Sadly, we have to report Auriol Earle, who was an active member of the Society over many decades died on 30/04/21 at the Guildford home where she had lived in since 1961.
Over the best part of sixty years Auriol channelled her considerable energy and creativity into Guildford life. She had a direct impact on the physical and cultural landscape of Guildford, with her input into saving the Rodborough building, supporting the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, the Electric Theatre and many other features of the town centre.
During the 1960’s she set up a pioneering scheme of holiday clubs providing sports and leisure activities for young families. Guildford Holiday Fun offered judo, archery, athletics, art and craft classes for a nominal fee to hundreds of schoolchildren by mobilising a small army of enthusiastic volunteers. Guildford had seen nothing like, and it attracted national media attention.
Her degree, and interest in education, proved useful when she set up a General Studies module for the science and engineering students at the newly established University of Surrey. She had been shocked to discover that the aspiring engineers and scientists of the future could sometimes barely construct a coherent sentence, and risked graduating with very much less than a rounded education.
She was an active member of the Liberal party and represented the people of Worplesdon ward as Liberal Democrat councillor for several years.
Born in Devon in 1927, she was an accomplished horsewoman, and was among the first of her generation of women to attend university, graduating from Exeter University with an Honours Degree in English Literature. After a spell living in West African colony of The Gold Coast (soon to become Ghana) following her husband Eric’s appointment to the Colonial Education Service the couple set up home in Guildford in the 1961.
Auriol was an active and inspiring member of the Guildford Society. Over recent times, Alzheimer’s disease had caused her retreat from Society affairs. Many members of the Society will remember her with gratitude and fondness.
Our condolences to the Earle family, especially her husband of 69 years Eric, her four children, and grandchildren.
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