The Farnham Society has a new chairman. At its recent annual meeting, Alan Gavaghan handed over to Richard Hunt CBE.

Mr Gavaghan has been chairman since 2009. Reflecting on his time as chairman, he spoke of how the society had campaigned long and hard against the Brightwells development in its current form. 

“We considered the scheme ill conceived and felt it our duty to oppose it as far as possible – which we did, by working to a judicial review,” he said.

“Although we did not win, it cannot be said that the society did nothing.”

Illustrating its successes, Mr Gavaghan told how, for example, poor levels of air quality had been identified at the time he took over as chairman.

“Following our campaign, accurate and up-to-date information is now available from sensors around the town,” he added.

In handing over the chairmanship, Mr Gavaghan spoke of his successor's involvement with a range of major charities.

Accepting, Mr Hunt stressed the need for continuity, and to “keep the public informed as to how we are campaigning for Farnham”.

He noted the importance of public awareness and public involvement. Referring to the committee as "we few, we happy few", Richard highlighted the need for more people to become involved in the society's work, as members and activists.

Mr Gavaghan is now a vice president, and will continue to campaign for Farnham.

To mark the handover, the society held its annual meeting in a special format at Runfold House, courtesy of vice president Michael Blower.

The formal meeting was preceded by a picnic and a performance by local musician Jim Cozens, held in a marquee in the grounds of Runfold House.

To acknowledge his contribution as chairman, Mr Gavaghan was presented with a watercolour by Michael Blower, of Stella’s Cottage, near to Waverley Abbey.

For further information about the society, see the website