IMAGINE paying a visit to Woking at the turn of the 20th century and looking around the town. That’s the basis of this week’s Peeps into the Past.

These four picture postcards, dating from more than 100 years ago, provide a look at what visitors would have found. Enjoy your virtual visit.

On Postcard 1, we the London & South Western Railway’s Woking station. The train on the right is likely to have been a slow one from London and has just arrived. Note the buildings on the left in the High Street and The Broadway, beyond the station.

Leaving the station on the town centre side, the visitor would have immediately seen the imposing Albion Hotel straight ahead. It is shown on the left of Postcard 2.

Chertsey Road goes off in the centre and The Broadway on the right. Note the clock high up on the building between those two roads.

There is a crown above the doorway of the Albion Hotel. Perhaps commemorating a royal event? The postcard is postmarked 1906, while the photo may have been taken a few years earlier. Perhaps the crown was a left over from Edward VII’s coronation in 1902? In front of the hotel is a man with a horse and two-wheel carriage. It could have been a taxi.

Making our way into the centre of town, Postcard 3 shows Chobham Road with the junction of Commercial Road.

The Woking Drug Stores was on the right, with a large pestle and mortar on top of the corner feature above the store’s name. Over to the left is a shop whose sign reads ‘Clothing at London prices’.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this view is the lack of buildings on the right-hand side of Chobham Road.

The trees tie in with the story of Woking’s ironmongers and builders merchants Skeets & Jeffes, featured in the Peeps column recently. The firm built its premises at 10 and 12 Chobham Road, in what had been a grazing field for horses. Maybe that was behind those trees that fronted the road?

Postcard 4 shows Maybury Road. Although a number of the houses here have been replaced, I wonder whether this view is between Grove Road and Portugal Road, both which lead off Maybury Road?

Note the saplings beside the railway line. Surely these are the mature trees you can see today.

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: [email protected]