Historical figures and events are about to come alive on stage in Woking – and it’ going to be truly horrible.

Using actors and 3D special effects, Horrible Histories are bring two shows to the New Victoria Theatre from Wednesday 20  November until Saturday 23 November.

TERRIBLE TUDORS – Anne Boleyn is about to lose her head in Horrible Histories

Awful Egyptians will tell all about the fascinating Pharaohs, the power of the pyramids, along with the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies.

Or you could opt for the Terrible Tudors and find out about the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, as well as hear the legends (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Henry’s headless wives, his punch-up with the Pope, Bloody Mary and the Spanish Armada sailing into the audience are all included. It’s history with the horrible bits left in…

THE moving of Surrey County Council headquarters to Woking has been widely praised – but a warning has been issued that the decision has not been finalised.

Last week the council announced that it has decided to move from Kingston, which has been part of Greater London since 1965, to the Midas House office block in Goldsworth Road.

A rear view of Midas House, which has an underground car park with spaces for around 160 spaces

However, Will Forster, who is chairman of the council’s Task Group responsible for scrutinising the move, said there was a lot of work to do before County Hall was sold and the headquarters moved to Woking.

Cllr Forster, who is county councillor for Woking South as well as borough councillor for Hoe Valley, said he was pleased at the planned move, which would be a good boost for the town’s economy and reputation.

Cllr Will Forster

“The council’s Task Group has not scrutinised the plans, so there is a lot of work to do before the County Council moves to Woking and sells County Hall.  These plans need scrutinising to ensure they are value for money.”

David Bittleston, Woking Borough Council leader, said: “It is fantastic news both for Woking and the wider county”.

He added: “The move will be a major boost for Woking, bringing further new and exciting economic opportunities, jobs and making the town busier and more vibrant.”

Paul Webster, from Woking Chamber of Commerce, also said the move would bring more jobs and people to Woking and “will be good for the retailers and good for business generally”.

For the full story get the 7 November edition of the News & Mail

IF YOU visit Woking’s Maybury Centre on Tuesday mornings, you will have found a group of elderly Nepalese women working together to create lanterns using newspapers and recycled paper. Guided by their very enthusiastic art teacher Mrs Maria Lima, the ladies have been making traditional Nepalese basket ‘Doko’ shaped lanterns for Woking’s annual Diwali celebration to be held on 31 October.

Sara, Darsh, Arjun, Arjun will be performing some Bollywood dance steps

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights which celebrates the victory of good over evil, is an important festival for the people of Indian and Nepali origin. Woking’s Diwali event is one that is widely celebrated and not just by those who believe in the festival’s cultural or religious significance, it is an evening which brings the town’s diverse community together.

The programme starts with a lantern procession near the council office at 6pm and culminates around 7.30pm at the HG Wells centre where a two-hour cultural programme follows. Woking residents representing at least five local community groups including the Surrey Hindu Cultural Association, the Sayapatri Nepalese Association, Woking Malayalee Association, Woking Telugu Association and Surrey Tamils are participating in this year’s show.

(Front to back) Jayshree, Purna, Usha Rani and Vidhya

Local school children and scouts and guides groups are usually involved in lantern making but there will be little or no representation from these as this year’s event is coinciding with Halloween and half term holidays. That said, the parade will be complete with battery operated lanterns provided by the council’s art and culture department, handmade lanterns by Nepalese women, York Road Housing Project and others.

“Woking Diwali celebration supported by the Woking Borough Council is unique because it doesn’t just involve people who have faith (in the festival),” says 73-year-old Rajendra Chhetri, who has been involved in organising the festival since its early days.

Children and grownups from local families have been preparing for weeks to put on their best performances. Despite their busy school and after-school schedule, groups of five to seven-year-old girls and boys have been meeting for practice during evenings and weekends taught by enthusiastic mums who are motivated to keep their children connected to their culture.

Dance instructor Kavita with Khyati, Anika, Naina, Lakki, Aabha, Anaya, Asmi, Sathvika, Simar, Rishita

One such mum is Pallavi Baldawa Bhutada who has taken up the task of teaching Bollywood steps to a group of children (mostly boys). “Boys are mostly very active, and it is quite challenging to keep them focused on practicing dance steps over the weeks. Catchy Bollywood numbers make my job half done. Seeing them perform with so much joy gives me immense pleasure and motivation for next year too,” she said.

Another group of young mothers has been meeting at weekends to coordinate their steps for a fusion of classical and catchy Bollywood numbers. At the town centre, children from Goldsworth Primary School will also be enacting the story of Ramayana through a song and dance sequence.  Even as the weeks get busy with practice and preparation, children and their mums seem to love the celebration as it offers them a chance to get together.

For more information about the parade, the free to attend after party at HG Wells centre and to see photos from previous celebrations, please visit www.celebratewoking.info/diwali

For more Dawali content and pictures, see the 24 October edition of the News & Mail

WAOS (Woking Amateur Operatic Society) Musical Theatre is bringing Cole Porter’s High Society to Woking.

Best known for the 1956 film version starring Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, it is full of classics songs such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?True Love and Well, Did You Evah!.

WAOS Musical Theatre presents High Society, a musical set among the rich and famous of Newport, Rhode Island, next month

Based on the play The Philadelphia Story, it is set in the 1950s among the rich and glamorous of Newport, Rhode Island. The comic story revolves around the wedding plans of a socialite, which are disrupted by a past romance and two reporters who are not impressed by the goings on of the rich and opulent.

WAOS Musical Theatre has produced a show full of fabulous ’50s fashions to add to the usual song, comedy and dance.

High Society will run from the 5-9 November at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking. Tickets on 07765 006565 or www.waos.info/tickets.

EASTENDERS star Samantha Womack will play the central role in the thriller The Girl On The Train, which comes to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Monday (28 October) until Saturday 2 November.

Based on the international best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, it tells the story of Rachel Watson, who longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears.

JUST THE TICKET – Samantha Womack in rehearsal for The Girl On The Train, which comes to Woking on Monday

When Rachel learns that the woman she’s been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a mystery.

Best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in BBC1’s EastEnders, Womack’s other television credits include leading roles in Mount Pleasant and the hugely popular Game On.

PROPERTY consultants Vail Williams LLP are marketing a number of suites at the One Crown Square office block in Woking town centre, ranging from 312sq ft to 1,618sq ft.

The refurbished building, formerly known as Crown House, has been home to Vail Williams itself since 2018. The other occupiers include SMA Technologies, BLG Development Finance and Haier Appliances UK.

They benefit from a range of amenities including a concierge service, a refurbished reception area, meeting rooms, superfast broadband and wifi connections, together with communal tea points, secure cycle parking and showers.

QUALITY WORKSPACE – The remodelled reception area at One Crown Square

There is an onsite café and Fitness Space will shortly be fitting out a gym in the former RBS branch premises on the ground floor.

Vail Williams surveyor Elliot McNish said: “Opportunities of this quality are hard to come by in Woking. With a broad range of office suites available for start-ups, as well as more established businesses, One Crown Square offers high quality refurbished office accommodation on flexible terms to meet the evolving needs of today’s occupier.

“As tenants in the building ourselves, we speak from experience when we say this is a great place to locate your business.”

Vail Williams has been appointed to market office space by McKay Securities, which bought the building in 2014 and has since undertaken an extensive rolling refurbishment. There is now a total of 6,226sq ft available to let.

More information about the property can be found at www.onecrownsquare.com.

THE King will be at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre on Saturday next week, 26 October – in the form of Lee Memphis King.

Lee will recreate the essence of a legend in One Night of Elvis, which he has honed over the past 10 years.

Lee Memphis King is the essence of a legend

In this latest production, he portrays Elvis Presley at his peak celebrating the iconic Vegas Years from 1969 to 1977, when Elvis performed in Las Vegas and toured throughout the US and Canada.

The definitive record of these performances is contained in the films Elvis – That’s the Way It Is, Elvis On Tour and the Aloha from Hawaii concert.

Expect authentic Presley costumes, video projections and orchestral backing – and prepare to be taken back in time to the way it was.

SEVERAL Woking residents attended demonstrations in London by Extinction Rebellion calling for the government to declare a climate and ecological emergency.

Lizzy Harley, a science journalist who lives in St John’s, was at the protest last week, having attended in April.

Lizzy Harley and her son near Whitehall during the demonstration.
Picture by Gemma Bradshaw

Lizzy, who took her two-year-old son to the demonstration, said she was involved with Extinction Rebellion because she believes that climate change and environmental damage is a symptom of a society that is fundamentally broken, that thrives on inequality.

“I want to empower myself and my child to change that. I was genuinely impressed by how family-friendly the April Rebellion was.

“My son enjoyed running up and down Waterloo Bridge, in and out of the temporary trees.”

Alix Goldring, from Brookwood, was also at the demonstrations, attending on a day off from her work as an administrator and when she could get childcare for her three-year-old son.

