Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness July 2021

Published on: 12 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2021

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

Maypole and cricket celebrations on Wood Street Village green

Celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Maypole and cricket on Wood Street Village Green took place on Saturday, June 26, with plenty of fun and games.

Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey David Hypher with some of the children who attended the celebrations.

Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey David Hypher was on hand to launch the celebrations that included children’s races and a picnic.

Cricket on the green once again.

During the event the Red Arrows even flew past as the colts (mixed teams of boys and girls) played cricket.

It had been 30 years since a cricket match was played on the green. The village side currently plays its matches at Toby’s Oaks on Backside Common.

Dancing around the Maypole.

Janet Sutton has organised the Maypole dancers since 1993 and continues to do so with help from villagers including musician Catherine Antclif on concertina and Mike Briggs on fiddle. Mike also plays the organ at St Mary’s Church.

Fun and games at the celebration.

The Surrey Advertiser of May 6, 1871 reported that a Mr John Lowe “presented the splendid maypole, which again rears its head. A number of games as well as cricket were engaged in by hundreds of people. A number of prizes were distributed to boys and girls for running, etc, and the ground was damp”.

Wood Street Village’s annual show takes place on Saturday, July 24. This year’s flower queen is Connie Frith who will be crowned on the day.

Some of the children at the event.

The show will feature Maypole dancing, a ukulele band, a fun dog show, a vintage and modern display of Mini cars, birds of prey, a treasure hunt, stands, fun and games, refreshments and a car boot sale. Anyone wishing to help on the day or run a stall should call Terry on 03333 445585.

The charity jazz concert will still go ahead on Sunday, July 18.

Bells ring out again at St Mary’s Church

On Friday, July 9, for the first time in two years, the bells were rung again at St Mary’s Church on Perry Hill by Steve Reid and Sue Smith. They were joined by a bell ringer from Chiddingfold and three from Dunsfold. They rang under Covid guidance with a window open for a total of 45 minutes.

The bellringers in front of St Mary’s Church at Perry Hill.

Tower captain Steve has been ringing since 1972 and Susan has been ringing for 33 years.

Sime Gallery update

Walkers on Whitmoor Common, hopefully using the gallery’s Sime trail walk leaflet, can get 10% off their food bill at the Jolly Farmer pub on the edge of the common off Burdenshott Road. To receive the discount, visit the gallery, take a photo of the poster announcing the offer and show it to the pub’s staff when you visit.

The Arts Society walking trails includes a walk featuring Sime’s caricatures of local people.

Guildford Borough Councillor for Worplesdon, Bob McShee has visited the gallery within his new role as deputy historic environment and design champion.

Recipients of community awards, from left: Jan Messinger, Marilyn Scott and Mary Broughton.

And did you know three of the gallery’s ‘artful’ trustees have been honoured for their work in the community and for the arts.

Jan Messinger, head of retail and marketing, was one of this year’s recipients of the Mayor of Guildford’s Award for Community Service.

Marilyn Scott, who oversees planning, income generation, fundraising, management and governance, was awarded an MBE in 2019 for her services as director of The Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking. 

The chairman, Mary Broughton, who has spent 19 years involved with specific responsibility for the gallery and its development helping to promote the work of Sideny Sime, this year received the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux’s, award in appreciation of service to the community.

The gallery is open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2pm to 4pm.

New dropped kerbs and footpath extended on A323

The new dropped kerb at Fairlands.

Dropped kerbs have been added on the a A323 Aldershot Road by Fairlands and the lengthening of the footpath near the development of homes known as Carters Yard at Clasford Bridge.

The new development at Carters Yard, Clasford Bridge.

The development of houses, bungalows and flats is due to be completed this autumn. They have been built for the Haven Foundation, as either shared ownership or for rent.

Schools news

Pupils at Wood Street Infant School continue to keep the area around the school clear of litter.

Pupils from Wood Street Infant School with one of the signs.

Signs asking people not to drop letter are now in place. For these, the school thanks Ali Johnson from the Wood Street Village Association, Worplesdon Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham, Guildford Borough Councillor for Worplesdon Bob McShee, Worplesdon Parish Council’s groundsman Peter and Giddon Place design and printers.

Independent Rydes Hill Preparatory and Infant School has an entry for the first time in the Good Schools Guide 2021.

It is also celebrating its 75th anniversary and a book on the school’s history and the building it occupies is available by sending an email to

Peacock on the loose

A roaming peacock that has been seen between Wood Street Village and Fairlands has caused a local social media frenzy.

The mystery peacock.

Photos have been posted of the Peacock strutting along paths and in people’s gardens.

It is a mystery where the peacock has come from as there are two places in Wood Street Village that have peacocks but neither say it is theirs.

Tennis club celebrates 30th anniversary

Worplesdon tennis club is now 30 years old and it was opened by Mary Broughton, Sue Osborne and John Self.

Mary Broughton and Sue Osborne of Worplesdon Tennis Club.

The first membership was on May 1, 1991. Today it has four courts with floodlighting and 160 members.

At a recent family fun day, founders Sue and Mary were tricked into unveiling new plaques that celebrate the club’s 30 years. Both are still very active members. Sue is a committee member and organised the recent event.

