Editorial Team


DISCOVERING an appetite for food with flavour and dishes from a variety of cultures has fuelled the success of cooking and catering business Rameeza’s Repertoire.

It was set up by Rameeza Rayner, a West Byfleet mother of two, who focused on the curry dishes of her childhood as the launchpad for her business. She is now branching out to also provide cookery workshops on a range of international cuisines.

Culinary magician Rameeza Rayner

“Having studied law at university and then working in insurance in the City I never expected that I would be running a business offering catering and cooking workshops,” said Rameeza.

She credits her mother Rafeea, who was Cordon Bleu trained, as being the inspiration for her love of cooking and an introduction to teaching people to cook.

Rafeea used to run adult education cookery classes. In addition to that, as her mother is from the south of India and her father from northern Pakistan, Rameeza has gained a knowledge of a wide variety of regional curries.

Rameeza at work with a pestle and mortar

She started cooking while she was chair of her children’s school parents’ social committee, catering for some of their events on an ad hoc basis. When her two-year tenure ended, her friends suggested that she set up a catering business – which was the beginning of her Friday Curries venture.

She started taking orders for curries that she would prepare on a Friday and clients would collect from her house, gradually building a loyal following of regulars, primarily through word of mouth. Then, responding to requests for curry workshops, she started teaching groups at her home.

“People come with a very positive frame of mind and I really enjoy the sociable aspect of these days because I find cooking can be quite solitary,” she said.

Among the popular dishes included in her workshops have been Lamb Bhuna and Chicken in a Coriander Sauce, as well as a simple okra dish.

“People are surprised by the amount of time needed to prepare and cook the dishes, for example you have to allow the onions to cook slowly to bring out the flavour and create a base for the sauce,” Rameeza explained.

While she continues to provide catering services, she hopes to increase her workshops and intends to include Korean, Peruvian and Mexican dishes among a range of options.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

A PANTOMIME with a nautical flavour comes to Send for two sets of performances in the run-up to Christmas.

AHOY THERE – Alex Haben, Emily Wright, Amanda Vaughan and Brian Higgs will bring a little bit of treasure to Send

Treasure Island from Send Amateur Dramatic Society will feature a version of the Robert Louis Stevenson tale, but with Long John Silver and his fearsome crew having to deal with the Smuggler’s Cove Women’s Institute.

The fun, family show will be full of mischief, songs and laughter, and also includes the cheeky Polly the Parrot.

Productions will be held at Lancaster Hall on 29 and 30 November and 5, 6 and 7 December. Tickets cost £8 and can be bought by calling 07542 107815.

POLICE have released this picture of a man who scammed a woman in her 80s out of thousands of pounds while pretending to be a detective.

Officers are asking anyone who might be able to identify the man from the computer-generated image to contact them urgently.

An E-FIT of the scammer

The case is being investigated by DC Charlotte Irwin, who said she particularly wanted to contact drivers who had a dashcam in their vehicle and had driven along Ongar Hill, Addlestone, on the three days at the end of October.

“Please check the recordings between 11.20am and 11.40am on the 27 and 28 October and 11.45am to 11.55am on the 30 October,” she added.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference number PR/45190115702.

Surrey Police says officers will never contact anyone to ask for PIN and bank details, ask people to withdraw money to hand over for safekeeping, transfer money out of an account, or send someone to a home to collect cash, cards or PINs.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

IT’s been said that Worplesdon is one of the largest villages in England.

Covering an area of 6.93 square miles it may be a contender, although there are likely to be many others claiming the same. And what exactly constitutes a village? There is no standard definition.

The top of Perry Hill with the New Inn on the right

The parish of Worplesdon is, in fact, made up of a number of settlements. The principal ones are Jacobs Well, Fairlands, Wood Street Village and Perry Hill. The latter is often simply referred to as Worplesdon.

There appears to be only one Worplesdon in the UK and the name is said to derive from ‘werples’ a bridleway and ‘dun’ a hill.

The vintage pictures here show the Perry Hill area more than 100 years ago. Records reveal that there was an inn called the White Lyon opposite the green as far back as 1675. However, in 1718 it became the New Inn.

The old building was pulled down at the end of the 1930s and the current pub soon replaced it, sited slightly to the north of the original one and built in the then fashionable ‘roadhouse’ style; no doubt hoping to cash in on the motor-coach trade that was increasing along the Bagshot Road.

It reverted back to the White Lyon in 1966. More recently it doubled up as a Thai restaurant going by the name of the White Lyon & Dragon, yet is now the White Lyon once again!

