A visit to Build It Live this month will help you create a home as individual as you
Are you planning an extension to your home? Or perhaps you even have aspirations to build a new home from scratch? Whatever your plan for a dream home, make sure you pay a visit to the Build It Live show coming soon to Bicester on October 2nd and 3rd.
The exhibition aims to provide a stress-free route to creating a truly individual home with the opportunity to meet a wide range of suppliers plus a host of independent experts who can provide invaluable (free!) advice and top tips on your own self-build or home renovation project.
Architects and other experts will be offering one-to-one advice on how to turn a project into reality including how to find land, what is possible with and without planning permission and how to ensure you have the right design.
At the show there will be a number of specialist areas including a Heating Advice Clinic, glazing manufacturers displaying a huge range of bifold and sliding doors, French doors, windows, contemporary and traditional front doors, and rooflights – plus a Build Cost Clinic to help you understand how much it will cost to build the home of your dreams.
We have 100 pairs of free tickets worth £24 to giveaway.
Simply visit www.builditlive.co.uk and use promo code ROUND100.
This August, opera, fairy-tale and musical theatre will combine in a spectacular show, Goblin Market at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.
“Goblin Market is a chamber opera like no other that stands out from other British Youth Music Theatre shows. With complex musical harmonies, it reveals the unlimited imagination and enthusiasm of its young cast, who will at last unleash their incredible talent after many months of confinement. It promises to be a truly spectacular show,” says Zoë Wanamaker, BYMT patron.
A new extraordinary musical theatre adaptation of Christina Rosetti’s famous tale, Goblin Market is coming to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on 26th-28th August.
With music by renowned composer Conor Mitchell, this enchanting chamber opera of high energy physical theatre and complex musical harmonies charts the story of two sisters tempted by goblin merchant men. Unmissable, tempting, controversial, seductive… can you hear the Goblin call?
Director Gerard Jones (The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, La Scala) says: “Theatre centres on shared experiences, both for the audience and the performers. BYMT’s work gives this experience to the young people, and to us creatives working closely with them. I wanted to work again with the company since the first time I directed a piece there. That show had one if the very best group bonds I’ve ever experienced among cast and crew, and I’m sure that will be the same again also with this darkly exciting piece.”
One of the young performers, Grace Murray 18 from Market Drayton, Shropshire, says: “I have absolutely loved my BYMT experience. I’m playing Laura in Goblin Market and I’m enjoying every second of rehearsals. It’s so rewarding to take part in a show where everyone is as dedicated to the project as to each other, which also comes from the incredible score and an amazing team of creatives”.
This spectacular production was last seen in Edinburgh in 2005 and was hailed by press and public alike as a huge success:
“Magical… Kath Burlinson and Conor Mitchell have created the ideal vehicle for such a versatile and talented company of performers’ – Belfast Telegraph
“A brilliant production…energetic, dynamic, exciting, superb… Conor Mitchell has excelled here with a demanding and ambitious score…” – Irish News
“The greatest musical Sondheim never wrote…” – Broadwaybaby.com
As they celebrate their 15th birthday, Guildford Shakespeare Company are preparing to bring She Stoops To Conquer to life in the gardens of Guildford Castle. Rick Murphy & Lisa Dvorjetz review their recent live-streamed performance of Henry V…
Live theatre is one of the countless scarcities of the Covid-19 era, and during an exhausting lockdown, as the nation craves a return to art and culture, the Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) staged a virtual production of Henry V. Maybe the play’s timely theme, which reveres British power over Europe, reminds us that, for the last 800 years, history has been set to repeat. In a mere 75 minutes, the cast and crew transported us from the alehouses of England to the battlefields of France. But, can our modern video technology really compete with the grandeur of a theatre performance?
Watching Henry V on a tablet felt like receiving a Zoom call from the 1300s. The fifth wall was creatively protected by a five-actor cast who meticulously changed clothes, props, scenes, accents, stage positions, from the comfort of their own homes, while presumably entertaining hordes of neighbours too. This was a fascinating and novel experience because, as well as being transported into the homes of the actors, we were also “Zoomed” into the homes of other audience members. Performing a show online has the potential for losing a theatre ambiance; however, this production created a slight voyeuristic effect which allowed you to track viewers’ reactions and feel part of a shared experience.
Don’t worry, you could switch your camera off!
Historical plays are sombre, and they yearn for a strong fit between each element of the performance. Watching each actor on “speaker view” made the characters seem intimate and the drama immersive. In one night-time scene, Henry, played by Gavin Fowler, was considering his claim to the French crown. It was choreographed in such a way that the background images were dimmed, home lights were turned off, and phone torches were used to create a fluttering sense of firelight. Sitting inside a theatre means each poignant whisper must carry to those unfortunate souls in the back row, but in the ease of a virtual play one is invited into a dialogue with each character personally. This made for a stirring entry into their fictional world.
