May I start by wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year before I run out of space. There is a lot to report on, so without further ado.


I reported on November 9 that the frozen yogurt shop at number 23 Downing Street appeared to be either partly vacated or is being refitted. I am delighted to say I caught up with both of the two managers, Curtis and Jo, separately in the last week and was told that they are widening the range of food and drink to include jacket potatoes with a variety of hot and cold fillings together with hot dogs. Jackets and hot drinks are available now. More information in the New Year.

Myfroyoland in Downing Street, Farnham: Now serving  jacket potatoes, hot dogs and hot drinks
Myfroyoland in Downing Street, Farnham: Now serving jacket potatoes, hot dogs and hot drinks (David Howell)

Travelling Bazaar

The Travelling Bazaar boutique at number 60 Downing Street is closing its doors after eight years of happy trading, last day Saturday, December 23. Nicola, one of the two business partners told me that they have loved being part of the Farnham retail community. They will be a massive loss to the town. I wish them and their staff well.

Travelling Bazaar is to close its doors in Downing Street, Farnham, on Saturday, December 23
Travelling Bazaar is to close its doors in Downing Street, Farnham, on Saturday, December 23 (David Howell)

Blow Heads

Barber’s Blow Heads, who operated from 110 West Street, appear to have left the premises, a letter entitled Notice of Peaceable Re-Entry dated December 4, 2023, posted on the door. 

Blow Heads barbers seems to have vacated its shop in West Street, Farnham
Blow Heads barbers seems to have vacated its shop in West Street, Farnham (David Howell)

North Barn

Number 1 Lion & Lamb Way, formerly the Wellbeing Space located above the North Barn Bistro has been let to a golf practice/simulator business. More details as and when I get them.

Lion & Lamb Yard

I am hearing that there is very strong interest in the former Joules unit in the Lion & Lamb Yard. An independent retailing business, not a food and drink business, with a number of branches which would be a great fit both in the Yard and the town. More as soon as I hear.

21A East Street

The property formerly occupied by Fabelle Aesthetics, the Face, Body & Wellness Clinic next door to Huxley’s Barbers has been let to the Waverley Foot Clinic who are moving from 29 East Street.

Vale Furnishers

Vale Furnishers have now closed in East Street, the final day of their clearance sale being Sunday, December 10. There appeared to be considerable stock remaining in the main East Street showroom when I walked past. They continue to trade from their Ash Vale showroom.

Unsold items at Vale Furnishers Farnham showroom
Unsold items at Vale Furnishers Farnham showroom (David Howell)

West Street

The former Hoxton Bakehouse shop at number 6 is under offer. More details when I have them.

Former Carphone Warehouse shop

You will probably have noticed that the shop windows to the former Carphone Warehouse at number 16 West Street have been vinyl filmed. Building work to create 23 zero-carbon apartments is in progress and I am told the contractor is using the shop space as offices and for other supporting spaces. Reading the developer’s website I discovered that the apartment’s will have heated wallpaper, solar powered hot water, intelligent zonal heating allowing heating to only rooms you occupy and renewable energy tariff, so no boiler or use of fossil fuels. The developers say the apartments will be available in the summer next year (2024) after which I am sure the shop will be occupied under the stewardship of local commercial agents.

The former Carphone Warehouse shop in West Street, Farnham, is to converted into flats
The former Carphone Warehouse shop in West Street, Farnham, is to converted into flats (David Howell)

Castle Street

A healthcare business, I don’t know more, are taking the former Alan Greenwood & Sons shop at 72 Castle Street. I should have details in January after the Christmas break. The former ME estate agent’s office at number 69 has had several viewings in recent weeks. The landlord is currently considering splitting the floor space. I hadn’t realised that there is a detached office space at the back amounting to just over 700 square feet accessible from the access leading up to Zizzi’s.


I am hearing that the sale of the NatWest bank building (pictured below) to a developer is close to being completed. Barclays bank bites the dust on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

The former Natwest bank in The Borough, Farnham
The former Natwest bank in The Borough, Farnham (David Howell)

Former Bowleys shoe shop

I continue to contact the London agents responsible for marketing the shop every five or six weeks but I don’t hear back from them. The shop has been on the property market now for nearly a year. Last time I had anything from them was June when they told me that a fast-food use was rejected by the landlord. Our local agents would have found a tenant for this shop easily by now.


I am told that the inside of the cinema is ready to open and looking ‘very good’ now. REEL’s website says ‘FARMHAM COMING EARLY 2024’, not my spelling mistake. The website refers to the film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom which has an advertised release date of December 22, 2023. The word is that they are opening on Friday, February 2.


The word I am hearing from several sources is that Brightwells will open at Easter now, not sure which year but one hopes 2024. You will recall that the development was supposed to open in the spring of 2021 followed by the cinema the same summer. Basically, completion of the development is, would you believe it, three years late. Brightwell House seems to have moved forward very little in the last month. It is a year since Crest revealed that the Coppa Club had ‘signed up’. Checking the Coppa Club’s website no date is included. I suggested earlier in the year I couldn’t see Coppa Club opening in June/July 2023 and that October was more feasible. How wrong was I! One has to ask oneself whether the Coppa Club are still interested in renting the building. There are so many eateries here now, would the Coppa Club Farnham survive with other branches at Haslemere (opened May 2022) and Guildford (April 2023)?

The Woolmead

Mark Ellul, CEO of the University for the Creative Arts, has told me that they are “still keen to work in partnership to develop the site”. He added: “We have a need for student accommodation and the site is prime for this. We also have a commitment to the town and the current state of the site in the middle of the town is not doing anyone any favours, therefore if we can make it work financially then we are keen to develop something.”

End of year status

Activity in the retail sector was moderate since the summer but has now slowed down for the Christmas break. The agents I spoke to have mixed feelings for the New Year. The word from one of the agents is that some retailers, not necessarily in Farnham but throughout the country, are just surviving. 

We are incredibly lucky to have such a variety of good shops and restaurants here, so let’s use them. I do hope they all survive in the New Year.