Memories revived of art school sit-in
A FORMER student has had a book published on the 1968 sit-in at Guildford School of Art.
John Walmsley, of Slyfield was studying at the school, then based at what is now Guildford College off Stoke Road, during the sit-in and took photos of it.
The sit-in, which lasted from June 5 to July 29, was organised as a student protest at the poor quality of teaching and resources at the school.
It was the longest ever at a UK education establishment and led directly to students being on the boards of all establishments today.
Sit-in. Guildford School of Art 1968 has been published by Café Royal Books as part of a series of books featuring documentary photography, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s.
John Walmsley was a student at the school from 1965 to 1968.
“Towards the end of my final year, the student body wanted to talk to the powers that be about our ideas for improving the quality of the education offered,” he explained.
“The governors would not listen to us so we began a sitin during which we discussed and refined our ideas. “It turned into the longest ever sit-in at an educational institution in the UK. “The governors never did listen but, since then, school, colleges and universities have had students on their boards. As a student photographer actively involved in the sit-in, I photographed it from the inside, start to finish.” Guildford Museum is also planning an exhibition to tie in with the 50th anniversary next year and is appealing for anyone with memories of it to come forward.
Melanie Holliker, access officer at Guildford Museum said: “Here at Guildford Museum we would like to invite former students and staff at Guildford School of Art in 1968 to share their memories of the sit in with us as part of a planned temporary exhibition. This is being developed in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London.”
Anyone with memories can call 01483 444803 or email Melanie.Hol[email protected] guildford.gov.uk. Buy the £6 book at the Café Royal Books website or Guildford Museum.
Banners played a big part during the sit-in at Guildford School of Art. This picture was taken on July 5 1968
A picture taken on June 23 1968 shows students sleeping wherever they could during the sit-in