RESIDENTS in Horsell may be in a forgiving mood if they’re described as being a bit “potty” this summer as a number have really gone to town on this year’s Flowerpot Festival.

A metallic, flowerpot dinosaur peers through a resident’s hedge

The idea was taken up two years ago by the village events organising committee, the Second Thursday Club on a suggestion by one of its members, Nancy Randall, who said: “Although it was successful last year it didn’t take off in the way it did this year. Horsell definitely rose to the challenge, embraced it and went potty!

“The number of delightful creations that can be spotted around the village this year are amazing and demonstrates what talent and sense of fun we have within the community.”

Are robot flowerpots the future?

Free to take part in, the festival has involved locals making flowerpot creations to display in their front garden, shop window or forecourt. The festival officially comes to an end on 31 August, although, one household kept their flowerpot display all year following the last festival.

“We had wonderful support from some of our local shops, traders and pubs as well as local schools and St Mary’s Church,” said Nancy. “The variety has been incredible from octopus to jelly fish, from to lemurs to pandas, from kings and queens to crowns and minions as well as village people, birds, bees, cats, dogs, robots and aliens in spaceships to name but a few. There were funny ones, quirky ones, cute ones, clever ones and imaginative ones, everyone had a favourite.”

The STC printed an online map, with a tick list so that families could hunt them down in the school holidays. For more information please go to

THE Crown in Horsell has been declared the best pub in Surrey by the Campaign for Real Ale.

The Crown landlady Antoinette Harvey with partner John Mintram, centre, and Kevin Travers, from  CAMRA Surrey with the pub’s two award certificates.

The pub won through to the regional awards after winning the CAMRA Surrey Hampshire Borders Branch Pub of The Year. It is now entered for the National Pub of The Year award. The top 16 will be announced in September, with the winner revealed next February.

Antoinette Harvey, who has been landlady of The Crown for 21 years said that the pub has gone through many different guises and is now a community pub serving drinks at a reasonable price. 

She said: “We have the best customers, who make it a real pleasure to work here and of course we have fantastic staff.”

For the full story get the 4 July edition of the News & Mail

LAST year, Georgia Sugg could hardly get out of bed, her energy sapped by health problems which had plagued her since she was a child.

Reading a book, calling a friend for a chat, or any activity lasting more than 30 minutes left her exhausted. Eating was a huge effort and earning a living seemed impossible.

Georgia with some of her paintings

Georgia’s ambition of getting a highly paid City job in data analytics had been shattered. But she is now forming radically different career – and a counter to her pain and suffering – through art.

The 23-year-old has devised a unique method of creating aesthetic artwork, using special mixes of paint, and gravity to spread the colours, as she draws a lot of her inspiration from nature.

Her paintings have found buyers and she is running a series of workshops to introduce others to a relaxing pastime which could draw out their inner artist.

Georgia, who lives in Horsell, suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). She has the symptoms of five active viruses, including measles and Epstein-Barr, alongside Lyme disease, multiple sensitivities and a mould called Patulin.

The condition which was eventually diagnosed as CFS hit her hard when she was 16, at the start of her AS-level year at school. “It was literally overnight that everything changed, and it wasn’t until around three years later that we finally understood why it happened,” she said.

“I had always been an ill child, having regular bouts of tonsillitis, chest infections, digestive issues and several unexplained week-long stays in hospital. I wasn’t exactly surprised when I was hit with another virus, but I still haven’t fully recovered.

Her condition was finally properly diagnosed by a private clinic. She was prescribed a course of immunotherapy, antivirals and antibiotics, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in her symptoms.

Earlier last year, Georgia had found the art supplies which she used while doing her AS-levels at Guildford High School. She managed to spend 15 minutes once or twice a week painting, finding fulfilment in creating pictures of clouds.

The new treatments enabled her to spend up to three hours day on artwork, developing her experimental pouring techniques. “The more I made, the more I began to realise that, now I was no longer constrained by the fear of extreme crashes, I could look into places to start selling,” she said.

She has been approved to display her paintings to weekend events run by Contemporary Art Fairs and has been rewarded with several sales and commissions.

