THERE were hundreds of wagging tails and smiling faces at Chobham’s RSPCA centre for its biggest fundraising day of the year on Sunday.

Millbrook was packed with people and a variety of animals, for a day of attractions, entertainment and refreshments.

Rescue dogs and animal care assistants taking part in the rehoming parade

The crowds turned up in the sun to watch arena events ranging from a farmer who herds ducks as well as sheep to axemen who competed to chop and saw tree trunks into logs.

Also providing entertainment in the arena were members of the Spelthorne Gymnastics display team, with the Shimmy Café Barefoot Dance Fusion company staging a contrasting performance.

Spiderman’ Jack, aged five, and prizewinning pooch, 12-week-old Betty

Special guests were Britain’s Got Talent stars police officer Dave Wardell and his retired police dog Finn. Finn was badly injured while protecting PC Wardell when a robbery suspect they were chasing attacked them with a knife.

PC Wardell spoke of his successful campaign to get a law passed to prosecute people who harm police dogs, in the same way as those who assault police officers face the courts. The pair got to the final of the TV talent show this year with an act based on the idea that Finn can read minds.

Canines of many breeds and sizes competed in agility competitions and a fun dog show and there was a parade of dogs from Millbrook who are seeking a new home.

For the full story and picture feature get the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

A CHOBHAM student’s keen eye has landed him a car worth £68,000 – and £20,000 in cash.

Sam Shaw staked just £3.75 in a spot the ball competition to win an Audi SQ5 ABT sports utility vehicle.

Sam Shaw, parents Tim and Meirion and sister Caitlin with Christian Williams from BOTB and the surprise Audi

He heard that his prize was much more than a selection of Easter goodies when a team from a competitions website called at his home on Tuesday morning.

Sam, 23, who lives with his family in Sandpit Hall Road, won by picking the exact spot where the ball had been removed from a football match photograph.

“I’m staggered, I just don’t know what to say,” he said when told of his win. “I was expecting a hamper to be delivered and thought ‘oh well, at least that’s something’.”

The contest was run by BOTB – Best Of The Best – which offers a range of cars from family saloons to supercars such as McLaren Spiders as its weekly Dream Car prizes.

Sam, who is in his final year studying retail management and marketing at Loughborough University, has played the games before, but staking a modest 75p in the hope of winning a Golf GTI.

He intends to keep the Audi SUV, instead of accepting a cash alternative, and will probably offer the 2013 Golf TDI he drives now to his sister Caitlin, 21. The £20,000 will go a long way towards paying off his student loan.

View a video of Sam receiving his prize at

For the full story get the 18 April edition of the Chobham News & Mail

CHILDREN at Pennypot Day Nursery in Chobham showcased their talents with a show-stopping performance of The Sleepy Shepherd.

The Nativity-themed performance at the day nursery in Pennypot Lane was professionally filmed and screened for parents before the annual Christmas party and disco.

Pennypot Deputy Nursery Manager Anna Jackman said the talented children are also entering the Eagle Radio’s yearly carol competition with their performance of Under a Star.

“We are extremely proud of all the children and their hard work this year in putting on another dazzling Christmas production and a performance for radio,” she said.

“All the pre-schoolers have really enjoyed acting and singing, and are excited about their talents being played out on screen and hopefully radio too.”

For more school pictures please see the 13th December issue 

A TERRIFYING drug known to have made people act as if  ‘‘possessed’’ may have claimed the life of a Surrey teenager who died after attending a party in Chobham on Saturday night.

Charlie Barker, 18, is believed to have taken the drug 2C-I (known as Smiles) or 2C-E, which have the powerful combined effect of ecstasy and LSD but far more potent.

It is thought he left the gathering at Chobham Common, off Windsor Road, and went back to his home in Wrecclesham, near Farnham

TRAGIC - Teenager Charlie Barker who died after attending a party in Chobham

TRAGIC – Teenager Charlie Barker who died after attending a party in Chobham

But early the next morning  tragedy struck when the teenager stopped breathing.

South East Coast Ambulance Service were called to a private address in Farnham at 9.40am.

An ambulance spokesman said: “Sadly, despite the crew’s best efforts, the boy died at the scene. Unfortunately, they were unable to revive him.”

The ambulance service alerted the police at around 10.15am.

Charlie’s mother, Trudy Barker, paid tribute to her son.

