Consulting rooms available at our new Community & Wellbeing Centre

We are transforming our ground floor space into the GI Community & Wellbeing Centre, to provide essential mental health support services in the heart of Guildford. Our new centre will include purpose-built consulting/community rooms available to rent from September 2024.

This is an exciting opportunity to establish your wellbeing business in a prime, town-centre location. Spaces range from 7 to 14 square metres, with prices starting at £338 per month up to £676 per month depending on size. Ideal for individuals, groups or small businesses.
For further information, and to apply for a room, please contact Amy Rice ( or call us on 01483 562142.


• Prime, town-centre location
• Convenient access to amenities, transport links, and local businesses

Office Space Features:

• Total area of 69 square metres
• Rooms range in size from 7 to 14 square metres
• Unfurnished, providing a blank canvas
• Grade II listed building with charming architectural features, including arched windows
• Ample natural light, creating a pleasant and productive work environment
• Wi-Fi facilities provided
• Key-safe entry system, enabling therapists to work at times that are convenient for them and their clients

Consulting rooms available at a prime, town-centre location

Shared Facilities and Amenities:

• Access to shared toilets
• Shared waiting area
• Shared kitchen facilities

Facilities and Services available at additional cost:

• Storage space available in basement
• Large meeting space available for presentations, client meetings, or group sessions
• Cleaning services

Moving Forward: Plans for The Guildford Institute

In the midst of challenging times for our charity, we have had to think tactically and creatively about how we make the most of the space in our building. With limited funding and the demand for our services continuing to rise, we recognise that we need to find new ways to generate income and support our community.

For many years, the ground floor of our building was let to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), providing an essential income stream for our charity. Following the departure of RBS in March 2022, we worked hard to secure a new tenant by overseeing works to make the space lettable and ready to market. By March 2023, heads of terms were agreed with a dental practice, with the contract due to be signed in July 2023. However, by November 2023, the dental practice had still not signed as agreed and after ten months of negotiations, they pulled out of the agreement. While this has been an undeniable and costly setback, it has encouraged us to take a new approach that we believe will not only secure crucial revenue but also enable us to grow as an organisation.

The Guildford Institute Building

Khaled Abdullah and Lisa Taylor

The first decision we have made is to find a new tenant for the second floor of our building to provide us with a much-needed source of revenue. This space has housed our counsellor and therapist team for many years, however, it is in desperate need of refurbishment and we are keen to provide them with improved facilities elsewhere in the building.  After careful consideration and negotiation, we are delighted to have found a suitable tenant who shares our values and mission as an organisation, and who loves our building!  M:tech Education Services was launched in 2008 and provides an extracurricular music technology and creative composition course for children. Khaled Abdullah, Company Director, said ‘I was born and educated in Guildford, and I am passionate about M:tech being established in the town as part of something bigger. M:tech’s values feel aligned with those of The Guildford Institute’.

Lisa Taylor, Institute Manager said ‘We are very excited about the prospect of working with M:tech and are exploring ways we can collaborate together in the future’.

Visual for the Ground Floor Conversion

With the second floor occupancy now agreed (remedial works are currently in progress) we have turned our attention back to the ground floor of our building. We saw an opportunity to transform this space into a community and wellbeing centre; an extension of our current offer in the rest of the building where people come together to socialise, learn, and support one another. By working with local businesses and community groups, we aim to create a space that is welcoming and inclusive, offering a wide range of services and activities for people of all ages. This will include purpose-built, sound-proofed rooms for many of our counsellors and therapists, and a new meeting space for local groups and charities.

Another exciting change is to make better use of our treasured but underused historic Library, for part of the week it will now be used as a characterful and functional meeting room helping us to generate much-needed revenue. However it will remain a welcoming library on Thursday and Saturday, open for everyone to browse, borrow and research. Our community café, V Café is now also open every weekday, continuing the 40-year tradition of serving vegetarian and vegan meals in our Assembly Room.

The Guildford Institute’s historic Library

V Café in the Institute’s Assembly Room

By taking a strategic approach to how we use the space in our building, we are able to not only generate additional income, but also strengthen our connection to the community and expand our impact. We have seen an increase in the number of people coming through our doors, and have received positive feedback from both our students and visitors.

In difficult times, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to move forward. But by thinking creatively about how we use our resources, and by developing and expanding our programme, we are weathering the storm and will emerge stronger than ever. We are proud of our progress and excited about the future possibilities that lie ahead for the Guildford Institute and the community we serve.

Please consider donating to, and supporting, our Spacehive project, which is specifically fundraising to provide accessible toilets in the GI Community & Wellbeing Centre.

In conversation with: Alice Fowler

Meet Alice Fowler, an award-winning writer based in Guildford. She is also a former creative writing student here at the Institute. Alice published her debut short story collection, The Truth Has Arms and Legs, last year, which has received wide acclaim. She will be giving a talk at our Members’ Coffee Morning on 8 March about her journey from student to published author. Ahead of this, we caught up with Alice to find out about her short story collection, writing inspiration, future work, and more!

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

I’m an award-winning writer of short stories and longer fiction. My debut short story collection, The Truth Has Arms and Legs, was published by Fly On The Wall Press (an indie press based in Manchester) in July 2023. I’m delighted that the collection has gone to a third print run and was my publisher’s best-selling title last year. Before that, I worked for many years as a print journalist, first in local, then national newspapers, mainly as a feature writer and interviewer. While creative writing and journalism overlap in some ways, in others they’re quite opposing skills. Moving to Guildford, which I did with my family ten years ago, and enjoying the beautiful landscapes on our doorstep, has helped me write more freely.

Alice Fowler standing in front of bookshelves, holding a copy of her short stories collection, The Truth Has Arms And Legs

Was there anything or anyone who inspired your love of writing?

I think all writers are readers first, and that was certainly the case for me. The house where I grew up happened to be opposite a small branch library (now closed, sadly). I spent a lot of time there, reading through its shelves. I also remember the headmaster at my primary school teaching ‘composition’ – which really meant writing stories. I think that convinced me creative writing was a higher calling. Another influence was my mother, who loved books and read voraciously. Very sadly she passed away just before my book came out. However she did receive a copy, and I hope she read the acknowledgement at the end where I thanked her for inspiring me to write.

You were a student on Stella Stocker’s Creative Writing course here at the Institute. Tell us about your experience. Did the course help you to overcome any challenges in your writing process?

I thank Stella in my book’s acknowledgements as she too played a big part in my path to publication. I attended her course at the Institute for around two years. Stella’s classes are deceptively gentle, in that there is little formal teaching. Participants sit around a table, read out their work, and give and receive feedback. That is gold dust for any writer. When I arrived at Stella’s class, I’d say the editing muscle in my brain (honed in my journalism days) was still too strong. Stella’s perceptive and enabling comments, and those of fellow class members, helped me get over that. I remember to this day lines of poetry and prose that I heard read out by talented writers in the class.

What encouraged you to take the journey from student to published author?

I’d say the thing that helped me most was entering short story competitions. I started doing that in a very amateur way around six years ago and was lucky enough to have some immediate successes. I kept going and winning the Historical Writers Association short story competition in 2020 and the Wells short story competition in 2021 gave me a lot of encouragement. Most writers are prone to self-doubt, and I’m no exception, so encouragement of any kind means the world. I still thought it unlikely, given that the market for short stories is relatively small, that I would have a collection published. That The Truth Has Arms and Legs was accepted the first time I submitted it, and is selling well, has been a wonderful surprise.

The Truth Has Arms and Legs is your debut short story collection. Is there a theme that connects these stories together?

While the stories are all quite different – some contemporary, some historical – they all show characters at points of change. I’d say the theme that underlies them is resilience. Resilience is a quality that resonates with me personally and is something we all need in these challenging times. If I had to sum them up, I’d say they’re stories of change, resilience and hope.

What made you choose to write short stories?

I also spend a lot of time writing longer fiction – novels – so in many ways the short stories are a holiday from that! They’re great fun to write because everything is distilled – I try to delve deeply into character, just as in a novel, while also getting the satisfaction of completing something in a relatively short time. I recently heard the writer Wendy Erskine, whom I very much admire, saying short stories are like shots (the kind you drink). I agree – they’re powerful, but short-lived!

Close-up of Alice Fowler's short stories collection, The Truth Has Arms and Legs. The cover is a silhouette of a figure running on the beach. The book is  placed on a table with bookshelves in the background.

How did you come up with the title for The Truth Has Arms and Legs?

This is also the title of the last story in the book, in which an elderly woman, now an acclaimed cellist, remembers her childhood imprisonment at Auschwitz. The title came to me after I had completed the story. A motif of arms and legs – of paper dolls, toy farm animals, arms reaching up etc – runs through it. I also intend the title to suggest that the big events of history, that we may regard as ‘truth’, are made up of individual human lives and, often, suffering. The title came to me while walking with my dog on Merrow Down. I often find ideas bubble up from my subconscious while I’m walking. This is the story I will read from and discuss at the Institute’s Members’ Coffee Morning.

Is there a character from your collection that you relate to the most?

It’s probably Maggie Hoadley in the first story: the 1920s gypsy girl running barefoot against the village girls in shoes. I relate to Maggie’s experience in various ways. One of them is the transformative power of education. The lines: ‘Me? I’m the useless one. That’s what I used to think – until our school on wheels rolled in. Until I learnt to read’ come from a deep place. The story ‘Don’t Forget To Brush Your Feet’, about a mother home-schooling during the pandemic, while worrying that she’s forgetting words, is also quite personal, in that it’s rooted in my own experience of that time.

Would you recommend The Truth Has Arms and Legs as a book club choice?

Yes! One of the privileges of having my collection published has been going to book groups and listening as they discuss the stories. Because they touch on such a variety of themes – war, prejudice, motherhood, inequality, dementia, nature, aging and so on – they’re great for engendering discussion. A reader posted a review recently saying: ‘This exceptional collection of short stories ignited numerous debates at our recent book club meeting’. I was very glad to hear that.

Finally, can you tell us what you’re working on next?

I’m working on a historical novel, set in mid-Victorian Guildford, and partly inspired by two real-life characters who lived here. It explores identity and the boundaries between friendship and love. Recently I’ve been lucky enough to spend an extremely hard-working week at a residential library, which has helped me make a lot of progress, so I’m feeling optimistic. To come full circle back to The Guildford Institute, I should add that the very first, embryo chapter of this novel was read out at Stella’s class!

If you’d like to meet Alice and find out more about her short story collection, join us for our Members’ Coffee Morning on Friday 8 March at 10.30am. Free to attend for Institute members only, book your free place.

What’s coming up this autumn?

Autumn is fast approaching but don’t let the greying skies dampen your mood. Here at the GI, we promise you a warm welcome and a huge variety of courses, visits, and live events to distract you from the cooling weather.

Unsure where to begin? Why not follow our termly focus of ‘Whispers, Secrets, and Lies’ and discover deceptive paintings, secret agents, Churchill’s wartime tactics, and seductive suitors! Prefer to plan out your own activities? We’ve got you covered. From art history lectures to live music events, whatever you fancy, we guarantee you a jam-packed autumn.

Creative Flower & Plant Photography Through the Seasons | 21 September, 10am – 4pm

Close-up of orange acer leaves

Kick off the season with a photography workshop and learn how to capture the beauty of autumn. Anna Saverimuttu, a Guildford local, is a talented photographer whose work centres on nature. You may have also spotted that her stunning photograph, Autumn Acer, is our brochure cover! Her course will teach you how to use just your camera and natural light to capture the gorgeous colours, textures, and shapes of seasonal plants and flowers.

Termly Focus: ‘Whispers, Secrets, and Lies’

This term’s focus is ‘Whispers, Secrets, and Lies’. With a range of different courses, workshops and visits, learn to see beyond the surface and read between the lines whether it be in art, literature, music.

Spy Training | 3 November – 17 November, 10.15am – 12.15pm

Three spies sat in a lounge

During World War II, training in covert operation was vital preparation for the “ungentlemanly warfare” waged by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) against Hitler’s Germany.

In this 3-part course, examine the training syllabus used at SOE’s Special Training Schools (STSs) instructing agents on how to wreak maximum havoc in occupied Europe.  From burglary, close combat, and silent killing, to utilizing propaganda, surveillance, and disguise – we will delve into the files of the British National Archives to understand what really happened.

