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Visit to Layer Marney

Layer Marney website

Our next visit will be on Wednesday 22nd May 2019, to Layer Marney Tower and Cressing Temple Barns, near Colchester.

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We first visit Cressing Temple, itself steeped in history dating back to the 12th century when it was given to the Knights Templar. It is home to three Grade 1 listed barns as well as Tudor built walled gardens. The oldest, the Barley Barn, was constructed sometime between1205 and 1235. The Wheat Barn was constructed about fifty years later and the Granary Barn is early 16th century. There was a Tudor Mansion formerly on the site but all that remains now are the Tudor, brick built, walled gardens now fully restored to their former glory.

We move on to Layer Marney Tower for an inclusive ploughman’s lunch and cake!

Layer Marney is a Grade 1 Tudor house. Henry, first Lord Marney, was Henry VIII’s Lord Privy Seal. He planned a palace to rival Hampton Court, but he died in 1523 and two years later work stopped, with only one range of the building completed. The gatehouse is now in private hands and is only open to the public by special arrangement. After lunch we will be given a guided tour of the house and the church which was altered to match the house.

The cost for this trip will be £55 per person, which will include coach travel, lunch, a guided tour of Layer Marney Tower and a gratuity for the driver. The coach will depart from Wine Rack, Ridgeway Road at 8.00am and from The Hart at 8.15 am, returning at approximately 6.30pm.

For enquiries, please use the contact form below.

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Northbrook Park development

Northbrook plan

The East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has published its Draft Local Plan (dLP) for consultation. The consultation started on 5 February and finishes on Tuesday 19 March 2019. The dLP includes the provision of 3,723 homes required to satisfy its national housing allocation including an allocation at Northbrook Park which abuts the Surrey Hampshire boundary. The current proposal in Hampshire is the construction of a minimum of 800 houses, a primary school, community hub, ‘village’ centre, sports facilities and a variety of employment and office buildings. The dLP indicates that the development would if undertaken take place between 2028 and 2036.

Bentley Parish Council has expressed concerns at the proposals. Bentley residents attended a meeting at the Bentley Memorial Hall on Monday 25 February, an estimated four hundred people. The parish of Bentley currently has approximately 450 houses with a population of approximately 1,250.

The Society understands that the landowner’s proposals are to extend the development in the Farnham Built Up Boundary Area and construct a further 700 houses.

The Northbrook site was submitted as part of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan process. The site was rejected, the summary stating ‘A significant development of 15.3ha set in open countryside removed from Farnham and extending beyond the Parish boundary into East Hampshire would have a significant detrimental effect on the landscape of high sensitivity.’ Continuing ‘A new settlement would not represent an appropriate strategy to accommodate development taking into account the reasonable alternative of brownfield sites in more sustainable locations. The site is unsuitable and potentially unachievable as a housing allocation.’

The impact on Bentley will be unmeasurable, but the impact on Farnham will be significant as well. Residents of the development would likely look to travel east to work, to shop, for their social life and entertainment.

Issues that would arise from the inclusion of the proposed development in the EHDC dLP to Farnham would include a significant impact on the infrastructure. If properly managed, the funds levied under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) could contribute to a western relief road, which would be beneficial and would ease what could otherwise be not insignificant congestion through Farnham town centre. Increased traffic movements would undoubtedly result in some congestion and over demand for parking spaces despite the proposal to operate a bus service, with increased demand on already stretched facilities. Residents travelling to London would require to travel through the town centre, rail tickets are currently 20% cheaper from Farnham than Bentley.

The development would bring a further demand for school places. Farnham is already looking to have 2,780 new houses built in the period up to 2032, so even the 800 homes proposed on the Hampshire side would bring a significant extra demand. The further 700 homes in the Farnham boundary area would create even more demand.

The proposals would result in the loss of greenfields, an area recorded as landscape of high sensitivity. A development would change the A31 corridor immeasurably.

The Society is going to comment and register its concern and objection to the inclusion of the site within the EHDC dLP. Clicking this link will take you to the draft Local Plan.

You can comment on the dLP by clicking here, note that you will have to register to do so. Alternatively you can email your comments to localplan@easthants.gov.uk or write to Planning Policy, East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 4EX. Your comments need to be received by the council by 5pm on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

Evening Talk: Simon de Montfort

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Talk by Dr Sophie Therese Ambler

Simon de Montfort, England’s First Revolution and the Death of Chivalry, 1258-1265

Monday 1st April refreshments 7.30 for 8.00pm start

At St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ. Tickets on entry £4 members, £6 non members.

Farnham and its surrounds were at the heart of the first English revolution: it was an attack on the church of Shere, and the dragging of captives to Farnham Castle, that provoked Montfort and his allies to take action in 1258.  Seizing power from the king, Simon de Montfort ruled England at the head of a revolutionary government, until he and his followers were cut down in the greatest noble slaughter since 1066.

Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is Lecturer in Later Medieval History at Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Her new book, The Song of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry, will be published by Picador on 30 May 2019.

Reservations email - 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com

Post Office consultation

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The Post Office has announced a proposal to close its Farnham branch, and to transfer operations into WH Smith in The Borough. This is part of a national reorganisation of Post Office branches. The move is planned for June of this year.

The plan is to relocate into a dedicated open plan area towards the rear of the existing WH Smith shop. There will be three staffed serving positions, one of which will be of the traditional screened type, the other two will be open plan. In addition there will be two self service kiosks.  Most of the facilites currently provided at the West Street branch will continue to be available, though the ATM will not be retained.

The office will be available for a period during the WH Smith Sunday opening hours.

It is not clear whether the planned new location will provide an adequate queueing area for customers within and outside the premises. West Street it is know for a queue to stretch through the doors and into the street.

A consultation is now running, and will close on 6 March. To take part, visit the Post Office website.  postofficeviews.co.uk, enter branch name, postcode GU9 7PJ or branch code 007900

Our 2019 programme

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Monday1 April

Evening talk, Simon de Montfort and the first English revolution.

Speaker: Dr Sophie Ambler

May 20th, Monday

Evening talk, The Rise and Fall of English Switzerland

Speaker: Marion Dell

The story of the bohemian colony on the Hindhead at the end of the 19th Century

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

July 12th, Friday

Evening talk, Harold Falkner, more than an Arts and Craft Architect

Speaker: Sam Osmond

The story of Farnham’s famous Architect. Harold Faulkner and Charles Borelli, the founders of The Farnham Society

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

September 20th, Friday

Evening talk, The Story of Global Warming: a scientists view

Speaker Prof Candy, Depart of Geography, Royal Hollaway University of London

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

October 18th, Friday

Evening talk, Poverty and Welfare in 19th Century Britain: The Swing Riots in Surrey 1830.

Speaker: Dr Judy Hill, University of Surrey -

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

Friday 15th November

Evening talk: Arts and Craft Gardens, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens

Speker: Cherrill Sands, Garden Historian

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

December 12th, Thursday

Christmas entertainment, The story of a Butlers Christmas and the traditions of the Georgians and Victorians over the festive season

Presenter: Dr Bob France

St Thomas on the Bourne, Farnham GU9 8HA.

 

SCC Consultations

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Community Recycling Centres:

Surrey County Council faces severe financial pressures and feel they have no choice but to look for savings. They are undertaking five consultations at the same time.

Consultations end on Friday 4 January 2019. Click here for link.

All the threatened Surrey County Council cuts are important.

Potential loss of Farnham’s Community Recycling Centre (CRC) in Guildford Road.

Surrey has put forward three options for the future of its 15 CRCs. Two of these would involve closing the Farnham CRC and would require Farnham residents to travel to Guildford, Camberley or Witley to recycle their household waste. Using these CRCs would involve round trips of around an hour at quieter times and much longer at busier times. This would be a major inconvenience and unnecessary expense to Farnham’s 40,000 plus residents and would result in very many Farnham residents opting out of using the Surrey CRCs completely and most likely an increase in fly-tipping.

The Farnham CRC is threatened with closure as it is categorised by Surrey as one of the six less used sites, which is supposedly close to alternative sites, which are said to generally offer a better customer experience. Farnham would appear to be the highest used of the six less used sites. This low use would seem to be very surprising as Farnham is the third largest town in Surrey based on the 2011 census figures and all the other CRCs apart from Guildford and Woking are based in smaller towns than Farnham. It is not really surprising as the Farnham CRC is very poor from an access, layout and customer experience point of view. Surrey and Suez management appear to struggle with this site, which is seriously understaffed when compared to the nearby, and well managed and run, Hampshire sites in Aldershot and Farnborough.

The Farnham CRC is now in a cycle of decline as it is thought that many Farnham residents are now using Hampshire sites, particularly since the Farnham site was closed for two days a week and its opening hours shortened. However, the supervisors of the nearby Hampshire sites have advised that in around a years’ time Hampshire intend to introduce checks to ensure that only Hampshire residents will have access to their CRCs.

It is unacceptable for Farnham to be left without a well-run CRC in the town or very close by. It may be that the current site cannot be realistically upgraded. If so it should be used for another purpose and a new site developed in a suitable alternative location nearby. A further option would be to come to an arrangement with Hampshire to upgrade the Aldershot site to serve both Aldershot and Farnham residents.

In any case we would strongly recommend Farnham residents to take part in the Surrey consultation, which runs till Friday 4 January 2019, and to insist that the Farnham CRC is not closed until a suitable alternative facility is provided.

