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Madge's Bench Is Now in Place

In May 2017, a bench to commemorate Madge Day's many years as Chairman and later President of the Mayford Village Society was unveiled by the Mayor of Woking, Mrs Anne Murray.

Ron Dawes, a founder member and former Secretary of the Society addressed the assembled residents with these words: "A warm welcome to you all. It’s good to see Madge’s daughter Caroline & family here. A special welcome to her Worship the Mayor of Woking to this Ceremony in honour & remembrance of Madge Day. Thank you for coming today. Twenty-seven years ago I received a telephone call from a Mrs Madge Day, who I had not met. Madge was very concerned about plans Shell/BP had to build a petrol garage and fast food restaurant adjacent to the Mayford Roundabout. Madge was concerned that if this went ahead it would split the Village in two and Mayford would never be the same again. At the time Mayford did not have a Residents’ Association to represent residents’ interests so I agreed, along with Elaine Evans, and several others, to form an ad hoc Committee to object to Shell’s proposals. We had several meetings with Executives of Shell and articles appeared in local newspapers. It was only after experts, appointed by Madge, found a rare endangered beetle on the site that Shell withdrew its plans and the proposals were abandoned. Madge suggested that to head off any future threats of this kind we should form a Residents Association which would be called the Mayford Village Society. Its’ main objective would be to protect Mayford’s Green Belt. Elaine & myself are founder Members. Madge served as Chairman & later, President of the Society for 23 years. She sadly passed away in 2015. Today, 27 years later the Society continues to thrive having fought off many planning applications threatening our precious open spaces. The pips are squeaking now with the Hoe Valley School and other plans for housing in Mayford. Nevertheless, the Society will continue to fight to minimise the impact on the Village with the full support of residents which is much appreciated. In recognition of Madge’s major contribution to Mayford she was honoured by Woking Council with Eminent Citizen of the Year in 1997, an award that I know she was very proud to receive. Members of the Society agreed that donations should be sought for a bench in Madge’s memory and this handsome bench today is the result of these donations, reflecting the high esteem and thanks residents feel about Madge and her contribution to the Village over so many years. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Society’s Treasurer, Elaine Evans for her hard work in acquiring the bench and arranging for it to be securely installed by Wilmot Dixon at this location today. The position of the bench overlooking the roundabout and the site beyond has been chosen because this is where there might have been a large petrol garage & restaurant if Madge and her colleagues had not stopped the proposals in its tracks all those years ago. I would now like to invite Her Worship the Mayor to formally unveil the bench. THANK YOU"

Ron Dawes - May 2017

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