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Design and Heritage Annual Report 2013

01st June 2013

Among the responsibilities of the group are the annual Architecture Lecture (in collaboration with the University of Surrey), the biennial Design Awards, supporting Heritage Open Days with GBC and the Town Guides and all other heritage concerns and issues that emerge.

Architecture Lecture. The subject of last year’s lecture was Risk Averse: How safe is England’s Historic Environment?  given by Dr Nigel Barker, of English Heritage.  Dr Barker pointed out that our heritage has to be defined as more than just buildings, and includes such things as battlefields, undersea wrecks, cemeteries and parkland. He talked about 5 risks confronting our heritage: ownership, redundancy, ignorance, crime and ideology. To read more about this interesting lecture, Chris Blow’s account of it is to be found on our website, as well as in the Newsletter for Summer 2012. We look forward to this year’s lecture on Wednesday June 19th which will be given by Alan Powers of the Twentieth Century Society. His title is Threads in the Urban Fabric: Guildford in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.

Design Awards.

In 2012, two major new policies were implemented as a result of a review of the Design Award process. The changes were (1) to invite Parish Councils and Residents’ Associations (RAs) across Guildford Borough to submit nominations in addition to members of The Society and (2) to appoint a panel of three people to tally the votes. This panel consisted of the Design Awards Coordinator (Merilyn Spier), a member of the D&H Sub-Committee (Roy Hogben) and a general member of The Society (architect, Anna Hummel).

There were 21 nominations in 2012; five were made by RAs and the remainder by Committee and general members. Nominated projects were located in the town centre, the University and Research Park, Holy Trinity Ward, Artington, Burpham, Compton, Pirbright, Shalford and Shere.

The Design Award Ceremony was held in the Guildhall on Thursday, October 18th commencing with presentations of Certificates to the winners followed by a talk by David Watts, former Chief Executive of Guildford Borough Council.

The recipients of the Design Awards and Commendations for 2012 were:

In the New Build Category:          Award to Guildford Borough Council for G-Live; Commendations to University of Surrey for ‘The Learning Centre’ and to Steamer Trading Ltd. for its cook-shop building at 168 High Street.

In the Restoration Category:       Award to Shere Manor Estate for High House Barns; Commendations to the Loseley Estate for Orange Court Barns and to Nikki Ackerley for restoration of buildings at 20 Bury Fields.

In the Environment Category:      Award to Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area for enhanced access for wheelchair users and conservation of its natural setting.

The Crabtree Award: to the Planning Service and Parks and Countryside Service (GBC) for outstanding care of Guildford’s parks/open spaces and environmental enhancement projects.

Heritage Open Days in September, as always, were a great success. The Guildford Society provides many of the stewards for the various properties.  Stewarding for a couple of hours is a very interesting and rewarding way to contribute to the work of The Society, and Gillian Cameron, who is The Society’s lead member on this, would be very grateful for any offers of help for this year’s open days, the 14th and 15th of September.

GBC Design and Heritage Champion.  Some members of the D&H Group met with the new Councillor Melanie Bright, GBC Design and Heritage Champion, in January to discuss her role, and various issues of mutual interest with her.  We aim to continue this link with Cllr Bright which has already proved very valuable.

The High Street Setts.  One of the concerns we raised with Cllr Bright was the poor state of repair of the historic setts, which along with the Guildhall clock, are such a significant feature of our High Street.  We are told that Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council are currently looking at ways to address the maintenance of the setts as a more strategic joint plan. A report will come to the Local Committee on this matter at one of its meetings this year.

The Boris Fijalkowski Print(s) of Guildford High Street.  Thanks to the efforts of Tim Langhorn, Otters Pool Studios in College Rd has been selling these prints, and will frame them as well.  There is one on display in the studio, framed and looking stunning.  We are glad to report that the Friends of Guildford House are currently in the process of acquiring prints of each half of the drawing to add to the Borough Collection. We are told that these will shortly be on view in Guildford House!  We know that Boris also did a similar drawing of North Street, but unfortunately nobody knows where this now is.  Does anyone have any ideas?  If so, please let us know!

D&H Group members are:  Joan Butler (Secretary), Gillian Cameron, Liz Cox, Auriol Earle, Pat Grayburn, Roy Hogben, Sheila Kirkland, Doug Scott, Robin Stannard, and Pauline Surrey (Chairman).

Pauline Surrey

Posted by: Pauline Surrey