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.
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.
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.
Two innovative schemes – one by the Merry Harriers and the other by The Village Spirit Collective – have opened up new ways to provide help across our local community.
The Merry Harriers, Hambledon’s village pub, has launched a fund which will offer up to £2,000 a month for those struggling to pay food and general provisions bills, most likely through loss of pay or employment, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The local Village Spirit Collective, makers of Vann Lane Gin, is running a raffle in support of the Community Foundation for Surrey, which has launched a county-wide Coronavirus Response Fund.
Latest Updates from Hambledon Parish Council, Saturday March 28th
- The Village Shop will not open on Sundays or Tuesdays until further notice, and no home deliveries will be made on these days. Pre-ordered Sunday newspapers will be delivered tomorrow, but this will be reviewed. The shop is closed to the public, so DO NOT visit. Please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=12566
- The Community Foundation For Surrey, which has been of considerable help to local initiatives in Hambledon over the years, has established a Coronavirus Response Fund, for which £300,000 was raised in its first week thanks largely to existing donors. As soon as the Foundation announced the fund was open to applications it was flooded with requests from community groups. It is now in need of additional voluntary donations to continue to give support in the current emergency. If you can help please do, and urge others to do so. This is the link to the Foundation’s online giving page: virginmoneygiving.com/fund/surreycoronavirusfund You can also give by BACS. All details on how to donate, and how to apply for funding, can be found by visiting www.cfsurrey.org.uk
Latest Updates From Hambledon Parish Council, Friday March 27th.
- The April Parish Magazine will be delivered across the village this weekend, thanks to several of the existing volunteers and others who have stepped in to fill the shoes of those who are self-isolating. The magazine contains all the necessary contact details for key organisations and coordinators helping the community through this difficult time of Coronavirus restrictions, plus all the regular features. As some subscribers previously collected from the village shop, and the list for home deliveries may not be complete, please bear with us. If you are a subscriber and do not receive your copy please contact Stewart Payne/Mary Burrows on 07831 393561 and 07909 9284251.
- The Village Shop is continuing with its daily deliveries and its method of operation is approved by Waverley Borough Council’s Environmental Health officers. Please see the update from the shop sent out yesterday for more details: http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=12556 Having your groceries delivered to your home involves less risk of contamination than visiting a shop or supermarket. Food packaging is not known to present a specific risk but, as an added precaution, some health experts suggest leaving goods for 72 hours before opening, or spray and wipe plastic or glass containers etc carefully with bleach diluted in water as directed on the bottle. (Source: BBC News website).
- The shop is well-stocked and staff are emailing regular customers with a list of what is available, including a PDF version that can be printed out for future reference. If you receive this email and know of someone else in the surrounding area who may not have seen it, but would find it useful, please pass it on.
- Perhaps surprisingly, the 503 Hambledon bus to Milford, Godalming and Guildford, is still running to its usual timetable, three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The service is operated by Stagecoach and its website states that social-distancing is in force on all buses. You cannot sit close to another passenger, you must take newspapers and magazines home with you and, if possible, use contactless payments. The same rules apply to the regular 71 bus service along the Petworth Road.
- Volunteers continue to come forward and this is greatly appreciated. For the time being enough help is available to deliver the shop supplies and for distribution of the parish magazine, but all names are logged and may be called upon in the future. Thank you. In the meantime you may wish to enroll in the national NHS volunteer scheme. goodsamapp.org/NHS.
Latest updates from Hambledon Parish Council on Thursday March 26th.
- The Village Shop home delivery service is operating well, thanks to staff and volunteers, and yesterday more than 30 orders were delivered around Hambledon. Please remember the shop is not open to customers. Please order on-line if you can. Full details can be found here: http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=12528
- Waverley Borough Council’s Environmental Health team has given a full endorsement to the way the shop is operating and the measures it is taking. It has encouraged the shop to continue in this way, stressing that it wants outlets like ours to remain open for business to stop people making journeys further afield and to spread the supply and distribution chain. Please check on this website for an update on this from the shop staff this evening, giving more details.
- We encourage you to subscribe to this website, if you have not already done so. This means you will receive an alert to let you know new information is available. To do this, simply enter your details on the “Subscribe to email news” boxes on the right hand column of the pages on this website, or in the Home menu and you will be kept right up to date in this ever-changing situation.
- Hambledon Village Nursery School staff and trustees have been working hard behind the scenes to assess the impact of its temporary closure and to have measures in place to best support staff and parents and to safeguard its financial future. All schools were ordered to close, other than to provide facilities for the children of key workers. Hambledon Nursery School parents have been contacted and none have requested key worker status, so the school will not need to offer this provision and it will remain closed.
Update from Hambledon Parish Council on Wednesday March 25th.
- Once again, the focus is on the community-run village shop and post office, which is doing its best to cater for villagers in very challenging circumstances. From today, the shop will only deliver to customers who place their orders online, or by phone if they do not have an email account. No customers can visit the shop, even to place an order or to collect from outside. Orders will then by made up inside the shop and handed to volunteers to deliver to homes across the village. For more details please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=12463
- This new measure requires some explanation. The shop relies on a small number of part-time paid staff and volunteers, some of whom have specific responsibilities as shop management committee members. Many people in Hambledon, as elsewhere, are self-isolating. This will be for a variety of reasons; age, at risk through underlying health issues and – increasingly – because they or someone they are close to has become unwell and they feel they must self-isolate. The pool of experienced people available to manage the shop is diminishing. It is true to say that as much hard work goes on behind the scenes as that that is evident to customers. This not only involves managing stock and placing orders in very difficult circumstances, but enforcing stringent hygiene procedures and keeping up to date with ever-changing Government guidelines. The shop has also enforced strict social-distancing. Last night, with more staff and volunteers deciding to isolate, the shop committee felt it had no choice but to close all services, including the post office counter, at the shop premises and move to a delivery-only service. Its commitment is to maintain supplies to villagers, but even this cannot be guaranteed as time progresses.
- All Parish Council contacts and information relating to the current Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, is now available on this website. Please click on the new link on the top right of the opening page entitled Coronavirus Essential Village Information.
- One of the few joys in the current situation has been the lovely, sunny weather, which is set to last for a few more days. Many people required to stay at home are taking pleasure at being out in their gardens. Please be considerate and DO NOT light bonfires on days such as these, and wait for a dull day and a time when people will not be outside.
- St Peter’s Church is, of course, closed but worship continues with services streamed on-line. The church has updated its page on this website, listed in the menu under “Organisations”, so please look there for more information.
- The Merry Harriers is also closed but the village shop would like to place on record its gratitude to Jake Andreou, manager, and Nick Ash, sous chef, both relative newcomers to the village, who have been volunteering at the village shop. The pub has also given all its fresh food to the shop to ensure it does not go to waste. All this is greatly appreciated, and very much in the spirit of Hambledon.