Latest local news in brief…

The Magic of Mole Valley returns for the Christmas season!
From winter markets, festive fairs and Santa’s grottos to family-friendly pantomimes, miniature railway rides and FREE live outdoor Saturday entertainment in our town and village centres… the festive season has truly arrived in Mole Valley!  

To launch the 2021 Christmas season and welcome back festive shoppers into the towns and villages, Mole Valley District Council is putting on a series of free live Saturday lunchtime performances (starting on 20th November) in locations in Dorking, Leatherhead, Ashtead, Bookham and Fetcham, featuring local performers such as Loud & Proud, Martineau Brass and the Mole Valley Silver Band. From now until Christmas Day, shoppers can indulge in eclectic independent retailers as well as winter markets such as the Leatherhead Christmas Market Beare Green Court Christmas Market and Dorking Artisan Market to name a few. Pantomime dames will once again entertain the audiences of Dorking Halls with Jack and the Beanstalk (18th-28th December) and Leatherhead Theatre with Cinderella (18th-30th December). 

From 8th November to 5th December, visitors to Dorking town centre can follow the Dorking Window Art Trail (starting at Dorking Halls), featuring an excited Christmas shopper and his quest for gifts. And to the delight of young families, Santa will return in-person to grottos across the district, ranging from the Dorking Christmas Festival (28th November) and Leatherhead’s Swan Centre (4th, 11th, 18th December) to Denbies (27th November-24th December). 

With so much taking place and to capture the Magic of Mole Valley, residents and visitors can search on the relaunched Mole Valley Together events calendar to find out what festive activities are happening in their local area. Community and non-commercial event organisers are also welcome to list an event on the calendar. When not walking, cycling or catching the bus, residents and visitors can take advantage of the free parking available every pre-Christmas Saturday in December in MVDC-owed car parks.

Don’t give a damn. Give-a-gig!
The Cheryl King Trust (“CKT”) has launched a major new fund-raising initiative, “Give-a-Gig,” to encourage local professional and amateur choirs, orchestras, bands, and ensembles to give performances in support of the trust. At the same time three leading UK musicians, Jonathan Willcocks, Lucy Parham and Will Todd have agreed to become the first music ambassadors for the charity. CKT helps fund:

  • music lessons for financially disadvantaged local young people and
  • inspirational performances to encourage local children to take up instruments

CKT’s “Give-a-Gig” scheme enables any local music group, band or choir, whether amateur or professional, pop, rock, classical, folk or jazz to support the charity through live music performances. There are many different forms that this support can take including bucket collections, donations of profits and raffles. In return, the charity helps promote the event and boost audiences by marketing performances on its web site and in its newsletters to its mailing list of music lovers. Give- a-Gig has got off to a flying start as three local choirs, the Guildford Chamber Choir, Godalming Choral Society and the Chantry Singers, have all agreed to support CKT through their concerts.

The idea of Give-a-Gig came last Christmas when Guildford Jazz raised over £700 for the trust in December 2020 at their Christmas gig featuring Gabrielle Ducomble at St Johns Church in Farnham. The money was raised by a combination of a prize draw, the auction of a photographic print, and the donation of all profits from the concert.

You can find out more about Give-a-Gig at

CREST Business Awards on camera for Surrey’s message to COP26
CREST Business Awards was adding its voice to a film for the official COP26 website and a chance for delegates to get an insight into the environmentally sustainable initiatives Surrey businesses have embedded into their day-to-day operations.

Representatives from Surrey’s only awards programme focused uniquely on celebrating sustainable businesses have been invited to feature in a film due to be broadcast live on the COP26 website, and potentially live-cast into the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

The event on Wednesday 10th November will be at an event in rural Surrey’s heartland in Farnham, organised by Surrey County Council.

Its theme is “How to reduce carbon emissions from transport in a rural county”. With this aim CREST has been given the opportunity to showcase possibilities for sustainable travel and transport logistics within Surrey.

CREST Business Awards, launched by the Woking News & Mail in association with Surrey University’s Centre for the Environment and Sustainability, is also going to be showcased at the Surrey Climate Change Delivery Plan launch at the Surrey Hills Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty (ANOB) Symposium 2021 on Wednesday 24th November at the University of Surrey. The event will also feature the Surrey Hills Symposium 2021 on “Our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency” with keynote speaker Dr Tony Juniper CBE.

Petworth Festival – viewing online until Sunday 28th November
Please don’t forget that you can still access most of this year’s literary week events online – but time is running out with Sunday 28th November being the final opportunity. So if you want to see:

  • Tom Bradby’s account of a four hour liquid lunch with Neil Kinnock
  • Gill Hornby’s comparison of Richard Osman with Jane Austen’s brother James
  • Loyd Grossman’s tale of watching a dead body being carried out of his all-too seedy Italian hotel room as he tried to check in   
  • Gyles Brandreth relating Prince Phillips’ reaction to a semi-naked dance display by a Papua New Guinean dance troupe
  • Sebastian Faulks explaining why he could no longer write a character who was gay or a refugee  

…and SO much more, don’t forget that online tickets are still available via our website

By popular consent, all of the above events were hugely entertaining as well as informative and it doesn’t stop there: the events featuring Isabel Hardman, Joan Bakewell, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Luke Harding, Tessa Dunlop and Max Egremont should almost be required viewing…. And don’t forget that signed copies of most of the books featured at this year’s festival continue to be available through our friends at The Petworth Bookshop.



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