Celebrating 125 Years of The Guildford Institute

The Guildford Institute has proudly stood on Ward Street in the heart of the town centre for 125 years. A programme of events throughout 2017 will celebrate this important anniversary.

Originally known as The Mechanics Institute, The Guildford Institute was founded by local tradesmen who were keen to improve themselves and to promote learning for others also wishing to learn new skills. In 1892 the Institute moved into its current location, a former temperance hotel on Ward Street and 125 years later it continues to promote learning for people of all ages in the local community. It provides a full range of adult education courses including art history, drawing and painting, creative writing, photography and languages. The Guildford Institute continues to grow and diversify its course programme with yoga, family history, astronomy, drama, furniture painting and sushi making recently added to the list. The Institute is also home to The Beano, Guildford’s only vegetarian restaurant.

On Saturday 22nd April a celebratory afternoon tea party for members was attended by Nigel Manning, Deputy Mayor of Guildford. Trish Noakes, Manager of the Guildford Institute said “We really enjoyed an afternoon of celebration and fun.  It’s not every day you celebrate your 125th!  When the Institute found its home in Ward Street in 1892 it also found its place at the heart of Guildford’s community.  We are proud to be continuing the tradition of delivering educational and social opportunities for all.”

The Guildford Institute is also proud to house a 125 year old Bechstein Grand Piano, and local schools will be working with the Institute on a special celebratory concert to be performed by young pianists on 12th May. Other events aimed at local people with an interest in Guildford will include a talk on Thursday 2nd November, delivered by Terence Patrick (former Mayor of Guildford) and Matthew Alexander (local historian and former curator of Guildford Museum).

On Saturday 11th November a time capsule will be sealed and placed within the Guildford Institute’s historical archive. Items aimed to capture the spirit of our current time including copies of the day’s newspapers and other contemporary items suggested by the Institute’s members will be placed in the time capsule for 25 years. It is planned that the capsule will be opened and added to every quarter of a century. Full details of all of these events are in our free brochures which are out now. For press enquiries please contact:

T: 01483 562142


Vicky Pursey, The Guildford InstituteWard Street Guildford GU1 4LH

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Cranleigh Magazine