May 2011 Issue

This month’s copy of the magazine puts a spotlight on Guildford Cathedral and its 50-year anniversary including an interview with the Dean.

guildford magazine 2011 may front cover

Editor's Letter

It’s been a month of highs and lows – but all served to make me realise what a great place we live in. 

You may think that two burglaries – one attempted and one partial – are hardly something to be grateful for. 

But in both cases, it was thanks to diligent neighbours that the toe-rags were thwarted in their attempts. 

Anyone who doubts that the Big Society might not be working might want to think again. 

At home, some youths tried to break into our shed but were disturbed by a neighbour walking his dog at midnight; they’d come prepared with bolt cutters so no excuses can be made. 

The second was at my office where my neighbour disturbed a group of people trying to strip the lead off a flat roof; we’re in the middle of a development project so there is plenty of handy scaffolding providing easy access. 

They’d already taken a couple of lengths of lead before my neighbour caught hold of one of them; unfortunately, he didn’t have his phone on him to call the police and had to let him go but at least the damage was limited. 

From either perspective, thief or Samaritan, I’m a firm believer in one reaping what one sows and huge thanks again to both my neighbours for their timely interventions, not to mention their bravery. 

I make no apologies that this month’s issue is largely about Guildford’s wonderful cathedral which celebrates its 50th anniversary and I’d like to hope that in the spirit of the Big Society, that as a town, should it be necessary, we’d all come together again as we did in the 1950s to raise enough money for something equally worthwhile. I believe we would.

Talking of soaring buildings, a major high this month was literally just that: I was lucky enough to spend some time on the top of Woking’s newest tower building; in fact, I was in a wire cage suspended by a crane many metres above the 21st storey of New Central; the views are truly spectacular in every direction and future residents have a treat in store.

 Other highs have been more in the appreciation of good things: The Nicola Benedetti Trio at Holy Trinity Church was one of the last performances of Guildford’s International Music Festival and although I confess to being a philistine when it comes to classical music, I knew I was listening to something very special. 

One of the things that give me the most pleasure at the moment is running across the grounds of Guildford’s Golf Club in the morning. 

Admittedly, it’s not really the running that’s the enjoyable bit (why does it never get any easier?) but this beautiful spell of great weather has brought the countryside alive and it’s a wonderful way to start the day; we are very lucky to have so many large open green spaces around. 

Regular runners along the River Wey may have spotted something that has prompted much speculation amongst local art aficionados. It was thought that Banksy, the famous graffiti artist, may have graced Guildford with one of his artworks on the base of the bridge facing Guildford Rowing Club. 

Our art expert Carol Cordrey turned detective and made the necessary investigations but, after a week, received a negative response from Banksy’s agent. Nevertheless, she assures me there was good reason for such an assumption: “It’s a child in the stencil style that runs throughout Banksy’s oeuvre and while it may not be by the man himself, the person who did create it is very talented.” 

Perhaps Banksy should look on his laurels? As I write this, Easter looms followed by the Royal Wedding. 

Let’s hope the great weather continues and before you think I’m sounding far too virtuous, the benefits of running are soon to be lost as I’m fully expecting to partake of serious imbibing as we toast the Royal Couple. 

Over and out for another month. 

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