Bisley: Surrey village life
- Credit: Pete Gardner
This month, we head to a bustling village with lots going on...
Working for Heater’s Bakery in the centre of the village means Lynsey Flude meets a lot of the locals as well as the passing trade. Lynsey has lived in Bisley for 30 years – and loves it. “It’s a nice village,” she says. “People here are happy to help you and very friendly. There’s a post office, butcher’s and a pub as well as a lot of things going on like the scouts and guides and events in the village hall. It’s a beautiful place to live.
“I’ve worked in the bakery for a number of years – it’s a family business owned by my granddad, David Heater, for over 40 years. People stop by to chat and catch up on the gossip,” she laughs. “The best-seller in the shop?” – Lynsey pauses – “It’s the bacon and sausage baguette!”
A quick bit of history gives the origin of the village name as coming from the old English word ‘Bysc’ and ‘Leah’ meaning bushes and clearing.
For a small village (Bisley lies on the A322 between Knaphill and West End), there is a surprising amount going on – ranging from a football team to one of the largest manufacturers of office furniture in the UK, Bisley Office Furniture, and even a prison, HMP Coldingley.
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However, the village is probably best known for being home to the National Shooting Centre – itself the home of shooting since 1890. Set in 3,000 acres of stunning Surrey heathland, the centre hosts dozens of events during the year ranging from shooting club days to gun matches and more.
The centre is also home to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association – the national governing body for clay target shooting in England – and the National Rifle Association.
There is even a revolver named after the place – the US firearms company Colt called one of their models The Bisley.
Grab a bite…
Right, a tricky one this as Bisley is not exactly huge, but there’s always The Hen & Chickens in the centre of the village. With three bars, two open fires and a patio garden, they are renowned for their warm hospitality and well-kept ales (tel 01483 473184).
No time to sit and relax…? Then right next-door, the previously mentioned Heater’s Bakery will have something to ease the hunger pangs. They stock a huge range of pastries, sandwiches and cakes to keep you going.
Dates for Your Diary...
Well, not quite yet, but later this year, the Bisley Undercover Festival is happening at The Bisley Pavilion in Queen’s Road, Brookwood. Spread over three days, September 19, 20 and 21, this will be a ‘multi-genre festival’ of punk, ska, reggae and more. For more information, call 07872 173651.
And there just had to be something for the gun enthusiasts. On Sunday March 30, also at the Bisley Pavilion, the Bisley Antique and Classic Arms Fair takes place. So dig out that old musket from the loft and pop along…
Something to take home…
Back at the National Shooting Centre, pop into the William Evans shop where, as well as a wide range of guns and rifles, you’ll find a selection of country clothing and accessories that should also appeal to the non-shooting public as well.
Bisley is about 10 miles north of Guildford on the A322 (unless you make an awful mistake and set off for Bisley in Gloucester, which will take the best part of two hours…).
Arriva bus number 34 will take you from Guildford via Sutton Green, Woking and Knaphill (if you forget to get off you’ll end up in Bagshot…).
The nearby train station is in Brookwood, on the South Western main line to Waterloo, a couple of miles from Bisley.
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Next month: We visit Farleigh