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.

 

 

 

Somme Centenary – Special Commemorative Service

Somme 100 Picture for website

 In 2016, many throughout the world will be commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916), and remembering those who fought and died during this battle.  The Somme remains the theatre of one of the most deadly battles of the First World War. The French and British armies rallied troops from the colonies and the French Foreign Legion and units from 25 nations and 50 countries were involved in the battle. In five months of combat, the total number of men killed, wounded and missing reached over one million and entire nations were sent into mourning. The British and Germans suffered 420,000 casualties each, the French 190,000. The landscape of the north-east of the Somme was completely devastated; villages were razed to the ground and fields turned into lunar-landscapes by shelling. A century after these events, the trauma of the battle is still strongly felt and the numerous cemeteries and memorials, punctuating the landscapes, embody the continued memory of a “lost generation”.

Laurent Somon, President of the Somme Departmental Council

In Hambledon, we will be holding our own service to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on:

Friday 1st July, 7.30pm at Hambledon Church

Our aim is to include reflections from those whose families had a connection with someone involved in the battle. If this is you, Catherine McBride (Associate Vicar, Busbridge & Hambledon Church) would love to hear from you to find out more and see how you could be involved. Do give her a call on 01483 421267 or by e-mail catherine.mcbride@bhcgodalming.org

Hambledon – A Celebration In Flowers

flowersContributors are invited to take part in a Celebration in Flowers, which is to take place at St Peter’s Church on Saturday and Sunday, June 20th and 21st.

The aim is to celebrate in flowers the many and diverse clubs and organisations in the village. Individual contributions are also welcome.

Please come along to the church at 10.30am on Saturday May 30th to discuss your entry and the space allocated to it.

The church will be open all day on Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th June to set up displays.  Please include a label with your name or organisation.

Regardless of whether you are taking part please come along over the display weekend – between 10am and 6pm – to enjoy the floral celebrations, especially if your organisation is represented.  The church, which plans to produce a handout listing the contributors, will be open both days for cream teas.  Sunday services will be held as usual at 9am and 10.30am.

If you have any queries before the contributors meeting on May 30th please contact Sue Blackman on 01428 683871.

Village Church: Funds needed to secure its future

ImageThe future of Hambledon’s parish church cannot be assured without new funding, its rector has warned.   The Rev. Simon Taylor took the opportunity, as guest speaker at the annual Parish Assembly, to outline the funding crisis that Hambledon and many other rural parishes face.  Put simply, St Peter’s Church does not generate enough money to pay for itself. He said it currently relies on around 27 “very faithful people” to fund its ministry. They give around £70,000 a year but it requires in the region of £100,000 to run and insure the church, pay the salary and accommodation of its minister and provide pastoral care and support.

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Church Graveyard Survey -now online

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Hambledon Graveyard Project

In the summer of 2010 three old villagers thought it might be a good idea to research the churchyard at St Peter’s, to re-organise the written records and survey the gravestones before some of the older inscriptions became illegible or disappeared altogether. The aim was to see if family names could be researched (with the help of the internet), and perhaps linked to extant relatives who may not be aware of their antecedents’ burial places.

Two young volunteers, Alex Sehmer and Vicky Grove, took on the work.

The project has successfully tidied up the burial records, and the database is available for anyone engaged in research. It was interesting to note how time-consuming it became when trying to research the genealogy of just one family, let alone 50! However, the records are now ‘alive’ and let’s hope we can keep them up to date!

The detailed survey is available as a Google Doc:Hambledon Surrey Graveyard Survey Document

Webmaster’s note:  Now that this survey is on our website it does greatly increase it’s prominance Worldwide.  The Hambledon website has a good Google ranking and so the lists of names will appear in serches made by family history researchers..