Fringe Box



Aussie’s Memories Of The Prince Of Wales Hotel

Published on: 28 Feb, 2012
Updated on: 28 Feb, 2012

by David Rose

A reader from Australia has emailed with some memories of Guildford which are linked to two stories that have appeared on this website.

The first story he refers to is the very first Can You Identify These Locations? feature, that included a picture of a steam road roller with the Prince of Wales Hotel in the background. It was in Woodbridge Road, next to St Saviour’s Church.

The Prince of Wales Hotel in Woodbridge Road. There was a licensed house on the site from at least the middle of the 19th century. It was rebuilt on more than one occasion. The building seen here dated back to about 1893 and was designed by Guildford’s Henry Peak for the Cobham Brewery. The picture appears in the book Guildford & Villages Then and Now by David Rose, Breedon Books, 2003.

The second story is the one published on January 25 titled Whatever The Weather Don Delivers The Newspapers. It was about Don Shotter who has worked for Guildford newsagents Williams Bros for more than 40 years.

James Campbell-Dick writes: “My mother Evelynn (nee Boyce) was born in the Prince of Wales Hotel in Woodbridge Road on February 23, 1923.

“Her father, Charles, was the publican from 1913 until the hotel was taken over by Mum’s brother, my Uncle Ken. Mum is still with us in a retirement home in Horsham, and Aunty Yvonne (Ken’s wife), still lives in Guildford.

“Would Mike Williams (of Williams Bros newsagents) be a relation of Austin Williams?

“I believe Mum was an old friend of Austin’s before she met and married my father, Seaton Campbell-Dick, in 1947. I remember lunches at the Prince as a small boy and meeting Aunty’s father, Mr Harcourt, a former governor of Antigua. I also remember the delicious cakes from the Tunsgate shop in the 1950s.

“Sadly the hotel, bakery and cake shop are no more.

“Whilst I have been in Australia since 1972, my memories of Guildford are fond ones and I regularly visit when back in England, which has been annually over the past decade.”

This photo of a number of leading Guildford businessmen was taken at the rear of the Prince of Wales in the 1950s. The two men seated wearing badges of office are Dick Hardy (left) and Austin Williams. Seated on the far right is Ken Boyce. It is believed the Boyce family were associated with the pub / hotel from at least 1881, when Ken’s grandfather had taken over the management. The picture appears in the book Images of Guildford by Graham Collyer and David Rose, Breedon Books 1998.

David Rose adds: James also enquired about any other photos of the Prince of Wales. I have included several here. One shows a group of businessmen in the 1950s. Not only is Ken Boyce, James’s uncle, pictured, but Austin Williams. In answer to James’s question, Would Mike Williams be a relation of Austin Williams? Yes, Mike is Austin’s son.

James mentions “the delicious cakes from the Tunsgate shop.” Many older readers will know that as well as running the Prince of Wales Hotel, the Boyce family had a bakery at 19 and 20 Woodbridge Road, and a shop at 17 Tunsgate.

The Prince of Wales being demolished after it had closed for the last time in 1972. Featured in the book Memory Lane Guildford & District by David Rose, Breedon Books, 2000.

One Response to “Through Time: Reader From Australia With Memories Of Prince of Wales Hotel”

  1. Mike Williams says:

    Fancy St Catherine’s Village and Guildford’s oldest paperboy being the link between two Guildford trading families via Australia. News does indeed travel far!

    To James: I can confirm I am Austin and Joan Williams’ only son, now 67, and proud to say Joan (93) is still with us too and in Guildford.

    I remember Ken and Yvonne very clearly, having lunch on the businessmen’s table at ‘The Prince’ joining Geoff Goldsmith, Ray Tindle, and a large chap who was the Walls Ice Cream depot manager at The Prince. (Ray is still alive). Ken played host whilst Yvonne flew around at peak times supporting the waitresses. Tuesday was market day and the both the front bar and the restuarant were usually packed.

    In addition to the Tunsgate cake shop, they ran an outside catering business
    parking their van round the back of the Prince of Wales where the Round Table photo was taken in 1954.

    Some of the men in the club photo are still alive:
    Seated: second from left Richard Harvey, owner of Read Butchers. His wife was nee Wilson. By coincidence her father was MD of William Harvey – now House of Fraser. Fifth in is Peter Pallot. Next to Austin was Ken’s brother John – accountant Thurlow Boyce and for many years the office of Guildford Chamber of Commerce. Above Austin is John Hodgson (architect and as t/a Hodgson Lunn a link back to Henry Peak). Whilst the moustache in the middle of the top row is Cyril Simpson. I can recall over half of the names as I was the first second-generation chairman of the club, 26 years later.

    The occasion recorded the club’s 25th anniversary, also Dick Hardy’s appointment as National President of Round Tables of Britain (in those day’s a national force of community care and fund raising) all in Austin’s year as chairman of the Guildford Club. (They were terrific friends, as were their two sons, Pip and Me. Anyone seen Pip lately?).

    James says mother Evelyn, who I don’t recall, is still alive. I would not be surprised that she remembers my Dad as I’ve met several ladies who say the same! I’d love to meet her though, and Yvonne too. I had no idea she was in Guildford.

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