Gavin embodied the energy and focus that one could imagine the young Henry V to have possessed. Chris Porter, Emily Tucker, Paula James and Matt Pinches managed to transition between the diverse country folk and nobles by use of their colourful costumes and wide array of accents. Some moments were unintentionally slapstick, particularly where the storyline hurried along too quickly, where background images were cartoonishly bright, with one actor showing clear signs of dial-up internet; but experiencing the victory of the battlefield from the comfort of home, patriotically munching on popcorn from our own front row, made this modern-take on Henry V a welcome and entertaining experience.
Dunsfold Village Shop has two reasons to celebrate – not only has it marked 10 years serving the community but it has also won an SW Surrey Community Hero Award.
South West Surrey Community Hero Awards
The award launched by MP for South West Surrey, Jeremy Hunt, acknowledges the shop’s contribution to the local community during the Covid-19 pandemic, going above and beyond to help others during these challenging times.
Lockdown posed a huge challenge but the shop has remained operational throughout the past year, in recognition of the importance of local shopping for the community. During the first lockdown, a successful online shop was launched for collection and delivery to vulnerable customers and in February a huge milestone was reached with the 3,000th order. Alongside this, the shop doors have been open for the vast majority of the time, operating within Covid-safe guidelines.
Mr Hunt said: “We have all been humbled by the numerous examples of individuals going the extra mile to help people in need during the pandemic. Thank you so very much for all you are doing to support those in need during this crisis – you are a true local hero!”
Owned and run by the community, the shop opened in 2011 and now provides a comprehensive range to customers, including everyday groceries, a richly-stocked delicatessen, fresh fruit & vegetables, freshly brewed coffee and hot drinks and other support services, including dry cleaning. It is a staunch advocate of Love Local and during Covid has continued to stock goods from many local producers including Rawlings of Cranleigh, Dylan’s Icecream, Taurus Wines, Flowers by Juliette, Sugar Party, Charlie’s Trout, Mandira’s Kitchen, eggs by Hallgate Farm and Lee House, Crafty Brewing Co, Firebird Brewery, Hogs Back Brewery, Hungry Guest and many more.
Run by manager Gary Halls and his five staff, the shop operates with a team of local volunteers who help stock shelves, serve and compile and deliver orders. Gary said: “We are delighted to receive this award. 2020 was extremely challenging but with teamwork and a lot of creative thinking, we transformed the way we operate and are stronger for it. The most important thing is keeping our customers and staff safe, whilst at the same time, continuing to provide our community service, arguably more vital than ever during Covid.”
Dunsfold Village Shop Committee Chair, Karen Thurston, said they were extremely grateful for the hard work of the staff and volunteers, adding: “The benefits of the village shop have shone through during the last year – it is central to village life and has been a lifesaver for many locals – and it has been a huge pleasure to be part of it.”
As lockdown measures ease and the weather improves, Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty remains a popular destination for both locals and visitors.
The past year has drawn more people than ever towards our green spaces in an effort to find fresh air for exercise and to reconnect with nature.
The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown sees measures eased this week, with the relaxation of the ‘Stay at Home’ rule, meaning outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside. From Monday, 12th April, non-essential retail will be able to open including most outdoor attractions and settings and hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors.
These dates also coincide with the Easter break, school holidays and improved weather, all factors that will see a greater volume of visitors head to the Hills for recreation and relaxation.
Heather Kerswell, Chair of the Surrey Hills AONB Board says: “As lockdown measures slowly ease over the coming months, we expect the Surrey Hills to attract a greater volume of visitors. It is important that those who do come follow the Countryside Code and our guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. We encourage those who do come to seek out the less well-known areas of the Surrey Hills and keep away from the busy beauty spots where it will be harder to socially distance. Please remember to respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors and where possible support the local business community who very much need our custom at this time”.
We encourage residents to be tolerant and visitors to be kind as we see an increased enthusiasm for the Surrey Hills over the coming months. In-line with the newly launched Countryside Code we’ve set out our top tips for visiting this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to ensure the countryside is a safe place for all:
• We are aware that many visitors who love to walk and cycle will have greatly missed the Surrey Hills landscape, the views, and the well-known beauty spots. We advise you to avoid well-known sites such as Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil’s Punch Bowl which may become congested and therefore difficult to socially distance. Instead, why not visit lesser-known areas of the Surrey Hills.
• Please check before you travel that hospitality, car parks and facilities are open. Some local amenities such as loos may not have reopened yet.
• Take your litter home, leaving no trace of your visit. This keeps the Surrey Hills a special place for everyone. Please don’t light fires or BBQs unless there is a sign to say they are permitted. It is easy for a fire to get out of control and destroy rare habitats.
• Respect local wildlife and look after nature by being extra cautious and sticking to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife.
• Please be aware that our local farms are under great seasonal pressures during this time and we would encourage you to respect their needs by keeping dogs on leads and follow all designated footpaths and bridleways to keep yourselves and farm animals safe.
• Remember to consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors. Observe social distancing measures to help restrict the spread of the virus and ensure the countryside is a safe place for all
• We encourage you to continue supporting local during this time of transition and want to highlight all the wonderful products and services available on our doorstep in the Surrey Hills. Take a look at our list of businesses offering home deliveries, online support and services, gifts and inspiration.
• We hope that renewed enthusiasm for the Surrey Hills will translate into more people getting involved in caring for nature, wildlife, and the landscape. Remember to Respect, Protect and Enjoy – breathe deep, stride out, and give a cheery heartfelt hello to those you meet along the way!
Chris Howard, Chairman of Visit Surrey says: “Visit Surrey is delighted to welcome back our residents and visitors to the many attractions our county has to offer. It will, however, be a challenging time for the county’s most popular beauty spots and researching to find some of the Surrey Hills hidden gems may make for a more enjoyable and safer experience. Remember many places, even if they are free, will want you to book in advance. Also, toilets and other facilities will still be limited, so do plan your outings carefully.”
Stephanie Fudge, National Trust General Manager for the Surrey Hills comments: “We would encourage all visitors to plan outings carefully and to check facilities are fully open. As wildlife emerges from the winter, we are seeing large numbers of ground-nesting birds across the Surrey Hills from March until early Summer. Their breeding success is critically dependent on not being disturbed and so we would ask that visitors are considerate, keep to paths and keep their dogs on leads in sensitive areas. By being respectful of wildlife and the local community we can all benefit from an enjoyable visit to the Surrey Hills.”
The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of 46 nationally protected landscapes in the UK, having equal landscape status and protection to a national park. The Surrey Hills AONB was designated on 8 May 1958, which makes it the first AONB in southern England to be designated (the first was the Gower Peninsula near Swansea in 1956). The Surrey Hills AONB stretches across a quarter of the county of Surrey and includes the chalk slopes of the North Downs from Farnham in the west to Oxted in the east, and extends south to the deeply wooded Greensand Hills which rise in Haslemere. The Surrey Hills Board is a Joint Management Committee which is funded by Defra, the National Trust, Surrey County Council and the local authorities within the Surrey Hills area.
For further information on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) visit www.surreyhills.org
Half term fun for families & children with Surrey Wildlife Trust
Half term is here: Hurray! We know it’s been tough times for parents this winter & that (whisper it) you might not exactly be jumping for joy at the prospect of filling extra time with your children.
But Surrey Wildlife Trust have some great resources to help you spot & encourage wildlife in your own garden or outdoor space, as well as activities you can enjoy online or in one of the 70 Surrey wildlife reserves the charity manages.
England’s most wooded county, Surrey is impressively diverse and possibly the richest of all land-locked counties in terms of numbers of recorded species.
This includes a stunning mixture of landscapes to explore in Surrey, from the beautiful chalk meadows and rolling hills of the North Downs, to the vast heathlands of the Thames Basin and sprawling wetlands in the east of the county.
Visit surreywildlifetrust.org & keep your eye on our social media feed to find out about courses & how you can identify nationally scarce mammals, birds, insects and reptiles that share this gorgeous county with us.
Another half term idea is building a family time capsule with the kids, read our tips here
Nothing brings smiles to people’s faces like balloons and the professional balloon decorating and entertainment industry is helping people find their smiles and joy during this challenging time.
On May 9th & 10th, balloon artists from around the world joined in ‘One Million Bubbles of Love’ to share their talents and skills to help bring happiness and remind the world there is hope and kindness out there.
Among those taking part was Amy Brown, a professional balloon decorator based in Thursley, her business AJ’s Balloon Décor has been involved with the project for the last two months.
She created and displayed designs in April – NHS Rainbow Heart and in May – Keyworkers Gardens of Hope.
Amy said: “I had some wonderful feedback from passers by. It has been a great way to bring smiles to those who are out and about, but also online through social media and to say thankyou to all the NHS and keyworkers.”
The first One Million Bubbles was held on March 26thwith more than 350 designers participating from 15 countries. The second One Million Bubbles was held on April 11th & 12th with nearly 1,900 designers participating from 81 countries.