Heartbroken Trudy said: “Charlie, even as a child, was confident and warm, in adulthood he grew to become a thoughtful, artistic and caring young man. He worked hard at the fish and chip shop while studying at Farnham College.

“Both at his place of work and at college he was loved by all, his smile lit up any room he entered. Everyone who met Charlie was touched by his thoughtfulness and caring attitude towards others.

“As a family we are lost without him, our hearts are broken. He will never be forgotten and will live on in the hearts of all he became dear to.”

A post-mortem on Monday could not establish the cause of death, so toxicology tests are being carried out.

Two people, a 20-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, were arrested in Gloucestershire and Bristol on suspicion of supplying
class A drugs and manslaughter.

The pair were released on bail to return to Woking police station on March 9.

It is believed Charlie may have taken the illegal powder through a nasal inhaler.

Chief Inspector Alison Barlow said: “Anyone who was at the event on Chobham Common and might have taken this drug and is showing worrying symptoms is to attend A&E immediately.

“Similarly, if you believe you may have taken this same substance elsewhere and are feeling unwell then please seek medical assistance.”

Searches are currently being conducted by officers in connection to this investigation.

Temporary Superintendent Matt Goodridge said: “We have carried out extensive enquiries following the tragic death of this young man and the fact that we have already made two arrests demonstrates our commitment to tackling the use and supply of illegal drugs.”

Ch Insp Barlow added: “We also need the public’s help in getting this potentially fatal drug off the streets.”

The illegal Class A drug 2C-I and 2C-E carry a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for possession and a maximum of life for supply.

It can be swallowed in pill form, snorted or smoked and has been sold as ecstasy.

The effects have been described as a combination of MDMA (Ecstasy) and LSD, only far more potent.

Originating in the Netherlands in 2003, 2C-I has claimed lives in Europe and America.

Users have reported a speedy charge along with intense hallucinations that can last days.

Witnesses described a 17-year-old victim of the drug as: “Shaking, growling and foaming at the mouth.”

He was at a burger restaurant with his friend when he began to feel ill. A witness claimed: “Soon after, he started to smash his head against the ground and began acting possessed.”

Two hours later, he stopped breathing.

Anyone who was at the party on Saturday night and has not spoken to officers should contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting Operation Fox. Anyone with information about the substance,  or with any other information that could help the investigation is also asked to call 101.

If you have information but do not want to give your name you can pass details to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


FAMOUS FACES - the Bunbury side that beat Chobham

FAMOUS FACES – the Bunbury side that beat Chobham

JOHN SALAKO and Joe Kinnear are not names usually synonymous with the game of cricket.

In fact the former England winger, and the ex-Wimbledon and Newcastle manager are much more at home in front of a rumbling terrace or entrenched in a dugout than they are perched on a crease awaiting the delivery of a 90mph yorker.

But Salako (below) and Kinnear ­traded in their boots and shin pads for the old leather and willow last week as the ­famous Bunbury team smashed Chobham for six.

The celebrity XI tour the country to help raise funds for grass-root clubs and their affiliated charities.

And they made short work of the village outfit, eventually securing a comfortable victory by a 22-run margin.

Club president John Goldsmith described the day as a wonderful success and thanked the all-stars team for creating such a memorable encounter.

He said: “It was a great day and a very jolly evening all round.

“We were a bit worried in the morning because the weather didn’t look promising but by the time we got underway we were bathed in golden sunshine.

“We ended up a bit short in the run chase but the game was played in great spirit and some of the quality on show was just brilliant.”

The celebrity outfit went to bat first and chalked up 175-7 before Chobham were bowled out for a brave 152.

Emma Bradley – Miss GB 2004 – added a touch of glamour to proceedings and delivered the opening ball, while the professional class of Northamptonshire pair Alex Wakely and Ben Howgego gave the audience something to savour.

The Phelps brothers, Oliver and James, better known for their roles as Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter series, sprinkled a touch of magic on what turned into a glorious afternoon of cricket.

Sir David English MBE, founder of the Bunburys, also donned his pads and gloves before raving about the continued success of a team that has raised more than £15million for charity over 26 years.

He said: “It was a sensational day – we couldn’t have assembled a more maverick group of individuals if we tried. We’ve got the Weasley twins in their whites alongside an ex-manager of the crazy gang. You don’t see that sort of thing anywhere else.

