Major new running event heading to Richmond Park in June

Entries are open for a major new 10 mile running coming to the capital this summer. On June 4 2017, up to 10,000 runners will descend on the beautiful Richmond Park to take part in London’s only major fully closed road 10 mile running event – the London 10 Mile.

London 10 MileNo cars, no cyclists, just runners, supporters and a few deer!

Richmond Park will be closed off to all forms of road traffic for one special day this summer, providing runners with a truly unique opportunity to take on a new and exciting distance on the closed roads of one of London’s most spectacular Royal Parks.

In addition to General Entries, participants will also have the opportunity to run for Great Ormond Street Hospital, the London 10 Mile’s official charity partner. The event will enable Great Ormond Street Hospital to raise thousands of pounds to enhance their ability to transform the health and wellbeing of children and young people, giving them the best chance to fulfil their potential.

A limited amount of Early Bird entries priced at £39 are available on the London 10 Mile website.

Claygate U18 Griffins sign off in style with cup victory

The Claygate Royals u18 Griffins made it a fantastic finale to their time with the club by lifting the SPL Cup when beating Worplesden by 3-1 in the final at Godalming FC.

The victory means the team, who have been together for nearly 13 years, have completed a silverware treble having won league titles in both 2015 and 2016.

A delighted Griffins Manager, Chris Bath, commented: "It's a great way to finish for these boys who have been with me for years. I am so proud of them."

Cobham RFC U18's Triumph as Surrey League 1 Champions

As the 2016 - 2017 comes to an end, Cobham RFC U'18's have been crowned Champions of Surrey Rugby's Division 1. The Cobham squad of 27 players ended the season unbeaten having played some of the best clubs in Surrey. Victories included an impressive win over Guildford RFC, who had not lost a league match for 6 seasons.

For both the players and their parents this season's success is all the more poignant since this is the last season they will play together as members of Cobham RFC's Youth section.

Captain Jamie Yates remarked, "some of us have played together since Cobham U'6's and it's been a privilege to play with such a talented group of guys over so many years."

Jamie went on to thank the coaching team Chris Gibson, Mark Watson, Tim Hollidge and Ian Turley commenting, "Our coaching team, together with Team Manager's Pippa Turley and Richard Davies have done a fantastic job - it's been a real team effort."

The league win follows close on the heals of last season's success as winners of the RFU National U17's Shield.

Head Coach, Chris Gibbons, remarked, "This is a fine group of young players who have excelled in one of the strongest leagues in the UK as well as at national level. I look forward to seeing many of them go on to enjoy success at a senior level."

Kingston amongst lowest house price risers in the capital

Kingston upon Thames is among the London boroughs that have seen the lowest growth in house prices in the capital over the past 20 years, according to new research by Lloyds Bank. Even so, prices have increase by 417% since 1996. The average price of a house in Kingston in 2016 was £445,683. This compares to the average increase of almost 450% for London and 290% in England and Wales over the same period.

The total value of private housing stock in London has also seen a surge. In 1996 it was £201.8 billion, increasing nearly six and a half fold (529%) in 2016 to £1.27 trillion.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Director commented: "The last 20 years have seen substantial growth in house prices in London, especially in the most affluent areas of the City. The boom years between 1996 and 2008 saw the gap widening between house prices at the top end of the market and those in London’s inner and outer boroughs, creating two distinct markets1 – ‘Prime’ and ‘Mainstream’.

"However, whilst those boroughs at the top end have pulled away considerably from the rest of London and the country in terms of house prices, improved transport links to the city from the outer boroughs and the 2012 Olympic Games has meant that the boroughs directly benefitting from these have seen house price growth outpace the Prime areas in recent years."

Kingston upon ThamesSince 1996, the North East London Borough of Hackney saw the steepest growth. The average house price in Hackney has increased £530,700 (702%), from £75,569 in 1996 to £606,269 in 2016.

The ten most expensive places to live in London remain largely unchanged compared to 1996. The key exceptions are Southwark, which has moved up ten places to ninth spot and Haringey which moved up two places to tenth. Barnet and Kingston upon Thames have dropped out of the top 10.

Bowie tribute announced
for Gig On The Rec

There will only ever be one David Bowie, he was unique in every way and an inspiration to millions. Absolute Bowie, Europe’s Finest David Bowie Tribute continue to celebrate the life and music of the Starman with a spectacular show featuring all his greatest hits.

The five piece band (six with added saxophone for this very special event) will be the star attraction at The Claygate Recreation Ground on Sunday 16 July.
Absolute Bowie has toured all over Europe for the last 9 years, faithfully performing the music of David Bowie with uncanny accuracy. The audience are taken on a journey experiencing the different personas of Bowie, from Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane through to The Thin White Duke.

Tickets are priced at £25 Adults (18+), £12 Youth (11 - 17) and £6 Child (U11) and available via e-mail only at
Arestricted number of Child and Youth tickets are available. Tables can be reserved for bookings of eight or multiples of eight thereafter.

Gates will open on the day at 5.30pm and the event will again be hosted by Neil Long from Radio Jackie's Breakfast Show, who will get the party started before introducing Absolute Bowie for their first of two 1-hour sets at 6.30pm. The event will close at 9.30pm.

In terms of refreshments, there will be The Excellar Pop-Up Pizza Parlour cooking delicious, Bowie-themed pizzas whilst The Hare & Hounds Daisy Gold Bar will serve real ales, wines, lager and soft drinks.

For adults and kids alike there will also be Bowie face-painting and glitter tattoos from Bells & Whistles Playtime.

Those attending are welcome to bring their own refreshments, although organisers obviously hope that people will make use of the on-site amenities in order to boost the amount of money raised for the cause which is to go towards the improvements to the Claygate Community Clubhouse which was destroyed by fire last November.

This will be the seventh Gig on the Rec and the third successive event staged by Event Director Tony Shearman. It was sold out in advance in both 2015 and 2016 with all tickets gone within just 10 days of going on sale last year.
"There were a lot of disappointed people last year so we have taken steps to increase numbers this year," Tony said.

"We have been successful in obtaining a Premises Licence for 2017 which means that, with a new layout, we now have seating capacity for over 800 people. Obviously, with a bigger event it's more expensive to stage and we have to reflect that in the price structure and have also had to limit the number of Child and Youth tickets available, to ensure we cover our costs and meet our fundraising target."

Gig on the Rec is the finale to Claygate Village Weekend which also sees The Claygate Village & Flower Show take place the day before on Saturday 15 July when around 5,000 people are expected to visit.

Motorcyclist and cyclist in hospital following crash in Weybridge

Two men have been taken to hospital following a serious collision in Oatlands Drive, Weybridge on Wednesday 11 January. The collision involved a motorcycle and a cyclist. Two men, one in his 50s and the other in his 30s, have been taken to hospital with serious injuries. An investigation is underway into the circumstances of the collision, which took place at around 5.25pm. Witnesses are urged to call Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference P17008168.

Windsor Great Park reveal renovation plans to the Punch Bowl

John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park, recently welcomed members of the public to hear of planned renovation work to the Punch Bowl, part of The Valley Gardens, a favourite spot for many Windsor Great Park visitors.

John revealed that plans for the renovation of the Punch Bowl would take approximately five to seven years to complete and would include removing the remaining Blue Fir trees, which are showing signs of decline and stress and replacing them with new ones. Secondly an area in front of the Blue Cedars will be planted with Kurume Azaleas to extend the Punch Bowl and opening a view towards the lake. Mr Anderson also explained that the current Azaleas would be left to flower this spring and then would be cut back in a phased programme. He added that in the next few years, there would be a programme of propagating Azaleas that will be planted in the Punch Bowl and an overhaul of the drainage system to ensure trees such as a prominent oak, which he pointed out to the public in attendance, would remain healthy.

John, who took up his position as Keeper of the Gardens in 2016, said: "The work we are planning to carry out is about ensuring good horticultural practice. If we start tackling these problems now we can ensure we are keeping the Punch Bowl thriving and looking its best for generations to come as well as our current visitors who we know love walking their dogs here and enjoy the Azaleas and the trees."

Rosemary Ussher, a Windsor resident who has been visiting the park for nearly 40 years, said: "It was fantastic to come down and hear what the plans are. I am particularly fond of this part of the Great Park. It’s a beautiful area and I like to bring friends and family here in Spring. I had in fact noticed some of the trees were not looking their best so it’s wonderful to hear that they will be replaced with new healthy ones.

"Gardening is an on-going process so it’s important to make these changes. I think it’s exciting to know what will be happening."

The Blue Fir removal will be undertaken by Windsor Great Park’s in-house teams and will start this month.

Number of homeowners falls for first time in five years

The number of people moving home has fallen for the first time in five years, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review. The number of homemovers is estimated to have reached 354,000 in 2016 – down 4% from 2015 when homemover numbers totalled 367,300. This is the first annual decline since 2011, following four successive years of growth. Overall, the current number of homemovers has grown by 12% since the lowest point of the recent housing downturn in 2009 – when the number of people moving home was 315,000, the second lowest since records began. However, the current figure is 50% below the level of 712,000 a decade ago.

Windsor Great Park takes home three pieces of silverware in the RHS Early Spring Ornamental Plant Show

The Crown Estate, Windsor was delighted to host the RHS Ornamental Plant Competitions at the Savill Garden for the very first time last month. This important horticultural show is in its one hundredth and first year and attracted an array of competitors. Entries came from private and professional gardens that included Caerhayes Castle (Cornwall), Marwood Hill (Devon), High Beeches (Sussex), Exbury Garden & Hillier Arboretum (Hampshire), and the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.

John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens, said: “I am thrilled to report a number of firsts amongst our many successes; one particular highlight was winning the Charles Eley Cup in the Ornamental Plant Competition. Four exceptional vases of spring flowering shrubs combined to impress the judges and secure the silverware for Windsor. The Alan Hardy Challenge Salver was successfully defended in the strongly contested Rhododendron competition and our Camellia entries proved to be the most successful in many years. I was delighted by the enthusiasm and great team spirit and hope it will inspire further success in the future."

