What a summer! As I write these ramblings we have already had a fantastic spell of warm dry weather - I just hope that it hasn’t reverted to type by the time you read this. I'm afraid that England's dismal run in the World Cup has resulted in my worst predictions - there is an awful lot of England paraphernalia left on the shelves! Still not all bad news on the sports front, Murray had a good run at Wimbledon, England beat Australia in the one-day cricket series and who knows we might have a British champion at the Open in St Andrews.
It’s always good to receive feedback on our Ramblings column. The walk for WaterAid which took place on the South Downs Way in June attracted 44 people, five dogs and one participant who actually ran the 6 miles in 59 minutes! It was a beautiful day with a nice breeze blowing and the sun shining. The whole day was a great success and they raised over £3,000 for the charity. Next May they hope to organise a similar event on the South Downs Way but probably in the Winchester area. We will keep you posted.
Milford Horticultural and Gardening Society will be holding their Autumn Show in Milford Village Hall on Bank Holiday Monday, 30th August. (I must say it does sound early to be holding an autumn show!) It starts at 2pm and goes on until 4pm. As you can imagine there will be lots of flowers and foliage, flower arrangements, pot plants and hanging baskets, and fruit and vegetables -also quite a bit of photography. Admission is just 50p.
I know I did quite an elaborate write-up on the Open Day at Marsh Farm, Station Lane, Milford which took place on Saturday 17th July. I do hope a number of you went along and enjoyed the day and that some of your little ones might have got hooked (sorry!) on fishing. Just to let you know that there are a couple of Fish for Fun days in August. These are on Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st August. There is also a children's charity fishing competition on Saturday 4th September. For full details you can go to their website www.marshfarmgodalming.co.uk or call Andrew Mackenzie on 01483 424934 or 07952 429071.
The Godalming Flower Club’s next meeting is on Tuesday 17th August. It is entitled ‘Summer Garden’ and is a demonstration by Jackie Watson. Meetings are held at the Baptist Church, Queen Street, Godalming. As with all demonstrations, this one starts at 7.45pm but do go along early and have a chat and a coffee beforehand. The club is always looking for new members and the subscription is just £26 per annum. Visitors are very welcome and can pay £5 per visit.
Music in the Park is now in full swing. Every Sunday at 3pm there is a free concert at the Godalming Bandstand. There is all sorts of different music to suit every taste, but to find out what’s on when, visit the new website www.godalmingbandstand.co.uk It’s a really nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The Godalming Rick Choir at the beginning of July sang to a record audience of well over 1,000 people!
There is an exhibition featuring this year's Guildford Calendar competition entrants, including the 13 selected winners for the 2011 calendar, at Otters Pool Studio. The exhibition runs from 31st July to 21st August but I'm afraid I have very little other information on this one. Visit their website www.otterspoolstudio.co.uk where you will be able to get more information. Otters Pool Studio is situated at 15 College Road, Guildford, GU1 4QG and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.
As we’re right in the midst of summer holidays I guess quite a number of you are looking for things to do with the kids. A great place to take them is the Rural Life Centre in Tilford where there is always something of interest going on. On Sunday 8th August there is a Ford Mk I car rally with lots of late 50’s Zephyrs and Zodiacs on show. Pretty interesting for dads and granddads as well! Then on Sunday 22nd August there is a ‘Sunday Funday’ which is a special day for children to experience the atmosphere of a fete and Sunday School treat of old. Go as a family and join in the fun with old-fashioned games and pastimes. The rural life Centre is situated at Old Kiln Museum, Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, GU10 2DL. Have a look at their website on www.rural-life.org.uk or call 01252 795571.
