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.
Many people have been put off walking the footpath from the Merry Harriers towards Enton and Witley because of its boggy condition. All that has changed, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, as Mike Parry explains.
The Old Road to Witley – Bridleway 186
This will be known to most of us as the path alongside the Merry Harriers to Buss’s Common and beyond and was many years ago an established highway between Hambledon and Witley.
More recently it has been even better known for its very wet condition as for most of the year it has only been passable on foot if wearing waterproof boots. The photograph below was taken in March last year.
The bridleway was last repaired in 2002 by Surrey County Council and has deteriorated through use and flooding problems since then.
In October 2018 the Parish Council asked for some help from SCC to at least evaluate the possible cost of repairs and a sketch was prepared by the Parish Council with a suggested improvement scheme. Due to a lack of funding at that time there was no further progress until March 2019. Continue reading
Kate Walford, the Head Teacher of Hambledon Nursery School, contributed the Sunday Reflection this week.
As I reflect upon the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Hambledon Nursery School I would have to say that, overriding all else, is the fact that for the first time in its history it had to close, from Monday 23rd March to Friday 29th May 2020.
If I had tried to imagine this at the beginning of the year, it would have been unthinkable. But, as the worldwide Covid-19 crisis unfolded, it became apparent that the nursery would not escape the impact of the virus and it closed under lock-down.
We did not have children of key workers or vulnerable children for whom the nursery was required to remain open, so we entered what was a very strange and unique period of time.
A small team, comprising of myself as head teacher and the school secretary, Stephanie Campbell, worked behind the scenes to keep things ‘ticking along’. Setting foot into the nursery while it was closed to children, staff and parents was an eerie and at times deeply saddening experience. However, like so many community organisations in the village, we adapted to the unprecedented times that we found ourselves in.
A semblance of normality returned to Hambledon today with the reopening of the village nursery school. David Evans, chair of the Trustees, explains the latest developments.
Hambledon Nursery School has been working towards a phased re-opening from June 1st, in line with government advice. The issues this raises for all involved are challenging, as the following article explains.
Since late March, for the first time in its history, Hambledon Nursery School has been closed. Usually bustling with the play and laughter of small children, for the past two months the school has been strangely empty and quiet.
But although the children have been at home, a core group has been keeping the heart of the school beating. Outreach to parents coping for the first time with home-schooling, with a steady flow of ideas and links and personal support. Videos from teaching staff letting the children know how much they are missed, and looking forward to when they return. Liaison between members of staff, keeping everyone in the loop over a period when every news report seems to say something different, and the government’s advice and plans have taken time to take shape. Physically looking after the fabric of the school itself. And behind the scenes, administrative and financial activity: applying for and administering the furlough schemes, monitoring our financial health, and working out what in different scenarios the future might look like.
But now, at last, it looks like we have a route back to normality.
A raffle held by the locally-based Village Spirit Collective to raise funds for the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund achieved a remarkable £1,108 – a fantastic result.
The raffle, with a prize of a bottle of hand-crafted gin made by the Collective, ended on Saturday evening with the draw shown live on Facebook. With just a few hours to go the total stood at £760 as Alpa Jasani Cox, from the Collective, posted a reminder of the draw.
John Anderson, chairman of Hambledon Parish Council, contributes this week’s Sunday Reflection.
Under normal circumstances, at this time of year, the Parish Council would be welcoming Hambledonians to the Annual Parish Assembly and listening to updates from all the Village organisations. However, this is not a normal year. This year is very different, and yet, somehow it is the same, in the sense that our Village organisations are, as ever, delivering exemplary services to the Parish.
It’s Easter Sunday so the normal introduction to this week’s Reflections would be “Happy Easter”.
But these are unusual times and for far too many people there can be no happiness. We’ve thought for far too long that we were secure in our mastery of the world; but we’ve suddenly been made aware of the fact that nature remains well and truly beyond our control.
Last Sunday brought us the most perfect spring day – we all revelled in the warmth of the sunshine and the beauty of our surrounding countryside. But it also strengthened the worldwide presence of Covid-19 and took away from us one of the best-known and best-loved members of our community. Mary Caroe, pictured below, died peacefully at Mount Alvernia Hospital in the early hours of 5 April.
Neither Vann nor the village will be same without her. In sending our deepest sympathies to her family, all of us in Hambledon will be mourning an amazing lady.
An early-flowering bluebell on Hydon’s Ball, caught on camera this week by Mary Grove. Many more will follow in the glades and woodlands in and around Hambledon in the next few weeks.
Now please read on…
When speaking to anyone (and yes, we still are – whether talking on the phone or shouting, at a social distance, of course, across the road or over the garden fence), the first comment is always “Isn’t the Shop doing a fantastic job!”. What an understatement. On any one day, up to 50 households, which is well over 10 per cent of Hambledon, are now taking advantage of the on-line delivery service. This doesn’t just involve the volunteers who put the orders together and deliver them. Suppliers that are still in business have to be sourced; goods have to be taken in and categorised; methods of remote payment (including from all of us shoppers) have had to be devised. And, on top of all that and the many other behind-the-scenes tasks, there’s a detailed (and regularly up-dated) on-line Shop Product List on the website. Does any other village have it so good?
Several villagers have responded to the challenge set by the web team to take our minds off lock-down. Various videos have been posted during the past week, ranging from how not to waste food to a live quiz. Plus a to-do list to remind us of the chores that need doing (and which most of us continue to put off).