Are we already beyond the halfway threshold of this year? Past the longest day and heading towards... let’s not go there! Let’s instead take full advantage of the sun shining, looking forward to those school-runs ceasing for six weeks and a fun-filled summer of fetes, barbecues, festivals and open gardens. As always, your Ramblings columns are bursting at the seams with summer events and you’ll be hard-pushed not to find something wonderful to fill your weekends this month...
Do you need ideas for keeping the kids entertained this summer? Guildford Shakespeare Company is, once again, offering two weeks of action-packed drama clubs during the summer holidays. In just five days, young actors will play, rehearse and stage their own production for family and friends. They are also introducing their first GSC Day Out on 18th July for seven-to-18-year-olds, where children can meet professional actors and learn rehearsal tips before watching a matinee of their open-air production The Taming of the Shrew. To reserve a place just call the box office on 01483 304384 or go to the GSC website www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk/classes and download a registration form.
The Guildford Institute on Ward Street is a local charity committed to providing educational and cultural activities in a social atmosphere. There are still a few places remaining for their final talk this summer term, it takes place on 9th July, when Stuart Andrews, an established Lecturer in Theatre Studies, will discuss theatrical performances that occur within the home. For the first time this summer, the Institute will trial a ‘Summer School’ – two art courses and one Literature course will be held during August. For more information, or to view their full summer programme, visit www.guildford-institute.org.uk or call 01483 562142.
Musical Memories at the Maltings is an event organised by Right at Home Guildford & Farnham especially for people living with dementia and their carers. On Saturday 12th July, from 2pm, close harmony singers In Accord will delight you with a melody of music past and present as you enjoy a cup of tea and a nibble or two. Tickets are £15 and carers go free. Call the Maltings on 01252 745444 or visit www.rightathomegf.co.uk for more information.
Top TV comedians will be dropping in to entertain at The Stoke Comedy Club in Guildford this month. On Wednesday 2nd July, BBC New Comedian of the Year, Lucy Beaumont and as seen on Russell Howard’s Good News Iain Stirling will take to the stage from 8pm. If you can’t make that date, tickets are also now on sale for the 30th July when up-and-coming ‘gagsmith’ Paul Savage and Shappi Khorsandi, star of Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News For You will showcase their talents. Tickets are £6 in advance from www.youmustbestoking.com , or £8 on the door.
Artist David Harmer is holding an exhibition of his watercolour paintings at the Guildford Institute from July 7th to 18th, entitled Waterways and Highways in Watercolour. See his website www.davidharmerwatercolour.co.uk for further details.
Guildford Institute’s autumn 2015 programme will also become available this July. One of the highlights this autumn will be a talk given by Alf Adams. Alf is the highly esteemed physicist responsible for the invention of the quantum well laser – an invention recently voted as one of the top ten discoveries of all time. To order a free copy of our autumn brochure, or to book onto one of the remaining summer events, call 01483 562142.
Are you looking to keep your young teenagers busy and out of trouble this summer? How about booking them onto a week’s course that will teach them qualities such as confidence, resilience, determination and optimism? The EXORTA week is based on the principle that these qualities are powerful building blocks for young teenagers. With five days of varied activities in the summer holidays, from 27th – 31st July, teenagers aged 13-15 can experience training from dedicated and experienced professionals in sports and activities they may not have come across before. Activities include scuba diving, golf, media training, stage combat, personal finance, first aid and more. Venues for the week are in Farnham and Guildford and you can see more details at www.exorta.co.uk
Don’t miss this year’s Ewhurst Big Day and Night Out! This biennial event to raise funds for Ewhurst’s ancient parish church is set to be the best ever. It takes place at Hurtwood Park Polo Ground on 18th July and a free vintage bus will carry visitors between Ewhurst village and the Big Day Out between 11.30am to 4pm. Entrance is £3 per person and children under seven years of age go free. During the day there will be refreshment stalls, a hog roast, various classic and vintage cars before the Big Night Out, when there will be music from rock band Kenney Jones and the Jones Gang amongst others. For tickets call the box office on 01483 351 386.
At the next Onslow Village Residents’ Association event, there will be a talk about the ‘Queen of the Sky’ – Concorde on Tuesday 14th July in the Village Hall, in Wilderness Road, Onslow Village, Guildford. David Hughes, senior guide and speaker on the aircraft will give a PowerPoint presentation of the history of Concorde and the Concorde at Brooklands. Entry is free to OVRA members and £3 to non-members. Complimentary tea and coffee will be served from 7.15 pm.
Do you enjoy singing choral music? Shalford Choral Society is now recruiting new members for the new season starting in September. No auditions are required. All they ask is a desire to sing choral. Their weekly rehearsals will take place on Tuesday evenings at St Mary’s Church in Shalford from Tuesday 8th September at 7.30pm. For further information, visit the website www.shalfordchoralsociety.org.uk . Or, for an informal chat you can call Olivia Peak on 01483 428986.
Guildford Family Festival tickets are now on sale if you fancy a really good, family day out. It takes place at Shalford Park on 18th July from 11am until 11pm. During the day there will be a fun fair, magicians, walkabouts, face-painting, stalls, petting farm, crafts, food outlets and, the all important, bar. The evening will see popular tribute acts perform, including the only official endorsed Olly Murs act, AJ as Robbie and many more. Tickets are priced at £12 for adults and £7 for children. Family tickets are very reasonably priced at £30. For tickets, call the box office on 01483 444334.
This month you can join The Herald Players in a storytelling experience that plunges adults and brave children into the warped world of the Brothers Grimm. These are not fairy tales as you remember them… they are wonderfully weird, deliciously dark and sometimes downright disturbing. From Thursday 23rd July to Saturday 1 August (excluding Sunday 26th July) six tales will be staged in Guildford castle grounds by the Bandstand starting at 7.45pm. For tickets or more information call Guildford Tourist Information Centre on 01483 444334 or visit www.guildford.gov.uk/visitguildford
A show garden at this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will show later life does not have to be a barren wilderness, but can instead prove to be a fruitful and enjoyable experience. Created by award-winning designer Tracy Foster and sponsored by Just Retirement Limited, A Garden for Every Retiree is an everyday garden which reflects the differing needs of retirees and shows just how enjoyable retirement, and gardening, can be.
A limited-edition book The Just Retirement Book of Gardening which provides tips for gardeners of retirement age, will be available to purchase for the reduced rate of £10 on the Garden for Every Retiree stand IN/612 at the Flower Show. And for every book sold, Just Retirement will donate £1 to The Conservation Volunteers – The Community Volunteering Charity.
Sandown will celebrate Ladies’ Day on 4th July. It’s a great day out that combines racing and fashion and ends with the hugely popular Best Dressed Ladies competition. Gates open at midday and tickets start at £18 each.
Chapterhouse Theatre Company enters its 15th year of touring open-air theatres at some of the most beautiful country houses, castles and heritage sites across the UK and Ireland. This summer we are fortunate to have them perform in two of Surrey most beautiful gardens, Claremont on Saturday 19th July and Alice Holt Forest on 30th. Both performances are of their summer show – The Jungle Book – and a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to sit back and enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company whilst indulging in a glass of chilled summer wine and watching a wonderfully traditional evening of entertainment. For tickets, visit www.chapterhouse.org
Are you a model train enthusiast? Guildford Model Engineering Society will hold their annual Model Steam Rally & Exhibition in Stoke Park on 5th and 6th July. Now in its 47th year, the event is anticipated as one of the main events in the national model engineering diary. There will be something to keep all the family entertained, with miniature Steam Train rides on two tracks; a 16mm garden railway and 4mm (00 gauge) layout in operation. Model traction engines, model boating pools and model aero engines. There will also be a Model Engineering Exhibition, Woodworkers & Demonstrations. Gates open at 10am and adult tickets are £8, children under 16 go free.
If the trains don’t interest you maybe the opera does? Opera fans can spend an exclusive evening in the company of Jonathan Veira, international opera singer, raconteur and comedian. Set in the elegant surroundings of Loseley House and in aid of the Guildford Cathedral Appeal ‘Make Your Mark Campaign’, the evening will begin at 7pm in the Great Hall and tickets are £80 each. For more information, call 01483 547860.