“When people contact me about a game  my decision is almost instinctive – it’s the smallest charities that often need the most support and it’s fantastic we can give something back.

“That’s why I started the Bunbury side. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. By hook or by crook we want to come out on top – as long as it’s done with a smile.”

In 609 fixtures, ­the Bunburys have lost just seven times.

The match – boosted by auctions and raffles – raised more than £3,000 for the village club and the English Schools’ Cricket ­Association.

John added: “We are very pleased with the amount raised. To promote youth cricket both at grass root and elite level is truly wonderful and we are proud to be ­involved in such a setup.”

APPROVAL - plans to fence off and allow grazing on Chobham Common have been approved

APPROVAL – plans to fence off and allow grazing on Chobham Common have been approved

CONTROVERSIAL plans to fence off and allow grazing on Chobham Common have been approved.

Following a four-day public inquiry, Surrey Wildlife Trust, who manage the area on behalf of Surrey County Council, were given the go-ahead for five temporary, electric-fenced enclosures on the nature reserve for a limit of four years.

Residents – particularly horse-riders and dog walkers – were concerned that this application would just be the beginning and that, if permission for this ‘pilot’ were granted, it would lead to extensive boundary fencing, which would be detrimental to the nature of the common.

People will see the fencing start to go up immediately

But the inspector has ruled that the trust would have to submit a new application if it intends to expand the fencing or implement another scheme in future.

As part of its land management exercise, SWT have agreed to the conditions attached to the inspector’s approval, which will be kept under close scrutiny and reviewed yearly.

These include the number of the trust’s Belted Galloway cattle, without calves, permitted to graze, which will only take place during March through to October. Outside the designated period, the fencing will be removed.

Access will be maintained where footpaths and informal paths occur with gates that can be used by horse riders, and fence lines will not cross any regularly used or agreed horse-riding routes or public bridleways.

Senior ranger Steve Fry said: “The trust is eager to continue to listen and respond to visitors’ comments and remain actively engaged with all members of the Chobham Common Liaison Group. Hopefully visitors will enjoy seeing the cattle, as they did through the 1990s and benefit from the improvement to the wildlife on the Common.”

SWT area manager David Body added: “We held a long consultation period (about three years) to see what the public had to say and this scheme came back as the most popular.

“We also consulted horse-riders beforehand so we didn’t cross any bridal paths. The areas selected are quite steep with tough grasses and not where people would go riding.

“People will see the fencing start to go up immediately – in fact the posts have already been put in place
– with the view to introduce the cattle laster this month.”

TALENT - Emily's ability has landed her a place at a top ballet academy

TALENT – Emily’s ability has landed her a place at a top ballet academy

EMILY SIMPSON is facing the challenge – and opportunity – of a lifetime.

The 18-year-old ballet dancer from Chobham has been offered a place at the world-famous Vaganova Academy in St Petersburg, where Rudolf Nureyev (below, bottom) trained.

But she has to raise nearly £10,000 to pay for her lessons – and learn Russian.

“I still haven’t quite grasped the idea yet,” said Emily, daughter of former Guildford Carnival Queen Michelle Simpson (nee Carter).

We’re very proud of Emily’s achievement, but we need the support of others who believe in championing young people to help her take up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

“But I know that somehow we’ll make it happen. My friends and family have already been very supportive.”
Emily could not afford to travel to Russia to audition but her talent shone through as the school offered to teach her on the evidence of a DVD made for her by a friend.

This is all the more remarkable as the Vaganova Acade-my receives applications from 3,000 candidates a year and only selects 60.

All classes at the school will be taught in Russian but Emily is not too daunted about learning a new language as she already speaks Chinese and Thai, having spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her missionary
parents, Michelle (above, top) and Stuart.

Michelle, who grew up in Woking, Chobham and Guildford, and Woking lad Stuart married in 1988 and moved to China in 1996 as missionaries/volunteer workers.

She said: “Since then we have worked in four countries in three continents. Our work has involved training, helping deaf children to receive hearing tests and hearing aids, animal-assisted therapy with orphan children and helping and giving hospitality to Chinese students coming to England.”

The family are now living back in Barnmead, Chobham, following a spell in Canada after Emily was accepted into a top ballet school there at the age of 15.

