Surrey news and views - Letters (win a meal for two at The William Bray, Shere)
PUBLISHED: 18:25 03 September 2012 | UPDATED: 13:38 26 February 2013
If you'd like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life magazine, send an e-mail to us at email@example.com or log-in and comment below
Every month, the writer of our star letter will win a three-course dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere to include a bottle of house wine. The prize is available from Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required.
If youd like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life magazine, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Surrey is a capital place
It constantly frustrates me that your magazine continually includes articles about Greater London towns. Your magazine is bad enough but this has now been exacerbated by your Surrey Life Towns and Villages supplement, which covers places such as Croydon, Surbiton, Carshalton, Richmond, Kingston etc, etc. Each article in the new publication has a map that locates the town by a blue spot. In the nine cases of the Greater London towns covered, each is shown as being outside Surreys boundary?
We have enough beautiful and interesting towns and villages of our own, each with their own special places and varied eateries, pubs and bars, so why the necessity to go over the border? Leave those places to their own devices. They need not, and indeed should not, be included in anything Surrey.
What makes the problem worse for many Surrey residents is that those areas have the added bonus of having a freedom card giving free access to London. So some of your readers will be within a stones throw of those nine places and have to pay dearly to travel into our capital. Yes, we have our bus passes but they do not compare.
We, Surreyites, pay dearly to live in our beautiful county so we dont need, or indeed shouldnt be, concerning ourselves with our neighbouring Greater London towns. Is a note of sour grapes detectable you bet!
Bemused of Banstead,
Name and address supplied
Editors note: So sorry to hear you were disappointed with our choice of places in the supplement (and actually you werent alone it seems everyone wanted to see their town or village included as weve been positively deluged with requests for next years list!). Unfortunately, though, there simply isnt room to include all of them every time, and in terms of the more London-centric places, Ill admit that we do try to take in Old Surrey as well because so many people shop/visit/have family in those areas that we like to hope they are of interest and relevance to everyone. However, we will certainly take your comments on board when it comes to next years selection and, in the meantime, as this months star letter, please enjoy a dinner for two at the William Bray in Shere which is as Surrey as it gets!
A probing club that Ewell like
Retirement can come too early for many people who want to remain active and enjoy meeting new people in a friendly environment. May I suggest to your readers that some might like to join the Probus Club of Ewell?
Since it was founded 41 years ago, the club has attracted businessmen from a wide area around Surrey with a broad range of professional backgrounds.
We meet on the first Wednesday of each month, usually in Ewell Village, for lunch followed by a speaker.
In addition to two Ladies Lunches during the year, there is an active social programme for members and their partners including visits to places of interest and West End shows.
If your readers would like to know more about the Probus Club of Ewell, they are welcome to telephone our secretary, Ken Amess, on 0208 337 6241 or, alternatively, they can pay a visit to the clubs website at: www.ewell-probus.org.uk.
President, Probus Club of Ewell
A riverside recommendation
On your letters page recently, Elizabeth Giles from Reigate was looking for interesting veggie places to take a friend. I have personally visited the vegetarian restaurant in Kingston by the river, Riverside Vegetaria, which was lovely at lunchtime. Hope that helps.
Staines Upon Thames
Behind the scenes
I write to thank you for the excellent feature on the Heritage Open Days event in last months Surrey Life.
I was particularly interested to see your cover shot of Betchworth Castle, as I only live down the road and didnt even realise that Betchworth had a castle! (albeit now in ruins, but I was still very excited to learn about this piece of history on my doorstep).
I will certainly be going along to the open event there, but I also hope to make it to the Holmesdale Natural History Museum in Reigate (which I havent visited since I was at school) as well as the earliest public lending library at St Marys Church (whod have thought it!), just down the road.
Putting the spoke into cycling
I write in response to the letter from John Aitken in last months issue of Surrey Life regarding the Olympic cycling.
I agree that the event was certainly a great success and it was good to see our beautiful county enjoy its five minutes of fame in the international spotlight; so far so good.
However, I sincerely hope that the result of all this is not, as predicted, that we become the cycling capital of Britain.
I dont know about anybody else but I have well and truly had enough now of the packs of Lycra-clad lunatics wanting to retrace the Olympic cycle route around Box Hill.
Its bad enough on the other roads around Surrey but at Box Hill, where the lanes are often very narrow, it means its not only frustrating when you get stuck behind them, but downright dangerous for the cyclists themselves.
Lets get back to a bit of normality now.
La dolce vita...
I would like to say a huge thank you to a very special group of ladies who, through their many fund-raising activities over the last two years, have donated 30,000 to The Childrens Trust in Tadworth.
The Italian Ladies Committee (Club Donne Italiane), whose members come from all over Surrey and South London, recently visited the Trust to see how their generous donation had been used.During their visit, they spent time in the newly-built extension to the lounge of the refurbished parents accommodation, which provides a home-from-home environment for parents of children on rehabilitation programmes.
These children, who have an acquired brain injury, sustained as a result of an accident or serious illness, receive an intensive rehabilitation programme at the Trust to help them relearn their everyday skills. The accommodation houses up to 10 families at one time, and the extension to the lounge has added a spacious area for families to relax and be together.
On behalf of The Childrens Trust, and the children and families who will benefit from this facility, I would like to thank all these marvellous ladies for their kind and continued support.
Head of community fund-raising, The Childrens Trust
Beautiful Box Hill
As a long-time Surrey resident, I am just writing to say how proud I was to see the beautiful scenes of Box Hill broadcast to the world during the Olympic Games.
Although I wasnt able to get there myself to witness the action, what a joy it was to see our countys spectacular countryside, with its wonderful woodland and winding lanes, showcased in all its summer glory to a worldwide audience. I cant be the only one who felt a great sense of pride.
I know that for some residents, the cycle races provided something of an inconvenience, but I think most people would agree that it was worth it.
Congratulations to all involved on such a well-organised event.
All the best,
John Aitken, Dorking
Editors note: Dear John, thanks for taking the time to write and echoing the thoughts of so many. To say thank you, please enjoy a dinner on us at the wonderful William Bray in Shere!
The worlds a stage
I have walked past the unique Rotunda building, behind the Bel and Dragon restaurant, almost every day since becoming a Godalming resident and was delighted when I heard of a plan to turn it into a professional theatre for the town and surrounding villages.
The enterprising young professionals behind the scheme had such vision that this place would be both a home for high quality theatre outside London and Guildford; and a place where local arts groups could rehearse, practise and perform... a real artistic hub!
However, they have been thwarted by an offer to buy the freehold of the building and The Rotunda may be turned into flats and a retail opportunity unless some angel steps in to save it from such a dreary fate.
There is a website, www.rotundatheatre.co.uk, so if any of your discerning readers wish to pledge their support and find out more about saving this wonderful space for our cultural benefit, they should visit it and get behind the theatre groups efforts!
Mrs Priyanga Burford, Godalming
Otherside of the lens
I have just acquired my copy of your August issue, and wish to thank you for the opportunity for Kingston Camera Club to be featured so splendidly. The two-page spread is a terrific piece of promotion for our club, and many thanks too to Pete Gardner who took a pretty good picture of photographers more used to being behind the camera rather than in front!
Kingston Camera Club
Food for thought
Would it be possible, when writing about restaurants, pubs and hotels in your magazine, to mention the disabled access and facilities, such as proper disabled bathroom etc in a hotel and a proper disabled loo in pubs and restaurants?
Im sure that many people who are physically disabled and wheelchair users would find this extra piece of information most useful as it is an essential part of organising a day out or time away from home.
Having to constantly telephone venues and ask for precise facilities is both time consuming and tiresome.
Websites are often just as lacking in this information.
Editors note: Dear Paula, thanks very much for taking the time to write in to us and you make a very good point. We will endeavour to do this for our reviews in future. Thanks again, Caroline.
I am writing on behalf of the Alzheimers Society to invite readers to take part in our Memory Walk the charitys flagship fund-raising event.
Every September, walks are held all over the UK and in Surrey the walk will once again take place at the beautiful Godstone Green on Sunday September 16.
There will be a range of entertainment on offer including the award-winning Elvis impersonator, Paul Richie, returning for another year.
The Alzheimers Society would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in last years event, which raised almost 17,000. To sign up for this years Surrey Memory Walk, please visit our website atwww.memorywalk.org.uk.
Community fund-raiser Surrey, Alzheimers Society
A super market
I would like to thank all the customers and colleagues at Sainsburys Cobham for their fantastic fund-raising. The Cobham store has been supporting The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity this last year and has raised over 9,000!
This is an amazing achievement for the local community and obviously a cause close to peoples hearts. The money has made a huge difference to patients at The Royal Marsden and will do to future patients as well.
Sainsburys colleagues ran several events summer barbeques and cake sales to raise this money and customers gave so very generously during all our store collections. So, thank you again everyone for all your contributions to a very worthy cause; it really is appreciated.
Editors note: Thanks for getting in touch to tell us about this, Martha. The Royal Marsden is a place that is very close to our hearts here at Surrey Life, so a big well done to everyone involved!
A sparkling occasion
I wanted to write and say thank you to everyone who was involved in this years Woking Hospice Flower Festival.
The theme this time was Lets Sparkle and we had a very successful day, raising 2,298.41. All the arrangements were donated by local churches, flower clubs and individuals, which looked fantastic and really did sparkle.
The cake stall had a lovely selection, all very generously donated by supporters (a new addition of Devon Cream Teas proved very popular); the plant stall had an interesting variety of annuals, perennials and vegetables; and there were 36 lucky winners from the raffle. We also gave two demonstra-tions: gift wrapping and how to make a hand tied posy.
Once again, we thank everyone who donated, supported and helped in any way.
Flower Festival Committee, Woking
Editors note: Well done on organising such a lovely event for such a fantastic cause, Chrissie! We reckon you deserve a nice meal out after all the hard work, so were making you this months Star Letter, which means you get to enjoy a delicious dinner for two at the fantastic William Bray in Shere!
On the tea shop trail in Coulsdon
I am writing to let readers know about the Art Rebellion Caf Lounge in Coulsdon, which is my favourite local tea shop. I visit there whenever I can; certainly at least once or twice a week. I must add that not only is Art Rebellion a caf lounge with fabulous coffee and tea, but it is also a brilliant art gallery and excellent picture framers. This is a great concept as the caf lounge is very relaxing but has the added interest and stimula-tion of being surrounded by art. It is a great place to meet friends, and certainly the best caf in the area.
Valerie Brooham, Purley
Calling all vegetarians in Surrey!
Im a regular reader of your magazine and, as such, I wondered if I might ask fellow readers for their advice. In short, Im a vegetarian but havent really noticed many (if any?) good vegetarian restaurants around the county on my travels.
Normally, Im happy to make do with whatever veggie option is available, but I have a vegetarian friend coming to stay in a few weeks and would like to take him out somewhere decent.
Does anyone have any good recom-mendations theyd like to share?
Elizabeth Giles, Reigate
Editors note: Do you have a favourite vegetarian restaurant in Surrey? Let us know at: email@example.com
Straight from the horses mouth
I would like to share with your readers the work of the Brooke, an international animal welfare organisation helping working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the worlds poorest communities.
Here in Surrey, we have a wonderful local Supporters Group who are dedicated to raising vital funds. Led by Ashteads Annette Schiesser, 48, last year they raised over 9,000 for the charity.
Millions of animals are pushed to the limit every day, as they carry heavy loads and often work without rest, shade or water. These animals are vital to peoples livelihood but sadly do not always receive the care they need. The Brooke provides veterinary treatment and community programmes across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Last year, we reached more than 1.1 million animals but our goal is to reach two million a year by 2016.
If you would like to help or learn more, our Surrey supporter group would love to hear from you. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community fund-raising manager at the Brooke: www.thebrooke.org.
A perfect tribute
Tragedy has struck our family; within the last two years, my sister has lost two of her daughters to cystic fibrosis (CF).
My sister has been a true inspiration in the way that she dedicated her life to give all three of her daughters warm and loving memories and to ensure that they had the best quality of life they could.
