Stoke d’Abernon News Autumn & Winter 2020

If you would prefer to read a PDF copy of this newsletter please click here. Stoke d’Abernon News is edited and produced by John Dare.

A letter from the chairman

I know that many of you enjoy receiving our half-yearly newsleer, so here is your autumn edition which hopefully will keep you informed of what has been going on. During lockdown, many of us made use of footpaths on our doorstep including the path from Aspen Close alongside Knowle Hill Park leading to Oxshott. Another delight was discovering the bluebell wood off Blundel Lane opposite Randolph Close. Dozens of us turned out to clap for NHS workers who had carried on working during the height of the pandemic. On VE Day many residents enjoyed a socially distanced drink or two in the warm May sunshine and talking to neighbours who hadn’t been seen during the total lockdown.

We weren’t able to print or deliver the spring edition of the newsleer but we did produce an electronic version which you can see on our excellent website. Neither were we able to hold our spring half-year general meeting nor this autumn’s AGM. We decided against a Zoom meeting as many are not keen on that, instead around the end of November we will be showing the audited accounts on our website. It also seems extremely unlikely that our popular Christmas lights event will happen, although I am pleased to confirm that thanks to the generosity of our local Squire’s garden centre we fully anticipate having the festive Christmas tree and lights on the Field of Hope albeit without the usual switch-on countdown.

Our local shops did us proud when everything around us was being locked down. Orderly queues were a regular feature outside the Good Elf, Post Office shop and the Patisserie — well done to all. Remember that the local shops are not just for pandemics, so please continue to visit them.

Unsurprisingly there is not a great deal of other local news but mention must be made of Mary Quinn who spent many months training for her first London Marathon (see previous ‘electronic’ newsletter) only for it to be cancelled. Undaunted, Mary ran round and round the Cobham area and completed her effort in 6 hours, raising over £6,000 for Parkinson’s UK – a charity rather close to home for me.

The Green Belt and Local Plan

Our area and those around us continue to be under threat of development on our precious Green Belt. Your association works closely with neighbouring residents’ groups to defend our Green Belt and we have joined together to make our views known forcefully to Dominic Raab, our local MP, and to Elmbridge Borough Council.

For us the area at biggest risk seems to be land close to Blundel Lane. To keep informed and see how you can help, please visit the Cobham Green Belt Group ( of which the Association is a keen member.

Summer Activity

In the summer, internet used car supplier Cazoo spent a day filming on the Tilt near the Running Mare, for a television advertisement, if you blink during the advert you might not actually disappear into the sofa but you could miss the brief encounter with the Tilt!

Also during the summer the helicopter air ambulance has twice attended to incidents in our area, once on the recreation/cricket ground and once at Knowle Hill Park.

Lottie – a missing cat

The much loved tabby/tortoishell cat belonging to the Randells in D’Abernon Drive has gone missing. If you have seen or adopted her then please ring: 01932 864500.


The timetable is changing slightly in order to provide a service to the new Cobham Free School at Munro House, Portsmouth Road. Whilst on the school run the bus will operate a ‘school bubble’ which means on that particular journey, only school children will be allowed on the

At other times the Chatterbus is available to everyone and has 14 trips each weekday linking the large Cobham Sainsbury’s, various other stops in Cobham, the railway station, Oxshott, the M&S and Tesco stores at Brooklands and, Weybridge.

Membership Subscriptions

Collecting our annual £4 subscriptions this year wasn’t easy, so thanks to those of you who paid. You can pay by bank transfer to:

  • Stoke d’Abernon Residents’ Association
  • Sort Code: 09-06-66
  • Account: 41936443

To provide unique identification, please state your reference as surname, road number and road eg. Cummings 10 Downing.

We need to build up some funds to make our contribution to the Cobham Green Belt Group as well as other activities such as tree planting, insurance and website . Our website is expertly managed by a local professional and is full of useful information. To keep updated by occasional email notifications this is easy to do, just click here to open the website homepage and fill-out the short ‘News Update Service’ form with your name and email address.

Neither Shaken Not Stirred

Nick Price is a Residents’ Association member and a Bond fanatic – no, not James Bond, but of Bond cars. Not only has he got the real thing – a maroon Bond 875 (only 29 left in existence), but also a ‘spare’ nose cone. Nick and garage were featured on the cover of the August edition of ‘Bond Info’ magazine. A spin-off from the pandemic is that Nick seems to be sporting rather longer ‘lockdown’ hair than usual! The chairman informs me that his first car was a Bond (surprised he hasn’t still got it hidden away in his garage) since he could drive it at age 16 on a motor scooter licence.

Bond cars are now a rather sought after true British classic. They started life when Sharp’s Commercials of Preston produced a small three-wheeled car in 1949 with a single cylinder Villiers two-stroke engine. Bodywork was mostly aluminium but later incarnations used fibreglass. Earlier models had no reverse gear but this did not cause too many problems as with acute steering, the car could turn within its own length. The Bond car was tweaked throughout its life but in essence mostly stayed true to its beginnings. The last Bond minicar was made in 1966 – I can’t recall that James Bond was ever seen driving one in the films!

The Editor Reflects

With the pandemic and lockdown, news and interesting snippets for this newsletter have been rather hard to come by, so this page is mainly about d’Abernon people. After the last electronic (pdf) issue a couple of people have enquired as to who your editor is — fame at last even though if one looked carefully my name was printed in that, this, and earlier editions!

So for a trip down memory lane, I have lived in Stoke d’Abernon for16 years, am retired having spent some 35 years in research as a government scientist. In 1967 I was a finalist in the Magic Circle’s ‘Young Magician of the Year’ competition and, from 1972 to 1985 I ran the Thames Valley Revue Club that put on charity variety shows for the elderly and handicapped all over Surrey, Middlesex (as was), West and South West London. During those years some 350 shows were put on in numerous school, church and village
halls. I don’t really ‘do’ photographs these days but a very young magician me from some 50+ years ago is below — so I doubt if you will recognise me!

John Dare

In the dim and distant past we entertained Cobham Darby & Joan Club in the former Cobham village hall, the fact that neither the hall nor club exist in the guise they were in those days is purely coincidental! It is comforting to know that in Oxshott, at least the village hall still stands even if the senior citizens’ O’Brien Club that used to meet there is alas no longer.

New Arrival At St. Mary’s

We welcome Mary-Beth as she joins the Ministry team at St. Mary’s church as an Associate Minister. Mary-Beth has been a minister for 11 years and lives in Cobham.

For eight years, she served as curate and then associate minister at St Andrew’s, Oxshott, from where she did her ministerial training. In 2017 she moved to Hampshire where she served as vicar of two rural parishes near Alton. Mary-Beth retired from that post earlier this year and returned to Cobham and looks forward to meeting everyone.

New Arrival At The Patisserie

The patisserie has recently changed hands and we welcome new owner Ameer. Ameer is investing in converting the former oven room into an attractive new coffee shop (the former very large, 6 ton, oven has gone to Cornwall) and it will be a useful and attractive new place to meet. Ameer looks forward to welcoming you.

Stoke d’Abernon on BBC Weather

Justin Beacham, an eagle-eyed resident with camera at the ready, took this from his television screen. It shows a picture sent in by viewers to the BBC and used in their weather forecasts. Nick Miller fronts this shot from our village during lockdown from an unknown, quite large garden.

Congratulations to ‘turned out nice again’ (whoever you are) in achieving notoriety for Stoke d’Abernon and for your well kempt garden — love the dead straight stripes in the lawn!

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