Other News

A STRAY tarantula on the loose in a car park by a local service station has been rescued by the RSPCA.

The large, hairy arachnid was spotted by a driver in the car park of Starbucks at the Wisley service station on the south-bound carriageway of the A3.  The motorist managed to carefully catch the creature in a plastic box before reporting the unusual find to the Starbucks counter staff, who contacted the RSPCA for help.

Hitchhiker: Aragog the tarantula after being rescued by a motorist at the Wisley service station

“This was a really big spider – the size of a hand.  It was very hairy and had bright orange knees!  I’m not surprised it gave the motorist a shock,” said RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Jayne Jones.

“The startled driver spotted the animal scuttling across the car park near to the Starbucks café. It has been identified as a Mexican red knee tarantula and we have nicknamed it Aragog, after the ‘Acromantula’ from the Harry Potter stories. Aragog is now being looked after by our Millbrook Animal Centre near Woking and if the animal remains unclaimed, it will spend the rest of its natural life at a specialist facility.”

The RSPCA suspects that the tarantula was abandoned after its owner was unable to look after it properly.

“We are concerned that someone would abandon a spider like this,” said Jayne. “Tarantulas live in a warm and humid environment in the wild and need the same provided in captivity, to meet their needs and keep them healthy. It is also an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to release or allow to escape any non-native species into the wild.”

AN ADDLESTONE man has recently completed four months working as a Commonwealth War Graves Foundation intern after beating hundreds of other applicants to the post.

William Reid, 23, has been based at the Thiepval Memorial, on the battlefields of the Somme, which is the largest Commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM – William Reid with other Commonwealth War Graves Foundation Interns and D-Day veterans at the 75th anniversary commemorations at Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy

He has provided tours of the site, answered questions from visitors and helped them to find out more information about their own family history.

The memorial commemorates 72,000 men of British and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. It is also the location of 600 Commonwealth and French graves. 

In June, William attended the National Commemorations in Normandy, marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings. He met Second World War veterans and their families and helped them to discover more about the work of Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

William, who attended Heathside School in Weybridge, has a degree in Archaeology and a Masters in Cultural Heritage and Resource. He was asked to attend the opening of CWGC’s new visitor centre, the CWGC Experience, in Arras, France, where he met Princess Anne.

William said: “My time as a CWGF Intern has, without a doubt, been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Nothing has given me more pleasure than using my passion for modern conflict history to help families ensure that the names and legacies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice ‘liveth for evermore’.”

For more information, visit https://www.cwgc.org/interns.

For the full story get the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

THE SIX-day RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show returns tomorrow, Tuesday 3 September with a plethora of inspiration, expert advice and shopping opportunities for gardening enthusiasts.

A visitor looks at agapanthus flowers planted in a tuba on the Hoyland Plant Centre stand at the RHS Wisley Flower Show 2015.

This year, more than 50 specialist nurseries will be attending, showcasing a horticultural range, including hydrangeas, agapanthus, lilies, ornamental grasses, palm trees and chilli plants. Additionally, more than 20 trade stands will be displaying a range of wares, from gardening tools to solar lighting, and raised garden beds to water fountains.

A floral exhibition at RHS Wisley Flower Show 2015

Visitors will also have a chance to see marquee displays from the National Dahlia Society and creations by the Surrey area of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS), with a special 10th anniversary theme.

The Glasshouse will feature an ‘RHS Garden Mars’ display, featuring a Martian-themed landscape with airplant planets and an astronaut while its gallery will house a photography exhibition by Susan Phelps.

Admission to the RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show is free to RHS Members, normal garden admission applies to non-members. For further information visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley.

THE well-manicured flower beds and vegetable plots run by Derry’s Field Allotment was once again open to the public last Saturday for the association’s open day.

Tony Harding, chairman of Derry’s Field Allotment Association

The annual event is as an opportunity for people to see what can be grown on the 117 plots at the Coniston Road site in Old Woking which currently has 160 members, and to raise money for charity.

Chairman Tony Harding said: “The weather was on our side and we raised around £700 by the end of the day. We’ve been doing the open day for about 20 years now and it’s as much about the community as putting the allotment on show.”

For the full story and picture spread, see the 29 August edition of the News & Mail

VISITORS to the Woking Food and Drink Festival can enhance their experience by downloading a free app.

The app is available from the App Store or Google Play for the event, which runs from tomorrow, (Friday) until Sunday. It will be the festival’s seventh consecutive year.

Jubilee Square teems with foodie festival-goers at last year’s Food Festival

New for this year, the app can be used to see what talks and demonstrations are about to start, to beat the crowds with a festival map, filter and select stallholder information, and have fun using the device to hunt down the town’s hidden treasures.

The app has been developed by Aligned Assets, a Sheerwater-based business and leading provider of address management and augmented reality (AR) solutions.

Co-owner and managing director of Aligned Assets, Andy Hird, said: “Apps drive deeper engagement with events because they help users to find the content that interests them more easily, enabling them to see and do more while they’re there.

“It also shows a map of the festival, for easy navigation. Fans of Pokemon Go and other location-based games will love the AR treasure hunt we’ve created to inject a bit of fun while encouraging people to visit all corners of the festival.”

For more information about the festival, please visit www.wokingfoodfest.co.uk

For the full story and two page preview of the festival get today’s (29 August) edition of the News & Mail

MIKE Widdup and Judith Vella, from the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford, have recently returned from Uganda  where they have been on Mission 2019 to the Kasese district. They were joined on the trip by the Reverend Neil Lambert and his wife, Helen, from St Mary’s, Ash Vale.

NEW ARRIVAL – Judith with baby Capajungo Judith, born just 30 minutes earlier

Their visit was under the auspices of the charity Amaha We Uganda (AWU). This is one of the three main charities supported by the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford.

The charity’s aim is to develop leaders of integrity and empower groups to overcome poverty and injustice through fellowship, training, projects and microfinance.

The charity supports local women’s groups, street boys in Kasese town, the Good Samaritan Skills Centre in Kajwenge village, for vulnerable young girls who have had to leave school through lack of school fees or pregnancy, and a library and garden in the Kikonzo district of Kasese.

For more information, please visit www.amahaweuganda.org

For the full story get the 22 August edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Rotary Club Annual Kids’ Day provided a fabulous morning of entertainment for children with special needs this month.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK – Members of the Spenceley, Lintott, Hall and Connelly families, plus some furry friends, enjoy the day

During their visit to Mizens Railway at Knaphill, the youngsters enjoyed more than 700 trips on the miniature steam and diesel locomotives, as well as bouncy castles, face-painting and balloon-modelling sessions.

IF THE CAP FITS – Danielle, 11, makes sure everything is running smoothly

The 269 children and  250 helpers and carers who attended the event also tucked into ice cream and a tasty barbecue during their visit.

This is the 11th year that Rotary has run this event, and Woking Rotary would like to thank all those at Mizens Railway, Woking Rotarian and the helpers who gave their time for nothing.

The event could not have happened without them.

See the 22 August edition for more pictures (pictures by Len Walker)

RESIDENTS in Horsell may be in a forgiving mood if they’re described as being a bit “potty” this summer as a number have really gone to town on this year’s Flowerpot Festival.

A metallic, flowerpot dinosaur peers through a resident’s hedge

The idea was taken up two years ago by the village events organising committee, the Second Thursday Club on a suggestion by one of its members, Nancy Randall, who said: “Although it was successful last year it didn’t take off in the way it did this year. Horsell definitely rose to the challenge, embraced it and went potty!

“The number of delightful creations that can be spotted around the village this year are amazing and demonstrates what talent and sense of fun we have within the community.”

Are robot flowerpots the future?

Free to take part in, the festival has involved locals making flowerpot creations to display in their front garden, shop window or forecourt. The festival officially comes to an end on 31 August, although, one household kept their flowerpot display all year following the last festival.

“We had wonderful support from some of our local shops, traders and pubs as well as local schools and St Mary’s Church,” said Nancy. “The variety has been incredible from octopus to jelly fish, from to lemurs to pandas, from kings and queens to crowns and minions as well as village people, birds, bees, cats, dogs, robots and aliens in spaceships to name but a few. There were funny ones, quirky ones, cute ones, clever ones and imaginative ones, everyone had a favourite.”

The STC printed an online map, with a tick list so that families could hunt them down in the school holidays. For more information please go to https://hra.interests.me

WOKING FC manager Alan Dowson has been reunited with his National League South Promotion Final winner’s medal after he donated it for auction to raise funds for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices in June.

The winning bidder, at £1,200, wished at the time to remain anonymous, and the reason has now become clear.

GENEROUS GIFT – Andrew Laithwaite returns Alan Dowson’s medal to him after buying it at a charity auction

In a ceremony before Woking’s home game against Aldershot this month, the successful bidder was revealed as Andrew Laithwaite, from Laithwaite Financial Services, who then presented Alan’s winner’s medal back to him.

“We are absolutely delighted that Alan’s medal has been gifted back to him in this way,” said Phil Wormley, director of fundraising at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices. “It was an extremely kind and generous donation that has helped raise an amazing amount of money for the hospice.

“It has been a pleasure to be invited along to see the surprise presentation.”      

Andrew said:  “I’m delighted that it was possible to reunite Dowse with his National League South Promotion Final winner’s medal, but the real story here is of a man who was prepared to sacrifice a treasured trophy of great personal value for the benefit of those in need. This is the true measure of a man.”

A bucket collection at the match raised more than £600 for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

A “HAPPENING”, in the middle of Woking brought the 60s back to life on Tuesday 20 August as shoppers were treated to a glimpse of the stars from Motown The Musical, hours before it was due to open at the New Victoria Theatre.

The singers playing The Supremes in Motown the Musical appear in Woking Town centre alongside a 1960s Ford Mustang

The three singers who take on the roles of The Supremes appeared in Jubilee Square in full costume alongside a genuine 1960s Ford Mustang, provided by the Surrey Classic Vehicle Club, as the Woking theatre prepares to host the show until Saturday 24 August, fresh from its recent West End run.

Motown The Musical tells the story behind Motown Records, this year celebrating its 60th Anniversary, and how the label became legendary in music history.

Bookings can be made at the Box Office on 0844 871 7645 (Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge), or for groups bookings on 0333 009 5386 or online at www.atgtickets/woking (fees apply).

For the full story get the 22 August edition of the News & Mail