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What others Are Saying

A modern museum for a county town?

Guildford was one of two Anglo-Saxon and Norman boroughs in Surrey - the other being Southwark - but that status does not necessarily translate into today's county town: thus Chichester and Lewes were also ancient boroughs but Chelmsford, Maidstone, and Reading were not. That said, Guildford is a historic town and does need a museum of its own, but with a modern layout and interactive facilities which can bring its past to life in a way that invites public interest and participation. Unfortunately the creation of Millbrook left the characterful Quarry Street as a backwater, and it is hard to see the present site attracting the number of visitors necessary to justify the cost of making such a transformation.

The Surrey Archaeological Society's administration does not have the same rationale for being located in Guildford, but it makes very good sense for the exhibits it owns to be housed in museums in the county as their context dictates.

(Dr) Stewart Lyon, Anglesey (but formerly of Guildford and a member of S.A.S.)

We need a properly funded museum

Am most concerned about the future of the Museum and will follow your suggestions as to how I can help. As an important town, Guildford must have a Museum, but properly run and funded.  Godalming Museum, as a Trust, manages very well.  Could Guildford  do this? < p>  < p>Guildford is a wealthy area.  What sponsorship does the Museum have?  Very little, if any,it seems.  Surely this would be an important way forward.  The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is a very successful example of this.   < p>  < p>A Borough council who is interested in a good Museum, is a must.  For years this interest ,and funding has been missing., as has a Museum staff wno are enthuiastic and creative, and well supported by the Council.

M Newman

Charge for hospitality events for businesses

Gavin,

You said you wanted ideas.

Once on a business trip I was part of a group given dinner at the Franz Hals museum in Harlam, The Netherlands on another occasion a business event included a guided tour of the British Museum. I wonder if in a refurbished Guildford Museum similar hospitality events, coupled with guided tours and presentations, to earn more income.

It would not be a major earner, obviously, but every little might help.

Best,

Martin (email provided)

 

Thanks for this Martin. A very good point and one I will add to the ideas about commercial opportunities. This is a great way to get in money. I used to work for a small company and they were always looking for different ideas e.g. murder mysteries. Tours by volunteers or Tours that have actors ie  something different could be a great idea. If you can bring a subject alive then you can definitely get people interested in coming

Ensure the exhibits keep changing

People might visit a museum where displays were changed more regularly, and not left for years to gather dust!  Better use of volunteers, with a friendly face, would also bring it more in line with the excellent small local museums we visit around the country, eg Steyning, Godalming, Horsham. And, of course, reduce costs!

Pauline (Email address provided)

Proximity to Guildford Castle a great asset

The proximity of the current material to the castle site offers opportunities which should not be lightly discarded

Dick Hazelwood

Museum to keep history alive and tell our story

We need to keep the history and the story of our heritage alive in Guildford for today for future generations.  We have the wonderful Abbots hospital, castle, gardens and should have a Museum.

 

Every town we visit has a museum and it is interesting to to learn how the town came to be, and to get an insight on the people who worked and lived there.

 

The council would rather have an ALDI than a museum!  That says it all! 

W J Brown (Email address provided)

 

 

 

Surrey Archaeological Society is needed

Hi - I joined Surrey Arch Soc a couple of years ago when I retired and since then have become quite involved with digs and also the considerable year round work of processing finds from Surrey locations. For me this involves one full day ( sometimes 2) and one evening per week - I am also aware that at least 2 other groups meet regularly to process for example medieval pottery and lithics. This is on top of the enormous work involved with research, arranging public meetings and seminars and the organisation and implementation of many digs and test pitting weekends - the latter work undertaken mainly in the summer months,

From the outset I have been blown away the sheer hard work, time and dedication involved to undertake this work which enriches  the cultural heritage of Surrey and increases our knowledge of our past both in this county and further afield. This work is entirely voluntary and I am aware that for  some members it is pretty much a full time (unpaid) job.

To now be treated so shabbily, and in my view ungratefully, by Guildford Council is for me very shocking. This is aside from the loss of a Guildford community resource and research facility for students, researchers and members of the public alike.

This decision is based on short term planning and should be rethought. Guildford and Surrey generally have as rich a heritage as anywhere else and our community deserves to have a good working relationship between the public and voluntary sectors to enable the public to enjoy, learn about and appreciate our historical assets. Sometimes this may include having resources readily available for in depth research.

I hope there is an amicable outcome which will benefit both parties and the wider public.

Sylvia Solarski.

Heritage Day showed how much we value our heritage

This past weekend has shown how much Guildford residents and visitors value the Town's Heritage. There was a real buzz in the town over Heritage weekend with enthusiastic visitors to many open buildings, talks and walks.

On the one open day in the year for the public, the Victorian Schoolroom had over 200 visitors, many  staying to read Victorian text books and log book extracts. The children enjoyed playing with simple wooden toys and dressing up.

