Timeline for the The Guildford Society


The Old Guildford Society is formed as a branch of SPAB Society forthe Protection of Ancient Buildings


The Society is disbanded but had engaged in a number of campaigns in its short life and is credited with saving the Georgian red brick façade  of Guildford Old  Bank. (today’s Lloyds Bank)


The Guildford Society in its present form is established


We celebrate our 50th anniversary and commission the author and historian Russell Chamberlin (1926-2006) to write “Guildford: Town Under Siege" looking back at The Guildford Society and Guildford over the previous 25 years


Heritage Open Days are established and allow free access to many interesting buildings. The Heritage Open Days National Partnership rely on support and manpower freely given by local volunteers including members of The Guildford Society.  
Click here for the HOD weblink  


The Guildford Society launches its first website


Civic Voice is founded taking over from The Civic Trust ( est.1957 ) and are the umbrella organisation for hundreds of Civic Societies including The Guildford Society. They champion the cause for the civic movement within England. 
Click here for the Civic Voice web link  


The Society celebrates its 75th anniversary and publishes “ Making A
Difference – The Guildford Society at Seventy Five”
Click here to read an extract. - “ Introduction by the Chairman “    
Click here to read an Extract  - “ Guildford a Town in Transition”


Guildford Vision Group is formed (Vision for Guildford Ltd) This new and separate group is kick started by The Guildford Society in response to concerns about the borough councils future plans and lack of vision for the town.

Click here for the web link to GVG 


The Guildford Society launches its new website and begins the use of social media. We introduce a new logo which takes its inspiration from the river valley and surrounding green hills of the town with abstract shapes to represent the roofline and the word Society signifying our underlying support and the blue to represent the River Wey. The hills logo replaces our old clock tower logo.


GSOC Ltd, a private limited company is incorporated in England as a subsidiary of The Guildford Society, an unincorporated association with charitable objectives

This proved to be a busy year as we faced the challenges & opportunities arising from the publication of The Local Plan, the ongoing debates over The Town Centre Master Plan, bus station relocation, rail station development and much more

GS held public meetings about Solum’s plans for the railway station for which there was widespread public objection including by GBC Guildford Borough Council. Sadly an appeal by the developers was upheld by The Planning inspectorate for England and Wales. The town is now under a threat from the proposed Great Wall of Guildford that will comprise the station redevelopment.


The June AGM received the approval of the membership for a new constitution and of resolutions authorising the Executive to investigate moves towards re-structuring the Society as a Charity.

In October 2016 the Society was restructured as a Registered Charity


Further changes were made in our charitable status and The Society became a CIO Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  A new constitution is established


 A year of challenging the Local Plan and the ongoing and slow movement towards North Street redevelopment, a new bus station, the Town Centre Masterplan, Sustainable movement Corridor, transport congestion, pollution and air quality.


The new Local Plan is adopted by GBC in April 2019, having been subjected to three unsuccessful legal challenges. GS and other civic groups voice their ongoing concerns that the plan is flawed. GS continues to engage with the council and others to seek better outcomes for town centre regeneration.


We propose alternative uses for the Debenhams store which is likely to be closed in 2021.We encourage a wider debate for its use for various civic amenities. Our specialist groups continue their ongoing work in responding to Management Policies and Supplementary Planning contained within the Local Plan

The whole country is affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and public meetings are banned in an attempt to contain the virus. We choose to upgrade our website to allow its use across a broader range of digital and social media applications.


We shall celebrate our 100th anniversary and are determined to still be around and working hard for Guildford.


Share this article

Support Us

Getting involved allows the society to continue its work.   We welcome new members, from every age and background.  Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.