We will give more details of this event in our September issue however I thought it worthwhile to give you a little notice about the Surrey Farm and Food Week. The week runs from September 18th - 26th and there are lots of great events taking place all around the county. To give you an idea, you'll be able to go on a trailer tour of the largest producing blueberry farm in the UK, which is actually situated at Tuesley Farm, Milford. The week closes with the Surrey County Ploughing Match and Country Fair on Sunday 26th September. There are some wonderful walks which are all free and the whole week is geared towards the family. If you would like to find out more about this great week now, visit www.surreycountyshow.co.uk
The very first Cranleigh Music Festival is on the 3rd and 4th September. It is being staged at the Cranleigh Showground and is the brainchild of Colin Young MBE who is president of Cranleigh and South East Agricultural Society and also chairman of Cranleigh Freight Services Ltd. Apart from making a real contribution to the local community it hopes to raise significant sums for charitable projects involving young people. The festival starts on Friday afternoon and the grounds open at 4 pm. To start with music will be provided by local bands and then at 6pm a group called The Overtures will be playing tribute numbers including songs by The Beatles, The Searchers, The Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. At 8:30pm Platinum Abba, a tribute band formed in 1997 takes to the stage. The evening is compered by a name from the past, David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton, remember him? On Saturday 4th the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell performs in the company of Kathryn Harris, a well-known international soprano. The evening is compered by Martyn Lewis and the finale will be a spectacular firework display. The idea is to either take a picnic or you can go along to the Hog Roast and Spitfire Bar for refreshments. Tickets for the Friday night are £20 adults, (under16’s £5) if booked in advance. On the night the price is £25 and £10. Tickets for Saturday night are £25 adults, (under 16’s £10). On the night price is £30 and £10. There are some quite interesting VIP packages available but you will need to go online to find details. To obtain tickets phone 01483 600347 or go online to www.cranleighmusicfestival.co.uk
The parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Godalming, continues its wonderful series of lunchtime recitals on the magnificent Hill organ that dates back to 1887. You might be too late to catch Paul Provost who is the sub organist of Guildford Cathedral and is playing on Friday 6th August. However, Martin Ellis, organist of St Martin's, Dorking is giving a recital on Friday 3rd September. Recitals take place on the first Friday of every month and start at 1 pm. There is no admission fee, but there is a retiring collection.
Surrey County walkers have a number of walks planned for the month of August most of them within pretty easy reach. On Sunday 15th August there's a walk around Shalford, Shalford Mill, and Peasmarsh. You need to meet at Chinthurst Hill car park and the walk starts at 10 am. It is a 6 mile walk and considered to be easy. Mary is in charge and you can contact her on 01483 728089. The second walk is on Saturday 21st August and is around Farnham, Moor Park and The Bourne. Meet at the Shepherd and Flock roundabout in Farnham at 10am. The walk is 6 1/2 miles and again considered to be easy. Richard and Sheila are in charge of this one and you can contact them on 01483 811543. Lastly on Sunday 29th August there is a walk around Wagoner's Wells, Bramshott Chase, Hammer Vale, Gentles Lane and Copse. For this one you need to meet at Pond Road National Trust car park, Headley Down and again the walk commences at 10 am. This one is 8 1/2 miles long and considered to be moderate. Bob is in charge here and you can contact him on 01932 355333.
If you are a Jane Austen fan here is some good news. The Chapterhouse Theatre Company is putting on an open-air production of Pride and Prejudice on Sunday 29th August. It is taking place at Gilbert White's House and Garden which is in Selbourne, Hampshire, not far from Alton. The production starts at 7:30 pm, but the grounds are open for picnics from 6 pm so you can take your own rugs or low backed seating and something scrummy to eat and drink. Tickets are £12 adults, £8 students and children or a family ticket (two adults and two children) £35. They can be obtained from either Gilbert White's House and Garden by calling 01420 511275 or from the Petersfield Tourist Information Centre on 01730 268829. Alternatively you can call See Tickets on 0871 220 0260 or visit the website www.seetickets.com. There is a 10% discount for parties of 10 or more. If you would like to find out more about Chapterhouse Theatre Company have a look at their website www.chapterhouse.org
The circle dancing group is still looking for new members (probably not quite enough people to complete a full circle!). Actually it is a great way to keep fit and meet new people and I'm told that the music is beautiful and most relaxing. Men and women of all ages whether beginners or with some experience are most welcome. The classes take place at Pirrie Hall, Brook on Thursdays, St Catherine's Hall, Guildford on the third Tuesday of the month, Linford Village Hall on the third Tuesday of the month and the WI Hall at Hartley Witney on the second Wednesday of the month. For full details and exact timings of the classes contact Lynn Francis on 01420 474881.
