History Society meets the NT Ferguson Gang on Tuesday, Mar 13

The History Society meets this Tuesday March 13 in the Village Hall at 8pm to hear the story of the Ferguson Gang, a secret society of women dedicated to helping save historic buildings for the National Trust.

The talk will focus on Shalford Mill, one of the first to be saved by the group, and who met there secretly to plan their exploits and fund-raising, using pseudonyms to hide their real identity, and costumes and disguises.

Learn more about these colourful characters and see whether their real identities are revealed…


Dismay over proposed demolition on New Rd for new development

A website has been set up to encourage objections to the demolition of the old, double fronted cottage at 74 New Road Chilworth, to make way for a development of nine New Houses behind.

All details of the proposed development, and guidance on how to object can be found on the website www.chilworth-says-enough.compress on this address and you will be taken to the website.

Objections to the demolition and proposed erection of nine two-story dwellings must be received by the Planning office at GBC by March 14 2018 – Building reference 18/P/00257

Parking issues for Chilworth residents off New Road

There is concern in the Shalford Parish part of the village about parking. The number of new houses that have been built on New Road over the last 10 years has led to village residents wanting to park on the several cul-de-sacs off New Road. This has lead to problems for residents of the cul-de-sacs.

The problem has been partially solved by erecting “Residents only” signs on some cul-de-sacs. However, this is not the case for all the cul-de-sacs opening off New Road in Shalford Parish.

Our local MP, Anne Milton, has got involved and is liaising with Guildford Borough Council to resolve this problem in the next few months.”
M. Williams
Shalford Parish Chilworth resident

Monitoring the River Tillingbourne – update

The Tillingbourne has been monitored by volunteers since the Spring of 2016 and volunteers are now active in every village along the length of the river. River invertebrate samples are also reguarly collected by volunteers at Shalford, Chilworth, Albury, and Gomshall.
Surveys appear to suggest that sediment pollution getting into the river from the surrounding land is one of the main issues affecting the Tillingbourne. Too much sediment can smother river bed habitats reducing both invertebrate populations and fish spawning areas so combatting this issue is at the top of the agenda.
The Tillingbourne is an important wildlife corridor across Surrey and will become a focus area for Surrey Wildlife Trust over the coming years. We will be looking at expanding our current volunteer project by training more river monitors and holding more practical river restoration task days in those areas of the river most in need of a bit of help. The graph below shows the Riverfly scores for 2017.

Glen Skelton – Wetland Landscapes Officer
Surrey Wildlife Trust

Sale of West Lodge goes to Secretary of State

Representatives from St Martha Parish Council and Chilworth2gether attended an Executive meeting of GBC on Tuesday February 20 when the future of West Lodge was on the agenda.


Selling West Lodge on the open market has always been Guildford Borough Concil’s Asset Department’s preferred route, and unfortunately the combined forces of St Martha Parish Council, the Chilworth Gunpowder Group and Chilworth2gether, in a Working Group formed by the Parish Council, have been unable to come up with a suitable proposal that will meet GBC’s demands for full commercial viability.

Residents in the west of the village will be interested to note that it was their elected Borough Councillor, Councillor Illman, who led the GBC’s recommendation that West Lodge should be sold. Describing the Grade 2 listed building “a bungalow”, and failing to mention the scheduled status of the Gunpowder Mills, Councillor Illman recommended the sale of West Lodge should be presented to the Secretary of State. It transpires that there are covenants applying to West Lodge at the moment that would inhibit its sale, and these need to be removed.

Our other local Councillor, Councillor Billington, also argued that residential use would be the best option for West Lodge, relying on its listed status to protect it from unsuitable development.

Both St Martha Parish Council and Gavin Morgan spoke from the Gallery.
St Martha Parish Council confirmed their regret that restraints placed on the Council by GBC meant that they were unable to come up with a community based solution to secure the future of West Lodge, warning that “once it’s gone, it’s gone” and that the most intact and usable building on the Gunpowder Mills site would be lost for ever.

Gavin Morgan sees West Lodge as another example of GBC seeking to rid itself of many of its cultural and Heritage assets, like the Guildford Museum and the Electric Theatre. He is supportive of further action to find an alternative use, and continues to challenge the Asset Department on its policy.

The St Martha Parish Council working Party will continue to monitor the situation and is likely to make representations to the Secretary of State. It will be closely watching for planning applications, should the sale go through, to ensure that the constraints applied to the Council’s proposal are applied to others consistently.

The two roomed Lodge is valued by GBC at £185,00 with a further £100,00 minimum spend needed to bring it up to basic residential standard. It is Grade 2 listed and subject to other restraints.