Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness May 2021

Published on: 12 May, 2021
Updated on: 15 May, 2021

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

Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey’s award given to Mary Broughton

The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux’s, award in appreciation of service to the community has been presented to Mary Broughton.

It is for her tireless support to the Sime Gallery, Worplesdon Memorial Hall, Worplesdon Tennis Club, St Mary’s church and the North Guildford food bank.

Lady Elizabeth Toulson CBE DL presents Mary Broughton (right) with her award.

In his letter, Mary was thanked for all she did for the community of Worplesdon.

The award was presented by Lady Elizabeth Toulson CBE DL on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant, taking place in Mary’s garden.

It was a complete surprise to Mary and she was highly delighted and humbled and said this was very much for everybody involved in village and community life.

Worplesdon county councillor re-elected

Worplesdon’s Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham has been re-elected.

In an email letter to residents within a day of the election on May 6 he sincerely thanked everyone who voted for him and looked forward to serving everyone and continuing to work closely with Worplesdon Parish Council.

He wrote: “We live in a beautiful part of the country. My aim is to keep it that way and press for the local improvements that residents want.”

Pigeons released to commemorate the life of the Duke of Edinburgh

Ten pigeons were released on Wood Street Village green on April 17 to commemorate the 10 decades of Prince Phillip’s life.

Bill Carr of Wood Street Village brought his pigeons and three-year-old Jackson West released them. About 30 people attended including Guildford Borough Councillors Bob and Ann McShee.

Releasing the racing pigeons on Wood Street Village green.

The Royal Racing Pigeon Association had asked every cathedral city and town in the UK to perform the ceremony. Prince Philip had taken a keen interest in the racing pigeons kept at the royal residence Sandringham.

Remembering the Duke of Edinburgh at St Mary’s Church.

The duke was also remembered with a minute’s silence by Worplesdon Parish Council at its meeting on April 29, while a service of remembrance was held at St Mary’s Church in Perry Hill on April 16.

The former telephone box in Frog Grove Lane, Wood Street, was suitably decorated by Tina Lewis.

Decorated former telephone box in Wood Street Village.

Recipients of the Mayor of Guildford’s Community Heroes Award

Worplesdon residents who have been recognised in these awards include Debbie Foster, Matt and Martha Gaskin, Ann Mather and myself (Jan Messinger). The award is for their exceptional work supporting others through the Coronavirus pandemic. They received a certificate, lapel pin and a window sticker.

Author shortlisted for book competition

The parish administrator for St Mary’s and St Alban’s Churches, Michaela Kelly, has been shortlisted in the Ethicool children’s books author competition.

She is a finalist with three other authors from 2,178 entries and is the only UK author in the final. Her entry is her book Rabbits Holds The Moon and she needs your votes!  Vote now with a deadline of May 16, by clicking here.

Village halls to reopen as restriction are lifted

Fairlands Community Centre and St Alban’s church hall will be re-opening for community use. Decorators have been hard at work getting them ready.

Windy weather

A large bow of a horse chestnut on Perry Hill green was broken off and a sight screen at Worplesdon Cricket club blown down in recent high winds.

The sightscreen blown over at Worplesdon Cricket Club on Perry Hill.

Schools and college news

A member of staff at Worplesdon Pre-school, based at the Memorial Hall on Perry Hill, has been named as April’s apprentice of the month by the Activate Apprenticeships learning programme. Her dream is to become a primary school teacher.

Rydes Hill Preparatory school has been voted in the top 25 independent schools in the UK by the Sunday Times’ Parent Power 2021.

Banner in front of Rydes Hill Preparatory School.

Pupils at Wood Street Infant School highlighted Earth Day by thinking about sustainable change and how they can make a difference in what they do. They also looked at the lifecycle of butterflies and harvested their own rhubarb grown the school grounds and made rhubarb crumble.

New signs at Merrist Wood College.

Active Learning, based at Merrist Wood College, has new signs with a new logo.

Worplesdon Parish Councillors will be visiting the college’s animal management unit in June to learn about its plans on spending its share of the government’s £1.6 billion among 16 colleges.

Active Learning is now highlighting its land-based industries courses to support all abilities.

Asparagus at Cheesman Bros

Wholesale and retail grocers Cheesman Bros, based off Broad Street, has new signage advertising asparagus that’s grown in Petersfield.

Asparagus and much more at Cheesman Bros.

Its shop is open until 3.30pm daily.

Trees pollarded on Wood Street Village green

The plant sale in Wood Street Village.

Willow trees have been pollarded around the green and Wood Street Village Horticultural Society recently held a plant sale.

Its annual Maypole dancing will be on Saturday, June 26, with its annual show on Saturday, July 17 and a jazz festival on Sunday, July 18.

Jazz on the green on Sunday, July 18.