Amateur photographers can take part in a ‘PhotoWalk’ in Guildford on the 13th July exploring local history and heritage. You will be able to look at and photograph interesting buildings, architectural details and streetscape around the town centre. It is suitable for any type of camera and all abilities. PhotoWalks are leisurely and sociable events lead by local professional photographer Mike Sleigh who has a passion for heritage and over 30 years’ experience of photography and education. Please call on 07970034498 to book tickets.
Surrey Festival Choir, who are slightly unusual, in that they only come together for one charity performance a year, hold a ‘War and Peace’ concert accompanied by Surrey Festival Orchestra in Guildford Cathedral on 12th July. The singers come from all round the local area, rehearse for eight weeks and then perform before disbanding again. This year, the concert commemorates the start of WW1 and will have a retiring collection for Help For Heroes who support the local Headley Court rehabilitation centre. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets can be purchased by calling 07769 343401.
The final jazz gig of the season at the Pavilion at Guildford & Godalming Rugby Club, features sax and clarinet virtuoso Alan Barnes, one of Britain’s most distinguished and versatile musicians, and winner of many British Jazz Awards. Alan will be joined by pianist Liam Noble and drummer Paul Clarvis on Wednesday 8th July from 7.30pm. Tickets are £12 in advance from www.guildfordjazz.org.uk
A dazzling musical adaptation of one of Roald Dahl’s best stories, James and the Giant Peach, is being put on by The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre. The performance is on Thursday 3rd July until the 5th. Times and ticket prices are available by calling the Box Office on 01483 440000.
The Yvonne Arnaud will also be holding an art exhibition this month. From Wednesday 9th until Thursday 24th July, Guildford Arts will present the best of local artists and those from further afield who exhibit nationally and internationally. With a reputation for bringing quality and diversity, there’s something for everyone in this year’s summer exhibition with paintings, sculpture, prints, glass and mixed media. Entry is free and all works are for sale. Open daily form 10.30am.
Guildford Lions Charity Raft Race is back on the 5th July. Is it really a year since I last mentioned it? It’s such a fun event for both participating rafters and spectators. Home-made rafts make a spectacular start from Millmead and then paddle along the river to the Waterside Centre near Woking Road. Anyone with a team of four to eight rafters can enter. Making of rafts begins at 1pm and race starts at 3pm. For more information or to book your team in, please call 01483 546046.
Every year The University of Surrey hold an Architecture and Sculpture Walk. This year it will take place at 3pm on the 6th July. You can join like-minded individuals on a walk around the grounds and find out more about the university’s architecture and sculpture including some of the new buildings changing the landscape of campus. For more information call 01483 686876.
An international gathering of scholars will come together for a Film Music Conference in Guildford this month. From 26th -28th July, people will gather to discuss early film music from across the world and the keynote address will be given by Kathryn Kalinak (Rhode Island College), a leading authority in global film music. It takes place at both the Ivy Art Centre and Electric Theatre over the two days and anyone interested in the subject is very welcome to attend. Call 01483 686876.
Leatherhead Annual Duck Race takes place on the 13th. It’s a great family day out. Pop along to the banks of the River Mole and place your bets! Choose your duck by its colour or perhaps from its name. With six heats and a grand final there is fun to be had. The tote races are followed by the mass duck race, where hundreds of yellow bathtime ducks take to the water – with fantastic prizes to be won. It begins at 2pm by Leatherhead Town Bridge.
The Garden Show at Loseley Park returns for a third year this month. The event showcases a brilliant collection of specialist nurseries with the growers on hand to help you choose the right plants for your soil and the best environment for them to flourish. With garden designers and artisans to help you transform your outdoor spaces and a fantastic range of wonderful gifts, fashion accessories and some of the best county foods and wines in the area. It takes place on 18th July and tickets are £7 for adults and £18 for a family.
