Sorrow As Hambledon Loses Two Outstanding Villagers

Hambledon is united in sadness following the recent deaths of two loved and respected villagers – Mic Coleman and Pat Williams.

Mic died earlier this week (13th May) and Pat on 28th April. Both lived long and active lives and died peacefully in their own homes, surrounded by family. It would be hard to think of two people who could have given more to the life of the community in which they lived, and with such generosity and kindness.

Pat’s funeral takes place in her beloved St Peter’s Church, Hambledon, on Wednesday 22nd May at 2.30pm. Details of Mic’s funeral are yet to be announced but it is likely to be on 6th June. Both had suffered recent spells of poor health but until then had been active in the village where they devoted so much of their time.

Mic, who was 90, was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours in 2012 “for services to sport and the community in Hambledon”. A teacher by profession, he moved to the village in the 1950’s and he and his wife Sylvia have lived here ever since. They also celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in 2012.

Mic has been a stalwart of village life, working tirelessly for the football and cricket clubs, becoming president of both. He has helped in a host of other organisations and activities including the village hall committee, the fete and the flower and produce show. Not many know that he was the man behind the beard when Father Christmas visited Hambledon Nursery School every year.

Mic was also chairman of Hambledon Parish Council between 1976 and 1983. At the start of the monthly meeting on Tuesday a minute’s silence was observed and tributes were paid.

Mic, pictured here, was a regular at the Merry Harriers, often with his family which included daughter Sarah and sons John and Tim, their spouses and, more recently, his grandchildren.

 

Pat was secretary to the chief executive of ICI Agrochemicals, working in Fernhurst. She married Ray Williams, who had taken over running Hambledon’s village shop and Post Office on his retirement from the National Institute of Oceanography in 1982. Ray, another highly regarded villager, died in 2016.

Pat, pictured below, was an active member of the congregation at St Peter’s where Ray had been treasurer, churchwarden and verger. She was a member of the choir and assisted Ray in his duties as warden. For many years she edited the church magazine and in the early days she typed out all the stories, laboriously copied each magazine using a Roneo duplicator and then stapled all the pages together by hand. Even after standing down she continued to deliver it to subscribers around the village as well as writing the always well-informed Parish and People section.

She was an early volunteer at the village shop when it became a community-run venture, and carried on in this role for more 20 years.

All are welcome at Pat’s funeral which will be a celebration of her life. Details of Mic’s funeral will be made known soon.

Hambledon sends it love and sympathy to the families of both and celebrates two lives well lived.

 

Tuesley Farm Grant Gives Green-Fingered Benefits To Nursery School

Kate Walford, head teacher of Hambledon Nursery, reports on how a grant from the Hall Hunter Foundation has helped transform the school’s vegetable garden and pond.

The work was carried out by volunteers from the local Hall Hunter-run Tuesley Farm, growers of soft fruit.

“Thanks to a very generous donation from the Hall Hunter Foundation we have been able to revitalise and enhance the outside space at the nursery.

We are thrilled to have been able to gain raised beds in our vegetable garden. A working team visited the nursery over the Easter holiday and set about laying paving slabs and building up the beds out of large wooden sleepers. A huge lorry arrived delivering enormous bags of soil and the team filled the wooden beds ready for use as soon as the nursery returned for the start of the summer term.

The nursery staff and children were so excited to see the results and we have already planted potatoes and pumpkins into the space.

In addition to this project, the team from Tuesley Farm made us a pathway around our two ponds in our environmental garden which will help the children to access the area for pond dipping and bug hunting more easily.

Finally, we received a new wooden picnic bench for our playground from which to serve drinks in the warmer summer months. The nursery now eagerly awaits a delivery of a large collection of wooden blocks that we can use to build enclosures and dens that the Hall Hunter Foundation have so generously purchased for the nursery.

We are so grateful for the work carried out and for the awarded fund that we have been able to use to further improve and enhance our beautiful outside area at the nursery.”

The Hall Hunter Foundation was set up in 2011 and raises funds in support of good causes which are then donated to a range of local charities.

Hambledon Nursery School, a registered charity, is a thriving nursery school for children aged two to five and was formerly the village primary school at Rock Hill, Hambledon Road. When the school closed in the 1980s a village-led initiative secured its Victorian classrooms and playground for the benefit of local families and it reopened as a nursery several years later.

