Letter from the Editor – March 2021

Welcome to the March edition of The Caterham and District Independent.

I’m not going to say it too loudly, as I don’t want to tempt fate, but isn’t it lovely to see the sunshine again? Although there is still a chill wind around and grey clouds are never too far away, we’ve had enough glimpses of the sun now to be able to believe that spring is well on its way. The brighter mornings really help me get going and I’ve even started running again. They make me feel like we’re slowly coming out of our winter hibernation and it’s not long until our clocks spring forward!

Following on from Boris’s February announcement of his roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, my team and I are feeling cautiously optimistic and are allowing our thoughts to turn again to everything we put on hold last year.

As you know, I took over the Caterham Independent from Julia Church in 2019, with my first edition going out in December of that year. Once we’d been going a couple of months it had been my plan to get out into the community and introduce myself as the new editor of your favourite local newspaper. This would have involved us handing out ‘hot off the press’ new issues of the paper and chatting to as many people as we could, I do love a natter! We would have got to know who was reading the paper already, as well as bringing it in front of those who are yet to discover us.

Obviously, we never got to do that but, it’s something I’m really keen to do this year, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Working on the paper takes up a lot of my time that it’s easy to spend my days in a maelstrom of interviews, writing and planning, so to get away from that for a while, meeting the people who really matter (you!) would be a lovely change. Keep an eye out for announcements about that later in the year.

As a trustee of ‘The Breck Foundation’ I am passionate about the safety of children gaming online and a firm believer of their motto ‘Play Virtual, Live Real’ whereby a child should never meet up alone with someone they have only met online. We spoke to Mark Harrington (a fellow trustee) who recently wrote three books for Primary School and SEN students which will help children understand online safety and the story of Breck Bednar. The books will be available from the 9th March via the foundations website (https://www.breckfoundation.org).

International Women’s Day is on 8 March. Our reporter Rosalind Brookman spoke to Alex Knight, the founder and owner of Stemazing Ltd, about her mission to empower women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to become visible role models for girls and young women. Our Facebook page will have details of how you can watch our conversation or better still, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel (search ‘The Caterham and District Independent) and be notified whenever we upload something new? We’ve got lots of plans for our videos this year, so it would be a shame to miss out!

It’s also Mother’s Day on the 14th. Just like last year, most of us will not be able to celebrate in all the ways we’d like to but there are still plenty of Tandridge traders selling gifts, flowers, pamper products and delicious food and drink that we can buy. Doing this means we’ll be supporting our local businesses as well as giving our mums a treat. We also have two fabulous prizes generously donated by ‘Cattle & Cocktail’ in Oxted.

I’d also like to thank our advertisers. We’re a free paper, which means that we’re funded by those adverts, and we are extremely grateful for the support we have had over the past year.
My quote this month comes from African-American writer, abolitionist speaker and reformer Harriet Ann Jacobs, and seems so apt now, as we finally begin to look forward to the better days to come.

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.”
Have a great month!


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