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John Orrick


It is devastating to have to note the passing of Cllr John Orrick. He died peacefully on 10th November of complications from the leukaemia he had been fighting with such courage, strength and humour. His beloved wife, Anne, was by his side. Click here for more.

John had served as a Parish, District and County Councillor with dedication and distinction. He supported the Caterham Festival and the Community Association, and lately Dial-a-ride, helped everyone he met and was the epitome of kindness, service and principle.


The loss of our dear friend and colleague is felt intensely by all of us, and by the community at large. There were so many whom John helped, so many he heard with sympathy and kindness, so many who trusted him to put the community first, and so many times he could use his brilliant wit to bring us back to practical reality. Our hearts go out to his family. His poppy project with the Parish Council to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the armistice epitomised the dedication,  care and ingenuity he brought to public life. Those poppies will last as an enduring commemoration to him as well as to the fallen in war.


We have been inundated with messages of condolence. John was loved by everyone who knew him.

Huge crowds watch VE Day piper – (on video)


Caterham on the Hill Parish Council organised a lone piper to play in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. They collaborated with the adjoining three Parishes (Caterham Valley Parish, Chaldon and Whyteleafe Village Councils) for Bob the piper to play at a series of venues across the area. He played five sets in all starting each with “Battle’s O’er” and finishing the final set, played at the Guard’s memorial on the Hill, with Amazing Grace in tribute to the human cost of WW2 and  for anyone locally who has recently lost a relative or friend.


To avoid crowds gathering the venues were kept secret although timings were published so that people could listen via the Parish Council’s FaceBook page. The sound of the pipes soon brought out nearby residents who kept well apart whilst enjoying the playing and the sunshine. The number of people who have so far watched the broadcasts is now over 9000! The videos are still on the Caterham Hill Parish Council FaceBook page to watch or share with Caterham folk who have moved away.


After his final performance our Town Crier, Sonia Hunt, read the moving A Cry for Peace Around the World poem from the official VE Day site and Bob signed off with the National Anthem.


Later, after the Queen’s Speech and singing “We’ll Meet Again”, the Beacon on Westway Common was lit and the Cedar Tree in the High Street was illuminated blue for the NHS workers. The Council had earlier placed 75 large poppies in prominent positions.


Whilst not the full throttle celebrations the Parish Council had originally planned, they hope that, in the current circumstances, residents found these events to have been respectful and appropriate.


Special thanks to Bob Ash, the piper and to Mike Stephens and Andy Parr for doing all the legwork on the day.

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