Other News

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.

THE 25th Woking Beer Festival has raised more than £3,000 for the homelessness charity, the York Road Project.

The money came from sales of raffle tickets at the three sessions at the Leisure Centre last weekend. The YRP is the mayor’s charity and Cllr Will Forster, Mayoress Hannah Thompson and several volunteers were out in force selling raffle tickets.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, Cllr Will Forster and Hannah Thompson, with volunteer barmen

Around 3,500 people attended the festival, which is believed to be the only one of its kind with singalongs accompanied by a Wurlitzer organ.

John Mintram, who runs Thurstons Brewery in Horsell, said the 25th Woking Beer Festival was very good with the Friday evening session particularly crowded.

He said the singalong to the Wurlitzer organ was as popular as ever.

“By 10pm on the Friday, everybody was singing,” he said.

For the full report, see the 15 November edition of the News & Mail

TRUDI Fletcher is on a mission to raise more than a tonne of products for Woking Foodbank by Christmas.

She rallied the community to donate that amount in 2017 and is determined to collect even more stock for the charity’s shelves this year.

Trudi, of Connaught Crescent, Brookwood, is stepping up her efforts to get the village involved in her festive campaign in support of people in crisis.

Trudi Fletcher and young helpers with a consignment of donations. Pushing the sleigh are Mollie-Ann Bayliss (left) and Amber Kiy, with Eloise Brennan on board. Picture by Rob Searle

“It was a massive community effort last year and I’m aiming to do even better this year,” she told the News & Mail. “I particularly want to get young people involved and am already getting a lot of help from young people in collecting donations.”

This year, she will be raising her profile on the streets by collecting supplies in a Santa’s sleigh based on a trolley donated by Homebase at Knaphill.

“The trolley was kindly transformed by Phil Bayliss, of PA Bayliss Carpentry in the village,” said Trudi. “He’s done a magnificent job.”

She has also had valuable support from the Co-op store at St John’s, which donated 1,000 carrier bags to be used to distribute food to the individuals and families supported by Woking Foodbank.

Trudi and helpers will be collecting around the area in the lead-up to Christmas. Donations can also be left at Brookwood Club and at the post office counter in Bakers Dozen, both in Connaught Road, Brookwood.

To join Trudi’s campaign, contact her on trudifletcher@rocketmail.com.

For the full story, see the 8 November edition of the News & Mail

LARGE crowds braved the autumn chill to rocket over to Ripley’s village green on Saturday to enjoy the fun of the fair, food stalls, bars and one of the biggest bonfire and firework events in the South East.

Drum Major Tony Nicolas and the Surbiton Royal British Legion Youth Marching Band led the parade, followed by Bonfire Queen Emma Doherty and her two glamorous attendants Saffron and Philipa in their Queens Coach, then floats and the traditional torchlight procession along the high street to the village green.

Ripley bonfire

Emma set the bonfire ablaze, which was followed by the spectacular and sparkling Dynamic Fireworks’ display illuminating the night sky.

“The kids have an amazing time,” said Sarah, the 1st Ripley Scout Akela. “This is such a good event for our community.”

Vernon Wood, chairman of the Ripley Bonfire Association, said: “I must thank all of our hardworking volunteers, event marshals, bucket collectors, sponsors and Benson’s family funfairs.

“It’s a great free family event that has been running successfully for 63 years and we are proud to have one of the biggest bonfires in the region. The money raised from generous members of the public will be put to good use by our local charities.”

For more pictures see the see the 1st November edition of the News & Mail

THE largest mobile chemotherapy treatment unit in the world has visited the Woking headquarters of the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.

The 146ft-long unit weights 30 tonnes and the charity, whose main offices are in Albert Drive, made a grant of half a million pounds to Tenovus Cancer Care, which is running the facility.

The money was raised by walkers taking part in Walk the Walk’s MoonWalk events. Several local supporters of the charity were invited to see the unit.

One of those was Brenda Barrow, who has completed 15 Walk the Walk events.

Brenda Barrow, left, with Walk the Walk founder and chief executive, Nina Barough

She said: “It was great to have the opportunity to see the Mobile Cancer Support Unit. It is fantastic and is going to provide a great service to patients suffering from cancer.

“It was a privilege to be able to see that through doing events like The MoonWalk, I have been able to contribute to something like this – it really incentivises me to continue taking part in events for Walk the Walk”.

