Fringe Box



The Worplesdon Witness November 2020

Published on: 13 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 14 Dec, 2020

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

Lockdown again

The latest lockdown has meant that Rokers café, Fairlands Community Centre and its bar, Worplesdon Place (including its hotel) have all closed for the time being.

The Worplesdon Place hopes to hold a wreath-making workshop on December 9.

The White Hart pub in Wood Street Village is offering a takeaway service. The Royal Oak pub also in Wood Street Village is supporting the community with takeaway pizzas.

Staff at the Jolly Farmer pub in Burdenshott Road giving away free beer before the new lockdown came in.

At the Jolly Farmer pub in Burdenshott Road, Phil, James, Sheila and Jane look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as restrictions change.

The pub had been offering reduced priced on drinks, and just before the lockdown came into force on November 5, gave beer away to those who came with a carton to carry it in.

It is putting up outdoor coverings for diners and drinkers when it hopes to reopen on December 3.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall is only open for the Worplesdon Preschool, while other local halls are temporarily closed.

Others amending opening hours include the post office and Budgens in Fairlands, while playgrounds remain open throughout the parish.

The Fairlands Dental Centre is open and Fairlands’ Rowlands Pharmacy says it does not expect any difficulties obtaining medicines. Fairwood Helpers is available for people who need prescription medicines collected or other assistance.

New homes welcomes is first resident

The Keens Lane development, known as Montague Place, has its first resident in Deacon Way.

The sign for Deacon Way, named after Herbert James Deacon who died in the First World War.

It is named after Worplesdon’s youngest First World War dead, recorded on its roll of honour. Boy 2nd Class, Herbert James Deacon, Royal Navy, died aged 17.

Herbert James Deacon’s headstone.

He is buried in a Commonwealth War Grave Commission grave in St Mary’s churchyard, Perry Hill.  He was baptised at the church in 1901 and had been a pupil at Perry Hill School between 1904-1908.

His Royal Navy records state he stood at 5 feet 8 and a half inches, with hazel eyes, fair hair and tattoos. He died of pneumonia on board a ship, along with 25 others, who all died between September and October 1918 after contacting Spanish flu. He had only been on the ship for 13 days.

The road Tovey Green is named after Lieutenant Duncan Tovey, who died aged 45. He had three sons, one of which, Donald, died in the Second World War.

Duncan was the son of the rector of St Mary’s from 1886 to 1913, the Revd Duncan Crookes Tovey.

The road sign for Tovey Green, named after Duncan Tovey who died in the First World War.

Lieutenant Duncan Tovey.

Duncan the soldier (1872-1918) was a good friend of artist Sidney Sime, who lived opposite St Mary’s Church from 1904-1941.

Duncan was a writer, entertainer and actor as well as being commissioned in 1890 and rising to the rank of lieutenant in 1892.

He had joined the London Scottish Territorials in 1908. He was a founder member of the Glenworple Highlanders. Drafted to France in 1914, he was wounded, re-enlisted and returned to France only to become seriously ill.

Invalided out of the army, he did not survive and is buried in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave in St Mary’s churchyard.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall has had its memorial plaques cleaned and planters planted with red and white cyclamens in honour of those who lost their lives in the wars. This was undertaken by ex-serviceman Dennis Stewart.

The memorial plaques at Worplesdon Memorial Hall have been cleaned.

We shall remember them

Remembrance Sunday on November 8 was completely different to last year when the A322 road saw cadets marching from Worplesdon Memorial Hall to St Mary’s Church.

Pictured at St Mary’s Church, from left: bugler Phil Kirby, the Revd Alex Russell, Jan Messinger and the Revd Barry Hanson.

This year the act of remembrance outside St Mary’s Church was a private occasion of just six, including two clergy and bugler Phil Kirby, all socially distanced and wearing masks.

People walking by stopped and observed the two-minute silence and wreaths were laid as the birds sang in the background.

