"The West Surrey Cyclist" - Issue 3 - Spring 1986
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THE WEST SURREY CYCLIST
Perhaps my grouses in the last magazine struck home; we're now beginning to receive more letters and articles for publication. Do please remember that we cannot rest on our laurels, your articles and letters are this magazines lifeblood, keep firing them in. One thing I have been justifiably taken to task on is where do authors send their opuses. There are two methods:-
a. Give your piece to any committee member who will relay it to me.
The committee is:-
|Mr. Bill Inder
Mr. Les Moss
Dr. Helen Juden
Mrs Gillian Smith
Mr. George Alesbury
|Mr. Keith Parfitt
Mr. David Pinkess
Mr. Roy Banks
Mr. Mike Harlow
|32 Wensleydale Drive,
Surrey. GU15 1SP.
Those of our readers who were dissappointed not to get a copy of our number two edition will be pleased to know we are printing more copies this time but we still expect a sellout situation to arise. Members attending the Clubroom to purchase will have first call on available supplies.
This edition breaks new ground with an illustration kindly supplied by Wheelmarks Magazine the magazine of one of my old DAs, S. Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. The cartoon was drawn by Ian Watson and more will follow. On the other hand, if you feel you can draw, please submit your work to me. There must be some artistic talent in the DA somewhere!
Articles for the next magazine the deadline is 15th May. No articles carried over so please start writing immediately.
Do we all like the new Runs List format? I do and several novices have commented favourably to me (a novice runs list reader is one who has only studied the old encyphered format for at least four years!) If you feel further improvement could be made remember to get your views in the magazine.
Most people have relations or friends who live in other parts of the country, and this can be used to great advantage when planning week-ends away, longer tours or even the annual rally.
We have some friends of long standing who reside midway between Earls Barton and Great Doddington in Northamptonshire and when the Tandem Club announced that the 1985 Rally would be located at Hinwick House in the same county it was a nice surprise to find that this was only some fives miles across the valley from our friend's house. Being a trifle long in the tooth and set in the bones we do not favour the idea of a canvas cover under the stars, but a friendly bed and breakfast place highly adjacent overcame the doubts harboured by the stoker concerninp rallys in the countryside.
Fortunately at this time we still had the tandem rack kindly lent to us by Chris Greening for our East Anglia tour the previous month, so it was no problem at all to load up the tandem and all our kit and caboodle and head North on the Friday evening, even the weather was set fair and the omens were good. Alas Saturday morning made a somewhat watery appearance and got worse whilst we had a rather lengthy breakfast and thought of the hardy twosomes camping out at the rally site. About 10.30 the rain stopped and having removed our friend's doubts as to our ability to actually propel the tandem we duly arrived at Hinwick House and signed on for 'Tandem 85'.
The site appeared to be ideal, at least from a non-campers assessment, a large field with irregular rampant trees, bounded on two sides by a quiet country lane and with Hinwick House forming a backcloth some distance behind the large marquee which was the rallying point for all participants. Having just missed the last organised ride of the morning this duo from West Surrey opted for a meander down to a recommended hostelry in the village of Odell, unfortunately there were two pubs and we chose the wrong one; landlords changing over that week-end, general air of 'customers are such a bore' and a normally vast menu truncated down to a simple ploughmans. Odell is a pretty village with thatched cottages around the mound of a Norman castle, and a 15th century church which has a legend concerning the lord of the manor, one Sir Rowland Alstons, with a memorial in the church itself. This particular Baron of Odel sold his soul to the Devil but when the due time arrived Sir Rowland welshed on the agreement and sought sanctuary in the church whereupon the Devil was so enraged that he shook the church and left five scratch marks on the porch. The ghost of Sir Rowland Alstons appears on a phantom black horse once every hundred years and his next appearance is due in the year 2044.
After lunch we decided that rather than return to base to join the Treasure Hunt organised for the afternoon we would pedal on to Olney, a town that we have visited and enjoyed on earlier visits in the 'boring car'. Because we were using the lanes and the available sign-posts were somewhat suspect we asked two young 'Phil Thomas lookalikes' if we were on the right road for Olney. Just follow our wheels they said. So we did. By the time we reached Olney the 'lookalikes' had definitely wilted and we were more than happy to lock up the tandem and totter round the shops, and visit the church where there is a memorial to John Newton and also the pulpit he used during his time there as a curate. We also accepted the chance to visit the William Cowper museum contained in a town house extending to three floors with a long narrow garden to the rear.
