Bruce Foxton on his perfect Surrey weekend
PUBLISHED: 11:28 15 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:46 24 March 2015
Former bassist with The Jam, Bruce Foxton likes nothing more than retreating to the tranquillity of his home in Hascombe when he’s not out on the road touring – especially as there’s an energetic golden retriever who’s eagerly awaiting his return...
We’re still busy playing up and down the country with our group From the Jam, so it’s unusual to get a weekend when my wife Kate and I can just relax.
When we do, Friday evening is for resting. We’ve lived in Hascombe since last August and it’s a tranquil area, so we’ll tend to chill out in the garden with a glass or two of wine.
We keep talking about de-rusting the barbeque but I’m one of those people who puts their sunglasses on and the clouds come over. We always say: “If it’s at the Foxtons, bring an umbrella!” But hopefully we’ll be able to sling a few prawns on the barbie this year.
On Saturdays, we’ll take our one-year-old golden retriever Freddie for a long walk. Maybe I’m getting older but we’ve just joined the National Trust. They sent us a sticker for the car but I haven’t been able to bring myself to stick it on yet!
Anyway, we’ve just discovered Winkworth Arboretum. My wife and I can be like ships in the night with our jobs, so it’s nice to be able to spend some time together somewhere so beautiful. I’m no flower expert, but it’s a very pretty place.
As we’re still new to this area, there’s always something to discover, and plenty of walks for Freddie on our doorstep. He’s not a fan of cars, so it’s great to be able to walk straight out the door somewhere nice.
After a walk, we might head somewhere like The White Horse in Hascombe, which I used to frequent years ago when Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans lived in the area. It’s still very good today and has a nice bar. It’s great to catch up with the locals.
Memories of Scratchers
We don’t go to many gigs these days; it’s a bit like a busman’s holiday – and I can get a bit anorakish and critical! There’s a pub in Farncombe called The Three Lions, which used to be known as Scratchers. I used to go there a lot back in the day and I discovered The Vapors there. I’ve been meaning to head back to reminisce.
To be honest though, usually I’m just looking for a little peace and quiet! As such, one of my hobbies is golf – although it can be quite difficult to find the time to play. I was a member of Bramley for about 15 years but touring meant I was playing so rarely it was costing about as much per round as Wentworth! Fortunately, the singer in From the Jam, Russell Hastings, also plays, so we have been enjoying a few rounds recently.
Sundays are for relaxing but we don’t quite get the lay-in we once enjoyed, with Freddie always eager to get out and about. We might start with a cooked breakfast if we’re treating ourselves and check the news – usually with an iPad rather than the papers.
Later, we may head over to The Merry Harriers in Hambledon, which does a really good Sunday lunch. If we’re not driving, we might have a couple of drinks and that’ll be me done for the day and ready for an evening in front of the box. I like a good thriller and old movies. We’ve been transfixed to the mind-chilling Happy Valley recently and otherwise I like a good who-done-it like Midsummer Murders or Poirot. I’m not making myself sound very rock ‘n’ roll here, am I?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m wishing I was back on the road right now. While I love my family, we’ve got the builders round and they’re knocking big holes in the walls. Maybe it’s time to escape these four walls for the tranquillity outdoors!
• Find out where Bruce and From the Jam are heading next on his website at brucefoxton.com
And a few more Surrey rock tales
• The Jam's Bruce Foxton on Farnham life and rocking in Ripley with Weller
• In the four years that John Lennon lived in Weybridge from 1964, The Beatles cemented their status as the world’s biggest band.
• Ringo Starr is a keen photographer and has a house in leafy Cranleigh.
• The Faces’ Kenney Jones owns Hurtwood Park polo club in Ewhurst and singer Mick Hucknall lives by Burhill Golf Course in Walton-on-Thames.
• Status Quo's Francis Rossi is happy living the quiet life in Purley's Webb Estate.
• Discover life down The Farm with Genesis' Mike Rutherford.
• Genesis Publications in Guildford has been creating limited edition hand-bound books mainly about rock stars and bands for over 35 years.
• Queen guitarist Brian May lives with his wife, the actress Anita Dobson, in the West End area, near Woking, where they have an animal rescue centre in the garden.
• Recording studios: the now closed Strawberry South studio in Dorking was opened by 10ccs Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, in 1976, and is said to be where parts of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s Ebony and Ivory were recorded.
• Ginger dreadlocked Surrey songsmith Newton Faulkner once worked at Fanny’s Farm Shop near Redhill.