Sadly, the two eldest, who were both in their 20s, died within ten months of each other. The youngest is free of CF.
In memory of these lovely girls, and as a tribute to my sister, I have decided to raise 5,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by embarking on a 100km night cycle ride and would be enormously grateful if anyone would like to support me by donating at www.virginmoneygiving.com/philippakeith.
Philippa Keith, Godstone
Editors note: Thank you so much for your inspiring letter, Philippa. Best of luck with your cycle ride, and as the writer of this months Star Letter, please enjoy a well-deserved meal out at the lovely William Bray pub in Shere.
Join in with the Olympics
Dear Surrey Life,
I understand you are running various features on the Olympics and wondered if you could include a plea for volunteers.
In the Kingston area, we urgently need people to help with both the Torch Relay and the cycle races.
These volunteers will be given a free three-hour training course to prepare them for this wonderful opportunity.
Anyone interested can contact me via the details below for further information.
Maria Jarvis, Go Kingston Volunteering
(tel: 0208 255 8685 / e-mail: email@example.com)
Help save our gallery
I am writing on behalf of the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham to make a direct plea for support.
The New Ashgate Gallery is an educational charity that supports and brings together contemporary art and crafts through a busy programme of changing exhibitions, creative learning events and professional development and mentoring with artists and makers.
Unique within the region, we have been bringing some of the best in contemporary art and crafts to Farnham for over 50 years as well as doing a great deal of work with the local community.
Unlike many other UK arts charities, however, the New Ashgate Gallery Trust receives no regular public funding and the economic downturn has affected sales of our work over the last year.
Whilst we have optimism for a long-term future, we are fund-raising now to ensure that we have the financial means to continue in the short-term, and have launched a page to support the gallery: www.mydonate.bt.com/charities/newashgategallery.
We would very much appreciate any kind offers of support.
Norma Corkish, Chair of the Trustees, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham
Hurray for the William Bray
I am writing to thank you for the superb lunch that I and my co-founder of the New Malden Support Group of Canine Partners had at The William Bray pub in Shere after being awarded Star Letter.
Eileen Reynolds took her husband, John, and Canine Partner, Icharus, and we all had a simply delicious meal.
The manager, Steve Thompson, and his staff were very welcoming and helpful and although the weather was dreadful, the fact that Eileen and Icharus had never been to Shere made it even more special. It really was a lovely day out for us all and very much appreciated.
Many thanks again and we will continue to enjoy reading your excellent magazine.
Alice Child, Canine Partners
Editors note: Thanks for your e-mail, Alice so glad to hear you had such a nice time and well done again on all the great work.
A Titanic response
Regarding your recent articles relating to Jack Phillips, the wireless operator on the Titanic, I thought you might be interested to know that he was my maternal grandmothers cousin.
She used to live at New Bradwell, Buckinghamshire, and her maiden name was Phillips before she married my grandfather whose name was Carroll.
Also, although we have little knowledge about Jack Phillips himself, interestingly, my son Tom went on to join the Royal Navy when he left school.
I hope we may be able to visit Jacks memorial some time soon.
Sheila Bostock, Collingham, Notts
Editors note: Hi Sheila, many thanks for your lovely e-mail. I have always been fascinated by the story of Jack Phillips and how brave he was to remain on board, still wiring messages for help even as the Titanic went down. What a wonderful tribute to this Surrey hero that your son went on to join the Royal Navy; you must be very proud indeed. If any other readers have memories/associations with the Titanic, wed love to hear them so please drop us a line at the usual address or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
A charity deserving of its halo
I have just read your most interesting article in the February issue on Damon Hill in which he mentions his involvement with the halow project a charity he helped to found.
We came across halow three years ago, when my daughter, who has learning difficulties and Aspergers syndrome, was asked to speak on her experiences of living independently at a conference put on by the charity. Since that time, she has become involved in helping in many of the social events that halow puts on for these young people.
It is most important that through magazines like yours, and the articles that you write and publish, that charities like halow are given the publicity and encouragement that they need in order to continue their vital work.
If we can give these young people the expert help that my daughter so desperately needed when she was younger, her life would have been as enriched as it is now and we would not have had to go through the many nightmare years of trying to find solutions on our own.
As you can gather, I am quite passionate about this charity and the important and necessary work that it does. Through their expertise and sheer hard work they are managing to bring specialist help to ever increasing numbers of young Surrey people with learning disabilities.
Perhaps those who are interested could look up halow on halowproject.org.uk to see what they have succeeded in achieving.
Jackie Cookson (Mrs),
Editors note: Thanks so much for your inspiring letter, Mrs Cookson. We cant think of anyone more deserving to be the recipient of a delicious dinner for two at the William Bray in Shere.
Can you help us with our history?
Dear Surrey Life,
From an original silver embossed door key and an underground nuclear shelter, crashed Halifax bombers and a BBC Film Unit via England test cricketers, an Egghead and a renowned chef, the Guildford College Group has some fascinating memorabilia evidencing its long history.
Now, in 2012, the college is looking for your help to fill in the gaps in its memory.
We are missing a prospectus for the year 1940-1941 we have all other years from 1939 for Guildford College but not this one and it would be wonderful to complete the set.
In addition, we would also be delighted to receive prospectuses from the Guildford Technical Institute in Park Street (1908-1939); currently, we only have examples of some beautiful art deco covers donated by the family of a former student.
Finally, we would be very interested to receive photographs, memories and other items to add to our archives.
If you went to one of the Guildford College group, which includes Guildford College, Merrist Wood College and Farnham Sixth Form College, and have a copy of the missing prospectus, have some memories youd like to share with us or can add to the colleges archives, please send an e-mail to us at email@example.com or write to Jenny Harvey, College Archivist, Guildford College, Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1EZ.
Marketing co-ordinator & GCSE English tutor,
Editors note: Thank you for the e-mail, Lucy. Well do what we can to help spread the word! Good luck and let us know how you get on!
A double celebration for the Queen
I write to let readers know that the 27th Annual Banstead May Fayre will take place on Saturday May 5, with proceeds this year going to The Childrens Trust at Tadworth.
For the first time in our history, we also have joint May Queens to be crowned on the day in sisters Amber Jade and Holly Standish. Both girls have been involved with the May Queen entourage since they were very young and understand the traditions very well.
The parade begins at 11.30am and the fayre will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at 12noon in the Orchard at All Saints Church, on the High Street.
All the usual activities will be on display in the arena, involving local schools and groups plus many stalls selling items and refreshments, in aid of our chosen charity.
A subject thats taboo
Februarys edition of Surrey Life had an enjoyable article on Surreys Sporting past. Particularly the social history anecdotes, such as the baggy knickerbockered lady, at the now closed Hautboy Hotel in Ockham.
People will always be interested in people whether they were of the past or of the present; its obvious really.
With this thought, I wondered; What of the social history of fox hunting? (Max Clifford, page 57, in the same edition). Will this become a part of Englands history that cannot be discussed?
Mrs Norma Cox, London
Real animal magic
I would like to invite Surrey Life readers to join Compassion in World Farming on a fund-raising walk of 10km (approximately six miles) to help us stamp out the cruel practices of factory farming.
The main walk will take place in Guildfords Shalford Park on Sunday May 13 at 10am but supporters can organise their own walk at any time throughout the month of May.
Please visit www.ciwf.org/walk for more information about walking with Compassion or give me a call on 01483 521950. People of all ages are welcome to come along and feel free to bring pet dogs too!
Compassion in World Farming
A step in the right direction
On behalf of our walking group, the Surrey and Beyond Ramblers (SABRE), thank you very much for featuring us in last months magazine.
Our members are very pleased with the article and we hope to get some new members as a result.
For readers who missed the piece, you can find out more about us here: visit www.saww.org.uk/sabre.
Editors note: Thank you very much for your e-mail, Derek, and so pleased to hear you liked the article.
A dog that really is for life
In 2011, I set up a New Malden support group for Canine Partners, a charity that provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities. Having lived in Surrey for 29 years, I felt the residents of the area would be keen to support such a worthwhile charity so wanted to let your readers know a little bit about us.
Canine Partners has a great presence in Surrey thanks to our support group and another in Outwood. There are also a number of people with disabilities in the county lucky enough to have a canine partner in their lives.
For example, I am delighted to be working with Eileen Reynolds from Cheam who has rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Eileen was the fortunate recipient of canine partner Icharus in 2009 who helps her with everyday tasks around the house and more importantly getting her an inhaler when required, often saving her life.
I first found out about Canine Partners at a craft fair over five years ago and was very impressed with the skills these dogs are able to demonstrate. Both the physical and emotional support from a canine partner can totally change the life of someone with disabilities. I chose to support the charity initially via its Adopt a Puppy scheme, but later decided I would like to get more involved.
We have organised a number of fund-raising activities to date and are planning more this year. Both myself and Eileen are available for talks to community groups, schools, businesses etc Eileen is very inspirational when talking about Icharus and how he has given her so much more independence and quality of life.
Canine Partners is asking anyone in Surrey keen to support them to get in touch. This could be fund-raising, volunteering as a puppy parent, signing up to Adopt a Puppy, collecting used stamps or helping out with the support groups in New Malden or Outwood.
New Malden Support Group
Editors note: Thanks so much for letting us know about that, Alice it sounds like a wonderful cause. After all your hard work, we reckon you definitely deserve to be our Star Letter this month, so we hope you enjoy a well-earned night off at the lovely William Bray in Shere!
A little something for a Sunday...
As anyone lucky enough to live in Gods own county of Surrey will tell you, there are a plethora of public houses that attempt to meet the varied requirements we request of them, from a quick pint to an evening meal at a reasonable price.
One of my favourites is the William IV at Little London. Late on a winters Sunday morning, with the frost still on the ground, walk from Shere via Albury Park to Little London. Having a refreshing pint of well-kept beer accompanied by the smell of a Sunday roast in a pub thats dog friendly and has a log fire, followed by a walk back to Shere through the fields, is as close to heaven as I fear I will get.
Its also a lovely place to visit in the spring as well, with the arrival of the (hopefully) milder weather.
Editors note: Thank you very much indeed for the excellent recommendation,
Colin and for the suggestion of the route there and back too. We look forward to trying it out!
I write to let you know that the National Trust at Box Hill is launching its first ever photography competition.
Running until the end of October, the competition will be managed by Box Hill ranger David Benjamins, and one of his aspirations is that entrants will capture the spirit of this unique place in all seasons.
There are two categories for entrants; children up to the age of 15 and then adults. As well as some fantastic prizes, winning entries will have their photo included in Box Hills 2013 calendar, which will be available from the National Trust shop at Box Hill.
We are hoping for a wide selection of images anything from close-up shots of the wildlife and plants on the hill to pictures of people enjoying the scenery.
Box Hill is famous for its sweeping panoramic views towards the south of England and, in July 2012, it will host part of the Olympic road cycle race.
To enter, e-mail your photos as jpgs, stating which category you want to enter, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitor experience manager,
Surrey Hills Estate
The names Bond
Im a reader of Surrey Life and interested in the movie locations that pop up from time to time. Last year, I saw War Horse, Sherlock Holmes, Dark Shadows etc which, of course, all have links to the county.
This weekend, I popped over to Hankley Common to have a look at the set they are building for James Bond, and I have sent a few photos if you wish to use them. It looks like the house is almost finished and ready for filming soon.
Tim Page, by e-mail
Walk the walk!
To all readers of Surrey Life!
Are you looking for a great day out for all your family, which encourages everyone to get fit, have fun and do something fantastic at the same time?
Well, The Sun Walk London is returning to Battersea Park on Sunday July 1 and promises to be a completely tropical experience! Organised by Woking-based breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, this is a day for walkers, music lovers, dance fans, foodies and fun lovers! Take on a walking challenge of 5k, 10k or half marathon, and come join us!
To enter or find out more, call 01483 741430 or see www.walkthewalk.org/sunwalk.
