SHOPPERS were caught by surprise when Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood made a spectacular appearance in Woking town centre to launch the New Victoria Theatre’s fairy godmother of all pantomimes, Cinderella.

Craig Revel Horwood in the role of the Wicked Stepmother

Gracing the town in a horse and carriage, he was paying an early visit before he takes to the stage as the Wicked Stepmother later this year.

Although well-known for his role as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Craig is no stranger to the stage having recently returned to his roots as a performer in musical theatre, starring as Miss Hannigan in the West End production of Annie. Among other credits, he choreographed and directed the UK tour of Sister Act, starring Alexandra Burke.

Cinderella’s coach and horses arrive in Woking Town Centre. Craig Revel-Horwood, as the Wicked Stepmother alongside the carriage-driver with Cinderella and Buttons (Sophie Isaacs and Phil Butler) in the carriage

Also making a grand entrance last week were other Cinderella cast members, including comedian and entertainer Phil Butler as Buttons, West End star Sophie Isaacs in the fairytale role of Cinderella, and Wendy Somerville and Suzie Chard as the Wicked Stepsisters.

Always one of the biggest events of the year, the New Victoria panto will run from 7 December until 6 January and the box office is already taking bookings.

For more pictures of the launch, see the 13 September edition of the News & Mail

RUSH-HOUR commuters were held up at Woking railway station after a man was injured while walking across the tracks.


Man receiving treatment at Woking railway station – Picture: Guildford Dragon NEWS

British Transport Police officers were called to the station just before 4.45pm on Monday after railway staff helped the man onto a platform, where he was treated for unknown injuries.

Passengers on platforms 2 and 4 were told to move to platform 5 and electrical power to rail lines was switched off.

A BTP spokesman said that officers were called to the station, following a report of a person trespassing on the tracks.

“Officers attended the scene alongside paramedics and a man has been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. An investigation is now underway to determine how the man came to be by the tracks.”

For the full story, see the 13 September edition of the News & Mail

A TOWN Centre pub, The Slug & Lettuce, has set the bar in this year’s Woking Best Bar None scheme, with just a month left for members of the public to cast their vote.

The Slug & Lettuce is the first licenced premises to receive a 2018 gold award under the scheme aimed at promoting sensible drinking and the promotion of responsible licensed premises management.

“The gold accreditation shows that people can come to a safe, fun and friendly venue of their evening out,” says Spencer Varley, Manager of The Slug & Lettuce. “The accreditation is a great acknowledgement of the team, who deliver these high standards every day. I’m proud of them. Thank you to my team, head office and our customers.”

Pictured L to R: Sgt Stephen Kirkpatrick of Surrey Ploice, Cllr Debbie Harlow, Spencer Varley – Manager of the Slug & Lettuce, Lucy Chester Coordinator of Woking Street Angels and Mick McDonnell- Best Bar None National Coordinator.

For more details, see the 6th September edition of the News & Mail

A GATWICK Airport worker from Woking who saved a passenger from the brink of death has been awarded a top national life-saving honour.

Accolade: David Coomber with his Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate

David Coomber, 53, received a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate after he resuscitated a man whose heart stopped beating.

David, who lives in Ripley, spotted the 56-year-old man in the international departure lounge clearly unwell: “He was sweaty, had clammy skin and had chest pains. He was also struggling to breath,” David said.

David found a faint pulse on the man who then quickly lost consciousness.  “He collapsed right in front of me.  I immediately put him in the recovery position. I tried to take his pulse, but it was undetectable, and his lips had turned blue, indicating a lack of oxygen.”

For the full story, see the 6th September edition of the News & Mail

Free birthday burritos as Woking store turns one

Special offer is for those who are born in September

TACO Bell Woking is turning one and to celebrate they are giving away a free birthday burrito to all burrito lovers who are born in September.

Woking’s Taco Bell in Chertsey Street is celebrating its first birthday

“It has been a fantastic first year for the team here in Woking and to say thank you for the support and to mark the occasion, we want to throw a banger of a celebration this weekend, with a free burrito for our customers who share a September birthday with us,” said store manager Georgia.