Michelle said: “Just as our three children had followed us around the world, we realised that it was our turn to follow one of our children and we moved to Canada to help Emily take up this opportunity.

“As self-supported volunteer workers, we had little money to support Emily in regular classes so she set up a small pet-sitting endeavour to help raise money for her lessons.”

Now that she is heading for Russia, Emily (right) is once again not sure where the money will come from.

“I just know I have to dance and this is the best place for me,” she said.

Her love of dancing started at the age of three in a Chinese kindergarten and she has since trained in various ballet methods in China, England and Thailand, as well as Canada.

Emily said: “It’s been quite a challenge to maintain a good standard in one particular method because I’ve been doing all different kinds of disciplines.

“But it has made me more versatile and has made me see which particular style I prefer, and the style in Russia is the one I’ve been learning for two years in Canada – the Vaganova method.

“In Canada I had two Russian teachers. It was a preparation for something I didn’t know would happen. My ultimate goal is to have a professional career in ballet and just be the best dancer I can be.

“It gives me such a sense of enjoyment and I’m able to express myself in the best possible way when I’m dancing. It’s quite difficult to describe what I feel but I’m at my  happiest when I’m dancing.”

Emily’s brother David and sister Rebecca, who have also worked as volunteers, now live in Pennsylvania.

Mum Michelle, who was Guildford Carnival Queen in 1983, added: “We don’t have the money to help Emily take up this amazing opportunity and we need to raise £9,698 to cover her entire year, half of which needs to be paid by September.

“It might seem  rather expensive, but it costs much less than the top UK ballet schools.

“Also, the Vaganova Academy provides probably the best benefits of any existing ballet school.

“And the fees cover not only tuition but accommodation, four meals a day, Russian language learning, medical care and physiotherapy, fitness room, all her pointe shoes, plus other things.

“We’re very proud of Emily’s achievement, but we need the support of others who believe in championing young people to help her take up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We cannot do it alone.”

Anyone who is able to help should email or telephone 07580808626.

CURRENT LOOK – old MOD building on the North Site

CURRENT LOOK – old MOD building on the North Site

A PUBLIC exhibition giving residents the opportunity to learn about the revised development proposed for the former DERA North Site in Chobham took place last week.

Owners Crest Nicholson and Aviva Investors sent out 9,000 consultation letters to residents informing them of the three-day event and also took a number of them on tours.

Formerly owned by the MOD’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, the site at Longcross, which straddles the boundaries of both Surrey Heath and Runnymede Borough Councils, was initially established for tank design and
development during the 1940s.

A spokesman for Halogen, the developers’ planning consultants, said: “The site doesn’t currently employ many people so we are looking at making the north side a designated area for employment and to encourage businesses to stay in Surrey. The new plans will enable offices to be built to spec in phases.

“The area is ideally placed, close to the M3 and M25, and even has its own station – Longcross – which we intend to upgrade, and there has been a provisional agreement with SWT to make the railway line more accessible.”

Plans for the Chobham Lane site include a residential area for about 200 ‘high-quality homes with gardens’ on the north-easten aspect. This figure, the News & Mail has been assured, will include a percentage of affordable housing.

The spokesman added: “There will be two vehicle accesses to the site, one close to the existing one and another for residents, and ‘hidden’ two-deck parking into the hill. We will also provide suitable alternative natural green space so it doesn’t interfere with the special protection area of the common and retain the fencing around the site.”

In 2008, Runnymede Borough Council granted permission for redevelopment to provide approximately 1,110sqm of commercial floorspace comprising offices, cafe/restaurant facilities, childcare facilities,leisure facilities and decked
vehicle parking.

At the same time Surrey Heath Borough Council approved proposals for its slice of land to provide an ecological buffer to the development.

However, Crest Nicholson and Aviva notified the councils of their intention to submit a revised application (provisionally this autumn) to provide in the region of 80,000sqm of office space, café, restaurants and a convenience store.

Executive board director at Crest Nicholson, Chris Tinker, said: “These new proposals are designed to improve on the office-only scheme that already has consent to create a more attractive and sustainable approach with offices, homes and community space for workers and residents.”

It would seem that concerns are not with the DERA North Site but about what the companies’ intentions are for the south section of the area and the impact that would have on the surrounding villages.

Chobham Parish Council clerk Chris Chaney said: “Previous proposals for the south side involved almost 2,500 homes – the size of half of Goldsworth Park.

