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.

 

 

What Next For Orchard Farm?

The proposal to build affordable homes at Orchard Farm has been rejected on appeal and developers English Rural Housing Association must now decide whether to re-apply with a scaled-down application or sell the site on.

The ERHA had applied to demolish the existing farmhouse and outbuildings and build 12 affordable homes together with five larger market-price houses and provision of open space for village use.

After much local consultation, and with concerns expressed over the size of the proposed development and drainage issues, the application went before Waverley Borough Council in May last year where members voted to reject the scheme.

The nine-acre site between Petworth Road and Wormley Lane is within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Waverley councillors said that no special circumstances existed in the application to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the AONB.

After considering the outcome for several months, ERHA decided to lodge an appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. This appeal has now been considered and dismissed, upholding the original decision by Waverley Borough Councillors.

Sheila Holden, the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to consider the appeal, said in her ruling: “Notwithstanding the continued need to provide affordable homes, the supply of housing land is not a factor weighing in this scheme’s favour”, adding that the proposal would be an “inappropriate development within the Green Belt”.

She accepted that there would be “very significant benefits arising from the provision of 12 units of affordable housing and limited benefits associated with the proposed public open space.”

But she concluded: “However, these benefits do not clearly outweigh the harm by reason of inappropriateness and the other harms I have identified.  The very special circumstances needed to justify the scheme do not, therefore, exist.”

The ERHA, which is a registered provider of social housing in rural areas, has not commented on what it will do next. It bought the site on the open market and had hoped that the provision of market-price houses in the scheme would help pay for the affordable homes, which would have been available for rent or shared ownership at below market costs.

It may return with a smaller scale development of affordable homes only as the inspector’s ruling seems to indicate that market price properties are unacceptable and do not meet the criteria for exempting the site from Green Belt and AONB restrictions.

Or it could consider putting the land, together with the existing farmhouse, back on the open market.

Hambledon Parish Council remains committed to attempting to find suitable sites for affordable housing in the village in accordance with wishes expressed by residents and contained within the published Parish Plan.

 

A Glimpse Of Hambledon’s Past In Time For 2018 Fete Weekend

As Hambledon celebrates its 2018 Midsummer Festival with a weekend of events, here is a glimpse into the village’s past.

Hambledon Village Trust, landlord of the community-run shop, has received photographs almost certainly from the late 1960s and early 1970s showing the shop as it was then. The photographs were provided by the Ainsworth family who used to live in Pendle Cottage, which forms a part of the shop building. They were on a journey down memory lane when they called in last weekend.

The first, in black and white and probably dating back to the 1960s, shows a busy scene outside the shop with a farmer trundling by on his Nuffield tractor. Can anyone identify him?

The others, in colour, show the shop and pond, with a Rover saloon parked outside, possibly belonging to the family who lived in the cottage, which was then called Duck Cottage. It was renamed Pendle Cottage when Joan Hardy and her husband moved there in 1982.

It is hoped that old village photographs, and of fetes gone by, will be on display at the village website stand at the fete tomorrow, which opens at 12.30. Full details of fete events can be found on this website on the Latest News menu.

If anyone can shed any further light on the photographs please leave a message on this website.

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

 

Hambledon Nursery School Children And The Royal Wedding

Hambledon Nursery School children celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, by learning about marriage customs and staging their own ceremony at the village church.

In the two weeks before the Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle, children were encouraged to bring in family wedding photographs to enable them to make a personal connection to the ceremony. These were displayed in the two classrooms and in the reception area. They also prepared wedding invitations, made bunting and arranged floral displays.

Nicola Collett, head teacher, said this created a “real buzz of excitement” around the nursery school. Children enjoyed making their own plans and parents and teachers found themselves reminiscing about their own wedding day. Many reflected on how wedding dresses had changed over the years.

Several teachers brought in their wedding dresses and wore them in front of the children including Kate Walford who is pictured right. Another, who had recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary, brought along her photo album as well as her wedding dress.

Ceremonies in other cultures were also talked about and one parent brought in a beatutiful Indian wedding dress and jewellery while another showed pictures of a family Scottish wedding, with men dressed in kilts.

The school purchased a child’s wedding dress and prince’s outfit. Each day in the lead-up to the Windsor wedding, the children enacted a wedding ceremony. This culminated in them holding their own “wedding” service at St Peter’s Church.

