Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness July 2022

Published on: 21 Jul, 2022
Updated on: 21 Jul, 2022

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

Wood Street Village Show and Jazz Festival 

Despite the extreme heat, the Wood Street Village Show went ahead on Saturday, July 16, although the fun dog show was cancelled.

Angela Richardson and David Hypher.

The show was opened by Guildford MP Angela Richardson and Surrey Deputy Lieutenant David Hypher.

The May Queen Amelia Fear is crowned by Angela Richardson.

The five-hour show began with the crowning of the May Queen, Amelia Fear. She has been growing her hair and was due to have it cut this week donating it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity to enable wigs to be made for children with cancer.

A dog owner from Wood Street Village with his pet enjoying the complimentary pool.

Many people attended the show, but numbers were clearly lower than normal due to the heat.

There was entertainment by local music group Ukerythmics, Scottish dancing, Kaira Kafo African Djembe drum and dance, plus a display of Mini cars.

Above and below maypole dancing and procession at the show.

There were stalls, refreshments and plants, and the show tent featured 129 classes including vegetables, fruit, flowers, floral arrangements home craft, homemade drinks, photography, handicrafts, painting / art and junior classes.

Treacle tart entries.

Entries for the category of treacle tarts was for men only!

Wood Street Horticultural Society is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and the Surrey Federation of Horticultural Societies. The judging took two hours before the public could view the entries and winners.

More than 25 cups and shields were awarded along with prize money.

The small group of volunteers who spent the year arranging the show must be congratulated for their hard work for the community to enjoy and to be part of it.

Former villagers also regularly return for this event. I met a young family who were visiting from Scotland, the mum used to live in Wood Street Village.

The winners with the tug-of-war trophy.

Steve Gunner and friends were delighted to retain the John Gunner tug-of-war trophy.

A family enjoying the show.

On Sunday, July 17, the green hosted the sell-out Wood Street Jazz Festival, with all money raised donated to the children’s activities charity Challengers. Worplesdon Parish Council was one of the sponsors of the event.

The gazebo that hosted the stage for the jazz festival.

The stage was under a gazebo and catering was by the Shahin Tandoori restaurant on Woodbridge Hill.

Names of new roads unveiled

Walcot Mews and Searle Close, new roads in Montague Place, Keens Lane, Pitch Place, are named after men who died on active service.

Major Basil Walcot received a Distinguished Service Order medal as a captain in 1915. He was married to Worplesdon resident Nora Constance Kelly, daughter of Arthur Lindsay Kelly, who was very prominent in the parish.

Major Walcot served with the Royal Engineers and died, aged 38, on September 14, 1918. He is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Perry Hill.

He left his widow and two sons. He had attended Charterhouse School in Godalming and had also served in the Boer War.

Major Walcot’s son, John Henry Walcot, of the 1st Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, died during the Second World War, on June 1, 1940, age 25. He is buried in Belgium.

Private Alfred Searle, who served with Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment, died during the First World War on July 3, 1916, in France.

Aged 25, he was the eldest son of seven children of Alfred Searle, a bricklayer of Pitch Place. In 1918 the Surrey Advertiser reported Alfred’s brother Albert had been wounded in the abdomen while on active service. He was a carter in the employ of Mrs Keen, Gravetts Lane.

Another brother who served was Walter, who was wounded in April 1918 and discharged later that year in the September.

Red-brick art installation.

An art installation has also been installed at Montague Place by the playground. Many years ago land at Keens Lane was a brickworks. It is therefore fitting the art installation is made of red brick. And the Grade II listed Pitch Place House, just behind, is also built of red brick.

Countdown for Worplesdon Memorial Hall and grounds’ centenary

Centenary celebrations of Worplesdon Memorial Hall and its grounds take place over the weekend of October 14, 15 and 16.

On Sunday, October 16, popular local historians Geoff Burch and David Rose will give an illustrated talk on 100 years of the memorial hall and grounds.

There is still time to supply your memories and any photos. Email Jan Messinger at photos and memories to

Vintage photo of an event at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Sime Gallery open during the summer holidays

The Sime Gallery, at Worplesdon Memorial Hall, will be open as usual on Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm to 4pm, throughout the holidays.

