Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Wonersh Street, circa 1915

This is one of my favourite cards of Wonersh. My several times Great Grandfather, John Butcher (1795 - 1877) inherited one of the cottages on the right hand side.

Early on in my career I worked in the next village. I would routinely walk between Bramley and Wonesh, past these cottages on my way to the Grantley Arms for a sandwich and drink. It always felt very "warm and fuzzy" to be walking along the path that John walked, around 150 years previous.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Guildford & Neigbourhood Album Cover by Frank Lasham, Guildford circa 1919

I spotted this lovely old album of views of Guildford and Neighbourhood last year. I was very tempted to purchase but the reality was I already have a copy, but the front cover of the album is pretty tatty. I asked if I could take a picture of the cover so that I could share it here and thankfully the then owner let me. The album itself dates to circa 1919.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

WRAC's Receiving Freedom of Guildford circa 1980's

Although not especially old this scene represents a time when there was a military barracks at Guildford. I recall parades such as these from my childhod.

I grew up in Guildford in the 1970's and 1980's. It was quite common to see the WRAC's at the railway station boarding trains crying because they had been posted to Ireland and of course in this period the situation in Ireland was a fragile one.

Whilst this picture and the story I have shared is not especially it old, it does record a time in the Guildford pictorial history.

Friday, 6 March 2015

High Street from River Bridge Guildford 1911

This is a great view. Initially I could not work out what was missing from the picture, but once I gained a sense of place I could tell immediately.

This is the Bridge that crosses the River Wey and looks up the High Street to the town clock. St Nicholas Church is behind the viewer. This is the time before the road (A281), Debenhams and the underpass. This is before cars, which is why there was no road here.

I love the shop views and the boards on the side of the buildings advertising the various businesses. This is the view that my Grandfather, who was aged 3 at the time this postcard was sent would have seen. My Grandmother had yet to be born.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Jolly Farmer, Puttenham circa 1909

A postally used card sent to a family member, complete with ink stains!
Produced by Alfred Challen, Compton

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Guildford from St Catherine's

I have very happy memories of St Catherine's. In the summer holidays my Grandmother and I would walk to St Catherine's. The reward a drink from the spring there, Gran would pack in her bag a small plastic beaker. It had red and white spots and would gently bend down and capture the water being careful to not capture any of the sand. We would have a drink and enjoy a rest on a seat before walking back to home.

I don't know if this is a view I remember, but I am sure that it is one that my Grandmother would have seen many times.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Lords Hill, Shamley Green circa 1909

This was such an unusual postcard that despite being in a slightly worse for ware state, I had to purchase it and ad to the collection.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Country Lane between Wonersh and Shamley Green

Published by the S. & W. Series of postcards circa 1910. This is a view that my ancestors who most certainly have seen as they walked this area. My Great Grandfather, Charles Butcher was born in Wonersh in 1869.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Old Rectory Guest House, Guildford

I own two copies of this picture. One used with the postage stamp of 1915 which is much paler in colour and this one which is not used and has brighter and vibrant colouring.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Guildford Lido circa 1950

A slightly different view of the lido and is the view I pretty much remember from two decades later than the date of this postcard.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Guildford Lido, circa 1930

There was something familiar with this postcard. Recollections of visiting the lido through my childhood and sitting at the tables outside, with the ever so faintly mottled and dotted patten in a pale blue colour.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Across the Roof Tops to St. Mary's

This postcard by Judges (5719) I found quite curious. It seems such a strange view to take and because it is quite unusual I had to purchase it and add it to the collection.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Guildford High Street circa 1929

There is something about this scene that I can resonate with. Not that I was born in 1929!

My Grandmother who was 17 years old at the time would have seen this of the High Street. Yet, there is parts of the picture that I recognise, names of the shops - Timothy White Cash Chemists for example were in the same location when I was growing, of course Timothy White's vanished from our streets long ago and merged into Boots. The clock that sits proudly over the High Street and the Bulls Head, a familiar spot in my senior school days (all perfectly legal!).

