Other News

THE heat was on for junior bakers who took part in the final of a primary schools’ version of The Great British Bake Off judged by a professional chef.

Pairs of pupils from the Woking area took part in the competition, representing Send Church of England Primary, Barnsbury Primary, Brookwood Primary, Goldsworth Primary, Horsell Junior, Marist Catholic Primary and West Byfleet Junior.

Johanna and Evie, from Year 5 at Barnsbury, and their rose-covered cake

The bake-off final took place on Thursday last week at Bishop David Brown School in Sheerwater, following heats at the individual schools to select the entrants.

The contest was organised by the Woking Schools Learning Partnership and the culinary delights were judged by Masterchef Professionals semi-finalist Ben Piette, owner and head chef of the London House restaurant in West Byfleet.

He was helped in his deliberations by some Year 9 Bishop David Brown pupils.

Huw and Lear from Send were Years 4 and 5 champions for a raspberry meringue which they had spent 2½ hours preparing.

Ben Piette with Years 5 and 6 champions Huw and Lear and their winning meringue

“I commend all the pupils for their efforts, and really good baking,” he said. “They are each winners in their own way, because it’s also about teamwork, baking in pairs in a different environment and knowing the importance of presentation.”

Adie Gould, from the Woking Schools Learning Partnership, added: “I’m sure that there have been parents and children doing trial runs and making a mess of lots of kitchens across the Woking area and I would like to thank all the schools, parents and children who have got involved.

“The enthusiasm that we’ve seen for this event shows what a great deal this has meant to so many children, and to have a former finalist of Masterchef Professionals and restauranteur, Ben Piette, as a judge is the icing on the cake.”

For the full story and picture special get the 27 June edition of the News & Mail

WOKING & Sam Beare Hospices’ Midnight Walk attracted about 420 people to tackle its eight-mile course last weekend.

The walkers began to gather at Woking Leisure Centre at about 8pm for the 10pm start, the atmosphere building as those taking part exchanged stories about why they were walking.

EYECATCHERS – Monica and Sarah show off a  distinctive line in sunglasses

For many it was in memory of a loved one, and often with the walkers wearing a personalised T-shirt.

The warm-up concluded with a burst of disco music echoing the 80s theme of the night.  Legwarmers and shell suits had their day again.

IN THE PINK – Hilary, Sandie and Sarah enter into the spirit of fancy dress

The lead walkers completed the course in around two hours, although the event continued into the early hours as the remainder came home to the Leisure Centre.

Among the walkers was Marian Imrie, the new chief executive at the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

Marian was present throughout and remained after her walk to hand out medals to the finishers.

The event, sponsored by Trident Honda, raised more than £60,000 last year, but a figure for this year’s event has yet to be finalised.

For the special picture spread get the 27 June edition of the News & Mail

WOKING College Theatre Company have won the English Final of the All England Theatre Festival with their production of Education, Education, Education by the Wardrobe Ensemble.

Woking College Theatre Company celebrate with a variety of awards won for their performance.

They will now go on to represent England at the British Final in Harrogate on 5 July, competing against teams from Wales, Scotland and Ireland. They will be the only youth group in the competition.

At the English Final, held at the Norden Farm Arts Centre in Maidenhead earlier this month, the company competed against the winners from the Western, Central and Northern Regions.

Adjudicators have praised the discipline, teamwork, high energy and physical skills of the young performers as well as the vision and creativity of the direction.

The company has won through to the English Final in previous years, but this is the first year they have reached the British Final.

For the full story get the 27 June edition of the News & Mail

A CARE assistant from Woking has won a Heart of Gold Award in recognition of her dedication and commitment to provide high-quality care and compassion.

Denu Lakornchai beat 27 other nominees for the prize at Claremont Court Care Home in Guildford. All nominees received a Heart of Gold lapel pin.

