Surrey news and views - your letters - December 2015
PUBLISHED: 10:25 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:44 01 December 2015
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Win a meal for two at one of Surrey’s top pubs!
If you’d like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life, write to us at the usual address or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every month, the writer of our Star Letter will win a dinner for two, up to the value of £50, at one of the five Surrey pubs run by Red Mist Leisure, who are passionate about fresh food, local produce and the perfect pint. The latest addition to the family is The Cock Inn at Headley, which reopened in March after some much-needed TLC to return this lovely country pub to its former glory. The prize is available from Monday to Thursday and booking is required. For more on Red Mist Leisure, see redmistleisure.co.uk.
A matter of boundaries
I am not a regular reader of Surrey Life and was pleased to find much of interest in the September edition.
I was curious in particular to find a feature on Croydon, and a number of references to Kingston and Richmond and places in their localities. The references clearly imply that these places are in Surrey. They are of course located in the London Boroughs of the same names and have not been in Surrey for some decades. They are no more parts of Surrey than Putney, Wandsworth, Clapham, Southwark and all points in-between that have been subsumed from Surrey into the area politically identified as London over the centuries.
Some mistakenly include Surrey in their addresses and justify this by reference to the fact that they do not have a London postcode. This is erroneous; the Post Office sort mail by reference only to the postcode and the county is of no relevance to them. Whether or not the code is a London code has no bearing on an address’s political location. Some by the same token still believe that they live in Middlesex, a county that does not even exist any more.
As to the fact that Surrey’s County Hall is located in Kingston, this is an anomaly deriving from the fact that the County Hall remained in Kingston when Kingston expanded in the last boundary changes. A proposal to move County Hall back into Surrey (to Woking) was abandoned on grounds principally of cost.
So I would be interested to know if Surrey Life simply adopts a loose understanding of ‘Surrey’ for editorial effect, or if you are unwittingly perpetuating the myth believed by many residents of outer South West London that they live in Surrey? If it is the former, where do you draw the line? In addition to those already mentioned, the London boroughs of Merton and Lambeth were also once in Surrey in whole or part, and contain many places of interest.
Editor’s note: Thanks very much for getting in touch, Andrew, and of course you’re absolutely right. However, since the start of Surrey Life over 40 years ago, the magazine has always featured some ‘old Surrey’ towns, including Kingston and Richmond, which have been swallowed up by London. They remain firmly in our remit and spirit, as we have a loyal following there, and also many of our readers enjoy visiting those places. On the plus side, we have decided to make you this month’s Star Letter, meaning you can enjoy a delicious dinner for two at one of the fine Red Mist pubs very definitely within the Surrey borders! Hope our occasional forays into ‘old Surrey’ didn’t spoil your enjoyment of the magazine. Thanks again. All the best, Caroline
Further to your photo of Fox Villa on Limpsfield Chart in the August edition of Surrey Life, I thought I would send you a picture of another residence that has been built on the Chart.
This is Hedgehog Hall, and in addition, there is also Peter Rabbit’s Post Office that I am afraid I haven’t got a photo of, complete with a little postbox for children to post letters to Peter and where replies are left for them. During the summer holidays, there was a steady flow of grandparents and children, coming into the woods to spot the “housing estate”.
These buildings are all the work of some of the National Trust volunteers (of whom my husband is one) who meet up on the Chart every Thursday morning and who do a fantastic job in keeping the woodland growth under control under the watchful eye of the local NT wardens, Mark and Eleanor.
A woodland wonder
I’m sure you’ve had many photos of Newlands Corner, but we got lost on a walk recently and found these old beauties. Been there many times and never knew they were there.
A space odyssey
Surrey is fortunate to have so many splendid commons and open spaces, but it would probably have far fewer were it not for the Open Spaces Society, founded as the Commons Preservation Society 150 years ago.
The society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, has fought through the courts and on the ground to save green spaces throughout England and Wales. Its founders, including Robert Hunter who lived in Haslemere, went on to form the National Trust (NT) and create local committees to raise money so that the trust could acquire land. For instance, to give just one example, the society saved Hindhead Common for the nation in 1906.
Today, the society is needed more than ever as it lobbies to save open spaces and public paths from destruction by development or neglect through public-funding cuts. It needs your support, and you can find out more on our website at oss.org.uk.
The Open Spaces Society