Local school St Christopher’s School and Nursery in Epsom has received royal recognition from Windsor Castle after the school sent a recording of Platinum Jubilee Anthem written by Head Teacher Annie Thackray and Composer Adam Assem. The school is no stranger to awards and recognitions after being awarded Winner of the ISA Independent Junior/Prep School of the Year 2020.
After filming the choir singing the song we got time to interview Annie about how the song came about. The song was originally written for the Golden Jubilee in 2002. At the time Annie and Adam were writing children’s music which were sold to schools across the country to use. Earlier this year a teacher who had the Golden jubilee anthem asked if it could be updated for the Platinum Jubilee. So Annie and Adam set to work making a new version and has distributed across the county via TES a website for school resources.
We asked Annie how the letter from Windsor Castle came about. Annie told us “We wanted to let the Queen know that the song had been written and indeed we sent her a copy of both the sheet music and lyrics and told her a little bit about the story. thinking she’d be delighted to know that all the way across the country. This song was going to be sung in her celebration and in her honor. So we were thrilled to get a card back through the post and the letter thanking us for the song and saying how pleased her majesty was that the song has been taken up and will indeed be used as a core of her celebrations.
Despite it being half term the choir will be performing the song at the renaming of The Queen’s Stand at the Jubilee Launch Party at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Thursday 2nd June just before the Beacon lighting. Annie said ” we’ve been invited to come and sing at the renaming event when we asked the children and the parents they leapt at the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting local venture. I think we are very lucky to have a school whose heart is so firmly rooted in the community. The school has been here since 1938. And there’s a real passion from our parents that still exists today about the attachment with St. Christopher’s”
It will be an amazing experience for the children and What’s On will be there covering the event. If you are one of the lucky ones who has tickets for Thursday’s event make sure you give the children of St Christopher’s a big cheer.
Listen now to Platinum Jubilee Anthem by St Christopher’s School by clicking the play button below 👇
Local artist Brett Lohn, Whoes Art, has created a stunning artwork which is not only raising much needed funds for Racing Welfare but also highlights the link of the Royal Family to the arts.
Set against the backdrop of the Prince’s Stand at Epsom Downs, ‘Coronation Cup’ depicts runners and riders going to post in this Group 1 race, held on the first day of the Derby Festival each year. The event was established in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of a new British monarch, King Edward VII. So it is fitting that the same race has been chosen as the subject for a painting to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of his great granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
Measuring 36 x 24 inches and painted in oil on canvas, ‘Coronation Cup’ is a celebration of the Royal Family’s love of horseracing but also their patronage and promotion of the Arts in the United Kingdom. In this painting The Prince’s Stand represents the monarchy – unchanging amid the bustle of the crowd – whilst the lead horse: Yeats, who is named after the famous painter and is a winner of the Coronation Cup, represents the arts. This painting underlines how the Royal Family have often used their influential position as a backdrop to showcase the arts.
Brett Lohn, the artist, who spent six months producing this painting, was himself helped by the monarchy via The Prince’s Trust, when he began his artistic career. He received both mentorship and financial assistance from the Trust. During this time, the Prince of Wales gave Brett considerable encouragement by writing to him on several occasions, commenting on his work. One of Brett’s oil paintings, depicting the Prince’s favourite polo pony, was subsequently auctioned in aid of the Prince’s Trust, alongside one of the Prince’s own artworks.
Working with The Prince’s Trust proved an ideal platform for the Epsom based artist who remains a firm favourite of the equestrian community and whose work now hangs all over the world. Brett works closely with the Jockey Club at Epsom Downs and, after some discussion, both felt it would be a fitting idea to publish the painting as a limited edition print that might in some way benefit the horseracing community.
Brett is therefore delighted to have linked with the charity Racing Welfare for this project. Twenty percent of the sale price from every print will be donated directly to Racing Welfare, to assist with the vital help that they offer, supporting the workforce of British horseracing.
Listen to Brett as he explains the painting in more details in the video below.
The Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saturday (4th June) will be run in memory of the legendary Lester Piggott, who won the world’s most famous Flat race a record nine times as a jockey. It is understood this is the first time The Derby has been run in memory of any individual.
Jockeys will wear black armbands across both days and there will be a minute’s applause at around 1.15pm on Friday when a wreath in the racing colours of Nijinsky will be laid at the statue of Lester Piggott on The Queen Elizabeth II Stand Lawn. There will be a further minute’s applause at around 4pm on Saturday before The Cazoo Derby (In Memory of Lester Piggott) is run at 4:30pm.
Phil White, London Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “No jockey is more synonymous with our most famous race than Lester Piggott. Running The Cazoo Derby in his memory, which we believe has not been done in the 242 previous editions of the race, is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest jockeys of the modern era and the record-holder for most wins by a rider.
“We want to give racegoers on both days the opportunity to pay their respects and celebrate the life and career of this extraordinary sportsman, and we hope that taking the unprecedented step of re-naming The Derby shows the high esteem in which Lester is held.
“I would like to thank our sponsors Cazoo for accommodating this request and we hope Friday and Saturday will allow for a fitting tribute to one of the icons of our sport.”
Chief Executive, Kathryn Beldon, will be leaving Epsom & Ewell Borough Council in July following her decision that this is the time for a new chapter in her life.
Kathryn joined the Council in 2014 as the Director of Finance and Resources before being appointed as the Chief Executive in April 2017.
Councillor Hannah Dalton, Chair of the Residents’ Association Majority Group said, “It is with regret that Kathryn will be leaving Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. As Chief Executive, Kathryn has led on many initiatives including the development of the borough’s Future 40 vision and more recently she has been pivotal in the borough council meeting the immense challenges presented by COVID-19”.
“Kathryn has led the organisation to support our community and has worked with councillors and our partners to deliver plans to benefit residents and local businesses. She has risen to meet many challenges and leaves the organisation in a strong position for the future.”
Kathryn says “It has been a privilege to work for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council. The last few years have been a period of exceptional challenge and I am deeply grateful for the commitment and dedication of colleagues who have worked so hard to support our residents and businesses during these unprecedented times. With a clear vision and plan for the future, I wish members and officers well as I move on to the next chapter.”
On a personal note it has been a pleasure working with Kathryn and I like to thank her for her help and support of the Emily Davison Memorial Project and for supporting What’s On projects and events over the years. Kathryn you will be greatly missed and I wish you luck in the future.
On Friday 20th May it was announced that 8 new cities were named these being Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster in England, Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland and Wrexham in Wales. Also, for the first time places in an Overseas Territory being Stanley, in the Falklands – and a crown dependency – Douglas, in the Isle of Man
Now this got us thinking Should Epsom & Ewell be a Royal Borough like our neighbours Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon -Thames? There are 4 Royal boroughs in England these being Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston – Upon – Thames and Windsor and Maidenhead. As well as Royal Boroughs there are 4 Royal Towns these being Leamington Spa,Sutton Coldfield,Tunbridge Wells and Wootton Bassett. To get royal status is by way of an express wish of a monarch.
So let’s look at Epsom & Ewell compared to those we have listed above. Starting with our neighbour Kingston. You might think Kingston is a royal borough because of Hampton Court. Well surprisingly Hampton Court falls under Richmond, which is also not a royal borough council. Kingston is a royal borough, and also the oldest Royal Borough, having been designated as such in 925 AD by Saxon, King Athelsen. The town has been the location of the coronations of seven former Saxon kings of England and the coronation stone can still be seen next to Kingston Police station. Sad to say we have had no coronations in Epsom & Ewell.
Let’s look at Kensington and Chelsea they were made a royal borough back in 1965 and for obvious reason with Kensington Palace in the borough which was the birthplace of Queen Victoria and is home to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.
Windsor and Maidenhead only became a royal borough in 1998, which surprised me, due to the town being home to the world’s largest continually inhabited castle. Windsor Castle was built by William the Conqueror, he of 1066 fame, in 1070 and has been home to the Royal family ever since. As well as an home so many members of the royal family are also buried within the borough.