I think I mentioned the Oakleaf enterprise a few months ago. They are the fantastic organisation who help to empower people who have mental health needs to gain meaningful employment and satisfying careers. They encourage their clients to use their inherent abilities to develop employable skills and gain a qualification and also to restore the confidence and self-esteem that has been damaged by short or long-term mental illness. They also help to develop interpersonal, practical and academic skills that the clients need to rebuild their lives. As I mentioned before they reupholstered a chair for me and did the most fantastic job at a very reasonable cost. On Friday 24th September they are putting on a concert at Surrey University. Performing will be the ACM Gospel choir who you may have seen on the BBC's Last Choir Standing programme. The ACM Gospel choir has previously recorded with Michael Ball, Mika, Pixie Lott, JLS, Diversity and Robbie Williams plus a number of others. In support is the Guildford County School Ukelele Ensemble. Concert starts at 7:30 pm and tickets cost £16 per person and are available from Oakleaf Enterprise by calling 01483 303649. It should be a great evening and at the same time you will be supporting a very worthwhile concern. If you would like to find out more about the work that Oakleaf undertakes then visit their website at www.oakleaf-enterprise.org.uk
Another exhibition is starting on 7th August at the Lightbox in Woking. Last month I wrote about the Snowdon Exhibition which is now in full swing and continuing until 26th September. This latest exhibition is entitled Escape to Wonderland: A History of Children's Book Illustration. This exhibition should be a delight to audiences of every age. It showcases the work from a wide range of talent from very established illustrators to up-and-coming new talent. The exhibition will feature a treasure trove of original artwork and illustrations and share their inspiration and creative process. It takes place in the main gallery and entry is free although any donations would be most welcome. To find out more about this exhibition and what else is going on at the Lightbox visit their website at www.thelightbox.org.uk
The Wings and Wheels Air Show is returning for 2 days on Sunday 29th and Monday 30th August. Attracting phenomenal crowds of over 25,000 in 2009 with some of the finest aircraft and motoring displays in the UK, Wings and Wheels is not just an air show, it's an exciting weekend of family entertainment. The four hour flying displays are led by a crowd thrilling assortment of RAF legends, including the Red Arrows and the Eurofighter Typhoon. Brooklands Museum entertains with an array of motoring icons racing up and down the runway, whilst the Retail Village houses over 100 different attractions and shopping opportunities. Tickets start from £16. Book online now at www.wingsandwheels.net or through See Tickets booking hotline 0871 230 5572. The show is held at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey and is open to spectators from 9am to 6pm. The event is staged to raise funds for charities and in 2009 raised over £80,000. The beneficiaries for 2010 are Help for Heroes, the Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Brooklands Museum Trust and Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust. To win tickets, please see our Competitions page…
Last month I mentioned Guildford Shakespeare Company’s production of the Tempest which is being staged at the University of Surrey Lake. I said it was running until Tuesday 3rd August but in fact the show is going on until 7th August. It is just possible that you may have time to catch the last performances of this stunning production. Incidentally the cast has been joined by a former Coronation Street star Bill Ward. Bill played the notorious Charlie Stubbs in the soap opera from 2003 to 2007 and he will be playing the part of the banished Duke Prospero in this production. Tickets cost £14-£18. 50 and can be obtained by calling the box office on 01483 304384. You can also go online at www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk
I don't think I mentioned that back in May I helped organise a charity golf day in order to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK. A very dear friend had died from this awful disease last year. Anyway, I asked a number of organisations who I've mentioned in Ramblings over previous months if they could donate something for the silent auction. The response was fantastic and their generosity helped us to raise over £5,500 on the day. So a big thank you to; Farnham Maltings, The Wey and Arun Canal Trust, Loseley Farm, The Surrey County Show, Charterhouse Sports Centre, The Rural Life Centre, Tilford, The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and the Withies Inn, Compton.
If like me you use a computer but are sometimes extremely frustrated because you don't know how to carry out a particular task, then this may be the answer. Under the auspices of Age Concern Surrey, a friendly team of volunteers runs a computer drop-in centre where they aim to help us to do what we want to do. Apparently you can get one-to-one help on almost any aspect of using a computer including sending and receiving e-mails, using sites like Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, editing photos and safely buying online. They are based in North Place Centre at the end of Haydon Place, Guildford, a short walk from the library. They are open every weekday morning between 9.30 and 11.30 and appointments are not necessary - all you do is just drop-in. You can use their computers but if you bring your own lap top you must remember to bring the mains lead. Their help is absolutely free but they do depend on generous donations to help cover the centre's running costs. If you need more information call them on 01483 503414.
Last month I mentioned the Hascombe Village Fete that is taking place on Saturday 21st August. I mentioned it early on so that any of you interested in a tug-of-war team would have time to do so. Anyway the fete is a truly traditional affair and has loads of old-fashioned sideshows and games for all the family. Do go along - I think you will have some fun. It starts at 1pm and is being held at the recreation ground.
