Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.85

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

By David Rose

Once again readers came up trumps, correctly naming the village in the mystery vintage photo as being Gomshall.

And the unusual feature of the building seen in the ‘quirky’ today photo is a false window and a wall with nothing behind it!

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies at the foot of it, with, as always, some interesting extra facts.

Any idea where this railway bridge can be found?

Any idea where this railway bridge can be found?

I have been loaned a fantastic photo album that contains all kinds of images relating to St John Ambulance in Guildford. It belongs to Les Knight, who rose to be Area Staff Office (Cadets) at St John Ambulance in Guildford. Among the photos is this week’s mystery vintage picture.

I have seen this picture before, but only as a newspaper cutting. This is the first time I have had the opportunity to copy an original photographic print that shows a steam lorry accident. As you can imagine, I got quite excited when I saw it in Les’s album, from which I have copied about 80 images.

The accident happened in 1928. It’s a railway bridge near one of Guildford’s railway stations – the men are standing on one of the platforms. Note the banking of the railway cutting beyond the bridge. They are a couple of clues for you.

Train buffs who know a bit about when lines in the Guildford area were electrified will surely notice the the ‘third rail’. That could be another clue to the location.

Any idea where? You can still see where the brickwork was repaired if you look at the bridge today.

Where is this door?

Where is this door?

Here’s the ‘quirky’ photo of something that’s in Guildford today. Where can this door be found? And any suggestions as to what lies behind it? I have never seen it open. I wonder how many people drive past it each day when negotiating their way out of town?

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.85

  1. Norman Hamshere Reply

    November 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Must be London Road station, electrified in 1925. The wooden notice board on the right hand side warns that the bell rings as a train approaches,and is now part of my collection, together with the bell, now on my front door, ideal for the hard of hearing.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    November 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    That has to be London Road station looking towards Effingham. Even the signal post is shown on the 1914-16 OS 1:2500 map, so the steam lorry would have been travelling north. I suspect that it may have actually come down Clandon Rd and had problems slowing enough to make the right turn into London Rd.

    Google street view clearly shows the repair as David remarks.

    The quirky picture on Quarry Street would appear to be part of a corner tower from the castle outer curtain wall, I wonder if it was also at some time a town lockup cell. The 1871 1:500 town plan seems to show only one entrance into the square shape of the “tower”.

  3. Chris Townsend Reply

    November 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    The railway bridge is at London Road station.

    Quarry Hill House is a listed property on Quarry Street whose boundary incorporates parts of the Castle walls. The listing description mentions “part of wall [above the door]stepping down in three stages to right, each stage with one lancet window … Old arched oak door of 3 planks with studding and strapwork hinges in elaborate Celtic style between buttresses …” The house itself is early 1900s, and the style of the door is reminiscent of “Arts and Crafts” design. I’ve no idea what’s behind it!

  4. Bill and Doug Staniforth Reply

    December 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    The bridge in the picture is London Road just by Nightingale Road. What can’t be seen is the speedboat under the tarpaulin on the back.

    The mystery doorway is on Quarry Street near Castle Arch. The reason you’ve never seen it open is a closely guarded secret, but I can reveal it has something to do with fast water-borne craft.

    [We have heard that it wasn’t a speedboat under the tarpaulin, it was a pedalo. Very suitable, of course, for “Pedalo Pushers”? Ed]

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    December 2, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    A man had a very lucky escape from this crash in July 1928 on the London Road bridge over the railway line.
    This alarming incident, caused by a slippery road surface, and perhaps too much speed for the conditions, involved a fully-loaded Foden steam wagon complete with trailer. It smashed through the bridge wall and demolished 30 feet of brickwork, which landed on the railway lines below. The wagon came to a standstill, with the front wheel hanging precariously over the bridge’s archway.
    The driver escape without injury, but his mate apparently leapt from the cab and landed on the track 30 feet below in an effort to save himself from the impending crash. He was half buried under the falling debris, but was rescued, unconscious, and rushed to hospital. Miraculously, he did not have any broken bones, but did suffer a few internal injuries. Thankfully there were no trains due at the time of the crash.
    It took two corporation steamrollers to haul the wagon clear of the bridge.
    This is in the book Guildford Life Past and Present by Stanley Newman.

    The gate in Quarry Street I have only seen open a couple of times, even when living near by and having to pass it daily.
    There is a letterbox in the wall, but i think they use the other gate which you can see through.
    The house is about eight feet from the gate.

  6. Ray Springer Reply

    December 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Must be London Road station.

    Quarry Hill House is in Quarry Street next door to the museum and part of the castle wall.

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