SUNDAY REFLECTION

Life is slowly getting back to something like “normal”. But we know that many things will have changed forever. There is, therefore, some comfort in reflecting on the past. In this week’s Reflection, Jane Woolley reminds us that our little village has a rich heritage. On this website, and within the Heritage archive that Jane keeps at her home, much can be discovered.

Ever wondered what your house used to look like?   The chances are that it was one of Hambledon’s many small cottages, probably with no modern utilities, before it was “developed” to create a fair-sized family home complete with wi-fi and superfast broadband.    Ever imagined what the noise must have been like when the empty expanse of what is now “Nutbourne Park” was a thriving brickworks?  Ever been curious to know whether The Hydons and Hambledon Park always looked the way they do to-day?

Well, thanks to the Hambledon Heritage archive, it’s easy to find the answers to these and many more questions about the village, its activities, its inhabitants and its institutions.   By charting the development of the village over the best part of 200 years, the archive also demonstrates how much the Hambledon of to-day owes to the Hambledon of the past:  there’s nothing new about Hambledon’s community spirit.

The material in the archive has accumulated gradually over the last 60 or so years.  It’s a real social  history, in words and pictures, of families from all walks of life, their homes, their workplaces, their farms;  of the village hubs – the shop, the Post Office (they weren’t always the same thing and the village had more than one shop in the past), the Village Hall, the church and the pub;  the changing landscape; the sporting and social clubs, past and present;  and the institutions (including the Hydestile Hospital and the Hambledon Institute, the predecessors of The Hydons and Hambledon Park respectively – and the Institute was originally the workhouse). 

Disasters (from bombing raids to storms) are recorded;  so are successes such as winning best-kept village competitions and saving the village shop and the school (now the Nursery School).  Village fetes and celebrations of national events ranging from VE Day to jubilees are chronicled in detail.   There are scrapbooks, booklets written by villagers, photographic albums, press cuttings and numerous individual contributions.  On the whole they paint a picture of an ideal village – but don’t be fooled:  less than 10 years ago the Surrey Advertiser reported that “A village regarded by police as one of the safest places to live in Surrey has proved to be the ideal base for two cannabis factories” – which led to the arrest of six people under the Misuse of Drugs Act.   Never let it be said that the archive is a dull read. 

When my mother bought Cobblers, little did she (or I) realise that the two outbuildings that go with it were almost more spacious than the cottage itself.

  This means that I have been able to provide a home for the archive in the sun room.  Anyone is welcome to visit and browse.  You can find a list of all the documents with, in some cases, a list of their contents, on the village web site:  just click on history/historical village documents/the Hambledon heritage albums.  And do please consider whether you can add to this invaluable village resource:  although everything that happens now is media-recorded, that used not to be the case.  Our history is still dependent on paper documents and photographs. 

Merry Harriers Reopens on Saturday

Lock-down restrictions across the UK will be further relaxed this Saturday, July 4th, allowing for the reopening of pubs and restaurants as long as safety measures are in place and enforced.

In Hambledon, The Merry Harriers will reopen at midday, just over 100 days since it was required to close.

Behind the scenes, general manager Jake Andreou has been working hard to ensure the pub can comply with detailed government guidelines to protect staff, locals and staying guests from the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus.

A member of staff will meet and greet customers arriving at the main entrance. The new measures will be explained, any questions answered, and a contact taken for individuals or for one member if in a small group. Drinks can be ordered at the bar, which has a Perspex screen installed, and will be delivered to you at a table. Payment will be by card.

A one-way system will be in place and customers will enter and leave by different doors. Tables and benches – inside and in the garden areas – have been situated to ensure correct social distancing can be maintained. A marquee has been erected on the boules court and this may also have a bar for outside drinkers.

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Sunday Reflection

Arthur Blackman, President of Hambledon Cricket Club, contributed the Sunday Reflection this week.

