In 1919 Arthur Lionel Smith, Master of Balliol College Oxford, wrote a committee report about adult education to Lloyd George, Prime Minster:
"Adult education must not be regarded as a luxury for a few exceptional persons here and there, nor a thing which concerns only a short span of early manhood... adult education is a permanent national necessity, an inseparable aspect of citizenship and therefore should be both universal and lifelong."
In 1922 the Wilmslow Educational Society working in conjunction with the Workers Educational Association organised their first series of lectures and in subsequent years the Religious Society of Friends kindly loaned their school room to the WES for some courses and the performance of plays. In the Spring of 1926 it was decided to form a new organisation which was completely separate from the WEA, it would be called Wilmslow Beacon Guild and be based at Bourne Street. The new centre for adult education published its first syllabus for the season 1926-27. This was the birth of the Wilmslow Guild which we have today. From the outset Wilmslow Guild has been supported by its Quaker neighbours and without their continuing support we would struggle to be successful.
Wilmslow Guild continues to fulfil its original aims which are:
"To provide a centre in which men and women may find opportunities for the enrichment of life through education, fellowship and co-operative effort for the welfare of the community"
The 2016/17 season marks the 91st anniversary of the founding of Wilmslow Guild and we are proud to continue offering a broad curriculum of liberal lifelong learning. I look forward to meeting new and current participants throughout the year.
Paul A. Riordan
BSc PGCE FRSA FRGS