Editorial Team


CHOBHAM are hoping to banish the ghosts of last season’s relegation – and have issued a statement of intent to their London Two South West rivals.

The villagers suffered a dismal 2018-19 league campaign, finishing second bottom of London One South with only four wins from 26 outings.

New Chobham head coach Billy Davison.

But there have been changes galore at Fowlers Wells this summer, not least the appointment of a big-name head coach.

Fifty-year-old Billy Davison, an ex-England A forward, has joined Chobham as 1st XV boss.

Davison played at lock for Harlequins and Saracens in the Premiership. He also turned out for Esher, Rosslyn Park and Sheffield, and appeared overseas for Natal (South Africa) and Hawkes Bay (New Zealand).

Zambia-born Davison was  awarded a testimonial season by Quins for 2003-04. He coaches in Harlequins’ Development Player Programme, and is director of sport at Shrewsbury House School in Surbiton.

Chobham began pre-season training last week. Sessions take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Fowlers Wells, and are open to everyone.

Chobham’s redesigned kit.

Davison said: “The support I have received from the Chobham faithful has been amazing.

“I am looking forward to supporting all the players as we look forward to a great season.”

Chobham will also wear a new kit during 2019-20.

Mike Vandenberg, the club’s commercial manager, said: “The new strip nods back to the old days. It is a contemporary version of our first, more than 50 years ago.

“With so many changes at the club, it was a good time to change the strip. We had played in the previous design for 10 years.”

To express your interest in becoming a shirt sponsor, call Vandenberg on 07774 120665  or send an email to sponsorship@chobham-rugby.co.uk.

For the full story get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

THE dedicated neonatal charity for St Peter’s Hospital is to receive £103,000, its largest single donation.

The money, for Little Roo, was largely raised at an auction during the sixth anniversary party of Talon outdoor media agency, held at the Café De Paris, London.

(Left to Right) Sarah Jane Robertson, Matron – Debbie Smith, Sister, Charlie Perret and baby daughter Aurelia, Dr. Tracy Lawson, Anna Sanchez, Staff Nurse and Tom Perrett

Little Roo was nominated as charity of the year by Talon after the daughter of one of its directors, Tom Perrett, was cared for by the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Aurelia was born at 34 weeks in St Peter’s on 3 July 2017 and spent three weeks in the unit.

Her mum, Charlie Perrett, said: “We are so grateful for the incredible care she was given and immense support we got from everyone, doctors, nurses and all the staff at the neonatal intensive care unit.”

St Peter’s Consultant neonatologist and pediatrician Dr Tracy Lawson commented: “We were all delighted to see Aurelia. It is her second birthday and what a beautiful little girl she is growing up to be.

“She was born prematurely and also received therapeutic hypothermia, a treatment usually used for term babies but was felt would be beneficial for Aurelia at the time.

“The Little Roo charity supports our neonatal unit, allowing us to provide the best equipment and care for extremely sick babies and their families.”

A DISUSED phone box in Brookwood has been transformed into a riot of colour thanks to a floral installation.

The work, by professional window dresser and designer Jodie Pratt, is part of the Brookwood in Bloom project.

The poppy field design inside the phone box

Jodie said she was inspired by all the beautiful poppy fields in Surrey this year and the flower is a central part of the design.

“I created a large wreath stick to adorn the outside of the box and re-created a daisy poppy field which is showcased inside. It looks like some of the plants are growing through. There are also cornflowers and flowers of different colours with some foraging to soften it up,” she said.

The decorated phone box is among more than 30 containers, including a fire grate, a bicycle and a wheelbarrow, dotted along roads that are brightening the village.

The phone box even has its own Instagram page, #Brookwoodinbloomphonebox, which is regularly updated with photos and uplifting messages.

For the full story get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

THREE Hoebridge golfers have raised more than £2,000 for the club’s charities, Ovacome and Ovarian Cancer Action, by completing the Captain’s Ironman Challenge.

Graham Norris, the club captain, Mark Pearce, and Steve Cripps teed up at 4am to play 72 holes of golf on the longest day of the year, finishing at 8pm.

NO FLAGGING – Graham Norris, far left, on the 18th hole with, from left, Steve Cripps, Tom Wesolowski, who joined soon after the start, and Mark Pearce

The event is just one of this year’s fundraising activities at Hoebridge, and part of the club’s 20/20 Challenge to raise £20,000 and to make 20,000 women aware of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Graham’s choice of ovarian cancer charities in his year as captain has a personal side. “My wife, Kathryn, had it two years ago, but thankfully she had a quick diagnosis,” he said.

“That is one of the biggest problems, the lack of knowledge among women about the disease, and also the danger of misdiagnosis. I wanted to do as much as I could to help publicise the disease.”

The next major fundraising event at Hoebridge will be on July 16th, when teams of golfers play for the Charities’ Day Cup.

For more information on ovarian cancer, please visit ovacome.org.uk or ovarian.org.uk.

For the full story get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

We all know Buckingham Palace. Hampton Court Place and Kensington Palace – of course! But how about Woking Palace?

It was once a large and important palace, used by Tudor royalty from King Henry VII through to Queen Elizabeth I. The first house on the site, beside the River Wey, was probably erected in 1217. Successive building on the site over the centuries resulted in a substantial complex of buildings.

A once opulent Tudor house, Woking Palace is now considered a Scheduled Ancient Monument and site of archaeological importance

Today Woking Palace is a collection of ruins on a peaceful site hidden away in the countryside near Old Woking village. But this weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July) the Friends of Woking Palace – a local voluntary preservation group – will show it is much more than mere left-overs.

They are holding a Festival of Archaeology on this site of Woking’s palatial link with Tudor royalty, which is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

From 11am to 5pm both days, volunteers from the Friends of Woking Palace will provide information and lead tours around the eight acre moated site. There will be displays about its fascinating history, including the discoveries made during archaeological excavations over the years from 2009 to 2015, which revealed even more about the Palace’s illustrious past.

The studies were mainly the result of a three-year Heritage Lottery Funded project “Woking Palace and its Park”, which included major archaeological excavations by many volunteers and schoolchildren.

Other attractions this weekend will include children’s activities, the history of bee keeping, Tudor juggling by Hattie Hyder, and demonstrations of traditional woodworking crafts by John Waller (underwoodsman).

For the first time at a Woking Palace open day, Tudor re-enactor Catherine Guilder – recently on TV as an expert in “The Repair Shop” on BBC One – will provide demonstrations of Tudor Life, including medicine and folklore.

There will also be displays about Surrey Archaeological Society’s ongoing Test Pitting Project in Old Woking. Guidebooks, CDs and postcards of Woking Palace as well as other publications will be on sale in an on-site pavilion.

Site access is only by foot or cycle; there is no on-site parking or along the narrow private road (Carters Lane) leading to it. Cars can be parked free of charge in Old Woking, in the large car park behind the short stay car park at the mini roundabout.

Disabled visitors should contact the Friends of Woking Palace on 07722 299026 to arrange access.

For lots of information about Woking Palace and the Open Day this weekend, visit the Friends of Woking Palace’s excellent web site: www.woking-palace.org.

The Friends are always looking for volunteers to help with preservation, site maintenance, preparations for Open Days and to act as guides on those days. Membership of the Friends is just £5 per annum (£7.50 for family membership). Members receive regular newsletters full of articles and news, and can participate in meetings and influence the work of the Friends.

MORE than 500 visitors enjoyed the recent private view of Woking College’s Summer Exhibition at The Lightbox.

Parents, current, past and prospective students, governors of the college and trustees of The Lightbox were all in attendance to celebrate the 12th year of students’ work from the visual arts categories – including fine art, CTEC art and design, photography and textiles – being on display.

Iona Periton and her textile display

Highlights of this year’s show, which was open to the public free of charge from 27 June to 7 July, included a catwalk fashion show featuring and modelled by students studying textiles at the college and was greeted with a standing ovation and much cheers and applause.

Art Prizes for outstanding work and achievement were presented by Principal of Woking College, Brett Freeman and Jan Rubin from Mayford Arts Society.

“Our student’s engagement with their subject, hard work and determination to succeed is clearly evident in the outstanding work they have produced,” said Emma Hobbs, the college’s head of art and design.

“Huge thanks to both the students themselves and to my team for all of their hard work throughout the year and in making this year’s exhibition so successful. I am exceptionally proud of the effort and achievement of our students. It has been a joy to watch them develop as accomplished young artists and designers.”

For the full story get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

The Murder Capital…it’s a big name to live up to. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Dublin five-piece who are on the road to promote their debut album, When I Have Fears.

The suicide of a close friend led not only to the birth of the band’s name but to the philosophy of the entire record.

“Every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his death,” says frontman James McGovern.

The band have a bleak, post-punk sound but it comes with tenderness and hope too.

PROMOTING THEIR DEBUT ALBUM – The Murder Capital are on the road and will be appearing at Guildford’s Boileroom

One band member buried his mum half way through recording, and so was born the dark grooves and tragic beauty of the record’s bravest track, Don’t Cling To Life.

“Even through everything that was going on we didn’t want to write a sad song, we wanted to write a song you could dance to,” explains James. “Feeling grief and wanting to dance through it, and feeling the rawness and emptiness of our own grief, because any relationship that involves love is so specific to you.”