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Snowy High Street, Guildford

This picture has appeared before on Guildford and District. It is a favourite and a fitting way to say thank you and Happy Christmas to readers and supporters of the blog.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Braboeuf Manor, Guildford circa 1910

The Manor House was previously part of the Manors at Artington and Godalming and is first mentioned as being under the ownership of Alfred the Great. The Manor made its way into the Wight Family in 1559 where it remained in their ownership until 1914.The College of Law purchased the property in 1964 they still own it today.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Guildford Borough Council Civil Defence Duties - February 1942

This small card, which measures about 5" x 3" is a first for me. This was issued by Guildford Borough Council to members of the Civil Defence Duties. This is named - Frederick S Warner who resided at 40 Fenton Road (a road this Guildfordian has never heard of!) and is dated 26th February 1942. This individual was enrolled into the fire prevention team.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Philatelic Counter at Guildford Post Office on 21st October 1981

This was produced to celebrate the opening of the Head Post Office and the Philatelic Counter at Guildford on 21st October 1981. I still have my stamped, posted and delivered copy. 

The post office did look like this, although I notice that the post office has moved and now resides on the junction of where North Street meets the High Street, almost opposite where Thorps the wonderful bookshop used to be.

This forms part of my Around the World in Stamps and Postcards project

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Wedding of Miss Winifred Terry to Mr Grant Duncan at St Mary's Church Guildford ~ 10th October 1925

The following photographs and newspaper clippings were given to me for the purpose of sharing here, at Guildford and District.

The Wedding of  Miss Winifred Terry to Mr Grant Duncan at St Mary's Church Guildford. 
10th October 1925

The Bridal Party

The Bride and Groom

The Wedding Certificate
Courtesy of Ancestry - Surrey Collection

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pub Bombings at Guildford - October 1974

The 5th October 2014 marks the anniversary of the Guildford Pub bombings in 1974. I was just five years old, but I do remember the fear and emotional turmoil of Guildford even at that young age. As I got older and started working in both Guildford and London, I grew up with the political instability involving the "Irish Situation" and the terrorist threat.

Taken by J Goucher 28th September 2014
Just opposite one of the sites where the bombings happened, and next to Guildford Library is a spot known as Quakers' Acre. There sits a memorial plaque to those that lost their lives that day.

The victims were two men from the military barracks at Pirbright, two female military personnel from the female barracks at Stoughton Guildford and a civilian, who lived out of the County. They are all commemorated on the plaque here. A further 65 people experienced physical injuries and of course live with the emotional scaring that will have surely followed from such an experience.

The first explosion occurred at the Horse and Groom public house in North Street. The second occurred at the Seven Stars public house a little after 9pm, with no causalities because it had already been evacuated after the first incident. The sites chosen because they were popular with the military personnel when allowed out of barracks.

Image courtesy of Get Surrey
I remember the damage at the Horse and Groom, of course being only 5 years old I had no concept of what a pub was, why there was this damage, but could sense there was a degree of sensitivity and anger around what had happened.

The bombings were believed to be the work of the IRA. Four individuals, given the name of the Guildford Four, comprising of three men and a women were arrested, tried and found guilty.

The verdict over turned 15 years later, in 1989 when it was established that there were severe issues with how the case had been conducted and how admissions of guilt were obtained by Surrey Police. Surrey Police were of course pressured into bringing the matter to a swift conclusion, and this pressure without a doubt affected the integrity of the investigation. The culprits of the bombing remain unpunished to this day.

Since then, several books have been published, copies of which reside in my Guildford Collection

  • Proved Innocent by Gerry Conlon
  • Stolen Years by Paul Hill
  • Trial and Error by Robert Kee

  • I remember the verdict being overturned, the admittance that there had been a severe miscarriage of justice and of course the publicity as each book was published, each telling a personal story.

    Whilst this is politically sensitive, for the families of those killed, for those (and their families) who were wrongfully imprisoned it is important that we acknowledge the historical event as it stands. We can, no matter how unpleasant something is simply ignore the fact that this event happened. The event is an integral part of the history of Guildford.

    Edited - Added the link to an hour long recording made by BBC Surrey about the Guildford bombings. <>

    The final Government report can be read at

    Links checked 26th November 2014