Surrey news and views - your letters - April 2014

Surrey Life magazine April 2014

Surrey Life magazine April 2014 - Credit: Archant

Win a meal for two at one of Surrey’s top pubs by sharing your news and views with Surrey Life magazine

IF you’d like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life, write to us at the usual address, e-mail, comment at the end of this piece or join our community on Facebook and Twitter. Every month, the writer of our star letter wins a three-course dinner for two at the William Bray pub in Shere. The prize is available Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required. For more information on the William Bray, call 01483 202044 or pay a visit to their website at



Another great Surrey charity...

Dear Editor, I read your article ‘20 Great Surrey Charities’ in your November 2013 issue, and wondered if you were perhaps running a similar article in the future. If so, would you consider our wonderful little charity Katcando?

The charity was founded by my mum, with the aim of raising funds to purchase things to support cancer patients in the local area that would not usually be funded by the NHS.

This year is our 10th anniversary, and to date we have purchased over £200k worth of vital equipment. What’s more, we are run purely by mum’s friends and volunteers, so we have no overhead costs and every penny raised goes to good causes.

Most Read

On October 25, we are having a special 10th Anniversary Ball at Wentworth, to which everyone is welcome, to raise funds for a piece of kit for Frimley Park Hospital. For more information, pay a visit to our website at

Many thanks and best wishes,

Greg Coles,


Editor’s note: Thanks very much for getting in touch, Greg – and after raising such a staggering amount of money, we reckon you and your mum deserve a delicious dinner for two at the William Bray in Shere! We hope that you enjoy!


Help for Hascombe

Dear Editor, I write to alert readers to an industrial threat to a very special Surrey beauty spot.

Waverley Borough Council is considering allowing two industrial units to be built in the heart of Hascombe, one of Surrey’s most idyllic villages, much loved by residents, locals and visitors from far and wide.

Local residents are fighting to preserve the village for all and ensure it isn’t compromised by wholly unnecessary and inappropriate development. They are also calling on anyone who knows Hascombe and values the unique quality of this Surrey village to object to the proposal.

The proposal will see units built on the village pond, which is in a Conservation Area. This will have a seriously detrimental effect on the local environment and cause a major safety issue due to increased traffic and parking accessed only down the tiny twisting lane, Church Road. Hascombe, near Godalming, lies on the ancient Greensand Way and is frequented daily by countless ramblers, dog walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. It is bordered by centuries-old houses, the beautiful St Peter’s church and the 16th century pub, The White Horse, and is home to numerous species of wildlife, including Canada geese, bats, grey herons and newts.

It is also situated in the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as on designated Green Belt land.

The village has been chosen on many occasions for film sets, including Nanny McPhee and also the well-known BT television advertisement celebrating the marriage of Adam and Jane in 2011.

It has also been home to numerous well-known names, both past and present, including Dirk Bogarde, Winston Churchill, Chris Evans, Billie Piper, Anthea Turner and Bruce Foxton, former bass player with The Jam.

Objections can be made by accessing the planning section of the Waverley Borough Council website ( and commenting online on planning application reference WA/2013/2137.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Jones,



Exploring secret tunnels

Dear Editor,

I am just getting in touch further to your story about the wartime fortifications in the Downs above Reigate (‘A military mystery’, Surrey Life, November) and your appeal for people to share their own memories.

I know I’m not the only boy who explored the tunnels beneath Reigate Hill in the early fifties. We used to enter through a door in the chalk pit below the hill and see how far we dared penetrate the corrugated iron sheathed tunnels and rooms.

There were many rumours about other tunnels in the Downs, including one about a tunnel that led from the hills above Reigate to Walton-on-the-Hill, where someone had their Army HQ. I did a lot of exploring and there is/was definitely a very large hole (about 20 feet in diameter and maybe 30 feet deep) in a field just south of Walton-on-the-Hill that had tunnels at the bottom running up towards Walton and south towards the Downs. It was completely circled by trees. I cycled over to take a look at it, but it was too deep for us to get down to.

There were also rumours amongst some of the old Home Guard members about other tunnels towards Box Hill and Caterham – I don’t know if they were true or not. I was in my teens at the time, and exploring the tunnels under Reigate Hill was a lot more exciting than going to school. Hope someone else can add to the story.

Kind regards,

Bill Foston,

Bromley (formerly of Redhill and then Woodhatch)

Editor’s note: Dear Bill, thanks so much for taking the time to share your memories, which living in Reigate myself I read with great interest, and I’m sure others will enjoy too. On that note, if anyone else is able to cast any light on the mysterious wartime buildings and tunnels of Reigate Hill, please drop us a line at (and read the story so far here).


Dig for victory

Dear Surrey Life,

I’m contacting you from a TV company based in London, as we are currently in production with BBC2 gardening show, The Big Allotment Challenge, and looking for contestants to take part.

The series follows a handful of amateur kitchen gardeners, as they transform a plot of earth into a patch of beauty, and we’re holding auditions in the next few weeks.

So whether you’re an allotmenteer, a city living window-boxer or a gardening enthusiast, we want to hear from you: just go to the BBC website,, and follow the links.

Davinia Richardson,

Silver River Productions,



Cool for cats

Dear Editor, With Lent just around the corner, I started thinking about what I could give up…chocolate, crisps, alcohol and then I thought to myself… what about my time?

As a volunteer for Cats Protection Camberley & District, I know how important volunteers are to the work we do in the local area. For instance, over £4,000 was raised in 2013 through the various fund-raising efforts of our volunteers. All of this money was put straight back into the cats in our care (food, litter and vets bills).

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join our group, whether it be knitting blankets and toys or baking cakes for us to sell, to attending fund-raising events or fostering a cat in need – the list is endless really!

Not only does the charity benefit from these activities, our team of volunteers gain a huge amount of satisfaction helping cats get a second chance at life and enjoy spending time and having fun with like-minded people – what’s not to love!

If you are interested in helping us, please contact us by calling 0845 371 2475 or, alternatively, send an e-mail to

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Lewis,

Cats Protection

Camberley & District

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