Woking Business

WOKING & Sam Beare Hospice has paid tribute to its fundraising “heroes’’ following a string of donations.

The latest so-called Hospice Heroes to gain a mention have raised thousands of pounds for the charity which provides free specialist palliative care to adults of all ages with life-limiting and terminal illnesses

Accountants Menzies presented a cheque for £1,000. Pictured, from left, are: Mark Crosson, Menzies, Stephanie Ward, Menzies, Phil Wormley, Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, De Joseph and Jamie Rowe, Menzies

A hospice spokesman said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters, we can only continue to provide this care with a huge amount of local support, You are all our Hospice Hero’s.

Recent donations include:

  • £12,000 from Clarity, who funded equipment in one of the in-patient rooms
  • £5,000 from Green Oak Housing Association
  • £2,000 from Ann Goodison, who made and sold jewellery and candles
  • £1,000 from accountants Menzies LLP, Woking, who held various office events
  • £1,761 from volunteers who wrapped Christmas presents at Woking Shopping Centre
  • £1,584 from support services provider ISS, who raffled three Christmas cakes
  • £270 from 1st Brookwood Scout Group, who went carol singing at Brookwood Station

Phil Wormley, hospice director of fundraising, said: “We are hugely grateful to receive these kind and generous donations.

“As a charity we are hugely reliant on such voluntary donations in order to continue to provide an invaluable service to the communities we serve across Surrey.’’

If you would like to become a Hospice Hero or find out more, visit www.wsbhospices.co.uk

AN INDEPENDENT board-gaming store in Woking is entering its fourth year of trading. Ibuywargames is a war-gaming community and hobby retail store on the Chertsey Road, organising themed gaming nights and organised play weekends. Owner Ian Simpkins spoke to News and Mail about the store and his expectations for the year ahead.

AT THE HELM – Gaming shop owner Ian Simpkins with a display of his stock

Ian notes that Woking has always had a “games vibe”, and his desire to open a board-gaming shop stemmed from his interaction with similar businesses in his youth. Ian also referred to Games Workshop, the “founding war-gaming shop in the UK” as a source of inspiration for his own store.

Ibuywargames is notable for initially trading online, selling “board games, war games” and “miniature games”, alongside “paints, airbrushes and merchandise”. Ian reflects on the wide variety of products available, including “card games, Yugioh, Pokémon, and Dungeons and Dragons”.

A community feel is vital for Ian, as he notes that “one of the main bloodlines of an independent shop is the community”. Speaking to Radio Woking at the beginning of 2017, Ian is grounded in his belief that a sense of belonging and community is crucial in order to succeed. Ian aims to instil this in his team and customers at Ibuywargames, particularly through his organised social events. From Monday to Friday, the evenings are dedicated to themed gaming nights, such as fantasy Lord of the Rings and more. There is also a league set up, but Ian ensures that no one goes home empty handed.

At the weekend, Ibuywargames hosts more “large scale tournaments”. These are played with “special kits”, some of which are “limited edition”. The turnout at these events is fairly large, with “20 to 30 people” attending the tournaments. Additionally, the owner hopes to encourage the younger generations to take part in these activities. Ian hopes to open “lots of after school clubs” every weeknight, from 4 to 6pm. He emphasises the importance of ‘social interaction’ for children, and that the games might even improve their “probability” skills, adding that there is often “maths involved in card games”.

With Woking having undergone recent regeneration, Ian looks forward to “continued growth” in the New Year. He speaks of a “nice, fun, friendly atmosphere”, aiming to become even more “family friendly” in 2018.

Ibuywargames is situated on the Chertsey Road, Woking. For more information, call 01483 772031 or visit their website: http://ibuywargames.co.uk

ONE of Surrey’s leading domestic appliance retailer and repair businesses RSM Domestic Appliances ­ – which launched  and is based in Knaphill ­- is starting the New Year on a high with a recruitment drive to keep pace with growing demand.

