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AN original RAF Ariel motorcycle from 1942, a Dodge WC52 light military truck and a swarm of Willys Jeeps were just some of the highlights at the 15th annual Military Vehicles Day at Brooklands Museum.

Living History Groups staged displays around the site, including the Royal Union rifles, the 10th Battalion The Essex Regiment A Company, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and the Royal Military Police.

The recently restored Finishing Straight of the original race track was filled with Land Rovers in their varying guises as bomb disposal, radio, fire and support vehicles. Heavier trucks and lorries featured by the Race Bays together with iconic Willys Jeeps. Brooklands’ automotive past was represented with familiar marques adorning military creations such as a 1969 Alvis Stalwart load carrier, 1953 Daimler Ferret scout car and a Humber ‘Pig’ APC (armoured personnel carrier) from 1958.

Some of the lighter military vehicles were put through their paces on the off-road course at neighbouring Mercedes-Benz World, while others tackled ascents of Brooklands’ Test Hill.

The museum also played host to members of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame, who arrived in Weybridge recently from as far afield as the United States. Treated to an impressive and noisy demonstration run of the Napier Railton on the re-opened Finishing Straight, there was a tour of the museum and a stint on the F1 simulator, before the group headed off for a Gala Awards Dinner.

More speed demons, albeit of a different vintage, were commemorated on Wednesday to mark the 120th anniversary of the very first British motor races organised by the Motor Car Club, which saw historic De Dion Bouton motor tricycles take to a circuit laid out at Brooklands and contest several races.

GOLDSWORTH Primary School has played host to two teachers from in China as part of a worldwide scheme to revolutionise maths teaching.

The visit was part of an exchange in which Year 2 teacher Georgie Samuel spent two weeks in the Chinese city of Shanghai earlier this year learning more about advanced techniques, and taking a lesson.

Chinese teachers Yan Wang and Weijie Ou helping Goldsworth Primary School children in a maths lesson

Earlier this month, Yan Wang from Shanghai Pudong New Area Yugiao Primary School and Weijie Ou from Jinyuan Senior High School made the reverse journey and taught in Woking.

Georgie said that Mr Ou taught her class while Miss Wang led Ruth Barrett’s 6B.

“The children have made our Chinese teachers feel very welcome and have been inquisitive themselves about what teaching is like in Shanghai, asking many questions. They have enjoyed and coped very well with a different style of teaching.”

The main event of the exchange was lessons on consecutive days by the Chinese teachers in the school hall – observed by 70 visiting teachers from across the county.

Georgie said the Year 6 children told her they enjoyed the Chinese style of teaching maths. Some found it tricky at first but developed their resilience.

“The Year 2s enjoyed Mr Ou’s lessons, in particular his use of number lines and comic characters to introduce concepts which they found fun,” she said.

“Many children commented on how much they enjoyed his use of games throughout his lessons and that they hadn’t realised you could solve multiplication and addition in the same equation.”

The exchange scheme is part of an effort to promote “mastery” techniques in maths and other subjects. The aim is to ensure that children understand a particular concept before moving on to the next one and do deepen their understanding rather than move on quickly.

Georgie, who lives in Old Woking with husband Tom, an IT consultant, and children Bobby, 10, and Harrison, 8, said the Miss Wang and Mr Ou declared that Goldsworth Primary School was “lovely and beautiful”.

“They were moved by the amount we had prepared for them and felt very welcomed by our lovely children. They commented on our amazing classroom decoration and how warm the school felt. They were amazed by the number of different activities we offer children.”

The Chinese teachers told the News & Mail they enjoyed their time in Woking and the brief amount of time they were able to spend sightseeing.

“You have a very beautiful church,” Mr Ou said.

FIREFIGHTERS in Woking are throwing their weight behind a Christmas gifts appeal.

Crews at the station in Goldsworth Road are collecting contributions for festive parcels that will be given to needy families by the Salvation Army.

They are hoping to deliver a fire engine load of toys and other presents to the army’s wrapping centre in Goldsworth Park next week.

From left: Watch Commander Ian Goddard, Firefighter Michael Frost, Major John Martin, Firefighter Mark Rios-Vinas, Firefighter Dan Wyatt and Charlotte Martin, with Amelia Martin, aged 21 months, at the front.