Two children played “bride and grooom” and the rest were guests of honour. Dressed for the occasion – some chose Disney outfits – they walked through the woods from school to church where wedding music was played and a “service” held.

Then it was back to the school for the cutting of the cake. The children had made their own out of papier-mâché but, to their delight, Hambledon’s Crumby Bakery, made and delivered a large lemon and elderflower wedding cake. It was simply iced but with the addition of pre-cut paste shapes for children to decorate with edible pens.

The cake, pictured left, was then cut and portions were sold to parents to raise funds for additional resources for the nursery school.

Nicola said: “All of this led to a wonderful atmosphere at the school in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding.”

 

 

Villagers Urged to be Vigilant After Burglaries

Thieves have stolen property from a house in Hambledon, breaking in during broad daylight.

There have been other break-ins in the area in recent days including an attempt to steal two Land Rover Defenders.

Villagers are urged to ensure their homes and vehicles are securely locked and to report any suspicious activity to police.

Please also inform your Neighbourhood Watch coordinator. Contact details can be found on this website by opening up the Home menu and clicking on Essential Information. The Parish Magazine also carries contact information.

JUNIOR CRICKET TRAINING STARTS APRIL 21

Hambledon Cricket Club actively encourages youth cricket and holds popular training sessions for boys and girls on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings.

This season’s sessions begin later this month and new recruits are welcome to join. The first Saturday session is on April 21st and NOT April 22nd, an incorrect date in the poster below.

For more details contact Caroline Tristem at tristem@btinternet.com or 07860 618262.

Phone Box Repaired, Bins Emptied, Beware Potholes…and Your Snow Photos

Following the recent disruptive weather, a number of local services were affected.

However, all is back to normal after the sub-zero temperatures and snowfall of last week. The Friday bin collection was carried out two days later, on Sunday morning. The parish-council-owned grit bin at the top of Woodlands Road has been refilled. The Milk and More doorstep delivery did not happen on Saturday but is now operating to schedule.

And the phone box outside the village shop, which had developed a fault, has been repaired by BT engineers.

Potholes remain a problem and are likely to be more so after the freeze and thaw. Please contact Surrey County Council to report them, using the link on this website which can be found by clicking on the Home button on the top menu.

Finally, a lot of people were out-and-about in the village taking photographs of the snow. If you would like to share them on this website, please do so by using the Submit a Photograph button on the right side of the opening page and following the instructions. They will then be added by the web team to the Gallery section, where some snow photographs are already available to view.

 

Winter Weather – An Update on Bin Collection and Other Matters

Hambledon has shivered along with the rest of the country with temperatures plunging to -8C (please see latest photos under the Gallery menu)  but it was only in the last two days that snow caused a problem.

Although there were several relatively minor accidents in the lanes around the village, Hambledon remained open for business and credit goes to the village shop, which offered free deliveries to customers using volunteers in 4-wheel-drive vehicles if needed, and to the nursery school, which remained open all week when many other schools closed.

Stephanie Campbell, school secretary, said a great deal of effort went into keeping the steep entrance, car park and pathways clear of ice and snow. “We enjoyed fun snow play at the nursery school, warming up with hot chocolate when it got chilly outside.”

The Merry Harriers welcomed customers with a big log fire and hot food. The church, however, has had to cancel its Sunday services because snow remains on the steep Church Lane approach.

Hambledon Road, which was regularly gritted by Surrey County Council, is now clear of snow. Other lanes were gritted by local people and thanks go to them for keeping the village on the move. Most of the grit bins belong to SCC and it is responsible for refilling them. The parish council owns and maintains the bin at the top of Woodlands Road and this will be refilled over the weekend.

The Friday waste collection did not happen but please leave your bins out as Waverley Borough Council has advised they will be emptied over the next few days.

The payphone kiosk outside the village shop is currently out of order but the fault has been reported to BT which has said it has alerted its engineers and expects the repair to be carried out early in the coming week.

Hambledon Parish Council has a team of volunteers with 4-wheel drives, chain saws etc, ready to help out in the event of weather-related disruption and a link to them and other helpful numbers can be found on the opening page of this website. Please contact Stewart Payne, in the first instance, on 07831 393561. Arthur Frearson has joined the volunteer team and can be reached on 01428 683812 or 01252 722973. Please do not contact Tim Coleman or Nick Watson for the time being as both are unavailable.

