August 10, 2020

Downsend School Time Capsule

Download, Fill out, colour in, then roll up and put away to rediscover years later.

It’s a year we probably won’t forget, but just to make sure we’ve teamed up with Downsend School to create a 2020 time capsule.

Download it here, fill it out, colour it in, roll it up and then hide it to rediscover in years to come.

Don’t forget to tag us in the finished pieces.

Illustrations by Lewis Woodham
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August 10, 2020

The Kids Are Alright

From skateboarding to street dancing, now that school’s officially out for summer, here’s some outdoor inspo to kick start the six-week break.

Tucked away in Long Grove Park you’ll find a popular haunt for those whose preferred mode of transport is wheels. Long Grove skate park opened in 2013 and was designed and built by Wheelscape (who were also behind the smaller skate park on Cox Lane in the Hogsmill Nature Reserve). It attracts not just locals but avid skaters from as far as North London, too.

Split into two runs that start from the same hipped quarter pipe, the street run features a driveway, ledge, wave and rail set and finishes with a flat bank and extension. The other run starts with a quarter pipe that leads into a large bowl made up of two sections and it’s the big attraction with lots of bumps and corners to pump around without having to push and the surfaces are super smooth. 

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August 4, 2020

I Like to Move it, Move it

Making use of our parks, pavements and hidden tracks too, here’s how some Epsom folk rediscovered their lockdown mojo and enjoyed life’s little pleasures in the process.

Naomi Myers,

46, Hairdresser

“When news broke that the London Marathon was postponed, I was gutted considering the training I’d put in – but of course, it was the right decision. Whatever happens now, all I know is that running has become so important, in more ways than I thought. Living in a flat with two teenagers, we’ve had our moments, so being able to get out there, either by myself or as a family, has been crucial for all our well-being. I love exploring the tracks around Epsom common. OK, so you might end up in Ashtead but it’s all part of the fun.”


Rosa Howie

48, Mum-of-two

“I’ve lived in Epsom all my life and been a dog owner for 17 years but it’s taken lockdown to discover parts of the common I’ve never seen before – like the burnt trees near The Star pub and parts of the stew pond, plus I love the sign maps dotted along the way so you can look out for local wildlife. Cagney & Lacey are loving the longer walks; they can get bored walking round Court Rec and in the summer the common’s great for
shade too.”


Lizzie Patel

37, BA Crew

“During lockdown, I realised I was not a runner but I did however discover a new-found love for cycling. I’d normally use the gym, so riding my bike became my workout, plus it’s a bit of time for me, to clear my head. I love riding through Horton Country Park through to Epsom and then Ashtead Common. My kids, Amaya, 6 and Zayn, 3 love it, too. The pavement routes to Horton are wide with cycle lanes and once you hit the tracks behind Hobbledown there’s lots of animals to see along the way, including camels. Yes, CAMELS in Epsom!”


Barnabe Jolicoeur

53, RAC Fitness Trainer

“Like many people, COVID-19 put everything into perspective. Before, I was into fitness 24/7; running classes every week from Aqua to Spin and Segafit (Mauritian dance combined with fitness) but when the pandemic hit, I had to reinvent myself. I use stairs for cardio and strength, the garden for HIIT, plus long local runs and cycling, too. It reminds me of my former Olympic days, not over thinking, just getting up and getting it done.” 


Tom Penson

31, Sales

“I’m semi-pro and recently signed to Epsom & Ewell FC, so lockdown, like for many, has been about adapting to a new rhythm. My fiancé and I were supposed to get married abroad this summer too, so there’s been lots of reorganizing, plus we live in a one-bed on the High Street, so being able to get outdoors has been essential. Whether it’s cycling to Southfield Park, a walk-up Chalk Lane to end up on the Downs for a picnic or just doing some HIIT training in Roseberry Park – I’ve got a new appreciation for the open spaces right on my doorstep.”


Brian Ashwood

51, Epsom Firefighter

“I now cycle to work from Carshalton (avoiding public transport) and if I can, I prefer to ride off-road. A route I really like to do is from Epsom Fire Station, up and over the Downs and then it’s cycle routes to Headley and Brockham Village. It is a hilly route on the back roads and lanes. And then for mountain biking, you can’t beat the route from the Downs out to Headley, onto Ranmore and into Dorking. You can then go up the Surrey Hills, via Coldharbour and Leith Hill then back down Box Hill on the way back.”

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August 4, 2020

Epsom Square: Back in Business

The large outdoor plaza surrounded by a variety of restaurants, cafes and bar - not to mention the indoor hub featuring a dance studio and library - is coming back in business.

The world stopped recently, as we all experienced the affects of Covid 19. We at Epsom Square were no different. Overnight, all of our restaurants, cafés, shops and public spaces like the library had to close with many of our partners and tenants being directly affected. 

We know it has been extremely hard for all of you too and we feel hugely grateful to be part of this wonderful community. We have all pulled together and supported each other through these challenging times. The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit and we have been extremely impressed with how our partners have adapted to the new normal and many have worked so hard to still provide a service to the people of Epsom. Many partners changed their businesses to a click and collect/delivery service overnight and we have seen really innovative ideas from partners who have been delivering home food kits which have proved very popular, as well as weekly giveaways to NHS and key workers from the area who have been nominated by the general public.

The good-will shown to us from the public has been incredible and we have loved hearing your feedback and ideas via our social media channels (links below). We are enormously proud to be part of such a positive and hard-working community,
so thank you!

Our management team have been on site throughout the pandemic making sure that everyone is safe and adhering to social distancing guidelines and we will continue to monitor this carefully. We have organised regular deep cleans of Epsom Square to maintain strict health and safety standards.

What we have noticed, as we slowly come out of lockdown, is that the square is being used more and more as a safe social gathering place to take lunch from our many food providers in the centre of Epsom. The recent atmosphere has been wonderful as people begin to feel more confident about coming back out of their homes to relax and enjoy a safe place with lots of room!

As we move forward now into our new normal, we have many positive things to look forward to. We have exciting events planned (online so that you can get involved from home plus real events within the Square) for Halloween and Christmas. We also have a new Anytime Fitness 24-hour gym opening and a fantastic new independent cinema coming soon. New street food partners are joining us all the time as well as our fantastic bars, cafés and restaurants coming back to life. Epsom Library continues to be an integral part of our community and has been organising some great events such as author readings, quizzes and competitions.

We look forward to continuing to create a positive, safe and happy place for you at the heart of Epsom. 

For more info about our future plans and events, follow us at:

Instagram: @epsomsquare_
Twitter: @EpsomSquare
Facebook: Epsom Square

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July 28, 2020

OUT07: The Great Outdoors

During lockdown, we set off on one, clear path when putting this issue of OUT together; to celebrate summer incoming and the positives of being outside...

While the past few months have been a very different experience for us all, there seems to have been one shared constant throughout. Giving us glimpses of hope even on the most hopeless of days; surprising us with joy when we least expected, not to mention the fact that it’s totally free, too!

For this reason, OUT has dedicated this issue to celebrating The Great Outdoors. As Epsom & Ewell dwellers, we’re guaranteed a lot of green in our hood; psychologically a colour associated with calm, growth and balance – but being outside doesn’t have to mean big flashy adventures.

There’s magic in just walking barefoot on grass or having a quiet cuppa on your doorstep and you certainly don’t have to be a hippy to feel nature’s harmonious force. Everyday folk in our community talk about finding their outdoor-happy during lockdown and if like them, you’ve begun to explore more, you’ll enjoy indulging in OUT’s guide to historical houses in the area, plus test your local knowledge with our fun treasure hunt, too.

Holidays abroad might be on hold but if you’re in search of some Vitamin Sea, we’ve found some quieter coastal spots as well as our favourite outdoor day trips in Surrey. And finally, as Epsom & Ewell reopens, let’s shop local and keep supporting small as we all safely begin to journey into the new normal.

Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and happy summer.

Fatima Truscott
Editor

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July 2, 2020

Another Moment in History for The Epsom Derby

It's back, albeit not as we know it...

The Epsom Derby is a day at the races steep in history. From old-school celebs like Charles Dickens making his appearance at the much loved funfair back in the 1850s, to suffragette Emily Davison walking on the track in 1913 and becoming martyred beneath the hooves of the King’s horse. Thanks to the coronavirus crisis, it looks like this year will be another moment in history for The Epsom Derby.

It was touch and go, but thankfully the pride and joy of our town is back this weekend, albeit not as we typically know and love it. Not only is it appearing a month later in our social calendars than we’d normally expect, but it’s also being held behind closed doors. That means none of us lot are allowed to attend. We know it’s not ideal, but even though we can’t plonk ourselves somewhere on the Downs surrounded by friends, family and other locals, we are being encouraged to celebrate from our respective homes.

Both the Investec Oaks and the feature of it all, the Investec Derby, will take place on Saturday 4 July. And if you are keen to get involved, the racecourse has launched a downloadable pack to help you get in the mood. The Great British Garden Party features it all. Seriously. There’s a Zoom background to make you feel like you are there, food and drink recipes (The Derby Spritz being our favourite), bunting to help you spruce up the garden and even a Spotify playlist for the all-round after party experience.

The Jockey Club have been working hard to make sure the meeting can go ahead, and they’ll be joined live on Instagram by a bunch of famous faces. From TV personality Rosie Fortescue and team GB Olympian Jazmin Sawyers, to international rugby player Henry Slade and jockey Khadijah Mellah. They’ll be getting involved during the races and even giving away some special prizes.

Talking of special prizes, the racecourse is looking for the best home setups which they’ll be sharing on the day. And you could be in with a chance of winning a private tour around The Jockey Club’s wine partner, Coates and Seely’s vineyard, for up to 12 of your nearest and dearest. You better get going…

So, switch on ITV, download your digital race card and start placing your bets. Coverage begins at 1:30pm, with the Investec Derby taking place at 4:55pm.


Download your Garden Party pack here. And don’t forget to check here for road closures and the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ map.

Follow along live on Instagram @thejockeyclub

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June 25, 2020

OUT with the Family

Give the family something to look forward to...

Keeping the kids entertained can be challenging at the best of times, let alone with social distancing rules enforced and the grandparents prohibited from babysitting every so often.

But after recent announcements, it looks like things are about to change. And we’re happy to hear that more local hotspots are opening their doors to make sure the whole family can have a little fun…


Bocketts is back

Of course, there are restrictions on daily visitor numbers and numerous measurements in place when visiting, but Bocketts Farm is re-opening the gates on 4 July.

There’s been plenty of new arrivals since we last visited, so we recommend regularly checking their website and social media for info on how to grab tickets when they become available.


Celebrate Summer at Garsons

‘Tis the season of strawberries and cherries, so why not gather the kids (and your wicker basket) for a spot of fruit picking at Garson’s Farm?

That’s right, the Pick Your Own farm is back in business and overflowing with fresh fruit and veggies that need picking (…and eating). Better still, an adults pass is just £4 , children go for £1 and infants under two are free. Book in advance here.


Head to Hobbledown

More good news, Hobbledown has already re-opened its zoo for the first time since lockdown. And although the adventure park remains closed, the animals are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

There’s plenty of new additions too, from lemurs to lorikeets, as well as the birds of prey show open for guests. Again, tickets must be pre-booked to help manage the capacity, so head to their website to book your slot.


Take a Mosey at Mayfield

It’s been a stressful couple of months, so we reckon a stroll through the lavender fields is just what you and the kids need. The Mayfield Lavender farm is now open every day until late August, and the lavender is due to bloom in the next week or two!

Believe it or not, you don’t need to book this one – but numbers are controlled, so be prepared to wait if visiting at peak times. For more info, head to their website here.


A World of Adventure awaits at Chessington

In case you didn’t know, Chessington Zoo is already open, but the theme park and hotel will be back from the 4 July too!

Everyone, even annual passholders, need to pre-book their tickets online to guarantee entry – which you can do here. Your temperature will be checked upon arrival, and everyone is encouraged to where face mask coverings during their visit – but other than that, it should be great fun!


Feature Image taken from Chessington World of Adventures.

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June 18, 2020

Keeping Community Spirits High

Want to help our community? Join Epsom's Rotary Club to help support local charities...

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the pandemic has hit us all hard. And during this difficult time, it’s easy to forget about the local charities that need our support – regardless of whether coronavirus is happening or not.

But we’re sure you’ll agree that community spirit is soaring right now, and with this in mind Epsom Rotary Club are continuing to show their support for local charities and reminding us to do the same.

From organisations helping vulnerable families, to those individuals already suffering with complex medical conditions (let alone the difficulties of the global pandemic too). Here’s more about the charities that Epsom Rotary Club are helping…


Action for A-T

In case you don’t know, A-T (Ataxia Telangiectasia) is a rare and degenerative condition affecting many parts of the body. It usually appears in early childhood, but unfortunately symptoms progressively worsen and eventually lead to the full-time use of a wheelchair.

Founded in 2012, Action for A-T supports the parents of children diagnosed, helping them as they learn that their lives will be changed forever. They hope to speed up the process of finding a cure and prevent the disabling effects of the condition.     

actionforat.org


Epsom and Ewell Foodbank

You may be familiar with the Epsom and Ewell foodbank after we featured them in our festive issue, but if not, here’s what you need to know…

Founded in 2012, these guys currently feed an average of 88 local people every week. Worryingly, they saw a 45% increase in people seeking help last year, and we doubt the current circumstances are going to improve the situation. They rely 100% on the goodwill and generosity of the public and the help of volunteers and workers: since 2012 they have fed over 18,000 people including over 7,000 children.

epsomewell.foodbank.org.uk


SCAMPPS

Otherwise known as Striving for Children’s Additional Medical, Physical and Personal Support. This local charity help young children suffering with moderate to severe complex special needs living in Surrey.

Set up by a group of parents, they aim to offer support to families, as well as raising awareness and promoting positive attitudes towards disability.

scampps.org.uk


Home-Start

Home-Start is a nationwide charity, but here in Epsom and Ewell, a local community of trained volunteers and experts support families with young children during challenging times.

During COVID-19, when families are burdened with even more stress than usual, Home-Start are continuing to stay connected to families despite the physical distance.

home-start.org.uk


Dyscover

Ewell and Banstead’s Dyscover provide long-term support and opportunities for those living with aphasia, an impairment of language that has occurred due to injury.

This charity helps sufferers adapt to living with their condition and develop strategies to communicate. As well as providing help and support for partners, carers and other family members.

dyscover.org.uk


Thanks to the Epsom Rotary Club for their charitable donations to these worthy causes, and reminding us all to continue supporting local. For more information, visit the Epsom Rotary Club website here.

Feature Illustration by Jiaqi Wang.

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June 11, 2020

Celebrate UCA’s Class of 2020

They won't get a chance to graduate this year what with, you know, a global pandemic happening, but that won't stop us celebrating...

It’s safe to say that each and every one of us has battled our own problems throughout all of this, and that includes our young ones too. Schools and nurseries shut down. GCSEs were cancelled, A-Levels too. University lectures were amongst one of the many things to go online and now graduation ceremonies, the light at the end of a long studying tunnel, have also been snatched away.

But, we’ve become a dab hand at adjusting during these times, and Epsom’s University of Creative Arts (UCA) is no exception. So, whilst we might usually have been invited onto the Epsom campus to get physically up close and personal to their creative works of art, instead we’re invited to their virtual graduate showcase.

Granted, it probably won’t be the graduation they had imagined, but any opportunity to celebrate is greatly welcomed these days.

UCA’s online Graduate Showcase will take place on Monday 22 June, featuring the final projects of graduating students studying the arts, technology and creative business across all four of UCA’s campuses, of which Epsom is one.

The students have continued to display their abundance of creativity by adapting to these challenging times, so let’s show our support and give them a virtual round of applause for all their hard work. From fashion collections and fine art installations, to advertising campaigns and thought-provoking animations. We can’t wait to see what they’ve been up to.


Fancy a sneak peek?

Archipelago a Climate Crisis board game, by graphic design student Rahul Islam
Condensed Milk Cities, by graphic design student Ethan Salmon
The Next Stop, by illustration student Marianne Hernandez
It’s Just A Thought, by computer animation arts student Megan Robson
by fashion marketing and management student Izzy Kural

UCA’s online Graduate Showcase launches on 22 June. Visit gradshows.uca.ac.uk to celebrate the class of 2020.

Feature Image Solitude Magazine by illustration student Zoe Barrett.

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June 4, 2020

Back In Business

They might be having to reinvent themselves but our businesses are making a comeback...

This week, unlike the British weather, we’re bringing the sunshine. That’s right, just when we were starting to think we’d never see the day, it looks like Epsom and Ewell is getting back to business.

If you didn’t get excited at the golf clubs re-opening, don’t worry, we reckon we’ve got something in our line up that will get you in a tizzy. We’ve put together a guide of some of our favourite local haunts that are back in action. Of course, it goes without saying that popping into town isn’t quite like it used to be, but after two months (or has it been three?) locked up inside, we’ll go to any lengths to show our support…


The Return of Epsom’s Markets

This week, Epsom Market returned as normal – well, we say normal, but normal now means barriers enforcing a two-metre distance and sanitising products galore…

Still, we’re glad to announce that the full offering is back every Thursday and Saturday, as well as the monthly farmers market (Sunday 7 June) and vegan market (Sunday 28 June).

It might be a bit of a different shopping experience, but we’re glad to have them back. Find more info here.


A Trip to The National Trust

If you’ve maxed out on dog walks over the Downs, we’ve got good news. Earlier this week, The National Trust re-opened many of their parks across the country, including Polesden Lacey and Hatchlands.

The houses remain closed so it’s strictly outdoors for now, but we’re sure you’ll agree that a stroll around some of Surrey’s natural beauty is better than your daily route around the block.

In order to follow social distancing rules, you must pre-book your visit. New booking slots are made available every Friday, so what are you waiting for? Book here now.


Your WFH Lunch Just Got Better

You might not have been taking a lunch break whilst working from home, but we think you will be once you hear this news…

Yep, your lunch break is about to get a hell of a lot more exciting. Yo Sarnie are back and we cannot wait to get our mitts on one of their signature sarnies. They’re offering a takeaway service, available for collection or delivery, of all of our favourites. Follow what they’re up to here and get your order in asap.

More good news, Zig Zag cafe have also re-opened. So, if you’ve been missing their crepes, smoothies and other goodies, you don’t have to wait any longer. Find out more here.

And as they say, good news comes in threes…All Things Nice are open for business too. They’re offering their famous milkshakes, lunch time treats and even afternoon tea boxes. You can pre-order by phone or on Facebook, so check out the full list of what’s on offer here.


Keeping Caffeinated

If there’s one thing we’ve missed most, it’s our daily dose of coffee. And thankfully, we don’t have to miss it any longer as plenty of our favourite cafes are back in business…

Jess and The Beanstalk have re-opened their doors for takeaways, as have Epsom’s Organico and Senzo. Looking for more? All of Coughlan’s Bakery stores across Epsom and Ewell are open again. Hurrah for sausage rolls, stonebaked bloomers and jam doughnuts.

And for those of you in Stoneleigh, June 8 on The Broadway are open Wednesday to Saturday for takeaways. And for those closer to Banstead, Chai is back with not just coffee, but a fully loaded menu too.


DIY At Home

Unfortunately, we are still having to wait for some of our other locals to re-open their doors, but we can still show our support and #shoplocal…

Epsom’s Blacks Burgers have launched their DIY lockdown kits now available for home delivery. In their Little Blacks Box, you can choose from their signature beef, buttermilk chicken or all-veggie patties – all of which include buns and pimped burger toppings. Download the app here or follow them on Facebook here for more info. Don’t forget to add the giant stacked gooey cookie to your order too.

Another favourite of ours, Fego, is offering at home kits. There’s a DIY BBQ Kit, a burger and beer combo box, and even a vegan burger box too. So, if you’re feeling hungry and want to liven up your Friday night, shop online here. Bon Appétit!


Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Don’t forget to keep the kids happy too with Hatty’s home delivery service. From treat boxes studded with chocolates and retro classics, to pick n mix grab bags of your favourite sweeties. Take your pick from the jar here.

Another local business, Ripe + Nine, are offering a raw to door delivery of their natural dessert slices and sweet treats. So, if you’ve got an isolation celebration happening soon, why not get your order in to make it a little bit sweeter. Find out more here.

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