Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness May 2023

Published on: 12 May, 2023
Updated on: 14 May, 2023

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

Celebrations for the coronation

The rain kept away for coronation events and Wood Street Village celebrated thanks to the volunteers from its association on Sunday afternoon, May 7.

Mayple on Wood Street Village green.

There was maypole dancing, Wood Street Infant School’s choir, a colts cricket match, tug-of-war competition, a bouncy castle, children’s racing and entertainment.

A cricket march was played by the colts.

People brought picnics and had an amazing afternoon and enjoyed the kings and queens scarecrow trail with at least 16 scarecrows. 

Above and below: some of the kings and queens scarecrows.

Funding for the event was from grants by Worplesdon Parish Council and Surrey County Council.

At Fairlands, 1,000 people came together on the field on Monday, May 8, for a picnic with music from Uke Rythmics, food by the Stone Rose Pizza company and Howe fish and chips.

Above and below: coronation celebrations in Fairlands.

There was a volunteer-led barbecue, along with a variety of stalls, bouncy castles, children’s games and rides a coconut shy, football, art displays.

Plus, there was a crown making competition for adults and children, judged by Worplesdon Parish Council clerk Gaynor White.

Amanda Renshaw and her team from the Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association (FLGCA) rose to the occasion again.

Any proceeds from the event will be going to the running of FLGCA.

Coronation street party in Fairlands Road.

 A coronation street party was held in Fairlands Road on Saturday, May 7.

The Sime Gallery’s coronation celebration tea party.

Coronation celebrations at the Sime Gallery inside Worplesdon Memorial Hall included a cream tea and cake afternoon with children’s activities on Monday, May 8,.

The yew tree ready for planting.

Twenty-nine of its own volunteers attended and a yew tree was planted to commemorate the coronation. The tree was supplied by longstanding volunteer at the gallery David Willis and planted by trustee Caroline Coleman.

The Christmas Bakery at Rickford was suitably decorated for the coronation as well as Worplesdon Memorial Hall and St Mary’s Church.

Flags at The Christmas Bakery.

Flags outside Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Floral display at St Mary’s Church.

The redundant phone box in Wood Street Village decorated to mark the coronation.

Several residential properties throughout the parish put on displays as wells as the redundant phone box in Frog Grove Lane, Wood Street Village.

Garden waste on Rickford Common cleared

Volunteers have been at work on Rickford Common where garden waste had been left for sometime.

Clearing garden waste dumped on Rickford Common.

New residents had liaised with Surrey Wildlife Trust to remove the waste material that was a long slow process, with many trips to the Slyfield recycling centre.

How they voted in Worplesdon

As reported previously on the Dragon, 11 candidates stood for three seats in the Worplesdon ward in the Guildford Borough Council elecion on Thursday,May 4.

The newly elected Guildford Borough Councillors for Worplesdon.

All three seats were won by Conservative candidates. One of those elected, Bill Akhtar, commented on social media: “By the Grace of Allah almighty I have won my election in Worplesdon and work for the betterment of the area.” Honor Brooker and Philip Brooker were also elected. 

Well known Wood Street Villager Bob McShee, a Residents 4 Guildford and Villages candidate in the election, who has served as both a borough and parish councillor for Worplesdon for over 41 years, says he now retires from politics. 

Cllr Bill Akhtar has created a facebook page Cllr Bilal Akhtar Worplesdon so people can contact him easily for local issues in the Worplesdon area. He says he looks forward to working with everyone along with his other councillors.

Busy week for new caretaker

Worplesdon Memorial Hall’s new caretaker Phil Bowers had an eventful first week in his new job.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak with Conservative Party supporters at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak visited prior to the local elections to meet with his Conservative party supporters from the area.

It’s not everyday police outriders go off with blue flashing lights and cars in convoy as the next evening hirer is driving into the grounds!

Damaged fencing repaired

Fencing adjacent to Worplesdon Memorial Hall has been repaired, believed to have been damaged by vehicles parked in the nearby lay-by.

Repaired fencing adjacent to Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Worplesdon Parish Council paid the repairs with assistance from Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham.

Highway repairs cause traffic delays

Power supply repairs on the A322 Worplesdon Road.

The A322 Worplesdon Road had temporary traffic lights for some days for repairs to the electricity supply.

While highway repairs at Perry Hill caused long delays in both directions.

Tennis club news

Twenty-five members of Worplesdon Tennis Club held a coronation shared lunch at its clubhouse on Monday, May 8.

It has an open day on Saturday, May 13.

Football club news

Worplesdon Pheonix football club’s charity matches included one for its young player Musa Konteh, who died recently while in Sierra Leone.

Players who took part in the charity football to raise funds in memory of Musa Konteh.

More than 40 members of his family and friends came from various parts of London for the match and a few of Musa’s brothers and cousins played in the match.

New youth club opens in Wood Street Village

St Alban’s Church’s new youth club was launched on Friday,     May 5.

It will continue on the first Friday of the month, 7pm to 9pm.

The first evening was a successful one with young people enjoying table tennis, air hockey, Wii, drawing, board games and baking.