Food and more food

The pizza van that pulls up at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8pm.

A pizza van pulls up at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8pm. It also visits Fairlands Community Centre on the first Sunday of the month.

O& H Greeklicious also visits Fairlands at the end of each month.

Retail customers can now order online with Cheesman Bros, the fruit and veg wholesaler based at Luxford Farm, Wood Street Village.

Some of the produce on sale at Cheesman Bros.

It’s new website also offers frozen, dried and tinned food, dairy produce, bread, flour and pasta.

Cheesman Bros also has received excellent reviews from its delivery customers, large businesses, schools and local residents.

Worplesdon Parish Council round-up

Recent business has included: looking at 10 planning applications within the parish, land management and playground inspection reports, financial reports and regulations, provision of car parking at Jacobs Well recreation ground, provision of interpretation boards and bird food dispensers at the Moat House Pond.

Regarding the latter, residents are reminded that bread is not the preferred feed for wildlife, while lettuce and seeds have more nutrition. And remember, food left on the ground encourages vermin.

In the pouring rain, parish councillors met residents on a visit to the Moat House Pond at Jacobs Well.

Its recent meeting was somewhat historic as some members were absent for the first time in 20 years, and there were more women councillors in attendance than men!

One of the animals councillors met during their visit to Merrist Wood College.

Parish councillors also attended a meeting at Merriest Wood College. This was led by Laura Asbridge, the director of Activate Learning, which is the college’s parent group.

Councillors were told of the college’s plans, details of its rare breeds status and that it currently has around 130 students enrolled.

The college has plans for a new veterinary nurse training centre, a rare breeds farm, improving equine facilities, and to become an arboriculture college of excellence.

Guildford Borough Councillor Bob McShee informed the parish council that the field off Salt Box Road, on the edge of Whitmoor Common, that has been secured as a future burial-ground, is to have grazing rights for sheep or cattle.

Volunteers are required to take part in road-side community speed watches. contact the assistant clerk at for more details.

Cllr Keith Witham’s news

As Surrey County Councillor for Worplesdon, Keith Witham’s latest email newsletter included his appointment as a member of the Surrey Police and Crime Panel, his continuation on its committee that scrutinises community services, including Surrey Fire & Rescue, highways, the environment and Trading Standards.

In his role as a Guildford Borough Councillor for Pirbright, he serves on its licensing committee and the Guildford Joint Committee.

He also gave details of financial support he has given to local groups, meeting the new Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend, planting new trees, Armed Forces Day and and other county council updates. To receive his monthly newsletter send him an email to

Badge of the Worplesdon Target Shooting Club.

Target shooting club

Worplesdon Target Shooting Club welcomed scouts from Woking to their range at Pitch Place.

The club was founded in 1906, it is open from 1pm to 4pm on Sundays and can be found off the A322 opposite Worplesdon View care home.

Weddings return to Worplesdon Place

Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant at Perry Hill hosted its first wedding for a long time due to the pandemic restrictions.

It has also been nominated in the Muddy Stilettos Surrey Awards for the best boutique stay in the county. You can vote for it here.

Flooding hotspots cleared as quickly as possible

Worplesdon had a good deal of rain during the last month and the usual flooding hotspots were cleared as quickly as possible, with details being passed to Surrey County Council from Worplesdon Parish Council and by Cllr Keith Witham.

Flooding on the A322 Worplesdon Road.

The drain at the Holly Lane/ Perry Hill roundabout on the A322 was so flooded a vehicle lost its bumper when it hit the side of the flooded roundabout.

Bid to re-launch Fairlands WI

Anyone who would like to help relaunch Fairlands Women’s Institute is invited to a meeting on Friday, July 30 at 7pm, at Fairlands Community Centre.

The meeting is been hosted by the secretary of the Surrey Federation of Women’s Institutes, Karen Whitehead.

The centre is a hub for the local community with its drama group, dance group, brownies, pilates group – in fact, activities for all ages.

The former phone box in Wood Street Village decorated for the England football team.

Football didn’t quite come home the way many hoped

Football’s coming home was the theme for the latest decoration of the former phone box in Wood Street Village. We now know it’s gone to Rome instead.

Unusual looking blackbird spotted

And finally, this is a picture of a blackbird who I am reliably informed its white feathers are a partial albinism as opposed to leucism, which is a pale washed-out look.

The blackbird with white feathers on its head.

Apparently it happens to blackbirds quite often, compared to most other birds. I had never seen this before. However, the person who is keen on birds who I stood next to when taking the photo, enlightened me. You really never know what you will see in Worplesdon.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness July 2021

  1. Raj Chhetri Reply

    July 18, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Worplesdon Witness column and seeing the beautiful photos.

    I live in Knaphill and was a Psychiatric Nurse there from 1973 till 1995. My family members are Gurkhas.

    I have visited the cricket ground and the church. Many years ago one of my nursing colleague’s wedding was in the village church near the pub. I did attend a meeting of Surrey Mediation Charity some years ago at the Jolly Farmer. I used to attend Red Cross Society Meetings at Wood Street.

    I like Worplesdon Village. I pass by the village when I attend meetings of Surrey Police, SMEF and Mental Health meeting at FRH in the Lower Guildford Road.

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