On Wednesday, August 10, there will be a free children’s art activity afternoon titled Sizzling Sime Summer.

There is free parking and toilets, etc. For more details send an email to or view website

Make a date for a visit to the Sime Gallery.

The gallery is perfect for an afternoon out in the summer holidays whatever your age. The Ta Ta café open for tea and cakes.

The gallery will also be taking part during the Heritage Weekend in September, so look forward to more fun art activities.

Men in Shed project comes to Merrist Wood College

The Men in Sheds project, hosted by Age Uk Surrey, now has a outlet at Merrist Wood College, which men can use to practise their handy craft skills and to socialise.

The opening of the Men in Sheds project at Merrist Wood College.

It was opened by the Mayor of Guildford, Dennis Booth, and his wife Mary, the mayoress; the chief executive of Activate Learning, Gary Headland; the chief executive of Age UK Surrey, Sue Zirps; and its vice-chair, Joy Allen; and Deputy Surrey Lieutenant, Lady Elizabeth Toulson.

Many of those who will be meeting and using the shed were there to show their wooden creations and to talk about this successful initiative.

Laura Asbridge from Merrist Wood College with Lady Elizabeth Toulson.

The day also featured a community engagement event, being an opportunity for people to discover all on offer at the college that has university centre status.

Students at the college also celebrated Armed Forces Day, and there has been new student welcome days, while students studying public services had a passing out parade.

Wildlife and conservation students have completed valuable and practical field work experience in Haslemere.

Warning of fire risk on commons and heathland

The hot dry weather can lead to fires starting on the nine commons within the parish of Worplesdon.

People visiting them are urged to follow the Countryside Code and Surrey Fire & Rescue Services urges people to take a picnic and not light a barbecue. Take litter home and if you smoke cigarettes, make sure they are properly extinguished.

The largest of the Worplesdon commons is Whitmoor. Covering 183 hectares, it is managed by Surrey Wildlife trust for Surrey County Council and has already experienced a fire this year.

During the summer, three species of heather, bats, Dartford warblers and nightjars can be found there.

Anyone who sees a fire, call Surrey Fire & Rescue on 999 immediately, and try to report the exact location as often commons can be difficult to access, although Surrey Fire & Rescue has specialist vehicles to traverse the heathland.

For people living nearby, if there is a fire it is important to stay indoors with windows shut.

Blue-green algae on Britten’s Pond

Thanks to a Worplesdon Parish Council groundsman reporting blue-green algae at Britten’s Pond, off Salt Box Road, the Environment Agency has confirmed the sighting.

Blue-green algae spotted at Britten’s Pond.

Blue-green algae can be fatal for dogs and wildlife. Keep pets and children away from the water and avoid skin contact with the water and the algae.

The sluice gate at Britten’s Pond has been shut to prevent the algae entering other watercourses.

Tennis-a-thon postponed

Extreme temperatures meant Worplesdon Tennis Club postponed its fundraising tennis-a-thon in aid of Dementia UK. It will be rescheduled for September or early October.

Pizza firm also feels the heat

The StoneRose Pizza company suspended its pop-up locations in Worplesdon for a week due to the challenge for staff cooking in the hot weather.

News from the pubs

Worplesdon’s pubs have been encouraging customers to keep cool with their cocktails and eating outdoors.

The marquee in the garden at the Royal Oak pub.

The Royal Oak’s Wood Street Family show takes place on Saturday, July 23 in its big marquee. Staring at 6.30pm, there will be fun for all ages with Nutty Noah.

The Jolly Farmer continue with its wine and food paring evenings, the next is on Thursday, August 5, featuring New Orleans-inspired food plus its monthly quiz evenings.

The pub has reggae and rum nights every Friday from 5pm to 8pm at its outdoor shack in the large pub garden.

On Friday, July 30, there will be live music on the patio from 7pm.

On Tuesday, August 17, there will be a performance of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, in the pub garden.

Cricketers doing well

The three local cricket clubs are all enjoying successful seasons with only occasional defeats.

You are now able to view the Chiddingfold verses Wood Street Village second eleven match on YouTube. It was played at Chiddingfold on June a25 nd was screened live.