Firefighter’s wife Charlotte Moss suggested that Woking Fire Station joined the appeal, after hearing about it at Hopscotch playgroup in New Haw, where she takes toddler daughter Amelia.

Husband Dwayne, a member of Red Watch, put the idea to his colleagues and they eagerly agreed to support the initiative.

“I thought it was really good cause,” Charlotte told the News & Mail. “We need people to bring new toys and other suitable gifts to the fire station, but they must be unwrapped so that they can be easily sorted.”

Particularly needed are presents suitable for teenage boys and girls, such as books, make-up and toiletries, gloves, scarves, hats, T-shirts, hair accessories and gift vouchers.

For children aged up to three, dolls, teddy bears, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes, puzzles are needed.

And age-group related toys, from dolls and action figures to DVDs and wordsearch books, are required for those aged up to 12.

The Salvation Army’s church leader in Woking, Major John Martin is in charge of the appeal.

“Last year, we were able to deliver 546 parcels, which included gifts and food and items such as toiletries, to families in the area,” he said. “We hope to collect enough good to do at least the same, more if possible, this year.

Donations can be taken to Woking Fire Station in Goldsworth Road at any time, seven days a week, until next Wednesday morning. Someone will always answer the door if the appliances are not out on a call.

Around 40 volunteers will be at the army’s community church in Sythwood, Goldsworth Park, on Thursday to start sorting and compiling the parcels.

Donations can also be taken to the church between 9am and 3pm every day.

STUDENTS from Woking High School enjoyed a double delight when they won both categories of the district round of a Youth Speaks competition.

The school’s Team A won the Rotary Club of Woking District senior section, and the school’s Team B was successful in the intermediate section.

A group photograph featuring all the senior teams with Rotary president Graham Gibson

Team A spoke on the subject Winning at all Costs? And team B spoke on the topic Is it the End of the Road for the Car?

Woking High A was represented by  Sam Webb, Rithika Muralidharan and Alys Harrison. Woking High B was represented by Abigail Lambert, Charlotte Hamilton and Tony Webb (RHS).

The public speaking competition for schools was held at the Dianthus Centre in Goldsworth Park recently.

Event organiser, Rotarian Peter Kleyn said: “I am pleased to say that this competition remains very popular and every year the bar gets higher.

“The ability to speak well in public is a key development skill for young people, and it is no wonder that we saw every team performing to a very high standard.

“Congratulations on the use of vocabulary and public speaking techniques that were mastered by all teams.

“My thanks to the teachers who provided their students with this important experience and also to the supportive parents. I look forward to seeing the successful teams in the next round of this national competition.”

Seven teams contested the event and included teams from St John the Baptist and Gordon’s School.

The competition was open to teams of three, and each  consisted of a chair, speaker and vote of thanks.

Judges awarded points to the teams for fulfilling certain criteria; such as demonstrating clear thinking and their ability to summarise complex subjects.

A CHRISTIAN charity supporting the area’s schools has the solution for festive shoppers struggling for Christmas gift ideas for others or even themselves.

Engage Woking Schools, based in Goldsworth Park, has launched a fund-raising “virtual” Christmas gift scheme to help towards its running costs. Supporters can give friends and loved ones one of its “virtual” gifts, or ask them to buy one for you.

Helen Taylor and Shelley Tuohy, from Engage, with the Christmas gift leaflet

Many local schoolchildren will be familiar with visits to their school by Engage. Its workers and volunteers provide school assembles and bible storytelling sessions in over 30 primary schools in and around Woking and Chobham.

In secondary schools and Woking College, the charity provides various services such as student mentoring, Christian Union meetings and support for students and teachers.

Its services are free of charge to schools and students, so it relies on financial support from churches and individuals, as well as on many volunteers who freely give their time and talents.

Choosing a “virtual” gift ­­– such as paying for a costume or prop for assemblies, a bible used in storytelling, or the cost of helpful booklet for students moving from primary to secondary school – will help Engage’s work.

The charity will provide a certificate recognising each gift for the donor to give to a family member, friend or loved one.

