Other News

GOLDSWORTH Park Lake was alive with colour, drumming and dance recently, as part of celebrations dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom in Hinduism.

All smiles, as part of the Surrey Hindu Cultural Associations celebrations

The festivities – Ganesha Chaturthi Mahotsav – marked the installation of a new representation of the god at Surrey Hindu Cultural Association’s headquarters in Byfleet.

They began on Thursday 14 September, when a clay idol created by association volunteer Deepti Chug was consecrated at the centre in Stream Close.

There were a series of cultural performances centre on Friday evening and then a large crowd arrived for a celebration fair on Saturday.

Regional delicacies were served and there was an exhibition of art created by the children from local Hindu community. A young people’s talent show – WoKids Got Talent – was followed by a sumptuous meal in the evening.

The symbolic immersion of Ganesha in the lake

On Sunday, the festivities moved to the banks of Goldsworth Park Lake, which became a riot of colour, sounds and dance. Devotees in traditional clothese were spurred into enthusiastic street-style and folk dances by a band of drummers.

The day’s finale was the immersion of the eco-friendly clay idol in the lake – which was standing in for the rivers and oceans used during the festival in India.

See the special picture spread in the 27 September edition of the News & Mail

COMEDIAN Paul Chuckle will come to Woking to appear in his first pantomime since the death of his brother and partner Barry last month.

The children’s TV duo made more than 290 episodes of their Chucklevision programme and won a BAFTA in 2008.

Paul, who will star as Cinderella’s father Baron Hardup, says: “I’d like to thank everybody for their amazingly kind outpouring of love and support following the loss of our dear friend and my amazing brother, Barry.

“Panto was a huge part of our lives for over 50 years and I know Barry would want and expect the show to go on so I’m very happy to be starring in Cinderella in Woking this Christmas alongside our good friend Craig Revel Horwood.

“The three of us had a fantastic time doing panto together last year and Craig and I are looking forward to going out there, getting started and doing this year’s panto in loving memory of Barry.”

Joining them as Buttons will be comedian, magician and actor Phil Butler and West End star Sophie Isaacs as Cinderella. The cast will also include Suzie Chard and Wendy Somerville as Cinderella’s very vicious sisters and Oliver Savile, star of the hit musical Wicked as Prince Charming.

Cinderella will be at the New Victoria Theatre from Friday 7 December until Sunday 6 January 2019.

WOKING Archery Club – which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary – is facing a challenge to its existence.

The club, one of the largest and most active clubs for the sport in the Southern Counties, has been based on land rented from RHS Wisley in Wisley village for the last 28 years.

However, RHS Wisley is planning a major redevelopment of its land and because of this the club must vacate its site by May 2019.

Woking Mayor and Mayoress Will Forster and Hannah Thompson meet club chairman Roy Watts and member Eleanor Piper at the archery club’s event on Sunday

The club, which was founded in1968, is urgently seeking new headquarters.

“We have been looking for a new venue for some time now, but without much success,” club chairman Roy Watts told the News & Mail. “It is now becoming imperative that we find a new location if we are to avoid the demise of WAC, and with it archery in Woking borough.

“WAC membership includes archers of all ages and abilities from right across the social spectrum and we are especially proud of our ability to cater for both able bodied and disabled sportsmen and women,” he added.

For the full story, see the 20 September edition of the News & Mail

FOUR more pubs and restaurants from across the borough have received gold awards in the Best Bar None scheme.

The Cricketers in Horsell, The Ogilvy in Woking town centre, the New Haweli and the Yeoman Harvester, both in West Byfleet, have joined the Slug & Lettuce in the centre of Woking in gaining the highest accreditation.

Woking Best Bar None Gold Accreditation for The Cricketers in Horsell. L to R: Laura Watts – General Manager, Luke Bunyan – Supervisor, Charlotte Edwardes – Assistant Manager, Clive Price – Managing Director Barons Pubs Ltd., Cllr Debbie Harlow.

