Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness May 2020

Published on: 16 May, 2020
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2020

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

VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations

As people celebrated Victory in Europe Day 75, on Friday, May 8, many sat in their front gardens having a tea party or listening to music. Due to the current coronavirus lockdown restrictions, events that had been planned bringing communities together were, of course, cancelled.

Flags and buntings as Worplesdon celebrated VE Day 75.

Via its Facebook page, Jacobs Well Residents’ Association page shared people’s memories and photos from VE Day itself in 1945. Most mentioned tables outdoors, food, games and music.

Others shared memories of wartime and its effects on them as children.

Worplesdon Parish Councillor Amanda Creese laid flowers in Harry’s Meadow by the memorial bench to mark the occasion.

Fairlands goes red, white and blue.

Fairlands residents also decorated their homes in red, white and blue and were reminded by its community association to ‘keep calm and stay in’.

Wood Street villagers also decorated homes and sat outside, following the cancelation of the usual May pole dancing bank holiday event, which this year would have seen VE Day celebrations and a plant sale.

Banner at the entrance to Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall displayed a banner celebrating VE Day 75 and thanking key wokers. A two-minute silence was observed on Friday, May 8, with social distancing.

The names of Worplesdon’s war dead are listed on the gate posts to the memorial hall.

The names of 20 servicemen from the area who died on active service during the Second World War are recorded on the gate pillar, two being sons of men who lost their lives in the First World War.

One young man was RAF Pilot Officer John Pugh Cranstoun, aged 18. He lies in Senonches Communal Cemetery, France. His brother Anthony was a lieutenant colonel, who died in 1991.

They were the sons of Dr Gordon and Mary Cranstoun. Dr Gordon (1886-1972) had served as a captain in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War.

He is remembered as the general practitioner of Worplesdon, who lived at Hollow Trees, Perry Hill.

Travellers pitch up at Wood Street Village

Travellers pitched their caravans and vehicles on a triangle of grass by the green at Wood Street Village between April 21-29. While in Harry’s Meadow at Jacobs Well a horse was tethered for a short period.

The horse that was tethered in Harry’s Meadow at Jacobs Well.

On both occasions Worplesdon Parish Council worked with Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council and the police to resolve the situation.

The issue was discussed at Worplesdon Parish Council’s first “virtual” meeting on May 14. It considering installing short- and long-term defence measures to prohibit unauthorised encampments.

However, planning permission would be required and consent from the Secretary of State for DEFRA.

Commons being well used by people exercising

Whitmoor Common.

There has been an increase in use of the nine commons with the parish by walkers, joggers and cyclists. Whitmoor Common alone boasts a size of 183 hectares with much wildlife including dragonflies, deer, many species of birds including the nightjar, all within the woodland, ponds and lowland heath.

The car park to Whitmoor Common along Salt Box Road has now reopened.

A bag of dog poo tied to a tree. Why?

By why do some people leave plastic bags full of dog poo hanging in trees?

It can be put in litter bins as well as dog poo bins. I even witnessed a motorist pulling up to use a dog poo bin recently. Was that an essential journey I wondered?

Clapping and banging drums for key workers

Clapping and banging drums for key workers in Thatchers Lane, Perry Hill.

Residents throughout Worplesdon have been clapping for key workers on Thursday nighs, and residents of Thatchers Lane have added something special with people dressed up and playing drums.

News from The Christmas Bakery

The Christmas Bakery on the A322 is allowing two customers in its shop at a time and social distancing in its car park. It also offers a delivery service.

Rainbows in the window of The Christmas Bakery.

In the shop window are local children’s rainbow artwork to thank the NHS and key workers for their support.

The bakery should be thanked for its supply of bread, cakes, filled rolls and hot savouries, a number of its customers being key workers – and a regular stop for busy local funeral directors.

It has submitted a planning application to Guildford Borough Council for an additional one-storey bakery building, following demolition of an existing workshop/ garage and outbuildings.

The application also includes the refurbishment of the shop and original bakery space and adjacent house. This is to create a shop, offices, tea room, including a single-story conservatory extension, and a two-storey rear extension to form new access to a first-floor flat. Plus new access from the A322 and landscaping to the whole site.

Plans for The Christmas Bakery on show.

The planning application reference is 20/P/00597 on Guildford Borough Council’s planning website. Plans have also been on display at the shop.

Woking’s banners thanking the NHS

Banner from Woking Borough Council thanking the NHS.

Near Fox Corner, just beyond the Guildford borough boundary, Woking Borough Council is displaying banners thanking the NHS.

Things we do in lockdown

One local resident has said it had only taken him 15 years to paint his fence and that lockdown had been the ideal opportunity to do this.

Many others have been doing much-needed gardening, maintenance and DIY projects. Some residents have used social media to share lockdown projects to entertain others or inspire others.

Flytipping continues

The lockdown has not stopped fly-tipping close to the Worplesdon area.

Jacobs Well Residents’ Association has reminded people not to dump garden waste in The Brook because of flooding issues.

Worplesdon recipients of the Mayor’s award for Community Service

Mary Broughton has been recognised for her work with Worplesdon Memorial Hall and the Sidney Sime Gallery.

Beth Foster for Fairlands Players Theatre Company.

Jacobs Well resident Matt Gaskin for organising Christmas lunches for elderly and lonely people, held at to St Joseph’s RC Church in Guildford, and the Guildford Street Angels.

A presentation ceremony will take place later in the year.

A different way of getting the work done

Online meetings have been the order of the day for many home workers as well as local organisations to keep things working while everyone is in lockdown, Worplesdon Parish Council included.

Signboard at St Alban’s Church, Wood Street Village.

St Mary’s Church at Perry Hill and St Alban’s Church in Wood Street Village have been engaging parishioners with quizzes, poems, What’s App phone groups and internet Zoom meetings for coffee on Sunday mornings at 11.30am, along with weekly services uploaded to You Tube.

The rector, the Revd Alex Russell can be contacted on 01483 234616 or by email to

Donations to the North Guildford Food Bank can be made via Mary Broughton. Email her at

There are plans to host a holiday club in the summer at St Alban’s Church.

Busy at Fairlands Community Association

Its volunteers are continuing to deliver non-payment medication from Rowlands pharmacy.

They have also been collecting prescriptions from those unable to email the pharmacy and collecting shopping for elderly residents.

The online quiz held by Fairlands Community Association.

A quiz was run live using both Zoom and Facebook with 15 teams taking part. £188 has been raised for NHS charities.

There have been eight community updates emailed to those on its mailing list with details of surgery opening times and important local information.

Schools update

Local schools have remained open throughout for key worker and vulnerable children.

Wood Street Infant School has looked after its school garden, celebrated VE Day 75, and pupils have learnt about horses, producing lovely artwork.

Staff at Worplesdon Primary School have been supporting their pupils’ educational needs and well being.

Worplesdon link with David Lloyd George discovered

David Lloyd George.

UK prime minister from 1916-1922 David Lloyd George was a victim of the Spanish flu pandemic.

While he was recovering, he stayed at a house on Whitmoor Common with his then mistress, Frances Stevenson, who he later married.

The coincidence of that pandemic and Cov-19, a century later, is people also wore masks, while schools, theatres and businesses were closed.

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