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Spanish fiesta came to Epsom

Epsom Symphony Orchestra May 4th concert

Epsom Symphony Orchestra – Epsom Playhouse – 4th May – Review by Sarah Haines.

What an uplifting and colourful music evening put on by Epsom Symphony Orchestra. Their May concert at Epsom Playhouse was a rich and colourful Spanish Fiesta overseen by Musical Director and Conductor Darrell Davison.

A wonderful start to summer with its promise of outdoor living. Our party had pre performance tapas and spirits which nicely set the stage for what was to come. Chabrier’s Espana captured the Spanish way of life in music. Full of character, and contrasting themes including parts that were really powerful and tempestuous. Elsewhere light and springy with happy harp playing. Ending in fantastic fanfare.

Turina’s Procession of the Lady of the Dew was a charming little piece: a fantastic soundtrack to a fiesta in Seville. We listened to music from a procession – sedate and respectful; building to a joyful and jubilant end: trumpets playing the Spanish national anthem – this one really was like a film score overture.

Richard Scholfield then treated us to two wonderful pieces playing the solo saxophone (supported by the Orchestra). The first was Ravel’s Pavane (arranged by Darrell Davison) – a slow Spanish dance. This was superb playing – soulful and light, a silken sound, romantic, demonstrating the repertoire of the saxophone.

The second was Borne’s marvellous Fantaisie Brillante on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen – a demanding soloist piece played beautifully and with flair – it was phenomenal, at times racy, playful, a powerful Tango, rapid scales with wonderful percussion joining at the end. At points it was like listening to a horse race.

The second half began with de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite 2. This piece depicted melodies from cafes, bars and street musicians. A throbbing intensity from the cellos and double basses interspersed with movements of lightness from the violins and violas and augmented by colourful music from the brass and woodwind. This really caught the essence of Spanish life.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espangnole was joyful piece: containing two morning songs, a gypsy song and a Fandango (animated Spanish dance). So many wonderful solo parts throughout the orchestra as they played this colourful piece.

The concert ended with the unforgettable Ravel’s Bolero – an extremely popular piece. The familiar tune gradually built and built as more members of the orchestra came in. Two snare drummers stood like sentinels either side of the stage, reminiscent of Torvill & Dean’s legendary gold winning ice-skating performance at the Sarajevo 1984 winter Olympics.

Sarah Haines




Non-political and all-political

Dear Editor,

It is good to see that, despite stepping down as a Borough Councillor, Vince Romagnuolo has lost none of his enthusiasm for historically partisan approach to local politics. Labelling Resident Association councillors closet Conservatives is nothing new. Vince and the Labour Party have never understood the concept of local volunteers whose national voting patterns are often diverse, but who come together in a non-ideological commitment to promote a shared view of localism, civic duty and what is right for all residents in Epsom and Ewell.

If only Vince knew the real national preferences of RA councillors, he might be surprised. Although I never discussed national political allegiances with my RA colleagues, it is sometimes not difficult to know them. There were and are councillors who nationally support the Labour Party, and at least one RA Councillor who was a Labour Party Councillor in another local authority.

So come on Vince, by all means criticise Residents Association councillors if you disapprove of their policies, but please don’t use labels and unfounded accusations of national party-political bias to explain the clear voting preferences of residents, the long absence of Conservative councillors, and the actions of Epsom and Ewell MPs over the last 87 years.

With all good wishes

County Councillor Eber Kington

Residents Association Ewell Court, Auriol and Cuddington

[Ed: A right of reply was warranted but we now draw this particular debate to a close on our pages.]




16th May 2024

COUNCIL COUNCIL CONSTITUTION

Epsom and Ewell’s new Mayor

Epsom and Ewell’s new Mayor

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has appointed Councillor Steve Bridger (RA Stamford) as the new Mayor for the year 24/25. In a ceremonial meeting Tuesday 14th May, speeches were made to propose the … READ MORE

COUNCIL COUNCIL CONSTITUTION FINANCES

Annual audit of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

Annual audit of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

The annual Grant Thornton Auditor’s Report on the workings of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has delivered a positive assessment of its performance across financial sustainability, governance, and value for money, … READ MORE

FOOTBALL SPORTS

Leatherhead Women top their league

Leatherhead Women top their league

Leatherhead Women’s FC finished the season on a high, winning the league without losing a single game. The team finished with a record of 15 wins, one draw and not … READ MORE

RUGBY SPORTS

A cloud followed by silver for Old Glynonians

A cloud followed by silver for Old Glynonians

Old Glynonians are the new holders of the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield, having overcome Cranleigh in a thrilling 22-21 victory on Sunday 12th May. After an … READ MORE

COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Redrawing Surrey’s political map – literally

Redrawing Surrey’s political map – literally

Major boundary changes could see some Surrey residents change wards for the next local elections in a redrawing of the political map of the county. Council wards in Surrey are to … READ MORE

COUNCIL ELECTIONS LETTERS

Up to 2003 MPs happy no Conservatives on Epsom and Ewell Council

Up to 2003 MPs happy no Conservatives on Epsom and Ewell Council

Dear Editor, I note with interest the letter from Mr Kington “Epsom and Ewell was the first Conservative free Council” outlining the dire electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party in Epsom & … READ MORE

COMMUNITY COUNCIL FINANCES

County Councillor Community funding

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Surrey residents can now apply for cash grants to improve their local area through the Your Councillor Community Fund. Last year the Fund supported over 380 community projects via Surrey County Councillors, totalling £404,330.   … READ MORE

COUNCIL ELECTIONS LETTERS

Green view of Mole Valley elections

Green view of Mole Valley elections

Dear Editor, In Mole Valley national issues probably mostly impacted the main parties who lost support. However these local election results will be of little significance in the forthcoming General … READ MORE

COUNCIL ELECTIONS LETTERS

Epsom and Ewell was the first Conservative free Council

Epsom and Ewell was the first Conservative free Council

Dear Editor, I refer to your article on the May local elections headed “First Surrey Borough with no Conservative Councillors” and which includes the comment that “The result makes it … READ MORE

COUNCIL FINANCES

Spelthorne in financial trouble

Spelthorne in financial trouble

Inspectors have been sent to Spelthorne Borough Council as concern grows over its ability to deal with its extreme debt and borrowing. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities … READ MORE

ELECTIONS NEWS WESTMINSTER

Two horse race coming to Epsom?

Two horse race coming to Epsom?

The Liberal Democrats continue to tighten their grip on Epsom & Ewell’s southern flank in Mole Valley, as the Party cements its position in Leatherhead. With two out of three … READ MORE

EDUCATION FOOTBALL SPORTS

Inclusive sportsmanship in Worcester Park

Inclusive sportsmanship in Worcester Park

The annual Linden Bridge Football Festival kicked off with a vibrant display of teamwork, camaraderie, and sheer determination. Organized by Linden Bridge School, Worcester Park, and led by enthusiastic pupils, … READ MORE

HEALTH NEWS

Bed pressures rushing doctors

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Pressure to free up hospital beds can “rush” clinicians to make under-informed decisions and discharge plans, a coroner has found.  A man who tragically died from hypothermia and chronic alcoholism … READ MORE

COUNCIL SPORTS

Making a racket for new padel centre

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Leatherhead could soon host international competition after Surrey’s first indoor padel centre was approved. Padel is is a racket sport of Mexican origin, typically played in doubles, and is like a mix … READ MORE

COUNCIL CRIME FINANCES

Little solace for Guildford from fraud report

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Weak governance and poor scrutiny at Guildford Borough Council created a ‘quick fix culture’ that allowed potentially millions of pounds to be defrauded from the public purse while vulnerable housing … READ MORE

COMMUNITY COUNCIL NATURE

County lines of trees

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Surrey County Council has worked with residents and community groups to plant over 36,000 new trees across the county. The council remains on track to plant 1.2 million trees by … READ MORE




Leatherhead Women top their league

Leatherhead womens football club squad

Leatherhead Women’s FC finished the season on a high, winning the league without losing a single game. The team finished with a record of 15 wins, one draw and not a single loss in the league securing promotion into the Premier Division.

Specsavers have championed the team since its introduction into senior women’s football, with new kits and banners and continued support from the team of opticians and audiologists.

The team plays every home game in Fetcham Grove where you will be able to see the new kits in action.

Specsavers retail director, Mihaela Ovadiuc said: “At Leatherhead, we strive to be a shining light within our local community, whether that be directly or indirectly. Supporting Leatherhead Women’s has been such an honour, and we are all over the moon that we are extending the sponsorship. The club aligns with our commitment to promoting healthy and active living and takes pleasure in offering a secure environment for the local community.”




A cloud followed by silver for Old Glynonians

Old Glynonians lift the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield after defeating Cranleigh 22-21 at Shaftesbury Park, Bristol, on Sunday

Old Glynonians are the new holders of the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield, having overcome Cranleigh in a thrilling 22-21 victory on Sunday 12th May.

After an emotional minute’s silence was held in honour of former Old Glynonians player Ben Rollinson, who sadly died aged just 42 last Friday, Glyn started with a fire in their belly and scored two early tries to take a 10-0 lead within the first 20 minutes, but the next 60 minutes would not be as straightforward.

Cranleigh responded with two converted scores to lead 10-14 and appeared to be heading towards half-time full of confidence, but OGs captain Tim Laughton-Scott crashed over the whitewash in the last play of the half to restore the Epsom & Ewell-based side’s lead.

With temperatures rising to an annual peak of 25c down at Shaftesbury Park in Bristol, home of the Bristol Bears Women, and just a point separating the teams at 15-14, everything was set for an exhausting second 40.

Five minutes into the second half, Man of the Match Michael Hume showed speed, power and calm to break through the Cranleigh defence and juggle a back-and-fourth pass with his fellow centre before dotting down to extend Old Glynonians’ lead. The try was converted by fly-half Sam Smith to make the score 22-14.

And that kick that would prove the difference between glory and gut-wrenching defeat, as 35 minutes of gruelling Glyn defence was finally broken by Cranleigh who got over the line to make it 22-21. But as the Crane’s conversion sailed through the sticks, the full-time whistle was blown. The match would end 22-21 in favour of the Old Glynonians.

The 2024 Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield now sits alongside three Surrey Bowls (2008, ’09, ’12) in the Old Glynonians trophy cabinet.

James McFarlane, Chairman of Old Glynonians RFC, said: “Firstly, huge credit has to go to Cranleigh. They have given us one of the hardest-fought games I can ever remember. The one-point winning margin is a fair representation of how tight the game was and how well-matched the sides were, so they should also be proud of their performance.

“Winning this competition is hugely satisfying. There are so many people that have been mucking in both on and off the pitch for so many years, and now it all feels worth it.”

Tim Laughton-Scott, Captain of Old Glynonians RFC, said: “We really had to dig deep out there to win this, so it feels like a very sweet victory. We knew we could do it, but when the score flipped against us in the first half, it tested our belief for sure. We stuck to our game, fought bravely on what was an exhausting day under the sun, and just about came away on top.

“I never expected to be picking up silverware in my first season as captain, but the support from the players and the backroom staff has been great. It’s a big win for everyone involved.”

James Kennedy-Myers, Head Coach of Old Glynonians RFC, said: “I didn’t play but I’m still exhausted! To win our first trophy in over decade and to do it less than 48 hours after the devastating loss of a former player stirs up so many emotions. Rollo [Ben Rollinson] was a great friend of mine, and this win will be well and truly dedicated to him.

“I’m thrilled with the squad that we have, probably our strongest ever, and look forward to defending our crown next season.”

Image: Old Glynonians lift the Papa Johns Community Cup.  credit Lisa Banning/Old Glynonians




Up to 2003 MPs happy no Conservatives on Epsom and Ewell Council

Dear Editor,

I note with interest the letter from Mr Kington “Epsom and Ewell was the first Conservative free Council” outlining the dire electoral fortunes of the Conservative Party in Epsom & Ewell. But he doesn’t tell the full story. 

With the odd exception, despite sporadic efforts by eccentric Tory candidates, it is true that it is only since 2003 that the Tories have made a concerted effort to gain seats on the council. The truth is that successive Tory MPs for the area seemed quite happy with the composition of the council due to the fact that, on the whole, the ruling group was made up of small ‘C’ conservatives and in some cases, card carrying Conservative and UKIP members. 

It was during the Labour government, with local government being property funded, that they embarked on a spending spree with taxpayers money. But they gleefully reverted to type when the austerity obsessed Tory/Lib Dem coalition government came to power in 2010 that budgets were slashed following Tory edicts. 

Yours faithfully,

Vince Romagnuolo

Former Epsom & Ewell Borough Councillor, 1999-2007, 2015-2019




Green view of Mole Valley elections

Dear Editor,

In Mole Valley national issues probably mostly impacted the main parties who lost support. However these local election results will be of little significance in the forthcoming General Election in Epsom and Ewell constituency for several reasons.

Firstly only a small area of Mole Valley falls within the parliamentary constituency of Epsom and Ewell, namely Ashtead and Leatherhead. While these two areas will be very important to our campaign in the General Election there did appear to be some tactical or protest voting in the local elections in
Mole Valley as there was no great change in turnout. In Leatherhead Liberal Democrats were elected with a similar vote compared with 2023 despite their record of supporting development in the Green Belt.

The Green Party targeted resources in the Dorking area of Mole Valley in order to maintain a previous strong showing there. Secondly, as local elections did not take place for the Epsom Borough Council
area the bulk of voters in the Epsom and Ewell constituency were not able to express their choices at the ballot box.

Nevertheless the threat to the Green Belt will be one of the key issues in the General Election in Epsom and Ewell as a whole so voters will have a genuine opportunity to test candidates about this particular matter, which is of great priority for the Green Party, including in Ashtead and Leatherhead where we
will be actively campaigning to galvanise our support there.

Finally, whilst votes were quite well dispersed across different parties in the local elections in Mole Valley there will be even more parties standing in the General Election in Epsom and Ewell including the Green Party. The share of the vote will also probably be quite dispersed as a result in the General Election and in this scenario tactical voting will be of limited benefit. In such circumstances voters will be well advised to vote for policies they believe in, as a surprise result is quite likely.

Stephen McKenna

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Green Party Epsom and Ewell




Inclusive sportsmanship in Worcester Park

The annual Linden Bridge Football Festival kicked off with a vibrant display of teamwork, camaraderie, and sheer determination. Organized by Linden Bridge School, Worcester Park, and led by enthusiastic pupils, this event brought together 15 special educational needs (SEN) schools and over 100 pupils for a day of spirited competition.

The festival, held at Wandgas Sports Ground, exemplified the inclusive spirit that Linden Bridge
School stands for. Students of all abilities participated in various football matches, showcasing their
skills and passion for the beautiful game. From footgolf to mini-tournaments, the atmosphere was
electric as players cheered each other on.

One of the festival’s highlights was the unwavering support from local businesses. MetroRod, a
leading drainage and plumbing company, stepped up as the main sponsor. Their generous
contribution ensured that every participant received a commemorative medal, a symbol of their
hard work and dedication. In addition, MetroRod provided trophies for all participating schools,
recognizing outstanding performances and sportsmanship.

Coach Dom, from KEY Sports Academy, played a pivotal role in making the festival a success. His
expertise in organizing sports events and passion for nurturing young talent shone through. Coach
Dom lent equipment and offered valuable coaching tips. His commitment to empowering young
athletes was evident as he encouraged fair play and teamwork.

“The Linden Bridge Football Festival is more than just a tournament,” Coach Dom shared. “It’s about
fostering a love for sports, building confidence, and creating lasting memories. These students
inspire us all with their determination and resilience.”

The Surrey Special Schools Sports Association (SSSSA) includes the Linden Bridge Football Festival as
a key event in its annual calendar. Linden Bridge School takes immense pride in being an active
member of the association. This year alone, Linden Bridge pupils have participated in 25 SSSSA-
organized events across various sports disciplines.

“Our students thrive when given the opportunity to compete,” said Mr. Borja Vidal, PE Lead at
Linden Bridge School. “The festival allows them to showcase their abilities, make friends, and
celebrate their achievements. We’re grateful to everyone who made this day possible.”

The Linden Bridge Football Festival reminded us that sports transcend barriers, bringing people
together in the spirit of unity and joy.

With the success of this year’s festival, Linden Bridge School is already planning for next year. The
goal remains the same: to create an inclusive platform where every student can shine, regardless of
their abilities. As the festival becomes a cherished tradition, it reinforces the belief that sports have
the power to transform lives.




9th May 2024

RUGBY SPORTS

Old Glynonians silver chance in a decade

Old Glynonians silver chance in a decade

Epsom & Ewell-based Old Glynonians RFC will take a team bus to Bristol this Sunday 12th May to contest the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield Final. The side, … READ MORE

COUNCIL FINANCES

Surrey County Council staff strike poll

Surrey County Council staff strike poll

Staff at Surrey County Council are voting on whether to go on strike after receiving a revised pay offer which union bosses say is not good enough. Union chiefs representing workers, … READ MORE

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Tarbuck’s luck comes to Epsom

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Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck popped into Epsom General Hospital recently – and made a serious bit of  business great fun. He was in the Urology Department to present a “new toy”, a … READ MORE

COMMUNITY COUNCIL FINANCES

Community fund open for bids

Community fund open for bids

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council is inviting community groups and organisations to bid for neighbourhood funds raised by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), to deliver projects that will support new … READ MORE

COUNCIL ELECTIONS

First Surrey Borough with no Conservative Councillors

First Surrey Borough with no Conservative Councillors

The Conservatives have been wiped out in Woking after voters handed the Liberal Democrats a huge mandate. The final tally tightened the Lib Dems grip on power giving them 24 … READ MORE

NEWS POLICING

Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner re-elected

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The result of the 2nd May 2024 election for Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner was announced Friday and the Conservative Candidate, Lisa Townsend, was re-elected despite a substantial drop in … READ MORE

EDUCATION NEWS

From blow your hair to blow your mind?

From blow your hair to blow your mind?

Nescot college in Ewell, Surrey is investing £650,000 to transform a hair studio on campus into a virtual reality (VR), immersive space for its students. The state-of-the-art technology, currently being installed, … READ MORE

EDUCATION HEALTH NEWS

Meat-free Mondays coming to all Surrey schools?

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Meat-free and plant-based options could be mandated across Surrey schools every Monday according to new council guidance. Only some Surrey schools currently participate in a form of ‘meat-free Monday’ so … READ MORE




Old Glynonians silver chance in a decade

Old Glynonians rugby players

Epsom & Ewell-based Old Glynonians RFC will take a team bus to Bristol this Sunday 12th May to contest the Papa Johns Community Cup Counties 3 South Shield Final.

The side, formed in 2007 by former Glyn School students and still made-up of a number of alumni, will face fellow Surrey side Cranleigh, having dismissed Streatham-Croydon RFC and King’s College Hospital in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

This will be the ‘Ogs’ first final since 2012, where they saw off Merton to win the Surrey Bowl, a competition they also won in 2008 and 2009.

James McFarlane, Chairman of Old Glynonians RFC, said: “Less than two years ago we were finding our feet again after a COVID-interrupted year or two of on-and-off rugby, so to be heading to a cup final with arguably our strongest ever squad is testament to all the hard work put by so many people at the club.

We’d like to thank The Rising Sun in Epsom, our home pub and clubhouse, for their hospitality this season, our brilliant sponsors, Radford & Sons Butchers in Stoneleigh, without them we wouldn’t have any new kit or quality food for out BBQ social events, as well as the brilliant City Skills. Thanks also to Glyn School for continuing to let us use the facilities. Fingers crossed the boys can get the job done on Sunday”

Tim Laughton-Scott, Captain of Old Glynonians RFC, said“Things have really started to click this year. We had a mixed bag of results earlier in the winter, but as the players have gelled, confidence levels have grown and I’ve got a lot of faith in the team going down to Bristol on Sunday. Funnily enough, we’ve only recently come off our end-of-season tour to Amsterdam, but we all came home in one piece and everyone should be in good shape for the game.”

James Kennedy-Myers, Head Coach of Old Glynonians RFC, said: “The boys have already achieved great things this season, including a club-record 10 league wins, and things really have gone from strength-to-strength over the last few months.

“If we turn up with the same energy and commitment we’ve shown in the previous two rounds of this competition, then there’s every chance we can lift the cup.”

The match will take place at Shaftesbury Park, the home of Bristol Bears Women and will kick off at 11am.