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The Worplesdon Witness March 2021

Published on: 13 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 14 Mar, 2021

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

Spring is here!

Spring is beginning to come to Worplesdon, with more people out walking using the commons and play areas.

Although the football club is not yet back at Worplesdon Memorial Grounds, young people are certainly there with their footballs.

Snowdrops and crocus at St Mary’s Church, Perry Hill.

As well as spring flowers blooming, St Mary’s Church at Perry Hill will reopen on Palm Sunday, March 28. Initially, it will be with limited numbers and bookings for seats must be made, masks worn and social distancing will be in place.

St Alban’s Church at Wood Street Village will not open until April, as essential works are being carried out.

The lake beside Worplesdon Place.

Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant is ready for outside bookings from April 12, with tables of up to six people from multiple households or two households of up to 10 people. The hotel will reopen from May 17.

The Royal Oak pub in Wood Street Village opens its beer garden on April 16, from 3pm every weekend throughout the month.

Worplesdon Tennis Club and Merrist Wood Golf Club will both reopen on March 29.

Worplesdon Primary School has a staggered start and finish time to enable social distancing. Staff wear masks while moving around the school.

Rydes Hill Preparatory School has informed parents how wonderful it is to be back with the children embracing sport, International Women’s Day, outdoor learning and World Book Day,

Crime update

Wood Street Village Green.

There has been an increase in vehicles driving on the green at Wood Street Village. Fairlands residents have been reminded to beware of scams and strangers trying to gain access to properties.

Theft of a catalytic converter from a car caused distress to its owner who had been suffering from Covid-19.

Care to be taken on Whitmoor Common

Whitmoor Common is an important health for birds, reptiles, invertebrates and plants, protected by law.

Fly-tipping on Whitmoor Common.

Threats to this type of lowland heath include it turning back into woodland, along with rubbish, fly-tipping, dog poo, overuse by walkers and wildfires.

The good news is that data shows a recent increase in nesting birds.

It is important that users of the common do not start fires, keep to main paths and keep dogs out of vegetation as they could disturb ground-nesting birds or snakes.

A concerned resident called out gas engineers to Whitmoor Common after seeing water bubbling up from under the ground and knowing there were gas pipes there.

The response was prompt and although there was no danger, the engineers were pleased to have been guided to exact spot within a large area.

Shiney new posts

Shinny new posts for road signs are popping up all over Worplesdon. However, there looks like plenty more to replace.

New post for the GIVE WAY road sign at the A323 / Holly Lane roundabout at Fairlands.

Worplesdon Parish Council’s annual meeting

The annual meeting was held online via Zoom for the first time on Wednesday, March 11.

Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham’s report included a letter from home secretary Priti Patel in relation to strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments.

There was a presentation about Surrey County Council’s Your Fund Surrey project for the proposed £100 million funding for local projects over a five-year period.

The chairman of the sime Gallery, Mary Broughton, spoke about its latest plans including additional opening times and applying for a further Heritage Fund grant.

A presentation from Wood Street Infant School noted how a grant from the parish council has been spent on library wobble stools to help with core strength and additional outdoor equipment.

A spokesperson for children’s charity Challengers highlighted how its grant from the parish council has been used.

The report from the parish charities’ trustees noted a total of £4,685.10 was granted to 22 families at Christmas.

David Snipp highlighted the role of a parish councillor. With two vacancies on the parish council, he urged anyone interested and eligible to volunteer for this role.

The chairman of the parish council, Dr Paul Cragg, highlighting the work of the past year regarding planning, community speed watch, flood forum, clearance works, Christmas lights, newsletters, benches, bus shelters, traveller incursions, armistice commemoration and engagement with residents.

Clearing paths and cycle lanes

Staff from Surrey County Council have been using a mini digger as they clear paths and cycle lanes along the A322 through Perry Hill.

One of the paths that has had a tidy up at Perry Hill.

Rokers farm shop

Rokers farm shop at Fairlands will celebrate 40 years of trading in 2022. Currently there are offers on compost, bird feeders and feed, seeds, lawn care. It also sells fruit and vegetables and honey.

Rokers advertising its wares.

Don’t feed the horses

Signs warning people not to feed horses in adjacent fields and paddocks have been put up. It can be damaging to a horse to feed it without its owner’s permission

Warning signs asking people not to feed the horses.

They can be seen in Wood Street Village by the SANG (suitable alternative natural green space) and along Holly Lane.

