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Tunnel Road Reigate

This coming weekend, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th, Reigate Business Guild will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Reigate Tunnel, with the Reigate Tunnel 200 Art Exhibition and a weekend full of activities for all the family to enjoy.

The oldest road tunnel in the UK, Tunnel Road was built by William Constable in 1823 at the request of Earl Somers, with the main aim of speeding up the journey times from London to Brighton and vice versa.

Reigate Tunnel 200 Art Exhibition

To celebrate this unique landmark and mark the anniversary, Reigate Business Guild is hosting a community event headlined by the Reigate Tunnel 200 Art Competition.

Held in partnership with Adam’s Gallery and co-sponsored by First Stop Stationers and The Plum Agency, Reigate Tunnel 200 Art Competition was launched in spring ’23, inviting local artists (including schools) to create works of art inspired by the theme ‘The Tunnel in Tunnel Road’.

An exhibition of admissions will be curated in the Tunnel this Saturday from 12noon – 5pm, with the original works available to see in Adam’s Gallery from 1st July to 16th July. Winners and runners up will be announced on Sunday at 11am, receiving art supplies and a contribution towards school supplies (in the schools’ category).

Tunnel Road old photo

Image sourced here - photographer unknown

Family focused activities & community market

In addition to the art exhibition, the Tunnel will play host to a series of family focused activities throughout the day, from 12noon – 5pm, including access to Reigate caves and a community market, with stalls from local charities including Stripey Stork, Loveworks and Renewed Hope.

Local food stalls will also be onsite for visitors to enjoy, with a special guest appearance from Pilgrim Brewery, who created a bespoke beer for the occasion called Silver Sand, named after the fine sand that was extracted to create the Tunnel. The beer will be on sale in Tunnel Road over the weekend and also in The Market Stores pub.

At 5pm on Saturday, a short film produced by Reigate Business Guild to commemorate the Anniversary of Reigate will be screened just outside the Tunnel. Footage will also be shot over the weekend and added to the film which will be kept at the University of Brighton Screen Archive, and hosted on the Guild’s website.

On Sunday, the community market will be running for a second day, with the addition of a vintage car fair (from 11am) followed by the Art competition prize giving at 11.15am.

Special guest Jennifer Clare Smith, ancestor of William Constable and author of several books about him, will join The Reigate Business Guild at 12 noon to unveil a commemorative plaque marking this milestone anniversary.

Tunnel Road old photo

Image sourced here - photographer unknown

With so much going on, this looks set to be a busy community event, with plenty for everyone to enjoy. We’re particularly looking forward to enjoying a pint of Silver Sand!

Find out more about the timings of events here. We look forward to seeing you there!