A Village Tribute To John Tidmarsh

John Tidmarsh, a much-loved and respected Hambledon resident who has given years of volunteer service across the village, died on Saturday morning (Feb 27th).

A familiar figure behind the Post Office counter since the shop became a community venture, John and his wife Annie were among the most liked and valued residents, and a huge debt of gratitude is owed to them both.

John’s death from cancer after a short illness came almost a year after that of his beloved wife Annie. She also died from cancer, on March 5th, 2020.

He had spent 10 days in the Royal Surrey County Hospital, where he was diagnosed with liver cancer, before returning home to die peacefully, surrounded by his family. Clearly, he and Annie were not meant to be parted for very long.

His daughters Jo and Rosie have plans for a little website to celebrate their lives and this will suffice until a thanksgiving celebration can be organised. More will follow on this.

A longstanding and active member of the Hambledon community, John served in the shop for many years, most notably behind the Post Office counter right up until his recent illness.

During 30 years in Hambledon, he chaired the Village Hall Committee, volunteered to show visitors around the National Trust’s Oakhurst Cottage, ran the bric-a-brac stall at the Village Fete, manned the car park at Vann and generally helped out whenever and wherever he could.

He will be missed.  His family said he was content with his 85 years and was always very clear that he was ready to ‘meet his maker’ and be reunited with his beloved wife.

Posting on a village WhatsApp group, Rosie said: “We would like to thank Hambledon for giving mum and dad so much joy, and especially for helping Dad cope with losing Mum”.

Meadow Cottage will remain a Tidmarsh home, with Rosie and her family moving in properly this year.

Hambledon villagers send their love and sympathy to Jo, Rosie and their families, and are immensely grateful for all John and Annie did to add to the richness of life in our small village. They were big characters in their own right, friends to many, and they leave a gap at the heart of our community life.



Thoughtless Damage to Hambledon’s Countryside

Two examples of thoughtless and destructive behaviour in and around Hambledon have been brought to the attention of the parish council and the village website team.

In both cases it is likely the actions were well-intentioned, but certainly ill-advised. They involve damage to the countryside and on private property.

  • One concerns the secret construction of downhill mountain bike tracks through woodland close to Hydon’s Ball. This has involved digging and engineering using spades, axes and loppers, which were found concealed under bushes. Deep gullies have been made close to tree roots, the tracks snake through previously undisturbed woodland, and jumps have been created.

The tracks have been established away from public footpaths, on land known as The Tolt, a small hill on the western edge of Hydon’s Ball.  The landowner has contacted the police and an officer has visited and given advice. Action is to be taken.

However, to correct an erroneous message put out by Surrey Police on its Waverley Beat Facebook page, officers have not removed the tracks. And the tracks are not the work of children simply looking to enjoy riding their bikes during lockdown. It is a sizeable construction by adults who have deliberately attempted to conceal what they have done; have significantly altered the natural environment, disturbed habitats including that of nesting birds, and have done so without any attempt to ask permission. (Note: This is NOT the same mountain bike trail discovered on nearby National Trust land, which volunteers have blocked off)

  • The second concerns the hacking of ivy growing on trees in the village. The following is from Stephen Dean.

“Walkers at Lane End, and on the road to the shop, opposite the pond, and elsewhere, will notice that much ivy has been cut on trees, leaving stems trailing desolately and brown dead foliage at the top. This was not undertaken by the landowner (myself) but by an unauthorised person with an axe, apparently in the belief that he was helping the trees.  He was not – his ill-aimed axe damaged the trees by cutting chunks out of the bark.


Ivy does not kill trees and in most cases does not harm them.

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A Phased Return to Normal Village Life in Prospect

Hambledon’s local, the Merry Harriers, is hoping to reopen in mid-April to serve food and drink outdoors, following the Government’s announcement of a phased lifting of lockdown restrictions.

The announcement this week stated that restaurants and pubs with gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outside, including alcoholic drinks, from April 12th.  There will no longer be a requirement to eat a “substantial meal”.

In a posting on social media the Harriers said that it plans to reopen on Thursday April 15th. The earliest it will be able to receive customers indoors is May 17th.

It is likely that Hambledon Village Hall will be able to reopen at the same time, following the lifting of restrictions that required the closure of community building.

Around the village, people will be able to meet outside, including in gardens, with either another household group or as a group of six from March 29th.

The lifting of lockdown measures will begin next month with the reopening of schools on March 8th and continues at intervals until June 21st when it is hoped all legal limits on social contact will be removed. However, this is dependent on there being no significant rise in infection rates causing a surge in hospital admissions; that the vaccine roll-out continues to reduce the numbers of people dying or needing hospital treatment; and that there are no new coronavirus variants resulting in an increase in infections.

In the meantime, an absence of cars in the pub car park and empty tables and chairs in the garden, should not be taken as an indication that nothing is going on at the Merry Harriers. As manager Jake Andreou reports, appearances can be deceptive.