Walk the Walk,
Be part of a Channel 4 show
I work on the Channel 4 programme The Restoration Man, which follows families around the UK who breathe new life into old and unusual buildings by restoring/converting them into their dream homes.
From the success of our second series, we have now been commissioned for a new series so were now on the look-out for new buildings and would love to find some in Surrey!
In short, were on the hunt for any old and unusual buildings, which have owners with planning permission, ready to convert a relic into a dream home.
If anyone can help, please e-mail me at TomCullum@tigeraspect.co.uk or call 0207 529 9529.
tiger aspect productions
No snooty southerners here!
I write to say how much I enjoy Surrey Life every month. One thing thats always obvious in the magazine is a warmth and friendliness from the Surrey Life team. I know people can sometimes unfairly class southerners as being unfriendly, but its not something that I have particularly experienced and Surrey Life always gives a very positive impression of the county.
Also, I couldnt believe it when I saw The Lamb in Surbiton featured in your last issue. I have several musical friends who are all regulars and rave about the place. Ive only been in once, but I came away wishing I lived closer as its just the type of establishment that my husband and I love. I was introduced to several of the artistic regulars on my visit and have been keeping an eye on them on Facebook. In fact, my friend Sally won Ski Sunday!
Anyway, thanks to you and the team for a great read and for helping to bring a real sense of community to the county.
All the best,
Editors note: Thank you so much for such a lovely e-mail, Jo! I reckon we need to buy you a drink after all that so, as the writer of our star letter, have one on us at the William Bray in Shere plus a delicious dinner for two!
Loving Februarys Surrey Life
Just writing to say how much I enjoyed the February edition and loved the article on Damon Hill. I am old enough to have known his Dad, Graham, whom I met at the Motor Show at Earls Court many years ago.
Also, I love motorcycling in the Surrey Hills and regularly spot the sculptures, featured this month, on my travels.
Then theres the gorgeous archive images on pages 80-81 especially the Anchor pub at Ripley.
Keep up the good work.
Editors note: Thanks very much for the kind words, Roy. They are much appreciated by everyone on the team.
Great advice on tap
Being an avid reader of Surrey Life, I just wanted to add my recommendation of a couple of great pubs around the Guildford area.
The first one being The White Hart in Wood Street, a fabulous old pub, with comfortable, cosy seating and a great fine dining menu check it out! Its a very friendly pub and I recently ate rump lamb and the glazed salmon dish with my husband. Best tasting food weve had in ages!
Another worth a visit is The Withies Inn at Compton, near Godalming. You still get doilies on the table and the waiters, bless them, are almost 100 years old (!) dressed in waist jackets and black dickie bows. But the food! Yes, its quite expensive, but so, so delicious!
Thoroughly enjoy your magazine, by the way. Its a great escape after putting our three-year-old to bed, glass of wine in hand and sofa to settle down on.
Editors note: Thanks so much for the lovely letter, Melissa and we will definitely look forward to checking out your recommendations!
Get some sanctuary in Shere
Dear Surrey Life,
Hello, my name is Alison Woodman and I am a student healer at The Harry Edwards Sanctuary in Shere. The Sanctuary was not somewhere I had heard of until I began to research the best places to study for a Diploma in Spiritual Healing. Upon finding this amazing place, I would like to share it with your readers and highlight The Spring Fayre taking place there on Saturday March 31.
Combining peace, tranquility and spectacular views, the place is truly breathtaking and there will be healing available on the day. And were you aware that animals are welcome too and can receive healing? A dog walk is essential once you arrive here.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of todays fast-paced living, why not pay The Sanctuary a visit and support this local charitable trust? Its a day to relax and enjoy the views of the Surrey Hills.
Hoping to see lots of you there at the former home of Harry Edwards, a world renowned spiritual healer of his times whose legacy is carried on through the wonderful work of The Sanctuary volunteers.
Student healer at The Harry Edwards Sanctuary
A true footballing hero
Dear Surrey Life,
Whilst it was great to see so many awards for Surrey people in your January edition, you missed one!
Alan Woodiwiss, who is from Cheam, received an MBE for his services to amateur football.
I put Alan forward about three years ago and have been pushing the Home Office ever since.
I was supported by his local MP Tom Burstow, the FA, the Surrey FA and many of the men who played for Sutton High FC, which was founded well over 50 years ago.
Alan is still the secretary and now amongst the longest serving secretaries in the UK.
He does not know who put his name forward and I would like that to remain in place.
Name and address supplied
Editors note: Apologies for the oversight and thank you for setting us straight. Also, many congratulations to Alan sounds like the MBE was very well-deserved indeed.
Dear Surrey Life,
My name is Caroline Bagnall I have been a Kingswood resident for all my life. In April 2012, I will run the Virgin London Marathon for Care for the Wild International. Its a fantastic charity that does vital work in conservation, education and the rehabilitation of wild animals across the UK and all over the world.
I am proud to be running for this fantastic charity and would very much like the support of Surrey residents and in fact anyone who would like to help make a difference to important conservation work.
If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.justgiving.com/CarolineBagnall.
Thank you very much in advance for your support.
Get in the Olympic spirit
Further to the recent letter from a Spelthorne resident, and your invitation to readers to get in touch with more events from this area, I wanted to let you know about the following.
In this Olympic year, the Rotary Club of Shepperton Aurora will be hosting a lecture by the vice chairman of the British Paralympic Association, Mike Brace CBE.
He will be taking to the floor to enlighten us on both the Paralympics and the charity Primary Club, which is focused on providing support for sporting and recreational activities to blind and partially sighted young people.
All are welcome at the event, which takes place on Wednesday March 28, 6.30pm to 9.30pm, at St Halliford School, Russell Road, Shepperton TW17 9HX.
Tickets are 10 each and all profits will go to Primary Club. They can be bought from Felicitations Card Shop in High Street, Shepperton or contact Laurie Burrell by e-mail, email@example.com, or on 01932 564556.
Test the Olympic cycle route!
Dear Surrey Life,
I am writing to invite readers to join us on a wonderful charity cycle ride through the Surrey Hills that will take in part of the Olympic road race route.
Hosted by DEBRA, the national charity which supports individuals and families coping with the painful skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), the DEBRA Surrey Cycle Challenge will take place on Sunday May 13.
Riders have a choice of two routes (60km and 100km) through the stunning Surrey Hills, famous for their rolling chalk downs, challenging climbs and fun descents.
Both routes also take in part of the 2012 Olympic road race route, allowing cyclists to test the track before Olympic athletes get the chance!
Quiet country roads make this the perfect ride for keen cyclists looking for a new challenge for the New Year.
Many thanks for your help.
Editors note: Thanks for letting us know, Miranda it sounds great! After all that cycling, we reckon you might be in need of a little refreshment, so we have made you this months star letter, meaning that after the ride you can enjoy a wonderful dinner for two at the William Bray in Shere. Good luck!
Charity begins at home
My name is Shirley Brown and I am the collection box co-ordinator for Surrey Air Ambulance.
I am writing to tell your readers about a new and easy way they can help raise money to keep the helicopter flying, from the comfort of their own home.
We have just taken delivery of loose change boxes that family and friends can deposit their spare coins into.
The boxes are very simple to use and give instructions on what to do when they are full. Just 1 will pay for a sheet of life-saving bubblewrap, which is used to keep each patient warm, so every penny really does count.
To order one of our home collection boxes, call 01622 833833 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surrey Air Ambulance
Just skimming the surface
I am writing to say how much I enjoyed your article on the 10 of the best winter pubs (Surrey Life, January), and am looking forward to trying out several of them.
However, I would just like to add that the Skimmington Castle in Reigate is well worth a trip too. I recently paid a visit on a Friday night, when I sampled their special seafood menu. The piece of sea bass I tucked into was among the best I have ever tasted.
This country pub, with its lovely views over the heath, is also warm, cosy and friendly, and its hearty, home-cooked fare makes it just the place to escape the winter weather.
Editors note: Thanks for that, John and, in fact, the Skim is one of my own personal favourites too! If anyone else has any other recommendations for great Surrey pubs, drop us an e-mail at email@example.com send your suggestions to us via our facebook page or Twitter.
In a blaze of glory
With everyones thoughts turning to the Olympics, I thought you might like to see these photos.
Tim Lawler, from Tadworth, was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the people to carry the 2012 Olympic torch on part of its journey. He was able to borrow the 2012 torch, along with one of only two 1948 torches in existence, to show to pupils from Bramley and Chinthurst schools in Tadworth.
The photos show Beatrice Linke from Bramley, and Harry Linke (left) and Jasper Lawler from Chinthurst, holding the torches.
Editors note: Thanks for sharing that with us, Paula what a wonderful experience for you all!
A prickly subject
Now that we are all looking ahead to the spring, we hope that you and your readers can help with a new hedgehog hibernation survey that is taking place this year.
Launched by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), the aim of this new wildlife survey is to help determine whether climate change is having an effect on when hedgehogs emerge from hibernation and how this might be affecting their survival.
In short, we would like to inviteyour readers to help record their sightings of hedgehogs as they start to emerge in the spring after hibernation.
The easy-to-do survey starts on February 1, 2012, running through until August, and will be available to complete online at www.hedgehogstreet.org.
If you do not have access to the internet, please call 0207 498 4533 for information on how to take part.
On behalf of PTES and BHPS
Make your move
The British Red Cross is seeking groups of young dancers from Surrey to participate in this years Dance: Make Your Move competition (previously Dance for Life).
Schools, colleges and dance and youth groups are all invited to get involved and choreograph a dance routine that reflects an aspect of the charitys life-saving work in the UK or abroad.
The Surrey heat of the national competition will be held at the Rhoda McGaw theatre in Woking on Saturday March 3.
Participants must be under 18: junior groups are aged four to 11 and the senior category is for 12 to 18-year-olds.
The national final will be held for the second year running at the prestigious IndigO2, part of the O2 centre in Londons Docklands.
To find out more, call 0207 877 7258 or visit www.redcross.org.uk/dance.
British Red Cross, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Surrey
Searching for Surrey ancestors
I saw on Twitter and your website recently the letter from Gail McArthur looking for information about her great grandfathers death.
Well, I had a quick look on www.Ancestry.com and Frederick Stringers death does seem to be listed. I wondered if Ms McArthur had already obtained a death certificate, because this would normally include the cause of death. Or maybe the problem in this case is that it doesnt, for some reason.
Anyway, if she doesnt already have the certificate, all she needs to do is send off to the UK records office for a paper copy of the death certificate, which costs about 10. The link for ordering certificates is: www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates.
Just a thought about The Seahorse again, she might already have been through this process, but during the period Ms McArthur mentions there would have been two censuses, 1891 and 1901. It would be worth looking these up as the censuses can be a great source of interesting information as to who was living in a particular place at a certain time: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/census-records.htm.
Hope this helps: I have some mystery ancestors myself so find this sort of thing fascinating!
Editors note: Thanks so much, Sue, for your kind letter, and Im sure your advice will be of use to other readers as well.
A spellbinding place
To the Editor,
Please do not forget that Spelthorne is part of Surrey and that there are many great events going on in this area too.
The recent fireworks display at Kempton Park, for example, attracted several thousand people. Run by local Round Tables, it also raised many thousands of pounds for charity as well, and has been running for some 30 odd
Love the magazine, but please do remember Spelthorne with its riverside attractions and more.
50-year Shepperton resident
Editors note: Dear Peter, thanks very much for getting in touch. Wed love to include some more news from your area so if any of you Spelthornians have events coming up this year, please do drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get your goat
The Dorking-based charity Kids for Kids is encouraging readers to start the New Year with an exceptionally good deed donate a goat and save a child in Darfur!
Goats in Darfur are little lifelines to malnourished children and the Governor of North Darfur has recently credited the charity with raising the IQ of the children there. Without protein, childrens brains cannot develop properly. However, Kids for Kids goats milk provides that protein. It is an incredible thought.
We would be so grateful if people could join us in The Big Goat Give and donate just 22 to send a goat to Darfur and change a childs life forever! Goats can be purchased online at www.kidsforkids.org.uk.
