I can’t believe it, as I write we have not only retained the Ashes, we have given our Aussie friends a right good thumping to boot. Still, mustn’t gloat, it can all go pear shaped very quickly. On the weather front things have calmed down considerably for the moment; just hope the same is true by the time you read this issue. Have you noticed the days getting longer? Before we know it spring will be on our doorstep. Hooray!
Handel’s Messiah is one of the nation’s favourite choral works, and if you would like to participate in a ‘Come & Sing Messiah’, why not join the Waverley singers at St Andrew’s Parish Church, Farnham on Saturday, 26th November. This event is open to all, whether they belong to a choir or not, for a modest singing fee of £10, with audience tickets priced at £7.50. Music is available for hire at £1. Rehearsals will take place between 12:15 pm and 1pm and between 2 pm and 4 pm with tea and coffee available during the break. The performance, with soloists, will then take place at 6 pm. Further details are available at www.waverleysingers.com or from Mrs P Darker, choir secretary, on 01256 882334.
Farnham Vineyard are hosting a one act play written and performed by Ross Parker and featuring songs from Phil Baggaley and Band. The play is entitled Homecoming and is about ‘the journey we all make to find ourselves’. It takes place on Saturday 19th February and starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £10 per person to include refreshments and can be obtained by contacting the Office Administrator at Farnham Vineyard on 01252 737586. Farnham Vineyard is situated at Church House, Union Road, Farnham, GU9 7PT.
Elstead Cinema continues to flourish. The next film is on February 11th and is Made in Dagenham (cert 15). I saw this film a few weeks before Christmas and it was most enjoyable. It tells the tale of the battle for equal rights in the workplace in the 60s which took place at the Dagenham Ford factory. Rita O Grady (brilliantly played by Sally Hawkins) and her fellow women workmates decided to fight for a decent grading and better working conditions. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe that this actually took place in my lifetime! Tickets are £5 and are on sale from Batchelor’s Newsagents in Elstead or by calling Peter Moon on 01252 703052. Alternatively, payment can be made on the door. The doors open at 7 pm for a 7:30 pm performance and there is a bar and refreshments available. I can tell you that Tamara Drewe is being shown on 11th March and Another Year is showing on 8th April. Also The King’s Speech, only just released as I write, will be coming soon!!
‘Unravel’, Farnham Maltings’ hugely successful festival of knitting is returning on Saturday 26th and Sunday, 27th February for a weekend full of talks, demonstrations and workshops, plus a thriving marketplace to buy yarn, buttons and other accessories. You can solve all your knitting quandries at the knitting surgery and even enter your favourite item into the ‘Best in Show’ competition. It’s a veritable woollen wonderland!
Also at Farnham Maltings, you can enjoy a tale of high adventure on Saturday 12th February at 2:30 pm, with Jack - a story of enchantment and magic, cruelty and humour, integrity and triumph. Storyteller and puppeteer Rod Burnett helps young Jack, accused of being stupid because he sold a cow for five beans, set the record straight!
The Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary has asked me to clarify their new service for Carers called ‘Time For You’. Their carers support group will commence on Monday 7th February 2011 and will take place on the first Monday and last Friday each month from 11 am to 1 pm at the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary. There is no charge for carers for attending the ‘Time For You’ Carer Support Group at this time. However, the sanctuary is a registered charity and any donations will be greatly welcomed. In addition they are currently offering one-day retreats for Carers which will be available at a concessionary rate for those that attend the Support Group and for attendees of their Bluebells Cancer Support Group. The first retreat day is Wednesday, 30th March and continues on the last Wednesday of each month. For more information call 01483 202054. You can also visit the website www.sanctuary-burrowslea.org.uk
One of folk music’s biggest young stars gives the Farnham Maltings’ audience a unique opportunity on Tuesday, 15th February. As part of his ‘A Folk Song a Day’ project,. John Boden will record a rendition of one of the 365 traditional songs backed by his Maltings audience. Prior to that, his band, the Remnant Kings will play another wonderfully eclectic set of songs, old, new and from the not too distant future! Then on Thursday 17th and Friday, 18th February, folk - rock pioneers Fairport Convention play a special two - night residency at Farnham Maltings playing the whole of their legendary 1971 album, Babbacombe Lee. If you’re a folk fan, you won’t want to miss this. To book tickets for these concerts contact the Box Office on 01252 745444.