With seven chemotherapy chairs the unit can accommodate 30 patients a day and deliver more than 8,500 treatments a year.

Walk the Walk’s founder and chief executive, Nina Barough, said: “If you need to have chemotherapy this is where you’d want it to be – it is an intimate, reliable, warm, welcoming space, which is exactly what you need to help reduce the fear and anxiety that many feel when diagnosed with cancer.

“It has been great that our Walkers in the South East have been able to see how the money they have fundraised is helping people in other parts of the UK.”

The unit will treat patients in Wales.

SPECIAL VISIT – The mobile cancer support unit at the Walk the Walk Woking offices, with charity workers and supporters

FOR more information, or to sign up for a Walk the Walk event, including The MoonWalk London on Saturday 11th May, visit walkthewalk.org

A YOUNG Woking volunteer has raised £1,500 for the learning disability charity LinkAble by running the New Forest Marathon.

Connor Ward, 21, took part in the event with his cousin Marcus and finished in under five hours.

Connor first started volunteering at LinkAble as part of his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award four years ago and has continued helping at the charity when home from university.

1. Connor Ward, left, and his cousin Marcus after running the New Forest Marathon in aid of LinkAble

The amount he has raised adds to a prize of £1,000 given to LinkAble in recognition of Will Siegmund, 18, being named Young Woking Volunteer of the Year.

The money for Will’s success will go directly towards supporting vital services for children and adults with learning disabilities.

He missed the awards ceremony for the event run by the Greenoak Housing Association earlier this year, but was presented with the cheque by the Mayor of Woking, Will Forster, at the LinkAble premises in Board School Road

Will is off to further his studies at university but still plans to continue volunteering at LinkAble. He said: “I’ve really loved volunteering at LinkAble and have found it incredibly rewarding.” when he can and


Will said, ‘I’ve really loved volunteering at LinkAble and have found it incredibly rewarding.”

Alison Keeley, LinkAble’s Chief Executive said, “These two young men have been fantastic and we have been so lucky to have them as volunteers.   They are always diligent and get on brilliantly with all the adults and children with learning disabilities. We rely so much on our volunteers and having people like Connor and Will who we can trust to work hard makes such a difference to our charity.”

LinkAble is always looking for reliable and hard working volunteers.  Call 01483 770037 or email HR@linkable.org.uk if you are interested in helping.

THE 60th Woking Drama Festival has been held with large audiences watching around 30 local amateur groups perform over two weeks.

The first festival in 1959 consisted of six plays over two nights and was held at the Lion Works Social Hall.

ALL THE WINNERS – celebrating a successful festival

The event has been held at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre since 1975, except for a brief move to a temporary theatre during the building of the Peacocks Centre in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The drama festival is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

The winning play was Cider with Rosie from Woking College, which won four awards. Cider with Rosie was the Best Play by a Cast Under 21, Claire Nevers and Gina Marshall won the Director Award and Jack Derry and Ana Richardson were Best Youth Actor and Best Youth Actress.

For full story and pictures see the 25 October edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Football Club is encouraging other sports organisations to follow its lead and join the White Ribbon Campaign, in which men stand up against violence to women and girls.

As well as pledging its support for the international initiative, the club will be holding a collection at Saturday’s home game to raise money for local charity Your Sanctuary, which offers help to anyone affected by domestic abuse.

Woking manager Alan Dowson, club chaplain and director Ian Nicholson, assistant managers Martin Tyler and Ian Dyer, showing the club’s support for the White Ribbon Campaign

“Your Sanctuary were very excited to learn that Woking FC had decided to become a White Ribbon organisation,” said charity chief executive Fiamma Pather.

“This world-wide initiative encourages men to campaign against violence against women and girls. White Ribbon gives opportunities for male organisations and groups to become part of a change in culture that says domestic abuse and violence is unacceptable and to promote local specialist services such as Your Sanctuary.

“By changing attitudes there is a real chance to reduce and possibly eradicate a social issue that sees two women per week killed by a partner or ex-partner. We are looking forward to working with Woking FC and other sports clubs and groups in Surrey to promote this innovative campaign.”

With the whole club backing the campaign, Woking director and club chaplain Ian Nicholson has become a White Ribbon Ambassador, pledged to help spread the message to schools, colleges and workplaces.