It has a tuck shop and a chill out area with disco lights. 

The helpers were thanked and everyone looks forward to next month. 

Coronation service at St Mary’s Church

A coronation service was held at 10.30am at St Mary’s Church, Perry Hill, on Saturday, May 7, with celebratory drinks after.

St George’s Day marked in Fairlands

Fairlands hosted a St George’s Day event at the community centre on Sunday, April 23. with a live band, comedian, a ploughman’s supper and of course, a tombola.

Ducks cause a stir

Mallard ducks from the pond at Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant caused quite a stir for worried residents as they fled during heavy rain.

The ducks who fled during heavy rain.

They had made their way across the busy A322, and fortunately a resident who cares for them was called upon to see them safely back across the road.

After trying to herd them, the ducks got the idea and flew back across with ease, all surviving their adventure.

Crowds flock to Fleecy Frolics at Merrist Wood College

Merrist Wood College has reported 5,000 people attended its recent Fleecy Frolics weekend.

On show were 134 lambs as well as meerkats, hedgehogs, owls, rabbits, alpacas, piglets, pygmy goats, snakes, lizards, giant tortoises and tropical birds.

There were also tractor and pony rides, bird box making and refreshment stands.

Egg show will be society’s first one

The Surrey Poultry Society will be holding its first egg show on May 21, at Worplesdon Memorial hall.

It’s been a particularly challenging time for the society’s members with the fear of bird flu.

Heavy rain closes golf club

Merrist Wood Golf Club had to close on more than one occasion recently due to high levels of rain.

The driving range is not expected to open until June, while its teaching professional Adrian Carter is still available for coaching.

Parish council marks coronation in a number of ways, plus other news

The chairman of Worplesdon Parish Council, Nigel Mitchell. presenting book marks to school children.

Worplesdon Parish Council presented coronation book marks to pupils at Rydes Hill Preparatory School, Worplesdon Primary School and Wood Street Infant School.

One of the tree-guard plaques.

Plaques have been placed on the guards of recently planted trees to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II.

A QR code on the plaques highlight the late queen’s connections to the local area.

The parish council loaned equipment to the local Cub scouts group from Rydes Hill to litter pick prior to the coronation picnic at Fairlands recreation ground.

The parish council meeting on April 27 included 14 planning applications being discussed, financial matters included a grant application, tree surgery, watering of recently planted trees at Harry’s Meadow,  Wood Street Knoll site of alternative natural green space, the memorial bench for the late John Gunner.

Pubs news round-up

The new landlord of the Jolly Farmer, Burdenshott Road, is offering eat in or take away pizzas.

Most of he pub’s tables have been refurbished and a new menu includes sandwiches and jacket potatoes served from noon to 3pm, plus a three-course menu, Sunday menus and kids’ menus.

The White Hart at Wood Street Village has live music by Kane Matthew on Saturday evening May 13. There will be a a black tie charity dinner on June 3, raising money for Shooting Star Chase hospices, with a four-course menu for £85. Email for more details.

The Cricketers at Rydes Hill held a coronation all-day party and barbecue last Saturday, May 6.

The Worplesdon Place invited people to watch the coronation with them and reminds of this year’s bank holidays to enjoy some bubbles and enjoying the view of the black swans on the pond.

Sime Gallery and Earth Day

The Sime Gallery took part in Earth Day at The Wild Escape held at Haslemere Educational Museum, where 250 people came and enjoyed a range of activities with a theme of celebrating Britain’s wildlife.

The gallery highlighted swans Sidney Sime had painted in watercolours. One was of pink swans and was linked to Worplesdon’s environment as black swans live on the pond of Worplesdon Place.

Visit the gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall to these art works and many more.

One of the collages.

Children have created interesting collages of their own based on the swan theme, which was partly chosen to link with the coronation celebrations.

The gallery will be entering the Guildford in Bloom competition this year, for the first time, in the patio garden category.

Children have also created designs on the pots for some of the blooms. Young adults from the halow project have also created their own landscape pictures after viewing artwork in the gallery.

Music in the hall at Jacobs Well

There is live music at Jacobs Well Village Hall on the last Tuesday of the month from 8pm with Big Band Swing.

There will be a quiz on in the lounge bar on Saturday, May 13, and on Saturday, May 20, Jacobs Well Garden Club has a plant sale in the car park from 10am. That same evening there’s bingo in the bar.

Wreath destroyed

Worplesdon Parish Council was saddened to report after the bank holiday weekend that a wreath at Harry’s Meadow, Jacobs Well, laid in November had been destroyed.

The wreath that was destroyed in Harry’s Meadow.

Everyone is reminded that antisocial behaviour should be reported to the police. 

Litter pickers out in force

Wood Street Village Association organised a litter-picking session prior to coronation celebrations.

Litter pickers Robert Pidgeon, Brigitte Ahier and Bob McShee.

Regular litter pickers were joined by some new volunteers and afterwards they enjoyed a drink at the Royal Oak pub.

The black plastic sacks full of litter were left at the bus shelter by St Alban’s Church and were later collected by Guildford Borough Council’s cleansing team.


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