Windlesham’s new Pre-School official opening this week

Windlesham’s Little Villagers pre-school gained a new home last autumn in the grounds of Woodcote House School. This coming Friday the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Robin Perry, will formally open the new school.

This morning I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Henderson-Williams, owner of the Little Villagers pre-school, and listened to her describe the history of the school.  Karen has a mission, and that’s to provide a high quality pre-school for Windlesham residents.

Karen is, justifably, proud that the school is only one of two pre-schools in Surrey to have earned three consecutive OFSTED ‘outstanding’ ratings. As Karen explains – in the podcast below – this is the third home for the school. A photo gallery in the school website display the stages in building the school last summer.

A gastronomic dinner fundraiser for a school sports hub

We’re Friends of Gordon’s School, because it’s local, well run, and worthy of our support of its fundraising activities.

And so it was last Saturday we attended a fundraing dinner to generate funds fot school’s planned sports hub – see HERE.

Goodness me we’ve eaten many a fine dinner, though have never had truffle oil and lobster oil to add to the courses delivered in small squeezable bottles, and for dessert we were offered a small glass phial with cork top of coloured sugar to add to the course.

Always good to do something different, and for a good cause.

Why the Soviets slaughtered 180,000 whales during the Cold War

In the Foundation for Economic Education’s online content is an article by Alex Tabarrok about Why the Soviets slaughtered 180,000 whales during the Cold War.

It is an instructive read, both chilling and enlightening, about about how the Soviet Union told  lies to its citizens, and the international community to cover up the needless slaughter of whales.

The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is an American non-political, non-profit, educational foundation.

Gordon’s School Chapel 125th Dedication Anniversary

Gordon’s School in West End is one of only 35 or so state boarding schools. Founded in 1885 as the National Memorial to war hero Major-General Charles George Gordon (1833-1885), where Queen Victoria was insistent in demanding a fitting National Memorial to her ‘favourite general’.

We are among the many Friends of Gordon’s School, an informal organisation where those with connections to the school, or members of the local community, can offer support and encouragement to the school. It’s through this [free] membership that, yesterday afternoon, we attended this125th chapel dedication anniversary.

After a short service, on the patio outside the Chapel, tea and cake was on offer, both of which I was happy to consume. Here are a couple of photos after the service, and a couple I took a year or so ago of the chapel building and its interior.

Gordon’s School Chapel and its stained glass windows

As Friends of Gordon’s School we were pleased to join other school supporters at a tour of the school chapel celebrating the success of the chapel stained glass restoration fund.

The Chapel was erected in 1894 by private subscription at the instance of Queen Victoria in memory of her grandson, HRH The Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Most of the windows in the Chapel were presented, not long after the completion of the Chapel, by benefactors as memorials. In the School’s appeal website it says,

The Gordon’s School Chapel, dedicated to St Edward the Confessor, dates from 1894 and is built in memory of the Duke of Clarence, Queen Victoria’s grandson; it has recently been Grade 2 Listed. The Chapel has some beautiful stained glass which is in need of extensive restoration work, the total cost of this will be in the region of £28,000, of which £14,500 is high priority work.

The tour benefited from the immense knowledge of the chapel from the recently retired school chaplain Reverend Denis Robinson, who worked at the school for 37 years, and was Chaplain from 1994 to 2017. Denis pointed out the memorial tablets to Old Boys killed in action in numerous wars, including a plaque to past students killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Denis told the story of the famous painting by G.W. Joy of ‘Gordon’s Last Stand’, which for many years hung in the Chapel, on loan from Leeds Museum. Denis said that it wasn’t until 1985, on centennial of General Gordon’s death, that it was recognised to be here at the School, and was subsequently returned to Leeds Museum. The painting hanging in the chapel is a good copy of G W Joy’s work.

Here are a few photo’s of the Chapel, it’s windows, and items from school’s collection of Gordon memorabilia. [Click to enlarge].

Councils and Police join forces to protect children by parking safely around schools

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that the,

Borough and County Council and Police are joining forces in call to protect children by parking safely around schools. Representatives from Surrey Heath Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Surrey Police and local schools are asking residents to put children’s safety first when parking around schools across the Borough.

Dangerous and illegal parking around schools, particularly at drop off and pick up times, is an ongoing problem, despite schools repeatedly urging parents to park safely outside their schools. Parking on pavements, or on zigzags or yellow lines surrounding schools, reduces space and visibility for drivers and pedestrians, making accidents more likely, especially at busy times. The latest data about child casualties (serious and slight) at school journey times within 250m of school gates showed an average of 50 per year across Surrey.

Schools, councils and the police have taken action in response to complaints from the public. SHBC parking enforcement officers have increased the number of visits to schools around the relevant times to try to educate people and improve parking behaviour, including issuing tickets where necessary. These visits are supported by Surrey Police officers where resources allow.

During the winter term (September to December 2017), 13 Penalty Charge Notices were issued outside schools by SHBC for offences such as parking on zig-zag or yellow lines, with another 32 warnings issued.

Surrey County Council has also implemented new parking restrictions outside more schools to increase safety. However support from parents and guardians dropping children off at school is also required to ensure safe parking every day.

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I love my commenters

I love the comments written on this blog. I learn such a lot from them.

See Will’s comment on the photo of British astronaut Tim Peake. He posted this video of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s talk in Wimbledon last year. I’ve watched it. Truly unforgettable, just as Will says.

Prager University’s five minute videos: #2: Freedom and the British Empire

Here’s the second of the Prager University’s 5-minute online videos that may be of interest to us in the UK.

This video may be a tad revisionist for some, as the title of H W Crocker III’s five minute video is  If You Live in Freedom, Thank the British Empire. Here’s PragerU’s preamble to the video below.

Was the British Empire a good or bad thing for the world? To put it another way, is freedom a good or bad thing for the world? Historian and author H.W. Crocker III explains why we may want to rethink the British Empire’s bad rap.

Prager University’s five minute videos: #1: Winston Churchill by Andrew Roberts

We all know that there’s lots of junk available through the internet. So, it’a a pleasure to find a reliable source of information, delivered in well-crafted five minute online video’s.

The source of these 5-minute videos is Prager University, founded in 2011, who say of their purpose,

We take the best ideas from the best minds and distill them down to five focused minutes. We then add graphics and animation to create the most persuasive, entertaining, and educational case possible for the values that have made America and the West the source of so much liberty and wealth.

While the choice of topics of Prager University videos is from a strongly American and conservative perspective, and may not all be of interest to a UK audience. I’ve come across a number of their 5 minute videos that should be of  interest to us. They’re available to view through the PragerU website, and can also be viewed in their YouTube channel.

The first video I’ve found is by noted historian and author Andrew Roberts on Churchill: The Man Who Saved the Free World,

The Three Villages Magazine reports on Lightwater’s Work Experience Day

Sophy Hazevoet, the proprietor of The Three Villages community magazine, and Frimley Focus, both directories of local businesses, with sections on community news and events, joined the year five pupils of Hammond School in Lightwater for their ‘work experience day’.

Organised by the Lightwater Business Association in collaboration with Hammond School, the activities of local businesses are interactively demonstrated to small groups of pupils.

Here’s her report [click on image to expand], in which she says of her experience of the day, “This forward-looking initiative is the type of activity that brings community together, and makes Lightwater a great place to to grow up.”