In Jacobs Well, Armistice Day on November 11 saw private acts of remembrance at Harry’s Meadow and the memorial to the American airmen in Clay Lane.

The Lilly Bell II memorial, Clay Lane, Jacobs Well.

Worplesdon Parish Council will send photographs to descendants of the four airmen who died when their aircraft, nicknamed Lilly Bell II crashed in a field off Clay Lane on October 25, 1944.

The act of remembrance and wreath-laying in Harry’s Meadow, Jacobs Well.

The simultaneous wreaths were laid on behalf of Worplesdon Parish Council by parish clerk Gaynor White, and assistant parish clerk Victoria Fear, along with with the chairman of the parish council, Cllr Dr Paul Cragg, and vice-chairman Cllr Nigel Mitchell.

Heather Kidman and Emma laid wreaths on behalf of Jacobs Well Residents’ Association and several villagers walked to the area to mark the two-minute silence.

Christmas lights ready to be switched on

Christmas lights in the trees beside the green at Perry Hill are ready for December and have been maintained by JDS Decorations of Wood Street Village.

JDS Decorations putting Christmas lights into the trees on the green at Perry Hill.

The lights are provided by Worplesdon Parish Council and are well received by villagers and those going along the A322. Cards have been left in appreciation and messages received.

Mental health awareness event to be rescheduled

Worplesdon Parish Council will continue to financially support Fairlands Medical Centre and patient participation group with its mental health awareness event. The most recent one had to be postponed and it is planned to reschedule it at a later date when possible.

Be careful of those fungi

Fungi on Whitmoor Common.

There are some interesting autumn fungi around Worplesdon. Surrey Wildlife Trust has put up notices at entrance points on Whitmoor Common reminding people not to pick them.

And one of the signs warning people not to pick them.

Gardens and outdoor spaces are festooned with them and residents report they have never seen so many. Does anyone know why?

Rubbish and litter continues to be dropped

Rubbish has been a focus of lockdown and has not stopped. A full refuse sack of litter was collected by a person just walking a short distance along the Avenue from Perry Hill into Goose Rye Road.

Looking down the Avenue, Worplesdon.

The litter included alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks cans and bottles, takeaway food and food wrappers.

Council staff do regularly pick up rubbish which appears to have been discarded from passing motorists.

Pupils hear about litter problems and take action

Guildford Borough Councillor for Worplesdon Bob McShee visited Wood Street Infant School with Worplesdon Parish Council’s groundsman Peter Trevena.

They talked about the ongoing issue of litter on common land behind the school.

Cllr McShee was invited by the green flag eco-school after a teacher contact him concerned about litter in nearby woodland where the school takes pupils for walks as part of their outdoor learning.

Ali Johnson, from Wood Street Village Association, also attended the meeting as she organises litter picks in the village.

Wood Street Village Infant School pupils with some of the notices they have made

Now, pupils have made notices reminding people to take their litter home. They have also highlighted dog mess left by walkers by spraying pink paint around affected areas.

Fairlands Community Centre gets a makeover

Volunteers decorated the inside of the hall at Fairlands Community Centre, getting it ready for when it can reopen.

Fairlands Community Association has raised £1,092 for various charities through regular online quizzes on the third Wednesday of the month.

Paths cleared on Whitmoor Common

Coffin Path on Whitmoor Common, before.

And now, since it has been cleared of overgrown vegetation.

In October, members of the Whitmoor Common Association cleared Coffin Path of overgrown vegetation, and have also replaced a gate at the foot of Jordan Hill.

The new gate at the foot of Jordan Hill.

They have also replaced fencing by paths near Yew Tree Cottage and Banyard Cottage.

The association reports that during the summer months these fences are regularly removed by cyclists.

The association welcome new members. This year’s annual meeting, usually held in July, was postponed due to Covid restrictions. For more details check out its website.

Since 1991, the association has been doing valuable work on the common. It is a site of special scientific interest, as well as being a protected area and a local nature reserve.

