Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness January 2024

Published on: 13 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 17 Jan, 2024

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

London gallery hosts artwork by Sidney Sime

It’s a momentous start of 2024 for Worplesdon’s Sime Gallery as 80 original works of Sidney Sime’s art are on display at Chris Beetles Art Gallery in London.

And this is 100 years after Sime’s first London exhibition, then held at St George’s Gallery in London.

The launch of Sidney Sime’s art on display at Chris Beetles Art Gallery in London.

The works are on display until January 27, and a launch reception was held on January 9.

Mary Broughton who is the chair of the trustees of the Sime Gallery at the launch event.

Founding patron of the London gallery, Thomas Seymour, barrister and grandson of Sime’s aristocratic patron Lord Howard de Walden, spoke at the launch of the exhibition about Sidney Sime who lived in Worplesdon from 1904 until his death in 1941. Mr Seymour described Sime as a “maverick genius”.

Guildford Borough Councillors for Worplesdon Honor and Philip Brooker joined Sime Gallery trustees and volunteers among many invited guests at the launch night.

Artwork by Sidney Sime on display at Chris Beetles Art Gallery in London.

Some of Sime’s artwork from the Sime Gallery has been framed for the first time.

While on January 4, Sime Gallery trustees and volunteers met for a thank you coffee at Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant.

They were thanked for not only the opening the Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall to visitors on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, but also for visits to organisation to give talks about Sidney Sime as well as promoting the gallery and working with charities including the halow project that supports young people with learning difficulties.

Flooding on roads and to homes and gardens

Heavy rain brought floods to homes, gardens and roads.

Above: floods at Wildfield Close, Wood Street Village. Below: Halifax Close, Clasford.

The road at both ends of Wood Street Village was flooded as were seven homes in Wildfield Close, Wood Street Village; with more flooding at Rickford and at Halifax Close Clasford, and also on Clay Lane in Jacobs Well.

Flooding can reported on Surrey County Council’s website.

Guildford Borough Councillor Cllr Bilal Akhtar (Worplesdon) offered to help to elderly residents of Wood Street Village if they needed groceries and household items.

Residents of Jacobs Well also suffered power cuts just before Christmas along with some other parts of Worplesdon.

Bridge struck by lorry

The road bridge under the railway line on Salt Box Road was struck once again by a lorry.

Picture from social media of the lorry that hit the Salt Box Road bridge.

This was despite height restriction signs on both sides of the bridge.

Night work on Worplesdon Road and fallen tree on Aldershot Road

Remedial work on the A322 Worplesdon Road at Pitch Place was carried out over two nights.

The A323 Aldershot Road, beyond Clasford towards Normandy near Whittles Drive, was closed after a tree fell on to a van.

Surrey Police reported everyone involved was safe and well.

No-one was injured when a tree fell on this van on the A323 Aldershot Road.

Christmas Bakery expands

The Christmas Bakery at Rickford has taken over Heaters bakery shops.

The business now has 10 shops. It bought its second bakery in the 1990s in Ash Vale, and is recruiting staff for the new bakeries. For details contact Helen on 01483 232142. She is the fifth generation of the Christmas family.

Show jumping at Merrist Wood College

The arena at Merrist Wood College has been holding show jumping, dressage and a range of equestrian classes with 81 entries.

There will be a  British show jumping competition on January 27, indoor arena eventing on January 28, and a Eloise Mayhead Grid work clinic on January 31.

The arena can be hired during the half term break in February. For details call 01483 884147 or email to or website  

Courses starting at the college inJanuary include chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting along with tree climbing and aerial rescue.

Rokers’ Farmhouse café still closed

Rokers Farmhouse café at Fairlands will be closed until March as new windows are being replaced after its electrical fire in November.

Staff thank MD Property Maintenance Ltd that has been undertaking the renovation work and staff are looking forward to a grand re-opening soon, saying the café will be even better than before.

The new buildings under construction at Rokers, Fairlands.

The new build Rokers’ shop is nearing completion.

Tree down at Rokers, Fairlands.

However, the recent weather has taken its toll on one of its trees and the soak away water is very high.

Footpath repairs near completion

Repairs to footpath number 431 on Whitmoor Common should soon be completed by Surrey County Council, according to Paul Rijbroek of the Whitmoor Common Association.

The footpath runs from the Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road, around the back of Whitmoor Cottage and on up to St Mary’s churchyard.

A section of footpath number 431 that has been relaid.

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s conservation manager Adam Bolton is pleased the path is receiving this long-awaited repair, as parts of it had become very muddy in wet weather.

New managers of the Jolly Farmer pub

The Jolly Farmer pub, on Burdenshott Road, has been under new management since December 27, and the pub will be launching Mediterranean cuisine this month.

Adel, the new general manager of the Jolly Farmer pub.

Adel is the new general manager, bringing, he says, a new style of “resto-pub” food.

And chef Hassen, from Algeria, will be providing “the highly sophisticated Mediterranean-style food”.

Buy one, get one free pizza night at the Royal Oak pub

On January 20, the Royal Oak pub in Wood Street Village is offering a buy one, get one free pizza from noon to 8pm, eat in or take away.

Pre-book a table or to oder a take-away on 01483 858078 Or email 

The pub also offers a superb Sunday roast. See the menu below.

New food opening hours at the White Hart pub

There are new kitchen opening hours for the White Hart pub in Wood Street Village. See below for details.