Although the Godalming Evening Townswomen’s Guild do not hold any main meeting during August there are still plenty of events taking place during this month. There is a visit to their twin Guild in the New Forest, a croquet fun day, an evening picnic which includes a game of bowls and a ramble for the more energetic. They are also participating and helping with the Staycation Teddy Bear’s picnic in the Phillips Memorial Park on Friday 13 August. If you would like more details on becoming a member of this group give the chairman Beryl Williams a ring on 01483 415343.
Here's another bit of feedback, the 2010 ‘Poddle’ Sponsored walk which was held in June raised around £11,000 for the Wey and Arun Canal Trust, which is pretty impressive. Apparently 223 walkers took part in the 12 mile walk. The day was bright and sunny but not too hot and according to the walk organiser Joe Holcombe, all the walkers seemed to greatly enjoy the day and many commented favourably on the organisation which was carried out by a band of enthusiastic helpers. For further details of the ‘Poddle’ and the canal project, telephone the Wey and Arun Canal Trust office on 01403 752403.
Concerts in Churches made their debut in Guildford last month when leading jazz singer Jackie Dankworth and legendary saxophonist Courtney Pine held concerts at St Saviour’s Church, one of seven churches selected throughout the country to host this prestigious series. At the heart of Concerts in Churches is the opportunity for audiences to appreciate a more intimate concert experience, which includes the chance to meet the artists after the performance, thereby breaking down the barrier between artist and audience. Concerts in Churches is returning later this year with two of the country's most popular opera singers - Kate Royal on Wednesday10th November and Alfie Boe on Wednesday 24th November. For tickets and information go to www.concertsinchurches.com or call 01449 73882.
The next meeting of Ockford Godalming WI is on Wednesday, 1st September at 2:30 pm in the Scout and Guide HQ, Seymour Road, Godalming. The speaker is Wendy Sturgess and the talk is entitled ‘Goody. goody gumdrops’ ! It's all about sweet shops of yesteryear and there is actually a competition for 6 home-made sweets.
Godalming has some great legends and stories and our local rector the Rev Canon Mervyn Roberts is keen to share them with anyone who wants to delve into our town’s gory past. He is organizing a one hour town tour of our most interesting historic haunted houses. The tour leaves from outside St Peter & Paul Church at both 6 pm and again at 8 pm. And takes place on Saturday, 14 August. Incidentally the walk coincides with the same date that two notorious murderers were hanged on the Lammas Land and interestingly the gallows now support the church spire! Canon Roberts doesn't want to make the walk too scary however and so advises all children attending to make sure they accompany their adults!
We have all heard of spin and spin doctors but have you heard of spin classes? Every Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday lunchtimes and Sunday mornings, Brian Evans and Petra Hammond are running spin/studio cycling classes based at Fitness First in Godalming. They are open to nonmembers as well as members. Apparently spinning burns up to 900 calories an hour and is a great low impact fat burning workout that is suitable for all ages and abilities from beginners to the seasoned gym goer looking for a change in their workout, or outdoor cyclists looking to bring their training indoors for the winter months. It's set to great music with motivational instructors in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Why not go and give it a try? Call Petra Hammond on 07967 113389 or Brian Evans on 07939 941660 or visit confidentfitness.co.uk and bryanevans fitness.com for more details. When calling remember to quote ‘Round and About’ for their special offers.
Loseley LIVE is a fabulous sounding outdoor concert on Sunday 29th August with tribute bands performing music from The Bee Gees, Robbie Williams and Abba. The music is live from 6pm, but gates open at 3pm if you want to picnic or start drinking the Pimms! As usual, fireworks will end the show at 10.15pm. For tickets, please call 0845 519 4065 or visit www.loseleylive.co.uk. For more information and to win tickets, please see our competitions page…
Finally, my editor has asked me to mention the fabulous Food Festival that took place on the 3rd July in Godalming. The streets of Godalming have never been so busy, with more than 10,000 people filling the streets literally throughout the day. The atmosphere was electric, the sun was shining and everyone had a wonderful day. So a big thanks to Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce for organising the event (and especially Simon Thornton from Andrew Charles who masterminded the day) and to everyone who came along that day. And if you missed it, put Saturday 2nd July 2011 in your diary now for the next one! Meanwhile, the Chamber are organising a Christmas market to coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on, which will be on Saturday 27th November. It promises to be another great event.