Fruit, veg and more from Cheesman Bros

You can buy fruit, veg and more direct from wholesalers Cheesman Bros from its premises off Broadstreet until 4pm weekdays and 11am on Saturdays.

Call 01483 572469, or click here for its website.

 Eight week body challenge

Evolve boot camps is offering an eight-week body challenge from March 29 with chances to win prizes including £500 and annual boot camp membership. www.evolvebootcamps.co.uk for more details

Are you ready for an eight-week body challenge with Evolve?

Saplings planted

Saplings have been planted on land opposite Rokers alongside the A323 at Fairlands courtesy of Surrey County Council.

Surrey’s new tree strategy aims to plant 1.2 million trees by 2030, one for every resident in the county.

Newly planted saplings at Fairlands.

News from the Sime Gallery

Twenty volunteers from the gallery are starting work on a patchwork star banner to the memory of Sidney Sime to mark the 80th anniversary of his death on May 22.

This way to the Sime Gallery.

The patchwork will be on display as soon as completed. It is hoped a family heritage walk will soon be available as well as collaboration with Brookwood Cemetery event in May.

The gallery expects  to reopen by appointment on May 23. More details on its website.

Homes being built

A development off the A323 at Clasford is under way of 45 so-called affordable properties with shared ownership.

The road they are in will be named Halifax Close, due to it being near the site where a RAF Halifax bomber (L9489) crashed during the Second World War.

Homes being built at Clasford beside the A323.

There is a memorial plaque to the aircraft’s crew sited between the 14th and 15th fairways of Merrist Wood Golf Club.

At St Mary’ Gardens at Perry Hill two additional homes have been built with planning approval for one more.

News from Wood Street Village

Wood Street Village Association is hosting its meetings online using Zoom. Its annual meeting will be on April 12.

Its horticultural society is keen to hold the annual village show this year, subject to parish council approval and should covid restrictions continue to be lifted.

Villagers are keen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Maypole dancing on the green. However, Covid restrictions, repairs to the Maypole and a colts cricket match will dictate when this can happen.

The committee of the Wood Street Village Show is planning a chilli challenge. Collect an envelope of seeds from the village shop to plant and grow. Then take a picture of you plants and email to display a picture of your plant to

HortSocChallenge@outlook.com with a closing date of July 18.

Sport and a burst water pipe

Worplesdon and Burpham Cricket Club and Worplesdon Phoenix Football Club have suffered a setback owing to a burst water pipe at their pavilion on Worplesdon Memorial Ground. However, it was quickly repaired.

Keen for sport to resume as soon as possible, it has been a very challenging time for local sports clubs. Wood Street Village Cricket Club is awaiting ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) advice how matches should be run this year.

Cricket has been played by the two village sides for over 100 years. New members are always welcome.

Worplesdon residents at G Live Covid vaccination centre

A Worplesdon resident writes: “Several members of the Worplesdon parish have been working as volunteers at G Live and I caught up with them to hear how it was going.

“There are three shifts per day which start at 7.30am and finish at about 8pm where about 850 vaccinations are given out.

“There are typically about 25 people per shift, covering medical staff, vaccinators, security people and volunteers.

“Each shift starts with a briefing which covers the vaccine to be used during the day, the estimated attendees together with a briefing on security and any other pertinent information.

“The Worplesdon volunteers mainly work outside with the grand title of “vaccination Marshalls”, which in reality is more akin to being either a car park attendant or a “meeter and greeter”, to ensure prospective attendees have invites, know where they are going, when they can go for their vaccine and answer various general questions.

“In the main, everybody is very warm and friendly which is particularly evident when they leave, as there are smiles, waves and thumbs up.

“On quite a few occasions, we get personally thanked for volunteering, which is especially rewarding when the weather is snowy, dark and cold!

“Our outside wardrobes are not particularly elegant, as with hats, masks, long-johns, gloves and wet weather gear, we all look like the abominable snowman, but at least we are warm and dry!

“People have been very kind and generous, as we have received thank you cards, cakes, tins of biscuits and trays of chocolate brownies (courtesy of Caper & Berry) which all add to the camaraderie.

“Whether people are volunteers or are there for their vaccinations, G Live has demonstrated that the British spirit is alive and kicking and for us, as volunteers, we feel privileged that we can do a little to help.”

And finally…

If you have been out walking in Worplesdon you may have seen this old gate post near a public footpath than cuts across Maryland, off the A322.

This old post has witnesses many comings and goings at Maryland.

Who knows how old it is, but what stories it could tell, as royalty once visited the house that had previously been the rectory of St Mary’s Church.

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