Earthworm – Unabridged

Earthworm’s article in June’s Parish Magazine was unfortunately published in a truncated form so we’re republishing the complete article here.

Cogitating About Politics

A funny month was May muses Earthworm from his heap, not growing with its usual speed as May has been so dry thee is not so much to take off the lawns and not too much weeding can be done because the ground is just so dry! There has been very little rain throughout the month, and such as has come of late has not really made much impression…yet thinks Earthworm with a glow of unusual optimism that more may follow!

But the hedgerows are giving great pleasure, the cow parsley in full flower, wonderful bluebells everywhere, and with the trees now almost all in leaf they are a picture.

One can now see the damage that the night frost of 27 April wreaked. Very strange thinks Earthworm that the same plant in two place can be affected or not. There are signs now of recovery. Nature is astonishingly resilient and able to effect “repair”

Earthworm muses on the present affairs of state. The local elections finished with really no surprises in view of the country’s disenchantment with some politicians, the Labour Party’s losses, and UKIP nearly wiped off the map, and the Lib Dems not exactly making the come-back they might have hoped for. Now the General Election looms that probably will not make things much different as the UK and Prime minister struggle with Brexit. Will her election gamble pay off he wonders? Would thinks Earthworm, that a Brexit result could have been explained in better terms to the electorate as a whole. Perhaps he adds dreamily it will all end well and we will be better off our own masters and “out”?

There is anxiety about things “across the pond” with Trump peremptorily sacking his FBI chief.  Will it be proved that Russia and Putin in particular skewed the presidential vote? Perhaps a ”Russia gate” looms, Earthworm wonders?

Vann Lane has once again seen an increase in traffic and even disruption not this time caused by road closures for a burst main or road repair. There were lorries and vans, mini buses and taxis all trundling along the lane from early morning until late evening apparently due to the filming of another episode of Howard’s End at Vann.  Earthworm expectantly awaits the transmission of the episodes somewhere about Christmas he has been told. It seems even the Paparazzi got hold of the news of the location, though they only said “near Godalming”, and crept along the lane. A picture was published in the Surrey Ad but it seems that did not even name the actors photographed correctly!

Earthworm will await too the result of the Dunsfold Aerodrome enquiry. It could change our lives in the village he thinks and probably not much for the better. Perhaps we should just all be thankful that we have had such undisturbed peace for so long.

Summer should we hope, soon be upon us with winter woollies put away hopefully out of the reach of moth which seem to have hit plague proportions

Holiday plans are being made and the young are embroiled in exams. Earthworm feels so glad that he is no longer “tested” on very much. But he did read with interest about the Act of Union more than 300 years ago, precipitated by years of war, economic depression, atrocious weather and climate change, (for which witches were blamed) refugee camps for the destitute and starving where  dysentery and typhus were rife, all that had brought Scotland to its knees. Earthworm wonders if history will not be repeating itself if Scotland elects once again to be independant?


Oakhurst Cottage reopening

Oakhurst, the National Trust-owned 16th Century farm labourer’s cottage, reopens next Wednesday (April 1St) after six months of restoration and repairs.

The process has unearthed much new and fascinating information about the history of the cottage, a remarkable survival of a largely-unaltered humble agricultural worker’s dwelling into 21st Century Surrey.

As usual, village volunteers will be responsible for showing visitors around the cottage and have been briefed on the restoration and research. Even those who have viewed the property before will find it worth another visit.

altFrom its beginning at the end of the 16th Century the little cottage has survived, not without alterations, but substantially much as it would have appeared to Hambledon residents 200 years ago.  It has been furnished in the manner of a mid-19th Century farm labourer’s home and provides an authentic impression of rural working class life of the time.

The cottage was given to the National Trust in 1954 by the Allfrey sisters, who let it out to tenants Elsie and Ted Jeffrey. Elsie died in 1978 and Ted continued to live in the cottage until he died in 1983.

Its un-modernised state gave the National Trust the idea of opening it to the public. Since 1985 Hambledon volunteers have formed a rota to show people around by appointment.

Last autumn the National Trust embarked on extensive renovations using specialist craftsmen and women. Sagging roof timbers were repaired or replaced and damaged plaster was attended to using traditional methods of lime plastering.

At the same time the National Trust undertook research in Oakhurst Cottage’s history, producing a timeline that is now contained in a pamphlet available to visitors. The work was overseen by NT curator Sarah Woodcock and the research was carried out by Sophie Clarke.

The traditional cottage garden is currently being restored by Matt Phelps, gardener at the nearby National Trust property, Winkworth Arboretum.

Oakhurst Cottage is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays between 2pm and 5pm from April to September and until 4pm in October. It is also open on Bank Holiday Mondays.

Advance booking is required by telephoning 01483 208936 or emailing

Further details can be found at

and on our village website, with a comprehensive gallery of photographs of the restoration and the interior of Oakhurst.

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Oakhurst Cottage Features This Week On BBC Radio Surrey


altOakhurst Cottage, the tiny National Trust-owned 16th Century farm workers cottage on the edge of Cricket Green, Hambledon, is being featured on BBC Radio Surrey this week.

Each evening at around 5.50pm on the Drive at 5 programme, listeners will hear of the restoration currently under way at Oakhurst, in a conversation between presenter Peter Stewart and National Trust regional curator Sarah Woodcock. Each day will feature a different room. BBC Radio Surrey broadcasts on 104.6 FM.

Oakhurst Cottage, which has survived largely unaltered over the centuries, is one of the NTs smallest properties and is open to the public during the summer months thanks to volunteers from the village. Repairs and renovations have been underway since September last year (see earlier news item on this website).

Our sketch of Oakhurst Cottage, below, is the work of Rachael Hockridge.


Threat To Hambledon 503 Bus – Have Your Say

 ImageThe 503 bus which connects Hambledon with Milford, Godalming and Guildford could be scrapped next year.

The twice weekly service, operated by Stagecoach, is subsidised by Surrey County Council. The council is looking to make financial savings and the 503 is one of several rural routes facing the axe.

The county council is currently reviewing its options and details can be found at If you want to find out more or make a comment on the proposals please visit this website.

You can also make your feelings known at Godalming Library between 10am and 1pm next Tuesday (December 6th) where SCC transport officers are available to discuss the issue.

In addition the parish council is meeting with SCC later on the same day.  It has made details of the proposals available in the village shop and is asking for users of the 503 to make their views known.

If you use the bus please tell the parish council how important it is to you.

As many regular passengers are elderly it is likely they will not read this website. So if you know of someone in Hambledon who is a user of the 503 please draw their attention to the form in the shop, or comment on their behalf.

SCC is considering replacing the bus with an “on-demand” Hoppa-style minibus. More details will appear on the website and in the January edition of the parish magazine.

In the meantime, please make sure your views known to the parish council as well as giving your opinion to Surrey County Council – in person or on-line.