Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Brave Faces by local author Mary Arden

Mary – not her real name – was brought up in Ashwood Road and her grandfather lived in Knaphill. The book has many mentions of Woking. Paperback and kindle versions are available.

As the Second World War breaks out, Mary’s parents are determined that their daughter’s privileged upbringing should continue, and that life should carry on as much as normal. She is sent to finishing school and becomes a debutante attending ‘coming out’ balls in London, despite the nightly bombing raids.
However, Mary is determined to do her bit for the war effort, and volunteers to serve as a Red Cross Nurse, before joining the WRNS.
Accepted into the WRNS, not as an officer, but as ‘other rank’, Mary has to learn to live a very different kind of life to the one she was brought up to expect. She is used to being chaperoned, only talking to men she has been ‘introduced’ to, so it’s an almost impossible task for her Senior Wren Officer to find a suitable category for this naive girl. Mary finally becomes part of a new elite category known as Night Vision Testers, training the young pilots to see in the dark so they can land their planes on the deck of their aircraft carrier and not in the sea.
As the war progresses Mary moves from one Naval Air Station to another. Her tasks become stranger than fiction and her duties are definitely outside her job description – and most probably outside the rules too.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Surrey in the Great War: A county remembers

 One hundred years ago, Surrey was playing its part in the first global war between modern industrial nations. It was a conflict which called for previously unthinkable sacrifices by the county's people, young and old, rich and poor.

How did Surrey respond?

Surrey heritage, through its four year Heritage Lottery Fund - supported project
'Surrey in the Great War: A County remembers' calls you to enlist to help investigate this question.

We are hosting two events to showcase opportunities to get involved in Surrey in the Great War. Highlights will include talks and displays about what current researchers and volunteers have been doing, information on the project itself, and an insight into how exciting Great War discoveries will be preserved on our dedicated website. Find out about our newspaper indexing project, local Great War research topics, digitising Great War ephemera and much more.

West Surrey: 19th September 2015. 10.30am - 2.30pm at Surrey History Centre, Goldsworth Road, Woking GU21 6ND

Free refreshments will be offered.
For more information, contact the project team on 01483 518238 or

Definitely coming? Let us know! Alternatively just drop in on the day.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Photographs of Woking

The Francis Frith collection of photographs of Woking  is now available on the Ancestry website.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Woking Palace - Heritage Open Day tours 12th and 13th September 2015

Special Guided Tours at Woking Palace to celebrate Heritage Open Days on 12th and 13th September

This year Heritage Open Days coincide with the final archaeological excavations at Woking Palace and the Friends of Woking Palace are therefore arranging a very different celebration.
As part of their Heritage Lottery Funded project "Woking Palace and its Park" the Friends of Woking Palace are offering Special Pre-booked Guided Tours for a limited number of people to see the trenches and finds while excavations are in progress at 10.30am and 1.00pm on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September. Hoe Bridge School will be providing a mini bus shuttle service from the school to Woking Palace for these special tours and therefore parking will be available in designated areas at the school.

Tickets are free - but booking is essential
Book your place now by
e-mail to or by phoning 07722 299026

As this will be the last year of excavations at Woking Palace this is a very special opportunity to discover more about your local heritage. No other access to the site is possible during Heritage Open Days.

At the end of the excavations there will be the usual Special Open Day on Sunday 27th September when you can come along to see the finished trenches before they are filled in.

For further information on the project and the Friends of Woking Palace
visit: or e-mail or phone as above