Stoke d’Abernon News Spring 2022

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.

The Residents’ Association sends Her Majesty the Queen our loyal and very best wishes in this the Platinum Jubilee year of her coronation.

Image source

Village Emergency Telephone Service

Dave Philips who successfully instigated the service and our defibrillator reports that:

When the village defibrillator went live in March 2016 the Residents’ Association also set up a cardiac arrest emergency telephone service called VETS — Village Emergency Telephone System — manned by a number of volunteers living in Stoke d’Abernon. VETS was necessarily suspended as the Covid-19 pandemic developed since medical interventions required the use of full, clinical grade, PPE and represented a considerable risk to the health of our volunteers. With Covid-19 infection ongoing and virus variants likely to emerge, the Committee have decided to suspend VETS indefinitely. We believe that a quicker, more responsive option to VETS can now be provided by the Ambulance Service who is aware of our defibrillator and has the access code to open the wall cabinet outside the Post Office shop. We are delighted that our defibrillator has saved the life of a local resident.

For a suspected cardiac arrest within the village, 999 should be called. In case of any possible delay in the ambulance arriving (who carry their own defibrillator), the ambulance scheduler should also be asked for the key code for the wall cabinet of the Stoke d’Abernon defibrillator in Station Road. A volunteer at the scene should then go and collect the defibrillator and bring it back to the casualty. There is a notice inside the wall cabinet explaining the procedure for returning the defibrillator after use. Additionally during working hours the nearby dental practice also has a defibrillator and appropriate staff.

Christmas Event

With the spectre of Omicron looming we managed to have our Christmas event on 4th December before any possible greater restrictions arrived. The event was well attended with carols and Christmas music by Reed’s School Brass Band and other attractions such as Shetland ponies, Stoke Buskers and mince pies supplied by the Old Plough.

The event is held for charity and an excellent £605 was raised for Cherry Trees, a local charity in Clandon that provides respite care for children with disabilities.


The Chatterbus has started its new services with better connections to Sainsbury’s superstore, Cobham Health Centre as well as its usual calling points such as Downside, Brooklands and Stoke d’Abernon.

Full timetables can be found at:

Spring Meeting

The Spring Meeting of the Residents Association will be held on: Thursday 19th May, 8pm in St Mary’s Church Hall.

The RA’s thoughts on the Local Plan will be discussed.

Michael Davidson

The Residents’ Association was very sorry to learn that Michael Davidson died on New Year’s Eve. Michael was a stalwart and loyal member of the Residents’ Association and for many years was the Association’s ‘Road Representative’ for Woodlands Lane. He also managed the website for some years until ill health caught up with him.

His wife Anne says that he received exemplary care from all the staff at Epsom General Hospital who were very kind and considerate.

Royal Kent School

The Royal Kent School is a C of E primary school which serves the community of Oxshott and the surrounding areas, including many families from Stoke d’Abernon. Since head-teacher Katie Hancock joined the school in 2015, RKS have received over £300,000 of funding to improve the school’s facilities, including a refurbished school hall and the installation of a Multi-Use Games Arena (the ‘MUGA’) in the redeveloped playground.

The splendid facilities of The Royal Kent School

In January 2021 the school opened Ladybird Nursery, a small, term-time only setting, which has places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, and benefits from access to the staff and resources of the school.

Please visit their website for more details:

Draft Local Plan

The Elmbridge draft local plan has just been released (March 2022)! Of necessity, and as expected, this envisages more housing being built but importantly preserves most of the green belt.

The proposals for Elmbridge and the draft local plan can be viewed at: Cobham, Downside, Oxshott and Stoke d’Abernon have some 12% of the total with 825 housing ‘units.

Challenge Fencing

Challenge Fencing are having to move from their spacious site in Downside Road, Cobham and have submitted a planning application for the former Mini site in Station Road. There were two applications: 2022/0353 and 2022/0362 the latter being described rather blandly as ‘illuminated fascia sign consent’.

The block plan of 0362 seemed very similar to the earlier application including parking, frontage etc. The closing date for comments has now passed.

SDRA Website Address

Please note that we have a new website address ( which is also printed at the top of this newsletter. It is more compact than the rather difficult to remember previous one.

Valued Local Assets

Surrey County Council (SCC) is updating its list of local heritage assets — buildings and places valued by the local community and which conform to various criteria laid down by SCC. These assets do not carry such a high classification as formal Historic England listed buildings, but do enable local and county councils to take an asset into account when considering nearby developments and planning.

Whilst Cobham already has quite a number of such assets, it was realised that Stoke d’Abernon has never had any listed! Because of the pandemic just a couple of weeks notice was given in the autumn for nominations to be submitted — so John, your editor, somehow ended up with the job of garnering local opinion as to what to include, writing a few words about each item and taking a photograph. All quite a rush before the deadline, but an eclectic mix of 11 items were submitted via Sir Gerry Acher at Cobham Heritage who also submitted those from Downside. There is no guarantee that all or any suggestions will actually be locally listed as that is expected to be decided by Surrey later this spring.

As a matter of interest during research for the project I was somewhat surprised to discover that there are 24 Historic England listed buildings within Stoke d’Abernon all grade 2 except for St Mary’s Church and Slyfield Manor and garden walls which are both grade 1.

Stoke d’Abernon Memorial Park

With assistance from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) — a fund that is financed by a council levy on development projects — the Residents’ Association assisted by Elmbridge Council planted 5 new trees on the childrens’ playground (opposite the Old Plough). The trees are mostly replacements for some of the now life expired cherry trees planted just after WWll in memory of Stoke d’Abernon’s fallen.

Some of the trees prior to planting

As it is the Queen’s platinum jubilee and the whole country is urged to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’ a native British tree will also be planted later in the year.

As well as the tree planting, the Association installed two new benches which are in a rot proof wood-effect material. An information board will give some detail about the playground now renamed ‘Stoke d’Abernon Memorial Park.

One of the newly installed benches
A plaque on a bench in memory of Mike Stephens, former administrator of the village hall.

An Elf Vanishes

Nick Arlidge has retired from the Good Elf and moved to Liverpool, we wish him well.

Oak Processionary Moth

Warwick Hutchinson, the Association’s expert on trees, gives the following advice about the caterpillar of this moth.

‘You may be aware of an increasing number of council posters appearing on oak trees in our locality over the last year or so. The moth is becoming more common, particularly in Oxshott (with many oaks), although in Stoke d’Abernon with fewer oaks it is not so troublesome. The moth lays eggs on oaks, and the emerging caterpillars feed solely on oak leaves. Heavy infestations would be bad for the tree.

Unfortunately, the caterpillars are covered in hairs, which can fall onto people and dogs beneath, causing severe skin irritation. The Forestry Commission is becoming more active and undertaking a programme of spraying to prevent its spread and reducing its impact.

Residents who own oak trees (4 or less) can apply for Forestry Commission treatment to be done during Spring. The annual deadline for such applications is 21st February. For more details contact ‘Plant Health Forestry Team’ at:

Caterpillar of the Oak Processionary Moth/ Photo: Wimbledon Common Conservators

Car Crash

In the early hours of new year’s day, an Audi car hit a substantial tree in an horrendous accident near the junction of Stoke Road and Aspen Close. Pictured are the remains of the car before it was removed; the worst the recovery people had seen.

The driver miraculously survived.

Roy Cook

We were very sorry to learn of the death of Roy Cook aged nearly 93, who lived in Vincent Road and had been a resident of Stoke d’Abernon for 47 years. Roy was a keen follower of cricket. Ian, his son, paid tribute saying ‘Ron was a lovely man who never said a bad word about anyone and was a true gentleman who will be greatly missed’.

Vehicle Thefts

A spate of vehicle thefts have recently been reported. Currently Range Rovers seem to be the favoured vehicle. This may be because often these use both keyless ignition and door locking.

Having the transmitter in a radio frequency shielded pouch seems a good precaution for any keyless ignition car. Also locking a car when leaving it for only a short period of time e.g. when paying for fuel is sensible.

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