Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness: Storm Damage, Road Name Proposals, Burns Night And Forthcoming Events

Published on: 15 Feb, 2020
Updated on: 15 Feb, 2020

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

Spring has sprung

Worplesdon Parish Council has installed planters outside Fairlands’ parade of shops, and children from Worplesdon Primary School have planted bulbs.

The spring bulbs are beginning to show in the new planters.

Look how beautiful they are going to be for all to see.

Half-term activities for Children at the Sime Gallery

The Sidney Sime gallery, at Worplesdon Memorial Hall, is hosting its fourth art activity afternoon for children aged four to 10 years on Thursday, February 20.

The theme is Save Planet Sime.

To book, contact Mary Broughton on 01483 233869 or email:

Merrist Wood College’s information event for students

Merrist Wood College’s next course information event for students is on Wednesday, February 26, from 5.30pm to 8pm.

Meet the course tutors, get careers advice, advice on finance, funding and student support. Call 0800 6126008 or click here for website.

Geoff Burch and David Rose’s local history talk A Romany Lifestyle

Well known speakers David Rose and Geoff Birch, both authors on local history in the area, are giving their popular talk A Romany Lifestyle at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Sunday afternoon, March 8. See poster below for details.

Ofsted inspection at Worplesdon Primary School

Worplesdon Primary School, under the leadership of head teacher Mrs O’ Brien, was Ofsted inspected on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 28 and 29. The school waits the outcome and rating.

The school had a short inspection under head teacher Mr Parsons in June 2016, when judged ‘Good’, as it had been at its previous full inspection in July 2012.

The school’s ‘lollipop man’, Steve Brierley, was a community award winner in November 2019. He was nominated by a parent of the school for the Eagle radio station award.

Wood Street Infant School was last inspected by Ofsted in March 2015, when it received an ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Rydes Hill Preparatory School received an ‘Excellent’ rating in its Independent Schools Inspection ISI of June 2017.

These two schools receiving the highest grades achievable for their inspections.

New vehicle activation sign

In January, Worplesdon Parish Council councillors for Jacobs Well David Snipp and Nigel Mitchell installed a new vehicle activation sign on Jacobs Well Road. This road speed limit is 30mph.

Winter storm damage

On the green at Perry Hill one of the seven Worplesdon Parish Council notice boards was knocked down by storm damage, with only the uprights remaining in situ. This was around the time of Storm Brendan.

Due to Storm Ciara, a large fallen tree blocked Frog Grove Lane, Wood Street Village, on Sunday, February 9.

Fallen tree in Frog Grove Lane, Wood Street Village.

When this picture was taken on February 13, the road was only passable on one carriageway.

Worplesdon Parish Council on its Facebook page and Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham informed as many as they could to avoid the area on the Sunday.

Due to Storm Dennis this weekend (February 15 and 16) Merrist Wood College has cancelled events due to amber weather warnings.

County Councillor’s news round-up

Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor for Worplesdon, informs residents in a round up of news from County Hall.

Worplesdon county councillor Keith Witham.

In his latest round-up he reminded residents about reporting online potholes or ironworks on roads and pavements, or flooding, blocked drains, fallen trees and power cuts.

Click here for the links on Surrey County Council’s website.

He also told residents of a 10% increase over two years for police in Surrey.

In the 2020-2012 proposed budget for SCC, it is likely there will be a 4% increase, being 2% for all services except social care, plus an additional 2% reserved for adult social care.

Keith reports this is support for older people and adults with physical disabilities, mental health support needs and learning disabilities. It is a large part of the total budget.

SCC’s capital budget is for one-off expenditure or projects. This is being overhauled for the next five years and is aimed at a wide range of projects in the county.

Keith says he will keep residents informed of what is for Worplesdon in the future. The proposed budget can be viewed here.

Keith reminded residents about emergency grants for people in crisis. Click here for details.

And finally, that funding and advice is available from RHS Wisley for community gardening projects as part of its Greening Great Britain scheme.

Fifth generation Christmas Bakery

Christmas bakery at the foot of Rickford Hill have been a family-run bakery since 1860, now in its fifth generation of the family.