Full details are on the charity’s web site at www.engagewoking.org/christmas. To request a gift leaflet by post call 01483 762424 or email office@engagewoking.org.

IT’S BEGINNING to look a lot like Christmas in Byfleet, after the festive lights switch-on and then a Christmas Fayre at the village hall attended by Santa himself.

The choirs from both local schools, St Mary’s and Byfleet Primary, sung carols in the hall last Thursday before the crowd headed to Plough Green for the village lights countdown, the illuminations given some regal style by the Parish Day King, Queen, Prince and Princess.

Amy and Emily Turner-Saunders get a hug with Santa

Other entertainment on the night included stilt-walking Bonnie the elf, some top tunes from the Ukeaholics and the chance for a chat with Father Christmas.

Mr Claus was a very busy man as he also attended the seasonal fayre at the village hall on Saturday, arriving by sports car rather than sleigh. As well as his grotto, other fun included craft and gift stalls, face painting, refreshments and balloon modelling.

There’s plenty to sing about in the forthcoming weeks as well.

“Now that our lights have been switched on we can look forward to Christmas even more,” added Rev Dr John McCabe. “On Sunday 17 December Byfleet Methodist Church invites all to the Carol service at 3.30pm. In West Byfleet, the Catholic Church of our Lady help of Christians invites people to the 4pm Carol service, and at 5.30pm that same day, 17 December , St Mary’s Byfleet is inviting all comers to a new format of Carol service with singing led by a community choir, guided by our seasonal choir leaders David and Louise Fuge.

“Applications to sing from children and adults are welcome! Please contact our Church Office for details on churchoffice@stmaryschurchbyfleet.org.uk.”

HUNDREDS of people will be getting into the festive spirit in Chobham on Friday next week, 8 December.

The village is staging its annual Christmas Extravaganza, with seasonal activities, refreshments and entertainment and many shops opening late to offer discounts on their goods.

The event begins at 3.30pm with the start of St Lawrence Primary School’s Christmas fair in the school hall and a special session of Chobham Country Market in the church hall opening.

Father Christmas will be in his grotto at the school, greeting pupils until 5.30pm and then other children until 8pm.

The Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Valerie White, switches on the Christmas tree lights on Benhams Corner green at 6pm, followed by carol singing and a performance by Chobham Morris dancers.

Stalls selling gifts and seasonal merchandise will be set up in the churchyard, along with the Chobham Scouts’ refreshment tent – which specialises in campfire doughnuts.

The choirs of St Lawrence and Coworth Flexlands schools will be singing outside the church at 6.15pm, followed by live music at the White Hart pub and Pasha’s restaurant from 6.30pm.

Hot food will be able in the yard at The Sun pub, which is also hosting a children’s merry-go-round. Another youngsters’ roundabout will be set up in Cannon Crescent at the other end of High Street.

Chobham Flowers will be staging wreath-making lessons and families can enjoy hair-braiding and facepainting at the Velvet Rooms hair salon.

Waterfords estate agents will be handing out free re-useable shopping bags from 3.30pm, for people to take home their Christmas goodies.

“A lot of people have worked hard to make sure our annual village celebration has something for everyone,” said organisers’ chairman Ros Mosely, owner of the Betty & Claude ladies’ fashions shop in High Street.

“We want to show that Chobham has a lot to offer, especially at this time of year, and we’re sure that everyone who comes to the extravaganza will have a really enjoyable time.”

A FAMILY run butchers with shops in Brookwood and Pirbright is celebrating 90 years in business.

Fulk Bros Family Butchers was established on June 7 1927, in Connaught Road, Brookwood with a shop and slaughterhouse. The family have many memories and stories of their time in business and some are recalled here.

An earlier butcher by the name of CH Fulk traded from a building called Aberdeen House in Star Hill, Woking.

It is thought that business was started as long ago as 1860, with a yard at the back of the premises to hold livestock. There are stories of ‘well to do’ people arriving at the shop and sitting in their horse-drawn carriages while their orders were taken.

Butcher – Tony Fulk

At Brookwood, sheep and cattle arrived at the railway station from as far afield as the West Country and Scotland. They were then driven into fields in Lye Road until needed. Gate boys were employed to make sure garden gates along the route were closed to ensure the animals did not stray.

