Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.84

Published on: 19 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 26 Nov, 2013

By David Rose

The view of the Seahorse pub at Shalford was correctly identified by everyone who responded to last week’s pair of images, but the steps, that can be found in Racks Close, proved a little harder.

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies at the foot of the page, with, as always, some interesting additional comments. Didn’t know the Seahorse offered gift vouchers! Doug and Bill are still after a prize for their efforts. Well, with Christmas coming perhaps we’ll come up with something!

I picked that view of the Seahorse at random from my collection of images. But after giving one of my history talks (Guildford breweries that were once in Bury Street) last Thursday to a group at St Nicolas’ Church parish centre, I had an interesting conversation afterwards with a chap who spoke to me about the pub.

He said that there were once two walnut trees in the pub garden. A landlord used to gather them and made pickled walnuts that were sold in the pub.

I asked him when this was and he said that it was between the wars and the publican was his grandfather.

This got me thinking as I recall my late mum telling me that when she was a young girl (also between the wars) she and one of her sisters went to stay at the Seahorse for a few weeks. I never quite knew the full story, but I can only think this was due to some family crisis – possibly when my grandmother had given birth to another child.

Anyway, the man told me his name is Hibberd, to which I replied that my mum once told me that she was distantly related to a Bob Hibberd. In fact, he was someone I knew from my childhood and my dad regularly played bowls with him at Woodbridge Hill Workingmen’s Club. Saying this, that chap said: “That was my dad!” He also knew my dad as well.

Small world it is when you’ve lived in Guildford all your life! So after all these years I now know that it was distant relatives with whom my mum and her sister stayed with at the Seahorse. I am now trying to remember exactly how the Hibberds and the Hughes’s (my mum’s mother’s maiden name), are related.

Any idea where this is?

Any idea where this is?

Here’s this week’s mystery vintage photo. Another village scene not far from Guildford and dating from about the 1900s. The rather plain looking building still stands on this now busy road. The shop, identified by a host of enamel advertising signs, was at the time a Co-op. Behind it was a leather works. In the distance a watermill can be seen, now a restaurant. Do you recognise this view?

What's unusual about this building?

What’s unusual about this building?

This really is a quirky photo – or more correctly, a part of the building is rather unusual. It is in Guildford High Street. What’s strange about the facade? If you don’t know (and I didn’t until recently) look closely towards the top. What can you see, or do you know the answer?

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.84

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    November 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    1) Gomshall

    2) High Street Shop

    This was until the 1950s a butcher’s shop.

    There was a story in the local press at the time that it was haunted and the builder’s refused to work on the alterations. It was, I believe, said that a mummified cat or a rat found in the wall cavity together with a hidden stair case.

    The top window is a dummy window.

  2. Russell Morris Reply

    November 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    It looks like a two storey building masquerading as a fully grown three, with a thin facade perhaps hiding an unfashionable older roof form.

  3. Caroline Reeves Reply

    November 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I think the village is Gomshall, and the quirkyness is the fake window on the first floor. The building looks good after it’s coat of paint, I hope some of the others in the High Street will get the same treatment from their owners!

  4. Ray Springer Reply

    November 22, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Think the village is Gomshall and the shop next to the ugly square building is now a vets.

    The quirky photo of a building that appears to have a high parapet wall with no apparent roof behind it. The roof line is at a lower level as the rainwater hopper heads indicate.

    I think the top window is false.

  5. Eileen Alderman Reply

    November 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    It has a fake window.

  6. Chris Townsend Reply

    November 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    The village, on the A25, is Gomshall, whose watermill on the Tillingbourne functioned as a mill until 1953.

    The street is Station Road, where the shop is now a vet’s. Between that and the mill is The Compasses pub, beside the stream, and the tannery site is now a new housing development.

    The mystery building is at 92 High Street, which from the 1740s to 1951 was Read’s the butcher’s, to the left of the former Corona Cafe and just down the street from the present Tunsgate Square.

    This listed building with parts dating to the C16th is said (in the listing description) to have been re-fronted in the early C19th, perhaps accounting for the the false facade or parapet. The rain-water heads give the game away, as they drain water from the roof behind the facade.

  7. Bill and Doug Staniforth Reply

    November 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    It’s Station Road in Gomshall.

    The upper storey is just a single wall, the “window” has been painted on. The original upper part of the building was damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt to blend in with the surrounding buildings.

    It’s rumoured the structure was used to manufacture luxury speedboats to be given as (unlikely) prizes for media competitions.

    It’s also rumoured, with equal reliability, that you are going to win a speedboat :-). Ed

  8. Brian Holt Reply

    November 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    This is Shere Road, Gomshall looking towards the Station. The Tannery was behind this shop.
    At the end of these buildings is The Compass Inn and Restaurant.

    The window has nothing behind it, as its above the roof of the Mobile Phone Shop building.

  9. Carol Norris Reply

    November 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Picture 1 : As you mention leather, could it be Gomshall?

    Picture 2 : Façade only – no back to most of the building.

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