Days Out

THE biggest crowd ever attended Saturday’s Party in the Park, with around 20,000 people estimated to have enjoyed a day out in the summer sun.

The organisers, Celebrate Woking, said around twice as many as expected packed into Woking Park for the annual event.

Groove Manoova, getting the crowd moving with their high-energy funk

They were entertained with a day full of entertainments and activities which started at noon and continued until 9pm.

Party in the Park returned for an eighth year, featuring live music, street theatre, dance displays and a funfair, alongside a food village offering a large variety of freshly made food and craft beers.

Supported by a number of local and national organisations, including the News & Mail, the party exceeded all expectations. All-day sunshine and temperatures of around 25⁰C in the shade contributed to its success.

The Urban Astronauts were promoting environmental issues

An opening parade of performers led by the UDM Samba band set the fiesta mood for the day. The drum and dance crews showcasing different cultures were greeted in the main field by Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, as they made their way around the park.

Among the new attractions this year was a new stage for Dance Woking in the Bandstand Field. The low-level stage featured community dance groups, in contrast to headline acts on the main stage.

Celebrate Woking Manager at Woking Borough Council, Riëtte Thomas, said: “This year we worked with a local production crew, MC Production Group Ltd, and event management company, AAT, which we really feel made a difference. They showed genuine pride in putting on a great event for Woking. This is what we want for Party in the Park; for it to be a community-led event that is a celebration of everything great about Woking.”

For the full story and double page picture spread, get the 11 July edition of the News & Mail

Green space, woodland and blossom. Spring bulbs and spectacular camellias in the woodland. Afternoon teas, coffee with home-made cakes and light refreshments, served in the barn. That will be the lovely scene this Easter Monday (22 April) when Timber Hill Gardens in Chobham opens for public view under the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).

The beautiful gardens at Timber Hill are the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing spring afternoon.

Timber Hill has been the home of the Sealy family since 1951. The land has changed beyond recognition in that time from a simple smallholding with sheep to a scenic park with beautiful mature gardens and a woodland which reveal a spectacular succession of shrubs from January through to May.

This has been the result of the huge interest and enthusiasm of the current occupants, Nick and Lavinia Sealy, as well as a longstanding, committed and knowledgeable gardener.

In case children aren’t overwhelmed by all this natural beauty, it’s hoped to have a nature trail and questionnaire to help them enjoy this fabulous natural space.

You’ll find Timber Hill Gardens on the A319 between Chobham and Ottershaw. It will be open on Monday from 11am until 4.30pm. “Entry is £6 for adults, and free for children,” said Lavinia. “Entrance fees will go to the National Garden Scheme while proceeds from refreshments will be donated to Alzheimers and dementia charities.”

For information about Timber Hill Gardens and many spectacular photos visit www.timberhillgarden.co.uk or call 01932 873875.

You’ll find a handy “find a garden” guide to find gardens opening under the NGS on its web site at www.ngs.org.uk.

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