Other News

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.

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:

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

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

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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.

A WOKING boy will receive specialist medical treatment in the US in January thanks to the stunning success of a ballet gala at the New Victoria Theatre last Sunday evening.

Four-year-old Dexter Summerscales-Heard was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is unable to speak and is reliant on his wheelchair and family to assist his daily activities.

ALL SMILES – A happy Dexter, with sister Tiana, 8, Laurretta and Yonah, and host Wayne Sleep at the Dancing for a Dream gala

After a seizure and further illness in 2017, Dexter lost the ability to eat orally when doctors found that his swallowing function was diverting food into his lungs, instead of his stomach.

Now, though, Dexter has the prospect of a life-changing treatment called VitalStim, which addresses swallowing disorders, at the NAPA Centre in California.

“We set a target of £30,000 to get Dexter to the US and the gala has massively helped us to achieve that,” Dexter’s mother, Gemma, said.

“We don’t have a definite figure of what the total is, as we are still trying to piece the figures together, but we have most certainly made enough to go to the US in January and are booking the flights today!”

The gala, Dancing for a Dream, was organised by Dexter’s aunt and uncle, international principal ballet dancers Laurretta Summerscales and her husband Yonah Acosta,  who live in Kingfield, near Dexter and his family.

It brought together some of the world’s top dancers, including principals and soloists from the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich, in a show hosted by star choreographer Wayne Sleep.

Gemma added: “We are truly grateful for all the support which Dexter has received. Words cannot express how much it means to secure this vital treatment for him and restore some enjoyment to his life.”

For further information, please visit JustGiving.com/Fundraising/Dexter-Summerscales-Heard

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

LES Reed, the Woking-born songwriter who composed hits for Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and The Carpenters, always considered Woking his home and was close to his family in the town, according to his sister.

Celia Lewis was speaking to the News & Mail after a blue plaque honouring her brother was unveiled at the Moorfield Community Centre, which was previously his school.

REVEALING – The mayor, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, unveils the plaque honouring Les Reed  watched by David and Celia Lewis, Les’s daughter Donna and grandson Alex

Celia said her brother, who died in April this year, often visited their parents at his childhood home in Granville Road in his Rolls Royce and later bought them a bungalow in Westfield Avenue. The house was named Belsize, after his haunting Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, the theme song to the 1968 film The Girl on a Motorcycle, starring Marianne Faithfull and Alain Delon.

Celia said that despite writing some of the best-known songs of the 20th century, including It’s Not Unusual, Delilah, The Last Waltz and There’s A Kind of Hush, Les considered himself “a background boy” and not a celebrity.

She said music was Les’s life, “He wasn’t just a songwriter but an arranger and composer. He conducted state orchestras all around the world.”

Celia added that Les arranged the version of Green, Green Grass of Home sung by Tom Jones and that Elvis Presley often said that he wanted music “to be played like Les”.

The blue plaque was unveiled last week by the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, followed by a tea dance celebrating Les’s many songs for members of Moorcroft Community Centre and specially invited guests, including Celia, her husband Dave, Les’s daughter Donna and his grandsons Dominic and Alex.

Cllr Hunwicks said: “It’s a privilege to recognise Les, a local boy who grew up to become one of our most accomplished songwriters.

“Many of his hit songs bring back so many happy memories from my youth. It was a real pleasure meeting Donna and reliving Les’s greatest hits.”

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

THE CREATIVITY of an autistic toddler inspired his parents to start a business selling baby-styled jumpers for adults.

Musa Akbar, who lives with his mum and dad in Maybury, was three years old when he was diagnosed with autism and had speech therapy using cartoon pictures.

Musa with Dad Umair, who is wearing a jumper with a rocket ship design

After his therapy sessions, Musa used the pictures to decorate jumpers worn by his father, Umair.

“That gave me the idea and I launched a company,” said. “Have you ever walked past the baby aisle while shopping and thought to yourself ‘if only they had that jumper in my size’? At BiG BaBy, we have created adult baby-themed jumpers.

“When I got the idea, I Googled ‘baby clothes for adults’. I didn’t find what I was looking for and found some very strange things.”

Models wearing women’s and men’s jumper designs

Umair is an accountant, and so found setting up a company relatively easy. He had to spend a little longer finding the right designers and supplier and set up the online site earlier this year.

The website, www.bigbaby.uk.com, has men’s and women’s jerseys decorated with cars, rockets, prams, boats, balloons and trains. “When Musa saw the first batch of jumpers, he was ecstatic,” said Umair.

When Umair is at work in Farnborough, mum Tayba handles the orders from their home.

Umair said that Musa, now aged five, is in Year One at a mainstream school and is doing well. “He is very good with numbers and also loves cars, which is why some of the jumpers have cars on them.

“I’m hoping to approach playgroups to set up a stall and am also looking at toddler jumpers to match the adult ones,” Umair added.

PHOTOGRAPHERS gathered at the Parkview Centre in Sheerwater recently to take part in an event with a difference.

The evening of audio and photographic storytelling, which has been hosted by the Woking Photographic Society for more than 10 years, showcased innovative content as participants harmonised music and/or commentary to a matching sequence of images to tell their story.

IN THE PICTURE – Clive Chater, left, of Alton Camera Club, receives the Keith Hunt Trophy from Roger Mendham on behalf of Tony Cole   Photo by Woking Photographic Society

It can be a tricky art form to perfect, but it was demonstrated impressively by Alton Camera Club’s Tony Cole, who won the Keith Hunt Trophy with his creation Concert Photography.

The judge, Roger Mendham, Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society, described the entry – which involved photographs of rock musicians performing at concerts – as “outstanding”.

Competitors from five camera clubs took part, producing 15 entries. Second place went to Battle of Britain (Niall Ferguson, Windlesham & Camberley Camera Club), and third to Commemorating the Fallen (Jean Hoyle, Windlesham & Camberley Camera Club).

The society welcomes everyone who has an interest in photography and meets at 8pm every Tuesday between September and June at the Parkview Centre in Sheerwater. For more details, please visit www.wokingps.uk; Facebook, WokingPS,; or Instagram, Wokingps.

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

NEW and improved facilities at Woking Community Hospital, including its expanded walk-in centre, were seen by the Mayor of Woking on Thursday last week.

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks was shown some of the innovative services being invested in by the hospital, which is run by CSH Surrey, an NHS community healthcare provider.

The mayor with CSH Surrey chief executive Steve Flanagan and CSH director of adult services Sarah Tomkins

She was shown around by Steve Flanagan, chief executive of CSH. The walk-in centre, which moved in August this year to more-spacious premises, with new equipment and a more comfortable, dementia-friendly waiting area.

Cllr Hunwicks also met representatives of the Friends of Woking Community Hospital, which contributed £4,725, including £2,000 donated by the Rotary Club of Woking, towards new seating for waiting patients.

Cllr Hunwicks commented: “I have been very impressed with the work that CSH Surrey is doing here in Woking. The hospital is a fabulous building and the facilities I’ve seen today are extraordinary. The staff are so welcoming and caring.”

For the full story get the 7 November edition of the News & Mail