Follow this link to the consultation

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/crcs/

 Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services

Surrey County Council’s consultation on “Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services” does not contain any specific proposals to close any libraries. This is in contrast with the consultation on “Community Recycling Centres” which includes proposals, which would result in the Farnham Recycling Centre being closed.

The consultation makes it clear that the Council intends to make substantial savings in the costs of its libraries and library services. Surrey currently has 52 libraries based across the county and the Council currently spends £14 per person on libraries compared with the £9.89 average for similar county councils. Their intention is to reduce their expenditure on libraries to a level close to the national average spend of county councils. This would involve a cut in expenditure of up to 30%, which would most likely have to include some closures of the less well used libraries and service reductions elsewhere.

The consultation document does talk positively about how libraries are an integral part of community life and sit at the heart of lifelong learning. We completely agree and see the continuation of Farnham’s library service at its present excellent level as vitally important for the residents of the town.

We would we would strongly recommend Farnham’s residents, who wish to protect our library services, to take part in the Surrey consultation. This runs until 4 January 2019. Participation can be either online via the Surrey County Council website following this link or by returning a questionnaire available at Farnham Library.

Housing development at Coxbridge Farm

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Vivid Homes staged a public exhibition on 11 December, in support of a consultation on the proposed housing develpoment at Coxbridge Farm.

Displays from the exhibition: click to download.

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SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL CONSULTATION DROP IN

SCC Consultation

Surrey CC have agreed after pressure from our County Councillors to have a Consultation Drop-in session on Monday 17 December between 10am and 12 midday (two hours only) at the Library (The Culver Room) in West Street.

We would urge as many residents to attend to show the strength of feeling about the possible closure of the CRC (Dump) together with the loss of other services in Farnham, the largest town in Waverley.

Concessionary bus travel

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) was introduced by the government in 2008 to provide free off-peak bus travel to senior citizens and eligible disabled people. The scheme supports bus travel by encouraging the use of underutilised off peak capacity. It is highly valued by many users and is a lifeline for those disabled users who through economic circumstances or medical reasons do not have their own transport and have to rely on public transport. It is a statutory obligation for County Councils to provide the scheme though government financial support for the scheme has been gradually reduced, as is the pattern for government support of local authority services.

Some councils, including Surrey, gave additional non-statutory benefits to disabled users and it is these which are under threat of withdrawal under this consultation.

The society’s view is that: -

  • We support a potential saving in administrative costs of the scheme of around £100,000 per annum, mainly through not sending reminder letters to users that their passes are due to expire.
  • We strongly object to the proposed withdrawal the approximately 2,500 companion passes across Surrey, which enable the most disadvantaged disabled users who are not capable of independent travel to take with them a carer or friend for support. This represents only around 30% of all disabled passes.
  • We are concerned about the proposal that disabled pass holders travelling before 9.30 am and after 11pm on weekdays would need to pay. This would save the Council around £300,000 per annum. If this has to happen, we would urge Surrey to negotiate with the bus companies to provide reduced fares for disabled bus pass holders at this time. They would therefore recover some of the revenue lost through the bus pass scheme. If this works this benefit could later be extended to senior citizens.

Click here for the consultation

The consultation closes on 4th January 2019.

A Cracking Christmas Evening

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On Monday 3 December, Brenda Longman, Ray Murphy with Farnham Rep presented an evening of Christmas inspired entertainment.

The performance included exerpts from the following books

“The Age of Bewilderment” by David Sherrington,

“An Almost Perfect Christmas” by Nina Stibbe,

“Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier,

“Toast” by Nigel Slater,

“Recollections” by Gervase Phinn,

‘Le Bumper Book de Franglais’ by Miles Kington.

“Truce in the Trenches” by W.R.M. Percy and

“In Jamaica” Noel Cowerd

They read the following Poems

“Christmas Day” by John Betjeman,

“Ivan Who Shopped Online” Chris Addison,

Four poems by U.A.Fanthorpe’s book of “Christmas Poems”,

“Old Sam’s Christmas Pudding” by Marriott Edgar,

“Parson’s Lea” by Charles Causley,

“Christmas Thank Yous” by Mick Gowar,

“Night Before Christmas” by Harvey Erlich

“Christmas Roses and Mistletoe” by Reginald Arkle

And sang the following Songs

“A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer

“Have yourself a Merry little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane

Sport, the Media and the Money!

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Wednesday 14 November

St Thomas on the Bourne, Frensham Road, GU9 8HA

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Our speaker was Joanne Watson, retired BBC Sports Producer.

Farnham resident Joanne spent more than 30 years working for BBC sport. Her latter career saw her as the Major Events Planning Editor for Radio Sport. During her time the relationship between Sport and the Media changed dramatically. The influence of mega million pound contracts, millionaire backers and the expansion of digital media means the sporting landscape is now very different, but is it all for the better? Joanne worked on the London Olympics, Wimbledon, Football, Rugby and Cricket World Cups.