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Party Held At The Guildford Institute To Mark Its 125th Anniversary

Published on: 30 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 2 May, 2017

To mark its 125th birthday of adult learning and education, the Guildford Institute held a celebratory afternoon tea party for 70 of its members and invited guests.

The Guildford Institute’s chairperson, Sandra Robinson, and the Deputy Mayor of Guildford, Nigel Manning, cut the birthday cake. All pictures by Mike Sleigh.

It was attended by the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Guildford, Nigel Manning and Marsha Moseley, and was held on Saturday, April 22.

A commemorative exhibition was displayed in the Assembly Room, showcasing fascinating images of the institute and Guildford over the last 125 years, courtesy of its own historic archive. This is available for members of the public to view until Saturday, May 13.

Guests had the opportunity to see the large collection of images while enjoying a live pianist and refreshments.

Guests enjoy the birthday tea party.

Jenny Bray, a member of the institute who attended the anniversary tea party, said: “Thank you to all involved in making it such a success. I thought it was a suitably ‘buzzy’, happy afternoon.”

Ballons decorate the exterior of the Guildford Institute.

Balloons decorating the exterior of the institute’s historic building hailed the original opening date of its home in Ward Street, while a stand in the High Street promoted the institute on the day.

Further events will be held throughout the year. On Saturday, November 11, a time capsule will be sealed and placed within the its historical archive.

Items aimed to capture the spirit of the current time, including copies of that day’s newspapers and other contemporary items suggested by members, will be placed in the time capsule for 25 years. It is planned that the capsule will be opened and added to every quarter of a century.

The Guildford Institute proudly houses a 125-year-old Bechstein grand piano, and local schools will be working with the institute on a celebratory concert to be performed by young pianists on May 12.

Other events aimed at local people with an interest in Guildford will include an historic presentation delivered by Terence Patrick (a former mayor of Guildford) and Matthew Alexander (local historian and former curator of Guildford Museum).

Guildford Institute staff, from left: Trish Noakes, Amy Mason, Vicky Pursey and Amy Rice.

Originally known as The Mechanics Institute, The Guildford Institute was founded by local tradesmen who were keen to improve themselves and to promote learning for others also wishing to learn new skills.

In 1892, the institute moved into its current location, a former temperance hotel on Ward Street and 125 years later it continues to promote learning for adults in the local community.

It provides a range of education courses including art history, drawing and painting, creative writing, photography and languages.

The 125 birthday cake.

The Guildford Institute continues to grow and diversify its course programme with yoga, family history, astronomy, drama, furniture painting and sushi making recently added to the list.

It is also home to The Beano, Guildford’s only vegetarian restaurant.

Click here for more details of all that takes place at the Guildford Institute.

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