If a grit bin near to you is in need of a refill please contact Stewart who will put in a request to Surrey County Council.

Our photographs show a snow covered Rock Hill, outside the nursery school; Church Lane and the listed red payphone outside the shop and post office.

Major Travel Disruption After High Winds

UPDATE – As of 17:39 all train lines have been reopened, but trains are running with some delays.

UPDATE – As of 12:45 Thursday 18th Jan, there is still no rail service to or from Witley, Milford, Godalming or Farncombe because of a fallen tree at Milford, which has caused extensive signalling damage. Disruption is expected to continue until 16:00. You can check the status of this disruption using the following link: https://www.journeycheck.com/swr/search?from=&to=WTY .

High winds overnight have brought down large numbers of trees, blocking roads and rail lines across the county, including at Hambledon Road and Milford Station.

South Western Railway reports that a fallen tree is blocking the line at the station and engineers are working to clear it (as of 9am Thursday 18th). Rail replacement transport is in place.

A fallen tree is completely blocking Hambledon Road close to Clock Barn Farm, so the direct route to Godalming from the village is impassable. Given the scale of tree debris across the area it may take some time before the road can be reopened.

There are long weather-related delays on the A3, M25 and A281.

Many other routes are affected by fallen trees and other debris and travellers are advised to use the contacts on this website’s winter weather page to check for further details. The link can be found at the top right of the opening page.

 

Jane Woolley Retires As Parish Council Clerk

Jane Woolley has retired as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council after twenty years of invaluable service, dedication and hard work.

Although Jane is by no means stepping down from active involvement in the village, this is a timely moment to reflect on her significant contribution as she hands over to her successor, Caroline White, on January 1st, 2018.

Jane’s commitment has already been recognised when, in 2008, she was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her voluntary service to Hambledon.

Her resourcefulness – as well as her generosity – was instrumental in setting up the Hambledon Village Trust, which now owns the freehold of the village community shop, and has helped fund and promote a range of local activities.

She celebrated her 70th birthday by walking 70kms in 70 hours to raise £7,000 to fund a shop re-fit, and on her 80thi in 2016 she undertook another fund-raising walk, this time a half-marathon, to raise more than £2,000 to pay for an outside toilet at the shop, for the use of customers including those with disabilities.

At a retirement party hosted by John Anderson, parish council chairman, she was thanked for the guidance and support she had given him and his colleagues. Surrounded by current parish councillors, Waverley and Surrey County councillors and others from the many areas of public life Jane has been involved with, John praised her for her “steely determination, great eye for detail and always ensuring that correct procedures were followed”.

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Village Dance Raises A Record £1,250 For Cancer Charity

THE Hambledon Village Dance, a sell-out event at the Village Hall on December 9, raised a record £1,250 for local cancer charity KatCanDo.

This year’s party was organised by Mike Blanchard, keyboard player with the band Toxic Sausage. Mike, who lives in the village, wanted the dance to raise money in memory of Pat Hill, a friend and Merry Harriers regular who died earlier this year from complications from blood cancer.

Mike also wanted to mark the successful surgery at the Royal Surrey County Hospital received by Stewart Payne, Hambledon resident and friend of Pat’s, who was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last year.

KatCanDo, which is run entirely by volunteers, raises money for the purchase of cancer-related equipment at local hospitals and hospices. It was set up in 2004 by Kate Coles, a friend of Stewart’s, who was suffering from bowel cancer and who overheard one of her specialists complaining that a piece of equipment that would be beneficial to sufferers was not available on the NHS budget.

With the support of friends Kate set up KatCanDo, a registered charity, with the express purpose of working with cancer care specialists to provide much-needed equipment at the Royal Surrey and Frimley Park hospitals and to aid cancer sufferers in local hospices.

Kate lost her battle with cancer in 2006 but her friends have kept the charity going and it has donated more than £300,000 to help the fight against the disease.

Stewart suggested to Mike that KatCanDo would be a worthwhile cause to donate the money to, and he agreed.

The dance was a big success, with Toxic Sausage belting out music that kept the dance floor packed.

Mike took it upon himself to organise this year’s dance, booking the hall, selling the tickets and taking no fee for performing. Well known around the village as Big Mike, he also has a big heart, and his kindness and hard work is much appreciated. Pat’s sons James and Jono attended the dance and were delighted and touched by the level of support. Thanks also go to Brigitte Coleman for the buffet and to the volunteers who ran the bar.

