Fringe Box



Lead Councillor For Heritage Responds to Archaeological Society’s Comments

Guildford Museum

Guildford Museum.

The lead councillor responsible for heritage has responded to statements from the Surrey Archaeological Society (SAS) and the Friends of Guildford Museum in the article Future of Guildford’s Most Important Historic Artefacts In Doubt and says that he cannot “fathom” why serving a notice to quit on the society has caused any ill feeling.

In the article Emma Corke, speaking on behalf of the SAS, made it clear that there is no certainty that some of the museum’s most historically important artefacts owned by the society will remain in the museum if the trustees decide, at Friday’s (September 11) meeting, not to agree a loan arrangement.

Cllr Geoff Davis

Cllr Geoff Davis.

Cllr Geoff Davis (Con, Holy Trinity) said: “In my opinion the current buildings are not ‘fit for purpose’ for the museum in any way, and there are exhibits in there that are frankly embarrassingly poor for the town.

“A senior council officer met David Calow of SAS in the week, and reiterated, once again, that GBC has no straightforward means of discussions with SAS, as they are not structured to do so.

“That has been our constant difficulty, and may indeed explain how SAS let seven years drift by, since the notice to quit was originally served. Mind you, their capital base increased substantially in that period.

“The position on artefacts is not as the SAS say in the article. We have offered that the SAS items in the museum can remain for an agreed period after their office and library vacation – without charge – in order to be helpful.

“It is not therefore correct to say that SAS are doing GBC a favour.

“I have been pressing very hard for finalisation of a loan agreement, on a proper and clear basis, for some weeks now – but progress is painfully slow.

“I cannot see why there should not be a simple over-arching contract entered into, very promptly. A view has been expressed that it is not clear who owns what, which I find astonishing from both the GBC and SAS aspects.

“As for the comment about ‘ill feeling’ caused by the notice to quit update, I find that hard to fathom. SAS have known the position for seven years, so it could not have been a shock.”

Referring to Guildford MP Anne Milton’s published answer about the future of Guildford’s museum in a recent interview with The Guildford Dragon NEWS, Cllr Davis said: “Anne gives her own summary of the museum… I agree with her opinion as to the future of a proper modern sustainable museum or visitor centre that Guildford can be proud of.”

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *