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Bay Hyde – Founder Member

GTC Annual Dinner

Bay was the driving force behind setting up the club in 1966. Bay was born in 1901 in Shere, and after her father died when Bay was 24 she became the main breadwinner for her family – mother, aunt and sister Isobel. From 1940 to 1966, she taught in the Kindergarten Department of Guildford High School, finishing her career as Head of the Kindergarten.

Bay’s interest in international friendship and co-operation began in the late 1930’s when she was asked to join the mayor of Guildford’s Refugee Committee to help resettle refugees from Germany and Eastern Europe in the Guildford area. Seeing a need for a social club for the refugees she established The All Nations Club in 1940.

By the end of the war Bay had persuaded the P.O.W. camp commandant at Merrow to let the German and Italian P.O.W.s visit the All Nations Club, enabling enemy P.O.W.s to mix with young Jewish Refugees and other displaced persons from the same countries. Feeling very strongly about the refugee problem, Bay took six months leave to work with International Voluntary Service helping to resettle refugees in Germany.

After the war, with the influx of au-pair girls and students, Bay helped to make them feel at home in Guildford through the All Nations Club. She was also largely instrumental in the ‘National Charter for the Protection of Au Pairs’; and for many years organised English language summer schools for foreign students.

In 1962 Bay set up the Guildford International Council, which included a number of organisations and individuals who were interested in the welfare of foreign visitors. The Council was still active after her death in 1980, and continued to hold the International Welcome Week every year in October, and the Christmas Revels for homesick visitors.

In 1966 Bay retired; while continuing her many other activities, including support for the Guildford International Voluntary Services Group and the All Nations Club. She decided to found Guildford Travel Club with other like-minded people. Bay had always wanted to travel, but never had the opportunity during her working life. She felt the club would enable people to share their travel experiences with others. In 1974 she received a small legacy which allowed her finally to travel in her late 70’s – to Soviet Central Asia, and by bus to India, China, Albania, Indonesia and China.

At the AGM in 1977 Bay was made Vice President for Life of Guildford Travel Club.

In 1980 following her death, a tribute was written on her life (from which this summary is taken). A memorial fund, with money collected from the club, was set up in her memory at Guildford High School.