A Licence to Create – Write your Own Spy Story | 9 – 16 November, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Calling all creative writers! Celebrate the 70th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale with this two-part writing course. The first session will focus on the key characteristics of a Bond-style story – the protagonist, the romantic interests, the villains, and the gadgets.

In the second session, participants can share and discuss the outline of their new spy stories.

Lies, Damned Lies and Art | 14 November, 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Art is the most beautiful of all lies’ – Debussy

‘We have art so as not to die from truth’ – Nietzche

What do they mean by this? Join tutor Ronnie Ireland to see beyond the surface and explore how art might, or might not, tell the truth and what kind of truth it can tell us.

Live Music Events

Looking for a fun and relaxing way to spend an evening? Aside from our wide range of courses, The Guildford Institute will also be hosting a variety of live music events!

Open Mic Night | 6 October 2023, 7.30pm – 10.30pm

Microphone and stand

We are excited to announce our first ever open mic night! Join us for an evening of song and word, whether as a performer or audience member. This free event welcomes musicians, singers, poets, and comedians, whether experienced or just starting out.

We’re looking forward to discovering many local talents!

Dean Dyson | 25 November, 8pm – 10pm

Dean Dyson singing and playing a guitar

We are pleased to welcome Dean Dyson back at The Guildford Institute for a live acoustic evening. Dean is a singer-song writer with an impressive career and has even performed at the Barbican and the Bluebird, Nashville. Despite his success, he still enjoys playing at local venues and sharing his love of music with others.

Join Dean for a laid-back evening full of live music. Our bar will also be open from 7.30pm.

We hope you have enjoyed finding out about what’s on this autumn term at The Guildford Institute. If you would like you explore more, please take a look at our Autumn Programme.

painting of a summer scene

What’s On in June and July?

The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the sun is out…summer has finally arrived! The GI welcomes you this June and July to join us for a variety of courses, talks, and visits to help you make the most of the summer months.

June Courses

For many people, summertime means vacations, good food, warm weather, and natural beauty at its peak. What better way to capture that great summer feeling than through art, crafts, and light-hearted poetry?

23 June Embroidery Workshop: Delicate Floral Design

Lilies, roses, peonies…with hundreds of summer flowers to use as inspiration, learn how to create delicate floral designs which will last through all seasons with just a few simple stitches.

A blue square embroidered with a floral letter H; a pink heart embroidered with red and blue flowers; purple, white and pink thread.
Floral Embroidery Design
Painting of a meadow filled with red, yellow and purple flowers. There is a house which is white with a red roof. It is surrounded by tall trees and a blue sky.
A Summer Scene

28 June – 12 July – Painting Summer Scenes

Over the course of three weeks, improve your oil or watercolour skills by painting several different subjects inspired by the theme of summer.

22 June – Literary Nonsense (Term Focus)

This summer term, we are commemorating Lewis Carroll with our focus on ‘Wonderland’. Just as Alice’s summer day was filled with strange and nonsensical wonderlands, you too can delve into strange and nonsensical worlds by re-discovering childhood literary delights ranging from The Jabberwocky to The Owl and the Pussycat.

An owl and pussycat sat in a green boat with a lantern overhead. The boat is on the water surrounded by a starry sky.
The Owl and The Pussy Cat

Browse all our summer term activities

July Courses

Summer doesn’t always have to be spent abroad. Why not re-discover the beauty of your own local culture and history?

4 – 25 July Uncovering More of Guildford’s Recent History

Join local historian David Rose and explore Guildford’s recent history through a series of vintage postcard images. Discover more about Woodbridge Hill, Westborough, and the hospitals that were once integral to our local community.

A black and white image of a mother and child stood outside a row of houses. Part of the roof is covered with a tarpaulin.

5 July Not ‘Alice’: A Talk on the Writings of Lewis Carroll (Term Focus)

Did you know Lewis Carroll was a resident of Guildford?  Sue Morris and Alfred Bradley will look beyond Carroll’s famous Alice stories and explore his impressive body of poetic and mathematical works.

14 July Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Join the GI for a lovely day trip to Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens, a 240 acre Grade I listed garden in Horsham, and enjoy the colourful array of trees, plants and the many bird species around the lake. Leave the car at home as our coach will take you there and back!

View of a lake, with green plants and pink, red and yellow flowers in the foreground. The lake is surrounded by trees and a small building on the edge of the water.
Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

We hope you have enjoyed finding out about what’s on in June and July at The Guildford Institute. If you would like you explore more, please take a look at our summer programme.

Dr Lucy Ella Rose

Meet the Tutor: Dr Lucy Ella Rose

Here at the GI, we are lucky to have so many talented tutors who offer high quality and engaging courses on a whole host of subjects. We’d like to introduce you to Dr Lucy Ella Rose who will be teaching Victorian Artistic Partnerships: Creating Wonderlands this term. Lucy Ella is a lecturer at the University of Surrey and a published author who specialises in Victorian literature, art, culture, and feminism.

Tell us about yourself and your background. How did you get into a career in academia and teaching?

Once I finished my BA and MA in English Literature at Sussex University, I felt like I had only just scratched the surface and there was so much more to explore! This led me to apply for a PhD post at Surrey University, which I was lucky enough to get. It was a life-changing experience which confirmed my passion for academic research and teaching. After some short-term lectureships at Surrey, and the publication of my PhD in book form, I was appointed Lecturer in Victorian Literature at Surrey. Sharing and generating ideas with others is my dream job!

Dr Lucy Ella Rose
Dr Lucy Ella Rose
You specialise in Victorian Literature; can you tell us what you particularly love about this subject?

The Victorian period saw so much change, especially in the role of women, who entered the literary and artistic professions en masse for the first time. Women’s newfound professional identities and publications (essays, articles, novels, stories, poems) gave them voices at a time when women didn’t even have the vote. I find it very exciting to trace today’s feminism back to its roots in Victorian women’s writing and visual culture, which were used as mouthpieces to call for greater female freedoms and join debates that led to real socio-political change.

De Morgan exhibition at Watts Gallery, Compton
Your work often focuses on feminism and women in Victorian Literature. Is there a particular woman from this time that you admire and why?

There are too many to list! I hugely admire Mary Watts, who set up her pottery business and held women’s suffrage meetings at her Surrey studio-house, which she transformed into a work of art. I admire the way she combined art and activism, especially in older age – instead of slowing down, she seems to have sped up! I feel a bit like I knew her, having read and transcribed her diaries. I love Evelyn De Morgan’s allegorical artwork too – decoding its symbolism and contemplating meanings. Like Mary Watts, her creative energy was phenomenal.

Your first course at The Guildford Institute will be on Victorian Artistic Partnerships: Creating Wonderlands. What inspired this subject choice? Can you tell us a bit more about what we can expect from your course?

The subject choice is led by my research focus on Victorian creative partnerships of various kinds. I published a book on the marital artistic partnerships of the Wattses and the De Morgans in 2018 (Suffragist Artists in Partnership: Gender, Word and Image), and I am currently writing a book on creative partnerships between sisters, focusing on Netta and Nellie Syrett. Using the theme of ‘wonderland’ to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s death, I want to think about the ‘wonderlands’ created by these partnerships – that is, their creative worlds, spaces, ideas and outputs associated with spiritualism, symbolism and suffragism. ‘Wonderland’ offers a new lens for conceptualising the lives, works and relationships of these artists, and I look forward to exploring this subject from a fresh perspective with attendees of the course.

When you’re not busy teaching or writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I try to immerse myself in as much visual culture as possible, so I go to art galleries and exhibitions, go to the theatre and cinema. I like to be transported into other worlds, and experience other people’s creations in non-verbal ways.

What are you most looking forward to about teaching at the Institute?

It’s exciting to strengthen connections between Surrey University and other local cultural partners, and to work with a wider range of people on materials that haven’t received much critical attention.

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know GI tutor Lucy Ella Rose! Are you keen to learn more about Victorian artists and their own creative wonderlands? Join Lucy Ella at the GI for her course Victorian Artistic Partnerships: Creating Wonderlands  which begins on 7 June 2023.

Spring brochure highlights

Our spring brochure is out now and jam-packed with nearly 80 activities, ranging from courses and talks to visits and events. With so much to choose from, we thought we’d share some highlights to look out for!

Journeys and Discoveries

This term we will be celebrating innovation and exploration, both close to home and further afield, with a variety of events based around the focus of Journeys and Discoveries. Activities will range from learning about the achievements of Surrey scientists, to the travels of explorers and boundary-pushing artists.

Poems on the Underground, Thursday 16 February, 10am – 12.30pm

The London Underground is somewhere familiar to many of us! Celebrate its 160th anniversary by exploring Poems on the Underground which launched in 1986. Discover some of the poems that have provided a lift for weary travellers on ‘the Tube’ over the years since then.

Gardens of Sintra, Portugal: The ‘Mountain of the Moon’, Wednesday 8 March, 3pm – 4.15pm

If you enjoy shorter, one-off sessions, our Window on the World talks are perfect for you! Sintra, near Lisbon in Portugal, combines great natural beauty with plants from around the world and unique architecture to form a memorable UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hear about some dramatic properties and landscapes including Pena Palace, the mysterious garden of Quinta da Regaleira and the impressive Palace of Monserrate.

Django and Grappelli – Gypsy Jazz, Thursday 30 March, 2pm – 4pm

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of live music! Join guitarist Nicolas Meier and violinist Richard Jones who will take you on a two-hour journey of the best of Gypsy Jazz. They will specifically focus on the life and music of the amazing duo: Stephane Grappelli and Django Rheinhard.

Explore local history

Love local history? There will be the opportunity to find out about two of Guildford’s best known historic buildings: enjoy a fascinating talk on Tunsgate Arch and a bespoke private tour of Abbot’s Hospital. Plus, discover the town’s royal connections with Guildford Town Guides!

Tunsgate Arch and the Cornmarket, Wednesday 8 February, 3pm – 4.15pm

Discover the history of Tunsgate Arch; find out about what it was originally for and why it looks the way it does today. It is a building which has been admired, ignored, despised, and loved, but not all at the same time!

Abbot’s Hospital, Guildford, Friday 3 March, 11am – 12pm

Abbot’s Hospital was founded in 1619 by George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to provide a place of shelter for Guildford’s elderly or infirm. Almost 400 years later, this Grade I listed building continues to provide a sociable and supportive environment for members of the local community.

Enjoy a bespoke private tour of the Hospital, with exclusive access to parts of the building that are not typically open to the public.

Royal Guildford – A Walking Tour, Wednesday 15 March, 11am – 12.30pm

Did you know that Guildford has royal connections from Saxon King Alfred to our monarch today, King Charles III? Join Guildford Town Guides for a walking tour: learn about murders and beheadings as well as celebrations, discover the two royal residences in Guildford and find out why plum cake is a key component of a royal visit!

New this spring

An Introduction to Buddhism, 9 January – 6 February, 2pm – 4pm

Join new tutor Karim for an introduction to one of the great religions of the world, Buddhism. Consider its origins and early historical development, as well as its key beliefs.

Turkish Cooking, 15 – 22 March, 4pm – 6.30pm

Interested in learning how to cook something new? Join long-standing tutor Songul for her two-week online cooking workshop exploring dishes from her homeland. Learn how to make some Turkish dishes such as bulgur salad, green beans with tomato sauce and Turkish shakshuka.

To see our full spring programme of activities and events, you can browse our digital brochure. Alternatively, if you’re in the area, pop into the Institute and pick up a copy!

What’s coming up in our autumn brochure

Our new autumn brochure is out now, jam-packed with over 70 courses, talks, visits and events on offer. With so much to choose from, we thought we’d give a helping hand by highlighting just some of our activities to look out for…

Autumn 2022 brochure cover: Colourful Leaves by Alice Charman

Celebrating Festivals Around the World

To mark the number of cultural and religious festivals that take place around the globe each autumn, this term we are set to celebrate Festivals Around the World, with a number of our activities taking inspiration from this theme.

Autumn brochure: Open book in the centre, on a blanket surrounded by orange leaves and red apples.

