Read this month’s copy of the Guildford, Farnham & Woking Magazine featuring an interview with model Tim Andrews.
What a way to end a year! Not only did Guildford play host to our Queen, but both Guildford and Woking welcomed the prime minister, David Cameron on two separate occasions last month.
The spotlight has truly been on this special corner of Surrey. ‘DC ‘ was here to open the new McLaren Production Centre in Woking – saying that he had never seen anything quite like it and described the work of McLaren Group as “inspiring” and that his visit was a great reminder that Britain still had “world-class engineering, world-class manufacturing and world-class production techniques.”
A few days later, David Cameron was back in Surrey together with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at Boxgrove Gardens, the new development in Guildford by Linden Homes, from where the PM announced the government’s new Housing Strategy.
While it might have been DC’s first visit to Guildford in his official capacity as Prime Minister, for our Queen it was her sixth. Her Majesty first visited in 1957 during the building of the cathedral when she signed one of the bricks and again in 1961 for its consecration.
Subsequent visits to Guildford took place in 1981, 1997 and 2006 but it seems particularly apt that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh returned to our fabulous cathedral (I am a huge fan!) in its 50th year and in particular to mark its Golden Jubilee Community event which links the cathedral with the wider community.
After nearly a year as Editor, this has certainly been my busiest month and I’m proud to see Guildford, in particular, go from strength to strength.
G Live is now fully operating and I’ve had regular reports from friends of evenings of fun and great entertainment there.
After all the hype of the Radisson Edwardian Hotel opening, I’ve now had the pleasure of the full tour (pg16). I’m also keeping an eye on the town centre’s new masterplan which should be unveiled in 2012.
In the meantime however, the debate has already started on the proposed relocation of the bus station.
A recognised eyesore in its current setting, I’m not sharing my thoughts on whether it should stay or go but, all I do ask, is that whatever the outcome and wherever it finally ends up, that the opportunity is taken to create ‘a sense of place’; bus stations do not have to be ugly – why not launch an architectural competition to design a new one?
While the upper high street is already demonstrating clear evidence that modern architecture can both rejuvenate and look good, it’s time to turn our attention to the bottom end of the High Street – the redevelopment of Friary Street and the new look Friary Centre has started to pave the way. It’s now time to join up the dots.
I will leave my soapbox until 2012 and in the meantime wish you all a very happy Christmas and a successful and prosperous New Year.