Sunday Reflection

In this, our penultimate Sunday Reflection, Jane Woolley and John Hindley, the editors of Hambledon’s Parish Magazine, reflect on how it has kept the village informed and entertained throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lock-down.

“All church services cancelled”; “Cricket suspended”; “Promising season curtailed”; “A rousing last performance”.  Just some of the headings we were having to write during March as we edited the April issue of the Parish Magazine.  Our hearts were sinking deeper and deeper into our boots:  what prospect was there of any subsequent issues as everyone and everything locked or shut down until further notice? 

However, by April 16th, the last date for receipt of copy for the May edition, there was so much material that, for only the second time in recent history, we had a 60-page issue on our hands. But not the last.

Although runs could not be scored on the cricket green, no goals kicked at the football club, no audiences entertained at the village hall, just about all the other village organisations and clubs – from the church to the pub to the shop – had re-activated themselves in ways that they had never imagined of in pre-pandemic days.

Parish Council meetings? No problem thanks to Zoom.  Church services?  Worship, prayer and fellowship on offer online.  Pub grub?  A special take-away menu prepared for those who were having to self-isolate.  The weekly shop?  Just telephone or email your order to Hambledon Village Shop for delivery to your door-step on the very same day.

All this plus community assistance and fundraising initiatives launched to provide for those in need of support, including financial help, and articles on how individual families were responding to lock-down.

And where to find all this vital information? In the Parish Magazine, of course. Throughout the pandemic the Magazine, with a team of volunteers to deliver it to doorsteps, attempted to keep track of and report on the often fast-moving and sometimes contradictory changes that affected everyone in Hambledon.

Perhaps an even more important role has been its ability to keep people aware of what a significant number of individuals and groups have been doing to ensure that village life continued under the new-normal. New contributors appeared, with wonderful offerings, and three more 60-page issues followed. VE Day was commemorated.

For people who had to self-isolate and for to all who had to lock-down, the Magazine demonstrated that Hambledon’s community spirit never wavered.

The editors had few problems, other than dealing with last minute changes.  The good-news stories continued to flow and one of the best headlines we were able to write for the latest (August) issue of the Magazine was “Heading back to normal” (although caution did dictate the addition of a question mark!).   

Vann Garden – Additional Opening

The garden at Vann will be open to visitors on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the rest of June, beginning from today.

Vann is the home of the Caroe family. Many in Hambledon are still greatly saddened by the death of Mary Caroe from Covid-19. Mary, a loved and respected village resident and community volunteer, gave much of her time to the magnificent property, which includes a water garden created by the noted designer Gertrude Jekyll in 1911.

Vann, Hambledon, Surrey; garden originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll

The 5-acre garden, in beautiful countryside in Vann Lane, Hambledon, GU8 4EF, is open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays, until at least the end of this month. Tickets cost £10, payable in cash on the day, and visitors will receive a Vann booklet and postcards.

The garden is looking splendid, benefiting from a great deal of hard work and the warm late spring/early summer weather. Visitors can wander around at their leisure, observing social distancing.

Vann has been open on selected days for many years under the National Gardens Scheme. Mary was an active member of the Surrey Gardens Trust, and a member of its Council since its inception in 1991.

Further details of Vann garden and its Arts and Crafts movement house can be found at

Our photograph shows Vann in its Spring finery. Picture credit: Andrew Lawson

Surrey Hills AONB – Please stay away

The Surrey Hills Partnership is asking people NOT to visit the many public facilities and car parks at recognised beauty spots within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and instead to access countryside close to where we live.

Well-known visitor attractions such as Frensham Ponds, Box Hill and Newlands Corner have seen a massive increase in visitors in the recent hot weather following a relaxing of lockdown restrictions.

This has resulted in a concern that social distancing is not being properly observed and there have been additional issues such as congestion, illegal parking, litter and fire risk.

Please click here for further information:



Young people are urged not to light fires or have barbecues on Hambledon and Buss’s Common, both of which are tinder dry.

Hambledon Parish Council has been alerted to gatherings of youngsters sharing barbecues. There is evidence of people sleeping out and camping on the commons and the Fire Brigade has expressed concern.

As a parent, please ensure your young family members are not lighting fires of any kind when they are out-and-about meeting friends. Even a barbecue in the sand pit is not safe, as sparks could set heather ablaze.

A fire would not only be extremely destructive to wildlife and habitats, it would endanger surrounding houses.

Notices have been put up warning of the risk. If you see anyone having a barbecue please ask them to stop. During current Covid-19 restrictions, it is especially important not to expose our emergency services to avoidable risk.

Thank you. Stewart Payne, emergencies coordinator, Hambledon Parish Council. 07831 393561

Sunday Reflection

Yet another good news story for Hambledon:  as was reported at the start of the week, the raffle held by the locally-based Village Spirit Collective to raise money for the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund achieved a remarkable £1,108.   This more than exceeded expectations – the Collective’s Ian and Alpa Cox were hoping that they might make around £200!

Continue reading

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.

A Reflection

A Sunday Reflection

It is an extraordinary time when families and friends cannot gather together over Sunday lunch, when our little church up on the hill cannot be open for Sunday worship, when our village pub cannot open for convivial drinks and conversation, and even our remarkable community shop has to take a short break and close its doors for 24 hours.

Yet, just as extraordinary, has been the response of the people in our village and its immediate neighbourhood, and today we say “thank you” to all those who have made sure vital things happen when so little can happen.

Especially we thank the village shop team – staff and volunteers – who have had to adapt over the past seven days to ever-changing circumstances, moving from near “business as normal” to a delivery-only service in such a short time.

Continue reading