*Sold out* Seasons of Mist and Mellow Fruitfulness, Thursday 29 September, 10am – 12.30pm

What better way to embrace the turn of the season than by enjoying the sounds of autumn poetry? Join tutor Carol Perrett and explore John Keat’s ode To Autumn, which celebrates autumn’s harvest bounty.

Autumn brochure: two skulls; one white and one navy blue. Elaborately decorated with bright colourful patterns in green, orange, pink and red.

Spirits and Demons: The Day of the Dead, Halloween and English Folk Traditions, Monday 31 October, 2.30pm – 3.45pm

Did you know that Mexico’s Day of the Dead shares it origins with Protestant England’s Halloween traditions? Join us for some Halloween-themed food and drink whilst enjoying this topical talk from tutor, author and local historian Kathy Atherton.

Autumn brochure: two wine glasses in the foreground; one filled with red wine and the other with white wine. Foliage and berries in the background.

Festive Wine Tasting, Friday 4 November, 7pm – 9pm

Plan ahead and get your Christmas activities in the diary! Join experienced tutor Jeremy and learn about some of the best wines to serve your guests. In this engaging workshop, he will guide you through a selection of handpicked festive wines, perfect for your Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Marking 130 Years in our Ward Street home

Autumn brochure: Looking down Guildford high street at sunset; cobbled paving with the prominent Guildhall clock.

The Guildford Institute’s 130-Year Anniversary & Guildford History Question Time, Friday 7 October, 3pm – 4.30pm

2022 marks 130 years of being in our building! Raise a glass and join us for a brief look at our history, with a Question Time style Q&A made up of a panel of local experts including Martin Giles, David Rose, Matthew Alexander and David Calow.

Spark your imagination with our courses

Art History

Painting the Borderlands: A Short History of Ukrainian Art. 12 September – 3 October, 10am – 12.30pm (face to face); 12 September – 14 November, 7pm – 8.15pm (online)

We are delighted to welcome back popular tutor Louise Hardiman and trust us, you won’t want to miss out on her course! Explore artists and artworks, and consider the specific historical geographic contexts of art in Ukraine. There is lots of flexibility with this course, with the option to attend face to face during the day or online in the evening.

Environmental Science

Autumn brochure: satellite view of earth.

Climate Change Ancient and Modern, 7 – 21 October, 10am – 12pm

We are very lucky to have another popular tutor returning to the Institute this term – Dr Colin P. Summerhayes. Join him for his topical course and consider the human race’s impact on the planet and Earth’s climate evolution.

Drawing & Painting

Autumn brochure: painted image of pink and purple hydrangeas with green leaves.

Bubble Painting with Hydrangeas, Friday 28 October, 1pm – 4pm

This may just be one of the easiest and most fun watercolour flower painting projects, because you don’t even have to ‘paint’. Just bring your enthusiasm and a willingness to learn something new!

Autumn brochure: Valencian tile from Woking Palace; dark blue with a white pattern.

The History of Surrey in 50 Fascinating Objects, 4 – 25 November, 10.30am – 12.30pm

Love local history? Inspired by the British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects, join much-loved tutor Lorraine Spindler and examine objects from around Surrey that reflect its fascinating history.

Explore local gems and venture further afield with our visits

Autumn brochure: Exterior view of Gilbert White's House.

Gilbert White’s House and Gardens, Wednesday 7 September, 10.30am – 3pm – Coach Visit

Join us for a tour of the beautiful house which was once the home of pioneering 18th-century naturalist Gilbert White and is now an eclectic museum, gardens and visitor centre. The visit includes refreshments, a private tour, free time to explore and the opportunity to view White’s 18th century Brewhouse. Make sure this day out is booked in your diaries!

Autumn brochure: Painting of St. Michael's Abbey in the distance. Green foliage and trees in the foreground.

St. Michael’s Abbey, Wednesday 21 September, 2pm – 3pm – Make Your Own Way Visit

For those who enjoy shorter visits, our trip to St. Michael’s Abbey is perfect for you! St. Michael’s Abbey is a monastery and imperial mausoleum based in Farnborough and is best known as the resting place of the last Bonaparte Emperor. Enjoy a private, hour-long guided tour of the church and crypt.

Enjoy our Window on the World talks

Autumn brochure: Exterior view of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre: The Next Stage, with Joanna Reid, Chief Executive, Wednesday 28 September, 3pm – 4.15pm

We love to team up with other local organisations wherever possible! The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre presents vibrant drama for the people of Surrey and beyond. Hear first-hand from its Chief Executive, Joanna Reid, about the recent period of transformation.

Sex Marriage and the Church in the Medieval Period, with Brian Creese, Wednesday 12 October, 3pm – 4.15pm

Only recently has marriage been a civil matter. For most of our past, marriage has been a family matter mediated by the church and subject to a bewildering set of ever-changing criteria. Did the medieval church support young lovers? Why were panels of women assembled to assess the virility of a husband? And just how celibate were the priests, monks and bishops of the medieval church? This talk will answer those questions and more.

We hope this has given you a taste of the range of activities we have available as part of our autumn brochure! All of our events are available to browse in our digital brochure. Alternatively, if you’re passing by, pop in and pick up a printed copy.

5 events to look out for this Summer

Looking for activities to keep you busy over the summer? Here at the GI we have a whole range of exciting courses, talks and events taking place for you to enjoy.

We have put together a round-up of just some of our activities you can get involved in…

Our summer brochure cover – Mantis by Charlotte Allum

Window on the World talks

If you enjoy shorter, one off sessions, our Window on the World talks are the perfect choice for you! Held on weekday afternoons, our talks explore a variety of topics.

5 events to look out for: The Queen's Royal Photographers. Portrait photograph of the Queen smiling, wearing a lemon coloured suit and a matching hat with light pink flowers.

The Queens Royal Photographers – Changing Styles over the years | 8 June | 3pm – 4.15pm

As part of our Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Guildford based photographer Peter Merry will explore the images that tell the story of the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Browse all of our upcoming Window on the World talks this term.

A-Z Art History Evening Lecture Series

Our new monthly evening lecture series continues! Our speakers will guide you through an A-Z of the History of Art.

Port Vendres by Andre Derain. The painting depicts boats in a port, made up of lots of bright colours including yellow, red, pink, green and blue.

Fauvism – An Explosion of Colour | 9 June | 7pm – 9pm

Next up, join tutor Daphne Jefferis who will explore the letter F. Discover Fauvism, an exciting movement in France at the beginning of the 20th Century. Drinks will be available from our new evening bar menu from 6.30pm on these evenings.

Make sure to pick up one of our loyalty cards – collect 9 letters and enjoy your 10th lecture for free. Attendees can have these stamped every time they attend.

Browse all of our upcoming A-Z Lectures this term

Upcoming courses this term

Below are just some of our upcoming courses we think you will be interested in this term.

5 events to look out for: Summer Wine Tasting. Image of a hand holding a wine glass in the foreground. In the background there is a wooden table with guests seated around it.

Summer Wine Tasting Workshop | 16 June | 7pm-9pm

Our one off Summer Wine Tasting Workshop with local expert Jeremy Blood will transport you to foreign lands. He will guide you through a selection of handpicked summer wines in an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere. What better way to spend your evening?

5 events to look out for: An Insight into Indian Classical Music. Close-up image of a musician playing the sitar.

An Insight into Indian Classical Music | 22 June | 6.30pm – 8pm

Calling all music lovers! Join us for an evening of Indian classical music with Devdan Sen.

Find out how Indian music reflects centuries of cultural synthesis, of ancient indigenous systems and of migration. Devdan will present the classical traditions of the north, past the exotic to the disciplines that lie beneath.

Flat-lay of cooking ingredients including tomatoes, spaghetti, mozzarella, courgette and onions.

Italian Food | 4 – 25 July | 4pm – 6pm

Perfect for any foodies. In this course you will discover the history of Italian ingredients, the Slow Food Movement and the renowned ‘Dieta Mediterranea’.

In the final sessions, you will have the option to cook along with tutor Anna, learning some traditional regional recipes.

Browse all of our upcoming courses this term.

The remainder of our summer term activities are available to browse on the ‘What’s on’ section of our website. If you would like to request a copy of our summer 2022 brochure, please email

International Women’s Day: Meet the Tutors

Here at The Guildford Institute, we are proud to have lots of talented female tutors who teach a wide variety of subjects. Our focus this term is Inspirational Women, so we thought it would be a great idea for you to get to know some of our female tutors and speakers a little better, and highlight a selection of their upcoming courses and events taking place this spring term.

International Women’s Day is an annual holiday, celebrated globally on 8 March. The day commemorates and celebrates the achievements of women throughout history and the present day. The first gathering was celebrated well over a century ago, in 1911. A wide range of historic events and achievements carried out by women including their political, social, economic, and cultural impacts throughout history and the present day are celebrated on International Women’s Day.

Jenny Frendo

Tell us about your career and background. How did you get into teaching?

My early career was in Human Resources (although it was Personnel Management in the 1970s) and part of my work involved designing and delivering induction courses for new employees. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of my job and was drawn to the idea of teaching.

When I left my role to have children, I embarked on an Open University degree and became fascinated by 19th century history and the impact of industrialisation. This led me to my career teaching for the WEA, The University of Surrey’s continuing education department and The Guildford Institute.

What does International Women’s day mean to you? 

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the struggles of so many courageous women whose determination and campaigning has brought about changes in laws, attitudes and perceptions.

What inspired you to choose the subject matter for your upcoming course ‘Pioneering Women in 19th Century Britain‘, linked to our termly focus of Inspirational Women?

International Women's Day: Portrait of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. It is a black and white image of Elizabeth, taken side-on, of her sat reading a book.

I never cease to be amazed by the attitudes that prevailed in the 19th century and the courage that it took for women to fight for the right to education, career opportunities and legal status. In my course on Pioneering Women we will examine the background to some of these issues and the trailblazing efforts of some of the women involved in campaigning for change.

What is your favourite part about teaching at The Guildford Institute?

My favourite part of working at the Institute is the opportunity to meet and engage with the students whose enthusiasm and interest makes for a stimulating teaching experience. I also very much appreciate the hard work and help I receive from all the lovely staff.

Interested in learning more about the legacies of female trailblazers in the 19th century? Jenny’s course, Pioneering Women in 19th Century Britain, begins on 8 March.

Tammy Ellis

Picture of Tammy Ellis. The image is a headshot. Tammy has blonde hair and is wearing a black and white animal print shirt.

Tell us about your career and background. How did you get into teaching?

My first degree was in French and German and I worked for a bank for a while before working for a company that imported furniture from East Germany as a schedule controller, translator and German teacher.

After starting my family, I moved into teaching adults at night school, gave private lessons to GCSE and ‘A’ level students and I also taught French to RAF officers. After I completed my second degree in Combined Studies (Art History and Literature), I transferred my teaching skills to concentrate on art history, a subject which has long been a passion of mine.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I think that concentrating on women and their influence, both in the workplace and in society in general, is very important. My most recent lectures have been on the subject of women who have been essentially almost forgotten in art history. This has prompted strong reactions in class, both from men and women, as to how such creative individuals have simply slipped under the radar or are viewed only as an ‘attachment’ to their male counterparts. In focusing on women and their strengths and abilities, in all walks of life, we can create a more balanced and progressive world.

International Women's Day: Photo of Dora Maar. She is captured sitting down, looking away from the camera, with her hand resting on her head. She is wearing a yellow jacket and black and white floral top.

What inspired you to choose the subject matter for your upcoming course, Daring Dora – The Life and Times of Dora Maar, linked to our termly focus of Inspirational Women?

Dora Maar is a prime example of a woman who was, and is, often seen as merely a woman whose role was to complement the man in her life- in this case as a muse of Picasso. Yet Dora Maar was an inspiring artist and individual and the exhibition at Tate Modern (November 2019-March 2020) really highlighted this. Being a muse of Picasso was a small part of her artistic world. She lived for almost all of the twentieth century and was a fabulous photographer, painter and loved to experiment. Maar also influenced Picasso’s work and was, above all, someone who loved to create. It definitely says something about the struggle and lack of recognition of women artists when most of her work was discovered posthumously.

What is your favourite part about teaching at The Guildford Institute?

