Other News

A VETERAN peace, anti-nuclear, climate change and sustainability campaigner from Pyrford has died.

Mary Holdstock passed away aged 83 in Woking Hospice on Friday 28 December.

Her life had been one of involvement in many local organisations, notably the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Woking United Nations Association and Woking Local Agenda 21.

She was until recently an active member the Woking Debates committee, encouraging co-operation and discussion on important topics which affect the borough and the wider world.




Mary and Douglas Holdstock with Nagasaki nuclear bomb survivor Marika Jiva, before the presentation of Declarations of Public Conscience to the International Court of Justice in 1996.

Mary was born on 13January 1935 in Corby Glen, Lincolnshire, the second of seven children. Her father was a farmer and, as the eldest daughter, she cared for all her younger siblings.

After training as a nurse in Manchester and at University College Hospital, London, she met and married her future husband, Douglas Holdstock, who was then a junior physician.

In 1971, they moved to Woking with their two daughters, Jennifer and Rosemary, and Mary worked for 17 years as a nurse at the Rowley Bristow orthopaedic hospital in Pyrford.

Mary acted as Douglas’s secretary when he began writing and editing articles and books using a medical perspective to campaign for peace. They were both active in the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and founder members of the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear War.

Douglas was editor of the campaign’s journal before he died in 2008 and Mary was on the editorial board for 31 years.

Her anti-nuclear activities included taking supplies to the women’s protest camp at the Greenham Common cruise missiles base in the 1980s and 90s. She also did administration work for Crisis at Christmas.

“Both Mary and Douglas were extremely caring people and they campaigned against nuclear weapons and for a more peaceful, inclusive society as members of numerous organisations,” said Jennifer.

“She was also concerned about protecting the environment and enjoyed being a member of RHS Wisley.

Mary leaves her daughters and four grandchildren. Her family have thanked the hospice team for their “fantastic care” during her illness.

At Mary’s request, her funeral will be at the Shamley Green woodland burial ground. The family intend to hold a memorial event later in the year.

LIFE-SIZE sculptures of animals and plants made from Lego bricks will be found nestling in lush foliage at the RHS Garden Wisley later this month.

They are featured in The Great Brick Safari, which is being staged in the Glasshouse from Saturday 26 January to Sunday 3 March.

More than 40 sculptures will be on display in the building’s temperate and tropical zones include animals such as an elephant, lions, meerkats, turtles and a gorilla.

The Great Brick Safari at RHS Garden Wisley

Lego brick plants created especially for RHS Garden Wisley include a Venus fly trap, a golden barrel cactus, a bird of paradise and water lilies.

As the discover each sculpture, visitors will be able to learn about the animal and plants, such as the natural habitats they are found in and conservation efforts taking place around the world.

There will be a Lego brick-making workshop the Glasshouse Gallery during the school half term – 16 to 24 February – where visitors can purchase their chosen mini-animal to take home.

The Glasshouse will be open from 10am to 4.30pm daily during The Great Brick Safari event and normal garden entry fees apply. For further information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley.

SURREY Wildlife Trust is urging the public to make a special New Year’s resolution – a pledge to visit one of the county’s nature reserves.

On a cold day, head for heaths such as Ockham and Wisley Common. The landscape of frosty heather and scattered pine has a desolate beauty and a feeling of true wilderness.

Look out for the beady red eye of the small but striking Dartford warbler perched on top of gorse, which may be in fiery yellow bloom. 

STUNNING SCENERY – Brentmoor Heath, near Camberley, is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. Picture by Mark Horton

Crooksbury Hill near Farnham is a woodland reserve with stunning views across Surrey and Hampshire. Soldier’s Ring, on the northern side, is a scheduled ancient monument. The hill fort is thought to date to the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age.

Worth the hike to the summit, steep steps lead straight to the top or a more gentle path follows the side of the hill. A mixture of woodland, open glades and heathland.

