Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness January 2021

Published on: 12 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 13 Jan, 2021

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

New year’s honour

Wood Street Village resident Pamela Hypher received the British Empire Medal in the new year’s honours list for her services to the community.

Pamela Hypher BEM.

She has been the administer of the High Sheriff of Surrey’s youth awards for 13 years, a role she says she loves. It gives grants to youth projects in the county.

Pamela has also been a Citizens Advice volunteer for seven years and was until last year a volunteer for the local Fairwood Helpers since it was established in 1997.

Pamela said she was “knocked sideways” when she learned she had received the award and humbled by the email she received informing her.

Her husband, David, was the High Sheriff of Surrey in 2005 and was awarded an OBE for services to charity in 2012.

Interestingly, since 1900 there have been five High Sheriffs of Surrey from the parish of Worplesdon.

1935: Sir Laurence Halsey KBE, Worplesdon. 1987: Alistair Johnston, Worplesdon. 1991: Colonel Sir James Malcolm Bt DL, Worplesdon. 2005: David Hypher OBE DL, Wood Street Village. 2009: Lady Elizabeth Toulson, CBE DL, Wood Street Village.

Parish council gets keys to new office

Worplesdon Parish Council has moved into its new office and meeting room.

The rented premises is at 2 Saxton, Parklands, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stoughton.

The parish council chairman, Dr Paul Cragg, and vice-chairman, Nigel Mitchell, cut a ribbon to mark the event.

A ribbon was cut marking Worplesdon Parish Council’s move to a new office at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Parish clerk Gaynor White had her workload increased during the festive season to oversee the transition from former rented offices at Queen Elizabeth Park and its long association with meetings held at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

In other parish council news… it, along with the North Guildford Foodback received a donation from members of the now closed Worplesdon Reformed Church. The chapel had served the community since 1822.

Matters discussed at December’s full council meeting included an enquiry about its support for a judicial review into a Guildford Borough Council planning decision to grant the building a house in the garden of Rudge Cottage at Perry Hill. The parish council turned down the request.

also, the suggestion of a farmers’ market for Worplesdon; parking issues on the grass verges along Salt Box Road; re-wilding and enhancing at Harry’s Meadow in Jacobs Well; tree surgery at seven sites in the parish; an audit of litter bins in relation to Guildford Borough Council charging for future services to empty them; litter picker grabbers for volunteers; and to agree the budget and precept of 2021 / 2022.

Sandra Morgan has served as a Worplesdon parish councillor for 53 years. The photo of her receiving her MBE in 2015 has been moved to the new parish offices.

A recent picture of Sandra Morgan.

Her services to the community also includes 50 years serving on the committee of the Fairlands, Liddington Hall, Gravetts Lane Community Association, many years as a governor at Wood Street Infant School and other local schools including the former Perry Hill School, the Women’s Institute and the Poppy Appeal.

Small white plastic discs have been attached to parish council assets, such as benches. They feature the parish council logo and identify it being its responsibility to maintain.

Bench marked with the logo of Worplesdon Parish Council.

Road signs damaged again

Signage on the roundabout on the A322 at its junction with Salt Box Road has again been damaged.

Damaged signage on the roundabout at the junction of the A3422 and Salt Box Road.

In response to a resident who reported the damage, a spokesperson from Surrey County County’s highways department, said: “It looked like scrap metal had been dumped on the roundabout again.”

The department added that at that junction vehicles approach at high speed, while the speed limit is scheduled to be reviewed.

Highways issues can be reported online by clicking here.

Sime Gallery’s new newsletter

Sime Gallery stalwart Ann Phelps.

The Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall has issued its first newsletter to supporters and volunteers.

It includes details of its first patron, Thomas Seymour, the grandson of artist Sidney Sime; patron Lord Howard de Walden; and founding sponsors Ewbank’s auctioneers.

A new website is being produced along with new promotional material.

Curator Ann Phelps, in post since the gallery opened in 1956, is now volunteering from home.

Trees planted

Just before Christmas trees were planted in locations at Jacobs Well and Fairlands by Surrey County Council.

The young saplings (foreground) that have been planted at Fairlands.

Worplesdon Parish Council will be considering implications regarding its remit to cut grass around them and tree care.

Community venues stay closed but nurseries back open

Pandemic restrictions have meant Fairlands Community Centre and its bar, Jacobs Well Village Hall, and Worplesdon Memorial Hall have remained closed.

Worplesdon Pre-School reopened on January 4.

However, Worplesdon Pre-School returned to the Memorial Hall on January 4, while the Christopher Robin Day Nursery in Wood Street Village is also open.