Christmas fun in and around Fairlands

Father Christmas on his sleigh rode around Fairlands and Liddington New Road, Liddington Hall Drive and Gravetts Lane. He even popped into the seniors’ party at Fairlands Community Centre.

Father Christmas visiting Fairlands and nearby roads.

Worplesdon Pre-school also had a visit from Santa at its Christmas party.

Staff of Worplesdon Pre-school in front of their nativity scene.

Worplesdon View care home on the radio

Worplesdon View care home at Pitch Place made it on to BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show, hosted by Zoe Ball.

The care home had a mention on air about its reindeer hunt entertainment for residents at which staff dressed as reindeers while residents used safe, fun and harmless nerf guns to hit them!

Worplesdon churches’ choir singing carols at Worplesdon View care home.

There was also plenty of carol singing by members of Worplesdon churches’ choir at the care home.

The choir also performed at Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant and on Wood Street Village green, with money raised for The Children’s Society.

Church services to celebrate the birth of Christ

Church services in the parish included a joyous crib service at St Alban’s Church in Wood Street Village where children dressed in nativity costumes.

Crib service at St Alban’s Church, Wood Street Village.

New year fun and entertainment

There was a brilliant performance from musician Michael Lack at Fairlands Community Centre’s club, celebrating the start of 2024, and a skittles night in early January.

People attending the afternoon tea at Jacobs Well Village Hall on January 8 celebrated its 13th birthday. They enjoyed sandwiches, homemade cake, tea, coffee or squash.

For more details email Nick Collett at

Shooting club’s successful year

Members of the Worplesdon Target Shooting Club at Pitch Place have looked back over a successful 2023.

Sights are set at Worplesdon Target Shooting Club.

The club hosted The Surrey Open Championship and the Marsden & King Championship, along with a summer fun shoot and barbecue.

Trees planted at Perry Hill

Surrey County Council has planted three trees on its roadside verge at Perry Hill.

Trees planted at Perry Hill.

Further trees have recently been planted at Fairlands. However, the whips planted by Rokers have yet to become established.

The whips have yet to establish themselves.

New shop at Jacobs Well

JWT Motorcycles has opened a shop on the parade in Stringers Avenue, Jacobs Well.

Open Monday to Saturday, it replaces a hair salon.

JWT Motorcycles in Jacobs Well.

News from Worplesdon Parish Council

Its final meeting of 2023 was on December 14. Items on the agenda included antisocial behaviour on Wood Street Village green, 11 planning applications looked at, plans for a community clean up day, and the extent of land acquisition at Jacobs Well recreation ground.

The fourth draft budget for 2024-25 was looked at, along with reports received for land management, health and safety and playground inspections.

The parish clerk’s report included Surrey County Council’s minerals and waste planning, repairs to footpath number 431 on Whitmoor Common and its consultation on its Christmas lights.

Responses to the Christmas lights consultation can be viewed on the parish council’s website. A total of 123 responses were received with 113 of those from people living in the parish.

The parish council is disappointed in the number of responses to the consultation, given the population of Worplesdon is more than 9,000 people.

Church services and other events

St Mary’s and St Alban’s Churches have Sunday services at 10.30am.

The parish’s next coffee morning is on Saturday, February 3 at Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant at 10.30am. Dogs are welcome too.

The village lunch is on Tuesday, January 16, at 12.30pm. All welcome, just book your place via the church office on 01483 233091.

Burns Night (January 27) tickets are still available via the church office. There is always fantastic food, music and dancing.

Christmas wreathes made by Wood Street Youth Club.

Young people at Wood Street Youth Club, who meet at St Alban’s Church Hall, made wreaths for Christmas, and they have just made bird boxes along with bird feeders.

Bird box under construction.

And completed along with bird feeders.

The next time the club meets will be on Friday, February 2, at 7pm, at the church hall.

Deadline approaching to apply for school places

Parents looking for infant or primary school places for their children have until January 15 to apply.

Click here to view the admissions process for Surrey schools.

Worplesdon Primary School and Wood Street Infant School held open days in September.

Schools’ new caterers

Edwards & Ward is the new catering service for Worplesdon Primary School and Wood Street Infant School.

The lead cook manager at Worplesdon will continue to be Susan Williams, with Jakki Haysom and Jodi Boshoff continuing at Wood Street.

There are delicious new menus and a fresh salad bar every day.

The caters use plates rather than the previous flight trays, in addition to family-style dining with table cloths and bread baskets. The cost of meals remains the same.

Special diets are catered for and ingredients are from local suppliers.

New homes are nearly ready

The 12 homes in School Lane, Perry Hill, are nearly complete.

Homes being built in School Lane, Perry Hill.

The three- and four-bedroom homes are now on the market. They on a site that was formerly used to store caravans, and before that was occupied by wine and spirit merchants FW Francis.

Vacancy for treasurer at Worplesdon Memorial hall and recreation ground

Worplesdon Memorial Hall and recreation ground is seeking a new treasurer. See below for details.

Things to look forward to…

Some things to look forward to in the months ahead include Dynamic Performing Arts’ Saturday sessions at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

While Wood Street Village cricket club has its I’anson league fixtures for 2024.

The club plays its matches at Toby’s Oaks, Backside Common.

And spring is on its way!

For those who don’t like winter, spring is surely on its way.

Snowdrops at Merrist Wood College.

There are snowdrops in the grounds of Merrist Wood College, and a beautiful sunset on January 7 gives home for  brighter days ahead for all.

A beautiful sunset on January 7, 2024.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *