Letter from the Editor – November 2022

November already – where do the months go?! In fact, where do the years go? My team and I are gearing up to celebrate the three-year anniversary of our first edition of the new-look Caterham and District Independent, in December 2019. My small team was thrown in at the deep end and we quickly discovered how challenging producing your favourite free monthly paper is…Since then, we’ve learned plenty of new skills, met lots of fabulous people, changed our name and expanded our reach to cover the whole of Tandridge District. It’s been hectic, but we’ve loved (almost) every minute of it!

Front page

Our front page story this month concerns the proposed development of 140 houses at Godstone Quarry. Local residents have expressed concerns about the impact on traffic, pollution, school places and the area’s wildlife. We put these to the developers responsible for the plan.

And the rest..

National Tree Week takes place at the end of the month: our article is illustrated by the beautiful old oak tree that the children of Hurst Green Infant School and Nursery are lucky enough to have in their grounds.

As usual, we also have lots of stories about fantastic people doing amazing things in our community. Former soldier Steven Davies now spends his own time and money cleaning and restoring military graves: we find out about his recent work at St Mary’s Church in Caterham. We also feature the founder of charity The Lily Foundation, who has just received an MBE for her dedication to helping people suffering with mitochondrial disease, plus the pupils of Essendene Lodge School, who invited the Salvation Army to their Harvest Festival celebrations.

On to our columnists: Chantal Baker, from Champ Consultants, talks us through how to find the right accountant, Hever Castle’s head gardener Neil Miller shows us what’s to be done in our outside spaces during November, and Dr Marcus Jones from Whyteleafe Village Council explains what they are doing to make Whyteleafe a more beautiful place. And, if you’re feeling peckish, River’s Kitchen has the perfect bonfire night recipe for hot dogs.

I’m also delighted to tell you that we’ve just welcomed Deborah Smith to the TI team: she’s the founder of the Surrey-based interior styling house Menagerie Interiors, who design and create beautiful rooms with a unique edge. Her new column begins next month – I can’t wait to be inspired!

Catching up

Following on from last month’s main story, we got back in touch with June Hopkinson, one of the trustees from the Westway Centre, to find out if they are any clearer on what the future holds for them. We are also bringing you an update on the amazing new milestone that Ruben’s Fund has just hit!

Remembrance Day

There are Remembrance Day services across the district on Sunday, 13 November, commemorating our armed forces members who lost their lives in the line of duty. We have compiled a list of some of them for you, but you can also check with churches and parish councils for others.

And there we go: November’s issue is safely in your hands, and it’s time to start planning December’s. See you next month, when we’ll be back here with some much-needed festive spirit!


Louise D'Costa




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