Georgia, who uses the garage at the house where she lives with parents Sally and Chris as her studio, is running classes at the Mayford Centre in Mayford. She is promoting these and her newly-found career at

“It has been the most overwhelmingly wonderful feeling to have both my health returning and a goal to work towards,” she said. “I am so grateful to begin to feel more like myself again.”

For the full story get the 9 May edition of the News & Mail

A WOKING greengrocers has helped a local family to adopt healthier eating habits guided by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge on a primetime BBC television show.

The Johnsons, who live in Addlestone, are appearing in Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start and are featured buying fresh fruit and vegetables from Boz’s in Horsell.

Tom Kerridge with the Johnson family

Mum Beckie Johnson said the family discovered Boz’s a few years ago while shopping at the pet food shop across the road and have been regular customers ever since.

Filming for the TV show took place at the end of last summer and the family can be seen being served by Avdi Amic.

Lynsey Amic, who runs the shops with husband Boz, said the greengrocer, which has a large stall in the town centre market and a shop in Church Path, was keen to encourage youngsters to eat more healthily.

“A lot of families don’t cook from scratch, which is cheaper and healthier than buying pre-prepared food. It’s a bit of a change for many but there are many easy recipes you can use with fresh ingredients,” she said.

It was exactly this approach that the programme has taken, with Beckie saying: “The big thing was being so busy and not having time to cook. Everyone was tired and hungry and so went for frozen bits and pieces.”

She added that Tom Kerridge was lovely and “is as you see him on camera.”

For the full story get the 31st January edition of the News and Mail.

THE dust has yet to settle, but already the council are at odds over who should receive credit for the installation and design of the new Bedser Bridge.

The sparkling new walkway was opened to the public on Monday, with building work carried out alongside the construction of the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Centre in Brewery Road.

Leader of the council John Kingsbury has already expressed his delight at the path’s opening and believes the bridge plays a vital role in linking Horsell with the town centre.

He said: “During the design process, we listened and acted upon residents’ concerns which led to a bridge we should all be proud of, and is good for local residents, good for town centre businesses and good for visitors to Woking.”

But his comments struck a nerve with Lib Dem councillors who feel it was their input, and not that of the council’s Conservative contingent, who helped shape the design and construction of the bridge.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker (right) said: “The initial design looked more like a concrete bridge you’d see going over a motorway.

“It was only after a huge petition of more than 2,000 responses that the leader of the council turned around and said this needs to change.

“It took a long time and a lot of action from residents to get the design changed, but now I think the bridge fits nicely into its

“It is very accessible, thanks to the new split-level design.”

The bridge was named in honour of Horsell cricket heroes Alec and Eric Bedser.

Alec was a former England international and previous chairman of selectors for the national squad before his death back in 2010.

Twin brother Eric, who died in 2006, was only selected once by his country but is regarded as one of the best English bowlers of the 20th century.

The council is currently in the process of commissioning two statues, one of each twin, that will be incorporated on plinths either side of the canal. The bridge will also allow split-level access to the WWF’s Living Planet Centre once complete.

The centre, along with the rest of Brewery Road car park, is set to open later this year.

COLLISION - the mangled bike and the clothes the woman had to be cut out of

COLLISION – the mangled bike and the clothes the woman had to be cut out of

A FEMALE cyclist is fighting for her life after being knocked off her bike in Horsell.

The woman, in her 50s, was in a collision with a BMW 3 series at the mini-roundabout at the junction of Brewery Road and Church Hill at around 7.25am on Tuesday (August 28).

She was air-lifted to the Royal London Hospital and was said by police at the scene to have suffered life-threatneing head injuries.

The roundabout and a number of surrounding routes were closed while an investigation was carried out.

Officers are appealing for anyone who may have seen the collision, or the circumstances leading up to it, to come forward.

Any witnesses should contact the Surrey Police Collision Investigation Unit on 01483 639922 quoting reference P12251814.

APPEAL - police are asking witnesses to come forward and help investigations

APPEAL – police are asking witnesses to come forward and help investigations

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.”