The Heritage Gallery
Surrey Heath Museum is a little gem, but it has not always received the support it should either from the public or the Borough Council, so the Action Group was formed to do something about it. Over 40 like-minded cultural, heritage and art groups that use the Surrey Heath Museum's services joined together to promote its future and protect it from threats of budget cuts or worse.
One idea to raise the profile of the Museum and demonstrate public support was to create The Heritage Gallery. Help from Mall Management has enabled us to produce a striking show case for the Museum and all its supporting societies and clubs, bringing the essence and importance of these activities to the people of the Borough.
Our first Gallery, located in the main square was formally opened by our MP Michael Gove on 15th September 2009 and in our first 21 months over 25,000 visitors were impressed by displays and over 70 volunteers kept the Gallery.
In January 2010 a paying tenant moved into the premises and we were re-located to 31 Obelisk Way.
We resided there for nine months until September when history repeated itself and we moved to premises in 19-21 Park Street for eight months.
Once again, another paying tenant came along and regrettably, the Mall Management had no suitable vacant premises for us to move into and so we were forced to close down for 20 months.
Then in January 2013 the premises at 31 Obelisk Way became available again and we gratefully accepted the invitation from the Mall Management to move back in. Our Mayor, Councillor Bruce Mansell, formally re-opened the Gallery for us.
In September 2014 we welcomed our 10,000th visitor, Mrs Ann Cherry, to the new location which was celebrated with the presentation of a shopping voucher donated by the Mall Management to the lucky 'winner' by our Mayor, Councillor Bob Paton.
We were there for a very successful 31 months. Until, in July 2015, unfortunately, but none-the-less very fortunate from the Mall Management perspective, a new paying tenant saw the potential of No. 31 and we were on the move again, but not too far away…... The following month August 2015, the Mall Management came up trumps again and we were invited to move into our current two storey accommodation at No.33.
In April 2016 Mrs Elizabeth Barton became our 20,000th visitor to the Gallery and she was presented by our Mayor Councillor Joanne Potter with a Shopping Voucher donated by the Mall Management.
In June 2018 Surrey Heath Borough Council decided to close the museum physical display area in Surrey Heath House which meant that the museum had no permanent display area, this led to an invitation by Surrey Heath Museum Action Group ‘SHMAG’ for the museum to move into the ground floor of No 33 whilst the Heritage Gallery moved our displays upstairs. Hence the new name on the facia of the building, ‘Surrey Heath Museum and Gallery’ – ‘SHMAG’!
In front of a crowd of enthusiastic friends and supporters our MP, Michael Gove, accompanied by the Mayor Councillor Dan Adams, kindly made a return visit to open the new facility.
The Museum & Gallery continue to provide fascinating exhibitions and displays, well worth a visit and the best way to learn what is happening in Surrey Heath.
A regular, and popular feature of the Heritage Gallery is our half hour ‘Thursday Lunchtime Talk’ presented by a variety of guest and volunteer speakers on a whole range of subjects.
The talks are free and commence at 12.30pm, they are advertised on our web site and at the Gallery.
The Gallery will be reopening on Wednesday 19th May 2021 at 11am.