Peper Harow Cricket Club and Burpham Cricket Club also screen their matches on YouTube, who Wood Street Village have also played recently.

Clubs in the parish play at Backside Common bear Wood Street Village, Worplesdon Memorial Ground, and Fairlands recreation ground. All clubs welcome new players.

News from Fairlands

Fairlands Players have auditioned parts for this year’s pantomime. Shows will be on November 24, 25 and 26.

Fairlands Saturday Freestyle takes place on Friday, July 23, at the community centre with DJs Howie and Kevin M. Doors open 7.45pm through to 11.30pm.

Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association has postponed its annual meeting that was due to take place on Sunday, July 25, and will now be held on Monday, September 6.

The association welcome new members to its committee, and after such a successful Queen’s platinum jubilee celebration in June, it hopes residents will like to play a greater part in the wellbeing and development of the community.

Click here for its website.

The association has also raised awareness of the increase in burglaries and cybercrime and is reminding people to secure and lock doors, gates, sheds, garages and vehicles.

It is also encouraging residents to join the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Click here for details.

New animal feeds and tack building takes shape

The new animal feeds and tack building at Rokers is nearing completion. There are regular savings on animal feeds, open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am to 5.30pm and on Sundays from 9am to 1pm.

The new building at Rokers in Fairlands.

Church news

St Alban’s Church at Wood Street Village has welcomed Carol as a lay leader and its holiday at home day is on Tuesday, August 19.

The cost is £10 including a two-course lunch.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Nigel Evans-Thompson, the Worplesdon churches’ director of music for many years, is on Saturday, August 13, at 11am at St Albans, with tea and cake afterwards.

St Mary’s at Perry Hill and St Alban’s regularly collect for the North Guildford Food Bank. Laundry items, detergent, tea, coffee, biscuits and tinned spaghetti are in need.

Summer fete at care home

Worplesdon View Care home celebrates its 10the anniversary with a summer fete on Saturday, August 20, from noon to 4pm.

The care home regularly holds activities for residents and organises local trips out and offers respite care. Its friendly team are a phone call away on 01483 238010.

Bootcamp’s water fight

Evolve Bootcamps got into the spirit of the hot weather with a water fight as part of one of its sessions.

Walk group’s weekend in North Wales

Starting on Saturday, September 3, sees a Snowdon weekender with trekking in North Wales. For more information contact Pete Lambert on 07940101732 or email

He had a stall at the Wood Street Village Show giving details of his local walks to aid fitness and well being.

Parish council round up

Worplesdon Parish Councillors had presentation from Zero Carbon Guildford on climate change.

It has received borough and county councillors reports, has looked at seven planning applications, the Worplesdon heritage trail, newsletter delivery, a bench request at Oak Hill, a bicycle rack request in Jacobs Well, freedom of the parish nomination posthumously for John Gunner along with a memorial at Wood Street Village, and a replacement kissing gate at Jacobs Well.

And also, it has received the results of a public consultation in relation to antisocial behaviour on Wood Street Village green, undertaken quarterly playground inspections, attended the Wood Street Village Show, looked at payments, bank reconciliation, monthly budget reports, a review of its insurance policies, the clerk and chairman’s reports.

Flood forum walkabout at Rickford, Perry Hill.

There have been two flood forum walkabouts in Worplesdon in recent weeks with related agencies, residents and Guildford MP Angela Richardson, who chairs the Worplesdon Flood Forum. The forum highlights ongoing flooding issues that hopefully will be resolved.

Forecourt work at motor garage

The Yeomans Honda dealership garage on the A322 Worplesdon Road at Pitch Place has looked rather different in recent weeks.

Yeomans Honda dealership with work in progress on the forecourt.

While remaining open for business, the left hand forecourt has been dug up and has been resurfaced

Animals sheltering from the heat

Sheep taking shelter.

With concerns about the increase in temperatures, spare a thought for the black sheep at Merrist Wood College as they seek shelter under the trees.

Geese and goslings basking at Rokers.

And also the geese and goslings basking at Rokers. They are a particular favourite with locals from Fairlands who have been watching the goslings grow.

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