Fear of fires starting on Whitmoor Common

Dry weather can mean wildfires can easily start on the heathland nature reserve Whitmoor Common, putting wildlife in danger.

Barbecues are forbidden and people must not discard lighted cigarette butts. Report a fire, however small, by phoning 999.

Additional signs will be placed on notice boards to raise awareness of the problem.

Church service times and more

Worshippers are welcome to attend Sunday services at St Mary’s (11.15am) and St Alban’s (10am) Churches.

Booking a seat is no longer necessary, but still limited.

St Mary’s Church is also open daily from 10am to 4pm.

St Alban’s Church, Wood Street Village.

There will be a community litter pick from St Alban’s Church on Saturday, May 15, at 3pm. Part of the Keep Britain Keep Britain Tidy Spring Clean initiative.

The two churches are hosting a barn dance at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Saturday, June 26.

Worplesdon Parish Council news

This year’s annual meeting takes place on Thursday, May 20, and will be the first meeting in its new council chamber at its office, 2 Saxton, Parklands, on the Queen Elizabeth Park estate in Stoughton.

Unfortunately, only limited numbers will be able to attend. However, after June 21, with more restrictions hopefully being lifted, more members of the parish council should be able to attend.

Topics covered at recent meetings have included: County Councillor Keith Witham noting road improvements of speed tables at the staggered junction of Clay Lane, Jacobs Well Road and Blanchards Hill; a pedestrian island to be installed on Holly Lane by the entrance to Merrist Wood College; speed limit on Jacobs Well Road reduced from 40mph to 30mph; and an anti-skid service that has been installed on the A323 at Fairlands approaching the roundabout with Holly Lane.

A total of 12 planning applications for the parish were reviewed at its meeting on April 8, and 15 planning applications at its meeting on April 29.

Other matters discussed include replacement trees on Perry Hill green, Your Fund Surrey initiative, budget reports and financial checks, and that Guildford Borough Council will be charging the parish council £2,700 plus VAT to empty 14 refuse bins in the parish during the current financial year.

There are vacancies on the parish council. See its website for a link to a YouTube video that gives details, or send an email to the parish clerk, Gaynor White, at

Sime Gallery re-opens on Sunday, May 23

The Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall, Perry Hill, is set to re-open on Sunday, May 23.

The incoming Mayor Guildford, Marsha Moseley, will be visiting and the opening coincides with the death of artist Sidney Sime on May 22, 1941.

Welcome to the Sime Gallery.

A banner has been created by 21 volunteers which will be on display adding a new dimension in needlework art.

Self-guided walks have been created incorporating Whitmoor Common and Sime’s caricatures of local people, St Mary’s Church, the site of the isolation hospital on the common, plus other local features.

The recent illustrated talk by Geoff Burch and David Rose, A Walk Over Perry Hill, given via Zoom in conjunction with the gallery, was recorded and is available on DVD for £5 from Geoff Burch. To order copies email Geoff at

Also worth a look is a fantastic website dedicated to the history, people and buildings of Rickford Hill. It is by Richard Hartley who has undertaken a great deal of research.

Pubs update

Pubs in Worplesdon are open, but the unsettled weather is a challenge to the current outside-seating only.

The White Hart at Wood Street Village has a new spring menu, while the Jolly Farmer in Burdenshott Road is open for prior booking from Wednesday to Sundays.

A warm welcome awaits at Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant.

Accommodation can be booked at Worplesdon Place at Perry Hill from Monday, May 17, while at the Royal Oak in Wood Street Village there is a marquee in the garden.

The now-closed White Lyon and Dragon pub/restaurant.

Changes appear to be taking place at the closed White Lyon and Dragon opposite the green at Perry Hill. Concrete blocks have been placed over its entrance and building work may be taken place soon. The property was advertised for sale several months ago.

Tennis club news

Worplesdon Tennis Club is holding a family fun open day on Sunday, July 4, with activities for children in the morning, an exhibition match at noon, and an American-style tournament for adults during the afternoon.

International coach and former Davis Cup player Miles McLagan will be attending.

A new branch line to Worplesdon?

It’s well known to many that Worplesdon railway station is actually in the parish of Mayford and within the borough of Woking. But a bit of railway life has been brought to one Worplesdon resident’s garden.

No trains today!

These pair of 40-year-old or more signals have been brought back to their former glory – restored during lockdown and look magnificent.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness May 2021

  1. Bill Stokoe Reply

    May 13, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Mary Broughton’s award is so well deserved. Congratulations, Mary!

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 13, 2021 at 11:49 am

    With regards the new pedestrian crossing on the A322 Worplesdon Road in Stoughton, near the Cumberland Avenue roundabout, and featured in the January Worplesdon Witness, some four months have now passed.

    Is there any indication as to when this will be finished?

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