This month’s big feature looks at Marilyn Monroe in Surrey and how the Hollywood superstar spent her honeymoon.
I THOUGHT I knew Guildford pretty well, after all, we answered all the local knowledge questions correctly at a recent quiz held in aid of Disability Challengers (!) but while I could probably have told you that Guildford Cathedral was a relatively ‘new’ edition to the town, I have only been inside twice in the last 20 years and I know I am not the only one to say that. Not any longer I hope.
This year Guildford Cathedral celebrates the 50th anniversary of its consecration by The Queen in 1961.
Despite not being a regular visitor, I’ve always loved the view of the Cathedral, especially at night: it makes me feel rather safe as it sits majestically surveying the town.
While I know some may find its external architecture rather foreboding, if you’ve never been inside, do make 2011 the year that you do.
It’s quite stunning and you’ll understand why I use the term majestic – and it’s even more majestic inside.
Another treat in store is The Dean himself, The Very Reverend Victor Stock. I think I’d go to church everyday if he was presiding. He’s inspirational!
When I met him he was proudly unveiling the Cathedral’s new snow plough which, after the last huge fall of snow demonstrated, is a necessity if the Cathedral is to remain accessible.
“We had to buy it ourselves because the Council said we weren’t a public building,” he told us with only a hint of irony.
As well as a number of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary (for the first of these, look at What’s On, p7) there’s a strategic shift in direction to encourage more people to visit and use this fabulous building by making it available for hire: that’s not the neighbouring Refectory by the way, I mean the Cathedral itself.
Since the closure of the Civic Hall, the town has lacked a large-scale venue and I am sure that charities will be applauding this bold move and will begin using the Cathedral for their future fundraising dinners.
Even when G Live opens, it will mean there are two very different choices to suit a variety of occasions.
Remaining on the ‘landmark’ theme, I visited The Guildhall earlier this month for the public exhibition on the redevelopment of Guildford Station.
Having attended this sort of thing before, I admit I found it rather lacklustre. This is only the early stages but I found it disappointing that the board on which thoughts and comments on the actual architecture and the merits of a statement or flagship building should be placed was conspicuously sparse.
The station is often the first impression a visitor has to our lovely town: let’s make it a good one.
The architects Rolfe Judd were responsible for an awardwinning scheme for Berkeley Homes in London that I’ve worked on so I have high hopes that they will work similar magic here.
On the ‘social scene’ this month, after its launch, I went back to try the food at All Bar One and heartily recommend the lamb shank! I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed a couple of the performances from the Guildford International Music Festival last month.
If you didn’t get tickets or want to re-live some of the performances, they can be viewed again on the website.
I will be popping down to The Wey Gallery in Godalming later this month to see a new exhibition called ‘Watercolours with Life’ by Jean Haines being held from April 18 to May 2.
Jean is a member of the Society of Women Artists of which another Surrey artist, Sue Jelley takes over the presidency in July; both will be exhibiting later this year at the 150th exhibition of the Society at the Mall Galleries in London.
Over and out for another month but please keep sending me details of anything you think will be of interest