Suddenly, our e-newsletter has got bigger!

Street Groups and local support

Localism is replacing globalism. HTAG now has a group of 20+ volunteers who have offered their services across the area to support anyone isolating and in need of something. Fortunately, volunteers seem to outnumber the needy so far.

Many streets have set up WhatsApp groups or similar to stay in touch with near neighbours. Pewley Way has formed ‘Pewley Pals’, and Quarry St, Semaphore Road and Harvey Road and others have formed street groups. My group, ‘Upper Pewley’ is sharing tips, encouragement, shopping and funny videos.

If anyone from these groups wishes to pass information onto other groups, please let me know and I can publish in this e-newsletter.

If anyone needs support of any kind please contact or 07402853706


HTAG membership and the website

Normally at this time of year, HTAG road reps would be calling on neighbours to renew membership or join HTAG, but they cannot do this at present. So if you know of anyone who we should be welcoming into our community, please invite them to join via the HTAG website at and click the join or renew tab.   

Our previous hosting system for our website (Surrey Community) is closing so we are moving to a new address: The old link should still work however. Many thanks to our Web-master, David Ellis for investigating and making the necessary changes.  


North Guildford Food Bank – a plea for help

There are 3 boxes at  No 2, No 33 & No 58 Pewley Way to collect for the North Guildford Food bank. The food bank is facing unprecedented levels of demand and is struggling to meet demand and to get some products due to shortages and restrictions on purchases & movement. If neighbours in Holy Trinity could purchase a few extra items with their shopping & donate them in the boxes provided, that would be really helpful. This week, we are particularly short of sugar, jars of pasta sauce, tinned meat, tinned tomatoes, tomato ketchup, drinking chocolate, baby wipes & spray clean.


Give Thanks to our refuse collectors

One member suggests we leave a huge “Thank You” on our bins for next week’s collection. Good idea – let’s all try it.  Think what it would be like if they did not come!


Home deliveries

Some local suppliers are beginning home delivery services:

North St Market  Unique fruit, run by Emma, in the North St Market tried opening every day last week, but are now opening on Friday and Saturday and delivering to your door. See

PositanoItalian restaurant in Tunsgate doing home delivery via Deliveroo. G.563277

Pasta Out of Swan Lane (Blue Sardinia/Shardana vintage) are offering ready meals and fresh pasta takeaway. G. 506306

Flynnsof Guildford offering a home delivery service in conjunction with Christmas Bakery in Worplesdon. Fruit and veg, eggs, meat, bread

Brown Bread are variably in Tunsgate, and definitely there Frid/Sat or in the market. The more they are used in Tunsgate the more they will be there.

McColls in Upper High St are reported to have reasonable stocks and less queuing than the supermarkets.  

Clandon Garden Centre are happy to deliver locally for a £10 delivery charge. A member reports: "Used them at the weekend and was able to chat to them about what we wanted.  Payment up front.  They delivered the next day." Details on their website


Do you exercise on Pewley Down?

‘If you do, then next week is likely to be peak time for the Blackthorn blossom along the length of the northern boundary. The pure white flowers appear before the leaves and in sunny weather will be humming with bees and other insects. It’s a great time to spot the cartoony Dark-edged Bee-fly. This fly looks like a bumblebee, with a very long proboscis (not a “stinger”!) to feed on nectar. It opts for an easy life by depositing eggs in the homes of ground-nesting Solitary Bees. The Blackthorn is an important home for a variety of moths and the scarce Brown Hairstreak butterfly. The latter are still eggs at the moment, which will hatch towards the end of the month when the leaves appear. Brown Hairstreaks prefer young growth Blackthorn which is the reason for parts of the hedge being cut back every year. Blackthorn thorns are huge, prompting some [e.g. George Monbiot in his book Feral] to wonder if they evolved to deter the rhinos that once lived here. So, do take care when looking for Bee-flies or picking sloes this autumn’

Jonathan Mitchell, Pewley Down Volunteers


Walking and cycling issues

For many, the daily walk or cycle ride is a great release. But there are pinch points where cyclists and walkers have problems keeping a social distance. Reports of problems include Burgess Way and the Mile Path down from Pewley Down to the road at the bottom of the Chantry Woods. There isn’t room for pedestrians to get out of cyclist’s way so that social distancing can be a problem on these narrow routes. So can we all please be especially vigilant and considerate in these areas. 


Guildford Institute in Ward Street is setting up an online learning programme Details will be available some time next week on the Institute website. This could be of particular interest to anyone living on their own as the teaching will be done through Zoom and will be interactive. 



The planning committee have been working from home to scrutinise any planning applications in our area (Unsurprisingly, there are few). We have also made a submission to the consultation on the GBC’s draft Climate Change, Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy SPD (see the website). We feel that local government has a key role to play in tightening planning regulations that reduce emissions and pollution and these proposed policies should enforce a net zero carbon target for any new development.


What do mating toads and planning have in common?

The answer is – Bob Bromham, who offers us a new interest:

"While we are in self-isolation we need some extra interests around our homes.  Most of us have a garden or outdoor space, and there is probably a great deal of nature activity that we are not aware of, and which we do not seek out.  It would be super if the nature experts in our area helped to point out things we should be looking out for, maybe let everybody know when something unusual is seen.  Here are a few comments from Pewley Bank.

We have a pond.  The first year after it was made we had a huge number of frogs, around 70, mating in it.  Over the years the numbers declined and recently there have been none at all.  However, last year a neighbour gave us a pair of mating toads, and we did have tadpoles.  This year we had about 15 toads mating vigorously and now there is a lot of toad spawn which we are hoping will hatch into tadpoles.  The toads have now left.  So if you find a toad in your garden please treat it kindly, as we hope to see them again next year.

We have a few Jackdaws about, that we never used to see.  A particular pair came last year to collect sheep's wool that we had put out to help nesting birds.  They are identifiable as one has a lot of white feathers amongst the black.  They have found ingenious ways of raiding the bird table and are back again this year doing the same things.  We wonder if anyone else has seen this unusual jackdaw?  They fly off with wool in their beaks towards Pewley Hill, so may be nesting there.

We have encouraged wild flowers to grow in the lawn; they can provide an attractive and interesting display.  Primroses, evening primroses, buttercups, marjoram, knapweed all grow particularly easily - but never where you plan they should be.  

Lots of insects are now appearing.  Can somebody give a guide to what could be around? Likewise for birds.  I would love to be able to identify distant birds from their flight pattern- they always seem to be travelling across the sky in a purposeful way.  Probably a more rewarding exercise than looking at flight radar on the web to see where the planes are travelling to / from. I know we sometimes see a Kite, and occasionally a buzzard (how to tell the difference?)

Keep fit and make the most of the limited outdoors that we now have.



If you have anything to contribute to the next newsletter, please email

As well as more along the lines of what you have read above, it would be good to have additional ideas on how to entertain ourselves.


If you know of anyone who wants to join HTAG, send them to the HTAG website and click on the join/renew link.

and ask them to submit their details, especially their email address so we can communicate with them.


Happy Social Distancing!


David Stokes

19:52, 30 Mar 2020 by David Ellis


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