Claremont Court manager Karen Byres with Denu Lakornchai

Denu who has worked at Claremont Court for more than three years was presented with a Tiffany necklace as a reward by Alnur Dhanani, the chairman, and Nicola Coveney, the managing director of Carebase, the company that owns Claremont Court.

Nominations for the award came from residents and their relatives, co-workers, social workers and local health professionals. Denu was then chosen from the list of nominations by a panel of previous Heart of Gold award winners from all the other homes in the Carebase group.

Denu said: “I am surprised but delighted to have won this award. This is my first job in the UK and I am so thankful to the whole team for helping and supporting me every day so that we can care well for  our  residents, who are our family.”

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

Young sports novices from Woking were among the 1,500 children and their parents from across the county to take part in the 2019 Specsavers Surrey Youth Games, the county’s largest multi-sport festival, organised by not-for-profit Active Surrey.

Woking Boxing Team

This was the 23rd Surrey Youth Games and was held at Surrey Sports Park, Guildford, and this year, while most of the events had a competitive element, the emphasis was very much on celebrating what the participants had achieved as newcomers to their sport and recognising fair play. Every borough and district in Surrey giving their support to efforts to get more youngsters aged 6-16 involved in sports regardless of ability.

More than 300 local coaches and volunteers helped at the games where some events, such as football, judo and the 2km running also saw individual rather than team medals awarded.

A spokesman for the event organisers said: “The emphasis of the Games is now very much on participation first, and competition second.”

U8 Tennis Georgie Beare, Alice Groom, Max McGibbon, Anoushka Kumar, Kieran Hanley

Campbell Livingston, Director of Games organisers Active Surrey commented: “Young people wouldn’t get the chance to try out new activities without the support of local councils and the coaches they appoint. Alongside sponsors like Specsavers and Arriva, a small army of volunteers also give up their time so that young people new to a sport can ‘have a go’.

“We don’t know where the sporting careers of the young people who took part will take them – we’ve had Olympic medal winners play at the Games in previous years – but we’re determined that the Games continue to offer fresh opportunities to all.

For the full story and more pictures get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

A FAMILY of four from St Johns have reached the semi-finals of the BBC’s new prime-time programme The Family Brain Games.

The Griffiths family of mum and dad Anne and David, and sons Will, 16, and Ollie, 13, will meet their next opponents in a specially designed games lab.

SCREEN TEST – The Griffiths team on the set of BBC quiz The Family Brain Games

The show, presented by Dara O’Briain, will be shown next week. 

Anne is a social science graduate from Lancaster University, and David studied maths at Bath University.

Both work locally. Anne is a prison education tutor and David is the manager of a council education department. Elder son Will is in his first year of sixth-form college, while Ollie is in Year 9.

In each episode two families tackle a series of games designed to go beyond traditional ideas about how to measure brain power, such as individual IQ, and also explore group intelligence.

“We enjoy watching TV quizzes and our eldest son Will was keen to apply. It seemed like a fun opportunity to do something interesting together.”

“It was challenging,” Anne said. “We preferred the games where we worked together so we could help each other out. 

The Family Brain Games is shown on BBC2 at 8pm, Monday to Thursday.

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

PYRFORD residents Ian Lamaison and Eldon Sandys crossed the finish line on Thursday at the end of a 250-mile bike ride to raise money for the Church Mission Society’s Devonport Project.

Ian Lamaison, geared up and ready to ride.

The Devonport Project is one of the main charities supported by the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford, which allocates a proportion of parishioners’ donations to the church for charitable projects at home and overseas.

The Devonport area of Plymouth suffers from high levels of unemployment. Church Mission Society worker Ruth Sayers was sent to the area to work with a small local church community, to be a presence in this area of deprivation and disadvantage.

Ruth has many roles and ambitions, and a key one is leadership of a work club which seeks to help the unemployed through fellowship, practical advice and guidance.

A determined Eldon Sandys prepares for the ordeal to come.

Ian and Eldon hit on the idea of a sponsored bike ride to Plymouth to supplement the annual contribution made by the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford.  So far, parishioners have pledged almost £5,000 in support of the bike ride.

