THIS week, Peeps focuses on the love between Edwardians Lily and Will, who we mentioned briefly three months ago.

In the 15 December 2022 issue, we looked at Woking’s Monument Bridge over the Basingstoke Canal.

That page reproduced a postcard showing the bridge on a snowy day. The card was postmarked Woking, 16 January 1905.

The message on the back of the card was written by a woman who signed herself Lily. The card was addressed to Will c/o Mr Napper, 12 South Western Terrace, Yeovil, Somerset.

Lily must have been very fond of Will, as she wrote: “Many thanks for your letter received tonight. Dear, I have to go back to business this evening so will write a letter tomorrow. 

“I am very sorry to hear you are not well, dearest. I hope your cold will soon be better, dear. Will write you a letter tomorrow. Goodbye, dear, with fondest love from your ever-loving Lily.”

The card belongs to Peeps researcher Mark Coxhead. And while looking through his collection of old postcards, Mark found another that Lily wrote to Will. 

The picture featured on that card is captioned White Rose Lane, Woking – and Mark thinks the view is probably at the junction with Heathside Road. The card is postmarked Woking, 30 August 1905.

Lily, who sent it to the same Yeovil address as before, wrote: “My dear Will. Many thanks for letter to hand. I will write you a letter tomorrow. Hope you are keeping well. Goodbye, dear, with fondest love from Lily.”

Lily's message to Will. (Picture supplied)

Mark said that the contents of both cards give nothing away to the casual reader. And this is true of many messages found on postcards from this time.

At the turn of the 20th century, postcards were the latest craze of quick communication, often promising letters to follow. That is just like sending a text message by mobile phone today, with a longer phone conversation later when both parties have more time.

Mark and I wonder whether Will was lodging with Mr Napper at 12 South Western Terrace. 

Delving into the 1911 census, Mark found a Charles Napper at that address.

Charles was aged 50 at the time of that census and listed his job as a railway porter. Perhaps Will also worked on the railway.

At the time, both the London & South Western Railway and the Great Western Railway ran trains through Yeovil Town Station, which had two station masters – one from each of the two railway companies.

The station, which closed in 1966, once had a goods yard and an engine shed. South Western Terrace was close by.

In my collection, I have a copy of the same White Rose Lane postcard. The postmark is weak, with only the word Woking being visible. 

It is signed by Alice, who was writing to Miss May Thorn at 23 Birdhurst Road, East Hill, Wandsworth, London.

Alice wrote: “Thank you very much for your nice cards. I am spending a few days here and hope to come up on Wednesday and see you all, if it will be convenient for Mrs Molland. 

“What a long time I have been coming, but hope to come at last. 

“Hope this will find you all well, with love from Alice.”

Touch wood that it was convenient for her to make that visit, and that everything turned out fine for Lily and Will.

IF you have memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area and its people which you would like to contribute to this page, call David Rose on 01483 838960, or write to the News & Mail.