Patricia Parker MBE,
CEO and chairman of trustees,
Kids for Kids, Dorking
A new winter peril
Here at the Wildlife Aid charity in Leatherhead, we wish to draw readers attention to the dangers of antifreeze.
Thousands of animals, including wildlife and domestic pets, die every year because they lick up spilled antifreeze on garage floors, driveways, garden paths, pavements and roads.
Antifreeze tastes sweet, and this makes it attractive to animals. But just two or three licks can kill. Death from kidney failure occurs within 48 hours unless the animal is treated immediately by a vet.
The reason is that most antifreeze varieties on the market contain ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic. Any animals consuming it, and that are not treated in time, will suffer a long and agonising death.
The Wildlife Aid Foundations hospital in Leatherhead has dealt with ten cases in the past fortnight where the animals are thought to have ingested antifreeze, including three badgers and two foxes.
We want to urge members of the public to ensure that there are no spillages in garages or driveways, and if antifreeze is spilled to make sure it is thoroughly cleaned up straight away before any animals can get to it.
One way to make antifreeze safer is for the manufacturers to put a bitterant into the liquid so that it doesnt taste sweet. The bitterant would deter animals from trying to drink it, but we need a law to enforce this.
If you support our campaign, please write to your MP and sign the online petition at www.petitiononline.com/EGpoison/petition.html.
Thank you to all Surrey Life readers for any help you can give us.
Wildlife Aid, Leatherhead,
Bumps and babies
I write to let your readers know that the Woking Branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), the UKs largest parenting charity, is currently looking for enthusiastic people to join its team of volunteers.
The branch already has a number of local mums and dads, who volunteer to co-ordinate activities for other parents, but we need more!
The NCT offers Bumps & Babies groups, coffee mornings, Nearly New Sales and other social events to enable expectant and new parents to get together and make friends.
This is a great opportunity for parents and expectant parents to get involved. For details, see www.nct.org.uk/branches/woking.
Saleema Shah, NCT Woking
A wheelie good cause
Dear Surrey Life,
I just wanted to drop you a line to let readers know about the three-day cycle challenge my daughter Kirsty and I took part in recently to support our close friend Steve Hopewell and his family (living in Peaslake) who has and continues to receive considerable help from Alocal charity, The Brigitte Trust.
The Trust does brilliant work in Surrey supporting people and their families when life-threatening illness is diagnosed. In fact, it was thoughts of their work that kept us and three other (much fitter) fund-raisers all from Dorking (Mike Reed, Anna King and Jen French) going! We completed 220 miles in all, starting off in Sheffield and finishing on the top of Box Hill, where a great welcome was received by our families and friends along with the local celebrity George Sturt, the multi-million pound local lottery winner.
The charity is a small independent charity giving great mental and physical support through its many local trained volunteers to Surrey families in a time of great need.
If your readers would like to add to our sponsorship total, they can still do so at www.justgiving.com/johnsons-ride.
managing director, Ellis and Co, Epsom Downs
Got it covered
I thought that your cover shot on the October issue (by photographer John Miller), showing the view of Ranmore Common and the patchwork landscape that sweeps out below, was magnificent. This picture said a thousand words. Thank you!
Mrs Norma Cox,
Strictly comes to Surrey!
Dear Surrey Life readers!
Are you tuning in to BBCs Strictly Come Dancing every weekend? Have you always wanted to learn to ballroom dance yourself?
If the answer is yes, then the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham would like to hear from you today. It doesnt matter how old you are, what career you have... In fact, we really want to attract a diverse group of ten couples from across the area.
Whats the catch? All we ask is that each person is a beginner and available for ten weeks on a Sunday evening to attend lessons, which will kindly be taught by Angelas School of Dancing in Aldershot.
Be aware this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and there is a Strictly twist that you will not want to miss out on! We expect a high level of interest in this opportunity so please get in touch as soon as possible.
To find out more and register your interest, please e-mail email@example.com call 01252 729446.
marketing & supporter development manager,
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Farnham
Doing it by the book
Just to let you know that I bought several copies of the November issue of Surrey Life today, the highlight of which has to be on page 74! Seriously, thanks for making such a good job of our Join the Club feature and I thought Pete came through with a great photo.
The cover is sensational too. Must remember to take my camera with me on my next walk...
It was really lovely to work with you over these last few months. Warmest good wishes and thanks very much again.
The Book in You A Memoir Group, Guildford
Hurray for the Bray
You may remember that in the last November issue of Surrey Life, for 2010, you kindly made me star-letter-writer. At the time, my husband was ill. He has since died and I wanted to take my three daughters to the William Bray by way of a thank you for all their support.
I have a cautionary tale to tell here. Papers such as The Times and The Telegraph sometimes give vouchers that allow one to take a two-course meal at a heavy discount. Two ladies from this road often use such vouchers. Some years back they used one at a restaurant in Chobham. Now vouchers have to be handed over before the start of the meal and this they did. Instantly the linen napkins were removed and replaced with paper ones! How short sighted! Not only have the ladies never returned but I personally have passed this story on to many people who were looking for a night out in this area.
Not so with the William Bray. The welcome was friendly but not fawning. Tap water supplied even before we sat down, and replenished before a bottle was finished. The music was loud enough to say, Oh, I like this piece, but not so loud as to have to say, WHAT DID YOU SAY? I CANT HEAR YOU! The food was quite excellent. The four of us had four different starters and four different main courses. We each sampled everyone elses dish. They were all equally as good. We left feeling well-fed but not stuffed. We also left saying we would like to return.
My late mother used to judge an eatery by the cleanliness of the loo and the choice of dessert not limited just to apple pie and ices various. The Bray would have passed her judgement with flying colours. I have to tell you that the loos were clean and there was even reading matter, even if it was about the William Bray!
Thank you so much for making me a star, and please pass this on to the William Bray, which made us all feel like stars!
A rip-roaring adventure
I wrote a couple of stories recently, while taking treatment for blood cancer at the Royal Marsden in Sutton, then had them printed locally so I could donate them to the hospital to help raise funds for their cancer charity.
Theyre aimed at kids aged ten and upwards wanting to read a bit of old-fashioned, wholesome adventure stuff goodies versus baddies in a modern context. The central figure is Karlton Slam. Hes a news reporter for the Daily Record, but also a secret undercover agent for Splinta (society for protecting liberty in the face of narcotics, terrorism and aggression).
To learn more about Karltons adventure in the Philippines, tracking down the shady recluse Spyda Crouch, or his exploits chasing treasure seekers like Morter Hayt in ancient Egypt, visit the hospitals website at www.royalmarsden.org or call 0208 770 0279.
A dogs dinner
I just wanted to let your readers know about a very special event hosted by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home their annual Collars and Coats Gala Ball.
Taking place this year on Friday November 11, Battersea Evolution will play host to a spectacular night of entertainment, attended by some of the UKs best-known personalities, all out in force to help raise vital funds to enable the home to continue its work caring for lost, unwanted and abandoned animals.
Not only will you be welcomed by an amazing doggy parade, but you will adore the red carpet experience, alongside the celebs turning out in support of Battersea. Furthermore, you will be wined and dined with a gourmet banquet, interspersed with a line-up of top billing entertainment, and will have the chance to bid in an exclusive auction with an array of luxury prizes.
If youre looking for a night out to remember whilst helping a worthwhile cause, I highly recommend it! Check it out at www.collarsandcoats.org.uk.
Raising a kings ransom
I am writing because I would like to extend a huge thank you to our Kingswood Supporter Group, led by Carole Morris, who raised an amazing 110,000 for The Childrens Trust, Tadworth, at a charity ball held at the Savoy in London.
Over 300 guests attended the prestigious event to enjoy a champagne reception, delicious dinner and live entertainment. Special guests included televisions Dr Ranj Singh, actor
Tyger Drew-Honey and Antiques Roadshow expert, Charlie Ross, who conducted the auction.
Thirteen-year-old Chas Cerveny from Surrey also made a moving speech about his time at The Childrens Trust when he received a rehabilitation programme, following a severe brain injury sustained as a result of a skiing accident.
It was a spectacular event and we would like to thank Carole Morris and the Kingswood Supporter Group for all their hard work and making the evening such a success.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to Roger Elliott, local designer goldsmith and diamond expert, who very generously donated the top prize of a diamond worth 4,000.
The Childrens Trust is a national charity that provides care, therapy and education for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury. Money raised from the event will help to enhance the lives of these very special children.
Head of Community Fundraising, The Childrens Trust, Tadworth
You live and learn
At Reigate and Redhill U3A (University of the Third Age), we have been celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, so I thought it might be nice to let your readers know a little bit about what we have been getting up to.
To mark our anniversary, we organised a range of interesting activities and events including two parties
held in Reigate Park Church Hall, where over 250 of the 600 members enjoyed delicious food and drink, live music and an entertaining quiz based on historical artefacts.
At the lunch party, founder members were the guests of honour and the cake was cut by Ray Jackson the very first member and chairman of the branch. At the afternoon tea, a second cake was cut by the Mayor of Reigate and Banstead who expressed his warmest wishes to the current chairman, Geraldine Horn, and members on being such a thriving and lively branch of the U3A, enriching the lives of local people through its wide range of group sessions, monthly meetings, outings and holidays.
New members are always welcome and more information about the U3A is available for your readers on the website at: www.u3asites.org.uk/Reigate.
Calling all our community heroes
I wanted to highlight an opportunity for people in the Surrey area to gain the recognition they deserve. Channel 4 wants people to nominate someone inspirational they know who has dedicated their life to helping others, for a new show where they will receive something special in return as a thank you for their good deeds.
Perhaps they are a foster parent, carer, charity volunteer, serviceman/woman or someone who has helped within the community against all odds. If you think you know someone who has made a difference, or still does, please call us on 0207 292 3581 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Producer, Crackit Productions
Eating like a sparrow
I have attached a photo that may be of interest to you and your readership of a young sparrow that was nesting in our garden.
It was taken by my son Joe, who is a biomedical science student but also a keen photographer as well though this wildlife picture is something of a departure from his favourite subject of live music and band photography!
For the last two summers, the birds have nested in a bush in the garden by our patio. When the weather is kind enough to allow us to dine outside, we often have the mother sparrow flying within inches of our heads. On occasions, you can feel the wind from her beating wings she is that close.
So, while we were eating, the sparrow was busy too, providing for her chick, which could be heard tweeting and chirping for its food. Now the birds have flown, this fantastic picture is a lovely reminder of our feathered visitors.
Solving a puzzle
I am a Canadian woman researching the history of my British ancestors and hoping that readers of Surrey Life might help me solve a puzzle.
My great grandparents, Henry and Sarah Heath, ran the Seahorse pub, in Shalford, Surrey, around 1890 to 1910. They also looked after my grandfather, Charles Stringer, after his father, Frederick Stringer, passed away in 1908, in Hambledon, where I believe they were living at the time.
The mystery is the cause of Fredericks death, which I havent been able to discover, although a family rumour suggested at his own hand. If any readers can provide information on the Seahorse or my family during this time period, I would be most grateful.
Editor's note: if you have any information that may help Gail with her research, please e-mail email@example.com
Pied Piper of Cranleigh
We just wanted to thank you for the tickets to Cranleigh Show that we won in your recent competition (Surrey Life, July edition).
My five-year-old son was a big fan of Titan the Robot who was like the Pied Piper of Cranleigh with all the kids following him round from one part of the show to another!
Thanks so much again we all had a really great time!
Voicing our thanks
I am writing to say thank you so much for the feature on Guildford Speakers in last months Surrey Life magazine. I havent shown the club yet, but Im sure theyll all be as thrilled as I am!
Once again, thank you so much for a wonderful article and photograph.
President, Guildford Speakers Club
Taking flight in Surbiton
As a frequent visitor to Surbiton, I enjoy reading your features on it, particularly the one in the current issue (Surrey Life, September).