The Guildford Institute gave me my first art history teaching opportunity when it was still part of the University of Surrey. I shall be forever grateful for that. The Institute has a unique and welcoming ambiance and serves the community so well. It offers a great variety of courses and opportunities for people to meet and enjoy one another’s company. I particularly like this sense of community and the way that I am able to interact and discuss art history with people I genuinely find inspiring.

Would you like to find out more about successful painter and photographer, Dora Maar? Tammy’s course, Daring Dora – The Life and Times of Dora Maar, takes place on 31 March.

Kathy Atherton

Photo of Kathy Atherton. She is wearing a purple top and holding a copy of her book, 'Suffragette Planners and Plotters', stood in front of a world map.

Tell us about your career and background. How did you get into public speaking?

After an MPhil in 17th century studies I worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary before spending 10 years as a lawyer. Since leaving the law I have written six history books, led battlefield tours, and made a short film on the lives of Emmeline and Fred Pethick-Lawrence with Royal Holloway (University of London) and another with the Mayflower 400 project.

I am a trustee and Chairman of Dorking Museum, where I lead the guided walks team and am responsible for temporary exhibitions and oral history. I am also one of the founders of the Cockerel Press. I have written on the First World War, Dorking’s Mayflower Pilgrims, the Fight for the Vote in the Surrey Hills area and on the lives of Fred and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, funders of Mrs Pankhurst’s radical ‘suffragettes’. I speak regularly on BBC radio, have given talks around the country, contributed to academic publications on the fight for the vote, and have been responsible for the installation of two blue plaques recognising the achievements of women whose contribution has been overlooked.

I began public speaking as a direct result of my research and publications, speaking to local groups on request, but the focus on the centenary of the vote being granted to some women in 2018 saw a flood of invitations to speak around the country on forgotten aspects of women’s history.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

As a historian, International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to look back at women’s achievements and to evaluate their impact and relevance to issues facing women today. It is a time of celebration, and a great opportunity to share the stories of inspirational women who might otherwise be forgotten, but it also allows us a space to consider the issues facing women today and how we can support those who are still battling for recognition, freedom and equality both domestically and around the world.

International Women's Day: A black and white photo of Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence at the Women's Coronation March in June 1911. Four women are captured walking prominently in the foreground, followed by a large crowd behind.

What inspired you to choose the subject matter for your upcoming Special Event, The Fight for the Vote for Women in the Surrey Hills, linked to our termly focus of Inspirational Women?

The inspirations for the talk on the Fight for the Vote in the Surrey Hills were the incredible stories of the women themselves. There is a tendency to see ‘history’ as being created in cities, by influential people. The fight for the vote attracted women from all areas and all walks of life. I think it is empowering for people to know that by their determination and courage, women from their own Surrey town or village made a real difference.

What is your favourite part about doing events with The Guildford Institute?

Lively audiences really make speaking at the Institute a pleasure and often question and answer sessions at the end of a talk can be the most interesting. People come with their own stories, connections and opinions which they are usually generous enough to share. History is a collaborative process, and as a speaker I often come away with a deeper or wider understanding of the impact of events, or with leads to follow up, through conversations with members of the audience.

If you would to discover more about this courageous group of women, Kathy’s talk, The Fight for the Vote for Women in the Surrey Hills, takes place on 8 March.

Songül Yilmaz Meier

Tell us about your career and background. How did you get into teaching?

Picture of Songul Yilmaz Meier. She is wearing a blue top and purple hairband, stood in front of display of her paintings.

I love travelling and many of my paintings are inspired from my travels. I studied Fine Arts in Turkey and gained a BA. When I graduated, I qualified as an art teacher but it wasn’t until 2001 that I decided to start teaching. I have been professionally painting and teaching for the last 20 years; 13 years have been spent at Kingston Adult Education and then almost 6 years at The Guildford Institute.

I have had exhibitions in a range of places including the UK, Switzerland, France and Turkey. The use of colours inspires my work and I enjoy capturing lights in my paintings. I specialise in painting landscapes but l enjoy painting to any other themes that inspire me.

What does International Women’s day mean to you? 

International Women’s day to me means celebrating gender equality and a world free of discrimination. This year’s slogan for the International Women’s Day 2022 campaign “let’s break the bias” along with the phrase ‘we are strong when we are together’ come to mind when I think of International Women’s Day.

What inspired you to choose the subject matter for your upcoming course, ‘Colours of Frida Kahlo’, linked to our termly focus of Inspirational Women?

Frida Kahlo is an inspiration to many women. She was bullied at school, however grew up to be a strong woman and broke many barriers for her time. She is remembered for her self-portraits and her bold, vibrant uses of colour. During this one-day course, we will explore her use of colour and celebrate her art by creating your own Frida Kahlo inspired work.

A Frida Kahlo inspired portrait to celebrate International Women's Day. The bright background is made up of reds, oranges and yellows, with delicate flowers around the edges. A woman is sat in the foreground wearing a black shawl, floral top and gold necklace, with flowers in her hair.
Image by Songül Yilmaz Meier

What is your favourite part about teaching at The Guildford Institute?

I am lucky enough to be able to meet so many enthusiastic people who come here to learn. It is a very special place for tutors to be creative, as well as being an educational venue with a variety of courses and talks for keen learners. My aim is to encourage people, whilst also giving structural support with demonstrations of how they can learn.

Keen to create your own Frida Kahlo inspired portrait? Songül’s course, Colours of Frida Kahlo, takes place on 9 March. Visit Songül’s website to see more of her artwork.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about International Women’s Day and getting to know our tutors and speakers a little better. Visit the What’s On section of our website to browse our upcoming activities.

Meet the Tutor: Susan Purcell

Here at the GI, we are lucky to have so many talented tutors who offer high quality and engaging courses on a whole host of subjects. We’d like to introduce you to crossword extraordinaire and editor, Susan Purcell, who teaches a variety of interactive crossword workshops.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. How did you get into the world of crosswords?

I was born and grew up in Liverpool. My parents were both keen crossword solvers and they bought two newspapers every day so that they could each indulge their passion. I don’t remember them explicitly teaching me how to solve crosswords, but I must have subconsciously imbibed the obsession!

I studied Russian and German at university and then taught for a few years before joining a publishing company that specialised in producing crosswords and other puzzles. I’ve always gained a great deal of enjoyment from doing cryptic crosswords – they certainly make long flights and train journeys less boring – so, when I retired after nearly twenty years at the company, I was keen to spread the word to others, hence my courses at The Guildford Institute.

Institute tutor, Susan Purcell, sat smiling wearing a black, pink and green floral jacket, blue necklace and glasses.
GI Tutor Susan Purcell
What do you think some of the benefits of doing crosswords are?

Most cruciverbalists (crossword aficionados) appreciate the wit to be found in cryptic clues and, moreover, enjoy being baffled and bamboozled by them. Cryptic crosswords really do make you think creatively and laterally. In addition, they often introduce people to new words, or to new meanings of common words, so an improved vocabulary is another benefit.

For anyone new to cryptic crosswords, could you explain what they are and give any tips on how to get started with them?

In a cryptic crossword, the answer is contained in the clue; you don’t need to be brainy, nor do you need to have a good grasp of general knowledge – the answer is right there in front of you. It might not appear so on first glance, but there is logic and method to cryptic clues – you just have to learn the code.

For instance, take the clue ‘Actress from Germany, surprisingly (3,4)’. In crossword-speak, the word ‘surprisingly’ is telling you that this clue is based on an anagram. To arrive at the answer, unjumble the letters of ‘Germany’ and you discover that the actress ‘Meg Ryan’ is an anagram.

Or the clue ‘Still together (2,3,3,4)’. This is a double definition clue. The answer, ‘at the same time’, means both ‘still’ (as in ‘however, nevertheless’) and ‘together’ (simultaneously).

The answer to the clue ‘Metal concealed by environmentalist (4)’ is hidden within the clue itself. The answer is ‘iron’, concealed in the word ‘envIRONmentalist’.

The best way to get started with cryptic crosswords – apart from attending my beginners’ course at The Guildford Institute, of course – is to look at the answers (often in the next day’s newspaper) and work backwards to decipher the clue. If you do this every day, you’ll come on in leaps and bounds.

We know that you are a very experienced crossword compiler. Can you tell us how you go about doing this?

Crossword compilers start with an empty grid (the box of black and white squares); they don’t start with words and then add the black squares. It’s important to have a good knowledge of English spelling rules and word structure so that, for instance, you don’t end up having to find too many words that end in U or J in the bottom right corner of the grid. Certain words crop up frequently in crosswords; if you have _ T _ A or E_N_, Etna is one of the very few words that fits. Compilers try to avoid these ubiquitous crossword words.

When you’re not busy compiling crosswords or teaching, do you have any hobbies or interests that you enjoy?

I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and a member of the Society of Authors, so I spend a lot of my time writing. I am the author of the BBC’s Talk French Grammar, Talk German Grammar and other language-learning books.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at the GI?

I enjoy getting to meet the very interesting people who come along to the courses. I also appreciate working with such a nice bunch of staff, who always make everything go so smoothly. It’s a real pleasure being part of The Guildford Institute community.

The Guildford Institute building

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know GI tutor Susan Purcell! Keen to try your hand at one of Susan’s crossword workshops? She has two coming up: Cracking the Cryptic Crossword Code starting on Monday 21 February and a Cryptic Crossword-Solving Workshop on Monday 28 March.

The exterior of The Guildford Institute: a large, two-storey, light pink building.

News on our tenant, The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Guildford Institute building

It is The Guildford Institute’s understanding that its long-term ground floor tenant, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), will be closing the North Street branch on Wednesday 9 March 2022.

RBS’s tenancy delivers a significant part of the Institute’s income, which enables it to provide a wide variety of activities for the local community. The Institute has been preparing for this eventuality for some time and will now be using this opportunity to review all of its options going forward. These could include finding a new tenant or using the space for the Institute and expanding its offer.

Brian Creese, Chairperson of the Institute, said: “The news of RBS’s departure did not come as a huge surprise and although we are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, we are excited by this new chapter in our history”.

The ground floor of the property owned by The Guildford Institute has been used as a bank for many years and has held a long association with both RBS and prior to this, the historic Williams & Glyn Bank.

Today’s news opens up a number of future opportunities that the Institute is keen to explore and is confident in its ability to ensure the best possible outcome for the way ahead.

Figure crouched down onto the floor rolling out their yoga mat.

Yoga and its many benefits

Yoga is a physical activity that combines practices of breathing techniques, meditation, movements and concentration. The origins of yoga are believed to have begun over 5000 years ago in Northern India.

Figure crouched down on the floor, rolling a blue yoga mat out in front of them.

Over time as yoga has continued to grow in popularity, countries all over the world have adapted and changed the traditional ancient practices into the modern interpretations and styles of yoga that we are familiar with today.

Most people will recognise that taking part in yoga comes with an abundance of benefits for your physical wellbeing, but did you know there are also many positive benefits for your mental wellbeing too?

Below, experienced teacher Julie Fastiggi shares just some of the many benefits that participating in yoga can have for our bodies’ physical and mental wellbeing.

Figure wearing a white top and purple trousers, sitting on the floor in a cross legged position meditating.
  1. Strengthens the whole body – can improve flexibility and balance.
  2. Aids mental calm/clarity.
  3. Lowers stress levels.
  4. Improves circulation and cardiac health.
  5. Improves flexibility and health.

Tutor Julie encourages smiles and a ‘have a go you never know’ approach to her classes in a mindful and safe way which is suitable for all abilities.

If you would like to take part and discover the benefits that yoga has to offer, join Julie for her class, Yoga for Every ‘Body’ which begins on 10 November at the Institute.

Library bookshelves

You’ve seen the TV show – now read the book!

Did you know that some of our favourite TV shows are based on books? In recent years, we’ve been spoilt for choice with what to watch! While we have undoubtedly enjoyed binge-watching the latest must-see programmes, we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on the novels behind them.

Take a look at our list of books-turned-TV-shows that we recommend you read:

Shows based on books: front cover of Normal People, red and showing illustration of couple embracing, sitting on Library shelf.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This story follows the unlikely friendship and relationship of two teenagers as they navigate their way into adulthood. On the surface, Marianne and Connell appear to be complete opposites but find themselves bound by an unbreakable connection…

Shows based on books: front cover of Us, red with silhouettes of three figures, sitting on Library shelf.

Us by David Nicholls

With his son due to start at university in the autumn, Douglas Peterson finds his wife also plans to leave. Determined to save his marriage and bring the family closer together, Douglas believes that going on a summer holiday of a lifetime is the key to fixing everything. What could go wrong?

Shows based on books: front cover of A Suitable Boy, white with illustration of a young woman, sitting on Library shelf

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Set in India in the early 1950s, Lata’s mother sets out to find a suitable boy for her to marry. However, they both have very different ideas on who would make the best match. At the same time, it tells the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, from the perspective of four families.

Shows based on books: front cover of the Miniaturist, showing illustrations of figures in grand interior.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

In autumn 1686, Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of merchant trader Johannes Brandt. He presents her with an astonishing wedding gift – a cabinet-sized replica of their home. Nella seeks the assistance of a miniaturist to help furnish her present and unexpectedly starts to discover the secrets of the family she has joined…

Let us know if you have read any of the books on our list or if you have any recommendations! We hope this gives you some inspiration for your summer reading. All of the books on our list are available for Institute members to borrow from our Library which is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am – 2pm.

Meet the Tutor: Ronnie Ireland

Here at the Institute, we are lucky to have so many talented tutors who offer high quality and engaging courses on a whole host of subjects. We’d like you to get to know our tutors better, so have introduced a brand new feature called ‘Meet the Tutor’. First up we have popular tutor Ronnie Ireland, an expert in the art world who regularly teaches a wide variety of art history courses at the Institute.

Tell us about yourself and your background. How did you get into a career in the arts?
Ronnie Ireland, wearing a black t-shirt, standing in front of his painting which depict a man and a woman.

I was born and educated in Glasgow. I have a degree in drawing and painting from Glasgow School of Art, a Teaching Diploma and a BA (Hons) from The Open University.

I can’t remember when I wasn’t drawing. As a child I was ill quite a lot and spent a lot of time in bed, so drawing was always something I could do – later, art school was just obvious. I taught in schools for a while but at that time didn’t enjoy it. While always continuing drawing and painting, I then moved into organising music and events as a main career, eventually running my own company. I also performed a lot, doing a lot of singing from classical, to rock and finally jazz. When I emigrated to England, I focused completely on my art. I now teach my own classes, give lectures, run demonstrations and workshops for art societies, and finally reached the Parnassus of The Guildford Institute.

Alongside teaching, you are an artist and have built a large portfolio of work, varying in subject matter and medium. Can you tell us more about your work and the influences behind it?

My own work has developed very slowly, and seemed to always be going in different directions with many competing interests. It took me a long time to realise that underneath all of these seeming differences, it was always concerned with investigating identity. Mainly of people, singly or in relationship to one another and their situation. This same interest goes through landscape, abstract and still life work too. It is often allegorical with an implied narrative, but it is never defined – that is the viewer’s role. If the image is strong enough, it will engage the viewer and they will arrive at meaning(s). It is always fascinating what other people see in the work, often not something that I had been aware of, which adds to its richness.

My main influences are particular artists – Rembrandt, Titian, Velasquez, El Greco and Caravaggio. Plus some selected aspects of many contemporary figures, especially Bacon and Giacometti. Alongside that, there is the look of photographs and film noir. Greek mythology has also been a lifelong interest.

We know this might be tricky to narrow down, but do you have a favourite art history movement or artist?

My favourite artists have been listed in my previous answer but Rembrandt above all.

You teach practical art classes, as well as give demonstrations, workshops and talks. Are there any topics or subjects that you especially enjoy teaching?

As for teaching, the most challenging and rewarding aspect of art is to develop creativity; to open it up while being able to focus the results more and more precisely. That is why making art is endless – it is of course impossible! But one little breakthrough, where you have managed to surprise yourself – that’s what keeps you coming back for more torture. Teaching technical aspects is relatively easy as there is a right and a wrong to the result, for example objective observation drawing. If you teach the method properly, anyone will improve.

When you’re not busy teaching or making art, do you have any hobbies or interests that you enjoy?

My other great love is music and usually there is music playing as I work. Mainly classical, from early music through to contemporary; I always explore (although I will always return to Mozart). There is a much healthier cross fertilisation between different genres now as indeed there is between different branches of art in general. It’s always interesting to speculate what kind of artist Michelangelo or Caravaggio would have been if living now. I still play guitar (basic) and write songs for my own amusement when I have the time – it makes a change from standing at an easel. Joining up with some other folk for relaxed performances would be good.

How have you found the move to online teaching – can you tell us about any positive outcomes from it?

I began online teaching for my own classes in April 2020 and soon realised that I would have to rethink how I structured the classes and indeed the whole term. I went back to a much more academic step by step approach while building in participation and interaction. The classes have greatly enjoyed and benefited from this approach and content. Currently, I am now opening up the structure and we are focusing on developing students’ creativity. I have found it a useful move in some ways and it could be retained alongside “normal” classes perhaps.

Zoom classes are often more intense for me than normal ones in the constant interaction with the screen and I have to watch out for eyestrain, especially when you have two events in a day. The downside, in for example lectures, is that you often feel as if you are talking to yourself when all participants are muted. Of course, maybe I’m only talking to myself anyway…

I love the performance aspect of lecturing, responding to and improvising with a live audience. I really miss that. But Zoom has been a financial lifesaver as well – it’s good to eat every now and then!

What do you enjoy most about teaching at The Guildford Institute?

The best thing about The Guildford Institute is obviously the amazing, wonderful, perfect staff and the unbelievable privilege of working with them…

As well as that, you have a very well informed audience with a broad range of interests who usually ask interesting and unusual questions. There is of course always the sneaky worry that one of them knows more about the subject than you do given their background, but you have to believe that you can fool most of the people most of the time!

The Guildford Institute building

Finally, thank you so much for giving me the chance to “blog” with you. It is always useful to define your thoughts for others and yourself and was fun to do.  I hope you find it an enjoyable and informative read. 

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Institute tutor Ronnie Ireland a little better! Interested in attending one of Ronnie’s courses? There are spaces left on two of his lectures planned for the summer term – Degas: Revolutionary Conservative on 22 June and Take Six: Music on 27 July. Visit Ronnie’s website to see more of his artwork.

The Giant Planets: 8 Facts You Won’t Know

Our Solar System is made up of 8 planets, and of these, 4 are known as the Giant Planets: a planet much larger than Earth. Join us on a journey of discovery to the Giant Planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – as Professor Craig Underwood shares 8 fascinating facts about them…


1. Jupiter’s mass is more than twice that of all the other planets combined. It has a diameter larger than the smallest stars. If Jupiter was just 100 times heavier, it would ignite and become a star itself.

2. Jupiter doesn’t orbit the Sun! Jupiter is so massive, the barycentre of its orbit (the center of mass between two objects) lies just outside of the body of the Sun.


3. The density of Saturn is less than that of water. If you could find a bath big enough, you could float it!

4. Saturn is known at the ringed planet – but it is not the only one. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have rings. So does Earth, but ours consists of belts of artificial satellites and is less than 60 years old!


5. Uranus was the first planet to be discovered since ancient times. Although William Herschel “discovered” it, Uranus had been observed many times before, but had always been thought to be a just a faint star. At first, Herschel thought he had discovered a new comet!

6. Uranus is tilted over onto its side. This means that as it orbits the Sun, each pole in turn points at the Sun. Although Uranus rotates in just 17 hours 14 minutes, the “winter” side of the planet doesn’t see the Sun for 21 years, whereas the “summer” side has continuous daylight. As a result, the weather patterns on Uranus are very different to those on Earth.


7. Neptune was discovered by mathematical calculation based on observing small errors in the expected position of the other planets.    

8. Neptune is the solar system’s other “blue planet” – just like Earth. But on Neptune, the sky is blue due to the absorption of red light by crystals of frozen methane gas. On Earth the blue sky is due to the scattering of light by air molecules.

If you’d like to learn more about the Giant Planets, make sure to check out Craig’s online courses with the Institute this term. Whether you’re a budding space explorer, a planets expert or somewhere in between, everyone is welcome! The Gas Giants: Saturn – A Science Perspective is taking place on 16 February and The Ice Giants: Uranus and Neptune is happening on 16 March.

A Tribute to Gordon Bridger

Hon. Alderman Gordon Bridger

Gordon Bridger, who died on November 27 2020, aged 92 gave fifty years of his life to Guildford. His passing was noted with tributes from the many organisations and individuals who valued his intellect, his energy and drive and, above all, his sense of humour. He could be guaranteed to raise a laugh – whatever the occasion.

Gordon Bridger

Gordon was born and brought up in Argentina (a fluent Spanish speaker). He arrived in the UK aged 19 having worked his passage as a crew member of a merchant ship. Not a very able seaman, he did better as a student at the London School of Economics and after graduating with distinction he went on to take an MSc in Agricultural Economics at Manchester University. His career “developed” all over the world – first in colonial Rhodesia (where he met his wife, Jean) then with the United Nations in Ethiopia, where adventures ensued worthy of portrayal by Indiana Jones….There followed a posting to Chile. After serving as senior economic adviser to the UK Ministry of Overseas Development (more adventures in Africa) he became Director. (For details of Gordon’s exciting life see his book How I failed to save the World – there is a copy in the GI Library).

So how did this man, whose career had criss-crossed the world, come to be the much admired, much loved and inspirational pillar of the Guildford community? He took early retirement in the late 1960s and settled with Jean and his children in Harvey Rd. As a Consultant (economics) his time was his own to organise and his energy was limitless. He set about getting to know the town and its people. He and Jean founded the Holy Trinity Amenity Group (HoTAG); he joined the Guildford Society, later becoming Chairman; and in 1972 he discovered the Guildford Institute – or more accurately – the Library. He was very interested in antiquarian books and on investigating the upper shelves he was surprised to find (covered in coal dust) a collection of first editions by early African explorers – Burton, Speke, Selous and Baker – as well as works by Gertrude Jekyll and Joseph Conrad.  He immediately joined the Institute (annual subscription £1). His interest (and membership) was not exactly welcomed by Miss Gibbons, Secretary and Librarian.  Sharing his excitement was Russell Chamberlin (author and historian); the two men decided to “get more involved”.

There is a very amusing account (recorded in The Keep Nos 68 and 69) of how Gordon and a handful of friends hijacked the Management Committee in 1976 and went on to transform the Institute from being a moribund billiards club, occupying a badly neglected building, into something that once again resembled the bustling cultural centre it had been 80 years earlier. But this only came about because Gordon inspired so many people to join in the task of recovering the treasures that lay behind closed doors. Volunteers rescued Victorian photographs, portraits, postcards and playbills. Two young women set about cleaning 10,000 books in the Library and in the process discovered the Bishops’ Bible of 1602, still bearing its shelf classification mark L57 (now to be seen in the Cathedral where it resides on permanent loan). The archived collections have national standing and the Library is a member of the Association of Independent Libraries in the UK.

Matthew Alexander, then curator of Guildford Museum, volunteered his services to sort out the fascinating jumble of local history, and Gordon persuaded David Nye, a local architect, to join the Committee. He crawled all over the building and supervised the contractors who carried out the necessary repairs .In the 1980s Jean Bridger with her friend, Alison Farara, launched The Beano – serving delicious veggie lunches on Fridays. By 1986 the Institute had gained a new lease of life.

The Institute story demonstrates exactly the man Gordon Bridger was all his life: if he saw something needed to be done, he didn’t wait for others – he got on with doing it. He brought his intellect, drive and energy to politics when elected to the GBC as a Liberal Democrat in 1991. A passionate campaigner (remember the demolition of the Sydenham Rd Car Park?) he served in order to achieve. He was a formidable opponent in debate and lent his experience and skill to the Guildford Vision Group in later years. He suffered several serious health problems but it was typical of Gordon that even when recovering from a cancer operation, he was out campaigning for the charity GUTs (Guildford Undetected Tumours).

Many people have said that Guildford owes Gordon Bridger a “huge debt”; the same could be said for the Guildford Institute. We mourn his passing.

Margaret Westwood

The Library: Best Christmas Books

What better way to relax than with a good book? As Christmas approaches, our Library volunteers have put together their recommendations of the best books to read over the festive period. From gripping detective mysteries, to exploring Christmases gone-by in Surrey, or escaping to the breath-taking Dartmoor, we have something for everyone on our reading list.

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

London, Christmas in 2007.  The story follows seven people over seven days as they travel the Circle line underground…

The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

Driving home through a winter blizzard, DCI Vera Stanhope sees an abandoned car with a baby strapped in the backseat; fearing the child will freeze Vera drives them to Brockburn, a nearby stately home.  A Christmas party is in full swing but lying dead outside is a young woman. A new case emerges for Vera: who is the woman and could she be the child’s mother?

A Surrey Christmas ed. John Hudson

A compilation of Christmases past celebrated in Surrey including ‘Bettesworth’s Christmas’ by George Sturt, ‘Lighting the Dorking lamps’ by Charles Rose and ‘Wassailing the Apple Tree’ by E W Swanton. 

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders…

Mr Golightly’s Holiday by Salley Vickers

Mr Golightly was a best-selling author but his books have fallen out of fashion.  He decides to take a holiday in a small village on Dartmoor and re-discovers his enthusiasm for writing…

Let us know which books from our Christmas reading list are your favourites, or if you have any recommendations. All of these books are available in our Library. We hope this list gives you some inspiration for your festive reading! Now all there’s left to do is put your feet up and start reading…

Top 5 Tips to Create the Perfect Advent Ring

As we are all spending more time at home and the festive season draws closer, what better way to keep busy than to create a beautiful advent ring that you can proudly display? Ahead of her online course on Monday 30 November, local florist Jennifer Thompson shares her top tips to help you make the perfect festive flower display!

Jennifer’s top tips:

1. Use seasonal foliage and make sure it has had a good drink of water before you start work.

2. Cut the stems at 45º to give a larger surface area to drink water.

3. For added interest, choose foliage with different textures.

4. Save money on a candle holder and make your own from cocktail sticks or coffee stirrers.

5. Once you have created your advent ring, keep the foliage fresh by misting with water.

We would love to see your festive flower creations! If you have a go at making your own advent ring, take a picture and tag @guildfordinstitute on Instagram.

Don’t forget, Jennifer will be hosting her online seasonal flower arranging workshop on Monday 30 November. She will provide step-by-step guidance so that you end up with an advent ring to be proud of! Find out more and book your place.

V Café Recipe: Squash & Chickpea Redang Curry

Nick and Ian of the V Café

To celebrate World Vegan Day, chefs Nick and Ian from V Café share their scrumptious Squash & Chickpea Redang Curry recipe. The perfect winter warmer, we guarantee this dish will become a firm favourite!

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 6 people


  • 1 whole butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • 2 red peppers (cut into strips)
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 300ml vegetable stock (cube is fine)
  • 1 stick lemon grass (finely chopped)
  • 60g fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 red chillies (de-seeded)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tins of coconut milk
  • Fresh coriander
  • Salt


  1. Peel and dice the squash and cut the peppers into strips.
  2. Make a paste with the ginger, lemon grass, chilli and garlic by blending them in a food processor – add a little oil to help bind.
  3. Fry off the squash in batches and put to one side.
  4. Using the same pan fry off the onions. When the onions are translucent, add the paste and cook out for a few minutes. Be careful to stir to avoid sticking.
  5. Add the spices to the onions, put back the squash and add the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk, chickpeas, vegetable stock and peppers).
  6. Bring to the boil and simmer until the squash is tender.
  7. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  8. Finish with chopped fresh coriander when serving.

Note; if you want more heat add dried chilli to the recipe.

Serve with either rice or thick noodles.

We love to see your culinary creations! If you give our Squash & Chickpea Redang Curry a go, make sure to take some pictures and tag us @guildfordinstitute on Instagram.

Looking for other food inspiration? Check out V Café’s recipes on our blog – we have a tasty vegan tagine, a devilishly decadent vegan chocolate cake and signature vegetable fritters. Happy cooking!

The Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace

We’re kick-starting our brand new talk series, Window on the World, with a Halloween special on Friday 23 October all about the ghosts of Hampton Court Palace. Ahead of our spooky talk, we asked expert tour guide Sarah Slater some questions about the haunting history of the palace!

When did the stories of ghost sightings at Hampton Court Palace begin?

A very good question, it would appear that sightings and unexplained happenings have been recorded at Hampton Court Palace for at least the last few hundred years, there are recordings of ghosts being seen way back in history in both the Elizabethan times and the Stuart times right through to present day.

What is one piece of haunting history about the palace that everyone should know?

We are supposedly the most haunted palace in England and have at least two queens that haunt the galleries and stairs. We have more than one hundred incidents recorded and I suspect many more that observers have kept to themselves.

What is the spookiest ghost sighting you know of?

I think that depends on the observers point of view but most staff are always a little more unnerved when they observe one of our child ghosts.

Can you tell us about some of the most famous phantoms in residence?

Without giving too much away before my talk, I think our most famous ghost is that of Queen Catherine Howard, the gallery in which she has been observed has been renamed in her honour and is now referred to as the Haunted Gallery.

Have you ever witnessed any ghost sightings yourself?

That would be telling! Tune into my talk and ask again on the day to find out.

If you’d like to find out more about the famous phantoms of Hampton Court Palace, join Sarah for her fascinating talk on Friday 23 October where all will be revealed! We still have online tickets available.

Our Window on the World talks will continue to explore a wide range of topics next term – keep an eye out for more information.

Happy Halloween from everyone at the Institute!

Laptop, notepad and coffee on desk

Life at Home: Discover the Past

Margaret Westwood is a long-standing member of the Guildford Institute and has edited The Keep since 2005. Take some time to discover the past as Margaret tells us about Jenny Frendo’s course, The Experience of Childhood, that she participated in over Zoom!

Jenny’s canter through the later 18th C, the 19th C and into the first half of the 20th C was lively, informative and chastening in its revelations. Attitudes towards children and their upbringing were (and are) largely determined by class. Well-to-do children had to be moulded into respectable adults (abhor the “original sin”). Strict discipline persisted throughout the centuries despite the popular views of Rousseau who believed in letting children grow up “in accordance with the dictates of nature” But  the majority were expected to “earn their keep” from an early age and childhood was a very brief period in their lives. For the poor, a large family was often an unsupportable burden and unwanted offspring were abandoned – to become the responsibility of the Parish. Despite changes in the moral climate the Puritan 1624 Infanticide Act, which targeted single women accused of killing their babies, was still on the statute book until 1803. The plight of an unmarried mother was dire: she not only lost her character but could lose her life. Girls (mostly servants) so convicted were hanged. Thomas Coram who pitied their “poor miserable infants” raised funds to establish the Foundling Hospital which he opened in 1741. Mothers left their babies anonymously – with the promise they would be cared for and apprenticed to a trade or in service.

The Poor Law was intended to give support to people temporarily out of work but the 1750s saw the establishment of workhouses outside the parish to cater for unwanted children, the “master” being given a per capita sum to care for them (viz Oliver Twist) as so-called apprentices. Tales of boys apprenticed as chimney sweeps are well documented

The working conditions for children were unregulated and in agriculture they were often employed in a mixed gang system working long hours alongside adults. Even children employed within the family were expected to be working several hours a day from the age or 6 or 7. The 1819 Cotton Mills act said that no child should be employed under the age of nine and the working day was set at 16 hours for all workers under 16. However enforcement of this Act was problematical.: what proof, if any, was required of the child’s age? The records of a little girl aged 8, a trapper the Gawber pit, reveal that she worked in the dark from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. – her wages being essential for the family.

The first Health and Safety Act in Britain (1844) required all dangerous machinery to be fenced off and no child or young person was to clean mill machinery whilst it was in motion. This was often infringed as small children were frequently sent to scurry under the working looms to untangle threads. They were also supposed to have three hours schooling a day.

Education was somewhat hit and miss. There were voluntary schools, “ragged” schools, Charity schools, some Grammar Schools but no overall provision until the 1870 Education Act. But attendance was voluntary – seven years would pass before a Royal Commission recommended compulsory attendance to halt child labour. The 1880 Act required all children aged 5-10 years to attend school. But it was still not free, and in the early 1890s attendance was falling short at 82%.

As we moved into the 20th C it became only too obvious to us that despite great strides in terms of statutory care and concern for children’s welfare, the patchwork provision of education was not meeting the needs of a prosperous industrial country. The well-to-do had their classical traditions deeply embedded in the private (Public) schools – to be aped by others – especially girls’ day schools who adopted a uniform with collar and tie and urged netball players to “mark your man!”. There was a demand for evening classes offering self-improvement , but a co-ordinated approach by the Government providing educations for all classes and aptitudes had to wait until the middle of the century.

Jenny provided useful extracts and pointers for background reading – and ensured there was time for us to engage in discussion. A very satisfying Zoom experience!

If you feel inspired, browse our online programme where you’ll find a wide variety of courses to take part in. Whether you’re looking to try something new or are returning to a favourite past time, our courses will keep you busy this autumn – all from the comfort of your own home!

Unwind with Doodling

How Doodling helps you Slow Down and Unwind

Do you ever get the feeling that life is moving too fast?

I’ve had that feeling too much recently. It makes me overwhelmed, less productive and it zaps the joy from things I normally enjoy, like drawing.

A little story for you…

In my online art classes we were drawing wolves. Wolves are a tough subject – some of my students were struggling to draw them, and so was I for that matter.

In my daily life I do a lot of drawing, but I don’t do much doodling. To me doodling is simply a pen, paper and no pressure. So it got me thinking, perhaps I could use doodling to help me explore wolves? It turns out YES, but the real benefit I discovered was in relaxing my mind. The best reason to doodle is …


As I mentioned, I draw a lot! It’s a necessity as I teach eight online art classes each week to adults and children. In fact my Discover Your Inner Cartoonist class is quite a challenging class. I always want to deliver a great and inspiring session and so I feel the pressure to draw something really creative and high quality every time.

This week I found myself speeding up, sketching, drawing and moving too fast. I wasn’t feeling in my flow and I wasn’t producing the feeling I wanted in my work. Worst of all, I worry that I start to rush students through the cartoon narrative we create. Not the goal!

So I decided that I needed to switch this up and take some of my own advice. Time to SLOW DOWN. I’d bought myself a new blank journal to do some doodling and work on my new creative platform. In the evenings I have started to do some SLOW doodles before bed. This week I tried it out with the wolves.

Normally, I sketch with pencil then draw when I’m doing characters like this. But I wondered what would happen if I just tried doodling them? They are complicated to draw right?! They need an outline and a plan right? Maybe not…

I SLOWED DOWN, just me and my pen, no plan and doodled. My wolf doodles were perhaps not stellar to begin with, but soon enough I was doodling quite nice, chilled, cartoon wolves and enjoying it! Why’s this?

When I only have a pen (no rubber, no pencil) I SLOW DOWN. I watch the line, I am focused and my mind SLOWS DOWN. It feels great. It’s a different experience to how I normally sketch and draw. I think that both have their place, but when I’m not producing what I think I can, it seems that SLOWING DOWN and just doodling is a major help!

I had a laugh when I looked back at my doodles and my favourite one was of this wolf chillin’ with his coffee. What was my mind needing? Clearly I needed to SLOW DOWN. Thank you Pen!

If you have a child who loves to doodle I invite you to try one of my online art classes: Cartoon Club for Kids (1 hour for ages 8-12) or Cartoon Club Junior (30 minutes for ages 6-7) and if you like to draw there’s Discover Your Inner Cartoonist (you got it – 1 hour for adults!).

Social Distancing

Life in Lockdown: Past & Present

Margaret Westwood is a long-standing member of the Guildford Institute and has edited The Keep since 2005. Here, Margaret shares her thoughts on life in lockdown and considers the parallels between the plague of 1606 and the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Life in lockdown is beginning to get to me.

There’s a world going on out there – I can hear it – but I am not part of it. So when the neighbours’ children laugh and splash in their paddling pool, or declare the day is perfect for a BBQ (which it is), I feel both distanced and isolated from reality. Without the social events that mark the progress of the year, life is like an unpunctuated sentence – shapeless and confusing. This may have seemed a brilliant literary innovation to James Joyce but not to me. It suggests the virus is in control.