“Whether you choose to go for our delicious cheesy double melt birthday burrito or opt for the vegetarian option, we look forward to sharing the celebrations with Woking.”

This weekend, 8-9 September, the Mexican-inspired restaurant, which opened on 5 September last year, will be extending its birthday celebrations, giving burrito fans who share a September birthday, a free birthday burrito from the popular menu. For vegetarians, the cheesy double melt birthday burrito can be swapped for the bean burrito, so whether you’re a meat eater or a veggie, there will be a burrito that will just be the icing on the cake!

To claim a free burrito, visitors to the restaurant on Chertsey Road this weekend simply have to show their ID when ordering their meal.

PLANS for a power station at West Byfleet appear to have been permanently extinguished by the owner of the land targeted for electricity generators.

Byfleet United Charity, which owns the former Camphill tip, has ended its relationship with the company which caused a public outcry with its plan.

UK Power Reserve Ltd unexpectedly withdrew its planning application for 33 gas-powered generators on the land, in the face of more than 1,000 objections.

Now the charity’s trustees have decided not to continue with the proposal for land next to Camphill Industrial Estate.

The decision has been welcomed in the community, where objectors feared UK Power Reserve would return with an amended planning application.

Generating units similar to those proposed for a power station at West Byfleet

The chairman of Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum, Wade Pollard, told the News & Mail: “I am very relieved that Byfleet United Charity has decided not to allow a power station to be built on their land.

“I keep reading more about studies showing how harmful air pollution is to health. This was my main concern.”

“I would like to thank the trustees for listening to residents and making the difficult decision to sacrifice income for the long term good of the health of the community.”

Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association told its members: “We recognise that for BUC’s trustees, this must have been a difficult decision, because the deal would have offered the charity a substantial source of income to assist their important work in the local community.

“However, they have listened and responded positively to the understandable concerns of the local community.”

UK Power Reserve is building or applying to build standby generating stations around the UK, including locations in Melton Mowbray, Gloucester, Warrington, Dudley and Runcorn. The electricity produced backs up the National Grid at times of shortage and high demand.

The company said it had no comment to make after it withdrew its application for planning permission to Woking Borough Council.

A WOKING nurse has spent four weeks in Bangladesh, helping refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar.

Karen Marshall, 52, who works at the Royal Surrey Hospital, recently returned from the country, where she was one of three theatre nurses supporting doctors in Kutupalong “mega camp” in Cox’s Bazar which is home to 600,000 people.

The ‘mega camp’ in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, where Karen Marshall worked for four weeks

Karen said the camp was cramped and unhygienic. “The monsoon season had just started when I arrived and the flooding in the camp needed to be seen to be believed. Most of the land in this area is sand so when it rains it just washes everything away. Building enough ’shelter’ for the people – the most basic of human needs – is a constant battle,” she said.

Karen and the rest of the team were mainly draining large infected abscesses on children under general anaesthetic. They were suffering from pyomyositis, which are abscesses  deep within the muscles from an infected insect bite or muscle trauma or just general skin infections. They can be fatal if not drained quickly.

Woking nurse Karen Marshall

The pyomyositis in the refugees is caused by the very poor and unhygienic conditions the children are living in at the camp combined with malnutrition.

“I will always remember one 12-year-old girl who was admitted to the paediatric ward around the time of Eid [the Muslim holiday at the end of Eid]. She had a huge infected abscess on the side of her neck. We could not get the full story of what had happened to her parents. She was partially sighted and also had some severe congenital deformities making her look a lot smaller than her age.

“She was in such pain and was so frightened when she came to theatre. We put her to sleep and performed the surgery. The next day she was sitting up in bed with a huge smile on her face wearing a beautiful new dress that she had been given for Eid. That image of her sticks in my mind to this day,” Karen said.

She was working with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent and also deal with complicated births and worked on several emergency caesarean sections.

“Some of these babies survived but, sadly, many did not,” Karen said. “Despite these deaths, I felt our presence was making a real difference to people’s lives. Our team were providing the only frontline, 24-hour surgical service in the area.

“I really enjoyed working alongside my Bangladeshi Red Crescent colleagues in the hospital as well as the other international team members. I felt part of one large team working towards a common goal.”