Celebrations cancelled

Carol singing at Wood Street Village and at Perry Hill were cancelled due to the pandemic as will be the annual Burns’ Night celebration event at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Organiser John McLean hopes to organise a barn dance instead on June 21.

New barrier at community centre

An 8ft x 6ft barrier has been erected at Fairlands Community Centre at the entrance to the rear car park. There are recycling bins there and it is also a collection point for spent Christmas trees.

The new barrier at Fairlands Community Centre.

St Mary’s and St Alban’s churches

At St Mary’s Church, Perry Hill, 21 worshipers attended Christmas Midnight Mass. Covid restrictions had limited its overall attendance to 34 people, but it and St Alban’s Church are again now closed as part of the latest lockdown.

All its services are being streamed on YouTube.

The church office, and the church itself, are collection points for used stamps in aid of the children’s charity Challengers.

Daffodils were in bloom in St Mary’s Churchyard on Christmas Day.

The Revd Ruth Brothwell.

The outgoing Revd Ruth Brothwell received a very generous farewell gift from the parishioners of St Mary’s and St Alban’s churches.

Muddy as you go

Many footpaths are now very muddy and walkers are warned that some areas can be flooded, as at the foot of Rickford Hill and the entrance to a footpath there.

Muddy footpath at the foot of Rickford Hill.

There are nine commons within the parish of Worplesdon with plenty of public footpaths and bridleways.

They are much busier than usual. While the rules under the latest lockdown is to walk for exercise only and do not travel far to do so.

Worplesdon Tennis Club

Play on its courts at Worplesdon Memorial Ground has been suspended during the latest lockdown.

It is now offering a membership discount of 20% to NHS staff for when play can resume.

A grant from Worplesdon Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham has enabled the club to upgrade its hygiene facilities.

Click here for membership details on the club’s website.

Quizzers get ready

Wednesday, January 20, sees the return of the monthly Fairlands quiz hosted by Paul Kassell on Zoom, and starting at 8pm.

To take part, email him at

Farewell to Bob and Sheila Willis

Fairlands residents and community stalwarts Bob and Sheila Willis are moving!

But they will definitely keep in touch from their new home at Ifold in West Sussex as they will continue to write and publish the Fairlands magazine, perfectly titled Keeping In Touch.

The latest issue focuses on the many businesses and traders in the area and also the driving to medical appointments service, Fairwood Helpers.

People who do not receive a free copy of the magazine can view past edition online by clicking here. 

News from Merrist Wood College

Merrist Wood College has suspended its latest animal encounter activities but hopes to be able to host its fleecy frolics lambing weekend on April 24 and 25.

Merrist Wood Golf Club has been sold to Lavershot Oaks and is now a pay and play course and not a members’ club.

Gymnast at Pitch Place

A young gymnast who posts on Instagram as carrie.twists was seen doing her thing on the green at Pitch Place.

The young gymnast Carrie at Pitch Place.

She was there with her mum on a dry and sunny day. Evidently, she loves to be outdoors and what better place!

During lockdown she has raised funds for the NHS.

Walking for health

The Fairlands walking group were continuing to get out and about before the festive season, exempt at that time from restrictions as long as no more than six people were taking part.

For details of the group call Julie Webb on 07873 33374.

Pedestrian crossing for A322

Construction of the new pedestrian crossing on the A322 near Pitch Place.

A pedestrian crossing is being added on the A322 near the Keens Lane, Cumberland Avenue roundabout, near Pitch Place.

New homes by Chitty’s Common

Eight two-storey homes are being built on land by Chitty’s Common, off Keens Lane, and opposite the Montague Place development.

The homes are being built on land by Chitty’s Common, off Keens Lane.

The eight houses are on the site of a house called Rosebury and what was for many years a scrapyard run by the Hone family.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness January 2021

  1. Alan Wyle Reply

    January 13, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Hello Bob and Sheila Willis,

    I owned a bungalow in Ifoldhurst from about 1970 to 1980. I now live in Stoughton.

  2. Keith Dewey Reply

    January 26, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    What a lot of great information from Jan Messinger. If she’s taking votes for the Worplesdon Farmers Market (Covid allowing) we’d certainly be for it. We regularly visit the Ripley market and they seem to do some great trade.

  3. Dave Middleton Reply

    January 27, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    With regards to the “pedestrian crossing” on the Worplesdon Road near Cumberland Avenue, is this to simply be a central refuge as pictured, or will it eventually become a Zebra or a light-controlled crossing?

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