Return to Woking Town Centre: 1960s

THE vintage photos of Woking town centre in the 1960s featured on the Peeps page recently brought some great responses by readers.

Nigel Searle has added some details about the shops. He notes the electrical store under the awning of 14 High Street was ET Trotman: “They advertised themselves as ‘Radio, Television and Electrical Specialist’ and were a successful local business before the advent of the electrical chain stores.

Is this Commercial Way with a very smart car approaching, far left?

 “It was one of the main places in the town to take radios, TVs and other domestic appliances for repairs in the long-gone days when stuff could actually be repaired rather than replaced when it went faulty, and also a source for radio components and other spare parts,” said Nigel.

Nind’s was an off-licence, and Nigel adds: “My recollection of Maynards (in Chertsey Road) was that it was a confectioners (possibly newsagents and part of a chain) not a shoe shop, but I may be mistaken. My 1957 street directory does have a Maynard’s as confectioners at 9 Chertsey Road then, but it may have been a different business.

“I suspect the scaffolding around Robinsons (in Chertsey Road) was when it went through a major expansion and refurbishment of its property. This was when they took over the next door properties (9 to 13), those on the station  side, which, from pretty much new at around the turn of the 20th century, had been owned by a family business established by Albert Pocock. He was my great uncle.

“He was a local tobacconist, retail and wholesale, who used one of the shops, number 11, as one of his retail outlets. One of the shop tenants in 1957 was Maynards (as above), the other was the shoe shop, John Farmers.

“My understanding is that for a number of years prior to establishing a separate wholesale warehouse (now under the Peacocks centre), as well as offering residential accommodation, some of the upper floor space of 9 to 13 was used for Pocock’s wholesale business.

Chapel Street, looking towards High Street? Featuring Nancy Leigh, Bradford Francis & Co, and Mann & Co?

“After the sale to Robinsons, Pocock’s retained a small shop as a specialist tobacconist outlet for a number of years. It was built in the corner of the refurbished, enlarged store.

“After Pocock’s decided to voluntarily cease trading, not wholly, but certainly in part down to the major development going on elsewhere in the town centre, which included the loss of the warehouse, Robinsons continued to run the shop as a tobacconists for a number of years.”  

Reader Tony Wyatt emailed to say he worked at electrical firm ET Trotman for about 12 years, adding: “I left school when I was 15 years old, and served my apprenticeship there.”

He also confirms that the off-licence in the High Street was David Ninds, and further down the road, towards Sparrow Park, was Woking’s original Sainsbury’s store. 

Michael Collyer also rang to confirm ET Trotman’s shop.

To whet readers’ appetite for more views of Woking town centre from the mid-1960s, featured here are two more photos. Can readers identify the locations and add some details of the businesses featured?

If  you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call me, 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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