plaque has been unveiled by Sir Ray Tindle in a ceremony that officially marked the opening of a new suite of rooms at Farnham Town Council. The ‘Tindle suite’ has been named after Sir Ray Tindle and Lady Tindle as a mark of thanks for their generous philanthropic support of the town.

Farnham Town Council took over ownership of the South Street council offices in 2011. The project to reconfigure the former cash office area has brought the space up to acceptable, modern-day accessibility and environmental standards. The refurbished suite of meeting rooms is now befitting of the building’s architecture and its purpose as the centre for Farnham’s civic activity.

In a speech made at the official opening of the Tindle Suite, Cllr Paddy Blagden, Mayor of Farnham recounted some of the ways that Sir Ray and Lady Tindle have made a difference to Farnham over the past 40 years.

The Mayor told invited guests how Sir Ray and Lady Tindle opened a registered charity shop in Farnham in 1988. The shop is run by Lady Beryl with other volunteers and has raised in excess of £250,000 for local good causes. During the recession of the 1980s, Sir Ray founded the Tindle Enterprise Centre Scheme. Ten centres, one of which was in West Street, provided rent-free premises for unemployed local people.

Cllr Blagden said: “Over the years, Sir Ray has been a prime mover in saving some key Farnham assets that faced an uncertain future. He responded to the community in purchasing the Wrecclesham Community Centre and gifting it to the town; he provided key finance to enable the Bishop’s Meadow Trust to purchase the water meadows; and he purchased Church House and the adjacent magistrate’s court. The name Tindle is now synonymous with Farnham and Sir Ray has left an indelible mark with his generosity and support for local schools, clubs and community organisations.”

Sir Ray Tindle said he was honoured to have his name associated in this way and paid tribute to the Mayor of Farnham, Farnham councillors and all that they achieve.

Farnham Town Council is particularly grateful to Sir Ray for being the inspiration and sponsor of the Services to Farnham Awards and last year’s inaugural community Christmas carol service. He has also been extremely generous in giving the town a Mayor’s consort badge, new carpets for the refurbished area of the council office and, most recently, the presentation of a delightful chain for the Mayoress’s badge.

The main meeting room in the Tindle Suite has been named the Byworth room, which is in recognition of John Byworth who was a benefactor of the town some 400 years ago. A clothier by trade, Byworth presented the town with a large silver cup in 1623, a replica of which can be seen in the Museum of Farnham.

The finishing touches to the new Tindle Suite have been provided by the Museum of Farnham. The Museum has loaned a series of pictures showing local scenes and maps by notables that include the late artist, author and councillor Sir John Verney and the architect Harold Falkner. The artwork also includes a portrait of Farnham’s famous son, William Cobbett.

The Tindle Suite meeting rooms are available for use by local community groups and organisations for surgeries and meetings. Contact Farnham Town Council for information about hiring the meeting room.

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