Many years ago drovers brought cattle and sheep from Chichester and Barnham in West Sussex to the Woking area, the journey taking three days. Some were dropped off at other butchers along the way.  Evidently, a drover known as ‘Dawky’ was paid three shillings for his work. Back then lambs cost seven shillings and six pence (37.5p). Today Fulk Bros pays £75 per lamb, plus slaughtering and delivery costs.

Before modern refrigeration, ice was used to keep the meat cool. Large blocks of ice were delivered from an ice factory in Guildford. At the end of each week all the melted ice had to be swept out. Today slaughtering of the livestock Fulks Bros buys is outsourced.

The Pirbright shop once had three window shutters and during freezing winters braziers were used in the shop to stop the fresh meat freezing! Early in the 1950s windows were installed and fridges were put in to make life easier.

Brookwood Hospital was once supplied with large quantities of pork, while animals were raised by Bob Fulk on farms in Pirbright and Normandy.  His prize winning herd of Large White pigs were exported all over the world.

The original shop in Pirbright opened in 1938. It was on the side of the Cricketers pub. Where today’s shop is was once a cart shed.

Four generation of Fulks have been involved in the business that is now headed up by Jo Fulk. However, Tony Fulk is still firmly the face of the business. On the subject of its success and longevity, he said: “Quite simply, tradition, high quality meats, unique customer service and most of all our customers, many becoming lifelong friends.”

He likes to buy livestock ‘on the hoof’ directly from farms and markets and in 2015 his sausages were judged to be the finest in Surrey in a competition hosted by the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

If you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call me, David Rose, on 01483 838960, or drop a line to the Woking News & Mail.

David Rose is a local historian and writer who specialises in what he calls “the history within living memory” of people, places and events in the west Surrey area covering towns such as Woking and Guildford. He collects old photos and memorabilia relating to the area and the subject, and regularly gives illustrated local history talks to groups and societies. Email address: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

WOKING Air Training Corps cadets held their annual inspection, with one of the latest recruits getting to meet the Officer Commanding of Squadron 27, that flies Chinook helicopters.

Eshan Miah, who has been with 1349 (Woking) Squadron, ATC, for about six weeks, was on parade when Wing Commander Phil Wadlow stopped for a quick chat during the parade, picture.

Attention – the cadets are ready for inspection; above, Wing Commander Wadlow and Eshan Miah

The cadets, who meet at the Hoe Valley Community Centre on two evenings a week, are connected with the squadron based in Odiham, Hampshire, through a former member of 1349 who went there about seven years ago.

The link also brough connections with the Worshipful Company of Horners, who have provided valuable sponsorship.

The cadets can begin at Year 8 and can apply to stay beyond the age of 18 if they have gained sufficient skills to be able to train the youngsters.

There are also adult more senior officers, including the Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Wendy White, who joined the cadets in 1998 and has been in Woking for nearly 10 years.

Wendy is a sign language interpreter and said that the other adult staff were from a wide range of jobs, including police officers, firefighters and company directors.

Annemarie Nijeboer Exhibition

The first major exhibition since 2000 by one of Surrey’s most celebrated impressionist artists and Woking resident, Annemarie Nijeboer is due to open on 20 November.

The exhibition at Barbers Gallery in Woking town centre is due to run until 2 December in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK and will include 40 of Annemarie’s works, ranging from pastoral Surrey scenes around the Wey, moody and eclectic Moroccan inspired work, London and Venice city scenes and her recognised Horse Racing and Polo work.

Impressionism – Cows by the River Wey

Having started focused on impressionistic oil paintings in the 1980’s in Buenos Aires, her first solo exhibition in the historical Museo Peyrredon in Buenos Aires became an instant success with excellent reviews in the Argentinian national press.

Her last major successful exhibition of some 50 paintings was at the Guildford House Gallery in 2000. She has been meanwhile continuing to paint animals and portraits in a unique and dramatic style with landscapes especially influenced by Surrey’s rivers and canals.

Stuart Herring of Barbers said: “Annemarie is a true talent and one of the most striking and original artists we have worked with. We look forward to welcoming her to Barbers.”