The show was a huge success and will go down in the RHS history books as one of the very best Early Spring Competitions. Whilst the weather played its part credit must go to the combined team effort across the estate that collectively made everything come together to present visitors with a fabulous floral show and some very finely groomed gardens.

Round Up

Six in seven Surrey pupils offered their first choice primary school
Figures from Surrey County Council for national primary school offer day show that 86 per cent of applicants were offered the school they put first on their list of reception– up from 82 per cent last year. Primary education in Surrey covers infant and junior levels.

ACS Egham students win international school basketball championship
The boys’ varsity basketball team from ACS Egham International School were crowned champions at the International Schools Sports Association (ISSA) boys’ basketball tournament. The tournament, hosted by ACS Egham and lasting three days, involved 12 international schools. ACS Egham’s Jaguars didn’t lose a game throughout the championship winning the final round 63-51 over St. Dominic’s International School.

Papplewick boys walk for Make a Wish
Boys from Papplewick School in Ascot, with their parents and friends, recently joined the school’s annual sponsored walk in Windsor Great Park, in aid of charity Make a Wish.
Make a Wish grants magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. All the participants enjoyed a well-earned picnic at the end.

LVS Ascot learns strict lesson from return to Victorian times
Young pupils at LVS Ascot recently swapped ipads and computers for quills and chalkboards as they took a trip back to Victorian times as part of an entertaining and enlightening Humanities Week. All 174 junior school pupils made a trip during the event to the Reading Museum to help them discover historical information in the week themed ‘How life has changed since 1803’. The interactive sessions saw pupils at the independent all-ability school take part in Victorian school room or Victorian child at work sessions. They dressed in uniforms of the times and were shown exactly what life was like for children of that era, with volunteers experiencing what it was like to be stood in the corner in a dunce’s hat and even to be caned by the teacher in front of the class.

85 per cent of pupils offered first choice primary, first, infant and junior school choice in Windsor and Maidenhead
More than 85 per cent of pupils applying to start primary, first, infant and junior schools in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead have been given their first choice. In total 97 per cent of families have been offered one of their preferences for September 2017.
Overall there were 126 fewer applications for September 2017 than last year, as a result of the falling birth rate despite continuing housing development in the borough.

Philosophy For Children workshops held at The Marist School with Will Ord
The Marist School in Sunninghill recently welcomed nationally renowned education consultant Will Ord to deliver P4C Philosophy for Children workshops. Founded by Professor Matthew Lipman, Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a pupil-led, enquiry based approach to learning, which centres on teaching thinking skills and the ability to question and reason.

Charters School celebrates Shakespeare Week
This year, in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, Charters School in Sunningdale held the first ever Charters School Shakespeare Week. The week included a wide variety of activities, both in lessons and during break-times. Most of the departments took part, using Shakespeare as inspiration for a wide variety of activities with Years 7, 8 and 9. From teaching students how to say ‘To be or not to be’ in Spanish, to choreographing Romeo’s sword fight with Tybalt in Dance, and holding competitions in Shakespearean recital in the school bandstand, students learnt facts and got to experience a more light-hearted side of Shakespeare. Years 7 and 8 also took part in a scavenger hunt to find Shakespeare’s bones which had been hidden around the school. The event was a success thanks to the efforts of teachers in a wide variety of departments who took part and planned lessons to encourage students’ enthusiasm when studying Shakespeare.

The Marist School stages student-led Institute of Economic Affairs Conference
Four Year 12 Economics students from The Marist School in Sunninghill have been instrumental in organising and hosting the school’s first-ever Institute of Economics Affairs Student Conference. The conference was attended by over 170 students from nine schools, including Charters, St George’s School, Ascot, and Charterhouse, with delegates giving rave reviews from the day. Subjects discussed at the conference included the effect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation on the economy as well as debating how large the gender pay gap really is. Delegates also looked at protectionism – the way countries protect their own firms and markets by legislation and restrictions - and careers in economics, providing students with the opportunity to apply economics to so many other areas of the working world.

Wraps taken off new plans to widen Sunninghill High Street

Hinchley Wood School Autistic Society Cullum CentrePlans have been released to widen a section of carriageway in Sunninghill High Street over a length of approximately 75 metres.

Residents and visitors could benefit from easier access to Sunninghill High Street with a much-awaited proposal to expand a section of the road by 1.2m to allow two lanes to run the whole way down the High Street and reduce notorious delays at peak times.

The pinch point at the junction of School Road is only currently wide enough for single file traffic. The majority of the existing parking provision will still be retained under the proposed changes.

Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "These proposals offer us a chance to improve access to Sunninghill for everyone.

"By reclaiming a small section of the footpath we can create enough space for two-way moving traffic, while retaining most of the parking spaces and a route for pedestrians to continue to access the High Street."

Cllr Julian Sharpe, ward member for Sunninghill and South Ascot, said: "This is good news for Sunninghill High Street as it will help us to reduce some of the congestion in the village and make access to our local shops and services easier."

The proposals also include a raised zebra crossing opposite the Novello Theatre. It is expected that if they are approved work could begin as early as March 2017.