We use Cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. View our cookie policy

Condolence message - Honorary Freeman Bill Bellerby MBE

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Nigel Manning, is greatly saddened to hear of the passing of former Mayor and Honorary Freeman Bill Bellerby, MBE.

Bill Bellerby MBE 2 Bill, who was Mayor of Guildford for two consecutive years, and a councillor for 42 years, made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Guildford. 

The Mayor says: "Bill was an outstanding Guildfordian who made a huge contribution to the life of this borough and he will be truly missed. Bill had the great honour of serving as Mayor of our borough on two occasions and he was much loved by the whole community for his work with young people and his great love for the arts. We will never forget him."

Leave your message of condolence

Send your messages of condolences by emailing us at webteam@guildford.gov.uk. We will display your message and name on this page.


Donations in Bill's memory are welcomed for the following charities:

  • Disability Challengers

  • Queen Elizabeth's Foundation For Disabled People

  • British Heart Foundation 

Please make your cheque out to the relevant charity and post to:

Alan Greenwood & Sons
34 Madrid Road

Your messages of condolence

"God bless you dear Bill. We will remember you especially on poppy time. Rest in peace and thank you for all you did for Guildford." - Viv and Alana Coster

"We will always remember our dear friend, supporter and President of our theatre group, The Herald Players who spent his lifetime supporting local theatre. His warmth, passion and commitment to the arts will be dearly missed. We were privileged to have him join us for a Club Night on the weekend of his 100th birthday celebrations where he asked if he could make a speech. We watched as he made his way to the front, adamantly refusing offers of help and stood rather then sat. We then were held enthralled as he spoke eloquently and humorously about the history of amateur theatre. The smile on his face as we gave him a standing ovation will linger in the memory for a very long time." - Gayle Lafone (Chair of The Herald Players)

"Mr Bellerby was my Head Master at Knollmead Primary School. He cycled from Guildford to Tolworth every day.

I know everyone remembers him as Mr Guildford but I remember him as one of the most influential people of my childhood. Everyone at my school, and we are all still in contact, remember him with such enormously fond memories. He made our childhoods fun with our trips to Chantries camping, the door always being open to his office - unless he was having a kip from his cycle journey to work' etc. He was so approachable.

I wanted to find him since I moved to Guildford because I wanted to tell him the effect he had on ours lives at Knollmead. I wanted him to know how much fun and love he brought into our lives. Sadly I never got to tell him. He was an amazing man and full of love and fun xx" - Vanessa Brockwell

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to Bills's family. We thank him for all he did for TALK Surrey and the recoverers who had suffered a stroke. Thank you for being our Patron, you may not be with us now but you will never be forgotten. From all of the Recoverers, Group Leaders volunteers, staff and Trustees at TALK SURREY." - Richard Moule

"Having worked at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, The Electric Theatre, and being a member of Godalming Theatre Group, I had the great honour of meeting Bill regularly as he was associated with all these organisations, as well as many others locally. From the very first time I met Bill and Doreen, I realised how special they both were and how much of an important part they played with their contribution to Guildford politics and its arts scene. It was always a pleasure to see Bill, and receiving his hand written thank you letters after each Godalming Theatre Production about how enjoyed our shows meant a huge amount to the whole company. I am sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that Bill's contribution and passion has been unique and is likely to remain unique for the foreseeable future, and Guildford and its arts scene would not be the same without him. Good night and rest in peace Mr Guildford, you will never be forgotten." - Ferenc Hepp

"I knew both Doreen and Bill since 1969 (nearly 50 years) when we first came to Guildford returning from the USA. They became very dear friends to us and my family, as we both served many years as governors of Bishop Reindorp School, and with my deceased husband Jack Cox (also a dedicated Guildford Socialist) in various roles in Guildford Labour party over many years. Doreen gave a very moving eulogy at my own husband's funeral so many years ago in May 1986. In more recent times they were both dedicated supporters of Guildford Operatic Society and as well as Doreen being president Bill attended all our performances until becoming too frail. At his 100th birthday celebrations at Park Barn Centre earlier this year, he was as ever participating fully during the performance of Guildford Opera and other choirs in a very memorable uplifting event. Their memories will both live on in everyone who knew them and through the wide legacy they have left for all Guilfordians"

"He was headmaster at my junior school, he was approachable and superb with young people, I remember him taking us to guildford cathedral, and pilgrims walk, Chantries and Henleys Fort... he was there with us every step of the way from 5 years of age to 11. I'll never forget how lucky us kids were to have had him in our school lives. I remember his magic hanky, coin and his bicycle!  Rest now Mr Bellerby, you deserve it and thank  you for influencing our young lives in such a positive way." - Jules B

"Mr Bellerby was my headmaster at primary school. He was an amazingly dedicated man and he taught me how to spell! Such a kind, caring and totally approachable man and I have only fond memories of school including giving up his lunch hour to play Danish long ball with us, giving me a piggy back when I fell asleep on a coach trip whilst at Chantries, creating whirlpools in the pool. Such a wonderful man and I feel blessed to have known him."