Rickford Mill on the Hoe Stream

On the edge of Perry Hill, near the boundary with the borough of Woking, was a watermill on the Hoe Stream. Eventually powered by a turbine, Rickford Mill was later owned by corn merchants D. Taylor & Sons. It was still in use by the early 1950s when the book Old Surrey Watermills by J. Hillier was published.

Mr Hillier had visited Rickford Mill and had spoken to the miller. He wrote: “For all the advent of the turbine, the miller’s work is no different from that in a mill powered by a wheel, and his conversation was seasoned with the same milling terms and cant as any other of the confraternity.

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 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. For enquiries and bookings please phone or email him at: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

Picture captions:

Worplesdon 01.jpg

ON THE GREEN: The top of Perry Hill with the New Inn on the right

Worplesdon 02.jpg

GREAT BARN: Primmer & Terry were wheelwrights, blacksmiths and undertakers

Worplesdon 03.jpg


ONE of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices’ most devoted supporters, Tina Stephens, is about to bring to an end 13 years and £60,000 of fundraising.

Tina said: “I became involved with the hospice because I lost my mum, Ann, there in 2004, and the care was second to none. It really was like they were caring for their own mum.

SETTING OUT HER STALL  – Tina with a selection of her jams and chutneys that have raised £60,000

“Until you need the hospice you don’t truly understand the amazing work that they do, and that made me think that I should do something to help.

“Then one day I went up to Katz Castle in Cobham to lend a hand, and I was put on the jam stall. It just flew out of there, so I thought that maybe here was a way to raise some money for the hospice.

“I make my own jams and chutneys, and sell them at the local fairs and farmers markets. I’m really lucky in that I’ve got a fabulous greengrocer, Ray in Leatherhead, who lets me have ingredients at cost, and will often not charge me at all.”

“But I’ve just turned 50, and it’s quite a physical undertaking, lifting 20-25 boxes in and out of the car several times a day. I’m only little, and I was younger and fitter when I started doing this.

PARACHUTE PAYMENT – Seeing the funny side of her fundraising sky dive

“I’m up at 6.30 every day to make the jams, then I work full-time at Vincent Flooring in Walton-on-Thames. It can be 9.30 at night before I can really sit down and relax.

“But both my parents were gone by 60, so you start to become more aware of time. I’m really pleased to have done it all though, I could never have donated this much out of my own pocket.”

Tina’s fundraising efforts, though, have gone far beyond her preserves.

“Myself and my good friend Mollie Lake have thrown ourselves out of a perfectly good plane to raise money for the Woking hospice,” Tina said.  “It raised over £1,250 from me.

“The hospice organised the event and we went down to Salisbury to a company called GoSkydive, and they paired me with a really nice guy whose nickname was Jam Boy.  I took that as a good sign.

HANGING ABOUT – Abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth in aid of charity

“Mollie and I also did an abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, a charity close to Mollie’s heart. I raised nearly £500.”

Tina will be at Ripley Farmers’ Market on Saturday, and then is booked for West Byfleet and Chertsey before returning  to Ripley next month.

“Ottershaw Christmas Tree Farm have always been kind enough to let me set up my stall there, and that will be my last one, on 15 December. After that I’ll need to get my own Christmas shopping.”

Tina’s efforts were recently recognised by the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices when she was presented with flowers at a volunteer event held at the hospice by one of the trustees, Tony Jarvis. 

Phil Wormley, director of fundraising at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, said: “On behalf of everyone here we would like to say a huge thank you to Tina for her many years of support.

THANKS FOR EVERYTHING – Being presented with flowers by Tony Jarvis on behalf of the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices

“It is a quite unbelievable amount of money to have raised through her hard work and commitment to the charity. Tina and her delicious jams and chutneys will be very much missed by our staff, volunteers and supporters at our community events.”

And what will life hold for Tina after jam? “The first thing I’m going to do is clean my house and put all the jars and pots away! I’ll probably still do a few local events, but not on the same scale as before.

“It will feel like getting my life back, although, who knows, after all this time I may find that I actually don’t have a life!”

To find out more about Woking & Sam Beare Hospices or to donate, please visit www.wsbhospices.co.uk

For the full story and interview get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

SANTA Claus will be arriving at Squire’s Garden Centre in Woking at 9.30am on Saturday in a horse-drawn carriage. It’s free to watch and have your picture taken with him, and he’ll be bringing real reindeer with him for children to meet.