Decorated den divides opinions

Local opinion was mixed when a resident decorated a wooden den on the common for both a Hallowe’en hunt and for Remembrance Sunday, encouraging families to participate.

Laminated notices were put up for families to follow for the Hallowe’en hunt. It resulted in users of local social media expressing either their appreciation or their disrespect – the latter claiming damage of the common and its wildlife.

Keeping in Touch magazine now printed in colour

The Fairlands, Liddington Hall, Gravetts Lane Community Association magazine, Keeping in Touch, is now printed in colour, the first edition sponsored by Special Occasions party shop Fairlands.

The magazine also received a grant from Worplesdon County Councillor Keith Witham for £250, Guildford Borough Council’s Aspire grants fund and Budgens.

The magazine has information on around 30 organisations and businesses. There are articles on gardening, home improvements and more.

In the latest issue there is a story about three sisters who were born and raised in Guildford: Marie, Heidi and Donna. Their businesses include Charley Browns’ hair and beauty (celebrating its 10th anniversary in December), floristry and pet grooming.

Guildford MP mentions Fairlands when speaking to the House of Commons

Guildford’s Conservative MP Angela Richardson made a reference to Fairlands during her speech on the topic of Covid in the House of Commons on November 2.

She said: ”The response to my unsung hero campaign was heartwarming. Debbie Foster of Fairlands received over 25 nominations for mobilising volunteers and Adrian Whitehead delivered 100 prescriptions a week in Fairlands from his mobility scooter.”

And MP chairs Worplesdon Flood Forum

Ms Richardson also chaired Worplesdon Parish Council’s recent flood forum meeting via Zoom, as did her predecessor Anne Milton.

A number of regular flooding issues within the parish were highlighted and actions will be taken by Surrey County Council and Thames Water.

Work at Clay Lane near Hurst Farm has already been completed hoping that the flooding of 2019 will not be repeated.

Work will also take place on the A320 Woking Road at Jacobs Well, where flooding regularly occurs.

There were 27 areas of concern within the parish noted at the forum. A walk around the parish to look at these is planned for the spring. It was due to take this summer, but postponed due to Covid restrictions.

Agendas and minutes for the flood forum and other news can be viewed on Worplesdon Parish Council’s website.

Updates from County Councillor Keith Witham

Worplesdon’s Surrey County Councillor Keith Witham (Con) keeps residents informed of county council affairs and actions. These include street lights being converted to LED lighting, promoting school resilience as well as online videos for parents looking for school places for their children, Covid related issues and financial support that is available.

Plus, highway maintenance updates, a new scheme to be launched called You Fund Surrey, aimed at supporting local larger community projects.

He also gives updates on county council issues on childcare, countryside sites, and recycling centres open during the latest lockdown.

Children’s workshop at the Sime Gallery

The Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall held a tiny children’s workshop before the second lockdown.

One of the clay hedgehogs made by children at the Sime Gallery.

Children made clay hedgehogs, fox masks, decorated poppies and created a large seasonal collage.

Look out for more of these workshops, including one based on Advent, when restrictions are lifted.

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Responses to The Worplesdon Witness November 2020

  1. Geoff Burch Reply

    November 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Following my objections at last year’s Worplesdon Parish Council meeting regarding the vast amount of money spent on Christmas lights in the Parish over the past three years, Christmas has certainly come early for JDS Decorations Ltd.

    The lights in the trees (and Christmas trees at two locations) are only lit for the Christmas period and will be costing the Worplesdon taxpayers £8,000+VAT a year (on a four-year contract).

    That’s a staggering £32,000+VAT and that doesn’t even include the running costs.

    There’s a misconception here, the lights have not been provided by Worplesdon Parish Council; they have only organised their procurement and it’s the residents of Worplesdon that are actually paying for them.

    Of course the lights look nice, but in my view, this is a shameful waste of money and could have been put to far better use in these unpredictable times that we are living in.

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