Going into the new year seemed an appropriate time to look through old photographs and try and identify and date those which escaped being labelled at the time, before the memory of where and when fades completely. 

One forgotten photo that I came across (above) saved me the trouble of trying to remember its origins. It is a photo taken at a ‘consultation’ exercise mounted in the Farnham Sports Centre and shows a display board emphatically stating “Brightwells – better living, eating, shopping ,relaxing and going out in Farnham Town Centre – OPENING 2015” 

Eight years further down the road and the only occupancy of the commercial sector, underwritten by the county council, appears to be the much heralded opening of REEL Cinema, announced in recent editions of the Farnham Herald.

I see in the January 11 edition that David Howell, who writes the excellent, well researched regular column Bricks & Mortar, wrote ‘Note to self’ – “Find out how work is progressing…at Brightwells”. His article in last week’s edition gives little cause to think that any noticeable progress is being made, although there is mention of work starting on the front of the Marlborough Head. .. 

Whatever our personal feelings about the Brightwells project, it is what it is and it is important that the project soon starts to generate income for the town, as well as offsetting the county council’s investment (our money) in the commercial element of the project. 

Where the usual commercial  interests are not ‘biting’ for whatever reasons, there will be a need for imaginative community uses for unlet sites. Perhaps I’m wrong and many undisclosed leases are in the pipeline, it just doesn’t seem like it.

Richard Sandars

Old Church Lane, Farnham