Chair's Newsletter

Summer Newsletter,  lune 2O17

Dear Friends,
First of all, it is with great sadness that I have to report  the death of Claude Kauffmann,  our Membership  Secretary. Your committee were so sad to hear this news, as we so admired Claude's zest for life, and his get up and go. He was charging  up to London  in his dinner suit right to the end,and had celebrated  his birthday  in the County  Club, of which  he was President,  just the Saturday before he died. We will miss his sense of humour, and the twinkle in his eyes. One of Guildford's great Charactersl

Our AGM  in April was well-attended  as usual. This year Anne Dudley  retired from the committee,  we thank her for all her hard work and good contributions. Beryl Davies, a long-standing member, has joined the committee, we look forward to working  with her, and hope  she finds it fun. After the formal meeting, and a bit of socialising,  we were treated  to a fascinating lecture by Catherine Macdonald-Haig  on the History  of the National Gallery. Maybe we could have lectures  on the history of the other main galleries  in London too, in future.

We are now well into our spring/summer  series of visits. April saw a trip to Cookham,  in Berkshire, the home of Stanley Spencer, where we enjoyed a visit to the lovely Stanley Spencer Gallery. The gallery has a large and varied collection,  and its situation  in Spence/s beloved home  village,  that he lived in and painted throughout his life, makes a strollthrough  the churchyard he made so famous, continuing  along the Thames, and back  through  the pretty High  Street past the Spencer family home, a delightful  experience.  Afterwards  a visit was made to Grey's Court,  a beautifulTudor  manor house in the Chilterns,  with its lovely garden.

May saw a visit to the National  Trust owned village  of Lacock,  with its Abbey. The Abbey was home to the pioneering early photographer  William  Henry  Fox-Talbot,  inventor  of the negative, about whose  work there is a fascinating exhibition.  The village is constantly being  used  for filming, understandably so.

Unfortunately,  strangely enough  due to filming  going on, our June  visit to Audley End was cancelled.

But onwards and upwards  - July sees a visit to Lullingstone  Castle in Kent  to visit both the house and the World Garden of Plants set up about  10 years ago.

August  we go to Knebworth  House, Herts, and September  to historic Rochester,  Kent. How Barbara manages constantly to come up with ideas for places for us to visit astonishes  mel

You will remember that last year the Friends supported  the Sidney Sime Gallery in Worplesdon, in that we paid for the restoration  of some  paintings. Barbara has now arranged  for us to visit the gallery  on Friday 29th September. lt will be a kind of 'open house'  day, a make-your-own-way  visit, with the gallery open  from 11-1 and 2-4. lt should be interesting.

This year we have been fairly successful in recruiting  new members.  Welcome to you all! We hope you enjoy membership of our now 47 year old society for many years to come, and enjoy our excellent lectures and visits.

This summer, rather excitingly, your committee members,  and our Founder, former GH curator lris Hawkins, have been asked  to co-curate an exhibition  of our favourite art works  from the Borough Collection on the theme  of Guildford  and Surrey. We are currently  selecting  our favourites,  and the exhibition  will be held from 16th  September to 26th October. To tie in with the exhibition,  our usual Summer Social at Guildford  House held by the Heritage Team for both us and the Friends of Guildford  Museum, will be held on 3rd October.

Our committee could still do with new members. One task we need someone  for is Publicity and Recruitment of New Members. And now of course, sadly, we need a new Membership  Secretary  - hopefully someone  with a great zest for life, a good sense  of humour, and a twinkle in the eye, like dear Claudel Any taker? Neither task is that onerous. Please either email me on  or phone me on 01483  570008,  or chat to one of the committee  on an outing or at a lecture meeting, to express an interest  in either of these two posts.

Have a great summer, everyone!  (l write this in 32 degrees  in a shady spot in the garden!)

Pauline Surrey


What's been happening in Heritage Services: Guildford House and Guildford Museum?

The programme of Guildford House  refurbishments  have continued  this year with re-freshed paintwork  in appropriate  heritage colours on the first floor gallery walls including the Powell Room, landing  and study.

We've also had high quality window blinds  installed in all the display  areas  to help us control  the light levels. This is particularly  important for the long- term preservation of objects easily damaged by light, including our own collections.  lt will also help us secure the loan or hire of exhibitions  and cbjects which are especially  sensitive  to light.

Guildford House now has a double blind system  at each  windowto  control lightfrom outside, and we can choose which one to lower depending upon  the needs of the exhibition.  One blind is a mesh which reduces  light coming in but allows  the visitors to see through  to the world outside -  and to admire the historical window  furniture  we are still fortunate to have in our building. The more densely  woven second  blind can be lowered to cut out even more exterior light if required.

At Guildford Museum we are well into our Arts Council  England supported  project Your Stories, Your Museum. This is a major community  engagement project  designed  to get more local people involved with the life, work and future of Guildford  Museum. Events  in and out of the museum  are being developed and delivered to engage with local  people; to help us identify  the big Guildford stories  that the museum  can explore through new displays,  and try out different ways of telling those stories so that they appeal to a range of visitors. There  are lots of opportunities  to get involved with Your Stories, Your Museum,  and if you would like to be a part of the volunteer  team helping us devise and roll out activity please contact  Dajana Topczewski  who has joined us as the project assistant  for Your Stories,  Your Museum.

01483 444550
Lynn  Szygenda
Exhibitions  and Audience Development Officer
Heritage  Services