Community Update – January & February 2024

To get in touch with the BCA: Contact the secretary on call 07513 366072 or visit the website at

We represent the community of Burpham, Guildford

Sutherland Memorial Hall

Sutherland Memorial Hall within Sutherland Memorial Park, Burpham.

The BCA, along with other local groups (known collectively as the Burpham Community Hub) has been working hard to get the Hall back in use for all of the community.

The first task was to get registered as a charity and we are very pleased to announce that this was achieved last November. Now the less good news. At the beginning of this process GBC were asked to confirm that they could issue two leases on the same premises – ours as well as the existing lease to the nursery. We were told this would be fine. GBC now say this information was wrong and it cannot be done. Instead they will change the nursery lease to a licence – this may take some time – and the Community Hub will be granted a lease. This will allow both organisations to share the Hall and make optimum use of it for the community.

The Running River

This is the Running River which flows from Stoke Lock to Sutton Place. The planners of Weyside Urban Village describe it variously as “an unlicensed drain” and “an open sewer.”

Well, it may look pretty foul these days but it has a noble history which begins in Sutton Place.

The manor was granted to Sir Richard Weston by Henry VIII in 1521. His great great grandson was also Sir Richard Weston, born in 1591. He spent some time in the Netherlands where he became interested in inland navigation and how locks work. This gave him the idea of using locks to make the River Wey navigable from Weybridge to Guildford. As a Catholic and Royalist, his property was sequestrated during the Civil War and he went into exile. He was able to return to England during the 1640s and instigated a bill in parliament to authorise construction of the Wey navigation – a massive undertaking finally completed in 1653.

Sir Richard was also responsible for creating the Running River, using the techniques he had discovered – water meadows kept the ground warm in winter and the river irrigated fields between Stoke Lock and the north side of Sutton Place in the summer. He also made many agricultural improvements including this irrigation scheme and crop rotation.

Maps of the early 1960s show the course of the Running River but the Slyfield dump and the industrial estate destroyed the centre section. The land is currently owned by GBC and Thames Water who are involved in the Weyside Urban Village project. We have been told that the Running River will be integrated into the Village as an historical asset.

Our thanks go to Jim Allen who has worked hard on behalf of the BCA and Burpham Neighbourhood Forum to help preserve Sir Richard Weston’s incredible legacy.

Joint BCA/BNF Public Meeting

November 2nd 2023

There is so much going on at the moment it is difficult to keep track of what is happening. This joint meeting was held to inform residents about major projects which will affect our Ward in the near future.

It was well attended with over 80 people in the audience.

The topics covered were:

  • Weyside Urban Village by Christian Holliday
  • The London Road Active Travel Service by Andy Clapham
  • The Gosden Hill development by Sue Hackman
  • The relocation of the Sewage Treatment Works by Jim Allen

We would like to thank all the speakers.

All the topics generated a lot of interest and in some cases provoked lively discussion. The meeting was judged to be a success and we propose to hold similar meetings in the future.

…and on the subject of roads

The BNF recently conducted a survey of roads in Burpham. The main roads were tolerable but the side roads and pavements are often in poor condition.

One part of London Road pavement floods in wet weather, forcing mums with pushchairs into the road.

Other stretches are uneven, a hazard for all but especially for the elderly or disabled. We are asking you to take a look at your own road and pavements and get back to us with a review – pictures of dangerous damage would be great. Please email to

Help by joining the Burpham Community Association today!

Subscriptions are £8 per household or £4 per single occupancy and run from January to December. Join now or renew your membership for 2022.

You can pay by:
Direct Debit – visit our website at which has a link to this system – an email to giving your details would be helpful.

Account name: Burpham Community Association.
Sort Code: 40-22-26.
Account Number: 41049194

To help the Treasurer please identify yourself using initials, surname and the first line of your address.

Please contact Liz Turner, our Membership Secretary, if you have any queries. Her email address is

BCA on Facebook & Twitter!
Join the conversation! Open to members and non-members, it’s a great way to stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening in our community.

Guildford Community Lottery
A way for everyone to support local causes and be in with a chance to win prizes of up to £25,000. 50% of all tickets sold from our page go to the BCA!