Karen said she hopes to return to Cox’s Bazar after Christmas to help more refugees living in the camp, where the Red Cross is building safe toilets and bathing facilities.

If you wish to help the Red Cross reach hundreds of thousands of people by donating to the Myanmar appeal, visit www.redcross.org.uk/Myanmar






THE RHS Wisley Flower Show will be returning from the 4-9 September for its 26th year, showcasing some of the top plants from 50 different plant nurseries. There will be first timers at the event with a variety of weird and wonderful plants like air plants and an urban rock display.

Actress Judi Dench with the ‘Dame Judi Dench’ rose, bred by David Austin and named after her

“The RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show is the ideal place to ignite a passion for gardening,” said Matthew Pottage, the curator of RHS Garden Wisley. “From show-stopping floral displays, to expert advice and unique shopping opportunities, there’s something to inspire each visitor.

“It’s also the perfect time to wander through the garden to see late summer horticultural highlights, such as the Exotic Garden, which has had its first full growing season, and is an immersion of lush foliage and exotic flowers.”

This year, the show will be opened by Dame Judi Dench. “I am so thrilled to be invited to Wisley this year, it is somewhere I have always wanted to go and never managed to actually get there until now, hooray!!” said Dame Judi.

The show will be based on the theme of Something in the Air and will include more than 100 displays from the Surrey area of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies.

For more details, see the 30th August edition of the News & Mail

THERE was a new grading system but still the familiar sound of success at local schools, as students received their GCSE results.

The new marking system, introduced as GCSEs are made more challenging, has replaced the usual A* – U format and replaced it with a system from 9 – U.

Scenes of celebration at Gordon’s School

Pupils at Sir Williams Perkins’s School were said to “unfazed” by the new exam set up, with 34% of students achieving the highest grade, a grade 9.

Chris Muller, Head of the independent girls’ school in Chertsey, said: “We are delighted to buck the national trend of 4.3% of results being at the grade 9, as 34% of our grades were at that level; we also confound the Ofqual prediction of 3% of students getting grade 9 at GCSE Maths, as 45% of our grades were at that level for that subject.”

Students at Gordon’s School were enjoying the “gold standard”, as 94% of their students received grades of 9-4 – previously A*-C under the old system.

“My congratulations to all our students for their hard work and application over several years,” said Andrew Moss, Head Teacher of the West End school. “I am delighted to see that despite tougher new-style examinations in English and maths, over 90% of students still achieved the traditional gold standard of five or more GCSE grades, including English language and mathematics.”

At St John the Baptist’s school, 90% of their students achieved GCSEs at grades 9-4, with 43% of those graded as 9-7.

A celebratory hug at St John the Baptist

“I am immensely proud of each and every student. The effort they have put in over the past two years has deservedly been rewarded,” said Damien Kelly, Head of Year 11. “I would also like to add my thanks to the amazing staff and parents we have in the SJB community for the role they played in these fantastic results. I wish each student every success with their next step.”

Students at Fullbrook School were also celebrating their results, with 85% achieving a grade 4 or above in English and 83% doing the same in Maths.

All smiles from Fullbrook students

Katie Moore, principal of the New Haw school, said she was very “proud” of students’ success: “Everyone has worked so hard to ensure students make great progress so that they achieve well and have the skills and qualifications they need to be able to take the next steps in their careers with confidence.

“Our warmest congratulations go to all our students and their families on their excellent achievements showing they really can be ‘better than they ever thought they could be’!”

See the 30 August edition for full story and picture spread

HUNDREDS of people turned out to applaud the expertise of specialist haulage company drivers as they manoeuvred a 143 tonne load through several miles of narrow roads on Sunday.


Their 68-metre long convoy – towing lorry, trailer and pushing lorry – was delivering a huge transformer to the National Grid sub-station at New Haw.

Crowds watched as the load travelled from the M25 junction at Chertsey to the Six Crossroads at Horsell and then on through Woodham to the electricity complex at Parkside.

Our photograph was taken by Timothy Dodd-Wilson, capturing the moment as the drivers negotiated the roundabout in the middle of New Haw.