Surrey news and views - your letters - August 2014

PUBLISHED: 15:58 23 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:29 24 July 2014

Surrey Life magazine August 2014

Surrey Life magazine August 2014


Win a meal for two at one of Surrey’s top pubs by sharing your news and views with Surrey Life magazine

IF you’d like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life, write to us at the usual address or e-mail Every month, the writer of our star letter wins a three-course dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere (available Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required). For more on The William Bray, call 01483 202044 or see





Light at the end of the tunnel

Dear Editor,

Further to your recent feature and correspondence regarding the Reigate Hill tunnels, I wanted to get in touch to let you know that my mother, Cora Prince (formerly Adams), was a teleprinter switchboard operator in the tunnels from 12 days after D-Day 1944 for 12 months.

She often talks about ‘her tunnels’ and the 95 steps that she climbed to be let in and the nervous feeling when the iron doors clanged shut after admission!

Her work there on the teleprinter was to send supplies and trucks for troops coming home. Incoming cipher messages were taken to the cipher office where the door was unbolted and a hand came out to retrieve them! She recalls being shown a pigeon loft there as well.

Also, she was in her billet in Beech Road, Reigate, when the Flying Fortress bomber came down and remembers how girls from the house ran up towards the hill, but were told to go back for fear that the plane could be carrying explosives.

At 89 years old, she is extremely entertaining and I think these were some of her happiest times! Sadly, though, no recollection of the fort!

Kind regards,

Sue Jones,


Editor’s note: Dear Sue, thank you so much for getting in touch. We found your letter absolutely fascinating. Although we’d managed to track down a few people who were aware of the tunnels’ existence, your mother is the first person we’ve come across who actually worked there! The team at the National Trust are understandably thrilled too. By way of a thank you, we would like to make you our Star Letter, meaning that you can both enjoy a delicious dinner at The William Bray in Shere! Thank you again! Caroline

PS. If anyone else has any knowledge of the mysterious military tunnels under Reigate Hill, we’d love to hear from you!




It’s a dog’s life in Puttenham...

Dear Editor,

Further to your editor’s welcome in last month’s Surrey Life magazine, in which you asked for ideas for good dog walks, we are just getting in touch with a recommendation.

Our little French bulldog, Monsieur Remy (you can follow him on Twitter at @Monsieur_Remy), loves his walks on Puttenham Common!

There are hills with incredible views, ponds with little beaches for dog-swimming, nice wide easy paths and smaller treacherous paths for the more adventurous!

Best wishes,

Stephanie Bishop,


Editor’s note: Dear Stephanie, many thanks for that – it sounds great! And the photos are beautiful. In fact, thank you to everyone who so kindly got in touch, both with suggestions of dog walks – we are going to be very fit! – and the various bits of advice. We’ve loved hearing about people’s experiences with rescue dogs too. Thanks again, Caroline




Act now to save the Green Belt

Dear Editor,

I am just getting in touch because I have been growing increasingly concerned about all this talk of building on the Green Belt in Surrey.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Green Belt meant to be sacrosanct? A sacred space to be protected at all costs? The last buffer zone to stop our green and pleasant land from becoming a concrete jungle?

I understand that the local councils are at the mercy of central government targets when it comes to housing, but I refuse to believe there aren’t more brownfield sites that could be exploited before resorting to this desperate measure.

Come on everyone; if we don’t speak up now and let our local councils know how strongly we feel about this, then we will have no excuse when the bulldozers move in.

As a fellow reader put it so eloquently on these pages: once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Brian Wright,

Via e-mail




Purple haze...

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to get in touch to say how much I loved your latest cover photo (Surrey Life, July edition).

I had no idea that lavender was grown in this part of Surrey, let alone that it was an important crop historically for the county, and can’t help but feel rather proud of the fact!

We will certainly be paying a visit to Mayfield Lavender for their annual festival this summer and I’m looking forward to buying some things in their shop too!

Thank you very much for bringing it to our attention.



R. Jones,



Editor’s note: For more on Mayfield Lavender, visit




A super weekend


Dear Editor,

I would like to thank everyone who helped to make this year’s Supercar Event, held at Dunsfold Park in aid of The Children’s Trust, such an amazing success. Over 16,000 visitors attended, raising an incredible £90,000 for children with a brain injury.

We were thrilled with the turnout and also the special visit from Elaine Paige OBE, and also from Chris Evans who very generously auctioned five rides in his amazing Ferrari LaFerrari raising £5,000.

Our grateful thanks to the supercar committee, the drivers who provided their own cars and petrol, the 480 volunteers, and finally to the sponsors: Lexus, Fidelity, QuickSilver Exhausts and Surrey Life.

Entry tickets for the 2015 Supercar Event, taking place on June 20 and 21, are now available to purchase at a special discount of 20% until the end of December 2014 – for details, see

Thanks again.


Yours sincerely,

Dalton Leong, chief executive, The Children’s Trust





Making magical memories


Dear Editor,

We would like to encourage Surrey residents to sign up for the Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, the charity’s biggest annual fund-raising event, taking place at Painshill Park, in Cobham, on Sunday September 7.

Surrey resident Ruth Langsford, presenter of ITV’s This Morning and Loose Women, will be putting on her walking boots and joining in the fun. Alongside Ruth, walkers can discover the stunning 18th Century, Grade 1 listed landscaped gardens.

There is also a choice between a gentle 2km walk or a more challenging 10km walk so there’s something on offer for everyone.

The money raised will help to support people living with dementia and fund research to find a cure once and for all.

To sign up, people should go to


Yours sincerely,

Jacqui Parfitt,

Alzheimer’s Society


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