It is eerily quiet on the cricket green on Saturdays and Sundays. What has happened? There is no sound of the leather hitting the willow, no raucous enjoyable noise of children scampering around the outfield or adults shouting “How’s-That!”.

We should now be well into the noble art of playing cricket on the green with a hive of activities. Senior cricketers playing games and Juniors of ages 7 to 13 having coaching and training lessons. But no, nothing in April or May, and maybe no team activities until late summer. The last time cricket did not start on the cricket green was when it was suspended in 1941 to 1945 due to the 2nd World War. Before that it was probably the 1st World War.

May Parish Magazine Delivered This Weekend

The May edition of Hambledon Parish Magazine will be hand-delivered to subscribers across the village this weekend.

A small team of volunteers will be out and about in their designated areas of Hambledon, so please look out for your magazine on your doorstep or in your letter box over the next few days. If you are a subscriber and do not receive your copy please contact Stewart Payne on 07831 393561.

Thank you to the volunteers, and to the editorial team of John Hindley and Jane Woolley who have put together a magazine packed full of interesting articles and information, much of it relevant to the current situation.

Until recently the magazine was also available at the village shop where it could be collected by those who had pre-paid, or bought over the counter. As this is not possible at the moment, all village subscribers will receive their copy at their doorstep.

A small number of copies will be left in the church porch beside a collection box and available for purchase at the usual cover price of 70p, first come, first served.

If you would like to subscribe to future issues, please contact Mary Parker on 01428 682545. A year’s subscription costs £7.50. By becoming a subscriber you are guaranteed a home-delivered copy and it helps the editors to manage the print run.

Back issues of the magazine, including an archive covering many decades, can be viewed on this website on the Parish Magazine page.

“Time” Called At Merry Harriers – For Now

In its long history of serving the people of Hambledon, the Merry Harriers would not have witnessed anything quite like it.

On Friday evening, as news filtered through of the latest Government measures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the closure of all pubs, clubs and restaurants, customers were told by manager Jake Andreou that the pub would call “time” at 8pm.

Pictured above: Lights about to go out at village pub on Friday evening.

Quite a number of village locals were at the bar – social distancing, of course – and the only cheer came when Jake said he was buying everyone a drink  in thanks for local loyalty and in the hope that all would be back together soon.

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Parish Magazine Pays Tribute To Two “Great Lives” in July Edition

The families of Mic Coleman and Pat Williams have expressed their gratitude to the people of Hambledon following the funerals of both, held in the past month.

They were much loved and respected residents and both contributed enormously to life in the village.

Mic’s funeral was held at Guildford Crematorium, followed by a gathering at the Merry Harriers. In a message afterwards, his family said: “We would like to thank all those who attended the service at the crematorium and those who sent condolences and thoughtful messages”

Pat’s funeral was held in Hambledon at St Peter’s Church and her sister Margaret Romney said that the love and friendship in the village had been “overwhelming”.

The lives of both have been celebrated in earlier articles on this website. The July edition of the Parish Magazine carries the tributes paid to both at their funerals. It will be on sale at the village shop from tomorrow (Saturday June 29th).

                                                               

Mic Coleman’s Funeral and Reception – All Welcome

Sylvia Coleman and her family have asked for the following details of Mic’s funeral and reception to be made known to his many friends in Hambledon and beyond. All are welcome to commemorate and celebrate the life of a lovely man who gave so much to the village and its residents.

Just one thing: please do not feel that you need to wear black. Something colourful is the order of the day.

The funeral service will take place at 2.15pm on Thursday June 6th at Guildford Crematorium. Family flowers only. Please arrive in plenty of time as the service is likely to be very well attended.

Afterwards the Coleman family invite everyone to join them at the Merry Harriers.

Mic was involved in so many aspects of Hambledon life, for which he was awarded the British Empire Medal (please see earlier news story on this website). It is hoped that friends from across the village, its clubs and organisations, will gather to share happy memories.

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.