However, one of the best restaurants there, in my humble opinion, is the Surbiton Flyer, which has been transformed by Richard from the Gordon Bennett. Its a really good pub now; a trifle expensive, but good quality food, beer and wine with excellent service.
Also, I think the Joy Indian is preferable to the Maya.
The walk of life
As a regular contributor to Surrey Life, I would like to invite readers of all ages to take part in a very special charity evening walk Sleepwalk which is taking place at Priory Park, Reigate on Saturday October 1 in aid of The Childrens Trust in Tadworth.
For the second year running, I am delighted to be officially starting Sleepwalk, a 10-mile walk under the stars, from 10pm.
Sleepwalk not only aims to raise money for The Childrens Trust, but will also increase awareness of the important services the charity provides for some of the UKs most severely disabled children.
Registration is 15 and includes a Zumba warm-up, a T-shirt and a medal. To register, call 01737 364329 or visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/sleepwalk.
On behalf of The Childrens Trust, Tadworth
The finishing touch
In March 1975, Surrey County Magazine ran a very interesting article about a school I attended the same year, Paddock Wood Finishing School in Lightwater, Surrey. The school had a very international set of students, dating back to the 1950s, but sadly closed in 1983.
Well, I thought you might like to know that a few weeks ago, we had our very first reunion; 35 girls from 14 countries attended, they themselves spanning the years 1964 to 1980!
It was a lovely occasion and fascinating to discover where the girls from Paddock Wood Finishing School have all ended up today! Wed also love to hear from anyone else with memories of the school please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A date with Carlos
I just wanted to let you know how interested I was to read your article on Carlos Trattoria at Newlands Corner, near Guildford.
I have driven past so many times on the way from Reigate to Guildford
and back and always wondered what it was like.
Based on your restaurant critics recommendation, I will now be paying a visit!
Article was a real page-turner
Article was a real page-turner
I am writing to say how much I enjoyed your recent feature on the countys authors and how they came to secure their publishing deals.
As an aspiring author myself, I found it particularly encouraging that several of them had even gone it alone that has definitely given me something to think about!
Thank you again for such an interesting article.
All the best,
Food for thought
As I write, it is Farm Animal Week run by the RSPCAs Freedom Food scheme and I would like to urge your readers to please spare a thought for the more than 900 million animals farmed for our food in the UK.
Most people would be shocked to know the majority of these animals are kept in conditions that the RSPCA finds unacceptable, but its so easy to help improve their lives simply through what you choose to buy.
Thats why Freedom Food is asking everyone to make an extra effort to switch one item in their shopping basket for a higher welfare labelled product such as Freedom Food or free-range.
A higher welfare chicken can cost as little as 86p more thats less than the price of a lottery ticket and a small price to pay for improving animal welfare.
The more we choose higher welfare products, the more animals will be reared to better standards.
To find out how farm animals are kept under the RSPCAs Freedom Food scheme visit www.freedomfood.co.uk/farmanimalweek.
Jonathan Silk, RSPCA regional manager for the south and south west
Hall or nothing
I passed on my copy of the June edition of Surrey Life to a friend who, like me, particularly enjoyed the article on Windlesham. It was full of interesting information; however, we both felt that there was one omission that we thought it would be nice to tell your readers about.
Windlesham has a Village Hall! It is located in Chertsey Road and hosts many clubs and organisations, such as the Beavers and the Scouts and the Womens Institute. It is used for dancing classes, keep fit, quiz nights, parties and for fund-raising events.
Yours in appreciation.
Doing it by the book
We would like to ask for the help of any readers living in the Richmond area who are able to give up a little time to assist others.
In short, we are looking for volunteers to deliver books from their local library to vulnerable residents in the borough.
For those who are not aware, Richmond Councils libraries offer a home delivery service for those people who find it difficult to get to their local library. The books are selected by library staff based on the persons likes and dislikes and are delivered by local volunteers. There are currently over 25 home delivery volunteers; however, each library is hoping to increase this figure.
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers from across the borough
who have a couple of hours each fortnight to make a real difference to peoples lives.
Anyone in the Richmond area who would like to find out more about volunteering for the home library service should contact their local library, or e-mail: email@example.com
Sinking some balls
Ive just read your piece in the July edition of Surrey Life regarding the underwater billiard room at Witley Park.
In the early sixties, I used to work at the Bentalls store in Kingston and it was common knowledge that the boss, Gerald Bentall, lived on a farm at Brook (not far from Witley). If one was an angler, which I was not, a fishing competition was organised once a year on the lake at his farm. It was also common knowledge that there was a ballroom under this lake so could it be the one to which you refer, or was there another one close by?
Incidentally, the cattle raised on this farm were known as the Bentapex herd and there was an associated farm in Thames Street, Weybridge, I believe. I hope this is of interest.
A helping hand gets larger
I would like to advise your readers of two new help points available to disabled people in Surrey.
The Surrey Disabled Peoples Partnership (SDPP) has recently opened advice centres in Redhill and Epsom. Known as The Hub, the centres offer a free advice and consultation service for any disabled resident of Surrey who needs help with understanding or applying for the many and varied welfare benefits presently available.
Visitors will be able to talk directly to an experienced welfare benefit advisor, and in addition, appointments can be made to meet one of the advisors at the SDPP office located at Provincial House in central Woking.
As well as offering on-the-spot advice, the benefit advisors are, by arrangement, able to make home visits, and this service covers the whole of Surrey. For more information, readers are invited to call the SDPP on 01483 750973.
SDPP press officer,
Thank you for the memories...
I read with great interest the Nicholas Owen interview with Sir Brian Burnett on your website. It brought back many happy memories of both Sir Brian and his wife, Valerie; we were very sorry to read that she had died some time ago. They were a wonderful couple.
I first met Sir Brian in 1954 when he was a Group Captain and Station Commander at RAF Gaydon, which in those days was the training unit for the start of the V-Force. I had just been posted there as a navigation instructor. My future wife, Hilma, arrived from New Zealand in the December and we got married a few days later in the local village church. To help with the arrangements, he provided his staff car and a driver to take Hilma to the church!
In 1960, I was promoted to Squadron Leader and was posted to No.3 GroupHeadquarters (again part of the V-Force) where he was the Air Officer Commanding as an Air Vice-Marshal. I served under him for the next two years.
Anyway, thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories.
Mt Eliza, Australia
I am writing from the Godalming-based charity, Compassion in World Farming, as we wanted to let readers know that we are enormously proud to have won The Observers Ethical Award for Best Campaigner 2011.
Compassion is the worlds leading farm animal welfare charity, and the campaign, Cows Belong in Fields, was based around the organisations opposition to the proposed mega-dairy in Nocton. While this mega-dairy proposal was successfully defeated, the fight to keep our cows in fields, and not in intensive, indoor factory farms, is far from over.
We believe that farm animals should not and need not suffer. If you agree, please consider supporting us today. You will literally help us improve the lives of billions. For further information, please visit: www.ciwf.org.
Compassion in World Farming,
Caught on the hop
Many people were surprised to learn that the largest rabbit and guinea pig rescue centre in the south east is right on their doorstep in Ewell, when it featured on BBC Breakfast recently as part of Rabbit Awareness Week.
Bobtails Rescue, a registered charity run solely by volunteers, takes in over 700 unwanted and abandoned animals a year, neutering, vaccinating and re-homing them once they are fit and healthy.
All prospective owners are informed about housing, diet and exercise requirements as well as the cost, time and commitment needed.
Anyone wishing to help can do so in a number of ways; from sponsoring a hutch or resident, to buying from our eBay shop, donating via Paypal or by volunteering their time. If you are interested in helping, you can contact Bobtails by visiting our website, www.bobtailsrescue.org.uk, or by calling us on 0208 393 2016.
Jim and Delia Cordell,
Bobtails Rabbit & Guinea Pig Rescue, Ewell,
Registered Charity No. 1086345
Editors note: Congratulations on doing such a fantastic job! In fact, after cleaning all those hutches, we felt you definitely deserved our star prize this month of dinner at the lovely William Bray in Shere. We hope you enjoy your well-deserved evening out!
The rub of the green
I am writing on behalf of the Alzheimers Society to invite readers to take part in our Memory Walk the charitys flagship fund-raising event.
Every September, walks are held all over the UK, and here in Surrey, the Memory Walk will once again take place at the beautiful Godstone Green on Sunday September 18.
In addition, there will be a range of entertainment on offer including an award-winning Elvis impersonator and the presence of the Hogsback Chapter of the Harley-Davidson bikes as well as a beer tent and barbeque, making it a day to remember for everyone involved.
The Alzheimers Society would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in last years event at Godstone Green when over 9,000 was raised to support local people with dementia and their carers.
To sign up for this years Surrey Memory Walk, please visit our website at: www.memorywalk.org.uk.
Locality manager Surrey, Alzheimers Society
A call for volunteers
Following the recent television campaign Daybreaks Donate a Day encouraging the public to donate a day of their time to charity, I wish to make a special appeal to readers who would like to undertake voluntary work in support of The Childrens Trust at Tadworth.
The Childrens Trust is a national charity that provides specialist care and education for some of the UKs most severely disabled children, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury.
There are many activities that require voluntary help: drivers to take children to hospital appointments and on outings; administrative and IT support in various service departments, including fundraising, human resources and health & safety. Although there is a minimum age requirement of 18 years, there is no upper limit one of our volunteers is nearly 90 years of age!
In particular, we are looking for help for one or two days a week in the Volunteers Department. Good communication skills are required to help with screening and interviewing applicants and provide support in the day-to-day running of the office. The Trust also has a new charity shop in Banstead High Street and the manager would love to hear from anyone who would like to join their friendly team.
By becoming a volunteer at The Childrens Trust, you will be helping to make a difference to the lives of some very special children.
Voluntary services manager,
The Childrens Trust, Tadworth
Bugged by a problem
I was recently taking my daughter and her friend for a walk over Walton Common, near Tadworth, and we had to turn back because of millions (literally) of flying insects. They were so thick in the air that we thought we would breathe them in.
I have been playing/walking on this common land for 40 odd years and have never seen anything like this (I may have seen the same type of insect, but in numbers that didnt raise any special interest).
I asked some elderly passers-by what they were, and they too had never experienced anything like this over many years.
Iwould welcome fellow readers comments (if they werent flying they were covering the ground in huge numbers).
I would be so grateful if anyone can advise what these creatures are and why they were in such proliferation.
Many thanks in advance.
Surrey's got talent
Just wanted to let you know how much I have been enjoying your series onlocal amateur acting and singing groups. It is amazing to see what a variety of talents we have here in Surrey!
Editors note: Thank you very much, Chris. Glad to hear youve been enjoying the series! For anyone interested in taking part in our Join the Club feature, which is in fact open to any kind of club or society, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Were full up until the end of the year but now planning in groups for 2012.
On your bike, Box Hill cyclists!
Up until now, I have felt total ambivalence to the fast approaching 2012 London Olympic Games. However, my feelings have now changed, having found out that my home village of Box Hill is to be on the cycle path for the Olympic 250km cycle race.
Not only am I confused we are not in London, we are in Surrey but also annoyed. I regularly have to do battle with too many cyclists up here on weekends. Their latest annoying trend is cycling in numbers, four abreast, in packs like wolves. Not content to monopolise one side of the road they commandeer both. So no one can overtake them.
They then commence to have inane conversations with each other, shouting into the space between them whilst we watch their Lycra-clad bottoms going up and down (some with a twinkling red light strategically placed on the back, a most disturbing site for any but the most hardened of drivers).
And now I have a vision of the beautiful hill baulking under the weight of the worlds top cyclists that will descend here, along with the thousands of spectators, who as usual will leave tons of litter in their wake. Yes, it will give the world a chance to see a place of natural beauty, but without being able to appreciate any of that beauty.
Looking on the bright side though, its a good excuse to book a long holiday and miss the event altogether. And perhaps this time around the council will tarmac the road properly. Bring on the 2012 Olympics.
My wonderful Surrey life!
Not only did I read the May issue of Surrey Life, I lived it as I have been doing for the last five years!
