Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness, July 2020

Published on: 14 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2020

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

Little Angels will not reopen, while the Farmhouse Café will on Monday, July 20

Rokers, at Fairlands, has announced that after 25 years of soft play fun at Little Angels, it will not be reopening.

It has said a heartfelt thank you to all its customers over the years.

However, the Farmhouse Café will reopen from Monday, July 20, and Rockers Animal Feeds and Tack continues as normal.

Jolly Farmer pub welcomes back customers

The Jolly Farmer pub, Burdenshott Road.

The Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road welcomed customers back on July 4.

It is currently open from Thursdays to Sundays, Covid-19 compliant, fresh, clean and sparkly. With plenty of outdoor dining space available just a short walk across Whitmoor Common.

Entrance to the garden at the Jolly Farmer pub.

Changes and safety measures at the White Hart pub

The White Hart pub in Wood Street Village also reopened at the beginning of July, with a video on its Facebook page highlighting changes and safety measures for customers and staff.

It has revised opening times, booking rules, changes to its menu, tills, sanitation stations, kitchen and a full appraisal of what to expect.

The White Hart pub, Wood Street Village.

Royal Oak pub thanks customers for their support

The Royal Oak pub at Oak Hill, Wood Street Village, has temporary opening hours and is also delighted to welcome customers.

Staff have thanked everyone for support given for Macmillan cancer research with “Angela” braving the shave!

Worplesdon Place to reopen on Monday, July 20

The Worplesdon Place pub and restaurant, owned by Youngs, reopens on Monday, July 20, in line with its company policy.

Pre-booking a table will be via online and downloading the Youngs’ app ahead of your visit to pay.

Staff say they are missing their customers and look forward to welcoming everyone back. They are currently cleaning and getting everything ready to open.

The black swans continue to swim on the pond oblivious to social distancing!

Other businesses reopening

Perry Hill Antiques adjacent to the green reopened having been shut since lockdown.

Charley Browns hair salon  at Fairlands opened Monday, July 6, with three customers at a time wearing face masks and three stylists also in masks and shields.

Opening time on its website or phone 01483 232768 to book an appointment.

Merrist Wood College returns with a number of events

The college is now taking bookings for certain events and activities that comply with new government guidelines.

These include drive-in cinema clubs, dog day care centre, while Earthlings forest school returns with a summer camp between July 21 and August 28, and equestrian events.

It is also taking bookings for events scheduled for 2021.

Signage that has been at Merrist Wood College.

Signage for students on the entrance to the college  grounds by foot via public footpaths has been removed and the public footpaths that cross Merrist Wood College are open for all.

Art expo at Jacobs Well

Jacobs Well has held an art expo, asking residents what they have been doing during lockdown.

People have been encouraged to show their painting, sculpture, pottery, metal work, crochet and needlework.

Prizes included Denbies of Dorking wine, Parision Deli gift and vouchers for Noel’s farm shop near Sutton Green.

There were first, second and third prizes for adults and children ranging from paintings and drawings to the creative use of Lego.

A big thank you from Perfect Choice Plants

Perfect choice plants of the Sandyacre Nursery in Wood Street Village, who normally supply wholesale to garden centres, went online in March to offer retail home delivery.

Now they have thanked people who purchased from them.

The owner of the long-established nursery, Royden Kemp, said for the first time in 75 years with acres of glasshouses full of plants within 72 hours of lockdown they were providing a fast and efficient service direct to a new set of customers.

He has thanked his hardworking loyal and adaptable workforce for their amazing work prior to returning the business to its usual wholesale suppliers at the end of June.

He also thanked internet customers for enabling his family business to remain viable.

Call to continue to support local businesses, arts and entertainment

Many households have relied on the generous free delivery from fruit and veg business Cheesmans, the Christmas Bakery and local butchers. And they continue to need local custom.

While the arts and entertainment centres have been hit hard with three month’s closure.

The Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall, Perry Hill.

The Sime Gallery, at Worplesdon Memorial Hall, will be welcoming back visitors by appointment on Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm to 4pm, from August 2.

The gallery has 88 pieces of art on display by Sidney Herbert Sime, who lived at Perry Hill.

More details on its website, including a competition for primary and secondary school children, with a closing date of August 31.

This is the perfect place to visit whatever your age. Anyone wishing to become a volunteer at the gallery can contact Mary Broughton at

Return of the sound of leather on willow

Cricket returned on Saturday, July 11, as Worplesdon and Burpham Cricket Club held its first inter-club match at the recreation ground next to Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Worplesdon and Burpham Cricket Club is playing matches again.

