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New Jubilee Seats on Millmead Island – ‘Designed to be Uncomfortable’

Published on: 9 Aug, 2012
Updated on: 19 Aug, 2012

New Jubilee Seats on Millmead Island

New seats have been constructed on Millmead Island to the rear of the Yvonne Arnaud theatre by Millmead Lock.

A GBC spokesperson said: “The Millmead Island seats, commissioned by Guildford Borough Council to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, were designed by artist Guy Stevens. The design is based on the idea of bodies of water or puddle like forms. We commissioned stone seats so that they would last as long as possible – they are replacing a timber bench which had to be removed due to damage.”

The council has not revealed the cost of the new seats [see subsequent comment below] but have said that they have been funded by Section 106 monies, that is money paid by developers to offset the impact of certain developments within the borough, nearby.

The wavy surface of the seats has been designed, it is said, to deter loitering

A worker at the site, spoken to last week, said that he understood one objective of the design had been to prevent the seats from being too comfortable and thereby deter loitering, which does occur on benches in the area.

The group of nurses who commented on the new seats

A group of nurses were found using the seats this morning (9 Aug), at the spot popular with those wishing to feed the ducks and pigeons. One said: If they wished to make them uncomfortable they have certainly succeeded. I am already a bit numb in certain regions! Another commented: “I think that water might collect on the surfaces when it rains and they are already spattered with bird droppings. The uneven surfaces will make it more difficult to keep them clean.”

What do you think of the new seats? Have your say by using the “Leave a Reply” feature below…

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Responses to New Jubilee Seats on Millmead Island – ‘Designed to be Uncomfortable’

  1. Bernard Parke

    August 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Well at least they should make a good impression.

  2. David Rose (TGDN)

    August 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    That’s actually quite a good joke. LOL

  3. Fiona Giles

    August 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I like the little mushrooms!!….

  4. Mike Bennett

    August 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Making seats deliberately uncomfortable?! We should not take this sitting down. Guildford citizens should stand up and be counted!

    If this extraordinary design feature is deliberate on the part of the Council, it is clearly in line with the Surrey policy of leaving road surfaces so pot-holed we cannot drive comfortably over them.

    Perhaps other readers can think of further current examples of this innovative approach to public amenities……

  5. Martin Giles (TGDN)

    August 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Subsequent to publication, Guildford Borough Council have stated that the seats cost £4,100.