Santa in his grotto

Children can then meet Santa in his magical grotto and receive an early Christmas present. Tickets to Santa’s grotto are £6 per child, with £1 from every ticket being donated to the chosen local charity, Woking Age Concern.

Santa’s grotto is open from his arrival until Christmas Eve. There’s no need to book, simply turn up on the day. Please visit www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk for opening times.

CHRIST Church, Woking, is to host the launch of a charity cookbook that aims to help Indian HIV/AIDS victims to live life to the fullest.

Beena Philips presents Cook With Beena at a special event this Saturday, 16 November, from 7pm, ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – Beena takes particular care selecting her ingredients

With her husband, Martin, Beena founded the Bethesda Life Centre in Goa to care for HIV-positive women who were abandoned by their families; orphans; children of HIV/AIDS-affected parents; children of commercial sex workers; and children of parents with leprosy and incurable diseases. India has the second-highest infection rates of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Many volunteer workers travel from the UK to Goa to help the charity, including several from Woking, hence the book being launched here.

SPEAKING VOLUMES – The charity cookbook which will be launched at Christ Church

The launch will feature a photography exhibition, recipe samples, stories from the centre, music and an interview with Beena.

Beena said: “This project is very close to my heart, as it includes both the things I’m very passionate about: food, and uplifting the lives of women and children.”

  The proceeds from the book will go to the charity.

Tickets are available from www.eventbrite.co.uk. Cook With Beena costs £25 and is available to buy from www.cookwithbeena.com. Beena’s website also documents the work of the Bethesda Life Centre, and has details on how to donate.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

THE Chobham News & Mail is now available to buy in Pasha, the café and delicatessen in High Street, Chobham.

Jacqueline Turker with the Chobham News & Mail

Owners Max and Jacqueline Turker are selling the edition of this paper which covers Chobham, West End and Bisley.

Customers can now catch up with the local news while enjoying a coffee or freshly cooked bistro food with a modern twist – for just 50p.

Discover what Chobham’s speciality Turkish kitchen has to offer at www.pashachobham.co.uk.

MORE licensed premises have achieved the gold standard in Woking’s Best Bar None 2019.

The Junction Tap and The Slug and Lettuce, both in the town centre, and The Inn at Maybury have been assessed and received gold accreditation, along with Indian restaurant Chennai Dosa Artisanz and Las Iguanas restaurant and bar. They join The Garibaldi in Knaphill and The Cricketers in Horsell as rated at the scheme’s highest level.

The team at Las Iguanas restaurant and bar pose with their Best Bar None Gold certification

Daniel Roberts, general manager at The Inn at Maybury, said: “It’s amazing. We were gold last year so I suppose I’d have been disappointed if we hadn’t got it again, but some of the criteria had changed so we couldn’t be sure.

“It reflects well on the staff, who put in long hours and go through some hard days, and this really motivates them.

“It all helps the business. There are a lot of pubs in and around Woking and not that many gold awards, so it’s great to be part of that elite group.”

TOP quality opera is heading to Woking as The Glyndebourne Tour makes its way to the New Victoria Theatre at the end of this month.

There will be three productions on the Woking stage – Verdi’s Rigoletto, Handel’s Rinaldo and, for the first time, a one-off Glyndebourne Chorus Christmas Concert.

Rigoletto Glyndebourne Tour 2019

Glyndebourne prides itself on developing artistic talent, and many names who started their careers in the tour have gone on to international acclaim, including Robin Ticciati, Gerald Finley, Emma Bell, Alfie Boe, Roberto Alagna, Edward Gardner and Kate Royal. The audience can expect stars of the future in these latest shows.

Glyndebourne’s first-ever production of Verdi’s classic Rigoletto, directed by Christiane Lutz, will feature Georgian baritone Nikoloz Lagvilava as the titular jester, with prize-winning South African soprano Vuvu Mpofu as his daughter, Gilda.

Robert Carsen’s witty production of Rinaldo moves Handel’s setting from the Crusades to a Harry Potter/St Trinian’s-style school, with a cast including Jake Arditti and Anna Devin as the thwarted lovers and Glyndebourne Opera Cup runner-up Jacquelyn Stucker as scheming sorceress Armida.

For the first time this year, the company will tour the Glyndebourne Chorus Christmas Concert, a special festive evening of opera highlights and yuletide classics for all the family, showcasing the Glyndebourne Chorus and Glyndebourne Tour Orchestra.

Rigoletto will be at the New Victoria Theatre on Wednesday 27 November and Saturday 30 November, Rinaldo will be on Friday 29 November and the Chorus Christmas Concert will be on Thursday 28 November.