Fringe Box



Notice: Burns Night, George Orwell And Pancakes From The Spike!

Published on: 6 Jan, 2016
Updated on: 5 Jan, 2016

The Guildford Spike’s traditional Burns Night (the workhouse way) with a three-course meal, whisky, prosecco, canapes and all the trimmings, plus the Hogs Back Band takes place on Saturday, January 23, at the heritage centre in Warren Road, Charlotteville.

The Charlotteville Jubilee Trust has been hosting a Burns Night since 2001. It is great fun and run by volunteers at the Spike which is itself owned by the community.

The evening starts with the piper calling guests from the car park to gather in the isolation room where whisky tastings or prosecco and canapes can be enjoyed.

The time comes when the piper must take the guests to the main hall where the main guest, the haggis, will be addressed by Stuart Gibb and the traditional feast begins.

Poetry reading, dessert, coffee, cheese and biscuits follow as the Hogs Back Band strike their first numbers and those brave enough will dance the night away. There is a fully licensed bar. Dress comfortably and a splash of tartan would be grand.

Tickets are £30 (members £25).

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 22.00.43Shrove Tuesday, February 9, sees The Charlotteville Jubilee Trust (that runs the Spike) hosting Guildford’s annual pancake races in the High Street.

And also in February on Sunday 28, the Spike welcomes Richard Blair who will be giving a talk about his famous father, Eric, better known as the writer George Orwell. The event includes a Sunday lunch and costs £25 (members £20).

Eric Blair, an authoritative advocate of socialism, under the pen name of Orwell, wrote volumes for the ‘common man’, witnessing the growing gulf between the classes. He experienced the true life of a tramp by purposefully living as one, staying in spikes in London and the Home Counties.

Orwell PosterHis essay The Spike (leading to the memoir Down and out in Paris and London) gives leniency to the underclasses, poignantly noting the brevity of the journey from wealth to rags.

His book Nineteen Eighty-Four was penned from the Isle of Jura where he lived with his son, Richard, for six incredible years until his death parted them.

Richard will be talking about and showing slides of his time on Jura with his father and will be open to questions. Lunch will be served at 1.30am, Richard will stay for conversation until 3pm.

The spike will be open at 10am for the Orwellian tour – visit

All tickets available from the Tourist Information Centre, High Street, Guildford and the Charlotteville Jubilee Trust 01483 598420.

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