursday from 10am to noon at St Alban’s Church in Wood Street Village.

Worplesdon churches are strong supporters of the North Guildford Food Bank.

And the food bank is seeking volunteers for twice a month for one and a half hours at a time to chat to clients and to ask for their prayer needs.

Open mic evenings

Open mic evenings will take place at Jacobs Well Social Club (next to the village hall) from Saturday, March 5.

Membership is available for single people or doubles as well as senior citizen concessions. The club has a bar and  events including bingo, quizzes and race nights.

Date set for comedy night and May fair

Jacobs Well Residents’ Association is holding a comedy night on Saturday, March 26, at 8pm.

There will be three hours of entertainment with a ventriloquist, singers, comedy and magic. See website for more details and to buy tickets. Or send an email to

Its May fair will be held over the early May bank holiday weekend.

Mr Rob.

Goodbye Mr Rob the caretaker

Rydes Hill Preparatory School has bid farewell to its caretaker Mr Rob, and the whole school community wished him a happy retirement.










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