Friends of Guildford House reports

Co-Chair's Report


April 2020


 Dear Friends,

Welcome to our 50th  Anniversary Year.

We look forward  to seeing many of you at the AGM and Anniversary reception.
We wish to pay tribute to Malcolm Sinclair who sadly died in November last year. Malcolm was FOGH Chairman  from 2008 to 2016 and then, although  increasingly unwell, continued  to serve on the committee until our last AGM in 2019. He saw the 'House' through the difficult period (around  2O1O-2O11) when the Council had plans to sell or lease it for commercial  purposes. He worked hard  and was a very conscientious Chairman.

Our biggest acquisition for Guildford House this year was the John Russell picture -  a pastel  of a young girl with a squirrel - Anna Louise Halsey. Anna was born in 1795 to Henry and May Halsey who lived at Henley Park, Pirbright. The picture is in the original 18th century guilt frame.

It was displayed in Guildford House until September 2019. Unfortunately the reception given by Guildford Borough Council Heritage team giving Friends the opportunity to view it, was not well supported  by members. The picture is no longer on display but it will be on display  again in Guildford  House in an exhibition (3rd July  - 5th September) celebrating the Friend's  50th  Anniversary. lt is a charming picture and we hope to discuss  with the Heritage team  its continued display  in Guildford  House.

This year we have also supported  HALOW  with an arts project.

A legacy of £500 has been received in the will of June Cockell, a former member of long standing. She requested that this should be used to contribute to the financing of a picture for the collection.
The Committee will be giving consideration to presenting Guildford House with a commemorative gift.

Once again we thank Beryl Davis and Barbara Logan for the varied and interesting  lectures and visits they have arranged throughout the year. For the winter programme the lectures and visits to the galleries are efficiently coordinated by them. The summer programme of visits April to September gives us the opportunity to visit country houses and other places of artistic interest. This does take considerable  time and expertise.

The subscription for this year 2020 will be £15. Regretfully this has to be raised due to the increase in ongoing costs of lectures etc. We hope you will agree that this is still very good  value so that we can maintain the high standard of lectures enjoyed by us all.

The co-chairmanship seems to have been a satisfactory arrangement for the past year and as we are unable to recruit a chairperson, if members agree, we will continue for this coming  year. The nomination papers are included in the mailout and we would  welcome  interested  members to consider joining the committee and to encourage their friends to do so. Last  year three members joined the committee and are bringing valued contributions to the running of the Friends. We will be looking to replacing some longstanding committee members in the near future.

Please look at the Friends of Guildford House website - We are most grateful to David Worrall, our Web-Master, who has updated the site and advised on extending our use of the net for communications  with members.

Barbara  Logan and Hilary Leigh.