Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness February 2023

Published on: 11 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 13 Feb, 2023

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

One hundred years old and doing well

Peter Brown celebrating his 100th birthday.

It’s not every day a Worplesdon resident reaches the milestone of 100 years of age, and Peter Brown of Rickford has done just that.

He says the secrets he believes to becoming a centenarian are that he doesn’t drink or smoke.

He has a large family of eight children, 16 grand-children and 19 great-grand-children.

Peter and his family moved to Worplesdon 1948, and he has a great love of motorcycles and aeroplanes.

Peter is pictured with his birthday card from King Charles III. His family wonder if he is the oldest resident in Worplesdon?

Plenty going at at the Sime Gallery

The Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall started 2023 with two talks about artist Sidney Sime, both at other venues in Surrey with more than 60 people attending.

Volunteers quickly responded to unexpected visitors during January when the weather was bleak.

During next week’s half-term holiday, there will be a children’s workshop at the gallery on Thursday, February 16, from 2pm to 4pm.

Members of the Guildford Shakespeare Company will be adding a drama piece with the children in attendance.

The gallery will also be working with students from the halow project in the coming months and also taking part in “the wild escape” Earth Day 2023.

Fashion shop’s extended premises

Staff at Becca Jacks in Holly Lane, that sells new and nearly new, prom, evening and event wear, plus accessories, are delighted with their new shop.

Becca Jacks in Holly Lane.

The long and overdue much larger premises gives clients a wonderful experience.

It is spacious with large changing rooms. Visit is by appointment by phoning  01483 233037 or email 

Repairs continue at sports pavilion

Work continues at Worplesdon’s sports pavilion in the memorial grounds at Perry Hill to repair the damage caused by a water leak.

Inside the sports pavilion.

With some football matches having been postponed due to frozen or water-logged pitches, games are now being played and the team is having some successes.

Pictured are the players warming up for a match.

The weather did not stop play on Saturday, January 28, when Worplesdon Phoenix played Tongham.

Still time to apply to be hall’s caretaker 

The deadline for people to apply to be only the seventh caretaker in Worplesdon Memorial Hall’s history is looming.

Applications have to be in by Friday, February 17.. View the hall’s website for details.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Trees felled due to ash dieback disease

Ash dieback is the reason many trees have been felled on common land beside the A323 Aldershot Road, between Rydes Hill and Fairlands.

Some of the ash trees that have been felled.

Felling of ash trees has also started on Worplesdon’s commons.

Surrey County Council owns around 10,000 acres of public accessible land where surveys are being undertaken to establish where ash trees have to be removed.

As noted on the Woodland Trust’s website ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a fungus which originated in Asia. It doesn’t cause much damage on its native hosts of the Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandshurica) and the Chinese ash (Fraxinus chinensis) in its native range. However, its introduction to Europe about 30 years ago has devastated the European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) because our native ash species did not evolve with the fungus and this means it has no natural defence against it.

Consultation for new nursery school

Wood Street Infant School and Worplesdon Primary School are to to consult with parents, carers, staff and the community over a plan to open a teacher-led nursery at either of the schools. Click here to give your views on an online survey. 

Scented flowers is a family affair

Growers Homestead Flowers in Wood Street Village is a family run business with help from close friends too.

It specialises in bunches of scented flowers and seasonal bouquets. Delivery is available from the end of March to the end of November.

Click here for website.

You can email Lisa at or call 07967 179421. You may need to leave a message as she is often busy outdoors tending to the flowers!

Discounts at the White Hart pub

The White Hart pub in Wood Street Village is offering 20% off bills with a main course from Monday to Thursday and Friday lunchtimes until the end of February.

The owners encourage diners to try a 28-day aged steak from Flynn’s butchers. Or book a table for a Valentine’s Day sharing menu.

Watch the rugby at the Royal Oak pub

The Royal Oak at Wood Street Village is celebrating the Six Nations rugby tournament along with its popular pizza and pint for £12 on Thursdays, either eat in or take away.

Mulled wine plum jam from pub’s own grapevine

Phil from the Jolly Farmer pub and Annelize Kidd pictured with a jar of mulled wine plum jam.

Annealize Kidd, a member of a regular Friday walking group who enjoy visiting the Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road, has made some mulled wine plum jam from the grapevine at the pub.

The recipe for the mulled wine plum jelly.

The pub’s Sunday lunches are tempting too.

Anyone for fish and chips?

Every Saturday evening, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, Howe & Co’s fish and chip van visits Fairlands.  It goes to seven roads including Liddington New Road. 

Howe & Co’s fish and chip van.

A bell is rung when the van arrives. Deliveries are made to people who are elderly or disabled. Phone 07599 069189.

Pizza van at Worplesdon Memorial Hall and Jacobs Well

Stonerose Pizza Co’s van is at Worplesdon Memorial Hall every Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm,  and at Jacobs Well on Fridays from 5pm to 8pm.

The Stonerose Pizza Co’s van.

There are more than a dozen pizza varieties to choose from.

Busy for highway repairs

There has been a lot of highways activity during the past few weeks with pavement repairs in Gravetts Lane and temporary traffic lights on many other roads.

Before and after views of one of the repairs.

Worplesdon Parish Council endeavours to keep residents aware and updated and advise people to expect to add extra time to their local travel plans.