Toxic Sausage have a big following in Hambledon and will be appearing again at the Village Ball on June 23rd as part of the 2018 Midsummer Festival weekend.

If you would like to know more about the work of KatCanDo please visit www.katcando.org.uk.

Winter Weather – Some Useful Advice and Emergency Numbers

Hambledon Parish Council has an Emergency Plan procedure in place in the event of harsh winter weather bringing disruption to the village.

However, there are many simple precautions people can take to make sure they can cope with cuts to power supplies and phone lines, a problem that has affected Hambledon in the recent past and usually caused by high winds or heavy snow.

If power fails so to do household phones as many cannot function without electricity. As a safeguard, make sure you have a stand-by phone that does not need a power supply. The council has a small supply of such phones and if you require one please leave your details at the village shop.

Mobile phones lines can also fail during severe weather and it is worth remembering that the public phone box outside the village shop does not require electricity and will continue to work unless overhead lines have been brought down. Operator, reverse charge and 999 calls are free but you will need to use a bank card for all other calls.

Keep torches handy and make sure that you have a supply of batteries. A battery-operated radio will also come in useful for listening to local radio bulletins. Tune in to BBC Surrey on 104.6FM or Eagle Radio on 96.4FM.

The village website will also carry updates at www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk.

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Any more fares?

Many readers may have seen a vintage bus around the village recently, negotiating the narrow lanes or parked up in the bus stop outside the Merry Harriers.

Its owner Richard Shirley was staying at the pub as he had been hired to take a party of birthday revellers from Busbridge to the Noah’s Ark pub in Lurgashall, with a late-night pick-up.

His bus attracted a lot of attention and Richard was asked if he would be prepared to bring it back next year for the Hambledon Midsummer Festival in June. He agreed and his bus will take part in the classic vehicle rally which will start from the Cricket Green on Sunday June 24 (see earlier news item).

It is hoped that the bus, with villagers aboard, will follow the rally of local classic cars and bikes from the Green, where the fete and ball will have been held the previous day, through local countryside and ending up at the Merry Harriers.

Richard, from Kingston, is a bus enthusiast. His 1953 AEC Regal RF-type single decker was one of 700 built for working in London and the Home Counties. It was retired by London Transport in the early 1970s and, after passing through various ownerships, was eventually acquired for preservation.

Richard, who also owns a red London Transport RT double-decker built in the early 1950s, works in the transport industry. Both his vehicles are inspected and licenced for passenger-carrying service and are maintained in superb condition.

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NEW TEACHER REQUIRED AS ROSEMARY KILEY PREPARES TO RETIRE AFTER 27 YEARS

Hambledon Nursery School is looking for a new teacher following the decision by Rosemary Kiley to retire after 27 years.

Rosemary joined the school in January 1991, just after her own children finished at the nursery. She is a popular and respected member of staff. Head teacher Nicola Collett said Rosemary would be much missed when she leaves at the end of term.

In the meantime, she is seeking a new nursery practitioner to work four morning a week. Anyone who would like to apply should contact her at the school on 01428 684892 or by email on office@hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk.

The nursery, at Rock Hill, Hambledon, occupies the buildings of the former Hambledon Church of England state primary which, like many small rural schools, closed in the 1980s. Residents were determined that it should remain a place of learning at the heart of the community and a campaign led to the acquisition of the Victorian schoolhouse and playground at Rock Hill.

It reopened as a nursery for children aged two to five and has gone on to be adjudged “outstanding” by the government’s inspection body Ofsted.

The nursery had not long been in business when Rosemary joined the teaching staff and she recalls that in those early days the admissions list was recorded on a piece of cardboard. With a small but dedicated teaching staff, a school secretary, and overseen by a locally-appointed Board of Trustees, it has gone from strength-to-strength and is sought after by parents from the village and further afield.

Nicola said: “A happy working environment is reflected in the longevity of service of Rosemary and, indeed, other nursery practitioners”.

In retirement Rosemary (pictured) plans to focus on her flower arranging and will be holding a small sale of her creations at the nursery school on Saturday December 9 at 10am. Recently she supplied arrangements for the current BBC television adaptation of the E.M Forster novel Howards End, much of which has been filmed in Hambledon.

Anyone interested in the new teaching position can find out more about the school by looking 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.