Fringe Box



Four Bands Playing, Three Cafés Starting, Two Shops Launching, One Nearly Open And A Protest In North Street

Published on: 22 Dec, 2019
Updated on: 22 Dec, 2019

By Hugh Coakley

Guildford shoppers were out and about in the town centre this weekend. Although it seemed quieter than expected on the last weekend before Christmas, there was plenty going on to attract their interest.

The Three Kings arrived in Guildford to entertain shoppers in North Street.

As a sign of confidence in Guildford’s town centre, three new cafés, Love Brownies in Tunsgate, Sicool Sicilian in The Shambles and Brasil Vegano in Madrid Road all opened their doors in time for the Christmas rush.

These were joined by two new shops, Schmidt Kitchens and Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, both in the upper High Street, which opened in the last month or so. With a further boost to the town, Trespass, the outdoors clothes shop in North Street, was being fitting out for opening shortly.

Looking festive and Dickensian while collecting for the Salvation Army at Christmas

Street entertainment was there in plenty with the fantastic Salvation Army brass band and other street musicians bringing big smiles to passers-by as they hurried on with their purchases.

There was even a bit of dramatic animal rights protest at the bottom of North Street to stir Christmas consciences.

Staff in the beautifully laid out Shooting Star Children’s Hospice shop said that it was going really well with more space in the new set up and “footfall better than the old shop in Tunsgate”.

The new Shooting Star Children’s Hospices charity shop in the Grade II building in the upper High Street.

And just up the road and on the same side, Schmidt, the kitchens and interiors shop, opened at the beginning of November.

Normaan Mohammad, the franchisee for the company, said: “We are doing better than expected so it’s been a good time to open here. Guildford is an affluent area and we have had lots of interest in our bespoke kitchens.”

Schmidt Kitchens with a new shop in upper High Street providing a welcome boost to that part of town which has had five other shops closing in the last year or so.

Trespass opening in North Street in a shop unit that has been empty for nearly two years. ‘Wet Paint’ signs on the window and stock starting to arrive, so it should be open very soon.

The Salvation Army brass band playing carols and Christmas songs outside of the House of Fraser in the High Street. One passer-by said: “The music is fantastic, a professional standard.”

Mikey Bailey,14 who goes to St Peter’s School, was playing carols in the High Street. “I think I’ve made about £50 so far,” he said.

Animal rights activists stood in silence at the bottom of North Street protesting about cruelty to animals.

The North Street market was doing a steady trade on Saturday. It will be open on Monday and Tuesday before Christmas but with a reduced number of stalls.

Santa was looking very relaxed at the Christmas market in Tunsgate Quarter. Traders there said that the event: “could have been better advertised.”

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