Exhibition gives a fascinating taste of history for all ages

Eating In, the new exhibition which opens at Guildford House Gallery this Saturday, is sure to give plenty of food for thought in telling the fascinating story of home cooking – including a time when children drank more beer than milk!

The exhibition, which is free to visit and was created by Leicestershire County Museums Service, runs from Saturday 18 January to Saturday 28 March, and explores the changing tastes and habits of British dining in the home – what we eat, where our food comes from, the influence of other cultures on our cuisine, the way diet affects our health, and the lives of the people who produce our food.

From Mrs Beeton to the latest celebrity chef, Eating In looks at how fame, fashion and the media have affected our eating habits. 

Lead Councillor for Tourism, Leisure, and Sport, Cllr James Steel, says:

“This is another fascinating exhibition at Guildford House Gallery, and a brilliant insight into the diverse cultures and trends which have influenced British food over many centuries.

“Our town is enriched by its history, and venues such as the Guildford House Gallery – which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year – play a huge part in making our borough so vibrant and one of the most sought-after places to live and work in the South East. For example, this year we hosted the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition exhibition for the seventh year.”

Alongside the exhibition, which is open from 10am - 4.45pm Monday to Saturday, Guildford House Gallery is also hosting three related Coffee Time Talks on the first Thursday of the month, plus two Family Fun Sessions.

The three free talks start at 10.30am with tea and coffee, before the 45-minute talk begins at 11am. In ‘The Temperance Movement in Guildford’, on 6 February, Val Bale explores the campaign against the ‘evils of drink’; ‘Alexis Soyer, Victorian Chef’, with Margaret Jackson on 5 March, remembers one of Victorian Britain’s most famous culinary experts; and ‘The Spice Wars’, on 2 April, sees Michael A’Bear tell the history of exotic spices and their perilous journey into British cooking during the Tudor and Stuart periods. Places can be booked by calling 01483 444751 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Two free two-hour drop-in Family Fun Sessions also provide entertainment for children aged four and above. On Saturday 15 February, from 11am – 1pm at Guildford House Gallery, families are invited to make their own personalised table placemat, using different art and craft materials, and identify mystery cooking utensils from a bygone age. Then, on Saturday 2 April, a Cake Making session at 39 ½ Castle Street creates a delicious cake in a mug! All materials are provided, and participants are advised to dress for mess!

The exhibition also marks the starting point for two free Guildford Market Walks, on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 February at 2pm. The walk will follow the trail of town markets, from High Street in medieval times to Market Street in the 18th century, and end in North Street where the weekend market still thrives today. Booking is recommended, by calling 01483 444334 or visiting www.visitguildford.com

Guildford Borough Council install its first water refilling station

The station, located outside the public toilets at the junction of Ward Street and North Street opposite Guildford Library, is jointly funded by the Council and Surrey Environmental Partnership. It is part of the Refill App network, a smart phone app linked to over 20,000 Refill Stations across the UK providing free fresh drinking water.

A meter will gauge usage of the station, which will be subject to strict water quality standards. Further refill stations are planned for Stoke Park and Tunsgate, as Guildford Borough Council continues its drive towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and support of the local Plastic Free Guildford initiative. The Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019, which included a commitment to reduce all single-use plastics to minimal medical or other essential uses.

Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Sustainable Transport, Transformation and Regeneration, Economic Development, Asset Management and Governance, Cllr Caroline Reeves said: “This refilling station is just the latest small step in our journey to combating the Climate Emergency, but we look forward to seeing the cumulative effects of this initiative alongside our commitment to a carbon-neutral borough, reducing single-use plastics, and installing drinking water fountains.”

Refilling bottles, rather than throwing them away, reduces the amount of plastic used and in turn the carbon emitted in the production process. Every time one of its filling stations is used, Refill receives 13p from its supporters and partners to help fund further environmental projects.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Caroline Reeves adds:

“Climate Change affects everything and everybody, and we will continue to lead by example in 2020, with the decisions we make and the support we give to residents, organisations and initiatives that can have a real positive impact. This has to be our top priority.”

Surrey Environment Partnership (SEP) is made up of Surrey County Council and the 11 district and borough councils in the county. It aims to manage Surrey’s waste in the most efficient, effective, economical and sustainable manner.

Mike Goodman, Chairman of the Surrey Environment Partnership said: 

"We're committed to eliminating avoidable single-use plastics (SUP) in Surrey and this water refill station will play a part in that. By encouraging residents to carry their own refillable water cups, we'll help reduce the volume of SUP waste and counter the damaging effects of producing and dealing with it."

The Greener Guildford Initiative is a commitment to protect and promote Guildford as an environmentally conscious and friendly town.

Sasha Atkins, Business Support Manager and Greener Guildford Ambassador for Experience Guildford says: "Following our work on the Greener Guildford initiative, we were recently invited to sit on the community panel for Surrey’s Greener Future and found it encouraging to hear about the steps being taken locally to combat the Climate Emergency. As long-term champions of the refill scheme in the town centre, we are delighted to see investment being made in the installation of this and further refill stations in Guildford."

A Very Creative February Half Term at G Live

This February half term Guildford’s live events venue G Live is going to be bursting with fantastic workshops for children aged 7 to teenagers aged 16. These fun workshops provide a unique opportunity for young people to learn new skills in the arts, nurture their own unique imaginative flair and perhaps fill the gaps in their creative education that schools may not have thought of.

Led by artist Aaron Blecha, a hugely enthusiastic and inspirational children’s book and TV show illustrator, the Create Your Own Comic workshop (Mon 17 February) is sure to be a hit with any budding artist. This is a fantastic chance for kids to learn drawing skills from a successful and really personable cartoonist who has illustrated characters in classics such as George BrownDino Wars and Shark School. Aaron is passionate about encouraging the next generation to draw with flair and imagination so his workshops are always a fun creative experience for everyone.

For older children and teens who are inspired by the special effects they see in the movies and on the stage, they can learn tricks of the trade from Kate Griffiths a real theatrical makeup artist. In Theatrical Make Up: Cats (Tue 18 February) the kids will get step by step tuition on how to transform their faces to look uncannily feline, taking inspiration from the forthcoming movie adaptation of the famous Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The group will then get to use their new skills on the participants of another cats inspired workshop; Dance In A Day: Cats (Tue 18 February) before the dancers take to the stage with a captivating routine choreographed by professional dance practitioners and inspired by the incredible routines of the legendary show.

Little witches and wizards will be delighted to learn magic tricks in Ketsy's Marvellous Magicians Workshop (Fri 21 February). After this fantastic experience, where Richard Kettle spills the beans and shares his best magician’s secrets, the children will be able to impress their friends and family with some super cool sleight of hand.

While for children obsessed with Lego, they can learn how to build and programme Lego and Edison robots withComputerXplorers West Surrey at Lego Robotics (Wed 19 & Thu 20 February). Using the latest software the children will learn skills they never dreamed of and will be able to make their bots do incredible things such as following sound and light, send messages and even battle each other!

This wonderful selection of workshops is sure to brighten up the February Half Term and perhaps inspire the next generation of comic creators, makeup artists, dancers, magicians and robot makers.

If that wasn’t enough, half term week at G Live will also include the return of the family favourite, Comedy Club 4 Kidsand an unmissable chance to take a trip to the cinema to a whole new bonkers level at Sing-a-Long-a The Greatest Showman for a special matinee screening that the whole family is going to love!

For further information about all of the February Half Term activities for children and families at G Live, and to register your place please call the Box Office on 01483 369350 or go to GLive.co.uk.

Godalming’s professional family panto returns in 2020 with the magical love story, Beauty and the Beast

Following a highly successful run of Godalming’s first professional family pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk at The Borough Hall last month, the show’s producers are delighted to announce that they will bringing the magical tale of Beauty and the Beast to the venue from 12 – 26 December 2020, with tickets already on sale.
Beauty and the Beast is the “tale as old as time” of an arrogant Prince who is turned into a beast as punishment for his vanity and who has only one chance to lift the curse: to find true love before the final petal falls…  
This production features spectacular song and dance, colourful costumes and lots of fun and laughs for the whole family. The professional pantomime cast will again be joined by an ensemble of talented young local performers, with auditions to be held in the autumn.
Producer Nick Wyschna said: “Jack and the Beanstalk was a complete rollercoaster of enjoyment to produce. I think it is fair to say that this was the largest scale show that I have ever produced. Was it terrifying? Yes. Was it worth it? YES. To pick out one favourite moment would be very tricky but if I had to it would be the relaxed performance for theatre-goers with additional needs. For both Charlotte Bateup (my co-producer - and fiancé!) and myself, making the arts accessible to as many people as possible is always at the top of our ‘to-do’ list. The Borough Hall is so accessible which made putting on this special performance much easier and we can’t wait to do it again.”
This year’s relaxed performance will take place on Saturday 12 December 2020 at 4pm. It is specifically adapted for those on the autism spectrum, individuals with sensory and communication disorders, those with learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Tickets for this performance have been reduced to £15 and can purchased only by calling the Box Office. The venue is fully accessible.
For general booking for Beauty and the Beast, visit www.GodalmingPanto.com or telephone the Box Office on 01483 361101. 

Guildford celebrates young carers at Guildford Spectrum event

Young carers play a vital and underappreciated role in our borough, with estimates suggesting as many as 8% of children aged 5 to 18 locally act as carers for a family member. To offer young carers and their families a chance to take a break and spend some time having fun with their loved ones, we invited local young carers and their families to a recent event at Guildford Spectrum. They enjoyed playing Minecraft, bowling, archery, ice skating and swimming. The Surrey Scorchers Foundation also lent their support with a chance to shoot some hoops with Surrey's leading basketball team.

The event was made possible with the support of Sport Guildford, the Matrix Trust, Artventure, Royal Surrey County Hospital,  Shere, West Horsley, East Horsley, Tongham, St Martha and Worplesdon Parish Councils and Kids Out. Our Playrangers were also on hand on the day to help deliver the activities. 

The event was a welcome break from daily caring responsibilities for the young carers. The effect on these children is huge. Some fail to realise their academic potential, and they often suffer mental health issues, bullying and social media abuse. 

The Guildford Young Carers Fund was set up by Mike Parsons during his year as mayor in 2018/19 and is part of Guildford Philanthropy. The fund awards grants to support young carers in the borough of Guildford. Grants support young carers by providing services or equipment that will help them with their educational, emotional and social needs .

Grants are available for things such as: 
- additional non-statutory support in school or college 
- extra tuition or educational support outside school or college 
- IT or other equipment to support educational needs 
- school trips, outings or residential activities 
- music, sports or play activities or other clubs outside school (including membership fees).