Fringe Box



Fairlands WI Hears About Guildford’s Lost Shops

Published on: 15 Feb, 2016
Updated on: 15 Feb, 2016

The Guildford Dragon NEWS welcomes reports and news of events from Women’s Institute groups that meet in the borough of Guildford. They will be published in this section of the website. Email details to

From Val Dillon


Guildford High Street was a dirt road before the granite setts were laid in 1868. A cattle market was held there and the ensuing mess must have been revolting.

The new surface could be washed down and swept clean – a vast improvement. The cattle market later moved to North Street and then to Woodbridge Road.

Many of those who came along to the Fairlands WI’s open meeting on February 10 to listen to David Rose could remember the town as in used to be several decades ago well.

David is a local historian who has a wealth of knowledge about the changing face of Guildford.

Memories were triggered by his talk Guildford’s Lost Shops. “I worked there.” “They sold shoes.” “We used to use those tokens to pay for the milk”. These were some of the remarks which members of the enthusiastic audience called out as David recalled businesses which no longer exist in the town.

Do you remember Gammons? Withey’s wet fish shop? Barnards butchers shops? Or the cut price, old-fashioned Shirleys? Or the many Guildford Co-operative Society stores?

The photographs included a view from Harvey’s roof garden in which an earlier Waitrose store could be seen.

On March 4 members and friends will be visiting the Milestones museum in Basingstoke and various outings are projected during the year.

Four new members have signed up already this year and the turn-out of over 80 people at the February meeting bodes well for a bright future for the group.

On Wednesday, March 9, Paul Whittle will be our speaker. On this occasion he will be taking a tour of some of the UK’s most scenic preserved railways. This will again be an open meeting where friends and family can join in. Visitors pay a nominal sum of £2.

Fairlands WI meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Fairlands Community Centre starting at 8pm. If you are interested in finding out more about us, call Jenny Page, president, on 01483 538426 or Angela Linington, secretary, on 01483 233967.

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