Cuddington RA


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31 Delta Road was the home from 2004 to 2011 of the poet India Russell; and it was during her time here that two collections of her poetry were published, The Kaleidoscope of Time in 2007 and The Dance of Life in 2010. India – who was born Margaret Freeman, in 1943 – spent her early childhood in Dorking; the family then returned to Worcester Park, living in Manor Drive North in the late 1950s before settling in Devon in the Sixties. India read German and Norwegian at University College London, and went on to teach 18th and 19th century German Literature at King’s College London.

Much of her poetry reflects the interweaving of Time and Timelessness in the pattern of life, and the underlying question of the eternity of the soul. Her poem The Sabre-Toothed Tigers of Worcester Park is unusually humorous and was inspired by the comment of her publisher in Kensington Church Street, ‘What’s it like in Worcester Park, eh? – Sabre-toothed tigers?’. India Rusell died in July 2017 and the poem is reproduced here by kind permission of her husband Michael Bird.

The Sabre-Toothed Tigers of Worcester Park

When you walk in the dark
at Worcester Park
at Worcester Park
Beneath the leaves of the rustling trees,
With shining eyes and gleaming knees
The sabre-toothed tigers are taking their ease.

If you walk in the dark
in Worcester Park
in Worcester Park
Past hedges and gardens and bird-baths fine
You'll see the fairies beginning to dine,
Their goblets sparkling with dewy wine.

And if you continue
in Worcester Park
in Worcester Park
Through Street and Avenue in the dark
To the moonlit hill of Manor Drive North -
The Iron Age people are issuing forth;
Stretching their limbs and blinking their eyes
They gaze around them in mild surprise
For their kingdom is covered with standing stones
And towering forms like giants’ thrones.
But blink again and the veil is torn
And the wind blows cold
thorough brake and thorn;
And the dead are stirring
in Barrow Hill
And the gunpowder shifts
in the grinding mill;

And the Hogsmill stream
is a life-giving source
For Woolly Mammoth and Pigmy Horse
And the ghosts are moaning a hullaballoo
And the land is ancient
through and through;
And the antique gods
demand their rites
While fearsome warriors
engage in fights.

But all the while, beneath the trees,
The sabre-toothed tigers are taking their ease.
And on Plough Green, by inn and pond,
At the stroke of a fairy’s magic wand,
Fair maids and lads dance intricate forms
To the sound of a fiddle and haunting shawms.
And Maeldun’s Fair has just begun
And all are coming to share the fun,
For it’s Saint John’s Eve this wondrous night
When lovers true will swear their plight
And fairy folk will lead the way
With their own processing, bridal, gay.

And the Cross on the Hill shines in the Night
And highwaymen waylay and fight,
Dick Turpin wins and men lie dead
And a rich man’s coach is plunder instead.
And Time is confounded in Worcester Park
Midst the thirties dwellings and Avenues stark
Where Henry the Eighth rides silently by
To his Palace in Nonsuch and poor Queen’s cry.
But the ghostly retinue does not see
The sabre-toothed tigers, or you, or me.
But they’re still there with their gleaming knees,
Taking their ease beneath the trees

And the maids still dance on Maeldune Green
And the Iron Age dwellers can still be seen
Patrolling the ramparts of their great camp,
Beacons shining like a lamp
lighting the darkness of our unknowing
our ignorance, our lack of flowing
into the All from whence we came,
the sabre-toothed tiger and men of fame.
And if they but knew in Ham and Kew,
Richmond, Wimbledon, Notting Hill too,
What riches there are in Worcester Park
They’d all arise with the singing lark
And travel to see the wonders fair
beneath the Thirties hideous blare.
But I think they’re afraid of the tigers there,
Of their shining eyes that seem to glare,
Of the sabre-toothed tigers’ gleaming knees
As they take their ease beneath the trees
of Worcester Park
of Worcester Park.


THE CUDDINGTONIAN magazine often features items of interest like this. May we feature any history resources you have?
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The history of Worcester Park and Cuddington, Surrey is one of the excellent local history books written by local historian
DAVID RYMILL. They are available to purchase HERE

YOUNG HISTORIANS AGED 8 - 12+ meet at Bourne Hall Museum Club on the second saturday of each month - MORE DETAILS

History and heritage information for Epsom and Ewell are available on the EPSOM & EWELL HISTORY EXPLORER SITE



CALLING ALL JUNIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS! We would love to include a slide show of Cuddington's nature and wildlife. If you are under 18 and have a picture to contribute please let us know. There is a CONTACT FORM on this site - please ask your parent, grandparent or guardian to get in touch with us.


Auriol Park

Auriol Park is situated off Salisbury Road, KT4. The park is locked half an hour before sunset and reopened by 8am Monday to Friday, or by 9am at weekends. Parking is available from the Salisbury Road entrance with foot access from Thorndon Gardens and Chestnut Avenue.Auriol Park Cafe, great tea, coffee, cakes, kids lunches

Facilities for residents include a children's playground, football pitches, the bowling club and two tennis courts. Local resident ALEXANDRA runs the cafe. She specialises in great tea, coffee and cakes, scrummy lunches and balanced meals for children. More info HERE


The Hogsmill River

A leaflet can be downloaded HERE

Situated in the northern half of the Borough of Epsom And Ewell. The Hogsmill Open Space and the Bonesgate Open Space follow the course of the Hogsmill River and leads from the Lower Mill in Ewell village to the boundary with the Royal Borough of Kingston, opposite the Hogsmill Pub on Worcester Park Road. The site can be accessed on foot or by bicycle from numerous points and is open all year round. Please note there is no equestrian access.
PLEASE REMEMBER when visiting the countryside to act responsibly and show consideration for wildlife and other visitors. Dog walkers are reminded to keep their dogs under close control and to dispose of dog faeces by bagging and placing it in a dog waste bin or litter bin.


In 2004 The CRA agreed to support a "friends" group from within its membership. Shadbolt Park was adopted by THE FRIENDS OF SHADBOLT PARK, who formed a liason with Epsom & Ewell Park Rangers. This enterprising group have done much to improve the park for users and to restore the Day Lily Garden behind Shadbolt Park House.

There are printed records telling the story of the huge undertaking involved in this ongoing project. We have created a digital archive that can be viewed HERE


The Day Lily Garden is situated behind Shadbolt Park House Surgery and opens to the public every summer. It is an amazing splash of tropical colour and well worth a visit.

THE FRIENDS OF SHADBOLT PARK are VOLUNTEERS who work in the Day Lily Garden every Saturday morning (with a short and merciful break in winter!). The latest Cuddingtonian article featuring the park and garden can be found HERE