Woking

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This article is about the town in Surrey. For other uses, see Woking (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Wokingham.
Woking
Woking Town Square - geograph.org.uk - 40908.jpg
Woking Town Square before its development
Woking is located in Surrey
Woking
Woking
 Woking shown within Surrey
Population 62,796 (Town)
99,500 (Borough)
OS grid reference TQ003584
   – London  23 mi (37 km) NE 
District Woking
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WOKING
Postcode district GU21, GU22
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Woking
List of places
UK
England
Surrey

Coordinates: 51°18′58″N 0°33′40″W / 51.3162°N 0.561°W / 51.3162; -0.561

Woking /ˈwkɪŋ/ is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, England. It is at the southwestern edge of the Greater London Urban Area and is a part of the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Waterloo station.[1] Woking is 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding the surrounding district, has a population of 62,796,[2] with the whole local government district (the borough of Woking) having a population of 99,500 (mid-2011 estimate).[3] Woking has been a Conservative area since the constituency was created in 1950, with Jonathan Lord elected as its Member of Parliament in the 2010 General Election.

Park Heights apartment building

History[edit]

For more details on this topic, see History of Woking.
Woking Palace

Though Woking's earliest written appearance is in the Domesday Book, it is mentioned as the site of a monastery in an 8th-century context, as Wochingas.[4] In the Domesday Book it appears as Wochinges, being held in 1086 by King William the Conqueror, Walter FitzOther, constable of Windsor Castle, and Ansgot and Godfrey from Osbern FitzOsbern, then bishop of Exeter.[5]

Modern Woking was formed in the area to the south of the Basingstoke Canal (opened in 1794) around the railway station, built in 1838 at the junction between lines to London, the south coast, and the south-west of England, and the private railway to Brookwood Cemetery, which was developed by the London Necropolis Company as an overflow burial ground for London's dead. As a result, the original settlement 1 mile to the south-east, on the River Wey, became known as "Old Woking". Later, Woking Crematorium at St John's became the first crematorium in the United Kingdom.[6]

Shah Jahan Mosque, the oldest in England

The first purpose-built mosque in the UK, the Shah Jahan Mosque on Oriental Road, was commissioned by Shahjehan, Begum of Bhopal (1868–1901), one of the four female Muslim rulers of Bhopal who reigned between 1819 and 1926.[7]

The Martinsyde aircraft company operated a major aircraft factory in the town during World War I and used nearby Brooklands Aerodrome for test flying and deliveries, but it was closed in the mid-1920s. This site was then the home of the engineering firm James Walker & Company for many years. Known as 'The Lion Works', this area was finally redeveloped in the 1990s into today's Lion Retail Park.[8]

Government[edit]

The constituency of Woking has historically been a Conservative safe seat, with the Liberal Democrats being the principal opposition in the last five general elections. Its current Member of Parliament is Jonathan Lord.

Elections to the borough council take place in three out of every four years, with one-third elected in each election. The election in 2011 gave the Conservatives an overall majority of seats for the first time in 20 years.[9]

The current Mayor of the borough is councillor Anne Roberts.[10] In 2010 the council elected councillor Mohammed Iqbal as the first Asian Mayor of Woking.[11]

Energy policy[edit]

Woking Borough Council is one of the country's leaders in adopting greener energy technologies.[citation needed] Several combined heat and power stations provide district heating and electricity, and electricity is also provided by a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and solar cells dispersed throughout the borough.[12] These are linked via an innovative private electricity distribution system operating completely off the public power grid.

In order to do this, the local government laid new power lines to all locations on the Woking sustainable community energy system (due to Department of Trade and Industry regulations). Should the public power grid fail, central Woking would continue to have an energy supply.[13]

The cost for providing this is approximately UK£0.01/kWh less than for public electricity. It has been reported that the borough saves UK£974,000 a year in energy costs if the installation costs are ignored.[13] By March 2004 the initiatives had also cut the borough's carbon emissions by 17.24%, and those of the council by 77.4%.[14]

Albion Square canopy was built in 2007, following local council approval three years earlier. It is equipped with over 35,000 photovoltaic cells laminated in 272 glass panels to collect sunlight and convert it into energy.[15] It has a peak electrical output of 81 KWp.

On 23 March 2007, Prince Charles opened a climate change exhibition in Woking. The exhibition, which was a joint venture by Business in the Community and BCSC and endorsed by the Climate Group, featured display stands with information on issues like recycling, energy use, transport, waste reduction and food sources. He also inspected work on the Albion Square canopy. After the launch, the Prince took lunch at Auberge. He then gave a speech to introduce Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, which was being viewed by local business leaders.

In October 2013 the council confirmed it would implement the Euro 5 environmental emissions standard for taxis and licensed vehicles in the borough, and that the more stringent Euro 6 standard would be introduced in 2022.[16]

Geography[edit]

Woking postal area has several villages, including: Knaphill, Horsell, Hook Heath, Mount Hermon, Barnsbury, Maybury, Sheerwater, Goldsworth Park, St John's, Pyrford, Kingfield, Westfield and Ridgway, some being contiguous which can be described now as suburbs. Further villages are: Old Woking traditionally a separate village with its own large conservation area[8][17] verging towards the Wey, Mayford; Bisley and Sutton Green to the south nearer the border between Woking and Guildford and West Byfleet to the east is a post town with Byfleet and adjoins to the north-east.

Suburbs[edit]

Very large white gabled house
Unable to find an agent for the sale of their surplus land at Hook Heath, the London Necropolis Company themselves developed the area into a prosperous suburb of large detached houses.

The Barnsbury Estate is a housing estate of approximately 400 households.[18] Begun in 1936, it is a self-contained estate of bungalows, housing and flats mostly built in the 1950s along with several small shops. Barnsbury is bordered by the Hoe Valley and is located to the south of Woking on the A320.

As part of Woking's proposed Priority Homes PFI submission, back gardens of a significant number of houses were at risk of development.[19] From January to September 2007 this resulted in an extensive community engagement to see if and how these back gardens could be used for development.[18][20] The scheme was eventually cancelled.[21] Starting in August 2009, Ypod Extra (formerly The Barnsbury Project) on Ash Road is open to all young people on Barnsbury estate every Monday between 6.30 and 9pm. It is run in conjunction with Woking Borough Council and is partly funded and supported by the local police.[22]

Barnsbury also has a Primary School. Many of Barnsbury's Students attend Woking High for their secondary education.

In the 1800s the London Necropolis Company acquired land here on a prospective basis but built Brookwood Cemetery instead; no suitable agent of could be found to oversee the sale of the third portion of excess land at Hook Heath and as a consequence Cyril Tubbs ensured its retention and oversaw its development himself. Over the 1890s the site was subdivided into plots for large detached houses, and a golf course was built to attract residents and visitors.[23][a] The LNC redeveloped its lands at Hook Heath into housing and a golf course, creating a new suburb of Woking and providing a steady income from rentals.

Climate[edit]

Woking, along with the majority of the British Isles experiences a maritime climate, characterised by cool summers and mild winters. The nearest weather station for which data is readily available is Wisley, located approximately 6 km east of Woking. Temperature extremes recorded in the area range from 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) during August 2003[26] down to −15.1 °C (4.8 °F) during January 1982.[27] The weather station also holds the UK July record high of 36.5 °C (97.7 °F)(2006).[28]


Climate data for Wisley
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) NA NA NA 27.8
(82)
NA NA 36.5
(97.7)
37.8
(100)
29.2
(84.6)
NA NA NA 37.8
(100)
Average high °C (°F) 7.6
(45.7)
8.0
(46.4)
10.7
(51.3)
13.3
(55.9)
17.2
(63)
19.9
(67.8)
22.5
(72.5)
22.3
(72.1)
19.1
(66.4)
15.0
(59)
10.6
(51.1)
8.4
(47.1)
14.6
(58.3)
Average low °C (°F) 1.8
(35.2)
1.5
(34.7)
3.0
(37.4)
4.0
(39.2)
6.8
(44.2)
9.7
(49.5)
12.0
(53.6)
11.6
(52.9)
9.5
(49.1)
6.8
(44.2)
3.8
(38.8)
2.7
(36.9)
6.1
(43)
Precipitation mm (inches) 62.5
(2.461)
40.6
(1.598)
47.7
(1.878)
47.6
(1.874)
51.1
(2.012)
51.6
(2.031)
39.6
(1.559)
49.4
(1.945)
61.2
(2.409)
71.2
(2.803)
60.3
(2.374)
64.5
(2.539)
647.1
(25.476)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 11.6 8.6 9.6 9.0 9.3 8.3 6.3 7.2 9.1 10.0 10.0 11.2 110.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.1 70.6 107.6 152.4 194.4 188.1 203.7 200.6 143.4 112.6 66.6 42.5 1,534.7
Source #1: Record highs for July, August and September from Met Office[29][30][31] and April from The Guardian.[32] Other maximum data is not freely available at this time.
Source #2: All other data from Met Office,[33]


Demography[edit]

2001 United Kingdom Census[34]
Country of birth Population
United Kingdom United Kingdom 77,577
Pakistan Pakistan 1,748
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 925
Italy Italy 737
South Africa South Africa 709
India India 686
Netherlands Netherlands 601
Germany Germany 590
United States United States 576
Australia Australia 326

Ethnic groups[edit]

Woking is a multicultural town, according to the Office for National Statistics, based on 2004 estimates, 89.5 per cent of the 62,796 inhabitants of Woking were white, with 84.15 per cent White British, 1.37 per cent White Irish and 5.76 per cent classified as Other White. Some 6.5 per cent are of South Asian descent, with Pakistanis making up 5.3 per cent of Woking's population (compared to 0.73 and 1.44 for the South East and the UK respectively), followed by Indians at 1.2 per cent. 0.50 per cent of Woking's population are Black which compares with 2.3 per cent nationally. 1.37 per cent of Woking residents are of mixed race, leaving the final 2.0 per cent belonging to another ethnic group.[35]

There has long been a large tightly-knit Italian community in Woking, most of whom originated from the Sicilian town of Mussomeli.[36] The majority of the original arrivals worked in the Britax factory in Byfleet. Others worked on the mushroom farms in Chobham or for the James Walker company. Many started their own landscaping or ice cream businesses. St Dunstan's Catholic Church in Woking holds masses in Italian. The Italian population in Woking, including second and third generation members, number between two and three thousand.[37] There is a large Pakistani population in Woking, centred on the suburbs of Maybury and Sheerwater,[38] near the Shah Jahan Mosque. This partly originates from workers at the then nearby Sorbo Rubber factory.[citation needed] Recently there has been an influx of eastern European immigrants, mostly from Poland.[39] Many Nepalis are also now settling in the suburbs of Woking as part of the Aldershot overspill.

Religion[edit]

Religion in Woking[35]
Religion Percent
Christian
  
69.5%
No religion
  
15.2%
Religion not stated
  
6.9%
Muslim
  
6.7%
Other
  
1.6%
St Mary's Church, Horsell

The town has many old, and new, churches including St Mary's Church in Horsell. St. Peter's, in Old Woking has the oldest door in Surrey. It is likely that it is the third oldest door in the British Isles after being dated by dendrochronology.[citation needed] Woking has an Islamic presence, with the Shah Jahan Mosque located just outside the town centre. The mosque was built in 1889 as the first in England by Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner[40] It is built in Bath and Bargate stone in indo-saracenic style commissioned by Shah Jahan, Begum of Bhopal (1868–1901), it has been maintained since then as a Waqf

The 2011 Census shows a dramatic change in the numbers declaring to be non-religious jumping to over 30% in less than 10 years.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

Woking is home to the McLaren Group. The group is responsible for both McLaren Racing, which fields the McLaren Mercedes Formula One racing cars (driven by 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who lives in Monaco, and Kevin Magnussen, who lives in Woking); and McLaren Automotive, builder of the classic McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercars, and now manufacturing the McLaren P1, McLaren 650S and McLaren 12C high-performance sports cars.[41] During 2010 and 2011 the McLaren technology centre received a £50million extension, which was opened by David Cameron.[42] Moreover British chemical and assembly materials company Alent plc has its Global Headquarters in Woking.

Many thousands of people who live in Woking town and district commute to work in central London each day. Woking railway station is one of the busiest commuter stations in the London commuter belt, and Woking's position along the M25 motorway also facilitates commuting both into London and throughout the Home Counties.

There is a large concentration of office accommodation in Woking town centre. Employers from the IT, FMCG and Engineering Services sector are particularly well represented and provide a large number of highly skilled jobs. Large local employers include Fidessa, Capgemini, Mouchel, Petrofac, John Wood and SABMiller.

Culture and community[edit]

The Woking Martian
Horsell Common sandpit, site of the landing of the martians in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
Hawker Hunter as public art

Culture[edit]

Public art[edit]

Martian Tripod

Woking has a Wellsian Martian Tripod, designed by Michael Condron, which was unveiled in April 1998. The tripod celebrates H.G. Wells' book, The War of the Worlds, which was written in Woking. The Tripod is 7m (23') tall. The legs are 17 cm (7") in diameter. There are three parts of the sculpture: The Tripod, Bacteria (Which led to the downfall of the aliens in the book) and the cylinder the tripods came to Earth in. The Martian is also shown advancing from Horsell Common.

Hawker Hunter

Another piece of public art is a Hawker Hunter jet fighter mounted on a pole roughly ten metres tall situated outside the 'Big Apple' family entertainment complex. This is the last Hunter built[citation needed] and was used to promote the previous 'Planets' family entertainment complex. Originally black, the plane is now finished in all-over silver.

Lightbox Art and Heritage Centre[edit]

Woking is home to an arts and heritage centre called 'The Lightbox'.[43] The modern structure, located between the Basingstoke Canal and Victoria Way, was designed by architects Marks Barfield,[44] the architects of the London Eye. The Lightbox contains many hands hanging from the ceiling, a brief history of Woking and many other exhibitions. Notable past exhibitions include a Wallace and Gromit exhibition and a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.[citation needed] The Lightbox also has the Ingram collection on a long-term loan. The Ingram collection is a selection of paintings and sculptures owned by Woking Football Club owner and local businessman Chris Ingram.[citation needed]

Twin towns[edit]

Woking is twinned with:[45]

Community facilities[edit]

Woking has a modern shopping centre called The Peacocks and an older shopping area, Wolsey Place. The Peacocks Centre underwent development work in 2010 to add a new façade in the town square. An extension was added that consisted of adding glass with coloured lights that change in sequence.[48] The Peacocks and Wolsey Place have, at present, been joined by means of a covered walkway to complement the town centre's redevelopment. As of 1 August, the town square has officially opened to much praise, with the entrance to Wolsey Place now sporting an elliptical glass frontage incorporating Pret A Manger and a re-located JD Sports. A "café culture" feel to the square has been consolidated through elegant planting and new seating, with Commercial Walk undergoing further restoration. In commemoration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the square has been renamed "Jubilee Square".

The main area for evening entertainment is around Chertsey Road[49] which contains restaurants serving a number of cuisines such as Indian and Chinese. There are also numerous bars and pubs along Chertsey Road as well as several nightclubs around the area. The Ambassadors cinemas[50] and New Victoria Theatre[50] can be accessed via the top floor of The Peacocks.

Woking has an indoor swimming pool, "Pool in the Park",[51] and a separate leisure centre which is located at Pool in the Park, opposite Woking Leisure Centre. Outdoor facilities include a skatepark (which is popular with local children), tennis courts, five-a-side football pitches, a cricket pitch (during the summer), bowling greens, a crazy golf course, and a children's adventure playground. These leisure facilities are all located within the attractively landscaped Woking Park,[52] which is only a 5-10minutes walk to the town centre. Woking also has the largest public library in Surrey which is located in the town square. Along with the Peacocks and Wolsey Place the Library is also going under development. A Café Rouge outlet has been added in the library with the sides of the library being expanded to make up for room lost to the Café Rouge.

The scene at St Peter's Church, Old Woking is an inspiration for many local artists[according to whom?], as is another local beauty spot at the lock at St John's Lye.[53] Woking has many churches.

Woking is also to home to the Surrey History Centre. The Surrey History Centre contains much Historical Information, archives and Records on Surrey.

Cultural references[edit]

In literature, Woking (or, more precisely, its suburb Horsell Common) is where the Martians first land in the science fiction novel The War of the Worlds.[54] The novel's author H. G. Wells was living in Woking when he wrote the book, and much of the early story is set in the area.[55] The novel, which centres on an alien invasion of Earth, is notable insomuch as its 1938 radio broadcast in the United States caused mass hysteria when many listeners believed that an actual Martian invasion was in progress.[56]

Douglas Adams describes Woking in The Deeper Meaning of Liff (ptcbl. vb.) as:

Standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in here for.

In music, "Town Called Malice" was written about Woking by Paul Weller and recorded by his band The Jam. The song reached No. 1 in the UK Charts.[57]

Landmarks[edit]

Woking skyline from St Mary's Church

The tallest building in Woking is Export House, known locally as 'The BAT Building' (Pronounced 'B-A-T' or 'Bat'), from the initials of its first tenant, British American Tobacco.[58] It is 73 metres (240 ft) tall,[59] and has Peregrine Falcons nesting on top.[58]

Tallest buildings[edit]

  1. Export House – 73 metres (240 ft) – Completed in 1974, with it being ready for British American Tobacco, its first tenants, in 1976.
  2. New Central – 64 metres (210 ft)[60]Completed in December 2013.
  3. Centrium – 49 metres (161 ft) – Completed in 2005.[61]

The New Central project has two towers and many other buildings around it, including a new Tesco-extra shop. The main tower overtook Centrium, making it the second tallest building in Woking. The Plaza below New Central has a statue with three pillars, these represent the three members of The Jam.

Illustration of the tallest buildings in Woking, roughly as can be seen from St Mary's church Horsell
Woking's tallest buildings

Historical monument[edit]

Monument Road runs from the far end of Maybury Road to the Addlestone Road, and lies just inside the Woking side of the Woking-Sheerwater boundary. It is commonly thought to be so named because of an unadvertised cemetery for Muslim Indian soldiers who died in the service of the British Empire in the Great War of 1914–1918. The cemetery no longer contains graves, the corpses having been interred in the Pakistani cemetery close to the mosque, however the walls, entrance and corner towers of the cemetery still remain intact, and they bear a clearly oriental Indian style. The cemetery is located several hundred metres from Monument Road itself and remained hidden until the woodland in which it was situated was pruned and thinned.

Monument Way is probably a reference to a much earlier structure in the area, that was destroyed by natural causes in the mid-1800s:

"Early in the 17th century Sir Edward Zouch obtained the Manor of Woking and gained permission to demolish the old palace site. He used some of the material to build a new house – Hoe Place (now a private school) – with some of the Tudor bricks apparently being used in buildings such as The Old House in OLD WOKING and 'The Monument' – a tower that once stood on the hill where the Hoe Bridge Golf Course is today. It was Sir Edward's grandson, Sir James Zouch, who obtained the Market Charter for Woking in 1661, with the Market House (opposite the entrance to Church Street) being built in 1665."[62]

Transport[edit]

Rail[edit]

Woking railway station, Platform 5 (south) side

Woking railway station is on the Alton Line, Portsmouth Direct Line, South Western Main Line and West of England Main Line. There are frequent trains to and from London Waterloo (via Clapham Junction), a journey taking approximately 25–30 minutes. There is also a twice hourly Waterloo–Woking stopping service that calls at many stations between Waterloo and Woking.

Gatwick Airport can be accessed via Guildford railway station or Clapham Junction. London Heathrow Airport has no direct train services from the south west of England, so a RailAir service operates between Woking and Heathrow.

A canopy costing £2.8 million has been built between the station and the main shopping area of the town. It is approximately 34 metres in length and 22.5 metres in width, stretching from the railway station entrance (town, platform 1, side) to Albion House. The project included landscaping and the provision of a new way to the town from the railway station.[63]

Rail Accident Investigation Branch has one of its two operational centres in Woking.[64][65]

Roads[edit]

Woking is accessible from the M25 motorway (junction 11), the M3 motorway (junction 3) and the A3.

The main access road is the A320 between Guildford and Staines, which passes through the town centre and connects to the M25 to the north, and to the A3 to the south at Guildford.

Bus and coach[edit]

A RailAir coach service is run by National Express, connecting Woking railway station and London Heathrow Airport, in the absence of a direct train link to Heathrow. The bus services in Woking are mainly operated by Abellio Surrey and Arriva. Arriva provide the short-distance to services to the surrounding towns and villages, such as West Byfleet, Byfleet, Camberley, Weybridge and to Guildford.[66] Abellio provide services to more distant towns including into Greater London. These include Staines, Hatton Cross and Kingston.[67] The Bustler community transport service, which operates from bases Westfield and St John's, uses a fleet of minibuses to serve people with a transportation disadvantage.[68]

Canal[edit]

The Lightbox Art Gallery by the Basingstoke Canal at Woking

The Basingstoke Canal, completed in 1794, passes through the north of the town and is crossed by several footbridges and road bridges. The Lightbox, an Art Gallery, is sandwiched between the canal and Victoria Way, a dual carriageway. The canal underwent restoration in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with the restoration completed on 10 May 1991.

River and navigation[edit]

The River Wey and Wey Navigation run through the Borough of Woking

Education[edit]

Primary schools[edit]

Infant and junior schools in the area include: Barnsbury Primary School, Beaufort Primary School, Bisley C of E (Aided) Primary School, Broadmere Primary School, Goldsworth Primary School, Greenfield School, Hoe Bridge School, Horsell C of E (Aided) Junior School, Horsell Village School, Kingfield School, Knaphill Junior School, Knaphill Lower School, Maybury Primary School, New Monument Primary, Pyrford C of E (Aided) Primary School, St Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School, St John's Primary School, St. Andrew's School, Sythwood Primary School, The Hermitage Junior School, The Oaktree School and Westfield Primary School.

Secondary schools[edit]

Secondary schools in the area include: Bishop David Brown School, Gordon's School, St John the Baptist School, The Winston Churchill School and Woking High School and Fullbrook.

Other schools[edit]

Woking College is located in Old Woking and provides post-16 education.

There are also private sector schools. There are several private preparatory schools in Woking: Hoe Bridge, St Andrew's, Greenfield, Oakfield School and Ripley Court are all mixed, while Halstead School is girls only.

The Surrey campus of the International School of London is located in Woking[69]

Woking is also home to the Tante Marie cookery school,[70] the UK's oldest established professional cookery school.[71] According to the Woking News and Mail, it has now been bought by famous chef Gordon Ramsay who intends to set up his own catering college.

Sport[edit]

Football[edit]

Kingfield Stadium, the home ground of Woking FC

Woking has a non-League football club, Woking F.C., that competes in the Conference National (tier 5). The origin of the club's nickname, the "Cardinals" or "the Cards" for short, has three origins, one of which is the derivative of the other two: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, after whom the smaller of the two shopping centres is named, was staying with King Henry VIII at Woking Palace (the remains of which can be seen near the River Wey at Old Woking) when he heard he had been made a cardinal by Pope Leo X in 1515. Alternatively:

  1. Cardinal red in one half of their home strip. The colour was chosen because of the above crumbling palace.
  2. Woking F.C. used to play next to a pub called The Cardinals when they played in York Road, Woking. The pub has since been renamed. The Borough also supports three clubs playing in The Combined Counties Football League Division 1 (tier 10):
  3. Knaphill FC
  4. Sheerwater FC
  5. Westfield FC. There are many smaller clubs in the area.

Gymnastics[edit]

Woking Gymnastics Club provides professional gymnastics coaching for all ages (babies to adults). The club has a purpose-built facility (refurbished in 2008) next door to the Football Club.

Rugby[edit]

Woking has a rugby union club that competes in Surrey League 4 (Level 11). Since the 2006/07 season they have run two teams. They train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Byfleet Recreation Ground. The club originated from British Aerospace RFC and were originally based at the Astra sports club.

Another club outside the borough of Woking, Chobham Rugby Club has 6 senior teams, the 1st XV, 2nd XV (Cannons), 3rd XV, 4th XV (Devils), 5th XV (Crusaders)& Veterans (Martyrs).

The 1st XV played in London Division 1 South (Level 6), however having not won a game in the league all season have found themselves relegated. The Cannons (2nd XV) play in the Canterbury Shield 4 having won Surrey Premier in 08/09. The 3rds, Devils and 5ths play in the John O'Neil and Partners Surrey Reserve leagues. The Devils won their league cup in the 2006/7 season.

Chobham won London 3SW in 2006/07.

In 2008/09 The Cannons won Surrey Premier League; the 3s won Surrey Combination League 1; the Devils came runners up in Surrey Combination League 2 and the Crusaders won Surrey Combination League 4. The 1st XV played in the National EDF Cup for the first time in their history.

The Senior Club won the Surrey presidents Award 2008/09 for the most successful club in the county.[citation needed]

Hockey[edit]

Woking Hockey Club women's first XI compete in the English Hockey League Women's League 1 (tier 2); the men's first XI compete in a regional league. The club has two AstroTurf pitches next to a clubhouse based in Goldsworth Park.

Cricket[edit]

Woking also has a number of cricket clubs including Old Woking CC, Woking & Horsell CC, and Westfield CC.

It is also home to Pyrford Cricket Club. Founded in 1858, Pyrford is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Surrey. Well known former PCC players include former Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu, New Zealand wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins and Sky Sports presenter Charles Colvile.[citation needed]

Motor racing[edit]

The McLaren Formula One motor racing team is based near to the town, as is Räikkönen Robertson Racing, begun by former McLaren driver and the 2007 F1 World Champion (with Ferrari) Kimi Räikkönen.

Cycling[edit]

In 2009 Woking played host to a round of The Tour Series on 2 June, a new championship of televised town and city centre criterium-style races, established by the organisers of The Tour of Britain bike race. The race took place on a Tuesday evening on a circuit centred on Victoria Way.

Basketball[edit]

The Woking Blackhawks basketball club was founded in 1999. They won their first title in 2004, the U-16 Surrey Central Venue League and Cup 2003/4. In 2008 they were voted Surrey Sports Club of the year. They currently have 10 squads with over 150 players, male and female, aging from under 10s up to adult level.[citation needed]

Future plans[edit]

Woking 2027[edit]

This is a Council sponsored project to improve Woking by 2027. There are 6 main objectives.

  1. A strong community spirit with a clear sense of belonging and responsibility.
  2. A clean, healthy and safe environment.
  3. A transport system that is linked and accessible, recognising Woking's potential as a transport hub.
  4. Access to decent affordable housing for local people and key workers.
  5. A community which values personal health and well-being.
  6. Provide opportunities and encourage people to participate in learning throughout their lives so they progress and reach their full potential.

Hoe Valley Scheme[edit]

This was a £40 million project to take hundreds of Woking homes away from the flood plain of the Hoe Stream. It has also provided new community facilities and roads. Woking Borough Council had been planning this scheme, which was approved in September 2010, for over 20 years. It was being run in conjunction with the Environment Agency.

The Council has received finance from: the Public Works Loan Board; a number of grants, including £3.7 million from the Environment Agency; proceeds from the sale of new homes and of other assets. The Council expects the scheme to be fully funded by 2014 with no ongoing costs incurred by the Council. The scheme was completed on schedule in 2012.[72]

The Moor Lane Development[edit]

The Moor Lane Development is a proposed development by Woking Borough Council. The Development will provide affordable housing inside the Borough. This has led to local protests and organisations set up that want the development to be scrapped.

The land where the development will take place, if allowed to go ahead, is owned by Surrey County Council. The Development will affect the residents of Westfield Common, Moor Lane, Balfour Avenue and Quartermaine Avenue.

Woking Town Centre Development[edit]

Woking Town Centre development is a development where The Peacocks shopping centre, the Wolsey Walk shopping centre and the library are all being expanded.

The first part of the Peacocks Centre expansion has finished. The front of the shopping centre was expanded with a glass frontage with LED lights that change colour. Wolsey Walk has also been expanded with a similar glass frontage, which has added three more shops. Both shopping centres will have a new roof that will overlap above Mercia Walk (a walk that separates the Wolsey Place and the Peacocks Shopping Centre) and form a canopy over Mercia Walk.

The library front has also be expanded and a Café Rouge outlet has been opened at the front of the library. The library has also expanded from the side, down Gloucester Walk, to make up space lost by adding the Café Rouge outlet. The Main Entrance is now located at the side, too.

Commercial Way, a shopping street next to the Town Centre, will also undergo development.[73] The development is likely to add new frontages to the current shops down Commercial Way.

Public services[edit]

Woking comes under Surrey PCT (Primary Care Trust), administered and run by the NHS. Group of GPs together with Woking Community Hospital[74] serve a minority of local residents' primary healthcare needs with its walk-in centre but mostly works in the areas of community rehabilitation and neuro-rehab in the Ted Bradley Unit. Specialist hospitals nearby are St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey (for A&E) and Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

Nuffield Hospital[75] is Woking's main private healthcare provider.

Woking used to have its own hospital with maternity and A&E amongst other departments. Woking Victoria Hospital[76] was situated on the corner of Victoria Way and Chobham Road, right by the Basingstoke Canal, from 1950 until the mid-'80s.

Just outside of Woking Town Centre there is a walk-in hospital for emergencies. The main hospitals in the area are St. Peter's Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital and Frimley Park Hospital. There is also a Village Medical Centre in Send.

Woking has a Magistrates Court and a Police Station, which is housed in a former school. In the area there are smaller police stations. Nearby, in Guildford and Surrey Heath there are two prisons: a Category C prison and a women's prison.

Notable people[edit]

Image Name Residence Period Notes
Beaufort M !Lady Margaret Beaufort
Lady Margaret Beaufort Mother of King Henry VII, lived in Woking Palace for 5 years [77]
[[File:|center|100x75px|Sir Alec Bedser]] Sir Alec Bedser Surrey County and England Cricketer [77]
Eric Bedser Surrey County Cricketer [77]
Richard Benson English-Italian singer guitarist, 1955. Born in Woking, he moved to Rome in 1965 [citation needed]
Rick Buckler drummer with The Jam, (1955) [77]
Cox P !Peter Cox
Peter Cox solo artist and lead singer of the 1980s pop group Go West (band) [citation needed]
Cracknell J !James Cracknell
James Cracknell Olympic rower, from Pyrford [77]
Davidson P !Peter Davison
Peter Davison actor, best known for his role in (Doctor Who) attended The Winston Churchill School (Woking) [77]
Dennis R !Ron Dennis
Ron Dennis CEO/Chairman of the McLaren Group [77]
Susie Dent a lexicographer and the dictionary expert on Countdown [78]
Edwards B !Ben Charles Edwards
Ben Charles Edwards photographer/filmmaker [79]
Foxton B !Bruce Foxton
Bruce Foxton bass player with The Jam, (1955) [77]
John Paul Getty Lived in Sutton Green [77]
Green R !Robert Green
Robert Green QPR and England Goalkeeper [citation needed]
Derek Griffiths children's entertainer, born in Woking [77]
Hamilton E !Lady Emma Hamilton
Lady Emma Hamilton lover of Horatio Nelson. Hamilton lived in Pyrford [77]
Andy Heath Times journalist [citation needed]
Sean Henry sculptor [citation needed]
Hill H !Harry Hill
Harry Hill comedian, was born in Woking (1964) [77]
Brian Hooper Olympic pole vaulter [77]
Rufus Hound British comedian and presenter who attended The Hoe Bridge School. [citation needed]
Ingram !Chris Ingram
Chris Ingram Businessman, Entrepreneur and Former Chairman of Woking F.C.
Ishiguro K !Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro novelist [77]
Albert Jack bestselling author, attended The Winston Churchill School (Woking) [citation needed]
Lara A !Adelina de Lara
Adelina de Lara concert pianist, lived and worked in Woking. [77]
Lock S !Sean Lock
Sean Lock comedian, was born in Woking (1963) [77]
Peter Lord co-founder of Aardman Animations, attended Woking Grammar school [77]
Lynne Liz !Liz Lynne
Liz Lynne Liberal Democrat politician [80]
Carl May sociologist [citation needed]
Ogilvy I !Ian Ogilvy
Ian Ogilvy actor, 1943 [81]
Parfitt R !Rick Parfitt
Rick Parfitt guitarist for Status Quo went to school in Sheerwater and has family in the area, [77]
Douglas Pearce founding Neofolk musician behind Death in June and Crisis, [citation needed]
Smith D !Delia Smith
Delia Smith best selling cook, was born in Woking in 1941 [77]
Smith E !Ethel Smyth
Ethel Smyth composer and the first woman suffragette [77]
Spice Girls !The Spice Girls
The Spice Girls pop group, started their careers at a Knaphill studio [77]
David Sproxton co-founder of Aardman Animations, attended Woking Grammar school [77]
Kirk St Moritz author, born in Woking 1974
Tony Wakeford neo-folk musician, co-founder of Death in June, founder and vocalist of Sol Invictus, L'Orchestre Noir [77]
Waplington N !Nick Waplington
Nick Waplington artist and photographer [citation needed]
Neil Wayte professional angler (1961), was born and raised in Woking [citation needed]
Weller P !Paul Weller
Paul Weller guitarist and singer-songwriter, The Style Council, The Jam. "Town Called Malice", which was written by Paul Weller and recorded by his band, The Jam, is about Woking. The song reached No. 1 in the UK Charts. [77]
Wells HG !H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells author who used the town as a setting for his novel The War of the Worlds and was staying in the town when he wrote it. A large sculpture of a (Wellsian) Martian Fighting Machine (above) was installed in the town centre to commemorate Woking's links with the story. [55][82]
Willis M !Matt Willis
Matt Willis musician, singer-songwriter, television presenter and actor, who found fame as a founding member of pop rock band Busted and was the winner of I'm A Celebrity... in 2006, lived in Woking and attended Woking High School [77]
Iain Morris Co-Writer of The Inbetweeners, born in Woking [77]
Ken Wood founded the Kenwood company in Woking [77]
Tom Mison actor [83]
Sam Underwood actor [84]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The LNC earned additional revenue from golfers disguised as mourners taking advantage of the Necropolis Railway's fixed cheap fares to travel from London to the golf course, a practice which was tacitly accepted by the LNC. How the golfers concealed their equipment while travelling is not recorded.[24][25]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]