“With all the fear and uncertainty going on in the world right now, I felt like we had to do something,” said Steven Jones, project leader of Balloon Designers in Seattle, Washington. “Balloons make people happy in ways nothing else does, so if working balloon professionals cannot make people smile right now, who really can?”
Balloon professionals are encouraged to create something artsy and fun either in their yards at home or in a public place, to convey the message of ‘Be Safe Be Kind’.
The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is looking forward to welcoming people back to visit but stress this is not the time to come and enjoy the countryside.
They want to reinforce the Government’s message in the releasing of lockdown measures in the countryside and encourage you to use the greenspaces closer to home and observe social distancing rather than travel distances.
Heather Kerswell, Chair of the Surrey Hills AONB Board comments:
“As we move out of the lockdown period over the coming months we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“We know you will be keen to return to the Surrey Hills but just for now please stay local! This will ensure we all respect Government safety measures, local communities and wildlife.
“As freedom returns and we embrace a new normal, we will be keen for everyone to come and enjoy the benefits of natural beauty while supporting the local business community who very much need our custom at this time thank you.”
This very slight lifting of lockdown measures will still see many businesses remain closed, particularly those catering for the visitor such as attractions, hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, public toilets etc. The worry for many rural communities is people descending on beauty spots and picturesque Surrey villages making social distancing difficult and therefore increasing the risk of spreading the disease.
Chris Howard, Chairman of the Tourist Board – Visit Surrey added: “Whilst we are all anxious to get back out into the countryside, it is worth bearing in mind that facilities are still very limited due to the coronavirus restrictions. This means a lack of open toilets, and places to get food.
“Plan your outings carefully and get to know some of the amazing places right on your doorstep. Remember, the lockdown rules have only been tweaked slightly.”
Stephanie Fudge, National Trust General Manager for the Surrey Hills reinforced this saying that while the National Trust has been working on reopening plans, the safety of staff, volunteers, visitors and local residents is the priority.
She said: “Any reopening will need to be gradual and phased and visitors’ experience is likely to be different from usual, including the need to manage volume at our pay for entry places. Countryside car park opening will also be phased.”
Surrey Hills AONB has set out some key guidance points for accessing the Surrey Hills over the coming months:
· Keeping yourself and others safe is paramount and we encourage you to adhere to guidance set out by DEFRA in their Countryside Code.
· We are aware that many visitors who love to walk and cycle will have greatly missed the Surrey Hills landscape, the views and the well-known beauty spots. We encourage you to use countryside sites close to your home rather than travelling. Over the coming weeks and months we will see carparks and facilities gradually re-open and we urge you to check before you travel that car parks are open and would advise you away from the more well-known sites which may become congested and therefore difficult to socially distance.
· Please be aware that our local farms are under great seasonal pressures during this time and we would encourage you to respect their needs by keeping dogs on leads and follow all designated foot paths and bridleways to keep yourselves and farm animals safe.
· During the lockdown period, nature has had an opportunity to thrive and we ask you to look after nature by being extra cautious. Please stick to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground nesting birds and other wildlife.
· We encourage you to continue supporting local during this time of transition and want to highlight all the wonderful products and services available on our doorstep in the Surrey Hills. Take a look at our list of businesses offering home deliveries, online support and services, gifts and inspiration.
Click for further information on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
The team behind Guildford Jazz are getting ready to hold their first festival this month with a variety of jazz –as well as funk and Latin – on the bill
Guildford Jazz are getting ready to blow their own trumpet as the first Guildford Jazz Fest is set to take place between 20th and 22nd March.
The three-day event at Guildford’s Electric Theatre will feature music from leading UK jazz, Latin and funk artists and begins on 20th by putting some of the best young jazz musicians from across Surrey in the spotlight, from small ensembles to big bands.
Ease yourself into Saturday with a New Orleans jazz brunch with live music from clarinet maestro Duncan Batchelor and his quartet. Follow that with a wide choice of jazz styles including rising star of the British jazz scene Nicolas Meier who is influenced by his love of Middle Eastern and Turkish music; funk and world-music roller coaster from renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio and Sandy Burnett reliving The Age of Jazz.
Rounding off Saturday, Pete Churchill sings jazz before headliner Iain Ballamy performs 21st Century Pastoral, an arrangement for big band of music by Ballamy spanning his 30-year career.
Sunday brings Alan Barnes and Dave Newton before a Creole jazz lunch spices things up ahead of the afternoon offerings featuring a tribute to the music of Henry Mancini from The Mark Nightingale/Alan Barnes/Steve Waterman Sextet before a showing of classic Buster Keaton film Steamboat Bill, Jr featuring live musical accompaniment by Gareth Williams, one of the country’s leading modern jazz pianists.
Photos from left: Ian Ballamy, event poster, Marianne Windham
The festival finishes with Latin jazz salsa courtesy of Heads South combining Cuban and other Latin rhythms.
Founder of Guildford Jazz which is behind the festival, Marianne Windham is excited about the first for the community-based arts organisation.
She said: “The festival represents a celebration of all that Guildford Jazz is about: bringing the finest UK jazz musicians to Guildford to play a wide spectrum of accessible music in a friendly-club like atmosphere. There is something for everyone in the programme whether you are just looking for great live music or are a committed jazzer.”
Guildford Jazz has been running regular events since 2011, has organised more than 250 gigs, holds two outdoor concerts a year as well as hosting a monthly jam session.
All profits from the festival will go the local charity partner Guildford Philanthropy which helps local people disadvantaged by disability, poor education, mental illness or caring responsibilities.
Find more details
For more details and to book tickets click below or call 01483 501200.
Danielle Bekker explains more about her journey to set up her award-winning local business Binary Botanical & how Woking has inspired her
I love beer but I have never enjoyed having beer with food and would typically switch to wine to have with dinner, which is far more alcoholic. So the original idea was to come up with beer that would go well with food and we have done everything to turn beer on its head. We infuse it with hop leaves (which are normally a waste product) and brew with a wine yeast to give a product which is aromatic, tangy like prosecco aromatic but not at all bitter. We have a 4% ABV version which is the low alcohol alternative to wine and the 0.5% which is the perfect adult drink when you aren’t drinking.
My real passion is the 0.5% ABV – it took a lot longer to get this recipe right . A lot of non-alcoholic beers are quite bitter and it took a lot of experimentation to develop something which was aromatic and flavourful but without the bitterness.
My favourite tipple at the moment is actually the binary 0.5. I don’t drink very much and I love having an adult alternative to lime and soda.
In terms of inspiration there are quite a few – the range of delicious gins that are out there with the various botanical infusions shows the range of flavours that can be achieved with different botanicals. I think Seedlip have paved the way for elevating the non-alcoholic cocktail.
Because binary is so different biggest it is not aimed at the traditional beer consumer – when people taste the liquid the invariably love it but it does confuse the brain – Is it a low alcohol sparkling wine? Is it a beer?. Beer can be premium, drunk out of a wine glass with a meal by men and women. It can make delicious low calorie cocktails. Secondly – you have to get involved in so many different areas of the business – from sourcing ingredients to packing boxes and trying to understand how to post a story on Instagram (I didn’t have an Instagram account before starting binary!)
Our highlights have been our listing in Harvey Nichols and Ocado – who both said they were excited to genuine new news and innovation in beer. The second highlight would be being included in craft gin club as the cocktail mixer for their cocktail of the month – they took a big risk including us as their first ever beer and the feedback has been really positive. And then lastly any time someone says – I don’t like beer and ends up loving binary is probably the biggest highlight of all.
On a more personal level, in my previous role in corporate I had to travel a lot so was away from home a lot so felt as though I missed out a lot on every day family life like hearing about the day at school. So although I probably work harder now – I am home for dinner every day and see the kids off for school in the morning which is a real privilege.
My favourite part of Woking is probably Horsell Common (thanks to War of the Worlds – nearly as famous as the Pizza express is now) – the perfect place to re-charge and go for a walk. I think we are very lucky to live in a town which is so close to London but still has a great village feel about it.
It is so amazing to see how people want to support local businesses – the people we meet at Farmers Markets and festivals are all very passionate about supporting small, local businesses and events like Woking Food Festival go a long way to show casing local businesses in an affordable way. I am always humbled by how many volunteers give their time to the various events. Locally, our aim is to convince more restaurants that innovation doesn’t just have to be in London. With this in mind we are running a unique Cocktailcompetition for mixologists and bartenders to mark Dry January by creating a new low alcohol cocktail to demonstrate that no/low alcohol drinks can be exciting and delicious and its only open to for people in the South East.
Q. What would be your dream for Binary Botanical?
My dream would be that we can exemplify a business which integrates its purpose and product into a single story. By using a waste product (the hop leaf) as a core ingredient, not only are we are driving sustainability in the supply chain and revenue for local farmers we are also championing the trend for moderation – drinking less or not drinking at all doesn’t mean a compromise on flavour. We believe that the joyful wellbeing and sociability of beer can be enjoyed by many more people than it is today…. And we plan to convince people of this one sample cup at a time!
To try these wonderful beverages or to find out more about the business head to the Binary Botanical website