Open evening at Merrist Wood College

Merrist Wood College has an open evening on Wednesday, February 22, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.

Prospective students can meet teachers and explore what courses are being offered for enrolment in September.

The sheep on the loose by Wood Street Village green.

Sheep on the loose

A sheep was loose in Wood Street Village in January and was fortunately reunited with its owners quite quickly.

Worplesdon Parish Council never quite knows what a day may bring! Look at its Facebook page for latest updates posted by residents.

St George’s Day and coronation celebrations

Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association is celebrating St George’s day on April 22 at Fairlands Community Centre from 8pm till late, with dancing to a live band.

Tickets are £15 with a hot supper.

The association will be celebrating King Charles III’s coronation on Monday, May 8, with a community afternoon on the field behind Fairlands Community Centre.

Trees planted in Fairlands

Surrey County Council has planted trees in St Michael’s Avenue, Farlands.

One of the trees that have been planted in St Michael’s Avenue, Fairlands.

Questions are being asked of who will maintain them in the future?

Earthlings Forest School on the move

The owner of Earthlings Forest School has told parents the school will no longer be based at Merrist Wood College, where it has been for the past three years.

After this coming week’s half-term holiday, the nursery school will be run “in house”.

For details send an email to:

Road information sign in use

Surrey County Council’s electronic sign on the A322 at Rickford Hill does work sometimes.

Here it’s pictured informing motorists roads were being gritted!

Saying farewell to Mary Hillard

Former Worplesdon GP Dr Anthony Hillard, along with many family and friends, said farewell to his beloved wife Mary at her funeral service.

It was held at St Mary’s Church, Perry Hill and streamed online at St Alban’s Church in Wood Street Village.

The church was full to remember the life of Mary, a very well loved and kind resident.

She worshipped in the parish of Worplesdon for over 60 years and was a very active member of the community, as well as being deeply concerned for those less fortunate, especially homeless people.

After her funeral a reception was held at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

News from Worplesdon Parish Council

At Worplesdon Parish Council’s meeting on February 2, eight planning applications were scrutinised.

Worplesdon Parish Council meeting taking place.

The agenda also included a land management report, concerns over ice at the junction of Coombe Lane and Worplesdon Road, suggested parish council surgeries, the disposal of the parish council’s chain saw and pole saw, applications for a coronation event on Wood Street Village green, the Challengers jazz festival, and Maypole dancing.

Topics also included the distribution of the parish newsletter, working parties, a request for displaying the Sime’s Gallery sign, finance payments list and a quotation for a bench and concrete base. 

The agenda for the next floor forum on Friday, February 23 is on the parish council’s website  as well as on parish council noticeboards.

The meeting will be at the parish council office, Unit 2 Saxton, Parklands, Railton Road, Stoughton GU2 9JX.

It will also be hosted on Micosoft Teams. Contact parish clerk Gaynor White for login details.

There will also be a flood forum walk about on July 14 starting at 10am from Wood Street Village green and lasting two hours.

Parish council elections are on Thursday, May 4. People are invited to stand to be elected for this first tier of local government and to take an active role in the community.

And there’s been flooding again

Flooding has been observed for some weeks at Rickford with a public footpath across a field near Norton Farm and the Christmas Bakery, impassable.

The flooded footpath.

Litter still an issue

Litter is still an issue in rural surroundings especially along the edge of the commons at Gooserye, along the Avenue as well as many other roadsides.

Litter along Gooserye Road.

Volunteers in Wood Street Village do a litter pick twice a year. The most recent being on Saturday, February 11.

Make a date for the next parish lunch

Worplesdon churches’ next parish lunch is on Tuesday February 21.

Ring the church office on 01483 233091, to book. It will be at St Alban’s Church. You can even stop for a game of scrabble afterwards.

The hall at St Alban’s Church is available for hire and can be booked for daytime classes and weekend children’s parties.

Final of Worpledon’s Young Musician of the Year contest

The final of Worplesdon’s Young Musician of the Year is on Saturday, March 25, at St Mary’s  church, starting at 2.30pm.

The selection from the 24 young musicians to see who reaches the final will be judged by head judge Dr Bebbington, with members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra on the judging panel.

Signs of the past times

There is always a bit of lovely history to be found, and two previous signs were discovered while putting up new church signage. Who remembers the old signs I wonder?

Above and below: Two of the old signs are revealed.

While Mary Broughton recently gave a talk on the history of St Mary’s Church to a U3A group.

Equestrian warning

This sign is an important reminder and they can seen locally alongside fields where horses are grazing.

Spring flowers are coming

Perhaps spring is nearly here as seen by the flowers at St Mary’s Churchyard.

Soon there will also be snowdrops and then bluebells in the churchyard.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness February 2023

  1. John Lomas Reply

    February 11, 2023 at 9:03 am

    The notice from the church featuring the Revd Elphinstone would have probably been in place when Princess Elizabeth and later as Queen Elizabeth II visited the family.

  2. Jan Messinger Reply

    February 11, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Indeed, John Lomas.

    Worplesdon’s St Mary’s Church is steeped in history that’s fascinating.

    Queen Elizabeth II came to Worplesdon on several occasions, accompanied by other members of the royal family, as her goddaughter was baptised and later married at St Mary’s Church.

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