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The Worplesdon Witness, September 2020

Published on: 14 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 15 Sep, 2020

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

Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days weekend did go ahead in Worplesdon. The Grade I listed church of St Mary’s at Perry Hill was open all weekend with an organ recital by Alex Coutts, a guided tour of the churchyard and nearby Whitmoor Common.

Alex Coutts gave an organ recital at St Mary’s Church as it took part in Heritage Open Days.

Although numbers were limited and attendance was not the usual amount, one person who attended the recital said: “Good to be supporting live music in our parish.”

The Sime Gallery’s theme this year was The Mystery and Imagination of Trees. Visitors enjoyed a conservation and restoration talk by artist Tim Dolby and a talk from Stephen Cranston about artist Sidney Sime’s caricatures.

There was also a talk about Sime’s life at Crown Cottage and a walking tour to Sime’s grave at St Mary’s churchyard and around Perry Hill.

Obviously not the normal number of attendees, but the volunteers were there to welcome, inform and ensure the 27 visitors had a safe and very happy gallery visit.

Tim Dolby and Mary Broughton at the Sime Gallery.

Back to school

Worplesdon Primary School has plans to install a trim trail in commemoration of lockdown 2020.

The school sees it as a positive way to reward children for showing such resilience, courage and strength during lockdown, as well as how the Worplesdon community have come together during these challenging times.

If you can support this project contact the school for details.

Wood Street Infant School has embraced the outdoor learning environment, led by the deputy head.

The school has its own gardens and a pond and woodlands beyond the school gate.

Wellbeing is the main focus on pupils returning to school. Strawberries and potatoes have been grown in the school grounds. Children made cheese and spinach scones from their harvest festival.

The children have visited the “village den” made during lockdown by locals.

Children have walked to the bridge over the railway line at Pinks Hill and have visited animals enjoying learning outside.

Commemorating 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Flowers to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day on the memorial bench in Harry’s Meadow, Jacobs Well

The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (marking the end of the Second World War) was remembered with the laying of flowers on the memorial bench in Harry’s Meadow, Jacobs Well, by the clerk of Worplesdon Parish Council, Gaynor White.

The bench and bin were installed by the parish council in 2018 and offers a peaceful place to sit or picnic.

New bin for dog poo

A new bin for dog poo has been purchased by the parish council for Harry’s Meadow.

It is in response to the many plastic bags of dog mess that have been dumped in the memorial waste bin, or people not taking them to dispose of at home.

Don’t forget – it’s currently the Great British September Clean. “So be part of the pick” and take your rubbish home.

Rooms for hire at Worplesdon Memorial Hall

If you are finding it hard working from home, Worplesdon Memorial hall can help with two rooms, separate from the main hall, where up to six people can work. The building has a toilet, wi fi and parking.

Rooms are available for hire at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

If interested, send an email to

Newsletter stalwart thanked

Jacobs Well Residents’ Association has said a huge big thank you to Jean Meredith for her dedication and work on the Jacobs Well newsletter for 60 years, presenting her with a commemorative tablet

Jean Meredith receiving a commemorative tablet for her devotion to the Jacobs Well Residents’ Association newsletter.

The new editor is Sam Fisk. Email news and contributions and also advertising enquiries to:

The association also has a Facebook page and also uses Twitter.

News from local pubs and clubs

The Jolly Farmer in Burdenshot Road hosted a free cider tasting evening by the Garden Cider Company outside in the pub’s recently built Jolly Shack.

The Garden Cider Company offers to buy apples from people with home grown ones to spare.

The pub is offering 50% off starters every Wednesday.

The Cricketers at Rydes Hill is continuing to offer discounts, similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, from Monday to Friday in September.

The Royal Oak pub in Wood Street Village.

The Royal Oak in Wood Street Village offers half price pizzas on a Wednesdays if pre booked.

The White Hart in Wood Street Village is offering 50% off from Monday to Wednesday throughout September.

The Fairlands FLG bar continues the online quizes on Facebook and Zoom. For a Zoom invite, send an email to

It collects for different charities each month.

Quality fruit snd veg from Cheesmans

While Cheesmans, vegetable and fruit wholesalers based near Wood Street Village, is again supplying schools, its shop is open to the public.

Cheesman’s is open to the public to buy fruit and veg direct from the wholesaler.

Parish church news

There are some changes to the times for services and prayers at St Mary’s and St Alban’s churches in Perry Hill and Wood Street Village respectively.

Details can be found on the parish website.

Boom time for Tennis

Tennis is booming since the lockdown ended, as people of all ages enjoy the physical and mental benefits of the sport outdoors.

Members of Worplesdon Tennis Club range from young children just trying out the game to sprightly 80-year-olds.

The courts at Worplesdon Tennis Club.

The club offers excellent court availability as it now has four courts, all with floodlighting and online booking, all free to members.

Tim Seymour is the very popular tennis professional at the club, offering group and one-to-one lessons for all levels of experience and cardio tennis. There’s even a ball-machine for solo practise.

The club prides itself on being very friendly and welcoming to everyone. Annual membership fees range from the equivalent of only 30p per week for juniors to £2 per week for adults and it is even cheaper now as the late joining discount has started this September.

The tennis courts and clubhouse are in the grounds of Worplesdon Memorial Hall. More details on its website.

Worplesdon WI meets outdoors

Worplesdon Women’s Institute have met at the Worplesdon Memorial hall for roughly 100 years.

Worplesdon WI meeting outside the Memorial Hall.

They have recently been holding monthly meetings and committee meetings outside, socially distancing. Of course, no singing so no Jerusalem was sung!

When I saw them, I think they were hoping to escape the showers.

They usually meet on the first Wednesday of the month at at 2.30pm. Women of all ages and backgrounds and welcome to join, with the chance to learn new skills and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

Auntie Esme’s dog grooming service

Based in Fairlands, Esme and Donna welcome all sizes of dog (and cats). There are no cages just a pen while they wait to be collected after their grooming.

Dog grooming at Auntie Esme’s in Fairlands.

There is plenty of clean water available for the dogs, along with treats while they receive their one-to-one personal service.

Reiki, the ancient Japanese healing practice, is offered and dental treatments will soon to be available. Photos are taken after your pet is groomed.

Small community grants available

Worplesdon’s Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham reminds residents that small grants for voluntary groups are available from him.

Applications are welcome from groups who have not benefitted before. To apply, send an email to him at:

Autumn menu at Rokers Farmhouse cafe

Six varieties of brunch are offered all day with extras available at Rokers Farmhouse cafe opposite Fairlands. There are also mains, salads, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, paninis and a children’s menu.

A selection of the fare offered at Rokers Farmhouse cafe.

While at Rokers animal feed and tack store, customers are reminded to wear face coverings when buying its range of animal feeds, compost, fishing baits.

There is 20% of dog coats during September.

Events at Merrist Wood College

Merrist Wood College is reintroducing its Animal Encounter tours from Saturday, September 26, pre-booked in a controlled and safe environment.

Earthlings Forest School at Merrist Wood is holding an open day for parent and toddler on Thursday, September 17, from 2pm to 5pm.

The morning session will include mini woodland craft, a mud kitchen, a camp fire and more.

The October half-term camp will feature pumpkins, broomstick making, spooky games, fungi hunting and lots of fun.

There will be a winter wreath workshop for adults on November 14. The event includes a camp fire cooked lunch. Click here for more details of how to book.

Geese on the golf course

Geese have taken to enjoying the last of the summer evenings on fairways at Merrist Wood Golf Club.

Geese on Merrist Wood Golf Club.

In addition to the golfers playing there, slow worms, deer and many species of birds habit the course, as well as there being some beautiful sunsets.

Sunset over Merrist Wood Golf Club.

The golf club has announced the return of its junior programme for children aged seven to 16 years on Wednesdays after school and on Sundays.

Where to get some honey

Worplesdon Place hotel and restaurant has its own hives. Hugh Coakley sells honey from his house in Gravetts Lane, and it is also available from Blanket Mill Farm off Goose Rye Road.

One of the properties of local honey is it contains a blend of local pollen which can strengthen a person’s immune system and reduce pollen allergy symptoms.

Guildford Beekepers offer help and advise to local honey producers and collects unwanted swarms. Click here for details on its website.

Road sign replaced

A Goose Rye Road street name sign has been replaced with one of the new style adopted by Guildford Borough Council.

The new street sign for Goose Rye Road.

Damaged street signs can be reported to Guildford Borough Council on its website.

Surrey County Council is the authority to inform of a vast range of highways issues. Click here for website.

Music and drama

The Wood Street Jazz Festival, held on the green, raised nearly £6,000 for Challengers, the charity that supports children who are disabled.

The production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While those who attended the outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the grounds of Worplesdon Memorial Hall, enjoyed a pleasant evening. Many said they hope that it will become a regular event.

Fungi and pheasants

And finally…… have you seen the splendid fungi growing throughout Worplesdon this year?

Autumn fungi looking splendid.

I won’t highlight where, as they may be damaged, but some are rather large as well as magnificent to look at.

Also readers may recall a story last year about a tame pheasant who regularly frequented a Perry Hill garden. They may be delighted to know the pheasant continues to visits regularly and goes up to the occupant to be fed.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness, September 2020

  1. Keith Dewey Reply

    September 18, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Great article! It’s so important for us all to know about the local events and to be part of the community.

    It really helps to keep our minds healthy and happy, and free from covid anxiety in Guildford. Many thanks.

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