Vegans will be delighted to hear not only is all Its bread vegan friendly, it has now introduced to its extensive range of products a vegan meat-free sausage roll.

Also, a humous salad wrap which contains avocado, humous, spinach, red pepper and cucumber.

The bakery is supporting Woking charity The Lighthouse, that offers a number of services including a foodbank, café, community lunches, life coaching and a job club.

New road names proposals

In its latest newsletter, Worplesdon Parish Council has informed residents of the road names it has forwarded to Guildford Borough Council for the Montague Place development off Keens Lane.

It proposes one of the new roads within the development to be called Christmas Crescent, after Sydney Christmas who died on active service during the First World War

Walter and Sydney Christmas’ pictures published in the local press after they had been killed in action during the First World War.

Private Sydney Christmas was born in 1882 and baptised in Worplesdon. He died on April 23, 1917, aged 35, at the Battle of Arras, alongside his cousin Lance Corporal Walter Reginald Christmas.

They had enlisted together in June 1916, having consecutive service numbers. Both served in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment

Sydney went to France eight months before his death. He died on the same day as another Worplesdon man, Private Joseph William Edwards, also of the Queen’s.

Sydney was the only son of John and Mary Christmas, who also had five daughters.

John was a British wine grower and was overseer, ie clerk, of Worplesdon Parish Council, from 1885 to 1902.

Sydney took over as parish clerk in 1903, aged 21, and and his widow Edith succeeded him from 1916 to 1946.

Sydney and Edith lived at Holly Bank, Rickford. She was left £150 10s to bring up their three children, Frederick aged 6, Edith 5 and Mabel 3.

Walter Reginald Christmas was the son of Charles and Kate Christmas.

At the time of the 1891 census he was at school. In 1901 his is listed in the census as a garden boy, and 1911, a butcher in Kent.

He married Alice in June 1913 and they had one daughter, Peggy born in 1914.

Walter and Sydney are remembered on the Worplesdon roll of honour at both St Mary’s and St Alban’s churches, and honoured inside and outside Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

Walter is also remembered on the war memorial in Guildford’s Castle Grounds and in the Guildford institute’s roll of honour.

David Grey points to the name of his great grandfather’s nephew listed on the roll of honour inside Worplesdon Memorial Hall. He was Charles William David Grey.

While David Grey was at the Burns Night celebrations being held at Worplesdon Memorial Hall on Friday, January 24, he admired the roll of honour and saw his great grandfather’s nephew listed. He was Charles William David Grey, of the Middlesex Regiment, who died on September 8, 1917, age 19.

Burns Night celebration raises £1,000

This year’s Burns Night raised event raised more than £1,000 for Worplesdon’s parish churches.

A total of 92 enjoyed the celebration arranged by a team from the church congregation, along with a generous donation of haggis by David and Jeanette Grey

Scottish dancing to a live band, with full instructions, was very popular, as the piping hot meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, followed by apple crumble, and washed down with a little Scotch whisky.

Burns Night 2020 at Worplesdon Memorial Hall.

The kitchen volunteers worked very hard indeed and guests enjoyed a Scottish poem read in Scottish and ”Worplesdon“ by John McLean OBE.

The event has been running for four years and was a sell out in just days this year.

Anyone who wishes to attend next year should keep a look out on Worplesdon Parish Council’s website that has details of of church news and events.

It also has dates for Fairlands’ Friday café, a youth drop-in café, as well as many other weekly events. Or see the quarterly magazine online.

Look out for news about the new parish roast lunch starting on March 29.

Memories of Worplesdon Memorial Hall and grounds wanted

Worplesdon Memorial Hall celebrates its 100 anniversary in 2022.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall is 100 years old this year!

Memories of events at the hall or recreational grounds over the years are being sought

These will be welcome as part of celebrations being planned.

Contact me, Jan Messinger via email at with photos or written memories.

The trustees of the hall would love to find and see at least 100 photos.

There are more than 9,000 residents in the parish of Worplesdon, and with so many families living here through the generations there will be lots to tell.

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