Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.82

Published on: 6 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 6 Nov, 2013

By David Rose

Some good replies to last week’s mystery picture that featured the Quadrant group of building in Bridge Street, near the corner of Onslow Street.

I think Norman Hamshere’s recollections of Turner’s toy shop answers the question posed by Chris Townsend’s about a pram shop thereabouts.

My Kelly’s Directory of Guildford and Godalming for 1950 lists within the Quadrant at 5 Bridge Street, Order of St John of Jerusalem & British Red Cross Society, with the latter’s Surrey branch South-Western area office, plus its ‘Hospital Libraries’. Was that its office?

Then, at number 4, provision merchant Graham Montague; and at numbers 3 and 2, Kenneth Jackson Turner, ‘toy dealer, prams and sports goods’.

Sue Bushell’s comments about the Plaza when it was a music venue were also very interesting. Yes some great musicians played there in the 1960s – often ones who would become famous. Not only did it play host to some genuine American bluesmen – Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson, to name but two, but I think bands such as the Who also gigged there as well. And also, I believe, Elton John, and another then young American pianist and singer who went by the name of Little Stevie Wonder, played there!

To read all the replies now published at the foot of last week’s post click here.

Two other things about the Plaza back then which I have written about several times before hoping someone can supply some vital details. Firstly, I have heard there was a regular photographer there who took pictures of people in the audience as they danced. The following week he would return with prints of them for sale. Anyone ever had their photo taken, or seen any such pictures? And did he photograph the bands as well?

Secondly, I have heard that someone, possibly the manager, used to hang a microphone over the stage and recorded the bands onto a a reel to reel tape recorder. If that’s true and those tapes exist anywhere, with the latest digital enhancement that can be done today, there might just be some wonderful recordings to be heard.

Last week’s quirky picture of a stag can be found at Sainsbury’s store in the High Street and is a reminder of the White Hart Hotel that once stood there, and as Chris also notes, was pulled down in 1905.

Can you identify this location in Guildford High Street?

Can you identify this location in Guildford High Street?

On to this week… the vintage photo shows a British Road Services lorry that overturned in the High Street, in, I think, about the early 1950s. Do you recognise where exactly?

In which road can this 'face' be found?

In which road can this ‘face’ be found?

The ‘quirky’ photo was sent in by reader Nikki Nelson Smith. She wondered if the location of this piece of topiary featuring a face would be unknown to me. And she’s right, I hadn’t a clue. After learning of the location I went and had a look. As a clue, it’s a road that is very steep, at right angles and thus connected to two other roads and not far from the town centre – but it’s not in the area of The Mount.

If you know the answers to this week’s, and perhaps have some comments to make, please leave a reply in the box below. All replies will be posted at about the same time next week, along with a new post with the answers to this week’s vintage photo and quirky picture, and the next pair of images.

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Responses to Where Is This? No.82

  1. Carol Norris Reply

    November 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Picture 1: I don’t remember this incident but I do have vivid memories of the Astolat Tea Shops.

    The one in the picture was known to my family as the ‘Bottom Astolat’. The ‘Top Astolat’ was at the top of the High Street near to where the old Odeon Cinema stood.

    The staff at the Bottom Astolat wore blue and cream uniforms and at the Top Astolat, they wore brown and cream.

  2. Ray Springer Reply

    November 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    The overturned lorry is in the lower High Street where Vision Express is now (between Phoenix Court and Next in White Lion Walk).

    The quirky photo is in Cheselden Road (No.12) and a very clever piece of topiary it is.

  3. Judy Oliver Reply

    November 8, 2013 at 12:34 am

    I think the location is the upper High Street. In the background you can see the Municipal Offices.

  4. Chris Townsend Reply

    November 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The vintage photo shows, on the right, part of the Lion Hotel (demolished in 1957) which used to face the entrance to Quarry Street. The Hotel was replaced by Woolworth’s, and is now the site of White Lion Walk.

    Going down the street, there were the Astolat Tea Rooms, Halford’s (cycle shop), Fremlin’s (brewer’s, now the entrance to Phoenix Court) and Clarke, Gammon & Emery’s (auctioneer and estate agent’s). Those businesses had been the same back to the ’20s at least.

    The tailor’s, “John Collier, John Collier, the window to watch!”, just visible on the lower corner of Friary Street, came to Guildford after 1955, so the photo can be dated quite closely.

    The topiary is on Cheseldon Road.

  5. Bill and Doug Staniforth Reply

    November 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    The vintage photo is the lower part of the High Street about where the White Lion Walk is now. We’re pretty sure that this is about where Halfords used to be.

    The quirky photo is in Cheselden Road. It is in fact a portrayal of the Evinrude,the Greek god of speedboats.

    I am afraid you are not quite right about the topiary. The face depicted is of Evenruda the Roman god of duos digitos :-). Ed

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    November 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The overturned lorry in Lower High Street is just below the junction of Quarry Street, and it looks if it overturned turning left into the High Street.

    Astolat Tea Rooms was next to the Lion Hotel, with Halfords cycle shop next door to the Tea Rooms.

    • Yvonne North Reply

      February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      You are correct my mother worked in the Astolat Tea Rooms when she left school just before the war.

      She was a cake decorator, but during the war she was a postwoman. After the war she returned there to work.

      I went with her a few times during the school holidays in the 1950s. They made lovely bath buns, so nice straight from the oven.

      They had a lovely courtyard with a sundial where I would play with their cat.

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