BBN assessors rated all five premises highly in: prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; prevention of public nuisance; child protection; social responsibility; and training for staff covering these areas.

Cllr Debbie Harlow, chairman of Woking Borough Council’s licensing committee, said: “It’s great to see four more licenced premises in Woking achieve the gold accreditation. They all thoroughly deserve their success for providing their patrons with quality customer service in a safe and responsible establishment.”

Charlotte Edwardes, assistant manager at The Cricketers, said the award was “absolutely brilliant” and that the managers and staff were extremely proud to have been given such a prestigious award.

Time is running out for your chance to vote for your favourite pubs, bar or restaurants in the Woking News & Mail Peoples’ Choice Award.  The deadline is Sunday 30 September. Visit www.wokingbbn.co.uk.

MORE on the BBN winners in next week’s paper

THE West End came to West End village last week as pupils at Gordon’s School were given masterclasses in make-up, singing and dancing by cast and crew of the hit musical The Lion King.

Sophie Fifield gets made up by professional designer Rowena Hulme

Drama students, singers, dancers and would-be make-up artists learnt from the best in their chosen professions, all of them connected with the show that has been running in London for the past 17 years.

Students were treated to a make-up workshop by Rowena Hume, Worldwide Associate Hair and Make Up designer, who showed them the intricate work that goes into creating the incredible animal faces.

Students in the dance class learn to leap like a gazelle

Then one of the show’s actors Ben Heathcote, who plays Timon in the London production gave an insight into the industry, with tips on how to progress in music, film, television and theatre, for those that enjoy the spotlight or want to work behind the scenes.

For full report and special picture spread, get the 20 September edition of the News & Mail

A WOKING mother of two has discovered at 42 a new talent for long jump, winning a gold medal in the British Masters Athletics Championships.

Kim Valente discovered an aptitude for long jump at the age of 42

Kim Valente claimed her medal at the Alexander Athletics Stadium, Birmingham, recently, having competed for the first time in long jump in the Southern Athletics League for Aldershot, Farnham  & District (AFD) in April this year when a teammate pulled out of the event at the last minute due to injury.

“It was just by chance that I was asked by our team manager to fill the spot,” says Kim. “I was a bit unsure, because I never did long jump before. But I did it, not expecting great results. To my surprise, I came second that day and earned our team seven points.”

Kim’s gold medal from the British Masters Athletics Championships

She said she wants to encourage other women of her age and older to continue to pursue their passion for their sport. Currently the UK has the largest veterans’ team with 250 set to compete in two weeks at the World Championship in Malaga, all self-funded, including their newest member, former Olympic sprinter Dwain Chambers.

“I am a wife of 14 years and a mother of two children and I know it can be difficult for women to juggle many jobs at once,” says Kim. “Athletics has given me a boost and the confidence to know that I can pursue my goals and passion at my age and beyond.”

For the full story, see the 13 September edition of the News & Mail

THERE’S no place like home for Tayiba Hussain, a 26-year-old post graduate law student from Woking, and now she hopes to encourage people in the Muslim community to open their homes to children in need of fostering and adoption.

Tayiba Hussain with Samina Achtar of Penny Appeal and Catherine Moore of Diagrama

Tayiba is currently studying for her PhD in International Commercial Law at Exeter University and her commitment to helping the young has led to Woking Borough Council inviting her for a discussion on the possibility of working together.

Tayiba has also drawn support from a number of organisations, including the Muslim poverty charity Penny Appeal and the adoption agency Diagrama, which joined her on a stall she set up at the first Mela in the Park event run by the Shah Jahan mosque near her home in Maybury at the end of July.

Passionate about encouraging more people within her community to foster and or adopt children, she said: “People feel they can’t foster or adopt kids that are not family for a number of cultural and religious reasons. There is a cultural misunderstanding.