Managing director Steve Haydon at RSM Domestic Appliances, Woking

RSM, a finalist in the recent BBC Surrey’s Community Heroes Awards, has been retailing for 50 years, the company is offering full time placements for an Engineering and Retail Apprentice placement as well as a Domestic Appliance Repair Engineer and a Delivery Installer Driver,

Having initially started at Knaphill in Woking, RSM has grown over the last 20 years under the leadership of owner and managing director, Steve Haydon, to include a repair business, also based at Knaphill, and outlets at Bookham and Ashtead.

Steve says: “It’s a great opportunity for a youngster to learn a really useful trade in retail and engineering working alongside our skilled engineers and retail staff.”

Steve speaks from experience as he began his career an engineering apprenticeship when he was just 16 and believes in the benefits of having apprentices within the workplace.

As a champion of independent high street businesses Steve and his team have built on their reputation with the launch of the RSM Community Support Scheme.

Through a series of donations in appliances, white goods and services it has given donations worth over £6,000 through the year, which included over 22 domestic appliances as well as £800.00 of brand new kettles and toasters to help single parent families.

BESPOKE tailoring at a fraction of Savile Row prices is coming to Woking from a store that opened just over a year ago.

Ashworth & Bird’s arrival in the town came by chance when managing director Richard Clews discovered that the Hugh Harris shop in the High Street was for sale.

Richard opened a branch of his store in the Hugh Harris site and soon became popular with shoppers looking for upmarket clothing.

Sales adviser Djamila Hakim and Lawrence Burge, assistant manager

With the Victoria Square development causing some disruption to the High Street, Richard decided to move into the Peacock Centre.

In “48 hours of madness” the store moved five weeks ago into premises prepared by local shopfitters.

In the run-up to Christmas, Ashworth & Bird is doing brisk business, and is looking to expand.

First, in March next year it will introduce bespoke tailoring that is available at other Ashworth & Bird stores. Then there are more distant plans to bring in other ranges that it offers elsewhere, such as womenswear.

That would mean increasing the size of the store, possibly into a separate unit, and Richard is clearly happy to have found the town in which to expand.

“The new development is very exciting and the local authority is very competent,” he said.

While the prices reflect the quality of the clothes, they are still a lot cheaper than at many competitors and the bespoke suits are available in the hundreds of pounds, whereas the same service in parts of London is ten times that.

“Some people think a shirt is a shirt, but that is clearly not the case. There is a world of difference in terms of the fabric and how they are put together. It’s also about fashion. We are not high fashion but we offer contemporary styles.”

The store employs local people, including manager Simon Griffith, assistant manager Lawrence Burge, sales assistants Dominic Givanovich and Conor Bakhauizen and sales adviser Djamila Hakim. Most of the staff live in Horsell or the town centre.

“I’m very happy to employ local people and bring that to the economy. The easy commuting into London means that when I have a meeting there I often stay in Woking and travel up,” said Richard.

INTERNATIONAL road and track journalists gathered last week to hear McLaren Automotive unveil the business’s first motorsport strategy and its plans for nurturing young drivers.

A series of new initiatives as part of the company’s motorsport GT offer were announced in the Thought Leadership Centre within McLaren’s vast Woking campus

DRIVING AMBITION – The first four members of the new driver development programme – (from left) Jordan Albert, Charlie Fagg, Lewis Proctor and Michael O’Brien

The event marked major GT motorsport expansion plans by McLaren Automotive, which has a workforce of around 2,100 and now forms the largest part of the newly combined sports and technology-based McLaren Group.

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt unveiled details and concept sketches of the new 720S GT3 race car which is to join the successful 570S GT4. It will be built in a dedicated facility at Woking and testing is due to begin next year for launch with customer teams in 2019.

McLaren Automotive’s global sales and marketing executive director, Jolyon Nash, with a 720S GT3 race car on screen

Confidence in the future of its GT success was underpinned with the launch of a new driver development programme to nurture GT racing talent of the future. The first four drivers selected for the scheme are Jordan Albert, 21, and Michael O’Brien, 22, Charlie Fagg, 18, and Lewis Proctor, 21.

The young team will be given the benefit of having McLaren Automotive factory driver Rob Bell, the most accomplished GT driver of his generation and winner of multiple championships, as their mentor.