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Update on Lane End Road Closure – Work on Target But No Chance of Early Reopening

Hambledon Parish Council has maintained its contact with SGN concerning the road closure at Lane End where new gas mains are being installed.

It has continued to request that the road be opened, under traffic light control or at weekends and evenings. SGN and its contractors agreed to review the situation. However, SGN has now stated unequivocally that the complete closure will remain in place for the duration of the undertaking. It cites health and safety and Covid-19 requirements as its reason for the decision.

The road was closed for an anticipated 12-weeks in early January and SGN has confirmed to the parish council that work is on target. The closure means no access in or out of the village from the A283 Petworth Road and a three-mile diversion through Milford.

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Tuesley Soft Fruit Farm Seeks To Extend Polytunnel Use

The Hall Hunter Partnership, which owns and operates Tuesley Farm, is seeking planning permission to extend its use of polytunnels under which it grows soft fruit.

The farm occupies land that stretches between the Hambledon parish boundary at Hydestile, to Tuesley Lane and the railway line at Milford. Its main crops are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

It first obtained approval for the use of polytunnels in 2008, when Waverley Borough Council agreed with HHP which fields could be used for polytunnels and the removal of hooped frames and plastic covering at the end of the growing season.

HHP is now requesting approval to retain some tunnels all year round in order to increase the growing season, to increase the use of tunnels elsewhere and to retain the hoops all year.

All members of the public can comment on the proposal and can do so until February 12. Details of the application, including maps, landscaping, traffic and environmental issues, can be found by following this link, where there is also the opportunity comment on-line.


Be warned: It can take a long time for the documents to open.

You can deliver your comment by email, to consultation.planning@waverley.gov.uk

Or you can write to Waverley Borough Council, Planning Service, The Burys, Godalming. GU7 1HR 

Please remember to include the application reference number, as well as your name and full address, for your comment to be considered.

The application reference is WE/2020/2055.

Invitation to all Hambledon Residents to the Village Hall AGM

The Village Hall Committee are holding their Annual General Meeting on Thursday, February 11th at 7.30pm.

Due to Covid restrictions, the meeting will not be at the hall but will be held remotely, via Zoom. All Hambledon residents are very welcome to attend. This is a change to the information given in February’s Parish Magazine article.

If you would like to attend the Zoom, please email Paul Vacher, the hall secretary, at spvacher@outlook.com and you will be sent the link to the Zoom meeting and the agenda.

We look forward to seeing you on the 11th.


It’s National Village Halls’ Week!

Every year in January, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) who support and advise village halls, celebrate Village Halls’ Week.

This year they have invited village halls all over the country to sign their ‘Domesday Book’ by adding a photo of their hall and giving a little bit of history and telling people how they have been managing over the past year.

If you would like to see the entry for Hambledon and read about other villages’ halls then please click on the link below.


As the hall is currently closed we can’t, of course, hold any celebration for Village Halls’ Week this year but hope to be able to next year which will also be the hall’s 120th anniversary.

Lane End Closure – Parish Council Told Road Cannot Reopen Until Work Finishes

Hambledon Parish Council has been in regular contact with gas supplier SGN, which is responsible for the work currently being undertaken by contractors to upgrade mains at Lane End.

This work has resulted in the road being closed to all traffic for a period of 12 weeks. A diversion of approximately three miles is required for those who would usually enter or exit Hambledon village at Lane End.

The parish council is aware of the inconvenience this is causing and has been pressing SGN to see if traffic light control could allow Lane End to reopen.  SGN has said that on grounds of safety and to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations, this is not possible.

Here Robin McKeith, parish councillor responsible for maintenance and highways issues, explains the latest situation.

The upgrade of the gas main on Lane End commenced on 4th January. The Parish Council has since had a conference call, together with numerous telephone calls and email exchanges, with SGN.

It has been told that progress is currently ahead of plan. Should there be any delays the parish council will be made aware.

The possibility of reopening one side of the road, under traffic light control, has been raised. However, SGN consider this unsuitable.  The narrow road would not allow the safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles. The requirement is to have a minimum running lane of 3.25M for HGV and LGV and a 0.5M safety zone, and this has been deemed unachievable at this location.

A scheme that supports small local businesses which suffer a genuine loss of trade because of the work is available from the SGN website:  https://www.sgn.co.uk/help-and-advice/customer-service/compensation

In case anyone in the community would like a little more information about the work being carried out, SGN have provided a generic link to a video to explain the replacement work in general terms, here: https://sgn.co.uk/our-gas-works/working-your-street and have provided a telephone number for any queries: 0800 912 1700

The Parish Council will continue to request SGN review this situation regularly to minimise inconvenience to the local residents and to complete the works ahead of schedule.

For further information on the gas mains work, please look at previous news stories on this website.