Why not take a warming winter walk up the wooded slopes of Chinthurst Hill for lovely views of Guildford from the summit? There you will find an impressive stone folly built in the 30’s by Lord Inchcape. Look out for birds of prey including buzzards and sparrowhawks hunting for prey in the fields below.

Surrey Wildlife Trust is offering half price membership in its January sale. For more information on membership, free guided walks, discounted talks and courses and a list of more than 80 nature reserves to explore across the county, visit www.surreywildlifetrust.org.

WITNESSES are still being sought after a man was found unconscious on a petrol station forecourt on December 21.

The man suffered serious head injuries following the incident at the Esso Garage in Bagshot Road, Brookwood between 10pm and 1am.

The Esso garage at Bagshot Road, Brookwood

The victim had been at Knaphill pub the Nag’s Head Inn earlier that evening and was driven to the garage in a red Seat Leon by a friend.

The friend then went into the garage to buy cigarettes and when he came out, he found the man unconscious on the ground, according to police reports.

The man has since been released from hospital, according to police.

Detective Sergeant Jo Smith, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are trying to establish what has happened to this man.

“A number of enquiries have been carried out but at the moment we have no one who saw what happened.  If you were in the area around the time of the incident, we would like to hear from you so that we can begin to piece together what has happened.”

If you have any information, call police on 101, quoting reference number PR/45180136159.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report information anonymously.

THERE was plenty of good cheer at The Garibaldi pub in Knaphill, when Neil Gardener claimed his prize for voting in the People’s Choice category of the Best Bar None awards.

The BBN scheme recognises premises in Woking that are great places for all residents of the borough to enjoy an evening out.

Those who cast a vote for a local establishment as part of the News & Mail’s People’s Choice award were entered into a free prize draw to win a weekend away for two in a luxury hotel in Dartmoor National Park or a runner-up prize of £100 of vouchers to spend in any two Best Bar None award winning pubs of their choice.

Chris Norrington, Woking Council’s BBN project manager, Tom Harding from Asahi UK, winner Neil Gardener, The Garibaldi landlord Martin Durrad,News & Mail editor Mark Miseldine

First prize was won by Janine Cressey of Knaphill, with Neil as runner-up. He said he would split his winnings between an evening at Cellar Magneval and an evening at The Garibaldi, where he received his prize.

The Knaphill pub received three gold plaques at the recent BBN awards night and Neil, who lives in Goldsworth Park, has been a regular there for more than 20 years.

“It just is one of the best pubs in Woking,” he said. “Everyone is friendly, the food is good and there’s always a good atmosphere. It’s a proper pub.”

For more information about Woking Best Bar None, visit www.wokingbbn.co.uk.

CHILDREN at Pennypot Day Nursery in Chobham showcased their talents with a show-stopping performance of The Sleepy Shepherd.

The Nativity-themed performance at the day nursery in Pennypot Lane was professionally filmed and screened for parents before the annual Christmas party and disco.

Pennypot Deputy Nursery Manager Anna Jackman said the talented children are also entering the Eagle Radio’s yearly carol competition with their performance of Under a Star.

“We are extremely proud of all the children and their hard work this year in putting on another dazzling Christmas production and a performance for radio,” she said.

“All the pre-schoolers have really enjoyed acting and singing, and are excited about their talents being played out on screen and hopefully radio too.”

For more school pictures please see the 13th December issue 

TRUDI Fletcher estimates she has beaten her quest to collect more than a tonne of supplies for Woking Foodbank.

She ended her seasonal campaign at Brookwood Club on Saturday evening, delighted at the huge number of donations from villagers and local businesses.

“I’ve collected a total of 98 food parcels overall and around £1,000 in cash donations,” said Trudi, who has been collecting with her band of volunteers since the beginning of November.

Trudi Fletcher (left)with Woking Foodbank administrator Alison Buckland, who switched on the Brookwood Christmas tree lights. Trudi’s mini-sleigh was filled several times with donations from villagers

“We are still weighing up and assessing the food donations, but I reckon they have easily beaten our target of exceeding the tonne we collected last year.”

Trudi’s final collection was during an event held to celebrate the switch-on of the village Christmas tree at Brookwood Club.

