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
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!
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).
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.
Updated Information From Hambledon Parish Council
- All copies of the April Parish Magazine should have reached subscribers by now, but as several of the delivery volunteers were new to the job, it is possible some were missed. If you did not receive your copy please contact Stewart Payne on 07831 393561.
- Some people do not subscribe, but buy the magazine at the village shop. As this is currently not possible, copies are available for purchase in the porch at St Peter’s Church beside a collection box. The cost per copy is 70 pence.
- Government advice on taking exercise is to do so once a day, and in your own locality. For local families, it is understandable that you may wish to venture into the countryside around Hambledon where many fields and paddocks contain livestock. No matter how tempting it is, PLEASE DO NOT feed or make contact with animals and do not touch or sit on fences and gates belonging to private properties. Thank you.
- The website team is keen to broaden the scope of what is on offer on the news pages. Updates, such as this, are important. But it would be good to have some variety to take our minds off our current “locked down” state. If you would like to contribute an article for publication this would be very welcome, and much appreciated by villagers. It could reflect how you are dealing with “lock down” or self-isolation, anecdotes about family life in the current circumstances, humorous or insightful observations…anything that takes your fancy. So come on Hambledonians, please let your creative juices flow and lift our spirits. If you have an offering please send it to web team member Paul Osborne.
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.
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.