“But when I explain that the Prophet himself was fostered and he also adopted children I see a spark in people’s eyes and they realise that it is possible. I think there will be a lot more people coming forward but what matters now is that we just get people talking about it – that would be a start.”

For the full story, see the 6 September edition of the News & Mail

THE two sides of a community nature reserve are safely linked again with the opening of a new footbridge.

An improved version of a bridge built 22 years ago in the Fox Corner Wildlife Area was officially launched on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Named the New Winter Bridge, it spans the Hodge Brook, which divides the 14-acre reserve on the Pirbright-Worplesdon border.

The original bridge was built by the late Roy Johnson, a local resident who was one of the founding members of the association which created the wildlife area.

For the full story, buy the 6 September edition

Pictured at the bridge opening are (from left) site manager Nigel Emmerson, fundraising officer Peter Morley, publicity officer Heather Coverly, Helen Myers, project manager Roy de Coverly, chairman Catherine Cobley, deputy site manager John Shawyer and secretary Barbara Carr

A SCHOOLGIRL from Knaphill has raised hundreds of pounds by donating her long locks to help make wigs for children and young adults who lose their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

Eve Farrimond after her charity hair crop

Eve Farrimond collected £720 for The Little Princess Trust, a charity which relies on community fundraisers to help children cope when they lose their hair.

The 10-year-old, who attends Beaufort Primary School, Goldsworth Park, said: “I am doing this because I love to help others and this is one of the greatest ways I can assist.

“My hair, and the donations, will help children who have unfortunately lost their hair due to the effects of chemotherapy.”

Eve with mum, Lorraine, before the hair cut

Eve’s original target for the charity chop, which took place on Saturday, was £350. She surpassed this with a generous donation from online gaming operator Stride Gaming.

Her proud mum, Lorraine, said it was the latest fundraising activity that Eve had initiated.

“In the past she has raised money for Woking Hospice and the British Heart Foundation,” she added. “But this is an amazing achievement.

“Eve decided to grow her hair much longer, but now has changed her mind and decided to get a short bob, and donate her hair and raise funds for a good cause.”

Donations can still be made in support of Eve at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/evefarrimond.

OPENING transit sites for travellers in Surrey will make it easier for the police to deal with illegal encampments, says the county’s chief constable.

Nick Ephgrave has weighed in behind Surrey’s police and crime commissioner in calling for temporary stopping places for caravans to be established.

Chief Constable of Surrey, Nick Ephgrave

Like commissioner David Munro, he says having transit sites available will enable the police to fully use their powers to end illegal incursions.

They have spoken out following an unprecedented number of unauthorised encampments across Surrey this summer.

Residents have become frustrated at the lack of swift action to move travellers off sites including Chobham Common, Wheatsheaf Green at Horsell, Brooklands in Byfleet, Pyrford Recreation Ground, St John’s Lye, West Byfleet, Pirbright, Brookwood and several other locations in the Woking area.

“No part of the county has been unaffected and, as the summer has passed, the amount of ill feeling and anger about a perceived lack of action by police has been palpable,” said Mr Ephgrave.

“The disappointing thing is that all of this was predicted and there is a practical solution available that would help.”

He said a number of surrounding counties had built transit sites, but they had not yet been implemented in Surrey. The law enabled the police to direct encampments to move immediately to a designated transit site if one was available.

“If those on the encampment refuse, or return to camp unlawfully elsewhere within three months they are liable to immediate arrest,” added Mr Ephgrave.

Currently, evicted travellers could simply move 100 yards down the road and set up camp there if there were no transit sites.

“We then have to go through the whole rigmarole again and this is exactly what has happened this year, with repeated encampments as we follow groups round the county, creating further upset and disruption far and wide.”

“The provision of even one transit site will make an enormous difference to our ability to respond to unauthorised encampments, but it is not in my gift to make it happen,” said Mr Ephgrave. “That is a difficult political decision that sits with our local leaders, who I know have the issue under active consideration.”