I hope all councillors will seek out opinions on the future of the Museum, will visit to see for themselves and give the Museum and its splendid objects the backing to open up a way through from the Castle Gardens.

If the grand plans of the Lottery bid cannot now take place, make smaller sensible ones so that Guildfordians can be proud of the way their town displays and cares for the heritage of Surrey . With some investment and some enthusiastic hard work the Museum on its present site could emerge as a little treasure with interaction for all ages.

 

M Johnson

 

 

Link Museum to Castle Ground and keep SAS

Guildford borough council have treated the Surrey Archaeological Society shamefully, rather than working with this significant organisation.  It is remarkably shortsighted not to see that the Society, its collection and its library, contribute to the sucess of the museum in a major way.  Self evidently the museum should remain located in the castle arch building and look to improve links with the castle grounds.  A cafe linking the museum to the castle grounds would help to bring vistors as would a proper signed walk around the castle grounds leading to the museum, castle arch and the remains of the royal palace.  Consideration shoudl be made to display the royal palace remains in the garden next to castle arch

C Constable

Put museum at heart of heritage hub with a cafe

I think it is a great pity that the new heritage quarter covering the High Street and Castle, as defined in last summer's Draft Local Plan, appears to have fallen out of favour, presumably because it did not attract lottery funding.  Guildford Museum is the linch-pin and should be celebrated as such. A new exhibition gallery linking it to the castle grounds is an excellent idea.  Certainly a cafe in the castle grounds looking up at the Castle keep would draw in the crowds; perhaps this is an opportunity for The Continental Cafe's return?

I should like to have seen Tunsgate Square extended as far as possible so that its current use is emphasized and its contribution to Guildford's past and present is acknowledged.  Unfortunately, that will not happen now as the Tunsgate High Street frontage elevation appears to block in Tunsgate Arch.  

Incidentally, I did not know that the Tunsgate Arch pillar has a Victoria Cross plaque built into it - presumably the reason for the Arch's existence as it was built in 1818, three years after Waterloo, (although I understand it was ostensibly designed to afford cover for corn transactions).(07.08.15: 15/P/01386).

 SL Evans

 

Keep Museum where it is

I just want to support the retainning of the museum in the current locality.  I have connections to Farnham, Surrey and feel it is important to retain as much history as possible.

 

D Honan

Link castle gardens, castle and museum

Hi, the idea of linking with the castle and grounds might be a good idea, very controversial but a possible way to to overcome funding issues would be to charge admission for the Castle gardens, castle and museum. Opening the garden for free for the general public within the week Monday to Thursday's. < p>many museums have a lot of digital or electric displays so this sort of medium needs to be used to attract visitors. Old hats and rocks are heritage but need to me tied in with exciting exhibitions like the Guildford bombings, Guildford guy riots , the Cornwall rebellion marching over guild down, Zeppelin raid and Norman massacre. Good luck

 

James Broomfield

Link to castle with cafe, people don't know it is there

Guildford without a museum would be moving towaards a cultural desert.

The museum is currently housed in a beautiful building but seriously under-exploited.

I visited the museum today. It was very quiet but the castle grounds were very busy. People in the castle grounds did not know that the museum was literally a stone's thow away. No signing, no direct access.

The museum would be transformed if there was direct access from the castle grounds and if there were a cafe established.

 Hugh Coackley

Keep the museum

Having lived in Guildford for many years the Museum is a place we have visited and enjoyed and want to be able to continue to do so

Paula Watkins

Bad reflection on town if museum closes, more publicity needed

 

Guildford Museum is a great place to visit but does need a little more publicity......it's a bad reflection on the town if it is allowed to close.



Jerry Whitehart

Ideas for appealing displays

I would like a museum that has something for everyone and that appeals to all ages. It would be great to have a film showing or a number of films at differing times of the day, for this people could pay extra (as they do at Rye, in Lavenham it is part of the ticket price). A model of the area set up with sound effects and a lighting show with professional narration could provide the basis for a number of interesting and themed stories (Rye and Lewes). I prefer a heritage setting and as Quarry Street area is to become a heritage focus point, it would seem sensible to me to make sure that the museum is developed, and investment is made to improve and enhance its offering and make sure that it stays within the same area. This would mean extending the museum to include other floors or even adjacent buildings or perhaps adding this facility to the Castle? I visit Woking periodically to gain access to historic information. It never ceases to amaze me that Guildford hasn't retained its own history. The last consultation to the Draft Local Plan revealed a great deal of criticism, the one area where many were supportive was with regards to heritage. I believe it is vital to support and invest in the museum and showcase Guildford's history alongside its heritage sites and buildings. There are so many stories to tell and with help, the museum could regularly change parts of its exhibition area to complement school curricula (Vikings, invasions, war etc.) or seasonal interests (murders / mayhem to coincide with Halloween). Many people appear to not know where the museum is, but this would change if the area were given a true focus. 

