The Annual Report is prepared and presented to the outgoing Mayor by the Borough Honorary Remembrancer during the Council's Annual General Meeting in May
The appointment of Honorary Remembrancer was created in May 1933 especially for Dr G C Williamson, an antiquarian and local historian, in 'recognition of his services in investigating and recording the town's history'.
At the annual elections of mayors, he read out a 'review of the more important work carried out by the Corporation during the past year'. Rather than an annual report, he began to chronicle events in the town by amassing material in scrapbooks. These included the results of his historical research as well as contemporary matters, and are now kept at the Surrey History Centre.
Following Williamson's death in 1942, it was assumed that, despite being a personal creation for him, the post of Honorary Remembrancer would continue. F W Elsley, the Honorary Curator of Guildford Museum, was appointed. It was Elsley who began the series of annual reports, copies of which were circulated amongst councillors. Until the 1970s Remembrancers were local historians. It then became the practice to offer the post to a long-serving councillor, usually an Alderman.
The original concept has been reverted to with the appointment of Mr Matthew Alexander in 2010.