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vantagepointmag.co.uk

Godalming & Cranleigh • March 2014

VANTAGEPOINT YOUR COMMUNITY  YOUR VIEW

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Getting out with the children around Cranleigh and Godalming area

MAGAZINE

Also inside: JOTTINGS COMPETITIONS LOCAL CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ARTVENTURE TRUST


TO THE POINT

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find it hard to believe that April 2014 sees the fifth anniversary of Vantage Publishing’s first local community magazine, which covered the Godalming area and came out in April 2009. Farnham came out later that year, Haslemere was introduced in 2010 and Guildford followed in 2011, the same year in which we added Cranleigh to our Godalming edition. This year, with our new magazine VantagePoint, we have added Midhurst and Petworth to our Haslemere edition and we launch

a brand new Dorking edition next month. All these magazines are still produced by the same local team, which is something that has major benefits, at least according to one of our regular contributors. He writes: “I am, as ever, grateful that you carry my information and help to get the word out there via your Jottings and hope that as readers read more closely what is actually written, so they will detect a more insightful and accurate turn of phrase in VantagePoint when it comes to local events. There

is nothing like being part of a community, in order to get a better feel on the ground for what really makes people tick. An outside observer just doesn’t seem to achieve the same authenticity or authority, in my humble opinion”. I have worked out that between us all, we have lived in this area for a combined total of around 170 years and would wager that no other local magazine can boast that. Mind you, that does make us all sound very old, which as you can see below is completely untrue! SR

VantagePoint is the local magazine produced by local people for the local community, and is published by Vantage Publishing, a Godalming based magazine business established in 2009. We publish four magazines which are currently delivered monthly by Royal Mail to 88,127 homes across the South East. From Spring 2014, we will be launching a new Dorking edition which will take our circulation to 107,277 homes. Please visit our website or contact any of us below if you need any more information.

Vantage Publishing Limited 6 Chestnut Suite, Guardian House, Borough Road, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2AE.

For more articles and Jottings, visit it us online at

vantagepointmag.co.uk

T: 01483 421601 W: vantagepublishing.co.uk

THE VANTAGEPOINT TEAM Stefan Reynolds Editor & Publisher 01483 421601 stefan@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Carol Martin Sales Executive 01483 418141 carol@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Marcus Atkins Sales Director 01483 420173 marcus@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Angie & Nick Crisell Jotters 01483 421601 jottings@vantagepublishing.co.uk

Contributors: Caroline Boucher, Elizabeth Carlos, Andrew Crisell, Carol Farley, Nick Farley, Andrea Pinnington, Matthew Pottage, Paul Robinson, Kirstie Smilie Print: Polestar Stones

The contents of this magazine are protected by copyright and nothing can be reprinted without prior permission of the publisher. The publisher has tried to ensure that all information is accurate but does not take any responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We take no responsibility for advertisments printed in the magazine or loose inserts that might be delivered alongside it. © Vantage Publishing Limited.

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Smart Casual or Casual Smart?

For some, ‘smart casual’ has brought with it a mild panic particularly with men. Gone are the simple days of just a suit and tie, unless ‘city smart’ is required, as now a personality is also going to be on show. But, developing a relaxed, smart vibe can be confusing, so working with Kirstie, an expert stylist, will save time and add confidence to try something new. Sales Director at VantagePoint magazine, Marcus Atkins forty(ish!), was keen to try a personal styling appointment. Being just over 6ft, and a standard large in most shirts and knitwear, he generally asks his wife, Sarah, to buy his clothes. Apart from his ‘loud’ shirts, which the whole family dislike, he admitted to rarely going clothes shopping besides a brief, 30 seconds decision shop - although he had recently bought twelve shirts in a multi online deal (mostly stripes!). We discussed his requirements for a working wardrobe. Smart casual definitely fits Marcus’s brief as he needs to be comfortable in the Godalming based office, but smart enough to visit clients throughout the day. My selection for Marcus needed to fulfil his love of bold statements which are usually stripe shirts and also offer options for trousers apart from casual loose jeans. So I chose smaller

Above: Before Right: After - Slim fitting jeans and jacket; Classic brogues, £185, Barker Top right: Kirstie and Marcus chat in the Tea Terrace.

…it was finding those dark blue Paul Smith jeans that opened my eyes to what style of clothing I need to go for in the future, so thanks for that!

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Add colour Left: Teal sweater, Diesel, £80; worn over floral shirt, £100, Diesel Right: Coral sweater, £110; tan belt, £45, both Ralph Lauren; stripy T-shirt, £18, Jack & Jones. vantagepointmag.co.uk


FASHION print shirts, mini checks and soft colours, with stronger highlights for fine knitwear. I selected the waistcoat and jacket from Ted Baker to offer the smart but trendier option of layered suiting to wear with dark jeans or chinos, and printed t-shirts for a more casual look. Marcus looked sharp but relaxed in slim jeans and tailored jacket combo, and fresh with the bright knitted accent colours. He loved the waistcoat but I suggested he wore it with smaller prints and soft pastel shirts instead of bright stripes. I advised that he should invest in a timeless classic brogue and a quality leather belt as male dressing is all about the small details, not over the top design details, and to choose classic colours highlighted with brights in knits and accessories. So, what does Marcus think? “I really enjoyed the experience, despite being a bit apprehensive at the beginning simply because I was so much out of my comfort zone. But it didn’t take long after trying clothes on, to get into the swing of the whole experience. I would definitely do this again, and I’d recommend Kirstie to my friends; if they can get past the slightly prissy image of going for the service, then everyone really would benefit, that I am sure.”

The Hair Cut The day before his personal shopping experience, Marcus had his hair cut at hip barbers, Hairosmith, 1 Church Street, Godalming. Owner, Adam Smith, offered some top tips: * do not use too much product * visit a barber every 2-4 weeks to keep your cut looking sharp * as men mature and hair thins a regular hair cut will keep hair looking fuller March 2014

Top left: Waistcoat £120, Ted Baker; Pink shirt, £110, Paul Smith. Top right: Jacket £250, Ted Baker; T-shirt, £15 Jack & Jones; Slim dark jeans, £100 Paul Smith. Bottom left: Claret chinos, £36, Raging Bull; Mini check red/white shirt, £85 Ted Baker. Bottom right: Tobacco chinos, £79, Ted Baker. Left: Have fun - Scarf, £45, Glen Prince. FIND OUT MORE

Kirstie is an experienced fashion stylist to both men and women

Shopping and The Tea Terrace restaurant at House of Fraser, call 01483 307400.

For one-to-one shopping and styling appointments, tailored to your own requirements, call her on 07773 234947 or email kirstie@kirstiesmillie.com.

Photographs by Anna Saverimuttu, a Guildfordbased commercial and corporate photographer. For more details of her work, visit annasaverimuttuphotography.co.uk. Email anna@annasaverimuttu. co.uk.

All clothes from House of Fraser, Guildford. Personal

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The

GREAT OUTDOORS

Andrea Pinnington offers some things to do and to see with the children. They’re fun and they’re free... Do you have children of varying ages who all seem to want to do different things with most of them involving screens? Are you worried that they might grow up not knowing the difference between a blackbird and a blue tit? Or do you find that you just lack inspiration of what to see outside and where to go? South-east England is packed with an amazing number of nature reserves and areas of special scientific interest, but most things you can see and do on your doorstep. Now, with the whole of the spring and summer ahead of us, here are some ideas for outdoor family activities: March: listening for birds The days are beginning to become significantly longer and the birds are in full song from about an hour before dawn to about an hour afterwards. The birds that feed on worms strike up first (blackbirds, robins, thrushes) followed by the insect feeders (wrens, blackcaps) with the seed feeders being the last to get their early morning act together (finches, sparrows). Learning how to recognize just a few bird sounds can make nature walks extremely gratifying and can spark some heated family debates. Some of the easiest 14

birdsongs for children to identify are the blackbird, wren, wood pigeon, crow, great tit, chiffchaff and skylark. You can hear them all at www.rspb.org. Another March spectacular is the sight of toads heading for breeding grounds. The numbers on the move in one night can be incredible. If you do come across them (and there are plenty in the area) the females are the bigger ones, who are usually giving a lift to the smaller males. If you don’t get to see them, then just listen out for the croaking sound of frogs and toads calling out to find a mate. April: butterfly spotting With the Easter holidays comes more time for nature-based activities. As long as the weather is reasonably fine, it can be rewarding and fun to go butterfly spotting. Look out for brimstones, peacocks, commas, small tortoiseshells and holly blues in particular. The best places to see these butterflies are often gardens and parks, so there is no need to travel far. If you can’t tell a painted lady from a peacock, then you can find a handy guide at www. finefeatherpress.com. You may be lucky when you are out and about to happen upon the first spring baby animals such as rabbits and ducklings and vantagepointmag.co.uk


keep a look out for frog and toad spawn in nearby ponds. Frog spawn is found in large gelatinous clumps, while toad spawn lies in long strings that usually wraps around reeds. Now is also a good time to watch for the first swallows, swifts and house martins. These birds have come a long way and deserve a round of applause. Many are returning to original nesting sites whilst last year’s brood need to build their nests from scratch. May: pond dipping May carries with it the promise of summer. Cow parsley is in full froth on the roadsides and the sweet smell of bluebells fills the air. A forest walk is a May must, not just for the heavenly scented wild flowers but also for spotting some fabulous birds, such as the great spotted woodpecker, small treecreeper and the even tinier goldcrest – one of Britain’s smallest birds. If you listen hard, you can hear their tiny chirruping high up in conifer trees, but don’t ask your grandparents if they can hear them as they may well be outside their hearing range! My favourite May activity is pond dipping. All you need is a net and a jam jar or a shallow plastic tray. Every dip yields something new and you might be lucky enough to find frog, toad and newt tadpoles, damselfly and dragonfly nymphs, water boatmen, pond skaters and possibly a stickleback or two. You may be treated to the dazzling display of carp spawning, which also happens around this time or see the air thick with May flies – an insect that is born with no mouth parts and destined to fly for just one day. June: night-time safaris Dawn and dusk are the best time to see most mammals. Look in gardens or head out to woodland edges and you’ll probably be rewarded with the sight of hedgehogs, badgers, foxes and March 2014

bats, not to mention many different types of insects. Many local societies organise bat walks, which can be great fun to take the kids on. There are 18 species of bat in the UK but you can guarantee that it won’t just be the bats you see. As the sun sets, the air can be alive with alarmingly large insects: large, brown cockchafers become active in gardens, parks and woodland edges as well as the rather more aggressivelooking black stag beetles. Look out for glow worms, too. These are actually beetles and it is the female that glows brightly in order to attract a male. If it is night-time birds you are after, then June is the ideal month and the extensive heathland areas nearby are the perfect place to find them. Listen for the chirring whirr of the nightjars or the nightingale’s melodious call. Among the best places to hear these birds are Puttenham Common, Farnham Heath, Hankley Common and Bookham Common. July: peaceful picnics What’s not to love about July? For most, the long holidays are yet to come and days of picnics, bike rides and dusk-time adventures beckon. Sounds of skylarks fill the air and many animals are preoccupied with bringing up their young. It’s fun to find a spot in a meadow or on grassland just to sit and watch or listen. Ask the kids to write down all the animals they 15


can see or hear in a 15-minute interval. The more you look, the more you see and you may be surprised by the number of species you record. Particularly vocal at this time of year are grasshoppers and crickets leaping in front of you as you walk through the long grass. It’s also fun to spy the laden pollen sacs on the legs of bees and bumblebees. Become an animal detective: see if you can find signs of any animal tracks and look under large oak trees and conifers for owl pellets. These are the regurgitated lumps of undigested food that owls bring up. They are fascinating to dissect (they are quite dry and powdery) as you often find tiny animal bones in them belonging to mice and small birds – gruesome but really interesting! August: reptile hunting August is a great month for reptile spotting. Surrey and Sussex have many areas of heathland where native snakes and lizards can be found. The best time to see them is basking in the sun to warm up in the morning. Excitingly, the rare sand lizard (below) has been reintroduced to Farnham Heath – the male is particularly dashing with its bright green sides during the mating season. Keep an eye out for shedded snake skins – a handsome trophy to return home with for a windowsill nature table. Heathlands are also good for certain species of butterflies such as small coppers, common blues and walls. In fine weather, why not try camping out with friends? Lying looking up at the stars is magical and there are some amazing smart phone applications that tell you what constellations you are looking at. On a clear night from mid-July to mid-August you may be treated to the fabulous showers of Perseus, when you could see up to 50 meteors (shooting stars to me and you) an hour. If you’re not convinced by the powers of nature watching, then I’d recommend spending two minutes watching the trailer for Project Wild Thing at www.projectwildthing.com. It’s hilarious.

Andrea Pinnington writes nature activity books for children. Her latest guides – Let’s Look for Butterflies; Garden Birds; Wild Flowers and Garden Wildlife – are available from www.finefeatherpress.com.

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Things to do

LOCALLY

The Wey Navigation is one of the area’s great natural resources, though following the floods this winter many may not feel like seeing much in the way of water this summer. However, the towpath is a fantastic location for spying the ducklings and cygnets, watching dragonflies and damselflies, pond dipping and discovering a whole host of other river wildlife. If you want to disguise a nature walk as something cool, then tell your children that you are going to see the place where three James Bond films have been shot and head off to Hankley, Elstead and Thursley Commons. You can have a picnic by The Moat pond on the Thursley to Elstead road and then follow the waymarked trail on the brilliant raised boardwalk. There is some spectacular wildlife to see in the area including over 20 species of dragonflies and damselflies, nightjars, warblers, woodlarks, lizards, snakes, toads, deer and silverstudded blue butterflies. Rodborough Common is another good area for spotting lizards and grass snakes and Fir Tree Copse is one of the best sites in Surrey for moths. Listen out for woodlarks and tree pipits on Witley and Milford Commons or head for Godalming Wetland Nature Reserve for more birdwatching. For night-time adventurers, not much can beat the spectacle of glow worms shining in the dark and last year there were some sightings in the Shillinglee area, so if you live around there, keep your eyes peeled around July. You may see signs up locally alerting you to summer evening bat walks (Winkworth Arboretum often runs them), if not look online for them at the websites listed below, then record any sightings at www.bigbatmap.org. Here are some other websites that have a range of useful resources both for places to go and organised family activities: www.nationaltrust.org; www.visitsurrey. com; www.naturalengland.org.uk; www. forestry.gov.uk; www.surreywildlifetrust.org. vantagepointmag.co.uk


Seed Going to

Growing your own vegetables could not be easier. Locally based Paul Robinson from SeedPod offers some tips...

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s we approach spring, and say goodbye to frosts and those horribly short days of winter, many will be turning their thoughts to the garden and how to get the most out of a patch of soil – however large or small. Whether it’s just a few window boxes, a small garden, or a boastful allotment, more and more of us are looking to reconnect to the food we eat by growing it ourselves. The activity of sowing seeds, nurturing plants and enjoying the vegetables, fruit, herbs and all the bounties of a garden, is one that is (ahem…) growing in popularity, and it’s clear why. Undoubtedly the steady stream of negative stories in the press relating to food scandals is one reason, but there are also a huge number of positives around growing food that should appeal to us all: eating food that is fresh and in season is certainly at the top of my list, but it’s also great knowing

Getting started with home growing really isn’t as hard as you might think

that you’ve been able to reduce your food miles and your carbon footprint, learnt some new horticultural skills, and have cut those big shopping bills down to size. Besides which, having an additional reason to spend time outside will always get my vote. Living in this part of the country we are extremely fortunate both with the amount of green space we have available, and the welcoming and amenable climate that allows us to grow such a wide range of herbs and vegetables. The choice really is considerable and limited only by your tastes: whether you fancy juicy and sweet tomatoes, crisp cool cucumber, beautiful sweetcorn, refreshing salad leaves, or hearty root vegetables to take you through the winter months. There really can be something for everyone to enjoy in a vegetable garden. And getting started with home growing really isn’t as hard as you might think. So now that warmer weather is on the horizon, here are a few tips to encourage you to venture outside, and help you get started with your own veg patch. 20

• Your first task should be taking stock of what you’ve already got. Have a think about the size of your garden, and how much of that space you would like to set aside for your vegetable patch. You don’t have to turn every last inch of your garden over to rows and rows of veg, so try to get the right balance of proportions between other beds, your lawn or patio area for relaxing and entertaining, and the other structures within your garden. Ideally you’re looking for a space that is sheltered, and in partial shade. But no matter the size, most of us can find somewhere to build a raised bed, or to dig over some turf for a few short rows of growing space. And of course no matter where or how large you start, you can always add and adapt your space each year as your needs change, and as you learn more. • Having established how much space you want to set aside, take some time to clear it of weeds and tired plants that have perhaps passed their best, and dig over the ground. Next, and this is really important, add some organic, peat-free matter to inject some nutrients and to improve the ability of your soil to retain moisture. If you have a particularly clay-heavy soil then adding some sandy material will also help to break up the soil, and to improve drainage. Continuing to add compost and natural organic matter will be important to the health of your vegetable garden. • Start your own compost. It’s something you should be doing all year round, but there’s no reason not to start right now. Certainly as the months get warmer you’ll be able to produce a lot more – particularly if you turn it over regularly. To get started you can either buy a vantagepointmag.co.uk


plastic tub from your local garden centre, or you could quite easily make one yourself with a timber kit. There really isn’t any reason to waste your lawn and green hedge trimmings, or the green waste from your kitchen, so make sure you put it all to good use. Your garden will love you for it. • Now we’re in March it’s an excellent time of year to get sowing. If you’re planning on sowing outdoors, you should either have covered and warmed the soil in preparation, or be prepared to use cold frames or cloches to keep any further frosts out. There are of course some hardy varieties you could sow, but most plants will appreciate the additional protection provided by the cover. There’s quite an extensive selection of seeds that can be sown this month, but here are some of my favourites that are incredibly easy to grow and get you started: I love the taste of broad beans and they are really simple to grow and care for, particularly if you choose a variety that requires less support. Sow your beans individually about 20 cm apart, and 5 cm deep. Be sure to maintain approximately 40 cm between each row. If you do choose a variety requiring a frame, some vertical bamboo canes connected by horizontal rows of garden twine should suffice. Carrots are great if you’re just starting out, as they aren’t so keen on wellmanured soil. Take care though, as they will need to be grown undercover this time of year. Simply sow the seed into a drill 1 cm deep, and keep each row 30 cm apart. You will need to thin out your carrots as they grow larger, so it’s best not to be too generous as you sow the seed. The less you have to disturb the plants later – which can attract pests – the better. Rocket is also incredibly easy to grow, but will likewise require some protection March 2014

until later in the spring: sow in drills just 1 cm deep and you should see a crop fairly quickly. If you stagger your sowing, and regularly pick the leaves as they grow, you should enjoy a great crop. There are so many other things to try including hot and sweet varieties of peppers which can be grown inside. You could also try your hand at growing cabbage, leeks, onions, parsnips, sprouting broccoli, asparagus, peas, onions, and radishes etc. March is one of those months where you are spoilt for choice. There’s certainly a lot to think about, but don’t let that put you off. Getting out into the garden and shaping it into something that suits your own tastes is hugely rewarding. And you’d be amazed at the speed at which your vegetable plants start growing and providing you with a beautiful space to enjoy. If you feel as though you would like some additional help then there are plenty of books and online resources out there to offer you support. Your local garden centre will also have a team of experts who can point you in the right direction, and give you all the latest advice. Alternatively you can let us help by sending you monthly packets of organic vegetable seeds. Each month our members receive all the information required to sow and grow vegetable plants within the members-only section of our website. We also continue to hold your hand all the way through the year. No prior knowledge or experience is required – it really couldn’t be simpler. FIND OUT MORE

For more information, visit getseedpod.com, or drop them a line at greetings@getseedpod.com.

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LOCAL managers who want to improve the business environment they and their colleagues work in.

Our focus is to improve the business environment within which our members operate regardless of their industry sector. We have at our heart our mission statement: The Godalming and District Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the trading and commercial interests of the business community and co-operation between its members for the benefit of the whole community. The Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce represents a wide range of different sectors including retail, catering, professional services, industry and general commerce. As a group we also have the advantage of a community drawing on a huge range of skills, knowledge and resources to deliver real benefits and results to our membership. The Chamber is effective because it is made up of individual business owners and

The Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce represents members from the Godalming district. As well as the town of Godalming this includes Farncombe, Compton, Hurtmore, Milford, Witley, Binscombe, Eashing and Hascombe. The Chamber is managed on a day-to-day basis by an elected management committee which has responsibility for ensuring that members are provided with a level of services that help provide support and advancement. The management committee are actively supported by a group of other full members who have been selected for their ability to provide core skills drawing on their handson local experience. These committee members are also full members of the Godalming Chamber. We are looking for new members to join the Godalming Chamber and if you are interested why not come along to our full meeting on 11th March at Waverley offices starting at 18.00. More details about the Chamber can be found on godalmingchamber.org/cms/show/home. To join there is an application form on our website but for all new businesses membership for the first year is free. All new joiners also get a chance to present at their first meeting.

The Cranleigh & District Chamber of Trade and Commerce has been representing the Cranfold Business Community since 1948 and draws its members from all sectors of the business, industrial and trading community ranging from large companies to sole traders and retired individuals. We offer members the opportunity to grow their business through networking, promotion and inter-trading, as well as the chance to enhance and grow the local business environment as a whole. Through strong links with local government, we give members a voice on local issues affecting the local business community, helping to protect business and environmental interest in the Cranfold area. Membership of the Cranleigh & District Chamber of Trade and Commerce runs on an annual basis with membership March 2014

subscriptions payable in advance from April 1st. In addition to the main membership, the Cranleigh Chamber offers membership of the 100 Club which supports Christmas in Cranleigh. For more information, please visit the website at cranleighchamber.com or you can email enquiries@cranleighchamber.co.uk. 25


The

Book REVIEW

Our pick of some good reads, both new and old. For more information, please contact carol.farley@farleypart.com

A272 - An Ode to a Road If you need to go west from this part of the world - and let’s face it, we can’t go too far east - you will almost inevitably at some point find yourself on the A272. You’ve used it a million times, I’m sure, and probably been quite unaware of it. Put simply, the A272 is the road that runs the 90 miles from Poundford in East Sussex to Winchester in Hampshire. However, to a Dutch couple, Pieter and Rita Boogaart, it means so much more than that and they have been travelling along this road on holiday for many years. What Pieter and Rita truly love about the road is the fact that it “epitomises England”. Of course, you may feel that, as you live in England, you already know what epitomises England thank you very much and that you don’t need two Dutchmen to tell you about it; but I think you’d be wrong. Because the road means so much to them they have taken an interest in its buildings, people and landscape that we, as natives, take for granted and

ignore. This, the third edition of this travel classic, opens our eyes. Rita and Pieter follow the A272 from east to west celebrating the good, the bad and the ugly, the beautiful, the trivial and the glorious. Past Uckfield and Cuckfield, Wineham and Twineham, past Littleworth and Fittleworth towards Pittleworth. Past Ovington and Avington. And in the distance they look at places like Lewes, Brighton and Chichester, at Barcombe and Balcombe, Duncton, Runcton and Buncton, Havant and Lavant, Walderton, Walberton and Warbleton. What is just a road to us is a joy to them. We can share their enthusiasm: this book encourages us to explore, by giving fascinating insights to the landscape, the places, the people and their stories. I can guarantee that you will discover so many fascinating things in this book; things about places that you have probably passed by, or through, many times without ever really ‘seeing’. It has taken this Dutch couple to

By Pieter and Rita Boogaart Published by Pallas Atheness Non-fiction Paperback £19.99

make me take the time to open my eyes and properly to ‘see’ the very special places and people along this ordinary road. This is an original and fascinating book that is particularly special to we who live here and will inevitably be users of the A272. Nick Farley

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck Greg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend has ditched him and taken up with Abigail, and Greg’s discovering that finding new friends in middle school is a bit trickier than he’d imagined.

hook on my project. “My Sources Say No.” See, THIS is what’s been missing my whole life. Now that I’ve got something to help me make all the LITTLE decisions, I’m free to focus on the IMPORTANT stuff.

To change his fortune, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things round, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

This is latest edition in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by American author Jeff Kinney. If you don’t know these books they are part comic strip, part novel and are very funny. Boys, who apparently do much less reading than girls these days, in particular seem to love them – so much so that the series has sold over 115 million copies worldwide. I liked it even though I’m not a boy.

Extract: I started by asking the Magic 8 Ball if I should take a shower and if I really needed to finish the outline for my Science Fair project. I got a “Yes” on the hygiene issue, but the Magic 8 Ball totally let me off the 28

Carol Farley

By Jeff Kinney Published by Puffin in November 2013 Fiction, hardback For age 9+ years £12.99 vantagepointmag.co.uk


BOOKS The Cazalet Chronicles

The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, Casting Off You might have caught an abridged version of these books on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. I heard a snippet and was intrigued: not sufficiently intrigued to go out and buy volume one, but to order it from the library (it took ages to arrive and I’d forgotten all about it) and I’ve been hooked ever since and bought them all, including volume five in hardback – I couldn’t wait until the paperback release this month. The Cazalets are a well-heeled family who live in scruffy grandeur in London and, at weekends, in Sussex, near to Tunbridge Wells. (Note that these fictional Cazelets are nothing to do with the real Cazelets who live at Fairlawne House near Tonbridge.) The tale starts in the late 1930s with three generations of Cazalets. The patriarch and two of his sons are timber merchants in London. These two – both married and with children – have been through the First World War, Hugh still suffering from shellshock and the loss of a hand, his womanising brother, Edward, unscathed both mentally and physically. The youngest son, Rupert, is an artist, who was too young to have been called up and is married for the second time (his first wife having died giving birth to their second child) to a flibbertigibbet, Zoe, who largely ignores her stepchildren.

As the family gather in the rambling Sussex house, calmly run by Mrs Cazalet senior (‘the Duchy’) and an army of servants, they await the outbreak of the Second World War, their numbers swelled by cousins, aunts, family friends and their old governess. The narrative focuses on each character in turn; long, boring summer afternoons captured so perfectly through the eyes of the children; the bone-numbing cold of winters with prewar lack of heating and not very plentiful hot water (queues for baths), the helpless inertia felt by the women as the war looms and rationing, clothes coupons and lack of domestic help start to take effect. The adults all smoke and drink a great deal, dress for dinner and go dancing in London whenever the opportunity arises, often clad in dresses made from curtains. Howard’s eye for detail is delightful and her tone uncensorious. Edward’s daughter, Louise, is undoubtedly based on her – beautiful, unhappy in her first marriage (Louise to a society portraitist, Howard herself to naturalist Peter Scott), a total lack of maternal feelings, unfulfilled ambitions. The books track the family through the war, into the austere Fifties and onwards. The younger generation largely migrate to London - the homeschooled girls totally ill-equipped

By Elizabeth Jane Howard Published by Pan Fiction Paperback £8.99 Final volume, All Change to be released in paperback April 10 2014

to find any interesting work. By this time the characters are so familiar the reader is immersed in, and intrigued by, their different problems. Howard wrote these wonderful books at the end of her life – she died recently aged 90 having only just completed the fifth volume. They are a fitting memorial. Caroline Boucher

Squeezing the Orange

By Henry Blofeld Published 2013 by Blue Door Non-fiction Hardback £20

March 2014

Henry Blofeld is a bit of a gem. In a world of bland people, Blowers is an effervescent and convivial companion, both on air and in print. A long-time and popular commentator on Test Match Special (TMS), his mellifluous tone radiates bonhomie and a deep knowledge of his subject, alongside his famous observations of passing buses and the everyday goings on beyond the cricket pitch. Blofeld was a schoolboy cricketer, but his exceptional career was cut short by a serious accident in his late teens, although he did go on to play for Cambridge University.

A relative managed to get him a job in merchant banking which was not to his taste and he soon drifted into sports journalism for both local and national newspapers. In 1972 he was invited to join TMS where he remains a favourite for his legion of fans. While I’m not a great follower of cricket (I blame my French genes), I enjoyed this book immensely. Blofeld is such a joyously optimistic adventurer that you cannot help but be seduced by his exuberant tales of a life well lived. Stefan Reynolds 29


Godalming Town Council

NEWS Annual Town Meeting Council Chamber, The Burys, Thursday 10 April, 8pm

If you have a burning question for local decisionmakers or feel passionately about a local issue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, why not take it direct to the Annual Town Meeting. The meeting is an important part of local democracy. Anyone on the electoral roll for Godalming (that is, all Godalming voters), can attend, speak and vote at the meeting. It’s the ideal place to put any question you wish to the Town Council. There is no need to submit your question in advance or put it in writing: simply put up your hand at the meeting and you will be able to ask your question. The Town Council’s Annual Report will be circulated at the meeting and copies of the report will be available from 11 April from the Town Clerk or from the Council’s website, www. godalming-tc.gov.uk/annual-report.htm if you want any advice or further information about the town meeting please e-mail the Town Clerk; townclerk@godalming-tc.gov.uk or call her on 01483 523575.

Spring into Godalming

Easter Saturday Festival Market, 19 April A great day of shopping, entertainment and activities, held in Godalming Town Centre from 10am to 5pm. As well as Godalming’s unique range of independent shops and cafés, the High Street and Church Street will be filled with markets stalls selling a wide range of crafts, art, gifts and fresh produce. Entertainment from a mix of performers will be held throughout the town and range of activities for youngsters. March 2014

Spring 2014

Godalming Town Council Mayor’s Awards for Volunteers Do you know someone who gives up his or her time for the benefit of others in Godalming or Farncombe? The Town Mayor’s Award for Volunteers is run each year to find local unsung heroes who deserve a public ‘thank you’ for their voluntary work. Volunteers make a huge contribution to community life – supporting vulnerable groups, local heritage and cultural life, helping young people in sports and leisure activities, running playgroups and much more. Nominating someone for the award is quick and easy. Simply download a form from the Town Council’s website (www.godalming-tc. gov.uk/mayors-volunteer-award) or request one by calling the Town Council offices on 01483 523575. Return the form to Godalming Town Council by Friday 28 March 2014.

Memento Mori

(Remember you will die) As a first, the Godalming Joint Burial Committee will hold an exhibition at Godalming Museum from 14 April to 24 May 2014 From 14th century Canon Laws to Victorian mutes, plumes of feathers and strict mourning codes; to the burial acts of the 19th century which helped to create Godalming’s Cemeteries. Godalming Joint Burial Committee explores how burials moved from overcrowded churchyards to garden cemeteries, encompassing along the way Victorian reformers who campaigned to protect the exploited labouring poor from providing ’a good funeral’ for the dead which ruined the living. 33


A Neighbourhood Plan for Godalming & Farncombe Close to 300 people attended the launch meeting for a Neighbourhood Plan for Godalming & Farncombe on 23 January 2014. The meeting was set up to explain how the Neighbourhood Plan will help define local planning policy for Godalming & Farncombe. The objective was to enthuse residents, and others, sufficient to participate in the process. The meeting was facilitated by Chris Bowden from Navigus Planning a consultancy that specialises in providing support to communities undertaking neighbourhood plans. Chris explained what a neighbourhood plan is, how the plan will be taken forward and most importantly how people can get involved. One of the questions asked at the meeting was whether a synopsis of the meeting would be distributed to all residents of Godalming; the answer to that question should have been “yes”. Because, here is that synopsis. Should anyone wish to watch the meeting in full then a video is available on the Town Council’s website at www.godalming-tc.gov. uk/gofarnp the consultant’s slides are available there too. Chris Bowden split his presentation into three parts and took questions from the audience after each part. To start with Chris tackled the question. “What is a Neighbourhood Plan?” put simply it is a land-use plan to direct future development in Godalming & Farncombe. The plan can address the type of new development (and supporting infrastructure), its location and its appearance. The Neighbourhood Plan will sit a l o n g s i d e Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan and Waverley 34

will need to give legal weight to the Neighbourhood Plan when it determines planning applications. It represents an unparalleled opportunity to influence the future development of our town. Waverley BC still has to produce the high level (strategic) plan but the local detail can be determined by those who know best…and that is YOU! In law, the Neighbourhood Plan has to be facilitated by the Town Council but it can only be effective if it reflects what the majority of people want and therefore it has to be shaped by local people and businesses. It will be the community’s plan and it seeks to deliver what is wanted but it does not automatically mean everything the community wants can go into the plan. The plan will be tested by referendum before it can become effective and a simple majority of those voting must vote in favour. Chris concluded this first section by considering the question “What happens if we don’t produce a plan?” to which he said “Who knows?” pointing out that without a plan our community will have very little say in what development takes place in our town. In the absence of a neigbourhood plan only Waverley Borough Council’s plan will be used to determine planning applications in Godalming & Farncombe. It is envisaged that the Neighbourhood Plan will take two years to complete. As a second stage Chris Bowden moved on to consider “So how do we produce a Plan?” There are four stages, firstly the issues that need addressing must be identified; these issues will be specific to our community but may cover: vantagepointmag.co.uk


Across the Burys (left) and across the Lammas Lands in 1936.

housing, transport & traffic, business & employment, education, health, environment, flooding, and recreation, arts & culture. Having identified the issues we will need to produce evidence about them, both hard (census data, traffic surveys, housing needs assessments etc.) and soft (community views etc.) evidence. Then it is necessary to identify the possible options for addressing each issue before finally arriving at the preferred option for each one. Community engagement is key throughout all stages with views and contributions to be sought from all sections of the community in as imaginative ways as possible. In his third section Chris Bowden focussed upon how the audience could get involved in the Neighbourhood Plan by joining a working group looking at one of the key issues. The audience was encouraged to sign up that night and close to 100 people did; however, it is not too late for anyone else to participate, just contact the Town Council at office@godalming-tc.gov.uk or on 01483 523575 for more information. Chris explained that it is envisaged that each working group will meet four to five times over the next six to eight months and that evidence will be collected in between meetings. Working group members do not need any knowledge of planning – they just need to focus on the issues, technical support on planning matters will be provided. The Town Council will put the volunteers together into working groups and then the process will start in earnest. March 2014

Throughout his presentation Chris dealt with a number of questions. Some questions were directed towards clarification of the process. Significant time was devoted to the issue of the relationship of the Neighbourhood Plan with Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan. This relationship was explained simply as the Waverley Plan dealing with strategic issues and the Godalming plan dealing with local issues; so, for example, Waverley’s plan will determine the number of new homes to be built in Godalming over the next 15 years or so, Godalming’s plan can say where those homes should go, what the houses should look like and what type of homes are needed. The key message was that the Neighbourhood Plan cannot be used to tell Waverley that there should be no growth in the town. Another strategic issue for Waverley’s decision would be the review of Green Belt land in the town. More than one questioner asked how the work undertaken in the Godalming Healthcheck would feed into the Neighbourhood Plan and Chris explained that it would form a very valuable part of the evidence base. All the questions and the answers, mostly from Chris Bowden but some from Louise Goodfellow the Town Clerk are on the video of the meeting and, as said previously, the video can be viewed on the Town Council’s website at www.godalmingtc.gov.uk/gofarnp. 35


Your Godalming Town Councillors CLLR STEPHEN BOTT

CLLR ANNE BOTT

Charterhouse Ward

T: 01483 414035 E: stevecosser@btinternet.com Surrey County Councillor

Holloway Ward Acorns, The Fairway, Godalming, GU7 1PG T: 01483 420014 E: annemareebott@hotmail.co.uk

CLLR DAVID HUNTER

CLLR TONY GORDON-SMITH Charterhouse Ward 15 Nightingale Road Godalming, GU7 3AG T: 01483 424483 E: ragsmith@waitrose.com Waverley Borough Councillor

CLLR CATHY GORDON-SMITH

Binscombe Ward 86 Furze Lane, Farncombe, Godalming, GU7 3NP T: 01483 421231 E: davidmalcolmhunter@yahoo.co.uk

CLLR LIZ WHEATLEY

CLLR JOY POULTER

CLLR PETER MARTIN

CLLR ANDREW WILSON

CLLR STEFAN REYNOLDS

CLLR TOM MARTIN

CLLR PAUL ROBINSON

CLLR ANN LISTER

CLLR JANE THOMSON

CLLR JULIE NOYCE

Binscombe Ward 1 Sol-Y-Vista, Frith Hill Road, Godalming, GU7 2EF T: 01483 423492 E: lwwaverley@aol.com Waverley Borough Councillor Binscombe Ward 8 Dean Road, Godalming GU7 2PJ T: 01483 417607 E: andrewgodalming@hotmail.co.uk Waverley Borough Councillor

Central & Ockford Ward 39 Bargate Rise, Godalming, GU7 2LR T: 07515 891750 E: robinson.pauljames@gmail.com

Central & Ockford Ward

The Garden Flat, Rowberry Hse, 9 Shadyhanger, Godalming, GU7 2HR

T: 01483 428266 E: janethomson@hotmail.com Waverley Borough Councillor

CLLR SIMON THORNTON Central & Ockford Ward 26 Latimer Road, Godalming, GU7 1BW T: 01483 427739 E: simonthornton62@hotmail.co.uk Waverley Borough Councillor

CLLR JOY WOODHAM

Central & Ockford Ward 5 Twycross Road, Godalming, GU7 2HH T: 01483 420310 E: joy.woodham23@btinternet.com

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CLLR STEVE COSSER

Binscombe Ward Acorns, The Fairway, Godalming, GU7 1PG T: 01483 420014 E: stevebottis@hotmail.co.uk

3 Hillside Way, Godalming, GU7 2HN

Charterhouse Ward 27 Nightingale Road, Godalming, GU7 2HP T: 01483 417051 E: joy_poulter@sky.com

Charterhouse Ward Brooklands, Red House Lane, Elstead, Godalming, GU8 6DR T: 01483 421601 E: stef.reynolds@gmail.com Waverley Borough Councillor

Holloway Ward 15 Nightingale Road Godalming, GU7 3AG T: 01483 424483 E: cmgs@waitrose.com

Holloway Ward 18 Windy Wood, Godalming, GU7 1XX T: 01483 425644 E: peterj.martin@surreycc.gov.uk Waverley Borough Councillor Surrey County Councillor

TOWN MAYOR Holloway Ward 17 South Hill, Godalming, GU7 1JT T: 01483 416237 E: tom.martin@waverley.gov.uk Waverley Borough Councillor

Farncombe & Catteshall Ward 13 Woodmancourt, Mark Way, Godalming, GU7 2BT T: 01483 419574 E: ann.lister@listavia.co.uk

Farncombe & Catteshall Ward 19 Overbrook, Godalming, GU7 1LX T: 01483 429815 E: julienoyce@btinternet.com

CLLR ROSS WELLAND

Farncombe & Catteshall Ward 19 Elm Road, Farncombe, Godalming, GU7 3SW T: 01483 527445 E: ross.welland@waverley.gov.uk Waverley Borough Councillor

CLLR NICK WILLIAMS

Farncombe & Catteshall Ward 26 Town End Street, Godalming, GU7 1BH T: 01483 239997 E: nickatlaw@aol.com Waverley Borough Councillor

Godalming Town Council Municipal Buildings, Bridge Street, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1HT Tel: 01483 523575 Fax: 01483 523077 E-Mail: office@godalming-tc.gov.uk Web: www.godalming-tc.gov.uk

Town Clerk: Louise Goodfellow vantagepointmag.co.uk


HIT THE ROAD

With spring on the way, it is time to get those classic cars out on the road. David Batty from The Garage offers some advice.

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pring is coming and the grass will be growing, where are the classic and sports cars? It is time to get those beautiful vehicles out of their slumber and prepare them for use this spring and summer. Basic care and a little bit of attention will ensure you have the best enjoyment and trouble-free motoring, whatever vehicle you drive. So what should you be doing? • A clean and polish will show off any vehicle and highlight any defects that may need attention. • Check all of your levels including quality of oil and antifreeze, brake fluid and ancillary fluids (ie washer bottles and jets). • Check your lights for correct operation and adjustment, replacing bulbs where necessary. After all, not only do we need to see but we need to be seen. • Check your tyres as they can deflate during periods of storage. They can even perish. This is very important as the footprint of each tyre is equivalent to the sole of the average man’s shoe – not a great deal to keep you safe on the road. • Lastly, is your MOT and tax disc up to date? Don’t forget that your insurance may not be valid if you don’t have a current MOT and tax disc, even if the latter is free. Too much to do yourself? There are plenty of independent garages in the area who will only be too pleased to help. Contrary to popular belief, getting a vehicle that has lain unused for a period back on the road need not be expensive. A package can be tailored to suit one’s budget, prioritising any points that arise after an initial inspection. Discussion will always be personal to you and your vehicle and not per a preprinted price list. After all, every car is going to have its own individual requirements. It is a good garage’s priority to ensure that they do all they can to help you enjoy trouble-free motoring. There is nothing like an unbiased opinion when giving advice particularly with regard to how the car ‘feels’. The brakes may have deteriorated, given that calipers (and cylinders) react badly to moisture40

contaminated fluid. Vulnerable chassis and body sections can be waxed before corrosion sets in, indeed at my garage we wax any sections we see during a service as prevention is cheaper than the cure. Professionally trained eyes and ears coupled with experience of older systems are the key here, as is the ability to use language that will not blind you with science. Not everyone is a trained mechanic after all. If you would like to get your vehicle checked, why not come to The Garage in Godalming? David, Darren and George have over 42 years of experience working on cars from Peugeot and Land Rover through to Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. The Garage is a TVR, Lotus and Mercedes specialist, but all makes of cars are repaired /serviced /restored - even the family car which sits alongside the classic. Darren who is Porsche trained, but has a personal passion for Subarus, works on all the interesting cars that come through the door. Their rates are competitive, certainly saving you money, when compared to dealer rates. For VantagePoint readers, The Garage is offering a 10% discount on any work during March and April. Simply show this article to get the discount. FIND OUT MORE

For free impartial, personal and friendly advice please contact them on 01483 811995 or email david_batty@thegarageuk.org.uk. The Garage is at Unit 1C Woodside House, Woodside Park Catteshall Lane, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1LG. vantagepointmag.co.uk


Rage against the

Machine

Andrew Crisell recently made a list of potential gripes and was horrified to discover that virtually everything irritated him, the classic symptom of a dreadful old fogey. In the first of an occasional series, he tackles one of them.

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ur sarcastic young editor calls me Gog, which stands for ‘Grumpy Old Git’. But I’m actually very nice. I’m kind to animals (understandably, children are a step too far), and although my wife says I’m a bore I’ve livened up many a dinner party by bringing along all the train spotting guides I’ve kept since boyhood. But I do admit that certain things get my goat, and since the editor says you’re the brightest readers in the country, I’m confident they get yours, too. So until he fires me, I’m going to share them with you from time to time, and we can be grumpy together. My goat-getting topic today is automated telephone answering. You know the sort of thing I mean. Your internet connection fails and you want to talk to your service providers, because a word of advice could help you fix it straightaway. But when you unearth the booklet they gave you, you can’t find a

I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him

contact number. They don’t actually want to talk to you, you see, they’d prefer you to email. But how are you supposed to email when the connection is down? Finally, you locate a number hidden in the inner pages, dial it . . . and receive a warning: ‘Calls will be charged at x pounds a minute and local 44

rates may apply’. What those are is anyone’s guess, but the gist is clear: like the patient of an old-fashioned physician, you’re going to be bled. Then you’re told, ‘your call may be monitored for training purposes’. Training purposes? Does the company’s staff need to be trained how to say ‘Hello, what’s the problem?’ Where does it recruit them from – Kyrgyzstan? Next comes a galaxy of options. ‘To hear about our exciting new range of products and services, press one on your telephone now. To upgrade to Openretch RubberBand, press two. To take out insurance against your system crashing, press three.’ And so on. This way of forcing us down different channels as if we’re laboratory rats is apparently known as an algorithm. It’s probably short for ‘algorithm-and-blues’, because you’re offered anything but the service you want. So you just hold, and suddenly Vivaldi’s Four Seasons crashes into your ear. I once liked Vivaldi, but now I’d readily take a chainsaw to him, and my only hope is that the eternal summer created by global warming will render his work extinct. The music fades. Are you at last going to talk to a real person? No. ‘You are 23rd in the queue, but you will be answered as soon as possible.’ Then, to add insult to injury, ‘Your call is important to us’! At this sarcastic effrontery, you feel the despair they intended and ring off. Companies will now do anything to avoid having to deal directly with their customers. But give us a bell and tell us what you think of Gog’s brilliant new column. Your call is important to us. You’re 67th in the queue. Meanwhile, fancy a spot of Vivaldi? Do you agree with Andrew? What irritates you these days? Please let us know at editor@vantagepublishing.co.uk. vantagepointmag.co.uk


A revealing past Inside the private apartment of Polesden Lacey’s illustrious owner

P

olesden Lacey is a magnificent house and gardens in Great Bookham, Surrey, which is looked after by the National Trust. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mrs Greville, the woman who owned Polesden Lacey and left it to the National Trust in her will. In March a new display opens at her former home revealing the interior design secrets of her private apartment, along with some surprising stories. In her early 20th century heyday, the formidable society hostess, Mrs Ronnie Greville, boasted that in one morning three kings had been sitting on her bed. Mrs Greville undoubtedly attracted controversy. She was described by some as: “one of the greatest of all hostesses” but also as “a galumphing, greedy, snobbish old toad.” In 1906 society couple Maggie and Ronnie Greville bought Polesden Lacey. The newly remodelled house was just what they were looking for, a relaxed country villa fitted out with every modern luxury. The house had been substantially re-built between 1903 and 1905 by the architect Ambrose Poynter for Sir Clinton Dawkins. Poynter’s new building contained all the specialised rooms needed for entertaining and family life. This house was a machine of Edwardian hospitality; luxurious guest suites were served by a skilled army of staff. 50

Left: Mrs Greville. Above: Polesden Lacey from the front. Right: Conservation work in the bathroom of Mrs Greville’s apartment, with the bathroom shown above.

On the surface Maggie and Ronnie left the house much as it was, only extending and improving several of the bedroom suites and creating bow fronts on the eastern wings. Under the surface however there was a thorough re-working of the interiors. Both the purchase and the improvements were funded by Maggie’s father, William McEwan. With his financial help Maggie and Ronnie employed the architects Mewès and Davis architects of the Ritz Hotel. They worked with society decorators White Allom & Co who specialised in the use of architectural salvage. This partnership would turn Polesden Lacey into the glittering power house of one of the greatest hostesses of Edwardian high society, fit to entertain kings and maharajas. vantagepointmag.co.uk


A reporter from The Onlooker in 1910 gushingly described Maggie Greville, who was now widowed and known to her friends as ‘Mrs Ronnie’, as ‘one of the leading and most successful London hostesses’. Polesden Lacey, they said, reflected ‘her own striking personality’. By 1910 Mrs Greville had transformed the interior of the house and extensively remodelled the gardens. Her apartment was one of the few which also had a physical extension. Throughout the first floor rooms, Mewès and Davis had used their considerable skill and experience to bring Ritz style to the country. In her own apartment Maggie Greville chose a fusion of styles from Mewès and Davis’s repertoire. The bedroom took inspiration from the 18th century designs of Robert Adam, but was furnished in the chinoiserie style. The boudoir was Jacobean in style, and the bathroom was decadent, marble-clad Edwardian elegance. Mrs Greville was pleased and used the firm again when redecorating her London town house. She wrote to Davis in 1915: ‘I do not think it would be possible to find an architect more courteous, more obliging and clever than you.’ She also apologised for being late with her bills, so may have felt a bit of flattery was in order. When Mrs Greville died in 1942 one of the greatest bequests was all her major jewels to Queen Elizabeth, who we know today as the Queen Mother. This included an incredible Boucheron tiara and Marie Antoinette necklace. Today they are in the royal collection and on state occasions can be seen worn by Camilla Parker Bowles or the Queen. At the time of the announcement, James Lees-Milne, secretary of the National Trust is noted to have said: ‘Everyone in London is agog to learn the terms of Mrs G’s will’. James Lees-Milne was one of the first to hear that Mrs Greville had left Polesden Lacey and her valuable collection to the nation. Around the same time the news was broken to the royal family. In 1914 Mrs Greville had promised to leave Polesden Lacey to Prince Albert, now King George VI, and the royal family were still expecting the legacy. Queen Elizabeth, said in 1942: ‘I’m not sure that this isn’t a very good idea because it is a very difficult place to keep up.’ In the midst of war the relatively young National Trust needed to make decisions about how to use this generous bequest. This Spring, visitors are invited to see Mrs Greville’s private apartment for themselves. It is a fascinating Edwardian interior and includes a rare surviving marble bathroom. Thanks to a two year research project, the unfurnished March 2014

apartment can be seen, along with personal items that have been tracked down. There will be digital graphics and an interactive display showing how the apartment used to look, based on inventories and photographs in the archive. “The funds for this project were raised by our visitors, and we hope our work casts new light on the private world of Mrs Greville,” says Vicky Bevan, House and Collections Manager. FIND OUT MORE

These and many more surprising facts about Mrs Greville are revealed in a new book by Sian Evans called: Mrs Ronnie: The society hostess who collected kings, published by Anova and available from the gift shop at Polesden Lacey. Mrs Greville’s apartment at Polesden Lacey is open from 1 March 2014, seven days a week. Open 12.30pm to 5pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5pm weekends. Normal house admission fees apply.

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Three Foraged Starters for Spring Peter Sibley from Forest Foragers offers us three starters mixing wild and farmed ingredients After the wettest winter I can remember, how will spring turn out? I am hoping for a good one. For the forager, winter is a slack season, few foods are available to be collected on land, but the seashore is a different matter, with fish, shellfish, seaweeds and some seashore plants always present. Make the most of fresh spring ingredients, both wild and farmed; spring doesn’t last long, so enjoy its bounty while it lasts!

Crayfish Cocktail Freshwater can produce something too – it’s delicious and you can eat it with a clear conscience, as you will be helping our native wildlife – it is the introduced American Signal Crayfish. This escaped from captive stocks in the 1970’s and has now established itself in many places. It is voracious, competes with our native White Clawed Crayfish and worst, carries a disease called crayfish plague, to which our native crayfish is very susceptible. So, eat as many of this alien invader as you can! Catching it yourself in traps is possible, though you need a permit from the Environment Agency, but it can also be bought from online suppliers. Here is a recipe for Prawn Cocktail, but using crayfish instead of prawns.

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and refrigerate. 2. Peel 8 of the crayfish, discarding the black line that runs down the back of the tail section, (this is the gut) and chop up. (Keep the remains to make soup). 3. Line 4 cocktail glasses with cucumber slices.

remaining cucumber and sauce and divide between the glasses, sprinkle a little paprika on, put the tomato halves and the unshelled crayfish on top and serve.

Ingredients 12 large Signal Crayfish 24 baby plum tomatoes, halved ½ a small cucumber, sliced thinly, peeled or not as you prefer Cos lettuce, chinese leaf or Bok choi, shredded An avocado, peeled, stoned and diced Paprika The Sauce. 4 large tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise 2 large tablespoonfuls of Tomato ketchup Some lemon juice A teaspoonful or two of Brandy (optional) A sprinkle of Tabasco sauce Serves 4

4. Combine the chopped crayfish with the shredded salad leaves, avocado, Peter Sibley and his business partner Clifford Davy run Forest Foragers, which was formerly called Wild Harvest, and run regular foraging courses locally near Godalming, Surrey. You can join them for a full-day course, or an afternoon foray, in recognising, collecting, preparing, preserving and cooking edible wild plants and mushrooms. The full-day mushroom picking course will consist of a morning identification session, covering the principal edible plants and fungi, (notes provided), followed by a substantial lunch featuring some of these. The morning session will also cover hazards to be avoided when collecting. They will be running courses this year in Surrey based in the Chichester Hall, Witley, during September and October and the cost will be £115 per person. For more information, please contact Peter at wildharvestcourses@gmail.com.

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FOOD Nettle Soup Alternatively, for a good vegetarian starter, try Nettle Soup. Nettles are young, tasty and not too stringy at this time of year. 1. Place the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil, and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain. 2. Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the shallots, celery and wild garlic leaves over a low heat with a lid for 10 minutes, adding the wild garlic towards the end, until the shallots are soft but not too brown.

4. Whizz in a blender, (any ďŹ bres should get wound around the blades), return to the pan and reheat. Check the seasoning, then serve, with a drizzle of cream, (optional, but it does enhance it), and some crusty bread.

Ingredients 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped 450g young nettle tops 50g butter 4 shallots, roughly chopped 2 celery sticks, chopped 1 litre vegetable stock 3 tablespoonfuls cream, (optional) 8 wild garlic leaves, torn Serves 6

3. Rinse the nettles and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Add the stock, potatoes and blanched nettles to the pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5–10 minutes, until the nettles are tender.

Asparagus, Duck Egg and Spring Leaf Salad As the asparagus season is beginning, here is a third starter, combining farmed seasonal ingredients with wild ones.

Ingredients 750g English asparagus 6 Duck eggs

1. Trim any tough ends of stem from the asparagus and steam for 5 minutes or until tender. 2. Place the duck eggs in a large pan of boiling water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes depending on size. This should make the yolks half set. Remove the eggs from the pan and cool under cold running water. Once they are cold, peel them. 3. Combine the mustard, seasoning, wine and Balsamic vinegars and the olive oil in a lidded jar. Shake vigorously. Wash the wild leaves and add them to the sorrel, watercress or bittercress and dandelion leaves in a salad bowl. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss lightly. Serve in 6 bowls. March 2014

4. Place the asparagus on top of the salad leaves and drizzle the remaining dressing over them. Cut the duck eggs into halves and put 2 halves into each salad. Sprinkle some chopped chives onto the eggs. Serve immediately.

The Salad. 50g mixed salad leaves Small bunch of garlic mustard leaves A handful of large sorrel leaves, torn 30g watercress or bittercress A few dandelion leaves Some chopped chives. The Dressing. 1 teaspoonful grain mustard Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoonfuls wine vinegar 6 tablespoonfuls extra virgin olive oil. A teaspoonful of Balsamic vinegar Serves 6

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GARDEN

What to do in

March

With Matthew Pottage, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley

Sharpen the saw and define the look of your borders! March is a great time of year for assessing the overall aesthetic looks of your garden plants. By this, I mean assessing how plants are growing, what needs pruning, what you can see from your house and the general definition of plants. It is all too easy to allow shrubs to grow into each other, perhaps into the lower branches of trees and even to allow them to creep over path edges or intrude into pleasant views. Towards the end of the month is a good time to hard prune or stool shrubs that have generally become too big for their space. We often do this at Wisley with bulky evergreens such

as Mahonia, Viburnum tinus and Berberis. Other options with shrubs such as Camellia can be to clear away all the lower stems and branches to make the shrub look like a small tree, so you can then appreciate the stems and garden underneath it. Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to make these decisions, so invite over a gardening friend, and ask them for some honest opinions – sometimes less can be more and seeing the same garden everyday isn’t always helpful in being bold with the pruning saw! Do remember though, if you are going to hard prune a shrub, give it a feed or

mulch to compensate for the loss of its leaves and stems, as you are taking away years of its productivity.

Left: RHS gerdener pruning Mahonia x media by cutting back stems to around a third of their original length. Above: Berberis thunbergii ‘Golden Torch’. Below: Lifting and dividing Agapanthus.

Hair cuts and crown divisions Now that we hopefully have the worst of winter behind us, it is time to carry out any annual maintenance work on what we call ‘warm season’ plants. These are plants that come from typically warmer climes such as South Africa and resent disturbance during the colder months. Common garden examples are Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker), Agapanthus and Dierama. Now is the time to comb through evergreen foliage to remove old leaves and trim off any dead or dying foliage. It is also prime time to gain plants for free, so if the clumps are becoming old, large or lacking in vigour, it is time to lift the crowns and divide them, keeping the outer parts (the youngest) and disposing of the inner most weaker parts. 58

With some plants this can be done by hand, or by placing two garden forks back to back and prising apart the crowns. With enormous old Agapanthus clumps I tend to grab a spade and slice them apart with brut force. Evergreen grasses can also have a good clean up, removing old flowers and raking through them to improve their look and set them up for the season ahead. FIND OUT MORE

RHS Garden Wisley is the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity. RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB. Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley to find out more. vantagepointmag.co.uk


Puttenham walk Puttenham lies on the dividing line between the chalk downs to the north and greensand to the south, and was referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086 and called Reddesolham. To the west of the village is Puttenham Common, the remains of what was once a large area of lowland heath. Heathland shrubs such as ling, bell heather, and gorse remain in the more open areas. Puttenham Common is of high archaeological interest. Substantial finds have been recorded from every period except Saxon. The main feature is the Hill Fort at Hillbury which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, probably dating back to the Iron Age, but with greater evidence of occupation during Roman times. The reserve was extensively used by the military during WWII with evidence including slit trenches and rifle range butts – a searchlight was situated in what is now the middle car park. The common now forms part of the Hampton Estate. See more at surreywildlifetrust.org. Go online to vantagepointmag.co.uk for a Lurgashall walk in our Haslemere edition.

The walk 1. With your back to the Good Intent pub go right along the village street where you pass a good variety of houses. At a road junction with a row of white cottages go ahead along Lascombe Lane signposted ‘North Downs Way’. At a fork keep to the right and press on up a rise to reach a couple of houses. Ignore the footpath on your left and keep ahead on the narrow downhill path where soon you will be amongst the bracken and birch of Puttenham Common. 2. At a well defined fork in the path bear left and leave the North Downs Way. In 100yds at a crossing track you should turn left and maintain direction along this path and press on ahead as it changes into a cart track. No further instruction is needed until you reach a road. If you take the path to the right there is a picnic area, car park and view point with panoramic views over the countryside.(This is an alternative start point for the walk just off Suffield Lane, middle car park.) 3. Cross the road and pass by the front of Rodsall cottage. Turn left on the narrow path at the side of the garden. At the foot of a quite steep slope with 62

two steps a wonderful almost subterranean path is met. Go right here to pass Rose Cottage and meet the outbuildings of Rodsall Manor. Press on ahead and pass the beautifully mellow sandstone galleted frontage of the manor house and turn left on a stony path immediately at the end of the garden. Soon the route enters majestic woodland and climbs a slope to meet a T junction by a post. 4. At this T junction turn left and continue up the slope. Just before the summit is reached the path joins a farm track. Turn left along the track as it now follows the edge of fields and later narrows. Fine views across the valley will be seen from parts of this path. Finally after going downhill and joining a farm track we pass the exceptional farmhouse of Lydling Farm and its perfectly restored barn, now finding new use as offices. (If you wish to make a detour here and turn right down the road the village of Shackleford has a pub, the Cyder House, which serves food) 5. Keep ahead to reach a lane beside a lily covered pond. Turn left along the lane and ignore a footpath with stile and gate to your left on a bend. Just before a second bend in the road bear left over a stile beside a field gate and press on ahead through a field. Keep to the left side of this field to reach a stile in the left corner at the top of a steep rise ahead of you. Cross the stile and now look towards a line of oak trees on top of the next ridge. Aim for the tree on the left end of the line and cross the stile beneath it. Maintain vantagepointmag.co.uk


WALK

direction ahead along the left-hand edge of the field. Cross two further stiles WALK: in quick Puttenham succession Walk and continue along a fenced path. Cross a further stile and

keep ahead, now with the wonderful 1760s Palladian frontage of the privately owned Puttenham Priory in view. Finally cross a stile and ahead along the lane for a few yards to return to the Good Intent. DISTANCE: 4.5 miles OS MAP: Landranger 186 GRID REFERENCE: SU 933478 GETTING THERE: Puttenham is close to the A31 Hogs Back, just off the B3000. Parking is on the roadside in the village, albeit limited, so you might prefer to park at Puttenham Common top car park just off Suffield Lane, between Puttenham and Elstead. If you do, start the walk from point 3. REFRESHMENTS: The Good Intent Public House in Puttenham is conveniently located at the beginning of the route. The Cider House in Shackleford is a slight detour from the route but offers good food. This walk is a Surrey Hills AONB walk and used with kind permsision. The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers some of South East Englands most beautiful and accessible countryside. Visit surreyhills.org for more information.

Neither the publisher nor the author can accept any responsibility for any changes, errors or omissions in this route. Diversion orders can be made and permissions withdrawn at any time.

March 2014

www.surreyhills.org.uk

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PROFILE

Artventure Trust

T

he Artventure Trust is a community-based charity that works alongside adults with varying degrees of learning difficulties, enabling them to be creative, have fun and make new friends in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. Artventure has been running creative sessions for over 30 years and is based in our own well-equipped, purpose-built studio in the grounds of St Peter’s School in Guildford. The sessions are designed and delivered by a dedicated team of professional art-workers, practising artists and community volunteers. Working in small groups, with one-to-one support where necessary, activities are designed to improve self-expression, develop skills and enhance self-esteem, while encouraging a real sense of achievement. Activities include painting, drawing, sculpture, printing, pottery, craft work, computer-aided design, ceramics and modelling. Staff and volunteers facilitate experimentation with a wide variety of materials and techniques, encouraging clients to produce unusual and exciting works of art. The charity is proud to continue supporting people who have regularly attended their sessions for more than 20 years, but they also love to see new faces. Sessions take place between 9.30am and 2.30pm, from Monday to Friday during school term-time. Most participants attend one morning each week, but some choose to come along on several days. In addition, during school holidays, Artventure runs theme-based workshops that are open to existing participants or newcomers. Details of all events can be found on the website. Anne North, who manages Artventure, says “We take care to respond to the needs of each individual. We want participants to enjoy themselves, make friends, try new artbased activities, and explore new and different materials. Artventure is a special place where the supportive environment and caring atmosphere is very much appreciated by those who attend the sessions, as well as their families and carers. Social interaction with other participants, staff and volunteers is all part of the experience we are able to provide and we are often able to contribute significantly to the development of social and communication skills in our clients.” In addition to working with individuals and in groups, Artventure undertakes joint endeavours with other local organisations. Re-

March 2014

cent collaborations include projects with Gosden House School in Bramley, Guildford Museum and the Watts Gallery in Compton. They also take part in the Surrey Artists Open Studios fortnight, during which they open their doors to the public. Artventure has recently been given the opportunity to design and execute a large mural for an open public space adjacent to the Electric Theatre in Guildford town centre. This is a very exciting and challenging project and a lot of effort is currently being devoted to raising funds so that work can start later this year. Some of Artventure’s clients also take part in open public exhibitions and one regular attendee was amongst the winners of the national Outside In competition, organised by the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. Artventure currently has spaces for new clients and volunteers, so please get in touch with them for more information. Frequent “taster” workshops are held, so those who are not regular attendees can experience what they can offer. To arrange a visit or attend a workshop, just give them a call. You can make contact via the telephone number and email address below or you can visit their website www.art-venture.co.uk. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, whether you’re a prospective client, volunteer, supporter, or if you’d just like to know more about what Artventure does. FIND OUT MORE

Artventure Trust, St Peter’s School, Horseshoe Lane East. Merrow, Guildford GU1 2TN Tel: 01483 304884. Email: anne.north1@btconnect.com 65

VantagePoint Magazine March 14 - Godalming, Cranleigh & Villages  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

VantagePoint Magazine March 14 - Godalming, Cranleigh & Villages  

The local magazine produced by local people for the local community

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