Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness November 2022

Published on: 14 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 14 Nov, 2022

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

Worplesdon Young Musician of the Year competition

The competition is for young people aged four to 18 and entries need to be submitted before November 30.

Young people must live or go to school in Worplesdon, or part of the congregation at St Mary’s Church.

Send a good quality video or audio recording to Whatsapp on 07743 576390 or email to

Judging by Dr Amy Bebbington will be on ability and musicality within four age ranges. Members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra will also be on the judging panel.

For more details send an email to

Memorial hall still on a high after 100th birthday celebrations

Worplesdon Memorial Hall continues to be a busy venue for the community and is used daily during the week by Worplesdon Pre-school.

Worplesdon Pre-school owners past and present Ally Houghton, Mandy Holloway, Stella Mitchell and Caroline Adams.

The school was started in 1988 by Lindsay Venables, a former assistant clerk with Worplesdon Parish Council.

Current owners Ally Houghton and Mandy Holloway and previous owners Stella Mitchell and Caroline Adams were at the VIP event in October as part of the hall’s centenary celebrations.

Many of the hall’s users have been running for many years, such as Dynamic Performing Arts (10 years). It hosts a Christmas showcase on December 11.

Kevin, Daniel and Ella of Ceroc Worplesdon dance group. It meets on Tuesday evenings at the hall. Daniel and Ella recently achieved second place in the Ceroc Welsh championships intermediate category.

The ceroc dance group has been going for nine years, and Katie Brewer Ballroom dancing for 10 years.

The hall is home to yoga, pilates, dog training, dog shows, psychic fayres, parties, wedding receptions, band rehearsals and even chicken!. It has also been home to Sime Gallery for 66 years.

The former chairman of the trustees, Terry Cater, has written a book about the hall’s first 100 years.

Aerial view of the tennis courts.

Outside on the floodlit recreation ground, the tennis club has been in existence for more than 40 years, while it is also home to Worplesdon Phoenix Football Club and Worplesdon and Burpham Cricket Club.

News from the Sime Gallery

Worplesdon residents Grant and Christine Sessions hosted the gallery’s first annual fundraising event, which made more than £3,000.

Grant and Christine Sessions with Graham Bower Wood with the illustrations ready to be re-hung in Sime Gallery.

It will fund three new ‘spoke’ units, made by Graham Bower Wood, so that more of artist Sidney Sime’s work can be viewed in the gallery. One of the units has been installed already.

Sime produced fantasy-style artwork for books by Lord Dunsany, and the gallery has received a donation of some of the author’s books.

The annual Sime Gallery lecture on Sunday, November 20, is by artist Mary Branson.

See poster below for details and click here for separate story.

Events at Fairlands Community Centre

Fairlands Players present their panto Dick Whittington on Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24, at 7.30pm and on Saturday, November 25, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Click here to book tickets. Or phone 07837 814894.

There will be a Christmas market on Saturday, December 3 from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, with 19 local businesses with their stalls, plus a tombola and refreshments.

On Sunday, December 4, there will be a Christmas tea dance at 4pm.

There will be a 1980s theme to the centre’s Christmas special night on Saturday, December 17. Advanced tickets only. Send an email to

On Sunday afternoon, December 11, there will be a children’s Christmas party and an afternoon party for seniors on Saturday, December 17.

Father Christmas will be visiting Fairlands late afternoon on Sunday, December 18.

The Fairlands art group held an exhibition in October and a raffle raised £120. Val Dillon won the silver salver award that was presented by Ron McGill.

Children enjoying their Halloween party. Picture courtesy of Judy Smith.

A successful Halloween party for children was organised by Judy Smith and Julie Strudwick. Children enjoyed a fancy dress competition with games and music from DJ Del.

The Fairlands, Liddington Hall, Gravetts Lane Community Association’s annual meeting will be on January 23. New members of the committee are welcome.

Pub under new management

The White Hart pub and restaurant at Wood Street Village is under new management and staff are being recruited.

Until November 20, there is 25% off food and two for the price of one cocktails.

The menu features British as well as Spanish cuisine including tapas.

The new owner is Axel Murrie who is originally from Columbia. Evidently, he fell in love with the pub as soon as he saw it!

For more details call 01483 234935, or click here for website.

Halloween trail raises money for hospital

The Royal Oak pub in Wood Street Village has raised £270 for the Fountain Centre at Guildford’s Royal Surrey County Hospital with a Halloween trail around the village.

Dave and Nat from the pub hosted a party and thank people who decorated their homes and gave sweets and apples to those who went on the trail.

The pub offers a house drink and a pizza on Thursdays for £12, weekend roasts, bingo nights, and will be screening England matches on TV during the upcoming football World Cup.

Christmas at the Cricketers and Jolly Farmer pubs

The Cricketers pub at Rydes Hill is offering a party menu throughout December and a Christmas Day menu too. To book, call 01483 575901.

The Jolly Farmer pub on Burdenshott Road offers its Chrismas menu from December 1, and can cater for large parties. To book, call 01483 234658.

News from Worplesdon Parish Council

A new financial officer has been appointed on a one-year contract of 16 hours per week.

Planning applications that the council has scrutinised include one that includes itself, it being for a new parish office and hall and 50 homes on land at Hester’s Yard, Wood Street Village. It can be found on Guildford Borough Council’s website under the reference number 22/P/01371. At the time of writing 75 people had filed an objection with one person in favour of the plan.

The parish has a new councillor for Jacobs Well. He is Jonathan Snowball who lives there. There continues to be a number of vacancies for parish councillors and an election is due in May as well.

Other issues recently have included a report on a public consultation at Jacobs Well and an ecological report on Harry’s Meadow there in relation to interpretation sign boards, plus parish finance and recommendations for the draft budget for 2023-24.

Recent heavy rain has caused flooding in the usual places, including large puddles at either end of Wood Street Village, and much surface water throughout the parish.

Surface water in Worplesdon.

The next flood forum meeting will be on Friday, November 25, starting at 10am, online via Microsoft Teams. Residents can join the meeting by contacting the parish clerk, Gaynor White, for a link to log on. Call 01483 300094. The meeting will be chaired by Guildford’s MP, Angela Richardson.

The agenda for the meeting can be found on the parish council’s website. Click here.

Worplesdon remembers its war dead.

Wreaths laid on the memorial bench in Harry’s Meadow.

Wreaths were laid at five location in the parish on Armistice Day, Thursday, November 11. Click here for separate story about Guildford’s services of remembrances that includes Worplesdon’s on Armistice Day..

The Revd Alex Russell with some animal friends.

The rector of St Mary’s, the Revd Alex Russell, led a service of Remembrance at Merrist Wood College.

Students (and animals) paused to reflect and remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Never to be forgotten are dogs and horses who played a vital role in past conflicts, while the tutor of the public service students at the college, Paul Mizzi, wore his medals from serving in both the armed forces and the police.

The churches of St Mary’s at Perry Hill and St Alban’s at Wood Street Village held Remembrance services on Sunday, November 13.

A time for quiet prayer is at St Alban’s Church on Wednesday. November 16, from 6pm to 7pm.

St Mary’s is hosting a quiz night at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Saturday, November 18. Teams of six to eight people, £14 per person to include a fish and chip supper. To book call 01483 233091.

Gaskin’s Christmas Day lunches

The Gaskin family from Jacobs Well is again offering a Christmas Day lunch to people living alone, lonely, vulnerable, families and students, in a 10-mile radius of Guildford. More details at or call Martha Gaskin on 07855 846957.

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