There’s a lot going on in The Murder Capital’s songs and they seek inspiration all over the place. For example, discovering the work of photographer Francesca Woodman who took her own life at 22, was also a significant touch point.

“The biggest impression her work left on us was relating to the loneliness of her photos<” says the singer. “That sense of being completely on your own, but also taking solace in the beauty of the work as well.

“I think we’d be lying if we ever truly admitted to ourselves that we weren’t afraid of dying young. I think we push the boundaries at times. There’s something about Francesca Woodman’s work that just takes control of that.”

The band have already caused a stir with their first two singles, Feeling Fades and Green And Blue, a masterpiece of isolation written immediately after discovering Woodman’s work. They’ve also toured with the likes of Idles, Slaves, Shame and fellow countrymen Fontaines DC.

The quintet have grown up together – especially since forming the band and When I Have Fears feels like a coming of age album.

James agrees, saying: “The last time we played through the album we felt every second of those six months spent writing it and a lot of it is a reflection of what we went through together.

“When you get to your teens you begin to feel like you’re playing catch up with your inner child. You have to dismantle all the shit that was put into your parents brains and given to you.”

“We’ve tried to dismantle it in the fact that we’ve been completely honest in attempting to dismantle ourselves.”

The Murder Capital will play at the Boileroom, Guildford, on Tuesday (16 July).

THE wacky and the wonderful vied for attention when Gordon’s School leavers arrived for their celebration dinner.

An amazing host of different vehicles took Year 11 students to the West End secondary school.

A military Jeep arrives at the red carpet with its passengers

From a traditional Rolls Royce to a humble tuk tuk auto rickshaw, VW campervans to a collection of Vesper and Lambretta scooters, a skip lorry to a fire engine, the intention was to create a stunning entrance on an unforgettable occasion.

Watched by pupils from the other year groups, the vehicles took their turn to deliver their passengers to the red carpet on the parade square.

The leavers then enjoyed a formal dinner with their peers, teachers and house parents in a marquee in the school grounds.

They will return to school in August for GCSE results day.

For the special picture spread get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

SOME of the best amateur theatre in the country will be performed in Woking when the Rhoda McGaw Theatre hosts the British All Winners Festival.

Sixteen plays that have won drama festivals around the country will feature in the festival being hosted by the Woking Drama Association.

The group Mutley and Minques will perform their spoof version of The Hound of the Baskerviles

 The programme, which runs until Saturday 20 July, consists mostly of short or one-act plays with a full-length comic version of The Hound of the Baskervilles on Friday 19 July. Young performers from three groups will feature on Youth Night on Wednesday 17 July.

On the last night of the festival, awards will be given in various categories, presented by Sir Derek Jacobi.

The prizes include the Sir Derek Jacobi Award for New Playwriting, which is being given for the first time this year.

Stewart Mison, the Woking-based chairman of the National Drama Festivals Association, said the British All Winners Festival was held at a different venue each year.

“We’re delighted that Woking was selected as the ‘host’ this year and we’re very excited to see some of the productions being performed for us,” Stewart said.

For more information, visit www.wokingdramafestival.co.uk or call the ATG box office on 0844 871 7643.

For the full story, get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

THE biggest crowd ever attended Saturday’s Party in the Park, with around 20,000 people estimated to have enjoyed a day out in the summer sun.

The organisers, Celebrate Woking, said around twice as many as expected packed into Woking Park for the annual event.

Groove Manoova, getting the crowd moving with their high-energy funk

They were entertained with a day full of entertainments and activities which started at noon and continued until 9pm.

Party in the Park returned for an eighth year, featuring live music, street theatre, dance displays and a funfair, alongside a food village offering a large variety of freshly made food and craft beers.

Supported by a number of local and national organisations, including the News & Mail, the party exceeded all expectations. All-day sunshine and temperatures of around 25⁰C in the shade contributed to its success.

The Urban Astronauts were promoting environmental issues

An opening parade of performers led by the UDM Samba band set the fiesta mood for the day. The drum and dance crews showcasing different cultures were greeted in the main field by Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, as they made their way around the park.

Among the new attractions this year was a new stage for Dance Woking in the Bandstand Field. The low-level stage featured community dance groups, in contrast to headline acts on the main stage.

Celebrate Woking Manager at Woking Borough Council, Riëtte Thomas, said: “This year we worked with a local production crew, MC Production Group Ltd, and event management company, AAT, which we really feel made a difference. They showed genuine pride in putting on a great event for Woking. This is what we want for Party in the Park; for it to be a community-led event that is a celebration of everything great about Woking.”

For the full story and double page picture spread, get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail