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Project Phoenix Update

We’re on the Up and Up………

We are delighted to say that ‘Flaming June’ brings with it some good news, with some easing of the lockdown, local shops re-opening and a Clubhouse that is on the rise and looking good. The only blot on the landscape has been a delay in the prospective date for the Community Clubhouse completion. We had been reporting that the Community Clubhouse was on track for completion around mid-July but that has recently been put back by our building contractors, Armfield, to the beginning of September. The cause of the delay, not surprisingly is down to Covid-19 which has caused challenges in the sourcing of some build materials, and difficulties with man power.

The good news however is that the materials have now arrived and as you can see, good progress is being made once again. The next phase for the build project will be the completion of the roof structure and commencement of the external wall cladding and the all-important mechanical and electrical work. Thank you once again to Armfield for the sterling work they are doing in very difficult circumstances. We will of course keep you all posted on progress.

Apart from the build project the CRGT team have been busy with negotiations with the new Café Operators and we are really delighted to announce that the tender for the Café operation has been won by…………..

Pistachios in the Park, is a community café concept from Aysin Djemil, and Ender Turkyilmaz. They have already had great success with a number of community Café operations in and around London and were able to present the CRGT with exactly the type of operation and concept that we were looking for.

When asked about the success of their previous park café operations Aysin commented:

'The Pistachios concept is very specific and it's all about the community', the whole thrust is to get more folk back into local parks to enjoy the ambiance and interact with each other. Our cafes are great places to meet family and friends. Most importantly our facilities and outdoor areas allow you to spend time with the kids or to relax and enjoy the green space, all within their local neighbourhood. Furthermore, step inside and you will find delicious home cooked food, and barista style beverages, together with excellent service and bags of community spirit.

We think Claygate will love Pistachios in the Park, not only will they provide our local community with quality food, coffee and beverages, but they will also run the new Community Clubhouse licensed bar and be able to provide catering facilities for local organisations, parties, barbecues and events throughout the year.

If you would like to take a sneak preview at what Pistachios in the Park will have to offer, please take a look here:

Once the Community Clubhouse build is complete, the CRGT will be able to commence the very exciting “Garden project” that will encompass the Community Clubhouse and give us a truly wonderful asset to enjoy and be proud of. To help advise us with this exciting project the CRGT is delighted to introduce you to its latest new Trustee, Rachel Jones.

Some of you will already know Rachel and her family as they live in Claygate. Rachel is a professionally trained and qualified landscape gardener and we are delighted to have her on the team. Rachel’s knowledge and expertise will be a tremendous asset as we plan and progress the landscaping project. Welcome aboard Rachel!

Our goal is for the landscaping to be completed by spring 2021, in time for all the community to enjoy using it in the summer months. Designed by local garden designer- Selina Botham, (another Claygate resident) the recreation ground garden will provide outdoor seating for café customers and recreation ground visitors and will be a meeting place for all, surrounded by beautiful plantings of grasses, flowers, trees and shrubs.

We also thought that it would be a great idea to involve the Claygate community in its creation. So, for all those aspiring gardeners out there both young and old, If you would like to volunteer to grow plants for the garden from seed or cuttings, or indeed would like to help plant up the garden in the Spring, please let us know by contacting Rachel by email at

In the meantime, trustee Rachel Jones has used the 2.6 challenge to begin this process, and is aiming to grow 260 plants from seed to be planted in the landscaped garden. We think this is a fantastic idea and we are right behind her. If you too would like to support her ‘POUND FOR A PLANT’ scheme, please go to:

Run 5 for the Rec

A group of Claygate residents and local runners have come together to organise a virtual running race this year in the absence of any physical running race in Claygate due to COVID-19.

The aim of the race is to raise much needed funds for the "Garden Project" on Claygate recreation ground. 100% of profits from the race will go to the Claygate Recreation Ground Trust charity who are overseeing this project.

The race is 5 miles long and takes place through the beautiful countryside that surrounds Claygate- through woodlands, fields and roads. The course is mainly off-road and is undulating towards the end.

When will the race take place: between Sat 4th - Sun 12th July

All you need to do is sign up, run the race at anytime between these dates, upload your results, send an image of yourself at the start/finish to If you think you might be in with a chance for a medal, submit your times as well with a photo of a device or via STRAVA or something similar that displays both time and distance.

How to enter:

1. Sign up for the race here.

2. Donate the suggested entry donation (£5 for adults and £3 for kids)

3. Check out the running route

4. Then run the race.

Upon completion of your race and donation made to the link shown above, you can show proof of your donation to Caffe Capital in Claygate to redeem 50% off the price of a coffee and any young people who have completed the 5 miles with donation made will also get a dairy ice cream scoop for only £1.

For further details, visit:, Twitter @run5fortherec or email

We Challenge You!

So now we can really see the Community Clubhouse taking shape we have a challenge for you. The clubhouse will have a specially designed community 1st floor (with a ‘sprung floor’ for those who like to dance or exercise!) There are plenty of ideas that we have considered on how the 1st floor could be used but we would love to hear your thoughts on this. The 1st floor is a community space for you so we are open to all ideas on how best it can be used.

If you would like to comment on this please contact us here.

We also need a name for this 1st floor room and the community has really stepped up to the challenge and suggested a long list of potential names. Some are ‘Rec’ themed, other have links to local landmarks or dignitaries, but they are all brilliant. The CRGT are now busy whittling these down to a short list of three which we will put to a community vote via Facebook and Twitter in a couple of weeks. So keep an eye on social media and vote for your favourite!

If you are already thinking ahead to the days when we can socialise again, and are interested in booking the as yet un-named 1st floor space, perhaps for a meeting or an event you can find out more by emailing:

Interior Design

A great deal of thought and consideration has gone into the internal layout and design of the ground floor clubroom/café area. The images below give you an idea of how the internal layout will combine with the aesthetic feel and tone that our design consultants have put together for us.

The café/clubroom will benefit from a fully glazed frontage ensuring the area has a light and airy feel to it. The commercial grade furniture was designed in Italy (to BS standards) Chairs and tables will be made from solid beechwood. They will be comfortable but durable and will complement the aesthetic tone of the clubhouse.

The 1st floor area will also feature a glazed wall cabinet to house all of the Trophies that the Claygate Football and Cricket clubs have won! But there will still be room for the performance cups awarded to individual Junior and Senior players of the two clubs.

The Café Kitchen will be equipped to full commercial standards with stainless steel worktops and cabinets and a range of high quality equipment. All in all you will be well served!

For those of you who donated to the original clubhouse printed brick scheme, you will be pleased to know that the bricks will all be replaced and will have a prominent siting along the walls of the bar and café server area.


In our January Newsletter we were very pleased to announce that the CRGT had been nominated for the very prestigious National Queens Award for Voluntary Service. The nomination was for the voluntary work that the CRGT volunteers have done over the years to manage, maintain and improve the recreation ground for the local community and our visitors from further afield. Sadly, despite a strong nomination, the CRGT did not win the Award this year.

However our congratulations go to the 2 Surrey Award winners:

  • Riverside Arts Centre -Providing an arts and cultural hub for Sunbury-on-Thames, Spelthorne & neighbouring communities.

  • Walton Firs Foundation-Providing outdoor activities developing reliance, leadership and team building skills for younger people.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux very kindly wrote to the Trust in May and in his letter he commented:

I was so sorry to learn that you have not been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. You have done so much to contribute to your community, but through your dedication, enthusiasm and sheer hard work you demonstrate in all you do a shining example to the rest of the country….the fact that you were proposed for an award is testimony to the quality and impact of the contribution you are making.’

Helen Maguire, Chair of the CRGT also commented:

We were delighted to be nominated for the award and although disappointed not to win, will ensure that we do everything we can to maintain the standards of work that enabled us to be nominated in the first place. I’d also like to thank all of the volunteers that have put in so much hard work, not just in the past 3 years with the clubhouse rebuild, but over the many years that the Trust has been operating. I am just so grateful for the community spirit that we have in Claygate, it makes it such a great place to live. We are also disappointed that we have not been able to enjoy wonderful volunteer led events such as the Flower show, Gig on the Rec and the Claygate 5 this summer but the opening of the new Community Clubhouse in September will provide us with a great opportunity to have a celebratory event on the recreation ground. Watch this space!

Let it Grow

The response to the fundraising request to help with the Garden Project has been fantastic and to date, with your help, we have now raised over £53,000.

The 2.6 challenge that the CRGT Trustees joined in May has also been very successful and has raised an additional £1578 to date. Keep going folks!

The Claygate Community Oak Leaf scheme that will adorn the 1st floor Clubhouse wall when it opens in September has been fruitful. There is still plenty of time and space left to join in so if you don’t have a leaf already here is the form.

Thank you's

The Trust is ever thankful to the support it receives from local residents and organisations and a big thank you goes out to you all. We would especially like to thank Sport England, the Football Foundation and EBC Business grants scheme for assisting the Trust in getting through the very challenging COVID-19 period.

Like many other charities, the Trust has seen a significant reduction in income as organised sport is not currently being played on the recreation ground and this has affected our finances. As lockdown has eased we are delighted to see so many people using the ground for recreational exercise and training. We also understand that the Cricket Club will recommence their Junior and Senior training and coaching programmes shortly (following guidance from the England Cricket Board) So let’s hope that we also see some team cricket being played before too long.

Big Thanks should also go to the following: Claygate Parish Council for their donation of £500 towards the "Garden Project" and also for their grant of £744.51 which pays back the portion of Community Infrastructure Levy that the Trust paid to the CPC. The Trust were also instructed to pay £4,218 in CIL liability to Elmbridge Borough Council despite the Trust having been granted £50,000 in CIL money to build the new Community Clubhouse. The Trust are currently seeking ways to try to reclaim this from EBC.

Huge thanks must go to one particular local Claygate resident that has made an extremely generous anonymous donation. They wanted to support the Clubhouse rebuild project and have donated over £8,000 to pay for the cost of the awnings for the front of the building. The awnings will extend out over the exterior decking area giving us shade from the hot sun and cover from light rain and this will be of great benefit to everyone that visits the Community Clubhouse, all year round.

Times Up!

The clock that lived on the front of the old clubhouse was iconic and much loved by Claygate Cricket Club and the community. Not only did It tell the cricketers when their match was due to begin and sometimes more importantly, when it was tea time, but it also told busy commuters passing through whether they were going to catch their train on time, and parents and children whether they were going to be early or perhaps late for school.

*Indicative image

Sadly, the clock had its time when the clubhouse burned down although it somehow soldiered on for a couple of months. However, the new clubhouse will have a brand new clock to keep us all in time order, and we are delighted to announce that a very generous offer has been made by yet another Claygate resident to pay for the beautiful new clock that will adorn the front of the Community Clubhouse.

Limes Up!

Sadly we had to say goodbye to the lovely lime tree that lived in the corner of the recreation ground on Church Road. It was decided, having taken professional advice, that the tree was a potential hazard to the houses on the corner and that there was a possibility of it causing subsidence. Having sought permission from Elmbridge Borough Council the Trust then engaged Elmbridge Tree Services to take the tree down to stump level. The tree may continue to grow but with regular pruning of new branch growth it will no longer be a hazard for the buildings nearby.

Keep it Clean!

It’s been fantastic to see so many people enjoying the recreation ground over the past few months, and with lockdown easing, more and more of the community are gathering and using this space to socialise (at a distance of course!) The vast majority have ensured that they look after the space and put litter in the bins provided. Could we gently remind everyone that the litter bins are there, ready and waiting. Of course, if they do happen to be full and overflowing could we please ask that you take your rubbish home with you? Thank you and enjoy the great summer weather we are having!

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