I heartily chuckled my way through the Kelvin MacKenzie interview (I regularly read his columns where published) and now share his positive view of Surrey and its folk. Like him, my husband and I moved here in recent years from Essex with some trepidation, given Surreys apparently snooty reputation. This, coupled with my having had a working class upbringing in the Midlands, I feared I may not settle. This couldnt be further from the truth. Our quality
of life has never been better and weve found 99 per cent of people to be welcoming and courteous.
Our Easter break kicked off with a 2-2 draw for Guildford City at the Spectrum; wowing visiting relatives with a day out at Polesden Lacey; stocking up on Surrey Gold, Juniper Hill and Rose Hill at Denbies (will definitely be checking out the other vineyards recommended last month); followed by an ice cream each at that other Surrey jewel, Newlands Corner.
Once the rellies retreated back up north, we took a ramble along your recommended six-miler walk around charming Chiddingfold. Weve got to know and love the county through numerous country walks, including the Downs Link, and have also signed ourselves up for another season at the Oval in the hope that Surreys overall form over the past few years improves the only way is up!
A wing and a prayer
Whilst staying at the RAC Woodcote in Epsom for Easter, I read in amazement the article on your chaffinch problem!
Having recently moved from Surrey to a little village called Prestbury in Cheshire, we are having exactly the same problem with a crow. For almost the last four days, it has been constantly pecking at a plate glass window. It is driving us and the neighbours absolutely mad.
Our answer was to come away for the weekend back to beautiful Surrey; cant hear a thing now (do I win a prize?).
Why love really works
As a long time Surrey Life subscriber, I read about the Reigate charity Loveworks in a piece you featured about the Community Foundation of Surrey at the end of last year.
Because of the article, I contacted Loveworks to see if they would be interested in helping Reigate and Banstead Womens Aid and I thought youd like to know that theyve been hugely supportive ever since.
They provided lots of lovely goodies for the women at Christmas and have just treated a group of women and children at the refuge to a wonderful day out to Ladyland Farm in Horley.
Many thanks to them for all their efforts and to you for helping to connect us in the first place.
Child support worker,
Full name and address supplied
Calling all runners!
As a runner who didnt get a place in the marathon, but was surrounded by those who did, I felt a bit left out! Or I did until I found this event the London Duathlon 2011 right on our doorstep.
Taking place in Richmond Park (which will be closed to traffic) on Sunday September 11, the official charity is Macmillan Cancer Support, so you can raise money for a great cause at the same time as combining running and cycling challenges.
There are three race distances, so theres something for runners and cyclists of all levels: Fun (5km run, 10km cycle, 5km run); Challenge (10km run, 20km cycle, 5km run); and Ultra (20km run, 80km cycle, 10km run). You can enter as an individual for all distances or, for the Ultra and Challenge races, as a relay team of two or three.
What a great opportunity for training partners and friends to take part in a big sporting event, in the stunning surroundings of Richmond Park with the added bonus of having no cars to contend with.
For more information and to secure a place, visit the events website at www.thelondonduathlon.co.uk.
With best wishes,
The chaffinch: An update
Further to your letter in last months magazine, I just wanted to let you know that I share your pain!
My problem, though, is with crows and leaded light windows; they are after the putty around the windows I think.
Anyway, you can get some very bright balloons, which look like green and gold eyes, to hang up and also, you could brush the putty with aluminium ammonium sulphate, which they hate the taste of (they love the linseed and oils in the putty apparently).
The RSPB website should be a good source of info and balloons. Good luck!
Editors note: Thanks so much for the kind words of advice, Tanya! I have tried ordinary balloons, but not ones that look like green and gold eyes as yet, so will definitely be giving that a shot!
A lark descending
I read with interest on your March cover: Englands greatest ever composer? Celebrating Dorkings Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Readers may be interested to learn that Croydon composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was considered by Sir Edward Elgar to be, far and away the cleverest fellow going amongst the young men. Elgar meant out of contemporaries of Coleridge-Taylor, which at that time included the likes of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst.
Next year, internationally, nationally and in his home town of Croydon,there will be commemorative events to mark 100 years since the untimely death at the age of 37 of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on September 1, 1912.
His opera, Thelma, will be premiered, a documentary film is being made and there are plans to renovate his grave in Bandon Hill Cemetery. His cantata that first brought him to fame, Hiawathas Wedding Feast, will be performed and other suggestions for commemorating Coleridge-Taylor have included the re-naming of West Croydon Station and amending the Grade II* listing of St Mary Magdalene to reflect the fact that the young Coleridge-Taylor sang in the choir there as a soloist.
There was equally high regard for Coleridge-Taylor in the USA where he met President Roosevelt during one of his several visits there and his mixed race made him a role model for African Americans not long freed from slavery.
Around the world, there is a fascination for the remarkable man of such great talent that was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. For further reading, I would encourage a visit to the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundations website: www.sctf.org.uk.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network
A quest for Reigate relatives
We are trying to trace relatives of Raymond Tony Lewis whose parents, Bertram Walter Lewis and AnnaBeatrice (ne Horsley), lived in Reigate, before moving to Melfort in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
Tony was the wireless operator on a Lancaster bomber, which crashed in our village of Halam, Nottinghamshire, in 1943. Sadly, all the crew were killed in the accident.
Recently, we have organised a memorial to the aircrew near the crash site, and would be pleased to hear from anyone who knew Sgt Lewis family.
There is further information on our village website, halam.org.uk, or otherwise the Halam Lancaster Bomber Memorial Group can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone on 01636 818844.
Halam Lancaster Bomber Memorial Group,
Join us on a sleepwalk
I would like to let your readers know about a special Sleepwalk in Farnham on Saturday June 4, in aid of national charity The Childrens Trust in Tadworth.
One of three special walks taking place across the UK on the same night, the Sleepwalk is a ten-mile stroll through the Surrey Hills, watching the sun set over the historic town of Farnham, which will begin at Farnham Leisure Centre at 7pm.
Starting at a time when most families are finishing dinner and getting their children ready for bed, the walks aim to raise awareness of the families and carers of disabled children whose evening routines are often the start of a long and difficult night.
Because of their complex health needs, a good nights sleep is a rare luxury for these children and it is the same for parents and carers who need to provide their child with round-the-clock care.
The walk will help to raise money for The Childrens Trust, a national charity that provides care, education and therapy to children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, helping some of the UKs most disabled children and their families.
Entry is 15 and includes a Sleepwalk T-shirt, light refreshments and a finishing medal. To enter, please call 01276 453878, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the charitys website atwww.thechildrenstrust.org.uk.
The Childrens Trust would also be delighted to hear from any businesses who would like to sponsor the event, make a donation or offer help in other ways.
I look forward to seeing you on the day!
Senior community fundraising manager,
The Childrens Trust, Tadworth
Surrey v Sussex
Firstly, can I say how much I enjoy my monthly fix of your magazine. I did, however, have an observation to make I quite often read my fathers copy of Sussex Life when I visit him, and it always seems to have considerably more pages. The property section, for example, is always longer but surely it cannot just be down to that?
I would be very interested to hear your feedback.
Sent from my iPhone
Editors note: Hi Laura, nice to hear from you. The truth is, our sister title, Sussex Life, is an older and better-established magazine than we are and covers a county that is much larger, hence the difference in size. However, I think youll find that our content is far superior ;) No, seriously, though, they really are a fantastic magazine, and for our neighbours in Sussex, you wont find a better read. Find out more at sussex.greatbritishlife.co.uk
The hills are alive
Thank you so very much for the splendid feature on Ralph Vaughan Williams (Surrey Life, March).
I particularly love the way you have the four different sections showing his many influences on Surrey. He has a fascinating history, and it was good to see the Performing Arts Library featured, too, in these times of threatened library closures. It plays a valuable part in the musical life of the county and the history of the composer, for whom there is no formal museum. Also, Andy Duerden is very generous in his support of Vaughan Williams and his album deserves a place in the charts. Finally, its not often Surrey can boast a world premiere from such a significant composer, either!
All in all, a well-researched and thoughtful chart-topping article!
A wildlife SOS
With the spring and summer being the busiest time of the year at Wildlife Aid (what we call our orphan season, when we are inundated with young animal patients left motherless due to road accidents etc), we have taken the decision to go ahead with the long overdue refurbishment and renewal of our animal pens and specialist orphan centre at our Randalls Road, Leatherhead, veterinary hospital.
This is essential work but there is a frightening price tag attached to it, as we need robust, well-made cages and facilities, and the number of our patients increases dramatically each year so we need to cater for an ever-growing intake. The cost of this vital refurb and construction programme which needs to be completed in April/May is in excess of 30,000. Can I take this opportunity to appeal to readers of Surrey Life to dig deep into pockets and bank accounts to help us? As a charity in the midst of recession, our fund-raising is dipping but we absolutely need to do this work at the hospital.
If you can help us, either directly through a donation, or by taking part in our animal adoption scheme (details on our website at wildlifeaid.org.uk), which helps to fund our overall costs, please do so, as we need all the help the people of Surrey can give at this hectic and difficult time.
Simon Cowell, MBE
Founder, Wildlife Aid, Leatherhead
A worldwide audience
Reading your letters page in the February edition of Surrey Life inspired us to write to you as we thought you might be interested to know that we are reading it in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!
A friend bought us a subscription for Christmas, as after four years working in KL, we return to Surrey in August. We have never read the magazine before but have thoroughly enjoyed our first read!
Adrian and Lesley Cook
Editors note: Thanks so much to you both for your kind words and we look forward to welcoming you back to Surrey very soon! See you in the summer!
Trip down Memory Lane
Does anyone remember the 204 prefabs, erected in the Gatley Avenue and Gadesden Road areas of Ewell, at the end of World War II?
If so, the Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre would like to hear from you, and your memories and photographs would appear on the history centres excellent and ever expanding website: www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk.
For younger readers who may not know about prefabs, they were temporary, prefabricated bungalows, made in parts, in no longer needed war materials factories. They could be made quickly, transported to site and bolted together. They were a quick solution to the desperate shortage of housing caused by enemy bombing.
If anyone can help, please contact the History Centre at Ewell Library, Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell KT17 1UF or e-mail email@example.com, with your name and contact details, and a centre volunteer will be in touch.
Epsom and Ewell
Local and Family History Centre,
The hottest ticket in town
I am just writing to say that we were delighted with the feature about Godalming Operatic Society that appeared in the March edition of Surrey Life. It really was excellent timing. We are sold out at Godalming this week and we hope to achieve high audience levels at Leatherhead next week.
Also, just to let you know that our summer concert, Oh, To Be In England, is at the Electric Theatre in Guildford on Saturday June 11 at 8pm. Tickets are 12 (children half price) and can be obtained from the society box office on 01252 703376.
Thanks very much again.
Godalming Operatic Society
Scotland to Surrey
I am 28 years young and just bought my very first Surrey flat in Walton-on-Thames.It sounds silly but I felt alone and scared when the removal van left. Trying to source a local plumber, I went into the library. What a miracle! Free internet, a wealth of local info and the kindest, warmest library assistant I have ever met. After imparting local know-how, she left me with a pat on the shoulder and a welcome to Walton, miss.
Since then, I havent looked back, and her top tip buying Surrey Life was spot on!I am excited about the future here in Surrey and want to thank you all for being so welcoming. Its a long way from Scotland but already feels like home.
With warm regards,
These boots are made for walking
I have been a resident of Surrey for all of my 53 years and I have only just begun to discover some of the countys most spectacular scenery and hidden gems.
Being a keen cyclist, I am no stranger to much of the county's countryside, especially the Surrey Hills. However, getting off of the bicycle has introduced me to a wealth of fantastic places that would have otherwise passed me by.
My wife bought a book that contains walks throughout the British Isles, and that has been the basis for our walks around Surrey. We have discovered waterfalls at Leith Hill, the cursed grave of a sailor in Hindhead, Stanley of Africa in Pirbright and the ruins of Waverley Abbey near Farnham.
Of course, in addition to finding all this history, these walks take in some of the most beautiful countryside to be seen anywhere in Britain, and there is generally a pub on route as well!
