Surrey news and views - your letters - December 2014

PUBLISHED: 17:39 24 November 2014 | UPDATED: 18:00 24 November 2014

Decembers Surrey Life magazine cover took a Narnia theme (Illustration: Pauline Baynes / copyright: CS Lewis Pte Ltd 1950)

Decembers Surrey Life magazine cover took a Narnia theme (Illustration: Pauline Baynes / copyright: CS Lewis Pte Ltd 1950)


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, 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




Great oaks from little acorns...

Dear Editor,

In spite of a soggy Saturday, this year’s Surrey Hills Wood Fair was a great success – and, as leader of the organising team, I’d like to say a big thank you to Surrey Life for all the publicity you gave us in the months leading up to the event. It obviously worked! Our surveys showed that a good number of our visitors knew about the event through your publication.

I’d also like to thank everyone who came along to discover “all that’s good about wood”. There were more family orientated activities this year and it was great to see young people not only enjoying themselves but gaining an understanding of woodlands and woodland products. We are only the custodians of our countryside so it is vital that the younger generations learn the importance of protecting and supporting it too.

The fair was put on primarily to promote wood and all that can be done with it, providing a showcase for all the marvellous local craftsmen and producers – so a high public turnout gave us a win-win situation. Again, a big thank you to all of our exhibitors for their participation as well.

Finally, I must thank my small team and all the volunteers who made everything work so well over the weekend. My next challenge? I’ve got to do it all over again for the first weekend of October next year – but even better!


Best wishes,

Ken Bare,

Chairman of the Surrey Hills Wood Fair Organising Team


Editor’s note: Dear Ken, thank you so much for your lovely e-mail. After all that hard work, we reckon you deserve the chance to put your feet up and enjoy a delicious dinner for two at the fantastic William Bray in Shere so we’re making you this month’s Star Letter! 
All the very best, Caroline



Standing up for our countryside


Dear Editor,

I wanted to get in touch following your open letter to David Cameron about saving our Green Belt (Surrey Life, November).

Having read with increasing concern about the plans to build in our treasured countryside, it was great to see someone taking a stand on the issue.

As your correspondent so rightly pointed out, if we don’t act now, it will be gone forever, and in its place we will have vast estates of bland new housing; is that what we really want for our rolling countryside?

I would suggest that the only people who are going to benefit from that are the developers laughing all the way to the bank.



John Eaves,

Via e-mail


Editor’s note: Dear John, thank you very much for taking the time to write. If anyone else wants to read our open letter to David Cameron, you can find it on our website at – and let me know your own views by e-mailing editor@surrey Best wishes, Caroline



Uncovering the history of Box Hill


Dear Editor,

I wonder if I may through your letters page request the help of Surrey residents in a long-term social-history project?

I am researching the development of Box Hill village following the sale of the High Ashurst and Deepdene sporting estates – before which time Box Hill existed only as a beauty spot with a few scattered estate houses and not as a residential village.

When the estate land was parcelled up and sold off in 1921, much of it was sub- divided into building plots of varying sizes, creating a housing footprint that has changed little during the subsequent 80 years. However, during its first 50 years as a village, Box Hill was also home to a number of small businesses that no longer exist but at the time were serving the large numbers of visitors whose numbers greatly exceeded present-day figures. I would like to bring those formative years back to life in what is a unique opportunity to chart the modern-day emergence of a village from centuries-old woods and pastures.

As such, I am trying to locate documents, photos or personal recollections that could be used to flesh out the bare facts recorded in official documents and contemporaneous newspaper reports. If any resident has such material and would be willing to show it to me, or loan it to me for a brief period, I would ask them to contact me on 01737 844835 or email House and land conveyances are particularly informative, along with any family history relating to life and work in the village, or at Box Hill’s own Downton Abbey – Earl Harrowby’s 40-bedroom mansion and estate at High Ashurst.


Yours faithfully,

Graham Whyte,

Box Hill



A bird in the hand

Dear Editor,

I wondered whether you might like to include these pictures in the pages of Surrey Life for your readers’ enjoyment? I took them just recently by Banstead Woods.

The picture of the blue tit was taken during a bird ringing demonstration on the Scrub, and I particularly enjoyed seeing its markings so close up. The event was arranged by Canons Farm and Banstead Woods Bird Group, of which I am a keen supporter – see google for other events and news of this group. For example, there is a Winter Tour on Saturday December 13 from 9am to 12noon, which all are welcome to join in.

The snail with the amazing shell is a Roman snail, edible and introduced by the Romans; they are often seen on the Downs.


Best Wishes

Linda Mount,

Via e-mail


Gem of a tea room

Dear Editor,

I should like to tell you about a little gem of a tearoom at Clandon.

If you take the turning for Clandon House (the National Trust property) and continue past it, you will then come to Clandon Nurseries.

The name “tearoom” is really a misnomer since they serve lunches (all home-made) and delicious cakes and scones – again home-made.

The staff are very helpful and friendly and many people go there for the tearoom experience, although the nursery is excellent too. Perhaps you could pay a visit?


Best wishes,

June and Gordon Cockburn,

Via e-mail


Editor’s note: Dear June and Gordon – thank you so much for your excellent recommendation – we will be sure to add that one to the list! All the best, Caroline



Turning tables

Dear Editor,

I write on behalf of the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham to appeal to Surrey Life readers for any unwanted furniture.

For the past few weeks, the hospice has witnessed a sharp decline in donations, which has impacted on the amount of money raised by the charity’s two Furniture Showrooms in Farnham and Guildford.

Furniture donations are an extremely important part of the Hospice’s income and, without the generosity of our local community, we would be unable to continue delivering such an exceptional level of care to our patients and their families.

We accept most items – from wardrobes to sofas – so if you have any unwanted furniture please get in touch. You can arrange collection of any unwanted items by calling the hospice’s dedicated team of drivers on 01252 710679.


Kind regards,

Jen Barnes,

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice,





A happy customer

Dear Editor,

I have just picked up Surrey Life for, I must admit, the first time ever and found ‘Art Life’. It’s brilliant. I love the page of information on artists and exhibitions in Surrey, especially the ‘Meet the Artist’, Jennifer Jokhoo, showing her stunning work and Uncle Stubble’s giant wall canvases, which were incredible.

I am a Guildford-based artist, so it is so good to read and see an article on local artists doing different, exciting artwork.

I shall look forward to seeing the next edition of the magazine.


Kind regards,

Susanne Winter,



Editor’s note: Dear Susan, thank you for your lovely e-mail – you have quite made our day! We hope that you continue to enjoy the magazine. Also, to get it delivered straight to your door at no extra charge, check out our latest subscription deal.


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