Monday 28th of February is the date for the next talk in the Farnham Public Art Trust’s popular series of lectures on art and architecture. The talk will be called “ Compton in the 1890’s-at home with G.F.and Mary Watts” and will be based on Mary’s diaries, with views on the building of their house Limnerslease and the gallery itself, with plenty of illustration It will be given by Dr Desna Greenhow, who works at the Watts Gallery, near Godalming. Last year she gave a beautifully illustrated talk entitled ‘Mary Watts Chapel - the word of the pattern’ which was greatly enjoyed by her audience. This lecture will be given in the small hall at the United Reformed Church in South Street, Farnham (entrance from Victoria Road), at 7:30 for 8pm. Entrance costs £5 including refreshments before the meeting (students £2) and everyone is welcome.
This is a call for all you tenors and bass/baritones that have not yet joined a choir but might like to do so. The Carillon Singers, mentioned a number of times before in ramblings, is a friendly and enthusiastic mixed voice choir who rehearse at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea. They are in need of more male singers to balance the choir and would love to hear from you if you might be interested. There is no audition, all they ask is that you can sing in tune and can hold your place within the section. If you are interested call David on 01420 562065 or Jane on 01251 320828 and they will give you more information. Alternatively just turn up at St George’s on a Thursday evening at 7.30 and you can see them in action! The choir do quite a lot of touring and this May they are travelling to East Anglia giving lunchtime concerts at Long Milford, Ely Cathedral and the Cathedral at Bury St Edmunds.
I reckon at this time of year we need all the laughs we can get. To this end, there are a couple of gigs at Farnham Maltings that might fit the bill. On Wednesday 9th there is a Comedy Club line-up featuring Holly Walsh, a CBBC presenter with a stand-up set rejoicing in the worst possible taste, together with the cheeky, lovable fool Dave Twentyman. Then on Friday, 18th February a chap called Paul Kerensa brings his ‘dazzlingly funny’ show ‘Borderline Racist’ to the Maltings. You can find out why all Dutchman think Germans are bicycle thieves and why Latvians swear in Russian. Paul is the co-writer of the BBC comedies “Not going Out” and “Miranda”, so should be good for a laugh.
I understand that quite a number of our readers have discovered the delights of ‘Circle Dancing’ which I’ve mentioned a number of times in Ramblings. So a reminder, now that exercise might be in the forefront of our minds, that Circle Dancing classes take place in various locations throughout the area. These are Pirrie Hall in Brook where classes take place on Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, St Catherine’s Hall in Guildford where classes take place on the third Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, Lindford Village Hall on the third Tuesday of the month from 1:30 to 3:30 pm and finally the WI Hall in Hartley Wintney on the second Wednesday of the month from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. For more information contact Lynn Frances on 01420 474881. For those who don’t know, Circle Dancing is a great way to shed the stresses of the day and relax into the beautiful music and movement of Circle Dance. As the name implies, you dance in a circle and all attempt to do the same steps at the same time! Beginners are very welcome and it is suitable for men and women of all ages. It is a great way to keep fit and at the same time meet new people.
The Hale project is a series of coffee mornings held at Hale Village Hall (Hale Institute) once a month from 10 am to 12 o’clock. If you live in Hale or have lived there or indeed if your ancestors lived there this night will be the place to be on one of the dates listed below. Apparently they have themed mornings and they are due to repeat the Hale Weddings, where people bring their wedding photos which are then entered onto the computer and once a year are shown on the big screen. (Crikey that could be embarrassing!) Anyway they ask you to take along any photos or anything that will be of interest to the village archivists. Nearly 100 people attend these mornings and many meet up with old school friends and people they haven’t seen for years. The next three are on February 26th, March 26th and April 30th. I will give further dates in forthcoming issues.
Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice has asked me to make an urgent appeal to all our readers. They urgently need all of us to donate items to their 13 shops which are suffering from a lack of stock due to both severe weather conditions before Christmas and I would guess the economic climate. If you have any unwanted Christmas gifts or are clearing out your wardrobe/house then please think of taking them down to your nearest Phyllis Tuckwell shop. They are always in need of quality clothes, bric-a-brac, books, toys, shoes and handbags so if you have anything in those categories please act now. If you need further information you can call 01252 729420. If by any chance you have some unwanted furniture do contact their Furniture Showroom on 01252 710679. I believe that they can arrange collection from your home. Income from the shops generates a large proportion of the money needed to run the Hospice and it is vitally important to keep them running profitably.
It’s good to know that some of the old skills are alive and well. A lady called Anna Kirsch is running a number of courses involving living willow. On a one-day course you can learn the basic techniques for working with living willow and make an attractive planter with an array of wonderful coloured willows. You can experiment with cloches, climbing plant frames, dragonflies and other useful objects for the garden. The one-day course is running on Tuesday, 8th March, Saturday, 12th March and Saturday, 19th March. The cost is £55 for tuition, materials and a delicious lunch. All the workshops take place at Eastbridge Willows, Pankridge Street, Crondall, Nr. Farnham GU10 5RH and to book a place call 01252 852562 or go to the website www.eastbridgewillows.com
Surrey Air Ambulance is appealing for runners to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity by taking part in this year’s Brighton Marathon. If there is anyone out there who might be interested I’m afraid you will have to get a move on as the closing date for registration is 4th February. Ring Julie Jenkinson on 07843 336720 as soon as possible. Last year more than 50 runners ran for the Air Ambulance in the inaugural event and they raised more than £20,000, a great contribution to help fund this hugely worthwhile service.
The award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company is returning for its second winter season with Hamlet in February 2011. The venue for Hamlet will once again be the evocative 18th century Holy Trinity Church on Guildford High Street. Those of you who saw last year’s production of Romeo and Juliet will know how the company’s trademark style of site specific invention places the audience right at the heart of the action, which means that the audience is in for a theatrical experience like no other. The production runs from 11th to 26th February and the running time is 2 hrs 40 mins (approx). Hamlet coincides with the company’s 5th Anniversary of producing professional site specific interpretations of Shakespeare which have been seen by over 16,500 people. Tickets are £18.50/£16.00, Family £60 (2 adults 2 children under 16), all matinee tickets £14. You can order by calling the Box Office on 01483 304384 or by going online to www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk .
The first of a new series of live broadcasts from the Ballet of the Opera de Paris brings Treichel’s Caligula to Farnham Maltings on Tuesday 8th February. Director Nicholas Le Riche’s production combines the story of the ‘tortured soul’ of the Roman emperor with the Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I’m not sure of the start time but call the Box Office on 01252 745444 for that information and also to reserve tickets.
The multi-award-winning Little Bulb celebrates the eccentricities of village life at Farnham Maltings on Friday 11th February, with a theatrical feast entitled ‘the marvellous and unlikely fate of Little Upper Downing’. It’s about the most important day in the village calendar and the eccentric inhabitants of Little Upper Downing are all in a flutter. Expect live music, innovative puppetry, vibrant visuals and a vast array of unforgettable characters as they prepare for a big day that is getting increasingly out-of-control….Again, performance times and tickets can be obtained by calling 01252 745444.
Polsden Lacey is a beautiful Edwardian country estate situated at Great Bookham, near Dorking in Surrey. On every weekend in February the National Trust are holding ‘Sneak Peek House Tours’ where you will be able to discover the secrets behind life at Polsden Lacey, past and present, and learn about Mrs Greville’s famous collection, featuring Mrs Greville’s private apartments for the first time. The tours run at 11:30 am, 1 pm and 2:30 pm and can be booked on arrival at the house. Normal admission prices apply. King George V1 and our late Queen Mother spent their honeymoon at Polsden Lacey and this year you’ll be able to recreate a fine sense of romance with a sumptuous dinner for two in the Courtyard Restaurant. A St Valentine’s dinner dance is taking place on the 12th February from 8 pm till midnight. Tickets are £40 each but booking is essential, call the info line on 01372 458203. Finally, they are holding special half term trails (19th- 27th February) which run from 10 am to 5 pm. Again, normal admission prices apply plus an extra £1 charge per trail. You will be able to follow in the footsteps of Kings, Queens and Maharajas who used to be guests at lavish weekend parties held in this beautiful house.
Five outstanding local young musicians, all winners of the prestigious Jellinek award, will be performing concerto movements with the Guildford Symphony Orchestra in this year’s Una Clarke Young Artists Concert on Saturday, 19th February. It takes place in the Royal Grammar School Studio and starts at 12:30 pm. Apparently the standard of the soloists, the youngest of whom is only 13, is quite outstanding. Past winners include the BBC Symphony Orchestra leader Andrew Haveron and many recent finalists such as last year’s Dorothea Herbert have been invited back by the GSO as guest soloists as their professional careers flourish. Tickets are £10, seniors £8 and under 25’s £5 and can be obtained from the Box Office on 01483 415847 and Guildford TIC on 01483 444334.