We are, so far, only half way through the Surrey walks section of the book, so there is even more to discover over the coming year, and then who knows? Perhaps we may just start again!
Escaping the big smoke
Ive recently moved to Surrey after over a decade of living in London and happened to spot Surrey Life in my local newsagents. It was the front cover that caught my eye as Im a lifelong Crystal Palace fan and you had an excellent article on the club and ticket offer in your last edition.
This article aside, however, I spent the next hour reading all about my new surroundings and already have numerous dates in my diary to further explore this stunning county. It seems like there are plenty of things on offer to keep me busy. Thanks for making me feel at home so quickly!
Out of Africa
Having moved to the UK from South Africa in 1998, we have made Surrey our home. And what a beautiful county it is.
The latest edition of Surrey Life (January, 2011) is absolutely wonderful, so much so in fact that I decided without further ado to subscribe to it and ensure my regular copy.
I have also bought two additional copies that I am sending to my father (a regular visitor to Surrey) and another relative in South Africa. This edition is particularly beautiful and provides information and photographs about so many of the areas Ive visited, including Shere, Godstone, Dorking, Guildford and even Banstead where we now reside. I shall be adding anecdotes to the two additional copies in order to personalise them before sending them across the miles for others to enjoy.
I look forward to receiving and enjoying my regular copy of your lovely magazine.
Helping local wildlife
Here at Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead, we are bracing ourselves for our busiest period the annual orphan season, which starts in early spring, when we will be rescuing and rehabilitating literally thousands of abandoned and orphaned young animals, including badger and fox cubs, baby squirrels and owls, and many others.
As the only wildlife rehabilitation charity in the county, with a fully-equipped veterinary hospital and teams of volunteer helpers under the supervision of a full-time vet nurse, Wildlife Aid is increasingly inundated with animal patients from all over Surrey and surrounding areas. But thats what we are here for, and we have a round-the-clock helpline that you should call if you find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal in your garden or whilst walking, driving or riding in the Surrey countryside. And, of course, if you see a dead adult animal on the road, the chances are that its orphaned young will be somewhere nearby.
Our rescue and rehabilitation service is there for exactly this type of situation. You can be sure that each of the youngsters brought into Wildlife Aid will be lovingly cared for, so that even without a parent they can have a second chance at life. All our patients are returned to the wild as soon as they are able to fend for themselves, as we believe very strongly that a wild animal belongs in the wild.
In the event of a wildlife emergency, our helpline number is 09061 800 132 (calls charged at 50p per minute to help with the charitys funding).
Simon Cowell MBE,
Founder of Wildlife Aid, Leatherhead
Editors note: Dont miss Simons new book, The Owl with the Golden Heart, a collection of heart-warming stories about life at the charity. For more details, visit www.wildlifeaid.org.uk
Have you got the Heat factor?
Surrey Life often highlights the wealth of talent in our region so I am hoping your readers would like to take up an opportunity to showcase their talent.
Guildford Heat, Surreys only professional basketball team, is inviting talented groups of singers, dancers and entertainers to perform a five-minute routine at one of the breaks during its home games at Surrey Sports Park. The entertainment slot will be given to groups that meet the required standard and can sell a minimum of 50 tickets for the game at a discounted ticket price. This season, three of the home games will be filmed by Sky TV so there may even be an opportunity for the groups performance to be televised.
This is a great opportunity to showcase new talent in front of a crowd of about 700 people as well as to bring new audiences to Guildford Heat. For more details, call 01483 447327 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
General manager, Guildford Heat, Guildford
The perfect gift
Having given a Surrey Life subscription to my best friend for Christmas, I just wanted to let you know that I think its great to be able to give a gift as easily as this lovely magazine! Furthermore, its turned out to be double-good for me! You see, both of us are keen photographers, and with so many pages that let you know whats going on, now we will have plenty of ideas! So, thanks for this opportunity to look good in her eyes and for the special gift you will be sending every month for the next year... and possibly the following year!
From a land Down Under
I live in Melbourne, Australia, and have subscribed to Surrey Life for the last five years. I love the magazine and cannot wait for my monthly fix.
Having spent the first 21 years of my life in Surrey, and taken many things for granted, the photos and articles bring it all back to me with a great sense of nostalgia. I am fortunate to have a brother who lives in Hambledon and we visit as often as we can. My husband and I especially love the pubs with our favourite being The Dog and Pheasant in Brook. I miss the seasons and having Christmas in the heat has never seemed right.
So Surrey Life, I will continue to enjoy your lovely magazine. My next visit is for a nephews wedding in May 2011 and I will also be spending my 55th birthday in Surrey.
Bring it on!
Stop the eco park...
As a subscriber to and big fan of Surrey Life, I would like to make fellow readers aware of a situation happening here inShepperton, North Surrey, regarding planning proposals that, just over a year ago, no resident in the county thought they would have to fight off again.
No incinerators for Surrey, declared Surrey County Council in December 2009. Cue collective sighs of relief across the county, particularly those living around the Trumps Farm and Capel area who had been battling against proposals for an incinerator to be built in their vicinity for years. No one took much notice of the news that an eco park would be built instead, with Shepperton named as the host village.
As it transpires, alongside an anaerobic digestion facility, it would seem the aforementioned eco park is also due to house an incinerator that would come complete with a 160ft chimney visible from miles around. Residents of Shepperton and the surrounding villages (some living just 200m from the proposed facility) are furious; this is already the most polluted and densely populated part of the county with little greenbelt land remaining, so people are now pulling together to try and stop these plans in their tracks.
If you would like to know more, or can help the cause in any way, please get in touch via the campaign website satep.moonfruit.com. Your support would be gratefully received!
Buy with confidence
Every winter, Surrey County Council receives many complaints about rogue traders, who often target vulnerable people during colder periods when home repairs become more urgent.
As a result, we wanted to let readers know about our Buy with Confidence scheme, which lists hundreds of Surrey traders that have been vetted by trading standards to ensure they work in a fair and reliable way.
To find a trader you can trust, visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/buywithconfidence
Cabinet Member for Community Services, Surrey County Council
On the buses...
For the past few years, I have had an annual subscription to Surrey Life (the first time was when my daughter Annabel gave me one as a gift) and I love the magazine!
Also, Surrey is such a beautiful county and we who live here are really spoilt for what it offers.
For a year, I was unable to drive and I had (and still do) some memorable bus rides all over the place a bus pass is such a delight! If you have the time (and I do), the trip to Guildford is amazing, with beautiful countryside and no pressure involved with driving.
A friend and I also travel to Tunbridge Wells and Brighton courtesy of
the bus the only thing I am a bit despondent about is that not once has my bus pass been queried (and heres me thinking I still look no older than 40 anyway!)
Keep up the good work, and looking forward to many more issues.
Wray Common, Reigate
Why Surrey lacks taste
I always read the restaurant reviews in Surrey Life with interest, as its nice to get ideas for new places to try, and to me Surrey seems to lack top quality restaurants.
In fact, after living in Berkshire, I was surprised just how few really good ones there are.
As a result, we regularly seem to end up eating out in London, as I am often in town anyway and my husband works in The City. We do, however, like Strada in Cobham for Saturday lunch and Drakes in Ripley for special occasions.
Incidentally, a few years ago, I paid for Stuart, my hubbie, to go on a weeks cookery course at the Waterside Inn at Bray and then, when it was his 40th birthday, for three days with John Burton Race at LOrtolan. Hence, he cooks better than me Im more Delia Smith!
Bird's eye view
Having read an article about Surreys parakeets in your magazine, I just wanted to say how thankful I think we should be that these wonderful birds can survive the cold winter here.
What a fantastic blessing to have these colourful creatures here with us, when you have to travel far and wide to see them abroad.
Home, sweet home
I read with interest that you had recently left your office to become a home-worker. Ahh, the joys of working from home! Doing your own thing in your own time...
Weather fine? Go work in the garden, or just sit in it with your tea. Weather miserable? Put in a few extra hours of work. Want a day off?
Simple. Take it. You can make up the time early in the morning, in the lunch hour or in the evening. And you can do it in bits and pieces. Of course, one does miss the banter of the office. Okay, so the internet has taken over and you can still share jokes. But its not the same, is it?
Now you mention proofing in your pyjamas. And why not? Let me tell you why not. A friend of mine was told to work from home. His computer was in the bedroom. Oh joy! Out of bed and instantly at work. No. It didnt work like that. He had no enthusiasm. It didnt seem right. His wife told him to get up, have his breakfast and be shaved and dressed before sitting at the screen. Immediately, everything started to feel right again.
You do, of course, need discipline. Or you will have a beautifully tended garden, a gentle tan, and very little income... Believe me, I do wish you all the best!
The sound of music
I am just writing to say how much I enjoyed your piece on the countys choirs (Surrey Life, October).
Im a member of Guildford Harmony Guildfords own ladies barbershop chorus. We sing close harmony a cappella (not for profit though... we raise money for our charity of the year, and this year were supporting the Phyllis Tuckwell hospice).
The proceeds from our Christmas Concert on December 4 at Worplesdon Memorial Hall will all go to the charity. Were looking forward to that and the other Christmas performances weve got planned including an event at Pennyhill Park on December 6.
If anyone would like to come along to any of our concerts, please visit our website, www.guildfordharmony.com, or look for Guildford Harmony Chorus on Facebook.
Sense of dj vu
Perusing this months Surrey Life, I was struck with a strange sense of dj vu as I opened the restaurant review pages. Was this months Rock around the clockheadline by any chance inspired by last months Rock around the Lock?
Pedantry at its worst, I know, and for that I apologise. Perhaps next months review could be at a Dorking eatery near a certain roundabout Rock around the... well, I think you can guess! Otherwise, a grand read as ever.
Editors note: Ah, well-spotted, Florence! You are, of course, quite right. Its something I failed to notice myself, so full marks for being so eagle-eyed! And not pedantry at all... On the contrary, it is vital we know about things like this!
Help spread the word
I have an 18-year-old daughter with autism who longs to be able to meet boys. Like many other disabled young people, though, her opportunities are few, so I decided to do something to help her.
I have set up a monthly disco called DiscoDreams, which will be held in Oxted Community Hall for young people between the ages of 18 to 30 with autism, Downs syndrome and/or moderate learning difficulties. It is a non profit-making organisation, which so far I have funded myself. It is not a charity.
Unfortunately, the first disco only had four applicants. This was most likely due to the lack of advertising from the local government bodies, schools and special needs colleges I approached.
The next event will be held on Friday December 10, and I urgently need to reach as many of this group of young people as possible, so that the evening goes with a swing. With many thanks for your help in spreading the word.
Lady Astor of Hever,
The truth about foxes
There has been a lot of media hysteria about foxes lately, so I am writing to remind readers that fox attacks are extremely rare.
It is true that we now have thousands of urban foxes and they are becoming more confident as they become more familiar with humans. But it is still extremely rare for a fox even to come close, let alone to touch, scratch or bite a human unless cornered and provoked.
Since the summer, when these stories started appearing, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of poison and traps to kill foxes. Here at Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead, we have had to deal with no less than five separate cases of poisonings of foxes, and I have no doubt that this is a direct consequence of media misinformation and hysteria about the urban fox.
So, in light of all these concerns, this is our advice to Surrey Life readers:
- Please show respect for foxes and remember they are wild animals so should not be approached. Enjoy them at a distance, but do not get too close. The only occasions when a fox might scratch or bite a human is if they are cornered, injured, or to protect their young.
- Please do not encourage foxes to come into your garden by putting food out for them. Very occasionally a fox might venture near, or even into, a house but the only reason a fox would ever do so would be in pursuit of food.
- Please make sure your doors and windows are properly secured at all times, especially at night. This makes sense not just in keeping foxes and other wild animals out but burglars too!
For more information, visit our website at www.wildlifeaid.org.uk.