The “guidance” from our leaders is not reassuring. To stay safe we must stay home. Some are allowed social distance; others (like me) are discouraged from even venturing outside the front door. The message is one of fear, of the unseen and unknowable – an invisible Covid-19. But we will survive just as our ancestors survived plagues and pandemics. We are resilient.

  *        *        *        *       *

On 05 January 1606, the elite of London made their way to the Banqueting Hall of Whitehall Palace to enjoy a court masque. King James loved spectacular theatre; he ordered 18 plays to be staged over the Christmas holidays, ten of them by one William Shakespeare and his company The King‘s Men. It was planned as a splendid start to a thrilling theatrical season. But six months later all the playhouses were closed: the plague had returned to London.

Its sudden resurgence caught everyone off guard. A weekly list of plague deaths listed by parish was published every Thursday – and showed an inexorable rise in the numbers who had succumbed. Two years earlier the Privy Council ordered that all public playhouses should close if the weekly plague deaths exceeded 30 and only reopen once the number had dipped below (this was King James’s R factor). By mid-July the death toll was increasing week by week, creating heightened anxiety and fear across all parishes. Tough measures were introduced to try and stop the spread of the disease – and equally tough sanctions were applied. Infected houses were marked with a red cross and the occupants quarantined indefinitely. 

Anyone who escaped from a quarantined house with visible plague sores was guilty of a felony and subject to execution, but those who had survived (and were thus immune) were allowed out as searchers to forage for food. They were required to carry a 3ft long rod or wand so other people could give them a wide berth. This proved effective social distancing.

To limit social contact, funerals were restricted to six mourners including the minister; it was forbidden to move bedding from one house to another and for servants “to go abroad”. Transgressors of the lockdown were very severely treated: one family, accused of having let a servant girl visit her parents, were barricaded in their own home by angry neighbours saying it was better “that they should all starve” for breaking the rules. It seems the pestilence did more than carry off good people, men and true (especially children);  it created a sense of distrust and enmity amongst former neighbourly citizens.

Early in October the outbreak took on a new life. In a second wave, plague deaths soared to over 141 per week. The Lord Mayor claimed people were washing off the red crosses on their doors, so decreed that an oil-based paint should be used. He also proposed expelling all the beggars from the City and posting watchmen outside every infected house. But it was clear that with over 1000 Londoners infected, these were empty promises. There were neither resources nor manpower enough to note the spread. The only other possible move was total isolation of the City. This was not on. King James had enjoyed his summer holiday but now insisted that Parliament should re-convene – to resolve the unfinished business of the Union of Scotland and England.

Suddenly, in a chilly November, the number of deaths plummeted. By the end of the month the weekly report was well below the official under 30 rule, so public theatres could re-open. Theoretically. But such was the impact of the plague on the people of London, struggling to recover their health, mourn their losses and re-start their lives, that most public places of entertainment remained closed for nearly two years.

The parallels are obvious. Yet life went on. King Lear was performed at court in December 1606, but while The Globe was dark (apart from a brief period in 1607) three great Shakespeare tragedies  – King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra – were written (in that order) under lockdown. I cannot aspire to writing a play, but I might have go at a sonnet!

If you’re missing arts and cultural events during your life in lockdown, don’t forget to have a read of our Culture in Quarantine post and discover how organisations are now connecting with their audience online. There are also plenty of opportunities to perfect a skill or learn a new hobby with the Institute’s online programme of courses and workshops.

V Café Vegan Tagine

Vegan Tagine Recipe: Taste of Morocco

V Café chefs Nick and Ian, share their quick and tasty vegan tagine recipe. The authentic Moroccan flavours will transport you to the warm streets of Marrakech.

Prep/Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4


  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and diced (remove seeds)
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
  • 200g dried apricots (diced)
  • 50g preserved lemon (optional) or lemon zest


1 – Heat oil and fry off the squash in stages.

2 – Remove the squash and fry off onions and garlic. Caramelise until golden. Return the squash to the pan.

V Café Vegan Tagine

3 – Add all the dried spices and mix well.

4 – Add water to cover the tagine, bring to the boil and simmer until the squash is tender.

5 – Add in the apricots, fresh mint and check seasoning.

6 – If slightly wet, mix in cornflour to thicken.

7 – Serve with couscous or rice and toasted almonds.

We love to see your culinary creations, so if you do have a go at making our vegan tagine recipe, remember to take some photos and tag us @vcafeguildford on Instagram!

Don’t forget to have a look at our previous recipe blogs to tantalise your tastebuds! There’s our devilishly decadent vegan chocolate cake, which is perfect to pair with a cup of tea and the V Café vegetable fritters will help you towards your 5 a day.

Culture in Quarantine!

If there is a good side to this COVID-19 crisis, it is that so many cultural organisations have got to grips with digital distribution. The internet is just dripping with online culture! In this blog, we’ll take you through some of the keys things to look out for over the coming weeks.

Theatres & Comedy – Nationally and Locally

Leading the way was National Theatre Live with their screening of One Man Two Guvnors last week. By releasing the YouTube recording at a specific time and date, they created a real event and tens of thousands of viewers. This Thursday it is Jane Eyre and we will be tuning in! Click here for more information.

Closer to home – but till too far away to visit in current times – The Festival Theatre Chichester is screening the musical Flowers for Mrs Harris, starting on Thursday 9 April and available for a month here.

Although our friends at Guildford Fringe have had to cancel this year’s Festival, they are still helping you get a laugh with online streaming of recent comedy nights.

The Guildford Shakespeare Company have also created #AtHomeWithGSC, which is a range of entertaining online content relating to their productions and to Shakespeare in general. For more information, click here to visit their website.

Lectures Available

On the national level, The Arts Society has announced a series of free online lectures, film screenings and live Q&As by authors that will run over the coming months. First in the series is a lecture on one of the most mysterious paintings in art: the Velázquez masterpiece Las Meninas.

At the Guildford Institute, we’re running a series of online lectures, ranging from practical drawing & painting, yoga, history, art history and language courses, to name a few! Details are evolving all the time, so do click here to view the full online programme available.

Keep Your Brain Active with Crosswords

Here at the Guildford Institute, Susan Purcell runs termly popular Cryptic Crossword Solving Workshops. She’s suggested that if you’re getting bored stuck at home, why not try a cryptic crossword? You don’t need to be a brainbox or to have a wide general knowledge to solve cryptic clues – the answer is contained within the words of the clue.

The clue of a standard, or quickie, crossword consists of a definition only (Precious stone (4) is a definition of the answer, RUBY). The cryptic clue also contains a definition, but in addition there are cryptic hints leading you to the answer.

So, a cryptic clue for RUBY might read Disastrously bury precious stone (4), where ‘disastrously’ indicates that the clue is based on an anagram, and ‘bury’ is the word you need to unjumble.

Now try these! Each of them is a different clue type.

1. Plane crashed in Himalayan country (5)                                                                                                                                  

2. Tribal symbol found in Shinto temple (5)                                                                                                                      

3. Normal sort of flag (8)                                                                                                                                                                  

4. Rough route, say (6)                                                                                                                                                             

5. Blow knocks friends back (4)                                                                                                                                               

6. Surprise launch by the French (7)

Answers feature at the bottom of this article – no cheating!  


The British Library has had to cancel its exhibition of Jewish Sacred Texts, but has a full range of supporting lectures available online.

Surrey History Centre and Surrey Libraries are providing access to Find My Past. This normally pay-to-view service is available free from home here.

And for those desperately trying to entertain the younger members of the family Surrey Libraries are doing online story-time, available here.   


Our Trustee Brian Creese performs regularly at Open Mics around Guildford. With all the pubs closed, there are a lot of frustrated guitar and ukulele players around Guildford at the moment! Performers have been turning to Facebook to share their performances. For the past three weeks, Brian has been recording a song and posting it on the Facebook site of the Open Mic group. Find him singing in his bedroom here, along with many other musicians from across Surrey and Hampshire!

Crossword Answers

1. Answer: NEPAL. ‘Himalayan country’ is the definition, ‘crashed’ is an anagram indicator, and ‘plane’ is the wordplay, or the word you need to unjumble.

2. Answer: TOTEM. ‘Tribal symbol’ is the definition, ‘found in’ indicates that this is a hidden-word clue, and ‘Shinto temple’ is the wordplay, where the answer is hidden.

3. Answer: STANDARD. This is a double definition clue. ‘Standard’ means both ‘normal’ and is a ‘sort of flag’. Double definition clues have no indicator.

4. Answer: COARSE. ‘Rough’ is the definition, ‘say’ indicates that this is a homophone clue. A ‘route’ (wordplay) is a course, and ‘course’ is a homophone of ‘coarse’.

5. Answer: SLAP. ‘Blow’ is the definition, ‘knocks back’ indicates that this is a reversal clue, and ‘friends’ (= pals) is the wordplay. The answer is ‘pals’ reversed.

6. Answer: STARTLE. ‘Surprise’ is the definition. This is a charade-type clue, so there are no indicators. ‘Start’ = launch and ‘le’ is ‘the’ in French.

Street Photography

An Inspiring Introduction to Street Photography

Lisa Taylor serves as a Trustee on the Institute’s Board and recently gave street photography her best shot!


So pleased I joined the excellent short course on Street Photography held at The Guildford Institute. The course was led by Peter Merry (behind the recent Photography from Monopoly Locations Exhibition) who took us on a whistle-stop journey through the genre.

We looked at examples of street photography from its early days in Paris to the current day, and discussed various renowned photographers.  

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson – take a look at Behind the Gare St. Lazare,  1932 – such a mesmerising photo and spot the dancers on the wall in the background.
Street Photography Workshop
Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
  • Robert Doisneau – see The Kiss, 1950 – this scene was apparently staged, but frankly who cares?! It’s a great photo.
  • Chris Killip – see photo taken on May 5th, 1981 on a Housing Estate, North Shields, Tyneside. What a sign of the times.

It was interesting to learn about the law and ethics behind the subject and needless to say what is legal is not always ethical. The laws around candid photography also changes from country to country. 

Generally, while important to be mindful when taking photos in public spaces, we should not be afraid to point and click when our imagination is stirred! Blurring faces and other identifying features is a useful technique if concerned about invading an individuals privacy. 

And so brimming with new found confidence (slight exaggeration) and armed with just our cameras, the group headed in to Guildford town centre to give street photography a proper shot. With this narrative I have included a couple of photos that I took. These are my first attempts so please do not judge me too harshly.

Street Photography
Market Street, Guildford

This is a style of photography that appeals to me. Street photography is about taking candid public shots and documenting our times in pictures. You do need to be patient – it’s about going out and watching and waiting.  You never know what is round the corner or what might happen before your very eyes! 

For more information about Peter and his work, please visit If Lisa has motivated you to pick up your camera, Peter will be delivering his Take Better Digital Photos course at the Institute in February.

What inspires you to reach for your camera? Do let us know. 

V Café Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Cake

Celebrate World Vegan Day with Nick and Ian’s chocolate cake!

The chefs from Guildford’s only vegetarian and vegan café, share their 9 simple steps to chocolate cake heaven.

Prep time: 15 mins          Cook time: 35 mins          Serves: 12


  • 300ml vegan milk (we recommend soy milk)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 150g vegan margarine/butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 275g self-raising flour
  • 175g sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

For the vegan buttercream:

  • 75g vegan margarine/butter
  • 200g powdered icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp water


1 – Preheat the oven to 180° C/160° C fan/Gas mark 4. Lightly grease 2x 20cm/8inch round baking tins.

2 – Stir the lemon juice into the milk and set aside to thicken and ‘curdle’ slightly into buttermilk.

3 – In a pan over a medium heat, melt the margarine and syrup. Set aside to cool slightly.

4 – Sieve the flour, cocoa and sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

5 – Pour the milk and melted margarine mixture over the flour mixture and stir well until it becomes a smooth batter.

6 – Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

7 – Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

8 – To make the buttercream, beat together all ingredients until smooth.

9 – When the cakes are completely cold, sandwich together with half of the buttercream. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top of the cake.

Nick and Ian’s Top Tips:

  • Don’t over mix the wet and dry ingredients. You want the mixture completely combined, but stir gently and don’t beat it.
  • You can freeze the cakes (without the buttercream) for up to 1 month.
  • Easily turn this into vegan cupcakes by filling the cups of a lined muffin tin and bake for 15-20 mins.

