A review of the evening by Malcolm Bridger.

Lion Hotel, Guildford. 1911

Lion Hotel, Guildford. 1911                                           

Circle Eight’s “Grandad’s Guildford” (a photographic presentation of the history of the town since the 1860s) is certainly a local draw.  A charity performance at Guildford’s Electric Theatre on 16th July was sold out a week beforehand and many other people were turned away in disappointment.     The performance was in aid of the Fountain Centre, which helps the rehabilitation of cancer patients and is the local charity that Terence Patrick (Circle Eight Chairman) is supporting in his year as Mayor of Guildford.

Matthew Alexander (past Curator of Guildford Museum and now the Town’s Remembrancer) resplendent in top hat and tails fronted the evening, with Terence taking to the stage in the second half to explain the Patrick family’s links with Guildford and their photographic archive of the town over the past 150 years.

Complementing this of course are Circle Eight’s past film productions chronicling the town’s history and legends  –  “Tales of Old Guildford” and “Royal Guildford” and the coming of the railway to the town – “Guildford This is Guildford”.    DVDs of these films were on sale during the interval and after the show and proved very popular.   The whole evening was very well received and made £1,902  for the Fountain Centre.

The projection box boys (John, Bryan and Steve) reported no major hiccups during the show and kept Matthew up to speed – indeed the first half finished early.   I thought Matthew looked a little flushed at the bar in the interval.

Lots of complimentary remarks as people filed out after the show – and healthy DVD sales to boot.  So, a successful evening all round.

Circle Eight members

Circle Eight Members



A RARE glimpse of Guildford from the pioneering days of photography will be on show at this year’s Guildford Summer Festival, when the Circle Eight Film Group presents their magic lantern show Grandad’s Guildford for one night only at the Electric Theatre on Saturday July 16, at 8pm.

Narrated by Matthew Alexander, Guildford’s Honory Remembrancer and the former curator of Guildford Museum, Grandad’s Guildford is a collection of Victorian lantern slides, which are rarely seen in public, picturing Guildford’s townsfolk and their way of life at the time of the dawning of photography in the 1860’s right through to the late 1940’s.

What makes this performance of Grandad’s Guildford extra special is that most of  these past images of Guildord were actually photographed and collected by the current Mayor of Guildford’s father, grandfather and great grandfather and the show is being staged in aid of The Fountain Centre – the mayor of Guildford’s chosen charity for his current mayoral year.

Many local events from the town’s past will be featured in the show including Coronations, Jubilees and Carnivals, as well as the all-too-familiar street scenes of Victorian times.

Tickets for this rare chance to see Guildford as it was more than a century ago, cost £10 and are available from the Electric Theatre on 01483 444789.