Simon Cowell MBE,
Founder, Wildlife Aid,
A note of thanks
Just a wee note to say my husband and I had the meal at The William Bray, which I won for the poem in Surrey Life last month. The food was gorgeous we both thoroughly enjoyed it so many thanks!
Editors note: Thanks Elizabeth Im so pleased you had a lovely time! If anyone else would like to be in with a chance of winning a meal for two at The William Bray, remember to keep sending us your letters and e-mails.
Surrey property market isnt out the woods yet
I have just read your September issue and both my wife and I were impressed enough that we are taking up the 12-month subscription offer.
I would, however, like to comment on the various articles and pages devoted to the Surrey property market. It is all very well for the agents to state that the market is starting to pick up, but I fear they only have their minds on the top end of the price scale.
Within the past three months, I have had a five-bedroom house on the market, in not too prestigious a location, for the price these agents recommended of 495,000.
The three local agents were instructed, but over the following six weeks only one of the agents had any viewings and it soon became clear that the market was subdued because not even a silly offer was received. Maybe it was a mistake to appoint three agents but my thinking was that the more bait spread on the water, the more likely it was to catch a fish.
May I suggest that in your next issue you consult some local agents in the lesser areas of Surrey although, again, they will be bullish, as is the nature of anyone dependant on houses being exchanged.
All the very best,
On the right track
On behalf of The Childrens Trust in Tadworth, I would like to thank everyone involved in a special charity race-night held at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher this summer, which raised an amazing 55,000!
Over 200 guests enjoyed a prime view of the evenings races in the Gold Cup Suite, with a champagne reception and dinner, before watching a live concert by rock band Razorlight. Also, six children, currently receiving care at The Childrens Trust, attended the event and were thrilled to meet the group.
We are delighted by the success of the evening and would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsor Devine Homes, Sandown Park Racecourse, volunteer helpers and finally guests who supported the event.
The money raised will help to enhance the lives of some of the UKs most severely disabled children.
For more information about us, visit our website: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk
Head of events, The Childrens Trust,Tadworth
A bird in hand
The RSPB would like to invite your readers to take part in our Feed the Birds Day on October 30.
The event coincides with the clocks going back and is a reminder that garden birds need our help this winter.
Feeding birds is a popular activity and could be a lifesaver for the many birds that come into our gardens in search of vital supplies.
The most commonly seen birds in Surrey last winter were the blue tit, woodpigeon and blackbird.
However, you might be lucky enough to get more unusual visitors, too, such as redwings and fieldfares.
There will also be a special Feed the Birds Day event at Farnham Heath on October 23. To find out more, see rspb.org.uk/feedthebirds.
RSPB South East
Paintings at the Palace
I am writing to let your readers know about an exhibition of botanical paintings by Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society, which is being held at the palace itself.
Renewed interest in botanical art has grown during the last 15 years with florilegium societies appearing at the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Eden Project, the most famous being the Highgrove Florilegium.
Almost all of the 25 painting members of the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society are graduates of the English Gardening School, where I am the course director of botanical painting.
Their aim is to record the range of plants grown in the palace gardens, with particular emphasis on the palaces collection of plants of historical interest.
The exhibition of paintings from the palace archive, as well as others for sale, by members of the society, will be on show at the Clore Centre, Hampton Court Palace from October 27-31. We look forward to seeing you there!
Sojourns into Surrey
I would like to thank you for all the places and things to do that you cover in Surrey Life.
Even though Ive lived in Guildford for the past ten years, I havent had chance to explore it very much yet.
So last year I started buying every issue of Surrey Life and enjoyed reading all the articles though still never made plans to visit any places due to starting my own business, an online wedding shop called Bridal Tales.
This summer, however, I made sure I had some free weekends to explore places such as Farnham Castle and Reigate Hill, and to picnic at Polesden Lacey and visit local pubs and restaurants suggested in the magazine, and they were fabulous!
Now, I cant wait to show friends and family (who live in Thailand) all these places! Im also looking forward to future issues of Surrey Life to see what else we can do in winter!
Enjoying our heritage
I am writing to thank you for your feature on Heritage Open Days (Surrey Life, September). Having moved to the area only recently, I wasnt aware of this annual event, but on reading about it in your magazine, we decided to go along to a few of the things, including Waverley Abbey, which we found especially fascinating. Thanks again for bringing this excellent event to our attention.
An ode to Surrey!
I have been reading Surrey Life magazine for the last year or so and thoroughly enjoy your publication and the Your Views page always interests me particularly.
So, I have decided to send you a poem that I have written about the lovely county of Surrey, in the hope that you might publish it.
Theres lots to see in Surrey, its filled with charm and grace,
View the diverse towns and villages, just enjoy at your own pace,
The scenery around, will take your breath away,
Like Box Hill and the Downs, on a fine and sunny day.
Or maybe you like shopping, antiques and real good food,
Then Guildford, Reigate and Dorking would definitely suit your mood,
But Farnham, Kingston and Epsom have lots to see and do,
With caves and shops and castles, come on and join the queue.
But theres still too many places, I havent listed here,
So many still to mention, you are spoilt for choice I fear,
So if you dont know Surrey, please come and visit soon,
Its a great old place to venture, its sure to make you swoon!
Editors note: Thank you so, so much for your lovely poem, Elizabeth it brightened our day up no end! If anyone else would like to send us a poem about Surrey, or indeed a story or song, wed love to read any others! Do drop us a line at email@example.com
More in-depth articles, please
I must agree and disagree with your August star letter I moved into the Surrey Hills five years ago and soon subscribed to Surrey Life.
I looked forward every month to reading the interesting articles on my local area, and the rest of Surrey. However, more recently, I have found that the magazine has become mainly advertisements.
I still subscribe, though seldom feel it a good read. I would like some more local interest in-depth articles it has become too superficial.
Editors note: Thank you very much for your letter Laura. We always appreciate feedback both good and bad so thanks for taking the time to write. Admittedly, the summer issues do tend to be a little bit smaller, but I am delighted to report that as we head into the autumn, we will be bringing you some truly bumper editions, In fact, not only is this issue the biggest ever edition of Surrey Life (at 212 pages!), it also has the highest number of editorial pages we have ever produced. I hope that as a result of this, you will find the magazine more to your liking again.
A wing and a prayer
We have lost our green Amazon parrot in the Godstone area of Surrey and would greatly appreciate a mention on your letters page in the hope your readers may be able to help us track her down.
She is primarily green with a yellow/blue head and red on one wing, has a very loud squawk and loves the theme tune to Emmerdale and Coronation Street. She also loves toast and chips.
We have had her for 25 years and are desperate to find her. She was last seen on July 3 at 5.30pm atHarts Lane South, Godstone. If anyone sees her, pleasecontact Valerie on 07526 645585.
Thank you so much for your help.
A Cross reader
Your recent pub feature (Surrey Life, July) does your readers a disservice. What a great pity that the writer did not consult some of the locals in Tilford before producing his review of the Barley Mow in your 12 of the best summer pub lunches.
Yes, the Barley Mow has character, is in a beautiful setting and is the archetypal village pub. But, how annoyed other local landlords must be to see their efforts ignored while this pub gets a star rating.
You ask for recommendations for next years review. Try the Crossways at Churt (7.1 rating on the beerintheevening scale and that is dragged down by the remarks of a Slug & Lettuce fan!). It is one of the last true pubs, where anyone can (and does) chat to anyone. It serves excellent, good-value traditional pub food (lunchtimes only), a good selection of real ales and ciders and has friendly and efficient staff.
Its walls are covered in CAMRA accolades and certificates. Here is a pub worthy of special mention and recommendation to your readers.
Editors note: Thanks Nick; we will definitely be paying a visit! And if anyone elses favourite pub was missed off the list, then let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Raise a cup!
Macmillan Cancer Support would like to invite your readers to take part in our Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday September 24.
We are looking to sign up a record 1,012 hosts to raise a phenomenal 185,000 across Surrey to help celebrate the 20th year of the event and would like to encourage anyone living in the local area to register.
All you would have to do is get together with friends or colleagues and enjoy cakes and a cuppa a very enjoyable way of helping us raise the 8.3m we need to reach more people affected by cancer.
The money you raise will help Macmillan fund specialist nurses, new cancer centres and grants to support people living with cancer who have financial problems. To find out more, go to www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee or call the hotline 0845 070 1315.
Macmillan Cancer Support,
Why Surrey Life is a must-have!
When I moved to the area four years ago, I quickly got into the routine of buying Surrey Life each month Ive not got around to subscribing but will do soon as it is my must-have read of the month. Filled with interesting articles, stunning pictures and inspirational ideas for the month, it has become my go-to source when planning excursions around our delightful county.
So, I wanted to write and say a big thank you to all at Surrey Life. You make my month more enjoyable, do Surrey proud with your enthusiasm and passion for the county and truly create a better read than anyone else. Keep up the great work and heres to many more brilliant editions to come.
Editors note: Thank you for your kind words, Danielle! If anyone else is interested in taking out a subscription, we have a great offer on now of 12 for 12.
Article was no tonic
I was just sipping my gin and tonic, and having my final flick through the June issue of Surrey Life, and looked again at the item on the perfect G&T and thought I really should drop you a line.
Its been Diabetes Week this week I have had Type 1 for over 26 years, and Ive been on BBC London helping to dismiss some of the myths surrounding diabetes.
Well, the Surrey Life take on the tonic with your gin was dont be tempted by diet versions but for some of us, however, full sugar versions are just not an option.
So, please dont slander slimline tonic, sing its praises, and if anything, start a campaign to increase the availability of completely sugar-free drinks in restaurants and pubs!
Back to the 80s
Are any of your readers able to help me, I wonder?
I am seeking a copy of the September 1988 edition of The Surrey County Magazine. Best price paid! Many thanks!
Please respond by e-mail to: email@example.com
Help Adams appeal
Here in Epsom, we have a very brave and special little boy called Adam Bird. He is six years old, and last July he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called Neuroblastoma.
He is currently being treated at the Royal Marsden, but his parents have launched an appeal to raise 300k (currently at 250k) to get him to America for a new treatment he cant get in the UK.
There are several ways to help us get the last 50k you can donate online, send a cheque or bid for one of our amazing auction prizes on the website.
There has been an overwhelming generosity shown by the Surrey people already. Please have a look at adamsappeal.org to find out more and read dad Nicks blog, which is the last thing I do most evenings.
Carole Ann Geddes,
A real superhero
In December, our wonderful son Alastair Burnett, aged six, died of juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia a rare and aggressive cancer. He was an incredible, brave boy, who impressed all with his desire for life and his brilliant sense of humour.
In Alastairs memory, a group of ten family and close friends have come together to raise money for the Royal Marsden in Sutton, by cycling from John OGroats to Lands End: 866 miles in ten days, starting on July 16. Alastair loved superheroes and as a result we will be doing the ride in superhero outfits!
We are aiming to raise 25,000 in sponsorship money for the paediatric department at the Royal Marsden, who afforded Alastair the most amazing level of love and care.
For example, we would like to buy laptops for children to use during the transplant process and pay for Skype connections to the childrens schools if they arent well enough to attend in person. Alastair did this and it was truly amazing, as he joined in lessons, answered questions and chatted to the children and teachers.
We would be very grateful if you could tell your readers about our website www.alisbigride.co.uk so they can find out more.
Lilliput and, er, the River Wey
Ive just read your article about movie locations on the Surrey Life website. Well, in response, heres another one!
Last summer, one Sunday morning, we came across a film unit on the river at Weybridge. They were filming on DOyly Carte Island.
Anyway, we asked the security what they were shooting and it turned out to be the new Gullivers Travels starring Jack Black!
With the film not yet released, I dont know if the location is going to be clearly visible in the finished version, but I thought readers might like to know anyway!
More than we hoped for!
Just a quick one to say thanks so much for the piece about the More Lane walled garden opening in Esher; many people came clutching the article from Surrey Life!
In fact, we had hundreds of visitors altogether and made over 1,000 not bad for a few hours of garden tours and some tea selling.
D M Hutchings,
Princess Alice Hospice, Esher
IF youd like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life magazine, send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.