Have you given our recipe a go? Why not share a photo of your baking results on Instagram and don’t forget to tag us – @vcafeguildford.

Sharon Wright – The Writer’s Bookshelf

After her sell-out Guildford Book Festival event held at the Institute on Thursday 10 October, The Mother of the Brontës author Sharon Wright, shares with us five of her most cherished literary treasures.

1 – The Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton

I was a complete bookworm as a child but most of my reading material came from Bradford Central Library on weekly trips with my grandma. Actually owning books was very exciting and I had a bookshelf in my bedroom where I kept my beloved Ladybird and Enid Blyton collections. I was mad for Blyton, whether fairy stories, the Famous Five or boarding school stories. I have a vivid memory of one happy Christmas morning when I unwrapped three books in the “naughtiest girl” series.

2 – Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

My dad had all the Asimov stories and paperbacks and I just worked my way through them as a teenager. When other girls were reading Flowers in the Attic and Jackie Collins, I was crying over the baby Neanderthal in The Ugly Little Boy. Asimov stories were so beautifully written, moving and clever. My 1977 edition of his magazine was a gift from my friend Ashley, bought when we visited the wonderful Old Pier Bookshop in Morecambe recently. My favourite thing about my vintage mag is the fabulous set of 70s sideburns on the great man himself.

3 – The Odd Couple by Neil Simon

When I began writing plays a few years ago I suddenly discovered the joy of reading them, too. I love the 1968 film with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, but you can tell this tight, hilarious script was originally written for the stage. I especially like my lovely old and worn Samuel French edition because I bought it at Barter Books in Alnwick, which is a book-lover’s paradise. I honestly think I could live there if they’d let me.

4 – The Brontës at Haworth by Ann Dinsdale

I got to know Ann when I was researching my biography of Maria Brontë. She is the principal curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum and a walking mine of information. She also has a wicked sense of humour and I love her company. I enjoy all of Ann’s books and this is one of my favourites because she has an intimate knowledge of the atmospheric Georgian home where the Brontës lived and wrote. It was a great privilege to lead an after-hours tour of the Parsonage in the summer, talking about Mrs Brontë’s life from moving in just after the birth of Anne in early 1820, to her terrible death in September 1821.

5 – Balloonomania Belles by… me

I have a cherished copy of my first book. I take it to read from at book events and we’ve had lots of good times together, including Guildford Book Festival in 2018. It holds all the true, bonkers, ballooning adventures of the lady aeronauts and is a battered, beloved book-on-the-move. It’s messy and well-thumbed, with lots of re-useable Post-its in the front pages. Key quotes and facts are underlined in pencil. A friend gave me a dust jacket so it feels good and robust. It’s a working book and I love it.

If Sharon has inspired you to get your creative juices flowing, why not take a look at our Creative Writing course or join our next Guildford Writers or Book Club groups, which take place in the cosy space of our historic library.

The Mother of the Brontës: When Maria Met Patrick (Pen & Sword, 2019) is out now. For more information about Sharon Wright and her work, please visit

Janet Crowe

Janet Crowe Becomes New Chairperson

Welcome to our new Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Janet Crowe.

On Thursday 5th September 2019, Janet took over from her predecessor Sandra Robinson to become the Institute’s new Chairperson. We would like to thank Sandra for her hard work over the last five years as a Trustee, and particularly over the last three years in her role as Chairperson. Sandra has dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to the charity and its work and she has been a fantastic leader to the Trustee and Staff team. During Sandra’s time as Chairperson, the Institute has significantly increased its focus on the Strategic Plan, in developing the programme of activities and the marketing of the GI offer. Sandra has also dramatically developed the Institute’s internal procedures relating to Governance and Staffing. The Trustees and Staff at the Institute are delighted that Sandra will remain a Trustee after stepping down from her current position as Chairperson.

To provide some information about our new Chairperson, on returning from Greece where she lived for 10 years after leaving university, Janet started her long career within the criminal justice system working at local, regional and national levels. She studied for an MSc in Criminal Justice and is trained in restorative practices as well as being a trained mediator. She has a wide experience of charity management, governance, strategic planning, national and local delivery of services, policy development and partnership working. 

Janet was co-opted to the Board of Trustees in June of last year and has been the Board’s Vice-Chair since taking on that position in November. During her time in this role, Janet has supported Sandra a great deal with governance, policy and procedures and core organisational matters. At the Institute, Janet is particularly interested in continuing to develop the Institute and working with other Trustees to ensure the continued viability of the organisation. As Chair she hopes to build on the work of Sandra,  previous  Chairs and Boards to ensure that the Institute goes from strength to strength and is recognised as a centre of excellence in the heart of Guildford.

Her favourite thing about working with the Institute is being a part of a great team of Staff and Volunteers in a wonderful historical place of learning. 

Learn more about Janet and our team of Trustees here.

Tammy Ellis Sorolla Course

Tammy Ellis’ Sorolla Course

The Life and Works of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863-1923)

Sorolla was a Spanish painter, much revered in his native country and admired in Europe and America but little known here. That may have changed this year when The National Gallery held the first exhibition of his work in London since 1908. The Institute was fortunate to have a Sorolla course run by the much respected tutor Tammy Ellis which coincided with the National Gallery show. Those of us who attended gained a real insight into the artist’s background, techniques and the context of his paintings.

We learned that Sorolla was born in Valencia and was orphaned at the age of two when his parents died in a cholera epidemic. He was brought up by an aunt and uncle who recognised his artistic talents and bought him art materials. They later arranged for him to work as a lighting assistant for a local photographer where he was also employed in colour tinting photos. This early work can be seen as an influence on his paintings. During this period he met Clothilde, the photographer’s daughter whom he later married. She was a big influence on his later career, featuring in many of his paintings and, as Tammy explained, more or less becoming his manager, when he later became very successful. Sorolla trained in fine art and by his late teens was exhibiting at the annual Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid. He appears to have been a “regular guy”, who was devoted to his wife and three children, and did not have the chaotic lifestyle of some of his contemporaries.

Sorolla enjoyed painting outside and many of his works feature the seaside and gardens, including the one at his home which he designed. Sometimes thought of as an Impressionist, Tammy explained that his techniques differed from those used by the likes of Monet and Pisarro and also showed classical influences of artists such as Verlasquez.

The most striking aspect of Sorolla’s paintings was the way he captured the effect of the fantastic sunlight on the Spanish coast. Hence his description as “the master of light”. At the exhibition, the effect of seeing his works en masse was almost overwhelming, with radiant paintings such as “Strolling Along the Seashore” 1909 and “The Gardens at the Sorolla Family Home” 1920 being highlights. There is also a series of more gritty paintings, dealing with social issues of the time such as the hard conditions in the fishing industry (And They Still Say Fish Is Expensive! 1894).

Sorolla painted constantly even when he was on holiday with his family. Following a stroke in 1920, he was never able to paint again. He died three years later. The recent exhibition appears to have been a great success and will ensure that Sorolla is now better known in this country. I imagine that a visit to the Sorolla Museum, housed in his former home and garden in Madrid, would not disappoint!

Tammy Ellis runs a number of Art History courses, as well as the Sorolla course, at The Guildford Institute. You can browse our full range of Art History courses here.

Joaquín Sorolla: Instantané/Snapshot. Biarritz. 1906. Oil on Canvas. 62 x 93.5 cm. Museo Sorolla, Madrid.

Vegetable Fritters

Vegetable Fritters Recipe

V Café at the Institute is run by Nick Humble and Ian Loffel, who aim to carry on the long legacy of producing freshly-cooked vegetarian and vegan food in The Guildford Institute’s historic Assembly room. They would like to share one of their recipes with you from their daily-changing menu – see below for instructions on how to make Nick and Ian’s delicious vegetable fritters…

Vegetable Fritters


  • Carrots x2
  • Sweet Potato x 1
  • ½ Onion
  • Peas 100g
  • Small Celeriac x1
  • Parsnip (seasonal)
  • 200ml Vegetable oil for frying


  • Eggs x 4
  • Gram flour 120g
  • Half teaspoon of each: baking powder, turmeric, ground cumin, coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Half teaspoon dried chopped chilli
  • Good pinch of salt and pepper



Enjoy your vegetable fritters!

To find out more about V Café or to book a table click here.

Froth Blowers

From the Library Archives: The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers

Written by Jo Patrick

Volunteers are working on digitising the Scrapbooks – a vast local history resource in the Library’s archive.  There are twenty-nine scrapbooks, full of newspaper articles ranging in date from the late 1880s to the early 1930s.  Institute members selected items they thought would be of interest and carefully pasted them into the large books.  For volunteers this work shines a light on Guildford and its inhabitants, reminding us of a way of life long gone.  One volunteer uncovered this story about The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers. 

My curiosity was piqued by an article in which appeared the Guildford Froth Blowers.  I thought it was some sort of spoof – it had to be hadn’t it? Not at all; Ye Ancient Order of Froth-Blowers was indeed a very active charity dedicated ’to fostering the noble Art and gentle and healthy Pastime of froth blowing amongst Gentlemen of-leisure and ex-Soldiers’. Running from 1924 to 1931, it was founded by Bert Temple, an ex-soldier and silk-merchant, initially to raise £100 (equal to £5,602 today) for the children’s charities of the surgeon Sir Alfred Fripp.  The men were known as ‘blowers’ and women, ‘fairy-belles’.  Froth blowing captured the public’s imagination so that by 1928, there were over 700,000 members who raised £100,000. 

Froth Blowers

Ye Ancient Society had branches all over the country, including Guildford, which seems to have been very successful.  A cutting from the Surrey Weekly Press of the time, informs us that the local branch had 2000 members.  In the accompanying photograph (seen on this page), you can see the ‘top table’ at the corresponding dinner. Now, was the highly successful recruiter, the Second Fairy also known as ‘Fairy Tornado’ having a particularly good time or was she just blinded by the flash?!

It would seem that local branches, also known as Vats, could raise the funds for local causes and The Guildford Vat of Froth Blowers appear again later in the same scrapbook.  This time with a fund-raising effort to organise an outing to the seaside for the poorer children of the town.  A second newspaper report informs the reader that enough money was raised to take 300 children to Bognor for the day.  It was a splendid occasion by all accounts, and on their return to Guildford, each child was given an apple, a banana and an orange, as well as a shilling and a piece of Bognor rock. A newspaper cutting in the Archive features a breakdown of all the costs of the day. I wonder what happened to the £4 1s balance? Perhaps the adults had some fruit as well?

Click here to view our Library & Archive pages.

Power of the mind

Power of The Mind

Hayet Shahrezaey is an advanced Rapid Transformational Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist. She is based on the second floor of The Guildford Institute, alongside several other therapy-based and environmental organisations. Hayet has produced the blog content below in order to highlight some of the key work that she does.

“I had a job offer that pays 75K”, said one of my clients after two days of listening to her transformational recording that I tailor-made for her following a 90-minute Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) session. “I am now able to identify quickly when I’m about to go into a self-pity mode, pull myself out and look at the bigger picture in a matter of seconds” said another client during her weekly support call.

Our mind is amazing, and we have all the answers within, we just need to learn how to stop that critical voice that keeps telling us we are not good enough, or not worthy.

By finding out the root cause and beliefs that were blocking these clients’ advancement and changing the understanding around it, they are now able to continue to move forward and step into their power.

The mind is very powerful and has several rules it follows:

  • Its number one job is to keep you alive on the planet.
  • The mind does want it thinks you want it to.
  • It drives you towards what it is familiar and away from what is unfamiliar.
  • The mind cannot hold conflicting beliefs, so if you want money but think, it’s not available to you or you are not worth it, this will be stored in your subconscious mind and will create conflict between your mind and your vibration. If you keep pleasing people and find yourself in a hamster wheel not finding a way out, your self-esteem and confidence will be affected.
  • By telling your mind clearly what it is you want it to do for you, it will do it for you. That is the power of RTT, it can talk directly to the subconscious mind and free you from all limiting beliefs.

For more information about Hayet’s work and to visit her website, click here.

In order to view more information about the organisations based on The Guildford Institute’s second floor, please click here

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