Fiona Curtis

A vital part of our town

I'm sorry you feel our museum is 'tired' and'old', and I'm also sorry that you've had such a disappointing time with Heritage Funding.  I've always enjoyed our museum, and think it's a vital part of our town.  It would be great to develop it a bit more, but I'm not sure whether the curren building will lend itself too well to that.  Yes - it's in a good 'historical' venue (near to the Castle, to St. Mary's Church and to the Lewis Carroll sites), but it's limited in size and access, and is not on the beaten track.  A coffee shop would be a wonderful idea, if space allowed, and also lots of interactive stuff.  The Mary Rose exhibition comes to mind;  it's amazing - but it's also very large, it has a very good purpose-built site, and it's right in the middle of another major heritage site.  We are particularly interested inthe museum because my husband is building a very detailed model of Guildfrod Railway Station c.1959, which we thought would eventually find a home in the museum.  Another feature that we came across in an exhibition in Cobh, ROI, was a series of very domestic pictures contributed by various longstanding local families;  that might be something to consider.  Also, a friend of mine who's an excellent photographer, is making a collection of pictures of local features.  She's probably not the only one doing this - but it might be an idea to mount an exhibition of this sort of work?  I'm sure the Guildford Society is deeply engaged in the museum's cause;  do hope you can find some funding... 

Gillian Lloyd

Museum need to change

I visited the museum again after nearly 15 years and took photos of what I saw - including the cobwebs in the dusty and dirty display cages. I compared them to the photos I took just after the Millennium as part of a project I was doing then. My immediate reaction of things was that nothing had changed - not even the local galleries. Yes a lot of displays in museums stay the same, but there is change elsewhere. But to find displays unloved and dirty was the biggest disappointment. Guildford needs a museum but nothing I saw made me want to go again let alone take people to.

P Mcintyre

www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

Kids in Museums is a charity that works with heritage and cultural sites and collections to help them involve and welcome more families, teens and babies. With our unmistakable logo, we coordinate a wide range of projects, resources and workshops that might be of interest to you and your colleagues. I’ve included a little detail below and I’ve explained how simple it is to get involved.

 

Takeover Day is a national event in England and Wales when children and young people take over cultural and heritage sites for the day, this year on the 20th November. In 2014, over 140 organisations took part involving over 4000 children and young people. Sites had young people and children doing a wide range of activities, for example at the Lords Cricket Ground, primary school children took over as tour guides for the visiting public, the Atkinson art centre in Liverpool where teens welcomed visitors at the main entrance and at the  Tower of London who let children from primary and secondary school behind the scenes to evaluate the work happening around the poppies project. To get your organisation involved do let me know and I’d be happy to talk through a few potential plans.

 

Manifesto – Our Manifesto is a practical and powerful tool to encourage and supports cultural and heritage organisations around the country to make children, young people and family visits more enjoyable. It has been put together using the ideas from families. Do have a look at it and share it with your organisation as a tool for understanding your family audience. You can sign up to the Manifesto by contacting the Manifesto Manager. This is very simple and free to do.

Kids in Museums

www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk

Kids in Museums is a charity that works with heritage and cultural sites and collections to help them involve and welcome more families, teens and babies. With our unmistakable logo, we coordinate a wide range of projects, resources and workshops that might be of interest to you and your colleagues. I’ve included a little detail below and I’ve explained how simple it is to get involved.

 

Takeover Day is a national event in England and Wales when children and young people take over cultural and heritage sites for the day, this year on the 20th November. In 2014, over 140 organisations took part involving over 4000 children and young people. Sites had young people and children doing a wide range of activities, for example at the Lords Cricket Ground, primary school children took over as tour guides for the visiting public, the Atkinson art centre in Liverpool where teens welcomed visitors at the main entrance and at the  Tower of London who let children from primary and secondary school behind the scenes to evaluate the work happening around the poppies project. To get your organisation involved do let me know and I’d be happy to talk through a few potential plans.

 

Manifesto – Our Manifesto is a practical and powerful tool to encourage and supports cultural and heritage organisations around the country to make children, young people and family visits more enjoyable. It has been put together using the ideas from families. Do have a look at it and share it with your organisation as a tool for understanding your family audience. You can sign up to the Manifesto by contacting the Manifesto Manager. This is very simple and free to do.

Guildford in Bloom

Why not make the front of Guildford Museum in Quarry Street a riot of colourful plants in troughs and baskets this summer?

It needn’t cost much, Guildford in Bloom and the Parks Department perhaps could contribute to this. Show the town that this is a place where exciting new developments are to take place.

The council are backing this site so it must be time to change the image from a deserted bus stop to somewhere everyone cares about.