Some eight or nine matches will be played before the truncated season finishes on September 1. The opposition includes sides from Croydon, Caterham, Merton, Wallington and Ewhurst, to name just a few.

They will be playing under government guidance for recreational cricket with adjustments to respect hygiene and social distancing.

Reflecting on the cancellation of the Wood Street Village show

This year will be remembered for so many disappointing aspects of village life that have not happened, and a good deal of hard work by volunteers planning for the annual show before the decision was taken to cancel it.

There had been preparations for Maypole dancing on May 1, the 75th anniversary of VE Day commemorations, and August 15 that marks the 75th anniversary VJ Day and the end of all hostilities of the Second World War.

In our own small way we can remember then and reflect on them now.

We remember the service and sacrifice made by so many 75 years ago. Our own Second World War roll of honour lists 20 men, three of whom who had fathers who died on active service during the First World War.

Unauthorised traveller encampments

Wood Street Village has had its third unauthorised traveller encampment since lockdown on the triangular area opposite the village green, near the cricket pavilion, and more recently 23 caravans on Broadstreet Common.

Guildford Borough Councillor, Bob McShee (R4GV, Worplesdon) was out walking and was able to bring immediate attention to the situation.

Worplesdon Parish Council, along with Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham (Con, Worplesdon) and many residents have been in contact with the county council and portable toilets and bin bags were provided.

Residents using the commons have been concerned over rubbish and antisocial behaviour and were asked to ring Surrey Police.

There has been a forth arrival of more travellers on the common adjacent to the Cricketers pub on the Aldershot Road, near Rydes Hill.

Cllr Witham, on his Worplesdon Matters Facebook page, reminded residents not to accept gardening work with unknown contractors, as a large amount of garden waste, and human waste, was left on Broadstreet Common.

Recruiting community highways volunteers

Community groups can now become highways volunteers and help look after their environment by helping to cut back vegetation and clear ditches.

Click here on Surrey County Council’s website for details

Worplesdon Parish Council also has working parties undertaking these tasks.

Volunteer your services and make your community look good and a pleasure to live in.

Litter on a Worplesdon common.

Although the Keep Britain Tidy the Great British September clean from September 11 to 27 has been cancelled, we can act now and clean up now especially on the commons where there is litter and broken glass that can ignite fires when it is hot and dry.

Remains on a previous fire on Whitmoor Common.

News from parish churches of St Mary’s and St Alban’s

Worplesdon’s CofE churches, St Mary’s at Perry Hill and St Alban’s in Wood Street Village has continued to provide services online along with its latest parish magazine.

Worplesdon’s two CofE churches are now open for private prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays.

The churches now welcome people for private prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays from 2pm to 4pm. It is hoped services will resume in some way in the near future.

New Covid-19 signage inside St Mary’s Church, Perry Hill.

Volunteers have helped with outdoor maintenance and cleaning the inside of the two churches.

On a rainy Saturday morning recently at least a dozen people at St Mary’s prepared for its first visitors to the church since lockdown.

Clergy visited for the first time in three months. It was an emotional experience for the parishioners, hoping it won’t be long before they can receive the eucharist again.

A strong wind dislodged a bow on one of the trees at the entrance to St Mary’s Church.

A large bow of one of the old trees to the entrance of the church grounds broke off during the recent windy weather. It means the parish keeps getting surprise extra costs at a time when its  income has been hit with no money coming from the collection plate.

Volunteers delivering prescription medicines stood down

The army of volunteers delivering prescription medication on behalf of Rowlands pharmacy in Fairlands to people unable to leave their homes has been stood down.

They had been recruited by the Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Updates given to the Fairlands community

The association’s 15th community update informed residents of monies raised for charity. This included a donation of £300 to The Therapy Garden at Normandy, £207 to the Phyllis Tuckwell  Hospice, and £208 to NHS charities.

Residents have been reminded about online fraud and scams as well as an increase in antisocial behaviour and keyless car thefts.

However, theft and burglary has fallen. In May 2020 crimes for the area, which also include Pirbright and Normandy, were 33 for antisocial behaviour, 14 for violence and sexual offences, seven for public order, and three for burglary.

Crimes in March totalled 43. The local Police Community Support Officer is Nicola Carr.

Worplesdon Parish Council reopens its playgrounds and further news

Under government guidance, Worplesdon Parish Council has reopened its playgrounds. Safety and wellbeing are paramount and the groundsman inspected equipment prior to reopening.

New signage on one of Worplesdon’s playgrounds.

The flood forum walkabout planned for July has been postponed until September or October. Check its website and Facebook page for details.

Parish council meetings continue online and members of the public can attend online. Contact the clerk at for details.

The full council meeting on June 25 included three residents who attend online and participated.

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