The Chairman's Message  Sept 2015


Another year has been and gone which leads us up to our 60th anniversary and belief it or not I have been involved in it from its fruition, where have all the years gone!!! It is time for me to look back over last year’s event and also what has happened since.

The 2014 Ripley Bonfire was another great success for us and therefore the local community groups that we support in and around the village received cheques. The building of the bonfire went well, which included an extra week prior to the actual build where volunteers helped some of the Committee members to do a bit of pruning and tidying up along the ‘Avenue’ by the children’s play area, which seems to be an ongoing project each year. The bonfire itself was built in the usual three weekends thanks to the help and support from lots of people from in and around the village.

Once again we fenced off the bonfire area which enabled us to have the bonfire built mainly with pallets and alleviated a lot of unburnable materials. As it worked so well we will be doing the same this year and dumping will only be allowed by prior arrangement. Anyone caught fly tipping on the green will be reported to Surrey Police. Local residents wishing to donate suitable material to the bonfire should contact Ripley Bonfire Association on 01483 224717 to make arrangements to be allowed onto the green (normally on a Sunday morning in October). Please note that we are unable to collect any material. Also if you would like to volunteer to help with the build then come and join us on the 18th and 25th of October.

Our team of official Collectors will be amongst you again this year, walking round the village, many of them in fancy dress, vigorously rattling their buckets. Under the watchful eyes of Peter Hookins, one of our new Committee members, and Margaret Field we managed to collect a fantastic £7,478.54p, I would like to thank all of the Collectors for their efforts, without which we would not be able to fund the event. Again they will all be wearing arm bands and tabards which will have our logo appearing on them so they can be easily recognised. Don’t forget that your donations keep this event running from one year to the next. So please Chuck it in the Bucket!!

The Copse Bar which is run by the Ripley Bonfire Association will be situated in their usual position and look forward to serving you. Thanks go to Nik and Faye for organising the bar staff, who are all volunteers, and although we had quite a bit of expenditure this year it still managed to raise a tremendous £3,370.45p, our thanks go out to them.

This was the first year that the Ripley Bowls Club managed the Pig Stall and were worthy replacements to the Over 60s Club. The Committee and I would like to thank them for their hard work. Also may I thank Nigel, another new Committee member, and his wife for cooking and carving the pork.

Thanks once again goes to Phil Kite and his team who will be manning the Glow stalls and because of the success of last year they will be wearing hi viz bibs with ‘Official Collectors’ on them, so if you are unsure please ask them on whose behalf they are selling them for.

Of course, our thanks must also go to Tommy Benson and the whole of Benson’s Funfair for their continued support with all manner of things leading up to and during the event itself.

Many of the things we do would not be possible without their help.

On 22nd February this year we were able to distribute £8,960 to the various local community groups and charities detailed below:

Bowls Club


Christmas Lights

Cricket Club – Colts


Football Club

Over 60s

Ripley Munchkins


Send Scouts


Surrey Air Ambulance

Village Hall Management

Woking Hospice

Youth Club

On 20th June the Committee celebrated our 60th anniversary by arranging a family picnic for anyone who wished to attend. Although the weather was the usual wet June day it didn’t dampen the amount of people who came. I would like to thank the Scouts for the loan of a marquee and also to the band ‘Blazing Saddles’ for their music. Although there were no plans for any entertainment we needn’t have worried as a group of people tried to erect a gazebo whilst it was raining, needless to say it ended with an almighty around of cheers and applause.

Committee members duly attended this year’s Ripley Event and managed to raise £601.75p which helped go towards our funds.

As usual after the bonfire is over we focus on the Ripley Christmas Fair where we enjoy running our mulled wine stall, which this year is on Sunday 6th December. Please come and join us in the festivities.

Lastly I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that year in year out we are finding it more difficult to find marshals to help us with the enormous crowds we are getting. If you are able to attend the bonfire between 6–12pm please get in touch with our Bonfire Coordinator, Steve Hill, on 07774 177771. Likewise if you are willing to become one of our Collectors please contact Peter Hookins on 07941 007078.


I would again like to personally thank my Committee members who without their support would make it an enormous task to put on this event without them. There are also a numerous amount of helpers who give up their time, before and on the evening of the event. I would like to thank you all.


All that remains is for the whole Committee and I to wish you all a very enjoyable and safe bonfire night and please do remember that we rely on donations so don’t forget to Chuck it in the Bucket!!

Vernon Wood


Ripley Bonfire Association