“We had to empty our collection sleigh several times during the evening, as people just kept on putting donations in it,” said Trudi. “Money made from the sale of hot dogs, mulled wine and the raffle is also going to the food bank.”

She said that she had been hampered by a health problem which needed a hospital stay but her mum, Barbara Fletcher, had stepped in with lots of help to keep the campaign going.

“I’d also like to particularly thank Shaun Roker of Baker’s Dozen for donating the hot dog rolls and collecting donations at his shop and John Andrews of Radio Woking for all the publicity.

“And the village has really got behind our appeal this year. Many thanks to all those who donated.”

CHRISTMAS Glow returns to Wisley this winter, offering the chance to explore the garden  after dark via a trail around the garden featuring botanical illuminations accompanied by  atmospheric music.

Picture by Paul Debois RHS

The fourth annual event of its type includes a new route, taking in locations including the Rock Garden, the Seven Acres lake and the Jellicoe Canal. Jigantics, designers of cultivated illumination, will bring a number of new blooms to Wisley, including arches of gladioli over the new Wisteria Walk and a bouquet of alliums on Seven Acres. Installations such as the waterliles on the Jellicoe Canal and interactive colour-changing flowers will return to complete the uniquely floral immersive experience.

The paved route will take in not only the floral lights, but also a number of trees, lit with bright colours. The Glasshouse will also be illuminated and will contain a  Woodland Realm with elves, treehouses and Santa’s reindeer. The centrepiece will be a towering poinsettia “Christmas tree” with plant-filled baubles.

Due to popular demand all visitors must book a time slot in advance of their visit. Glow 2018 will be open from 4–8pm (last entry at 7pm) every day between 1 December and 2 January except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Bookings can be made by visiting www.rhs.org.uk/wisley.

MAYBURY’S Christmas illuminations extravaganza could be heading for a new world record when it lights up the sky on Saturday evening.

Tom Harris calculates that he has so far installed more than 900,000 lights for the display – which easily beats the current record for a residential property.

That is held by a family at LaGrangeville in New York state in the US, with 601,736 lights.

Tom, 24, has invited a Guinness World Records adjudicator to attend the launch of the winter wonderland spectacle at his home at 33 Windsor Way.

Tom Harris with Father Christmas, who was making an early visit to the grotto in Windsor Way, Maybury

The lights, covering the walls, roof, chimney, front garden and fences and even stretched to the trees across road, will be switched on at 7pm on Saturday.

The launch will be accompanied by a firework display and an evening of family attractions and entertainment.

“We are hoping hundreds of people will come along on Saturday,” said Tom, who has been fundraising for charities through Christmas illuminations since he was a pupil at St John the Baptist School in Old Woking.

Tom and his supporters have lined up bands to play live music and run funfair sideshows, a hot food van, and a candyfloss machine.

Children will be able to get their faces painted and receive presents from Father Christmas in his grotto.

There will also be a tombola and a raffle to raise money for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, the charity which Tom has chosen to support during his annual festive display.

“The proceeds of the launch night will go to the hospice and everyone who comes to see the lights over the Christmas period will be asked to make a donation to the charity,” Tom added.

THE name of a new antiques shop in Chobham is raising eyebrows around the village, with a former teacher condemning it as poor taste.

Arse Antiques is raising eyebrows in Chobham

Arse Antiques, in Chertsey Road, says it sells beautiful, quirky and unusual items that start conversations and make people smile.

It has certainly prompted discussions among local people as to the suitability of its name.

“I think it’s a distasteful gimmick and it’s a great pity that local children should be exposed to that kind of ploy,” said retired teacher Pippa Hart.

“If it’s a joke, or supposed to be witty, most of us are not in on it and it’s just crass.”

The shop opened last week in what was for many years the premises of Tanners the butchers and most recently a cleaning agency.

According to the owners, the shop name simply spells out their initials – Amy Rose and Susie Elizabeth.

“We thought the name had a good ring to it, that’s all,” they said.