Another royal borough is Greenwich which was designated as a royal borough in 2012 to mark the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Greenwich is renowned for being the birthplace of most of the Tudor monarchs at the former Greenwich Palace which once stood in the grounds of Greenwich Park. It is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to Greenwich Royal Park, The Royal Observatory, The Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House and the seventeenth century clipper, the Cutty Sark.
So comparing these to Epsom & Ewell you might think we don’t compete Well we do. Ok no royal palace with current members of the royal family living in now but Nonsuch Palace was commissioned in April 1538 by Henry VIII to celebrate the birth of his son, Edward VI. It was one of Henry VIII’s largest building projects and stood for nearly 150 years. Elizabeth I was a frequent visitor to Nonsuch, and in 1585, Nonsuch Palace hosted the Treaty of Nonsuch, signed by Elizabeth and the Dutch rebels fighting against Spanish rule. King Philip II of Spain viewed this treaty as a declaration of war, and three years later, he launched the Spanish Armada.
Now let’s look at the Royal Towns. Royal Sutton Coldfield was made a Royal Town by Henry VIII. he loved the area for hunting and eventually donated his hunting land to the residents of Sutton Coldfield. Now Lemington Spa, 1838, and Tunbrige Wells , 1909, were both spa towns used regularly by Kings and Queens. With the opening of Lemington Spa’s Pump Room and Baths in 1814 the town soon became a popular spa resort, visited by hundreds of tourists and Queen Victoria on at least two occasions. As for Tunbridge Wells King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta visited the town, setting a trend which would turn the town into a popular spa resort.
As for Wootton Bassett, a small market town situated in Wiltshire, was designated as a royal borough in 2011 by Queen Elizabeth II. The town is situated a few miles from the former RAF Lyneham, a Royal Air Force Base which was used for the repatriation of deceased war veterans of the Irag and Afghanistan conflicts between 2007 and 2011.
Apart from Wootton Bassett, which no one who witnessed the procession of hearses will ever forget, the others were spas or favourite place of a royal family member to visit. Epsom & Ewell beats them hands down
History tells us the healing powers of the waters were discovered in 1618, earlier the Tunbridge Wells or Lemington Spa. But it wasn’t until 1650’s its popularity grow after Charles II was back on the throne after Oliver Cromwell. People would travel from all over England to visit the well, usually in August when it was most popular.Including Charles II who would meet Nell Gwyn in the town or go racing on the downs. With more spa towns developing across the country Epsom as a spa town to visit started to fade around the 1730’s But by then Epsom was now know for its horse racing. The first Derby was held on Thursday 4 May 1780 and Epsom connection with the royal family continued with Kings and Queens visiting the down for the greatest flat race in the world. Edward VII was the last monarch to win the Epsom Derby with with Minoru in 1909. But he also won the Derby twice as Prince of Wales with Persimmon 1896 and Golden Jubilee in 1900. Unfortunately Queen Elizabeth II, a keen horse racing owner and fan, has only managed 2nd in the Derby but she is a regular visitor to the course only missing less then 5 Derby’s in her 70 year reign.
Should Epsom & Ewell be a royal borough? YES
Epsom and Ewell has had royal visitors dating back to 1500’s, who knows the Saxon Kings on route to Kingston may have stayed in the area, to the present. Famous for its waters, Epsom Salts know around the world, and it horse racing. In fact Go Epsom have created a Kings and Queens In Epsom & Ewell Quiz which highlights how much the royals loved Epsom & Ewell. To take the quiz Click Here
So there you go Epsom & Ewell should be The Royal Borough of Epsom & Ewell , well I think so……
What Do You Think?
Let us know in the comments below or take our poll.
The Dream Fund’s £1.25m award invites 1,500 volunteers to help use space and AI technology to restore Surrey’s wildlife habitats
A Surrey-based project to boost biodiversity though AI and space technology has won £1.25m of funding, thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and opens the door to hundreds of nature enthusiasts who want to get involved.
The three-year project ‘Space 4 Nature’ will see the University of Surrey and the Surrey Wildlife Trust working in partnership with Buglife and the Painshill Park Trust. The team will enlist the help of the public to inform their work in the newly emerging field of Earth Observation – combining satellite technology and artificial intelligence – to monitor and improve nature restoration work.
“Space 4 Nature will transform our ability to survey and assess land, allowing us to target conservation work so that it can have the biggest impact on biodiversity. During the project, we will create at least 30 hectares of habitat for pollinators. Coupling hi-tech solutions with boots on the ground will allow us to monitor the impact of this habitat creation on individual species and apply successful interventions for these species elsewhere in Surrey and beyond.
“The vision for this project is to connect Surrey’s nature by mapping and identifying the best areas of Surrey which can act as corridors to support a huge variety of species including bees, butterflies, birds and small mammals. Working with landowners, volunteers and community groups we aim to transform the plight of threatened species in Surrey.”
The University of Surrey’s academics will use very high-resolution images from space satellites and drones and combine them with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to map diverse habitats in Surrey, but they need help to create data for the computer-based learning systems. Buglife and Surrey Wildlife Trust, winner of a Queen’s Award for volunteering, will soon recruit and train 1,500 volunteers in habitat, plant and insect identification. The data these members of the public identify will enable highly detailed monitoring of biodiversity potential at sites across Surrey and ensure the best decisions can be made to restore wildlife.
The sophisticated technology means the team can zoom in to less than 0.5m2 to identify habitats, spot where dangers and threats to wildlife species lie, and find solutions which help protect nature, for example, where to create wildlife corridors and ‘B-Lines,’ a network of wildflower insect superhighways, and how to protect natural habitats including those which experience high visitor numbers, as at Painshill Park.
Richard Murphy, Professor of Sustainability at the University of Surrey and academic lead on the Space 4 Nature project, said:
“This project will be the first to involve expert ecologists and citizen scientists with the latest Earth Observation technology and artificial intelligence. It will fundamentally change the way we work in biodiversity and habitat management, providing the data so desperately needed to identify and monitor the best conservation approaches.
“It’s a new, powerful innovation for nature’s recovery which will not only make an immediate contribution to improving the environment in the Surrey countryside but will also harness powerful new technological capabilities that can give future generations a solution to systemic problems that affect the whole planet.”
Launched in 2011, the Dream Fund gives charities a chance to deliver projects they have always dreamed of but never had the opportunity to bring to life. The fund has so far supported 40 ‘Dream’ projects, awarding £24 million to inspiring organisations across Britain.
Councillor Clive Woodbridge was officially recognised as the Mayor of Epsom and Ewell for this year at the Council’s annual Mayor Making ceremony at Bourne Hall, Ewell on Monday 16 May.
As Mayor for the year 2022/2023, Clive will have a full diary from day one with a number of civic events planned through the year including visits to residents, community and sports groups, as well as representing the borough’s residents at formal Platinum Jubilee activities.
On becoming Mayor, Clive said, “It is a real honour to be chosen by my peers to be Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, a borough that has been my home for more than 40 years. I’m really looking forward to using this time as an opportunity to highlight the many individuals and groups who do so much to make this a very special place, where people care for one another and take great pride in where they live. I hope to visit as many residents and local organisations as possible in my term of office and showcase what a truly wonderful community this is.”
Clive has been a councillor representing the residents of Ewell since 2007. Over the past 15 years he has fulfilled a number of different roles at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, including being Chair of both the Leisure and Planning committees. Clive has also played a leading role nationally within the Local Government Association (LGA) and is currently Deputy Chair of its Safer and Stronger Communities Board, having recently been Deputy Leader of the LGA Independent Group. During his time as Mayor, he has to remain politically neutral.
Community roles have included being a Governor at two local schools. For a number of years, he has served on the committees of the 2nd Ewell Rainsters scout group and the Ewell Parochial Trust and he is active within the local Town-Twinning Association.
For 40 years Clive has been a freelance technical journalist, specialising in shipping and ports and is a recognised contributor to many different international trade publications.
He has also been head judge for the British Curry Awards since its inception.
Born in High Wycombe in 1958, Clive attended Wycombe Royal Grammar School, Warwick University and London School of Economics. He moved to Ewell in 1982, marrying Mary in 1985, and brought up three boys.
Clive is a keen West Ham supporter and season ticket holder, which, he says, has over the years has brought him pain and pleasure in fairly equal measure.
During his Mayoral year Clive will aim to raise awareness of, and funds for seven charities, all of which have a connection to causes close to his and Mary’s heart. These are:
Today, Tuesday 17th May, Matt Monro Jr returned to his family home. The house where he was born to unveil a plaque to his late father the singer and entertainer Matt Monro.
Matt and his family lived at 14 Ruxley Lane, the last house before the shops. The house now belongs to Dr Sheriff. The house looks like any another house in the road. BUT we were told by one of the large crowd that attended its not what it seems. Back in 1945 as the owner and her friend were having tea when an experimental aircraft from the Vickers aircraft factory at Weybridge crashed directly on the house killing all inside. I was told if you look closely you can see how the house attached survived.
But today was about one of the country’s greatest singer Matt Monro. Surprisingly Matt never had a number one hit single but his songs and his voice live on with hits such as “Walk Away”, “Portrait of My Love” and the Lennon & McCartney “Yesterday” which was first released by Matt as the beatles didn’t want to release it. On top of these hits were classic movie soundtracks such as “Born Free”, James Bond theme “From Russia With Love” and my favorite from the opening scene from the Italian Job “On Days Like These” cut short as the car hits the tractor in the tunnel.
At the unveiling today Epsom Male Voice Choir sung a selection of Matt’s hits and was joined by Matt Jr to sing Walk Away. A very moving moment for all present.
Matt Monro moved into the house in 1961 working as bus driver and milkman. He worked for Unigate out of their depo in Ruxley Lane. His main bus route (enlivened, towards the end of the trip, by a serenade for customers) was in London but he also drove the 418 on the Kingston route. But he did stay long in these roles when he moved to Ewell and the hits started to roll in around the same time. What was also special for Matt Jr was that he was born in Epsom Hospital in 1964 and for 2 years grew up at the house before the family moved out in 1966. Speaking to Matt Jr afterwards he said:
“I’m delighted after five years of hard work from people like Sue and Jeremy, that she has managed to get heritage plaque on the house, which is where my dad lived, and where I was actually subsequently born. And to see all the people here and choirs and journalists and people in general, it’s just been such an emotional day for me. very nostalgic, and I’m actually overwhelmed.”
Sue Merchant had been campaigning for 5 years to get recognition for Matt Monro, with covid delaying the process. But today showed how much people love the music of Matt monro. A wonderful turnout with a crowd of over 100 people all with a story how the music of Matt Monro changed their lives.
Epsom Male Voice Choir will be performing at Epsom Playhouse on Saturday 21st May For More Details CLICK HEREHe
On Bank Holiday Thursday 2nd June the Queen will be taking part in Trooping The Colours, the parade marks the official birthday of The Queen, and at the end will be a flypast.
The Platinum Jubilee flypast will be made up of up to 70 aircrafts from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and will take six minutes to complete. The Queen and family members will watch the flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Timings depend on the weather but the times quoted are between 12:40pm-1:15pm over the palace.
According to a Google Map via Military -Airshows there are 3 zones in What’s On area across South London and Surrey. These are known as Chart Area’s. For us its Area E, F and G. Below are the map of the area and the approximate timings.
Chart Area E includes Central London, Buckingham Palace and Kingston, Esher, Chessington, Tolworth.
Chart Area F includes Epsom & Ewell, Leatherhead, Redhill, Guildford, Reigate, Banstead, Cobham and Tadworth.
Chart Area G includes Aldershot, Farnham, Farnborough, Camberley and Frimley
After the aircraft have passed over the Palace they will disperse via these area’s so don’t expect to see the whole flight path in your area unless you are in central London.
Our advice would be to find an open space on the main flypast flight path for the best chance of seeing as much as possible. If you are heading into London it will be very busy. personally in the past I have stood on Waterloo Bridge and watched them fly over St Pauls.
If you are thinking about Epsom Downs there will be restrictions in place due to events in the evening including Epsom & Ewell Beacon Lighting which will include some road closures and preparations for the Cazoo Derby Festival on the 3rd and 4th June
The Jockey Club has today announced details of a series of free activities at Epsom Downs Racecourse over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, including admission to The Hill to watch both days of the Cazoo Derby Festival on June 3rd and 4th.
It will be the first time the racecourse has been able to welcome racing fans and local families onto The Hill for The Derby for three years, after COVID-19 protocols forced the event to be held behind closed doors in 2020 and the closure of The Hill 12 months ago.
However, with a capacity of more than 30,000 in the ticketed enclosures on both the Friday and Saturday and tens of thousands more expected to take their place on The Hill, well over 100,000 people are expected at Epsom Downs over the two days next month.
Phil White, London Regional Director at The Jockey Club, said: “We’re all incredibly excited that this year’s Cazoo Derby is able to take place in front of the proper crowd it deserves for the first time since 2019 and also that it’s a part of the central weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
“We know that The Queen intends to be with us on Derby Day itself and we’re really hoping that people turn up in their thousands to fill The Hill over the two days and help us create that spectacular carnival atmosphere.
“A Platinum Jubilee is a genuine once in a lifetime occasion for us all to enjoy and we can’t wait for the whole of Epsom to really get into the party spirit, starting on the Bank Holiday Thursday.” Click Here Regarding Bank Holiday Thursday
There are also a number of free activities available on The Hill in the centre of the racecourse for families to enjoy on the two racedays themselves, when the Cazoo Oaks and Cazoo Derby take centre stage on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th June.
With only the last few tickets remaining for the paid enclosures on the racecourse side, on The Hill there will be live music, children’s entertainment, big screens and food and drink available in the free enclosures.
Also on The Hill, The Jockey Club is this year hosting The Jubilee Family Festival, offering a unique racing experience for the whole family.
Hosted by a top team including TV star, presenter and Strictly Come Dancing Star Karim Zeroual, CITV’s Kerry Boyne and model-turned-broadcaster Rosie Tapner, The Jubilee Family Festival will provide non-stop entertainment throughout both Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Children will be given free admission to The Jubilee Family Festival zone, while tickets are from £20 per adult. Families will be treated to music and dance performances from acts including Big Fish Little Fish, Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure, Raymond and Mr Timpkins, Boggle Beats, Thrill Collins and The Flying Seagull Project.
On Saturday 14th May The Epsom Downs Racecourse team will be at Go EpsomHat Making Workshop in Epsom Square by Epsom Library where you will be able to buy your Cazoo Derby tickets, including an exclusive half priceoffer for the Jubilee Family Festival on Friday 3rd June.
Roaming acts inside the enclosure will also include Acro Chaps, Jumping Giant Jockeys and Flower Girls, while a helter skelter, big wheel, carousel, bungee trampolines and an inflatable maze will help create a carnival atmosphere as world class horseracing takes place just yards away.
Families are also encouraged to bring picnics to The Hill on both days to help make the Cazoo Derby an occasion to remember.
It is hoped Her Majesty The Queen will also be attending the Cazoo Derby – known as the world’s greatest and most prestigious Flat race – on the Saturday, along with other members of the Royal Family.
To recognise Her Majesty’s contribution to horseracing and her long association with The Derby – which includes missing just two Derby days between her 1953 Coronation and the start of the Coronavirus pandemic – dozens of jockeys wearing The Queen’s famous silks will form a guard of honour to greet her arrival. There will also be a performance from a military band and a spectacular parachute display from the Red Devils.
*The last few tickets for this year’s Cazoo Derby on June 3rd and 4th are still available, but are selling fast. For more details on how to enjoy the three days at Epsom Downs visit thejockeyclub.co.uk/epsom.