Leaving Olney and dithering in a northerly direction along a lane we eventually reached and crossed the very busy A428 Bedford Northampton road and thankfully recovered our breath and composure in the village of Yardley Hastings, a lovely name for a very attractive village. Our little mini tour took us to Grendon and thence via more lanes back to Great Doddington with a final total of 28 miles, very modest but extremely enjoyable. After a welcome bath and clean up we took our friends and hosts in the 'boring car' back to the campsite for the great Barn Dance, this being the centrepiece of the non-cycling side of Tandem '85. The actual dance was held in the very large marquee complete with the obligatory straw bales, a three piece band and caller and a very good catering bar run by the owner of Hinwick House. There were about 250 people in the marquee and at least two thirds wanted to dance so space was at a premium but the atmosphere was superb and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. We were particularly delighted to see Brian and Marijke Morris, previously of the Herts DA but now residing in Berkshire, who have supported the West Surrey DA on several occasions over the past eighteen months. The Barn Dance emphasised the fact that the rally was a family affair, all ages and shapes being represented, the majority performing with great gusto, their lack of ability being more than compensated by their keenness and friendly attitude.
On the Sunday morning having received the blessing of a good nights sleep in a warm cosy bed we were able to cycle back to the campsite and try and decide whether to go on Nigel's Nostrum, George's Jaunt or Alan's Amble. The last named was only 24 miles (in theory) so we edged our tandem into the appropriate group and eventually set the wheels turning with some fifteen tandems and one or two solos. The route pottered through the villages of Bozeat and Easton Maudit to Castle Ashby park where fortunately (except for the victim) a puncture brought the colourful group to a gradual and dignified stop. The enforced stop gave the opportunity to admire the parkland views, partake of elevenses and talk to new friends, and when we did get under way again we were somewhat surprised to be overtaken by a car which stopped about a hundred yards up the road and smartly decanted its driver. This driver was a brave fellow (or possibly foolhardy) as he stood in the middle of the road attempting to wave down a large gaggle of tandems who at that particular moment were giving their impression of mass-start racing. We did manage to stop just short of his shoes at which point he announced that he worked for the local paper and would very much like to take some photographs and do a write-up, quite a change from the usual wordy eyeball to eyeball with irate motorists. We followed a somewhat circuitous route back to the campsite where there was plenty of food and drink available together with a static display of some twelve different tandems, this in place of trade support which had not materialised, with the exception of Pete Bird who had several exhibits in the marquee.
The afternoon was used to put a few more miles together in a circuit that included the villages of Odell, Sharnbrook, Wymington and Podington, but by tea-time we had packed our bags, said our various and many good-byes and poddled off to our original base. The entire week-end was very enjoyable, well organised with a lot of hard work put in by the local members of the Tandem Club, the atmosphere was extremely friendly and even we as geriatric amateurs were made very welcome.
Gerry & Adrienne Crawshaw.
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MEASURE FOR MEASURE or AS YOU LIKE IT
Soon after Christmas a knock came at my door one morning and there stood one of our fabulous lady riders and I was a little taken aback to see that she was wielding a tape measure. I was even more startled when she announced that she would like me to do some measuring up for her. In a state of near panic I tried to visualise just what the female statistics should include.
There would be hips, waist and bust and I tried to recall how these should vary - was it hips and bust about the same with the waist several inches smaller or the other way about? No, but the inside leg evaluation wouldn't come into it - that was something that went on at a man's outfitters. All this flashed through my mind at the speed of light but as I took the tape with trembling hands, I was aware that the lady was twittering on about getting a new bike and would I show her how to measure a frame size - the bike's not hers. Ah, blessed relief! I managed to hold the tape steady enough to ascertain that it was a 22½" frame and, with a pulse slowly returning to normal, handed back the quivering tape.
Oh, Marguerite, you should have more consideration for an old man!
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CHRISTMAS DAY was very special to me in many ways. I celebrated the Birth of Jesus by going to the 8 a.m. Communion Service at Horsell Parish Church then walked home and went to sleep. At 11.15 a.m. my husband and I went to a short Carol Service at the same church and walked home past the Horsell Scout Hut where about 20 club members were having an 'Appertiser'. I then changed into "legs" and bullied my three sons out of their jeans and off we went to the Cotteridge Hotel where - after the recognised 10 mins - we met a General and two Wayfarers!! Drinks in hand we went into the Dining Room and found that our tables were ajacent!
We looked at the menu and I started choosing what to have only to be told by my youngest son that you didn't have any choice you ate the lot! So here we go:-
We left before the cheese and biscuits - the General and two Wayfarers were still going strong!!Tomato Soup
Turkey, chipolata, stuffing,
Duchess potatoe, Roast potatoes
Gravy and Cransberry sause.
Christmas Pudding and Brandy Sauce
or (a choice!)
Fresh Fruit and nuts
Brie and Stilton with biscuits
Coffee (or Tea)
Wine (of course)
We had a marvellous meal in excellent company - maybe our tables can be joined next year? No thinking of what to buy; no cooking and no washing up - straight(?) home and back to sleep! Nobody wanted anything else to eat for the rest of the day. It was the best Christmas Day I've had for 2 years.
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THE BOXING DAY RIDE
10.30 a.m. at Pirbright Green we were told so 10.30 a.m. it was but no-body told me about the rain! En route to P.G. I didn't see the first flood I hit so drowned the left foot; I then wondered how I could possibly negotiate the second flood and consequently drowned the right foot!! On reaching BXR I was rather hoping that the Leader for the day wouldn't be at PG!! Totally drenched I arrived at PG and a voice from the Bus Shelter said 'Marguerite, what are you doing here?" "Getting Wet" I said! Robert and Hazel and Steve had also decided that they fancied a ride in the rain.
We went up Tunnel Hill; round the back of Frimley to Farnborough North Station along the footpath and into Frimley Green and across the Army country back into Pirbright Bus Shelter, a distance of just over 10 miles, making a total of approx: 20 miles for us all from home to home.
I arrived home to be laughed at - standing inside the back door totally drenched - even my lovely new waterproof mitts had puddles inside them as I do put them on outside my waterproof(??) jacket!!
I really appreciated the incentive I had to go out on Boxing Day and I think that Robert and Hazel deserve a medal for honouring their commitment as leaders for the day - Thank You.
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PEDESTRIANS should be loved.
Pedestrians make up the greater part of mankind. Not only that, the finer part. Pedestrians created the world. It was they who built towns, put up skyscrapers, installed drainage and plumbing, paved the streets and lit them with electric lights. It was they who spread culture all over the world, invented printing, thought up gunpowder, built bridges across rivers, deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphics, introduced the safety razor, abolished slavery and discovered that a hundred and fourteen tasty, wholesome dishes could be made from beans.
And then, when everything was ready, when our planet had acquired a comparatively well-planned appearance, the motorists appeared.
from The Golden Calf by Ilf and Petrov (trs. John H.C. Richardson).
EAVES DROPPING ON A SUNDAY RUN
Talk among members at lunch times can be very interesting though usually it's a job to keep track when several conversations are going on at the same time. And it's amazing how often scraps gleaned from television creep in. With a mouthful of sausage and chips, John proclaims that there isn't any housing shortage - it's just a rumour put about by people who have nowhere to live. From across the table Arthur is on about a friend of his going through a bad patch financially. Apparently he sold kitchen equipment and when all that had gone he started on the sitting room equipment. Someone on the next table drones in with - "so and so's got food poisoning - doesn't know when he's going to use it". A few more mouthfuls and George points out that Ken is wearing one green stocking and one brown. "Huh, huh, You know" says Ken (he uses 'You know' quite a lot) " -- it's a funny thing but I've got another pair just like this at home". Battling with his sandwich of ersatz haggis, Hamish is heard holding forth on the Victorian era. "Yes" he says "the Queen always used the royal 'We'. Don't know what she used it for, your guess is as good as mine". Others are discussing the menace of drugs. "Kids" says one "as soon as they're off the pot, they're on it again!" A further scrap drifts in - "Fred's getting more popular - someone's actually touched him with a barge pole" and "I hear poor old Percy was to be buried in a pauper's grave but the pauper objected so he had to be buried in one of his own".
From over the fire comes - "and my wife seems to spend her day hauling Sainsburys about in a trolly". A party in the far corner argues about atom bombs and we hear "This new nuclear detergent is very effective - it gets rid of Staines, Hounslow, Cranford ---". Someone is telling of the blind man who went into a store swinging his guide dog round his head. The manager said "can I help you?" "No" said the man - "Just having a look round". Bill is heard to say he's feeling like an old man and is told "You're out of luck; we haven't got one".
Geoff is boasting about the time he went to L.A. but, on questioning it turned out to be Luton Airport and it was alleged that a certain tight wad who shall be nameless, always took two pain-killing tablets before opening his wallet. Of course, newlyweds nearly always come into the chat. On the wedding night the wife made Horlicks for herself so her husband said "On such an occasion, wouldn't you rather have champagne" she answered "not when I'm taking sleeping tablets". Which reminded someone else of the middle-aged man chatting up a young girl and saying "Where have you been all my life?" and got the reply "Well, for the first 35 years I wasn't born". He must have been the chap who made love nearly every day - nearly Monday, nearly Tuesday - - . Among other scraps of information we learn that Hissing Sid has been in hospital for a brain transplant and Stan Underwood for some alterations to his plumbing arrangements. Sitting closest to the bar Bill Stickley is boasting that, several years ago he swore he'd never drink a drop when he was working and that he hadn't worked since. And, as the landlord calls time, we gather that Mae West has gone to the Virgin Islands for re-cycling, no doubt to die of terminal ecstacy. Roll on tea-time for some more profound thoughts.
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ONE YEAR ON
There I was, just over a year ago, about to embark on my first Sunday out with the CTC. I had not really cycled much before, not "proper" cycling that is. Pedaling up and down the road as a kid does not count. However, I had married Kevin so what choice had I got. Not only that, but, to encourage me he had bought me a bike for my Birthday, brand new, drop handlebars and 12 gears. How was I going to cope with 12 gears I wondered.
Anyway, there I was, early one Sunday morning at Frimley Green. I was just feeling very pleased with myself for having got that far when someone asked if I was going to be out all day. Feeline very brave I said "yes", and surprised myself when there I was, later, at tea at Marian Gill's. Tired, yes, and daunted by the prospect of doing another 15 miles to get home, but I had made it and nothing was going to stop me now.
I went out all winter with the Intermediates, ably led and encouraged. By the summer I was hooked enough to try my hand at the odd time-trial, and was soon planning a cycling tour of Cornwall with Kevin.
When I came back from that I felt ready to face anything. After all, I thought, if I could cope with carrying sleeping bag, clothes, food, etc., up all those Cornish hills, I could cope with the Generals. So now I am cycling round the countryside with Kevin and the others.
I have still not really come to terms with the fact that, not much over a year ago, 10 miles seemed to me a fairly long way to cycle, and now it has not been unknown for me to do over 100 miles in a day.
Looking back over the year I have certainly enjoyed the cycling. Having a husband to encourage me has obviously been a help, and I get great pleasure out of cycling with Kevin. However, he has not been the only one to lead and encourage, mend my punctures, and provide stimulating company, on many exhilerating trips round the Surrey countryside. I would like to Thank all my new friends and look forward to many years of cycling.
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CYCLING WITH OVERSEAS VISITORS
MAY 17th & 18th - The DA will be organising rides on a Town Twinning Weekend for French and German visitors to Runnymede. The runs will start and finish at Egham and the Windsor Section South Bucks DA will also take part. Offers of accommodation for French and German cyclists are still required. Why not make foreign friends and perhaps make a return visit to the Paris or Bonn regions. Contact Chris Jeggo on Chertsey 65765.
The Social Secretary is not the first person to be dazzled by the inflated and misleading Total Attendance figure triumphantly revealed at successive AGM's. Considering the true numerical strength of the 'active' DA it was a real achievement to attract even 60 members and friends to the 1985 Annual Dinner!
A glance at the latest attendance records will show that, excluding the babes-in-arms and motorists, half of the 183 'riders' appeared on possibly a single occasion before vanishing forever! The remainder of the list reflects a DA with perhaps 40 regular cyclists, but with under half that number supporting the tea venue, and an average of only 13 actually staying out all day on the organised run!
These are the figures to remember next time there is a squawk of surprise at the lack of support for various DA activities. Lets face it! In this overcrowded and prosperous County, cycling is regarded as too dangerous, and a mark of eccentricity or social inferiority, and as long as this attitude persists, we are unlikely to see our 'sleeping membership' out on the bike in significant numbers.
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GRUMBLE - GRUMBLE
Today (Jan 5th) I had enjoyed a hard ride to Haslemere and Newbridge where we had lunch. In the afternoon we cycled through Burks Green, Ewhurst and Holmbury St. Mary. We noticed that we were slightly early for tea so cruised our way down to Abinger Hammer. Just as we were approaching the junction with the A25 we were dangerously overtaken by some very fast Generals who swerved onto the main road and dived into the Tea Room (not a lady amongst them). By the time that we had recovered from the shock and let these maniacs pass there was no room for us in the Tea Room.
In my opinion this sort of riding creates a very bad image to any spectator and I don't wish to be associated with a Group which has such appalling manners. It also highlights the problem of all groups meeting for tea in one small cafe - it's impossible. I used to enjoy tea with people from the other two groups but only in places large enough where we can all sit down together.
We went off, rather upset and had our tea on top of Newlands Corner!!
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BATTLE OF THE LIGHTWEIGHTS
The lightweight HP tyre war is hotting up. Facing a challenge from Michelin Hi-lites, who are determined to challenge the tubular market - both Specialised (imported by Caratti Sport) and Nutrak (the brand name) of Madison have introduced ranges of smooth-tread models.
Specialised submitted tyres to Cycling aerodynamics expert Chester Kyle for an article in the American magazine "Bicycling". The test was taken out in August 1985 (I think) and gave the following results:
Kyle's 35 mile test gave the Turbo R smooth tread 700 x 21C folding tyre best results, with a staggering 2730 foot advantage over a Vittoria Special Pro tubular. The Turbo S was just behind the leader, followed by the Michelin Hi-lite Pro, 840 feet behind. The best tubular was a Vittoria CX 2100 feet behind. It must be emphasised that the test was only for rolling resistance.
The folding Turbo R tyre, in either 700 x 21C or 27 inch versions, weighs 180 grams and should be inflated to 115 p.s.i.
The folding Turbo comes in 700 x 25C and 27 inch versions, with similar weight and pressure ratings as the Turbo R. An ultralight version is also available.
Nutrak's opposition comes in the form of their smooth tread, 115 psi Fasgrip tyres, in folding and non-folding versions, both in 700 x 25C.
Fasgrip tyres boast an exceptional new rubber compound for "unparalled road-holding characteristics". Prices for the two Fasgrips differ by about £6. The folding version (with Kevlar bead) comes in at around £12.95, and the non-folding at about £7.95.
I personally have tried only the Nutrak Fasgrips (both versions) and have found them to be very reliable. The grip seems to be superior to all the previous tyres that I've used. They stick to wet roads like glue, and have an exceptionally low rolling resistance. At high pressures narrow bicycle tyres have a round cross section and they displace water naturally (mostly up your back, and in your face!).
Fasgrip tyres have less rolling resistance than conventional tyres and tubulars. The tread compound has a tightly bonded molecular structure (ionic for all those chemists out there!) That makes it tough up to 50% more resistant to wear than most conventional tyre tread compounds.
Also I have noticed that on steep climbs, where tyre slippage is normal, the tyres held firm. They also hold on longer before skidding, and this reflects shorter stopping distances.
Overall the Fasgrips are very good tyres, and I would recommend them to anyone. One problem that I found, was that the folding version (with Kevlar bead) is very strong and it is almost impossible to fit them, without stretching them beforehand. They work better on narrow section rims with shallow sections such as the old Mavic G40 and the Rigida ALl320, but they will work on almost every 700C rim, if you are prepared to spend a good hour fitting them!!
APRIL 13th - Start Guildford Station, 10.00 hrs prompt. Elevenses at Clouds in Cranleigh. Lunch at the Limeburners and Tea at Bramley 17.00 hrs. Contact Mike Harlow on Dorking 731218.
WEDNESDAY EVENING RIDES
The very popular evening rides will start again on the 2lst May (leader Helen Juden) from CTC HQ., 69 Meadrow, Godalming 19.30 hrs prompt. The first ride will end up at the Ram Cider House at around 20.45 hrs.
All members and their friends are welcome but children under 12 must be accompanied. Helen will have a full list of rides for future dates.
WEST SURREY DA 1986 PROGRAMME
Full details of all our runs are on the DA Runs List but the following
highlights should be noted. For cycling events unless otherwise stated
contact Roy Banks on Wentworth 2676 and for social events Gillian Smith
on Woking 61294.
|MARCH 28th - 31st||-||Easter Tour of Kent. Contact: Chris Juden, Godalming 25794.|
|APRIL 6th||-||50 Mile Standard Ride, tea at Abinger Common.|
|APRIL 13th||-||Tandem Ride. Mike Harlow on Dorking 731218. More details elsewhere in this magazine.|
|APRIL 19th - 20th||-||Ladies Weekend Tour. Isle of Wight, Contact: Gillian Smith. Further details elsewhere in this mag.|
|APRIL 27th||-||100, 50 (Vets), 25 Mile Standard Rides. Birthday Tea at Addlestone.|
|MAY 3rd - 5th||-||Home Counties Rally. East Sussex. Contact: Helen Juden, Godalming 25794.|
|MAY 11th||-||Roughstuff and Speedjudging Events. Suitable for all.|
|MAY 17th - 18th||-||Town Twinning Rides. Contact: Chris Jeggo, Chertsey 65765. Further details elsewhere in this mag.|
|MAY 23rd - 27th||-||France with Les Moss. Details elsewhere in this mag.|
|JUNE 1st||-||Audax 200 km Randonee. Contact: Dave Butler, Guildford 810356.|
|JUNE 14th||-||THE BARN DANCE!!! Details elsewhere in this mag.|
|JULY 13th||-||Breakfast Ride to Wanborough.|
|AUGUST 3rd||-||Tour of the Hills. Audax event for the fit. Marshall required.|
|AUGUST 30th||-||Guildford Town Show Procession. Mike Harlow, Dorking 731218.|
|OCTOBER 5th||-||Hill Climb and Freewheel event.|
|OCTOBER 18th||-||Saturday at the Clubroom, Photographic Competition, new format easier for all, so start snapping now.|
|OCTOBER 19th||-||Tourist Trial, Helen Juden, Godalming 25794.|
|NOVEMBER 22nd||-||DA Dinner and Dance.|
|DECEMBER 14th||-||Xmas Tea.|
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APRIL 19th - 20th. Ladies Only Weekend. Train assisted to Lymington then ferry to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. Staying at Lismere Hotel, Totland Bay. B & B plus evening meal £16. Bookings before 30th March to Gillian Smith on Woking 61294.
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MOSS TRAVEL CALLING!
As we now have approx. 12 names the NORMANDY, France trip scheduled for May 23rd - 27th inclusive is definitely on. We will depart 23rd May, 1986 from Portsmouth Harbour at 09.15 hrs - we need to assemble at the ticket office by 08.30 hrs for the usual formalities - and return on 27th May, 1986 on the ferry leaving Cherbourg at 15.00 hrs. To reserve your place send a cheque for £25.00 each to cover ferry ticket. This is a discount price as we are travelling at a special group rate.
Cheque to: L. Moss, Cedar House, 7, Little Orchard, Carlton Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 4HG.
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JUNE 14th. BARN DANCE, Mayford Village Hall, tickets
approx. £3.50 available end April from Gillian Smith. (Probably the
best musical/dancing evening of the year, will the piano playing, singing
dog perform again this year? Ed.)
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