Hogs Back’s ’30 at 30’

Karen Neville

surrey

Your chance to join the celebrations for three decades of Tongham TEA

If you live in or around Farnham, the chances are that one of your first pints of beer was Hogs Back’s Tongham TEA (Traditional English Ale). The ale was the first beer brewed at Hogs Back Brewery when it opened 30 years ago, and it enjoyed almost instant success, with the hog icon becoming a familiar sight in pubs across Surrey.

To celebrate its 30th birthday this year, Hogs Back is inviting 30 local drinkers who’ve been enjoying their beers for a while to join them – and bring a younger drinker with them, for a toast to the past, present and future success of the brewery, on Thursday, 18th August.

We remain an independent brewer, committed to our Surrey roots

To join the party just let them know where you drank your first pint of TEA, by visiting the website page.  We’ll invite 30 people to our special birthday drinks at the brewery, with a son, daughter or other younger relative or friend – aged 18+ – to pass the love of TEA down the generations!

Managing director Rupert Thompson said: “We’re delighted to be reaching our 30th birthday with plenty to be proud of.  Much has changed since the brewery opened its doors in 1992, but we remain an independent brewer, committed to our Surrey roots – as demonstrated by our continued investment in our site here at Tongham, including the hop garden.

We are both thanking the local people who’ve made Hogs Back the successful brewery it is today, and doing our best to make sure it’s still alive and kicking in 30 years’ time!

“Clearly, without people drinking our beers, we would have no success to celebrate today! So, we’d like to reward anyone who’s been enjoying our TEA for a while with a pint or two on us, and at the same time introduce our beers to younger drinkers. This way, we are both thanking the local people who’ve made Hogs Back the successful brewery it is today, and doing our best to make sure it’s still alive and kicking in 30 years’ time!”

Hogs Back Brewery opened in August 1992 in Tongham, near Farnham, in 18th century farm buildings that at various times had stored wheat and housed cattle and, appropriately, hogs. The first casks to roll out of the original brewhouse – now the site of the Brewery Shop – and into local pubs were TEA – which was renamed Tongham TEA earlier this year.

Tongham TEA remains the brewery’s best-seller, winning numerous awards over the years, and gathering a loyal customer following in Surrey and across the south. Hogs Back’s reputation as a brewer of exceptionally fine ales was bolstered by subsequent launches such as Hop Garden Gold and RipSnorter and in recent years the brewery has broadened its range, launching new beers such as Hogstar Lager, Surrey Nirvana Session IPA and A over T (Aromas over Tongham) which won CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain in 2020.

HOGS BACK BREWERY – 30 YEARS OF BREWING EXCELLENCE

1992:    First barrels of TEA produced at the Manor Farm site in Tongham, where the brewery remains today. One of the first pubs to stock it is the White Hart in Tongham, where it sells at £1.30 a pint.

1995:    TEA named as runner up in Best Bitter category at the Great British Beer Festival, run by CAMRA.

2000:    TEA named as winner in Best Bitter category and then overall runner up Champion Beer of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival

2006:    A over T (Aromas over Tongham) named Supreme Champion Winter Ale of Britain at the CAMRA Winter Beer Festival.

2012:    Business bought by Rupert Thompson, who had worked in the brewing industry for many years on brands including Carling (Britain’s biggest beer brand), Old Speckled Hen and Hobgoblin.

2013:    Launch of Hogstar Lager, a 4.5% ABV lager brewed with five different hops and selected herb extracts and matured for over a month.

2013:    Launch of Hazy Hog, a cloudy cider

2014:    Planting of hop garden adjacent to the brewery, making Hogs Back the largest brewer with a hop garden in the UK. In 2015, Hogs Back harvest three hop varieties: Fuggles – used in Tongham TEA; Cascade – used in Hogstar lager; and Farnham White Bine.

2015:    Hogstar wins Gold in the Premium Pale & Golden Lagers in the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Awards. It also wins Gold in the SIBA South East Region Awards in 2018

2019:    Relocation of the hop garden to an 8.5 acre site next to the brewery.

2020:    A over T, a 9% ABV bottle conditioned barley wine, wins CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain

2021:    Hogs Back harvests its largest ever hop crop, and 2,500 people enjoy Hop Harvest celebrations over a weekend in September.

2022:    Hogs Back’s flagship ale, TEA, is renamed as Tongham TEA and given a new design. The traditional, graphic style shows an illustration of the familiar Hog mascot in front of the brewery, farm buildings and fields.

Contact Hogs Back Brewery

Visit their website

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Green dream

Liz Nicholls

surrey

The Green Hub in Milford, which has just had its first birthday, offers a vital support space for teenagers struggling with their mental health

Just one year ago you‘d find the Green Hub Project for Teens on Facebook looking for local folk to join a DIY SOS-style weekend, to transform their tranquil garden in Milford. This month the garden celebrates its first birthday.

Over its first year Green Hub Project for Teens has transformed from an idea in its embryonic stage into a confident adolescent.

The garden is the vision of local chiropractor Tone Tellefsen Hughes. “I’ve seen so much trauma through my clinic in recent years,” she says. “But since Covid, it’s become unimaginably bad, so many young people experiencing a tough time – it’s heart-breaking. This is why we are reaching out to families with teens struggling with low to moderate social anxiety, stress and overwhelm.”

Tone’s co-chair, local business coach Vanessa Lanham-Day, has been instrumental in creating the momentum behind the project. “The garden and teen volunteering is such a simple concept – it’s all about providing time out in nature and calm.

But, for the teens to benefit from time spent in the garden, there has been a whole machine that needed to be created. We have been busy spreading the word as well as building relationships with GPs, schools and youth organisations – but the most passionate requests come from parents themselves.

Teens spend up to 12 weeks becoming garden volunteers, under the guidance of adult leaders – there are morning and afternoon sessions (all free) each Saturday for up to eight teens. The process isn’t “therapy” problems aren’t discussed, and no advice is given – but the process is undoubtedly therapeutic.

Tone adds: “Science shows that being in nature allows the brain to calm down and settle a little, like a busy snow globe when the snow falls. When you immerse yourself in an activity – especially in nature – your brain is unable to do anything else and this gives the busy teenage brain a chance to rest and make sense of what’s been going on in their world. There are long term benefits after a garden session, as well as finding a connection which has been so sorely missed since the pandemic for so many.”

Tone and Vanessa would also like to find other garden spaces to extend the programme.

Parents who want to refer a teen to the project should visit greenhub.org.uk/parent-refer

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Beacon Hill Beer Festival is back!

Round & About

surrey

After two years the popular beer festival returns to Hindhead Royal British Legion Club with an amazing array of beers for you to enjoy

Get a head start on the Platinum Jubilee celebrations by sampling a selection of beers themed around the occasion, as well as a selection of British ciders, and a handful of international lagers as part of the Beacon Hill Beer Festival.

On Friday 13th May from 5pm we will be open to everyone to kick off the celebrations with live music from The Bierkeller Boys, a Bavarian Oompah band who are ready to get everyone on their feet with plenty of clapping, swaying and thigh slapping.

Saturday 14th won’t be any less exciting! Organizers say: “We open at 1pm for an afternoon of beer, lager and cider tasting. Shortly followed by what is sure to be a fiery FA Cup Final with Liverpool vs Chelsea on our big screen, with Liverpool aiming to become the first English team to win the quadruple, so we are sure to be in for an exciting game before we get right into the evening. There will be live music from The Noize to get us up on that dance floor for the night.”

An incredible weekend awaits at Hindhead Royal British Legion, Beacon Hill Road, Hindhead, GU26 6QB with a variety of breweries already lined up to take part:

Breweries:

Brolly Brewery

Crafty Brewery

Greene King

Longdog Brewery

Siren Craft Brewery

Surrey Hills Brewery

TripleFFF

Windsor & Eton Brewery

Elusive Brewery

Flack Brewery

Ciders supplied by:

Hogs Back Brewery

Mr Whiteheads Cider Co

Lagers from around the world:

Kirin (Japan); Pacifico Clara (Mexico); Moosehead (Canada); Sagres Export (Portugal), and Tusker (Kenya).

Join Beacon Hill Beer Festival on Facebook and Twitter

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Build your dream home

Round & About

surrey

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.

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Goblin Market at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Round & About

surrey

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre welcomes BYMT’s Goblin Market

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?

Grace Murray
Richard Gerard Jones

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

To book tickets visit www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/whats-on/goblin-market

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High five for Guildford Shakespeare Company

Editor

surrey

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.

Rick Murphy & Lisa Dvorjetz

To book your seats for the next outdoor highlights, She Stoops To Conquer & AS You Like It, visit guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk


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Dunsfold Village Shops 10th birthday

Liz Nicholls

surrey

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.

The most important thing is keeping our customers and staff safe

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.

The team

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.”


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Visit Surrey Hills as lockdown eases

Liz Nicholls

surrey

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.”

By being respectful of wildlife and the local community we can all benefit from an enjoyable visit to the Surrey Hills

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

Stay connected #SurreyHillsAONB Please follow @SurreyHillsAONB on Twitter & Facebook @SurreyHillsAONB and Instagram @surreyhillsaonb for the latest updates from the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


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Half term fun for families

Liz Nicholls

surrey

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