Would you be interested in learning the art of calligraphy? You can join Jan Rubin for an introduction to the art of beautiful handwriting on 19th July at The Lightbox in Woking. Tickets are £15 and you will spend the afternoon learning different lettering styles and techniques and create a decorative box with your own calligraphy lettering. www.thelightbox.org.uk
Brooklands will be opening their gates to the masses on the 27th as their RetroJumble and Classic Car Show takes place. Organised by the Brooklands Trust Members, it is a very popular event and last year there were over 60 stands selling everything from vintage clothing to motoring memorabilia and car boot jumbles. In addition to the stands, there will also be a classic car show. Launched in 2013, the car show will come back for its second year bigger and better. Gates open at 10am. Call 01932 857381 for more information including how to apply for a stall.
How about a lazy Sunday afternoon, whiling away the hours listening to live jazz? You can do just that at Polesdon Lacey during the summer from 12-2pm. Normal ground admissions do apply but it is free for NT members.
How about joining a dog-walking club? It’s a great way to meet new friends. The group meet by the Cowshed Coffee Shop at Polesdon Lacey on Wednesday mornings at 9.30am for a quick hour walk and natter and sometimes stop for coffee afterwards. Anyone can join in, no need to book, just turn up on the day.
Looking ahead Ewhurst Horticultural Society will be holding its 122nd flower show on Saturday 11th July in Ewhurst village hall. All details are on www.ewhursthortsoc.org.uk or you can call the show secretary on 01483 277960. The show is open to the public from 2.30pm with presentation of awards at 4.15pm followed by an auction and raffle.
St Mary’s Church in Shalford will be holding a summer book sale in aid of church funds on Saturday 4th July, from 9am until 2pm. There will also be stalls selling gifts, pictures and handicrafts. Home-made refreshments will be available and they will have a story corner to keep the younger children entertained.
As part of the Guildford Fringe Festival, The Dirty Carols, Guildford’s popular all-girl a cappella group, will perform an hour-long feast of funny but slightly rude songs entitled ‘Have You Seen My Terrier’? Tickets are on £5 and it takes place in The Back Room at The Star Inn on Friday 10th July from 7-8pm. Call 0844 8700 887 for tickets or book at www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/81424 . www.thedirtycarols.co.uk
Maybe you are a Justin Hayward fan? You could spend ‘An Intimate Evening With…’ on the 10th July at G Live. Justin is a singer, songwriter and legendary guitarist from the band, Moody Blues. You can expect a retrospective look back through a vast catalogue of classic tracks, including Moodies favourites in an acoustic style. With a guest spot from Mike Dawes, Justin will also perform tracks from his recent album Spirits of the Western Sky. Tickets are £36 and can be bought by calling the box office on 0844 7701 797.
A collection of winning images from the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year competition will be displayed at Guildford House Gallery until 6th September. It’s a free exhibition and one worth taking a look at. It is open daily from 11am until 4.45pm at Guildford House & Gallery, 155 High Street, Guildford, GU1 3AJ.
This summer, Wisley Gardens are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Wonderland-inspired activities. Follow the clues in the garden trail to lead you to Wonderland, run around the dodo on a caucus race, or try your hand at a game of flamingo croquet. You can also join Alice and her friends for fun and entertainment at the Mad Hatter’s Picnic Party from 22nd July through to the end of August. Wear your most creative hat and gather your friends, seating is limited, pre-booking and pre-payment will be required. Visit the website www.rhs.org.uk
Wonersh History Society would like me to let you all know that they have a meeting on Tuesday 21st July at 8pm in Lwansmead Hall Wonersh and everyone is welcome to attend. Jean Wickens will be giving a talk about local street names. Do you know the origin of your street name? Why not pop along and ask the expert. Wine will be available.
It seems that July is rather a busy month for the good people of Wonersh. They will be celebrating village life on Sunday 5th July at their annual Summer Fair. It takes place on the common from 1pm and there will be, most importantly, a Pimm’s tent. As well as, a plant sale, barbecue, teas and homemade cakes, a fun dog show and loads of children’s activities!
St Catherine’s Flower Arrangement Club will meet again on 23rd July when Nel de Jong-Smith will demonstrate ‘Flora Abundance’ and the club competition is ‘Fun with Flowers’ (modern design). They meet, as always, at Shalford Village Hall at 1.15pm for a 1.45 pm start. Visitors are most welcome. Call 01483 578368.
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