OLD picture postcards provide a fascinating look at how the Woking area has changed over the years.

And the messages on the backs of the cards offer an enthralling insight into how life was decades ago.

In August, Peeps into the Past featured a selection of postcards from days gone by. This week, we reproduce several more.

First up is a view of Woking’s Six Crossroads with Chertsey Road in the foreground (and with just one car in view). The street lamps look almost new and there’s a couple of public benches on the grass verges as well. Perhaps placed there for people who wished to sit a while and watch the world go by.

The date of the postmark on the card is not clear, but the style of the ‘thrupenny’ stamp dates to the 1950s or 1960s.

The card was sent to Miss B Steare, 43 Monks Close, Lancing, Sussex. The message said: “Just to let you know I return next Sunday [then two single letters which cannot be deciphered] after the six gospels. Will is preaching at Cobham (10 miles away) so we cannot be very early.

“If you would like to go into 22 this week, do so, the gas stove could do with a clean, but don’t bother if you would prefer not. Will settle up with you on my return. Have had a very nice time and the weather is perfect now – wet last week. No visitors here except the Ryalls of Steyning – the home of his parents. You seem to have plenty of visitors still in the meeting. May B.”

In postcard 2, it was a lovely summer’s day when the photograph of Woking Park was taken. The flowers, neatly planted in what is sometimes called “corporation bedding” and so typical of municipal parks and gardens, are in bloom. A match is under way on the bowling green in front of the line of trees.

This writer of this postcard dated it: “Horsell, Surrey, 5.6.62”, and sent it to what looks like Miss Wadeson of Ingatestone Road, Wanstead E12.

The message being: “Harry will drive me home on Thursday, as Tony is going to France for Whitsun. Miss P will be home that evening. We have had two warm sunny days running, but today, at present, it doesn’t look so settled. We have had some lovely drives and Surrey looks beautiful. Hope you and your father are well. With love to you both, P.”

The heyday of picture postcards was from about 1900 to 1920. The craze for sending and receiving them resulted in just about everywhere and everything throughout the British Isles being photographed and published on a postcard – cemeteries and crematoriums included.

A number of views of Woking Crematorium were published as postcards and postcard 3 shows one of them. The postmark appears to be 14 January 1907, and it’s a bit of a belated Christmas greeting sent to Miss Lloyd of The Red House, Slade End Green, Wallingford.

MB wrote: “Thanks for PC [postcard]. Sorry to hear you could not get home at Xmas. We did not have any snow til Boxing Day. Love to all at home when you go yourself.”

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: [email protected]