Looking back at lost views

THERE is lots to see and reminisce about in these pictures of Woking town centre taken in the mid-1960s.

This was how it looked not long before work began to transform the town centre. However, many of the buildings seen in these four pictures remain, but the shops and businesses that occupied them at this time have changed.

HIGH TIME – Chertsey Road in the mid-1960s, showing the prominent James Walker clock

Picture 1 is a view down Chertsey Road with Chobham Road going off to the left. Ladieswear shop Helene is clearly in view, just behind the two women who appear to be looking at the person who took the photo.

Next to it is Maynards – the shoe shop. The clock showing the time at 4.20 is of jewellers James Walker. The corner building was home to menswear shop Burton’s and it certainly appears to be a busy day with plenty of shoppers in town.

Picture 2 is the High Street, looking up towards the railway station entrance that would be away to the right. The sunshade is hiding what appears to be an electrical shop that has signs for Ekco, Bendix and Bush appliances. Next door is Hugh Harris, the menswear shop that traded in the town for many years.

IN THE SHADE – The High Street, looking up towards the railway station entrance to the right

On the left is Chapel Street, and, as can be seen, the white building was then an off licence. Projecting from the first floor is a hanging sign advertising Sandeman Port, with its famous logo of a caped man, named Don, dressed in a Portuguese cape and wide-brimmed hat.

Picture 3 looks down Chobham Road. On the right Burton’s shop can also be seen. Next to it is the Red House pub, then a Friary Meux house. At the time, its beers and ales were still being brewed in Guildford, where its Friary shopping centre is today. Brewing ceased there in December 1969.

CALL TO THE BAR – Chobham Road, with a view past the Red House towards the Skeet & Jeffes building

Those were the days of separate bars in pubs – public and saloon. A sign for the latter can be seen. Moving on, and Wearing the chemist is visible at the crossroads with Commercial Road. Further along is builders’ merchants Skeet & Jeffes, a building that no longer exists.

Picture 4 is a glimpse along Chertsey Road towards the railway station, and more of the parked cars are surely of interest! The sunshade advertises jeweller and optician JE Russell, with other shop signs visible for chemist and hardware stores Timothy Whites and Boots, with shoe shop Freeman, Hardy & Willis squeezed in between.

BUSY DAY – Shoppers are out in force on Chertsey Road as it rises towards the railway station

The scaffolding appears to be around Robinsons’ department store and note the rather large street light on the right. 

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: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

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