“The McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme has been established to help gifted young drivers realise their motorsport ambitions,” said Mr Flewitt. “If they have the talent, regardless of their background we want to be there to guide them and foster their racing skills. These four will be our future in endurance racing

Speaking to the News and Mail, he added: “This programme is a part of a wider commitment to encouraging young people. We are very much a part of the local community and already do quite a lot to help young people here.

“We run apprenticeships, we offer work experience and do tours of our site here. We also organise for McLaren people to speak about what we do at schools. McLaren has become a far more open company.”

A further plan announced is the development of a network of retailers, specialising in selling road and track products. An initial 10 retail locations around the world, offering motorsport support and service, were announced, the first of these being in Glasgow.

The company also plans to extend the existing Pure McLaren customer track day series with race plans set to take off next year at iconic European racing circuits in 2018. This new series is aimed at McLaren owners who already have extensive track driving experience, taking them to their first steps in the racing world in a controlled and familiar environment with the support of McLaren motorsport experts.

“The 720S GT3 will provide a stunning race-going addition to our Super Series product family and drivers will now be able to hone their skills under expert guidance backed-up by our technicians at the circuit and our motorsport retailers away from it,” said Flewitt.

The new development programme will get into gear when the young drivers compete in pairs in two 570S GT4 cars during 2018.

They drivers will receive motorsport education and driver support that includes fitness and nutrition assessments and advice and PR, marketing and sponsorship support and guidance.

They will undergo regular assessments and evaluation on their performance with a tailored programme developed to ensure each delivers their best performance. This will include simulator access and working with the engineering teams to better understand telemetry data and race strategy.

For Jordan who lives in the village of Silverstone, Northamptonshire, racing has always been a part of his life and he has been driving competitively for almost four years. He moved into GT4 competition after a number of wins in BRDC F4 (British Racing Drivers’ Club Formula 4). A highly successful debut in 2016 ensured he came to the attention of McLaren’s selectors.

Over the last four years he has trained and raced with Michael, who is also from the Silverstone area. Michael had started racing in 2014in the historic Formula Ford and on moving into the British Formula Ford Championship he achieved a succession of wins. Clearly someone who likes a challenge he has also turned his hand to pick-up truck racing.

Lewis Proctor from Aberdeen, broke on to the McLaren scene this year, after competing nationally in saloon championship and only returned to the UK from a McLaren’s event in Austin, Texas the day before the press event.

The youngest of the McLaren protégées is Charlie from Durham, who graduated from Ginetta Junior driving ranks last year after a number of podium finishes since he began driving in 2014.

A FATHER-of-two has spoken of the “life-changing” moment which led to him putting Type 2 diabetes into remission.

Chris Chapman, Sales Director for Woking-based GlucoRx diabetes company, describes how he discovered that he had diabetes when he noticed his energy levels depleting.

The 35-year-old was forced to admit his diagnosis when his GP prescribed metformin, a drug which lowers your blood sugar level used to help treat type 2 diabetes.

He says “not being able to play 10 minutes of football” with his son was the push he needed to kick-start a battle to reverse his Type 2 diabetes.

Chris Chapman with his children Lauren and Ryan

Chris’s personal health journey was recounted alongside World Diabetes Day last week and he explains: “My blood sugar levels were in double digits each time I tested. I was lethargic and was worried about what was happening to me. The weight piled on and I went from 13 stone to a touch below 18 stone.

“I knew I had to do something about it. Being the director of a company which manufactures equipment for diabetes, I thought it can’t be me – I honestly didn’t think it was diabetes. I couldn’t walk without getting out of breath and when you can’t play ten minutes of football with your son it’s worrying, it was a life-changing moment.”

Chris began the battle to reverse his condition last December. He followed a low-carb diet and joined a gym and with the help of a personal trainer attended sessions three to four times a week for seven months. He has since lost four stone, reversed his type 2 diabetes and his body mass index (BMI) measures at a heathier level.

GlucoRx is the UK’s second largest supplier of innovative, ISO-conforming, quality yet cost effective management solutions for all people with diabetes and  provides free accessories, bespoke training, pharmacy managed diabetic reviews and EQA testing.

The company reports saving the NHS around £18 million in the past three years, and has target to save the NHS £100 million as they reach out to more Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the UK.

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

FANCY chilling over a glass of wine the next time you’re at the hairdresser’s – a trend that has taken off at hair hotspots may soon be a feature of Emma Rose Hair Design, a new hair salon in West End village.

Due to have an official launch party on 17 November from 7pm – 9pm, Emma Rose, who already has a personal licence to serve alcohol, has applied for a premises licence so that clients can be offered a glass of wine or beer while they are at the salon.

Though Emma only took over the business a few weeks ago, her experience in hairdressing comes from over 15 years as a trained hairdresser in Surrey and London’s Mayfair as well as the early introduction she had to the business through her parents’ hair salon in Sutton.

“The salon is a contemporary salon with three stylists, including myself, which offers all hair services including bridal hair, colouring and extensions. However, our plan is to serve drinks to clients, especially for weekend evening appointments. It has already gone down extremely well with the current clientele,” says Emma.

The opening of the West End salon is a dream-come-true for the 36-year-old has always been to own a salon of her own. She explains: “I’ve always thought it would be amazing to won the Salon in the village. It’s so local to us and it would be lovely to play a big part in the local community. Also, being a mum at the local school, it is perfectly placed for me.”

Husband Andy, who is a local driving school instructor and grew up in West End, says: “The salon in West End has been there for as long as I can remember, and we never even dreamed it would come up for sale. Then one day, just browsing the internet, Emma came across seemingly just another salon for sale in Woking, proceeded to message the owner (out of interest), and it turned out to be the salon in West End! She couldn’t believe it, and we decided that it was an opportunity she couldn’t miss, and so 6 long months after the initial offer, she finally became the owner.”

A DIGITAL version of This is Your Life is helping residents at a Woking care home to recover hidden memories and bringing them closer to the staff.

InteractiveMe is a tablet-based app that includes biographical details and photographs. The service was introduced last week at the Princess Christian Care Centre and is being spread throughout the homes run by parent company Nellsar.

Sam Dondi-Smith, the InteractiveMe chief executive, said the service was born out of his experience as an occupational therapist.

The Interactive Me application is being demonstrated to Mary Brown by Niki Young, Customer Support and Account MAnager – Interactive Me

He said it was in the shortlist of five to win a national Dementia Care award: “It works with residents, relatives and staff to build up a really detailed picture of a person’s life.”

Sam said it was used in one-to-one therapy and was about trying to unlock memories that act as a trigger for discussions.

“It’s about socialisation. It activates memories that residents can engage in while the staff get to know them better.”

He said the app helped to show interesting elements of a person’s life and that one example was of a resident who had worked on Concorde and went out with Sir David Attenborough in her youth.

“For the families, it means that they are involved in the care.”

Sam said that memory could be seen to be like books on a bookshelf that were pushed at one end. The earliest memories stay upright but the newest ones fall over.

“Memories such as starting a family or having a job can be very strong whereas what was had for lunch can be lost.”

A WOKING healthcare company is among the many expecting to see growth of the hairy kind for Movember.

Chris Chapman, sales director at diabetes firm GlucoRx, is planning to grow a moustache for the sixth year running, as part of the international campaign to raise cash for prostate cancer research.

Movember was launched in 2003 by a group of men in Melbourne who chose to grow moustaches for fun. Just 12 months later 450 men took part, successfully raising £25,000 for prostate cancer research. The major annual event now has five million people taking part in at least 21 countries.

Chris, the 35-year-old father of two, aims to raise £1,000 and hopes his colleagues from the Monument Way West company join him in his fundraising feat.

He said:  “I see it as an opportunity to change the face of men’s health by changing mine to raise the profile of this worthy cause. I’m hoping as many of my colleagues as possible will join me in this bid to raise awareness of men’s health issues and as much money as possible.”

The Movember Foundation are the only charity who raise funds and awareness of some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

Anyone wanting to sponsor Chris can do so by visiting: https://uk.movember.com/mospace/455968