Peeps into the past

LET’S take another wander through Woking town centre in the 1960s, this time beginning with a food theme.

Previously featured photos from the same period have been very popular with readers, many of whom have supplied answers to some of the “mystery” locations, while adding useful comments and memories.

A TASTE OF WOKING – The BA-FA Chinese restaurant and a fish and chip shop in Duke Street in the mid-1960s

A Chinese restaurant called BA-FA in Duke Street was recalled by Les Jermey, who also noted the Tong Do, in Chertsey Road, near the then News & Mail office.

This week’s photos show both restaurants. BA-FA can be seen in with its prominent hanging sign. All these buildings have, of course, long gone.

Interestingly, also in the view is a fish and chip shop that appears to be Somerscales Ltd.

Was this another premises of the same owners that Stan Martin recalls as having a wet fish shop on the corner of Commercial Road and Chobham Road, that was previously butcher’s HA Tanner and now the Slug & Lettuce bar?

There is a hanging sign for Pepsi-Cola and a poster in the window advertising Billy Smart’s Circus.

ON PARADE – Shops in Chertsey Road in the 1960s included the Tong Do Chinese restaurant

In the other picture, the Tong Do restaurant can be seen on the far right of the row of shops in Chertsey Road. Staying with the food theme, is that Coombe’s the baker’s shop on the left?

Next to it is Speed Queen Coin Wash, Susan Gay Separates and Rentaset Television Hire. On the far left, just glimpsed, is the News & Mail office at number 52.

This leads to more readers’ memories. Keith Francis wrote: “Wasn’t the old Woking News & Mail office, certainly in editor Don Swatman’s day, near Barrenger’s leatherware shop?

“Sallabank’s tobacconists, with FW Woolworth & Co Ltd surrounding it, [were in] Chertsey Road. On that side a few doors along, towards the railway station, was an independent sewing-machine shop, which sold Singer machines, among others.

“Further along Chertsey Road were several small grocers. Maypole for one, which I think was an International Stores brand, was further up the road on the other side. There was more than one butchers, including West and Dewhurst, all part of the Vestey Group. 

“The butcher’s shop managers used to joke about their different trading names, but all being part of the same empire. If I remember correctly, one of the Dewhurst directors, Colin Cullimore, lived in Chobham.”

If you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call David Rose on 01483 838960, or drop a line to the News & Mail.

DAVID ROSE is a local historian and writer who specialises in what he calls “the history within living memory” of people, places and events in the west Surrey area covering towns such as Woking and Guildford. He collects old photos and memorabilia relating to the area and the subject, and regularly gives illustrated local history talks to groups and societies. For enquiries and bookings please phone or email him at:

For the full story get the 21 November edition of the News & Mail

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