 

Annual Village Meeting – Positive Reports And A Chance To Set Up Community Speed Watch

A successful Annual Parish Meeting was held last week (Apr 25th) with a record attendance and lively debate, particularly on the issue of speeding in the village and measures that can be taken to prevent it.

A packed Village Hall heard from Inspector Gary Smith, Surrey Police’s Waverley Borough Commander, who spoke of how his force is having to combat budget cuts and reduced officer numbers. Despite these restraints he was upbeat in his appraisal of policing in the borough, which has the lowest crime rate in the county.

He listened to concerns expressed about speeding on Hambledon’s narrow roads and the rat-run and HGV issues on rural Salt Lane and Markwick Lane. He said that funding cuts limited what measures can be taken and pointed out that other areas suffered from greater speeding problems than Hambledon. That is where resources will be directed.

But he said he and his officers would work closely with villagers if they decided to set up a Community Speed Watch. Some residents signed up to this at the end of the meeting and others may do so if they wish at the Village Shop. Or please email parish councillor May Grove on grovemum@aol.com

The scheme would need at least six volunteers giving and hour or so a week and they would receive police training in the use of speed detection devices. Motorists caught speeding would be sent warning notices. The scheme would also be a way of providing data about speeding in the village.

More details can be found here

The meeting, hosted by the Parish Council, heard a report of its activities over the last 12 months from chairman John Anderson, who also thanked Paul Pattinson, who has stood down after 12 years as a councillor. He is replaced by Robin McKeith, who was welcomed to his new role.

All of the village’s many clubs and organisations gave positive reports about their activities.

Two days after the meeting the annual village clean-up took place, followed by a barbecue outside the village shop.

 

 

Merry Harriers Installs Defibrillator To Pub Wall For Use In An Emergency

A defibrillator has been installed on the external wall of the Merry Harriers pub and is available for public use in an emergency.

Danielle Montgomery-Page, pub manager, said that it had been decided to provide the potentially life-saving device as the pub now caters for an increasing number of guests staying in its accommodation as well as local customers, cyclists and walkers.

Our photograph shows the defibrillator in position secured to the pub’s front wall, on the left side of the building.

Defibrillators, also known as AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator), are used on people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, a major cause of premature death. The device detects the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, delivers an electric shock (defibrillation) to re-establish the heartbeat.

They are increasingly common, in places of work and in public. In Hambledon there are already defibrillators available on the wall outside the village shop, at St Peter’s Church and at Hambledon Football Club’s ground at Badger Park.

It is expected that another will soon be installed inside the decommissioned red telephone kiosk at the Hydestile Crossroads, which is currently undergoing renovation.

Although the devices are easy to use and instructions are given when it is activated, courses are also available and a number of villagers have already received basic training in their operation.

Further information can be found here

 

 

Annual Village Meeting Will Hear From Police Commander And Discuss Speeding

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting, hosted by the Parish Council at the Village Hall this Thursday evening,  is to be addressed by Inspector Gary Smith, Waverley Borough Commander for Surrey Police.

He will give an overview of policing in the borough as well as deal with concerns about speeding traffic in the village.

The Parish Council has been exploring various road traffic initiatives and has held meetings with police and Surrey County Council highways engineers in recent months. However, it has been made clear that no traffic calming measures are likely to be introduced.

Budget restraints and a lack of statistical evidence to indicate that Hambledon has a speeding problem have been cited as reasons why the village can expect little in the way of new measures. The council had been exploring a proposal for a 20mph speed restriction in the centre.

The Annual Meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions of our borough commander as well as hear more about what the Parish Council has been trying to achieve.

There will also be an opportunity to consider whether Hambledon wants to set up a Community Speed Watch where volunteers, with police training, use detection devices to check on the speed of vehicles in the village. Those caught above the limit are sent warning letters.

This would also be a means of determining whether speeding is a real issue and not just anecdotal and would help reinforce the case for traffic calming measures.

The scheme would have to be run by villagers and without sufficient volunteers it will not happen.

Those interested in taking part will be asked to sign their names at the end of the meeting, which will also hear annual reports from the Parish Council and village clubs and organisations.

Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm and the meeting starts at 8pm. (See previous news item for more information)

Details will also be given about taking part in the annual village clean-up, which takes places on Saturday (April 27th) followed at around noon by a parish barbecue outside the village shop.

All are welcome at the Annual Meeting, the clean-up and the barbecue.

Annual Village Meeting and Parish Clean-Up and Barbecue – All Welcome

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting takes place on the evening of Thursday April 25th and all are welcome to come along.

This is an opportunity to hear a round-up of the past year’s activities from all of the village organisations, clubs and groups as well as a report from the Parish Council, which hosts the meeting.

Refreshments including wine, tea and coffee will be available from 7.30 and this is a chance to chat to village friends and neighbours before the meeting itself starts at 8pm at the Village Hall.

There will be a short presentation concerning the efforts made by the Parish Council to address concerns about speeding in the village and other local traffic issues.

Residents may like to consider whether they want to form a Community Speed Watch Group. A minimum of six volunteers would be required. Speed detection devices would be provided by Surrey Police together with appropriate training.

Full details of this scheme can be found here: www.communityspeedwatch.org

Further details will be provided at the meeting. Mary Grove, a parish councillor, can be contacted in advance for those who wish to register at grovemum@aol.com

Although the parish council can make the necessary arrangements with Surrey Police and register the speedwatch group, it is for villagers to step forward and volunteer if they want this initiative to succeed.

Despite widespread concerns across the village about speeding, both Surrey Police and Surrey County Council Highways engineers have stated that there is no gathered evidence to support this belief. It is highly unlikely that any traffic calming measures can be introduced in Hambledon until there is data to support the proposal. Community Speed Watch is one way in which such evidence may be gathered.

The Village Meeting is followed two days later – on Saturday April 27th – with the parish clean-up ending with a community barbecue outside the Village Shop at noon. Volunteers are asked to collect litter in designated areas for which they can register at the Village Meeting. Bin bags and litter grabs will be provided and all rubbish will be removed by the local authority.

 

HAMBLEDON CHURCH – CAN YOU HELP SECURE ITS FUTURE?

If Hambledon is to have a new vicar and secure a future for its village church then money must be raised with the help of the local community and its residents.

The challenges facing St Peter’s Church and its continued ministry to the village were outlined by Simon Taylor, rector of the joint benefice of Busbridge and Hambledon, and Andy Dunn, treasurer of Hambledon church, at a packed meeting at the village hall on Thursday evening (March 7th, 2019).

In a rallying call for financial support, Andy said: “We are appealing not just to members of the congregation but to those who value the presence of a church in our village, but who may not wish to attend there regularly.”

Hambledon has not had a vicar since Catherine McBride moved to a new parish in October 2017. Although it was intended that she would be replaced, several obstacles stalled the process.

Mervil Bottom, the church house in the village, suffered severe water leaks when empty during the following cold winter and required major repairs and renovation. And the parlous state of the church’s finances meant that the Diocese of Guildford questioned whether it was feasible to appoint a new minister.

It costs £120,000 a year to fund St Peter’s with a vicar, but the income is currently just over £80,000.

The biggest single outgoing is £30,000 that St Peter’s has to pay to the Diocese. Second is the £28,000 salary to the vicar, which rises when tax and pensions are added. Then comes maintenance of the church, churchyard, Mervil Bottom and insurances.

Money raised from events such as weddings goes directly to the Church of England and not to the parish church.

The only money that comes to the church is from the Sunday collection plate, Gift Aid, standing orders and donations from generous benefactors and a small grant from Hambledon Parish Council.

In asking for people to consider making financial pledges, Andy said: “If we want to recruit a vicar, we must find £120,000 a year which is significantly more than our current income. The Diocese will only appoint a new minister if we can demonstrate that we can afford it now and for the next five years.”

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Julie Flenley Takes Up Post As Hambledon Parish Council Clerk

Julie Flenley, the newly-appointed clerk to Hambledon Parish Council, has attended her first meeting, having taken up her appointment on January 1.

She replaces Caroline White, who resigned after serving as clerk for a year following the retirement of her long-standing predecessor, Jane Woolley.

Julie brings a wealth of experience in the public sector to the job and said she was looking forward to working with the seven elected Hambledon parish councillors and for the benefit of the village.

Julie was born and raised in County Londonderry, in the north west of Northern Ireland. After school and college at Limavady she left Derry to study business at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, where she obtained a degree in travel and tourism management.

She then moved to Manchester where she worked for what was then the Countryside Agency (now Natural England), the statutory body with responsibility for the rural environment.

She went on to join English Heritage, a non-departmental government body responsible for the protection and management of more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and places.

Julie’s work included assessing grant applications and she had a particular involvement in managing funding in relation to secular historic buildings and places of worship. Her duties required her to make financial needs assessments and also brought her into regular contact with local authority planning departments. This experience should stand her in good stead as she takes up her role as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council.

Julie said: “I think my background makes me suited to the job of clerk and I am looking forward to it very much”.

During her time in Manchester she met and married her husband Richard, who works in the legal profession. A move in his job resulted in them relocating to the south of England, with Julie taking a career break. They have lived on the outskirts of Chiddingfold for seven years. They have three sons, Joshua, William and Oliver, aged 12, eight and six who are, or were, educated at St Mary’s Primary School in Chiddingfold.

Julie and Richard are regular distance runners and frequently compete in local and national events. Julie said: “It would be wrong to call me an avid runner as I think I am a reluctant runner. But I am competitive and determined.

Last year she was part of a team of “mums from St Mary’s” who competed in the Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the three highest peaks in England Wales and Scotland. Between them they raised funds for the school and a mental health charity.

“This year I will be taking part in eight half marathons and my husband will be undertaking two back-to-back full marathons.”

Her passion over many years has been horses and horse-riding. “My horse died last year so I am currently between horses, but it is something I love and will return to.”

Julie was welcomed to her first meeting as clerk on Wednesday (Jan 9th) at Hambledon Village Hall by chairman John Anderson and his councillor colleagues. Already very active in village and church life in Chiddingfold, Julie will now be closely associated with life an Hambledon as well.

  • The clerk is a salaried position, councillors are unpaid. Julie’s contact details, and those of councillors, can be found on the village website under “Organisations” and “Hambledon Parish Council”, and in the Parish Magazine on the “Useful Information and Telephone Numbers” page.

 

 

 

A Glimpse Into The Recent Past Of Hambledon Village Shop

A chance encounter has led to the emergence of a classic postcard view of Hambledon’s village shop taken by the camera of the proprietor who lived there from the late 1960s.

The encounter was with Alison Heath who, with her twin brother Duncan, spent her childhood at Cricket Green Stores, which was run by her parents Geoff and Margaret Heath between 1968 and 1982.

Alison, now 55, recalls growing up in Hambledon with great fondness. Her home was what was then called Duck Cottage, now Pendle Cottage, and her parents were the last to both live in the house and run the adjoining shop and Post Office.

The shop featured on a postcard, one of a series entitled “Scenes of Interest and Beauty in and around Hambledon, in Surrey”. The reverse of the card states: “Real photograph. Supplied by G.A.M Heath, Cricket Green Stores and Post Office, Hambledon”.

 

Alison’s mother died in 1987 from a brain aneurysm but her father is still alive, in his eighties, remarried and living in the New Forest.

Here Alison recalls her life growing up in Hambledon:

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VILLAGE HALL QUIZ – A GREAT NIGHT OUT

(Please also see news item below this, posted by Hambledon Village Hall Committee)

A packed Village Hall saw residents and friends pit their brains against each other as 14 tables, comprising 84 participants took part in a fund-raising quiz on Saturday (November 17th).

Thanks go to the Village Hall Committee and its team of volunteers who organised the evening, staffed a well-stocked bar, cooked and served home-made cottage pie and rounded-up an impressive selection of donated prizes for a raffle.

What was particularly rewarding was the cross section of villagers, old, young and everything in between, who took part and made the evening a great success. They included people from all aspects of life in Hambledon; the shop and its volunteers, Merry Harriers pub regulars, its Bridge team, the church, the cricket and football teams and, of course the Village Hall itself.

The questions were well set and divided into 10 themed rounds. The winning team,” Here, There and Everywhere”, comprised Christine and Ron Baker, Duncan Watson, Charlotte Gray, Mary Burrows and Stewart Payne.

However, it was a close-run contest and several teams just missed out on the top spot, having answered a few more questions correctly but not used their “multiplier” as effectively.

All profits from the evening go towards the upkeep of the Village Hall, which has recently been undergoing an extensive refurbishment with new chairs and curtains.

 

 

HOW HAMBLEDON REMEMBERED – ARMISTICE EVENTS IN THE VILLAGE

At a special Armistice Day service in the parish church; at a community sing-along outside the village shop and at the memorial to two brothers who died in the First World War – Hambledon Remembered.

On Sunday November 11th, 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War – villagers packed St Peter’s Church for a commemorative service during which the names of Hambledon’s fallen in both World Wars were read out and a two-minutes silence observed.

 

The service was led by David Mace, assistant vicar, with an address given by David Jenkins. There was time for quiet reflection as well as personal recollections from Sylvia Harrison who spoke of her grandfather’s gallantry in the First World War.

David Jenkins, assistant vicar with responsibility for Hambledon, spoke of the sacrifices made by many during both World Wars, on the field of battle and elsewhere. They served their country. He suggested that today we could all consider how we may also serve by becoming involved in charity and voluntary work to benefit others.

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Farewell to Nicola Collett As She Departs As Nursery School Head Teacher

Staff, trustees, parents and children have bid a fond farewell to Nicola Collett, who has stood down as head teacher at Hambledon Nursery School after ten highly-successful years.

Nicola’s final day was the last day of the summer term (July 20th). At the end of the leavers service for children moving on to primary school, tributes were paid and gifts were presented.

Nicola was unsure if she could deliver a departing speech without becoming tearful so her two children, Lydia and Lawrence, stepped up to speak on her behalf. Kate Walford, the new head, teachers and parents all warmly thanked Nicola and spoke of their high regard for her. Our pictures shows Kate Walford (left)  and Tracey Jimmison, deputy head (centre), at the presentation to Nicola,

Nicola joined the teaching staff in 2001 and was appointed head teacher and manager in 2008.

The school was once the village state primary. It was reopened as a nursery school in 1984 after a village-led initiative secured the lovely Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting as a place of learning.

It has thrived and since Nicola took over it has twice been judged “outstanding” in Ofsted inspections.

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “Nicola has made a quite exceptional contribution, and the school today bears her stamp in so many ways.

“We are fortunate to have such an attractive Victorian building, but Victorian buildings need love and care, and with Nicola over the years it has been very well maintained.  The extensive outdoor areas and outbuildings and play areas have also been carefully looked after and developed, with children’s gardens, and outdoor toys, and climbing frames and pathways and camps.

“Important as the physical environment is, much more important is our teaching staff.  Nicola has taken tremendous care over the staff team and has supported and imbued it with her passion and values.  It is a great team, who look after their small charges with endless care and dedication and give them the best start to their schooldays that they and their parents could hope for.

“Nicola has been the embodiment of “hands-on”.  She has maintained a teaching role throughout her time at the school, and has always been on-hand to advise and support those around her.  And as well as supporting her colleagues, and caring for the children, before a new term started she would invariably be found organising a tidy-up of the classrooms, or checking the grounds, or planning a new innovation in the children’s education.

“She can and should look back on her time at Hambledon Nursery School with great pride.  The gifts from staff and parents and trustees will be a small reminder of the very high regard in which she is held by all.  She is passing on the Headship to Kate Walford, presently a teacher at the school, and as ever has done an excellent job of supporting and handing over the reins to Kate.

“Nicola has a creativity that has been a hugely important part of what she has brought to the school, and now she plans to develop these talents further and in different directions.  We all wish her, with her husband Iain and her children Lydia and Lawrence, the very best.

“Nicola’s leaving gift to the school was the trunk of an oak tree.  This is now in the school grounds inscribed with a message from Nicola to the school.  In its first day it was a boat, a bus, a crocodile and a horse …”

Our pictures below show Nicola in the playground after she was presented with a flowers by children; with her daughter Lydia (centre) and teacher/afternoon supervisor Kelly Shaw; and the inscribed oak log which was her departing gift to the school.

 

 

New Head Teacher For Hambledon Nursery School

Hambledon Nursery School will welcome Kate Walford as its new head teacher when she takes up the appointment after the summer break.

Not that Kate will be any stranger to staff, parents and returning children. She has worked at the school as an Early Years practitioner since January 2016 and is currently the afternoon supervisor in the Red Room classroom for three and four year olds.

Kate’s appointment follows the resignation of Nicola Collett, head teacher for the past ten years, who is leaving at the end of the summer term next month.

Kate, pictured below, was the unanimous choice of the nursery school Trustees who interviewed, with external professional support, three impressive candidates.

Kate, who is married with a young family and lives in Chiddingfold, has a degree in biology with qualified teacher status. She has worked in education throughout her professional life and brings 20-years’ experience to her new role. She taught in the West Country for a while before joining Kingfield Primary School in Woking in 2005, remaining there until her move to Hambledon Nursery School.

Nicola has welcomed the choice of her successor and the Trustees believe Kate will continue to build on the caring ethos and high standards set by her predecessor.

The Trustees said that Nicola herself has made a quite exceptional contribution to the nursery school and this will be acknowledged in a full appreciation that will appear on this website following her departure at the end of July.

Hambledon Nursery school, at Rock Hill, was formerly the village state primary school, closed by Surrey County Council in the early 1980s due to falling rolls. Villagers were determined that the Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting should remain a place of learning and, after campaigning and fund-raising, acquired the premises from the Church of England.

It reopened as a nursery school in 1984, run as a business with charitable status and locally-appointed Trustees. It has an “outstanding” Ofsted rating.

Further details about the school can be found on this website under “Organisations” in the top menu and at www.hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk

 

FOND FAREWELLS TO CATHERINE MCBRIDE

Hambledon has said a fond farewell to its associate vicar Catherine McBride, who has left the village to become vicar of St Mary’s, Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Catherine arrived in Hambledon more than five years ago and quickly became a popular figure; among her congregation at St Peter’s and within the village as a whole. She will be much missed but goes with the best wishes and blessings of the many friends she made.

Her departure was marked in several ways: at her final Sunday services on October 15, at a farewell tea party hosted at Feathercombe, and at a get-together at the Merry Harriers a few days earlier on October 12.

She then took a short holiday in Iceland before returning to pack her bags at Mervil Bottom, her Hambledon home, in preparation for beginning her new life and challenge in Shropshire, close to the Welsh borders from where she hails.

She takes up her responsibilities in Market Drayton with her licensing service on November 22. In the meantime, the Busbridge and Hambledon Benefice has started the process to find a replacement and interviews will be held later this month.

Before moving last week Catherine told the village website: “I can honestly say that Hambledon has been the most amazing place to live and work. I have been extremely happy here and it is in no small part due to the wonderful community in the village, who made me feel so welcome. I feel I have made some good friends here, who I am sure I will keep in touch with.

“I would encourage everyone to cherish the village and what it has to offer: continue to be a warm and loving community, which looks out for each other and where everyone ‘does their bit’ so that Hambledon can continue to thrive.

“I’ll take some very special memories with me of the times when I’ve had the privilege of being part of significant moments and occasions for Hambledon families and will certainly keep you all in my prayers.

Many thanks and God bless”.

At her leaving party at Feathercombe, the home of Ion and Muriel Campbell, she was presented with a cake made by Katherine Frogley, which was decorated to illustrate some of Catherine’s passions; the church, rugby, the Welsh dragon – and a pint of bitter.

Farewell speeches were made by Simon Taylor, rector of Busbridge and Hambledon, churchwardens Alan Harvey and Liz Cooke and PCC treasurer Alison Martin.

At her farewell party in the Merry Harriers, where Catherine would enjoy a pint of Surrey Hills bitter and take part in quiz and music nights, she took to the microphone to give a rendition of the Tom Jones hit Delilah, accompanied by Mike Blanchard on key board. See photograph below. Many villagers were in attendance.

Successful Midsummer Music At Malthouse Farm

A large gathering of villagers, family and friends assembled to enjoy a picnic on the terrace and lawns of Malthouse Farm while listening to live music ranging from opera, to jazz, to pop.

The evening raised money towards the conversion of Busbridge Rectory into a meeting place for church and community use, together with other related projects. Busbridge is part of a joint benefice with Hambledon.

Called Midsummer Music, the event last Saturday evening (June 24) was a great success. The Luard Trio performed operatic classics by Mozart, Strauss and Delibes and music from shows such as South Pacific and Porgy and Bess. The Gilbert and Sullivan Ensemble picked favourites from the Savoy Operas, including a highly-contemporary version of the Policeman’s Song, adapted to reflect current political upsets. The Restless Band had the audience dancing to modern chart hits. During the interval a medley of jazz classics was played.

The evening was organised by Carol Jones and it was compared by Andrew Blagden. And special thanks went to George and Caroline Pitt who hosted the evening at their Malthouse Farm home in the centre of Hambledon village. The sloping gardens looked splendid with trees adorned with lights and balloons and guests enjoyed a fine view down to the marquee where the musicians performed. Many of the audience were members of the congregation St Peter’s Church, Hambledon, together with Catherine McBride, associate minister.

The event raised money for the Old Rectory Fund. Planning permission has been obtained to convert the rectory beside St John the Baptist Church, Busbridge, from residential use to a church community building, to include staff offices, a kitchen dining area, youth area and meeting rooms. Church Cottage, on the opposite side of Brighton Road, will be converted back to residential use.