Alix, who stood as a Green Party candidate for Knaphill in elections for Woking Borough Council earlier this year, said having a young child made her particularly aware of environmental issues.

“I have an interest in the future beyond my own life and want my child to have a healthy planet to live in,” Alix said.

She said that, contrary to some reports in the national media, the demonstration was peaceful and respectful.

“The political system is broken and this sort of peaceful civil disobedience raises the awareness of that. Pressure needs to be put on the government so that drastic changes are made,” Alix said.

Lizzy, who has a PhD in evolutionary biology, said the attitude of the Prime Minister, who called the protesters “uncooperative crusties” and the government was not surprising but still disappointing.

Alix and Lizzy and the other Woking participants were among thousands of people around the world who set out to disrupt capital cities around the world, by blocking roads, bridges and transport links.

Earlier this year Woking Borough Council was one of several in Surrey to declare a climate emergency, and made a pledge to make their wholly-owned companies carbon neutral by 2030.

For the full story get the 17 October edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Means Business opens its doors for the sixteenth time on Wednesday to provide the perfect platform for companies wishing to take advantage of all that this enterprising town has to offer.

The event, on 16 October, is probably the longest-established business-to-business expo in Surrey.

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD – Woking Means Business invariably attracts a large and attentive audience

Those keen to get right up to date with developments in the town can attend the free Woking Borough Council Breakfast Briefing at 7.45am (for an 8.15am start), immediately prior to the show opening.

Speakers include the leader of the council, David Bittleston; chief executive, Ray Morgan; and guest speaker Ruth Nic Aoidh, executive director, commercial & legal at McLaren Automotive.

Anyone wishing to attend this event can do so if they register at www.wokingmeansbusiness.com/seminars, click on the main registration page link and book on Eventbrite. Pre-booking is essential as this event is always oversubscribed. For those unable to get to the breakfast, the council will be represented on the Woking Works stand no 6.

The early forum gives the show a substantial boost because the hall is quickly filled with delegates from breakfast and visitors as soon as the exhibition opens at 9.30am.

Last year’s Woking Means Business event attracted a great turnout

There will be a fascinating range of products and services on show, with exhibitors including Woking Borough Council, DoubleTree by Hilton, Woking Football Club, Lansbury Business Estate, who have not missed a show since it started in 2004, Menzies, Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, Eagle Radio, Woking News & Mail, Truffles, Headline Design & Print, Madlins, Curchod & Co, Tvision Technology, CCS Insurance, and the Talbot Inn.

There are three speakers on the seminar programme at 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30. All three consider different but essential aspects of running a successful business and explain how visitors can increase their knowledge and enhance their skills.

At 10.30am, Dene Stuart will present How to become an Exceptional Manager and Leader; an hour later, Paul Squires offers practical advice on how to make the most of your marketing online; and at 12.30, Richard Maybury delivers Win Easier in your Business – Top Tips from “Mr Productivity”.

Places can be booked at the same seminar link mentioned above.

Car Parking for Woking Means Business

During the regeneration of Woking Town Centre, parking has become more difficult. The council’s live link will show car park spaces available when you visit Woking Means Business.


For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail

TV PRESENTER, architect and builder George Clarke visited the new V4 World design centre in Horsell and praised the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Following a multi-million pound investment the wood flooring centre allows the company to showcase its luxury flooring products and wall panels to customers in individual room settings. It also offers product training facilities, including the fitting of the various floor and wall products.

Robin Russell V4 general manager far left, former V4 employee Katherine Williams and TV presenter George Clarke with a local customer Lisa Mathews, of Past and Present Wood Flooring

George, who mingled with guests including designers, specifiers, architects and interior design influencers, was given a tour of the centre and briefed on the product range. 

He said: “I’m a big fan of V4, they have some fantastic, very sustainable products. For me, it’s important to be as ecological and sustainable as possible, and V4 do an amazing job.”

He also presented prizes to the winners of V4’s Cube design awards, for the best installation, a stunning home renovation completed by the owners of a Victorian home in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, chosen by a public vote on the V4 website, from a shortlist of 10 nominees.

A family-run business V4 has four warehouses that amount to 35,000 sq. ft and employs 40 members of staff. Managing director Chris Vincent, said: “It has been a major project to bring the design centre to the point where we were proud to welcome George Clarke.

“It was a pleasure to welcome all our guests and the feedback has been extremely positive.   We hope to open a showroom in Clerkenwell, which is renowned for being the home of trendy design centres, followed by a centre in the North of England, with Manchester an option under consideration.”