“At a consultation last week, this issue was raised and a total housing figure of 1,500 was banded around, which would take the figure down to 1,300 homes in the south. But as it stands, this is pure speculation and totally unsubstantiated.

“We have made our concerns clear to the developers. Those involved in the process need to be transparent about their intentions so we can make a balance judgement.”

If the plans go ahead, work on site is likely to start in mid to late 2013.

Anyone with any questions or responses has until tomorrow (Friday, July 6) to contact Crest Nicholson and Aviva Investors at

MANGLED - the remains of the BMW

MANGLED – the remains of the BMW

FOURTEEN children suffered minor injuries and two more are in hospital after a school coach was involved in a collision with another vehicle in Chobham.

Six ambulance crews – including the air ambulance – were called to the junction of Philpot Lane and Station Road at around 8.30am this morning after a single decker coach transporting 27 children to Woking High School collided with a BMW.

The 30-year-old driver of the car was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London, with head injuries but his condition is not believed to be life threatening.

Amongst the mangled wreckage of the BMW was a child’s booster seat.

The two children were taken directly to St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, with 14 others treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Parents of the pupils on board were advised of the situation by school headteacher Jane Abbott who was at the scene.

Motorists were  advised to avoid the area as road closures continued to affect Philpot Lane, Station Road, Chobham Road and Littlewick Road.

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact the Collision Investigation Unit on 01483 639933 quoting reference P12167311.

WRECKAGE - the driver of the BMW was taken to St George's hospital

WRECKAGE – the driver of the BMW was taken to St George’s hospital

SUITS YOU, SIR - Matt Cobb with his greyhounds sporting Jubilee cravats

SUITS YOU, SIR - Matt Cobb with his greyhounds sporting Jubilee cravats

IT was a weekend none of us will ever experience again. Street ­closures were rejoiced. The weather was not an issue. The Queen was ­celebrating 60 years on the throne and Woking was in the mood to party.

In Chobham a red, white and blue wave of people washed through the high street.

Horsell crowned its ­Jubilee weekend with a collection of hats that Her ­Majesty would have felt at home in.

While hundreds of picnickers ­savoured this historic moment on Byfleet village recreation ground.

A regal parade, fronted by a stirring marching band, hit the right note with revellers at ­Pirbright Green.

In Ripley, hundreds watched on as the Diamond Jubilee beacon was lit on the village green. And Pat Baker, born in the year of The Queen’s coronation, unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

In total, 48 roads were lawfully closed for residents to take their parties to the street.

The Queen is the physical embodiment of all that is great about us and our country

And there were hundreds of impromptu gatherings tucked away in the borough’s streets, as friends, families and neighbours ­enjoyed a right royal knees up.

A sing off and ­Wellington boot ­throwing competition was held at Maitland Close, West ­Byfleet.

Champion ­thrower James Post, 38, said: “Celebrating a ­Jubilee is very unique.

“There will not be a day like this again for a very long time so we should take the time to enjoy it.”

Residents of Lincoln Drive, Pyrford, received the shock of their lives when the Mayor of ­Woking, Michael Smith, arrived with Mayoress Anne Murray and joined in their ­Jubilee bash.

Freda Spickett, 84, of Send, toasted Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953 and remembered it being very similar to her Diamond Jubilee. She said: “It was wet and very cold that day, too.”

As The Queen marked her 60th year as head of the monarchy, villagers gathered on the green to celebrate her outstanding achievement.

A rousing marching band led a parade of patriotism, with young and old decked in their finest royal-themed fancy dress, with red, white and blue the order of the day.

Cunningham House retirement home residents decorated two golf buggies to join in the action before everyone tucked into a mouth-watering lamb roast.

Laura McMurniman, 25, who grew up in the village and was married in St Michael & All Angels church last summer, said: “It’s great how so many different generations are involved.

“My whole family being here made my dad so happy – he was actually born in the village.

“I know she was really busy but I’m sure The Queen would have loved seeing everyone enjoying themselves.”

Laura’s husband Sheldon, 30, added: “Pirbright is the quintessential British village.

“The community spirit and ‘tally- ho’ attitude really does epitomise everything we are celebrating this weekend.

“The Queen is the physical embodiment of all that is great about us and our country.

“Even the cricketers were out and about gearing up to try and get some overs in despite the rain.”