Ian said: “Our aim is to raise money for Ruth Sayers and her project but to do so in a way that made our parish’s link with Devonport more personal by actually going there.”

They began their trip on Monday. “Neither of us are very young men so we are restricting ourselves to about 55-60 miles per day on average.”

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

BROOKWOOD residents have found a new sense of community having come together to plant out flower beds alongside the main village road.

Thanks in part to a council grant along with donations from several local businesses – local residents in Brookwood were able to buy around 300 perennial plants and shrubs to put in four main flower beds along Connaught Road.

The green fingered residents of Brookwood with their plants

Armed with trowels and spades a group of more than 20 residents set to work and planted them last Saturday morning, following on from initial work the evening before by about 20 local cubs and their parents on one of the beds.

Jess Sawyer, a keen amateur gardener, was responsible for getting the project off the ground. She said: “I used to pass the flower beds and think how sad they looked and other people said they thought the same so we decided to do something about it. It’s really brought the community together and some people have offered to water the plants and there are people who weren’t able to help with the planting who’ve said they want to smarten up their gardens now.”

Delighted with the result, Jess said that they’ve saved some the money they received so that they can plant bulbs later this year.

Cllr Ayesha Azad, who helped the residents to secure the grant of £500 from Woking Borough Council also came along in the course of the morning to congratulate the group on their work.

WOKING Football Club’s Kingfield Stadium has just rounded off two weeks of community tournaments hosted by the club’s official charity Cardinals in the Community over the last two weeks from events for local schools to over 50s men.

Chris Sexton, Senior Development Coach and Coach Mentor, said: “We are grateful for everyone’s support and this year for funding provided by The Premier League Primary Stars Programme. The children, in particular, enjoyed the opportunity to play in the stadium where they often come to watch matches.”

The victorious year 4 Pirbright girls team

The first event was the Year 4 Boys, which saw 15 teams entered with a semi-final between Goldsworth and Hermitage and Greenfield and Horsell. Both games were closely contested ending with a tense final between Horsell and Hermitages.

The following day it was the turn of the Year 4, 5 & 6 Girls. Six teams were entered in the Year 4 tournament and 15 in the year 5/6. Year 4 was run as a league basis with Pirbright coming out on top and lifting the cup.

The pace slowed a little for the next tournament and it was the turn of the over 50s men in their fifth Annual Walking Football Tournament. Eight teams competed with the top four proceeding to the semi-finals.

The last tournament was the 5th Annual Wellbeing Tournament, this year 15 teams took part and were divided into two leagues and then a cup and plate competition.

Chris added: “We would like to thank all teams for making all our tournaments so successful and look forward to seeing you all next year.”

For tournament results and more get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

WHEN Monica Cobbett wondered how to celebrate her ninetieth birthday in style, her daughter came up with a spectacular answer: a skydive.

Intrepid adventurer Monica Cobbett ready for her first skydive a few days after her ninetieth birthday

Monica, Woking born and bred but now living in Horsell, said: “I’d had a go at Formula Ford driving at Thruxton a few years ago and we’d been thinking about what to do next. That’s when Sarah-Jane, my daughter, gave me the parachute jump as a birthday present.

“I’ve always been prepared to get involved and you only go this way once, so I thought, ‘Why not?’

“I did the jump at Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, at the end of last month and it was on a lovely day. We did all the preliminaries, watched the video, being strapped to the instructor, how to land.

Monica comes in for a graceful landing courtesy of instructor Gary

“There were seven of us on the plane and we had an instructor each. I was with Gary, and he had a video camera attached to his wrist to film it all.”

What about when the time came to jump? Were there any doubts?

“I had to go then, didn’t I? We went up to 7,000 feet, then it was freefall for the first 10 seconds. When the parachute opened everything was so peaceful, the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

“Gary looked after the landing, but overall I think I surprised myself about how cool I stayed!”

For the full story get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail