Thankfully my days being dressed up by the kids as a zombie and lumbering the streets weighed down with Halloween paraphernalia are over. Now the kids are older, they are happy to just buy their own sweets at a shop without the rigmarole of having to dress up!
For those of you wanting some Halloween fun, there’s plenty on offer this month. There’s pumpkin carving, a 5k zombie fun run, ghost hunts and even a Halloween stage make-up master class. For those wanting a more sedate October, read on! It’s not all ghouls and monsters, I promise!
Wonersh and District Garden Club’s annual general meeting will take place on 6th October, at Wonersh Memorial Hall. Refreshments will be served and again, they would love as much input as they can get, so attendance would be appreciated. For more information call 01483 893808.
The West Surrey Natural History Society holds monthly talks by well-known naturalists from September to April on a wide variety of natural history subjects. The talks are held at Ripley Village Hall at 8pm on the fourth Thursday in the month. All meetings are free to members or £3 for non-members. Their first meeting of the season – a illustrated talk about the Wildlife Aid Foundation, was held at the end of September and was well attended. If you would like more information, or wish to attend their next event please call Anna Stribley, on 01372 457623 or you can find further information at www.wsnhs.wordpress.com
Now to Cranleigh, whose beautiful village feel is something we all want to protect. However, with the urgent need for housing looming large in all of our futures, feedback from Surrey folk shows we are becoming more pragmatic. A recent neighbourhood plan community questionnaire shows locals are willing to accept the idea of new housing development in Cranleigh. Jane O’Leary, chair of the neighbourhood plan steering group, says: “To ensure we fully explore this option, we are putting out an appeal to landowners, developers, estate agents and members of the public to tell us about sites that might be suitable for employment or housing. The land might be part of a large garden in a residential area or the site for an existing building – it doesn’t matter what it is currently being used for, we are just looking to identify possible development sites.” A nomination form can be found at www.cranleighnhp.org or by calling 01483 276100.
Looking to entertain the kids this half term? The WWF-UK will be running school holiday activities at its home the Living Planet Centre in Woking. If your child is interested in polar bears, they can take part in a workshop and find out what they have in common with penguins. There will be a short animation film and then the opportunity to become an artist explorer, journeying to the frozen poles, discovering and drawing the amazing animals you find along the way. Workshops will run at various times on Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th and entry is free. Spaces are limited book online at wwf.org.uk/whatson Or call on 01483 426444.
How about taking part in the world’s biggest drawing festival? During half term, the Lightbox and WWF-UK are linking up to take part in The Big Draw and they need budding artist explorers to help them. Kids are invited to follow the clues between the Lightbox and The Living Planet Centre to complete the fun quiz. Through drawing, they can create their own amazing story and uncover what happens when a polar bear meets a Big Friendly Giant! You can drop in anytime between 10.30am and 5pm from Tuesday 27th until Friday 30th at The Lightbox & The Living Planet Centre.
Wildlife TV presenter, adventurer, naturalist and writer Steve Backshall will be in Guildford on the 30th. His will present the Wild World Show at G-Live from 7.30pm where he will take the audience on a tour of the real-life expeditions inspiring his novels The Falcon Chronicles. It promises to be a wild journey, illustrated with photos and films from his expeditions from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from the tundra to the top of the world’s highest peaks, and from the depths of the rainforest to the bottom of the sea. Tickets are from £19.50 and can be bought from the box office on 01483 369350.
If that doesn’t appeal, maybe this will? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, direct from the West End, will be showing at the New Theatre in Woking from 27th for five nights. Based on the classic comedy film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, the audience will be transported to the French Riviera and its decadent underworld, as two seasoned swindlers attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress. Starring Michael Praed, Noel Sullivan, Carly Stenson and Gary Wilmot. Tickets are £23.90 each and can be purchased by calling 0844 871 7645. New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking.
Michael Palin fans can enjoy an evening with him on the 17th. Join the man himself as he brings to life 30 extraordinary years of momentous moments in his life. The Thirty Years Tour is on at The Victoria Theatre in Woking for one night only and tickets are £3.40 each. For more information call 0800 871 7645.
Following the success of Dorking 1914 at Dorking Museum, this is the second in a series of special exhibitions commemorating the centenary of the Great War with a focus on the Home Front. Dorking 1915, highlights Dorking’s transformation into a garrison town and the impact of the thousands of troops billeted there on the life of Dorking and surrounding villages. It explores the dilemma of patriotism and pacifism – whether or not to serve, and the move towards conscription. It also takes a close look at Dorking’s Quakers, pacifists, and other objectors, and at the suffragette movement and its quest for votes for women. Open all month from 10am. Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre, The Old Foundry, 62 West Street, Dorking, RH4 1BS.
Dorking Museum also holds family activity days on the third Saturday of the month and this month their ‘theme’ is The Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival. There is no need to book – just turn up between 2pm and 3.30pm and join the fun. All materials are provided and all children must be accompanied.
Chilworth History Society’s next meeting will be in the village hall on Tuesday 13th at 8pm. This month they will have a talk entitled Bottles and Bygones given by David Rose, a local historian and writer. All talks last about an hour followed by questions, tea and delicious homemade cake! Everyone is welcome to attend, membership cost £10 a year and non-members can pay £3 on the door.
The Guildford branch of the Surrey Masonic Widows Association are a group of ladies whose husbands were Masons living in Surrey. They meet for lunch at the Guildford Masonic Centre five times a year and meetings are social with a speaker followed by lunch. On the intervening months the group meet for lunch. There are many advantages to joining as the Masonic Association offer widows a lot of care and support. For more call Anne Stanford on 01483 415601.
Wisley celebrate autumn with their harvest festival this month. The gardens are rather fabulous at this time of year but add tasty food, fresh air and more than 670 different cultivars of apple and it promises to be a rather special affair. No harvest festival would be complete without pumpkins so kids are also invited to enter their carved pumpkin competition. Visit www.rhs.org.uk/wisley
Also this month, Willow ‘woodland creature’ sculptures by Sarah Gallagher-Hayes will be on show in the Pinetun. On Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th there will be traditional crafts, artisan demonstrations and family activities inspired by the natural beauty of wood and on the 10th and 11th you are invited to visit the Glasshouse Gallery for the sale of seed and seed displays.
Once again, Wisley will entertain the kids this Halloween with ‘Spooky Woodlands’ which is open all of half term. From Saturday 24th to Sunday 1st November, families can discover the spooky woodlands at RHS Garden Wisley with a fun-filled week of family activities and workshops. Learn all about hedgehogs through storytelling, plant some seeds, make a spooking woodland hat and build a den. Free with normal garden admission.
Surrey charity, Harrison’s Fund, is looking for riders to take part in a brand new cycle event, The Way, a new South Downs National Park road sportive. The event is being organised by from iCycleEvents in association with Rolling Dynamics and will take place on 3rd October. All sponsorship money raised will go towards Harrison’s Fund which is named after the nine year old from Surrey who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The Wey is a 113-mile road challenge event through the entire length of the South Downs National Park. To take part visit: www.icycleevents.co.uk/the-way
I have some interesting information from the Guildford Tourist Board for you. Guildford has been recognised as a successful tourism area in a recent report by Tourism South East. The report reveals that tourism has increased in terms of both visitors and their spending – bucking the national trend of falling visitor numbers. They say that following recent summer events local tourism has increased and with it, income and employment has risen. Visit The Tourist Information Centre Monday to Saturday - 9.30am to 5pm and admission is free or call 01483 444333
Squire’s Garden Centre held a very successful ‘Late Summer Flowers with Grasses’ Gardening Workshop last month and they hope that this months will be just as informative. On 16th they will hold an ‘Autumn Colour Barrel’ Workshop between 10am and 2pm. For the price, £25 per person you will also receive a free voucher for tea and coffee on the café afterwards. They run different workshops on the 3rd Friday of the month which can be booked through their website www.squiresgardencentre.co.uk
G Live will hold a Halloween stage make-up masterclass on 31st from 10am until 4pm. This full day session will see participants working with professional products to create realistic wounds, colourful bruises and zombie-like make-up and hair effects. Tickets cost £30 and are available from the G-Live box office on 0844 7701797.
Are you over 60 and are looking to do some exercise? Keep fit for over-60s takes place at Bramley Village Hall on Wednesday mornings between 10.30am and midday. It’s low-impact and the routines are easy to follow. Classes incorporate stretches, balances, mobility moves and strength exercises. Feel free to just turn up and join in.
Why not take the edge off those colder, darker evenings and do some dancing? There will be a warm welcome at Circle Dance group. Lynn Frances is an experienced teacher of 32 years and has built a reputation for her ability to create a wonderful atmosphere to enable participants to relax, learn and enjoy themselves. She runs classes at Pirrie Hall Brook on Thursdays from 7.30-9.30pm. St Catherine’s Hall Guildford on the third Tuesday of the month, 7.30-9.30pm and WI Hall Hartley Wintney on the second Wednesday at 7,30pm. Call Lynn on 01420 474881.
Having released debut album ‘Teenage Movie Soundtrack’ earlier this year, HEYROCCO, an American grunge band from South Carolina, are heading back on the road this October bringing their infectious mix of grunge-pop to the UK. They will be playing the Boileroom in Guildford on the 1st October if you fancy a night out on the town.
Farnham Shakespeare Company return to Frensham Heights Performing Arts Centre with Shakespeare’s popular comedy As You Like It from 21st -24th. Directed by well-known actor and director Ian Cullen, it promises to be a rather spectacular show. Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk or call 01252 653624.
Have you heard of Merham? It’s the name of The Meath Epilepsy Trust Campaign in Godalming. They are campaigning for a better understanding of epilepsy. Did you know that only 10% of people in the UK know what to do if someone has an epileptic seizure, but yet over 600,000 people in the UK have some form of epilepsy? They are hoping people will donate to this great cause. You can donate at www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/merham
The Guildford Natural History Society have been in touch. They would like me to mention that they have two very interesting talks in October. The first is on Thursday 8th when Tim Winter will give an illustrated talk describing 20th Century Rural Life. Then, on 22nd, Sussex naturalist John Richardson will talk about the natural history within a mile of his home. The talks take place at the Guildford Institute in Ward Street, starting at 2.45pm. They are free to GNHS members but they do welcome visitors, for a small donation to help cover their costs. Please call Bridget Hopkins on 01483 275826 for more information.
The Fine Art of Crime: Actual Case Studies of the Trail and Repatriation of Stolen Art is the title of the October lecture of The West Surrey Decorative and Fine Arts Society on Tuesday, 27th. In this lecture Malcolm Kenwood, a retired specialist policeman and private detective, will examine the trail and repatriation of stolen art using fascinating actual case studies. The Society meets in Shalford Village Hall on the fourth Tuesday in the month at 9.45am for coffee and lectures start at 10.30am. New members and visitors are welcome. Call 01483 811671.
Godalming Evening Townswomen’s Guild offer a warm welcome. Go to their next meeting at the Godalming Baptist Church Hall, Queen Street, Godalming, on Tuesday 13th October. Their speaker is Robin Wells who will give a talk on the life of Ralph Vaughan Williams, a composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and songs. If you can’t make that date then they do meet at other times throughout the month to enjoy book clubs, lunching out and social evening. Call 01483 415343.
With the slogan ‘If it’s not home-made, hand-made or home-grown, we don’t sell it’ Cranleigh Country Market is the place to buy your food locally. They have been trading now for 35 years, every Friday from 9.15-10.30am. You’ll find them at The Bandroom, Village Way in Cranleigh selling, baked good, jams and marmalades, chutneys, eggs, plants, crafts and more.
Some of the county’s most talented young musicians will play in a concert for Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice Care on October 10th. The concert, at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford, features Surrey Advanced Brass, whose members come from across Surrey and who most recently performed at Magna Carta celebrations. All proceeds will go to Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice Care. Tickets are just £12.50 and £5 for under-16s. Call 01483 444334 or from Vivace Chorus on 07958 519741.
Ewhurst Horticultural Society hold a talk with slides by Mark Saunders on Garden Photography on 13th October. It will be held at the Glebe Centre 8pm and there will be refreshments and raffle. Visitors are very welcome.
Windrush Innovation Centre, Howbery Park, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon, OX10 8BA