Welcome to the April edition of The Caterham and District Independent.
The clocks have now gone forward, giving us all that lovely bit of extra light in the evenings. I don’t know about you but being able to leave the curtains open for a bit longer every day always makes me feel as if we are slowly coming out of hibernation, especially this year. Hands up who is already looking forward to evenings on the patio, soaking up the warm evening sun with a glass of wine?
By the time you read this we will have taken the first step of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. We are no longer being told to stay at home, although we are encouraged to stay local, and we can finally spend time with friends and family again. We still have rules, of course meet ups must be outdoors, including private gardens and in groups of no more than six people or two households and I look forward to the children being able to have picnics and fun in the parks with their friends in the weeks to come.
The next step is not far off either. On 12th April, gyms, nail salons and hairdressers (thank goodness!) will be able to open their doors again and we’ll be able to immerse ourselves in the smell of books in our wonderful libraries. Cafes and restaurants can re-establish al fresco dining, so we’ll be able to re-acquaint ourselves with the delights of eating lunch at a table, rather than grabbing a takeaway and moving along!
The Westway Centre’s team has now vaccinated over 20,000 people – a fantastic achievement and I know that the community is really grateful for the volunteers who’ve given up their time to ensure it has all run smoothly.
I’m really excited to announce that April’s Caterham Independent has been able to return to 16 pages, meaning a bumper Tandridge read this month! Columns from 'Keep Calm Nutrition', 'Champ Consultants' and 'The Girl Who Gardens' can be found inside, along with an exciting read from pastry chef Tim Fisher about his new book, as well as the Ridge Radio Presenter of the Month and a celebration as the station reaches its 10 Year Anniversary.
We’re reporting on Surrey Wildlife Trust’s inspiring initiative for the wildlife garden at their Bay Pond Educational Nature Reserve in Godstone, bringing you news from Royal Fish in Hamsey Green and stepping back in time to find out why somebody once put a bomb in the toilets at Oxted Station.
We’ve also got the third and final part of our Tandridge Heroes feature, celebrating four more residents, nominated by you, who have made a difference in their community over the last year. While this will be the last time we include the feature in the paper, we still want to hear about any other local heroes you know as we will be posting them on our socials pages!
While every step forward along the path to a normal life is welcome, we have to be realistic that it’s likely to still be bumpy for some time to come. I’d like to leave you this month with a quote about optimism despite uncertainty, by Thomas Merton, the American Trappist monk, writer and theologian.
“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognise the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope. ”
Have a great month!