Surrey Artists Open Studios is now offering a new and exciting resource on its website -‘Find a Surrey Artist’. Here Surrey Artists can promote their studios and creative practice throughout the year, each with their own dedicated webpages of images, contact details and calendar of events. Find a Surrey Artist is now live. Visit www.surreyopenstudios.org.uk and take advantage of this unique resource. Any artist or craftsperson based in Surrey or on our Surrey Borders can sign up for SAOS membership and become a part of Find a Surrey Artist at any point throughout the year. The Surrey Open Studio event has been running for 11 years and is due to be run this year from the 11th to 26th June; we will give more details nearer the time.
Farnham Music and Drama is a brand-new centre offering a wide range of group and individual classes for all ages, from preschoolers through to adults. For youngsters, the emphasis is on giving them a wonderful first experience whether they are learning instrument or the skills of the stage. For adults it is a great way to get singing or playing again. For parents with young children, the Mini Maestro classes are a lovely introduction to music. Your child will get the chance to try out instruments for themselves, sing along to the piano and learn how to express themselves in music and movement. For school age children, the Centre Stage classes are a first step into the world of the performing arts where students are introduced to skills such as singing with movement, improvisation, script reading and much more. As well as individual tuition, there is also a wide range of adult classes including an adult ensemble for string and wind instruments and an adult choir for all voices. Term started on 17th January and you are very welcome to go along for a free trial at any time. They have a fabulous purpose-built studio just minutes from Farnham Station. Find out more by contacting them on 01252 727617or visit their website on www.farmmusicanddrama.com
The Clockhouse in Milford is putting on a series of lectures over the next few months. It will be a casual, friendly and entertaining evening commencing with a delicious home-made supper and complimentary glass of wine followed by a lively and informative lecture. On Friday 25th there will be a talk by this year’s Master of the Girdler’s Livery Company, Lord Strathalmond (how many of you don’t know what a Girdler does ?). Then on Friday, 18th March The Watts Gallery curator Mark Bills will be talking and on Friday, 8th April Cathy Flower-Bond will give a talk entitled ‘Undressing the Tudors’. There is also a possibility of a fourth surprise lecture and as soon as I have details I will let you know. Tickets are just £15 per lecture or £40 for the series of three. This includes supper a glass of wine and the lecture. Ring Jules at the Clockhouse on 01483 420668 for advance ticket sales. Unfortunately no tickets will be available on the night due to the catering factors but if you like feel free to bring your own refreshments. All three evenings commence at 7 pm.
Grayshott Pottery is holding a Making Day with Myra McDonnell on Saturday, 12th February. You will be able to make your own clay creation at Grayshott clay coiling and hand building event. The day runs from 10 am to 4 pm and costs £45. Unfortunately it is for adults only and you need to book by calling 01428 604404. Visit the Grayshott Pottery website www.grayshottpottery.com for further details.
Les Amities Francaises will have two lectures in February, both on French attitudes to life. On Thursday 17th, at 7:30 pm, John Rogister will talk about Watteau, not only his frivolous and aristocratic pictures but also his pioneer use of colour and landscape. Then on Monday 28th, at 2:30 pm you’ll be able to hear all about café life, its history and diversity. Both meetings are to be held at the Godalming Baptist Church Hall, Queen Street, Godalming. For more information call Claude Kauffmann on 01483 300225.
A reminder, that from the 22nd to 26th February, Godalming Operatic Society will be lighting up the stage at the Borough Hall with electrifying performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical opera Patience or Bunthorne’s Bride. Patience is one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most acclaimed comic operas satirising the aesthetic movement in England in the 1870s and 80s. Lovesick maidens, resplendent Dragoon Guards and the odd poet or two all combine to provide a delightfully humorous story of love and rejection. In addition to the Godalming performances, Patience will be performed at the Leatherhead Theatre on 4th and 5th of March. All evening performances are at 7:30 pm and Saturday matinees at 2:30 pm. Call the Society Box Office on 01252 703376 and for Leatherhead tickets call 01372 365141. You can also visit the websites www.godalmingoperatic.org or www.the-theatre.org . Oh, I have to explain that the ‘electrical references’ are because Patience was first performed in 1881 at the newly built Savoy theatre which was the first in the world to be illuminated by electricity. In the same year Godalming became the first town in the world to have a public electricity supply. Interesting Eh!
Finally, for car buffs, the Goodwood Breakfast starts again in March. Since it was introduced in March 2006, the free to enter, and open-to-all Breakfast Club – based at Goodwood Motor Circuit in West Sussex – has become one of the country’s most popular motoring events, an admission-free monthly gathering of drivers and riders united by their petrol-head passion. Admission to all Breakfast Club gatherings is free, with the gates to the circuit opening at 8:00am for early bird arrivals, and the morning comes to a close at noon. A programme of dates will appear next month…