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Keen Photographer And Guildford Character Dave Salmon Dies Aged 78

Published on: 26 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 29 Jul, 2015

Dave Salmon, keen photographer and one of Guildford’s true characters, has died aged 78.

Dave Salmon (right) with his faithful camera bag.

Dave Salmon (right) with his faithful camera bag.

With a passion for railways, aircraft, buses, sport and all things Guildford, Dave was well known to many for his love of photography.

Born at the Jarvis Nursing Home on May 2, 1937,  he lived in Guildford all of his life, apart from time away in the RAF doing his National Service.

A young Dave Salmon (far left) during his schooldays.

A young Dave Salmon (far left) during his schooldays.

After leaving Stoke Secondary Modern School at the age of 15 in May 1952, he started work for British Railways as an engine cleaner at Guildford Motive Power Depot.

At the age of 16 he trained to become a fireman on steam locos and his first turn of duty was on a shunting engine at Woking.

In his youth Dave Salmon was a keen cyclist.

In his youth Dave Salmon was a keen cyclist.

In his youth has was also a keen cyclist and took part in road racing for the Phoenix Cycling Club.

National Service beckoned and in May 1955 Dave reported to RAF Surbiton to join the air force as he had a keen interest in aircraft.

Dave Salmon on guard duty!

Dave Salmon on guard duty!

After training at various air bases in the UK, he was posted to 26 Squadron based at Oldenberg, near Breman in West Germany.

Demobbed in April 1958, he returned to the railways, but as he’d been away for three years he had to start at the bottom once more as a cleaner and then re-train as a fireman.

He left the railways in 1960 and started work for Guildford Corporation as a painter and was well known for his road markings on roads throughout the area.

One of Dave Salmon's photos taken at the coaling stage at Guildford station in 1967.

One of Dave Salmon’s photos taken at the coaling stage at Guildford station in 1967.

With the demise of steam engines on Britain’s railways towards the end of the 1960s, Dave kept busy in his spare time taking photographs of them. He took lots of pictures at Guildford and at Woking, but also travelled around the country visiting engine sheds that were soon to close.

Steam train thunders through Woking in 1966, pictured by Dave Salmon..

Steam train thunders through Woking in 1966, pictured by Dave Salmon..

From the 1960s and into the 1970s he produced a lot of freelance sports photography for the local press – in particular at Guildford City FC’s ground in Joseph’s Road (he was even the club’s mascot when he was a boy).

Dave also photographed the changing scene in Guildford over the years, taking pictures of streets and buildings when they were being radically changed or demolished.

He regularly attended events in Guildford, such as the Remembrance Sunday services in the Castle Grounds, taking photographs.

He was also the Castle Green Bowling Club’s official photographer and a wonderful supporter of it for more than 15 years. Every year he went to the club’s dinner and presented its members with a new picture.

Dave Salmon at Ascot in 2009 while out photographing trains.

Dave Salmon at Ascot in 2009 while out photographing trains.

Always wearing a smart blazer bearing his RAF Squadron’s embroidered badge, Dave, with his dark wavy hair and deep voice, was indeed a familiar figure around the town.

Unfortunately, following a period of remission from cancer, Dave became ill and passed away peacefully on Thursday July 9, 2015.

His funeral will be held at Stoke New Cemetery, Stoughton Road, Guildford on Thursday, July 30, at 2pm. All family and friends are welcome to attend a short graveside service.

A memorial service celebrating Dave Salmon’s life will take place at St Saviour’s Church, Woodbridge Road, on Friday, October 16, at 11am.

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Responses to Keen Photographer And Guildford Character Dave Salmon Dies Aged 78

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 26, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Sad news.

    He was a true Guildfordian of the old school.

  2. Shirley and Brian West Reply

    July 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    This is a great tribute to a very special Guildford character, David Salmon. We will miss seeing him and his laugh during the up and coming events in Guildford which he loved.

    Rest in peace David.

    From an old friend, Shirley West.

  3. Mike Hutnik Reply

    July 27, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    David always had a good story to tell and knew people far and wide and from all walks of life. He was as as much a feature of the town as the old Guildhall clock.

    I and every other transport buff in Surrey will miss him dearly.

  4. Clare, Kifle, Hannah, Thomas and Jonathan Moore Reply

    July 28, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Dave was quite a character, always ready for a good chat and a laugh and always trying to look on the positive side, even when he was quite ill. He was a sweet man at heart.

    We will miss him and his singing in Artillery Road.

  5. Andy Coumbe Reply

    July 28, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I’m sure there are many of us that will miss Dave and his wonderful stories of Guildford.

    In these days where everybody is so busy, and in such a rush, it was always a pleasant experience to sit with him on the bench outside the chuch, and chat about the ‘good old days’.

    RIP Dave, I’ll always have fond memories of you.

  6. Graham Richings Reply

    July 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Known to many of us as “Dave the Brush” when he worked for Surrey County Council Highways, he was responsible for many of the white and yellow lines around Guildford in the 1970s and 80s.

    Always very respectful and a very nice man. A character we shall all miss around our town.

  7. Mike Melbourne Reply

    July 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Dave was a kind, humble man who stopped to talk to everyone: road sweepers, shopkeepers, taxi drivers, bus and train crews, council officers, café owners young or old – to name a few.

    He always had a smile with a bit of banter thrown in.

    Apart from Guildford he was well known by railway station staff at Ascot, Reading, Woking, Havant and the Mid Hants Railway as someone who always had plenty to say.

    A very sad loss. I feel privileged to have known Dave in the last sixteen years and will miss him being around.

  8. Harry Fowler Reply

    July 30, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Dave would paint lines anywhere. Did a lot for Surrey Police. Painted all the lines in Burpham Traffic Centre.

    He had a great knowledge of photogaphy. When I was travel office manager at Arriva in the bus station we had long natters over a cupper. Always had a good story.

    Still got one of his old tripods.

    He will be missed.

  9. Pam Jupp (nee Bennett) Reply

    September 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I knew David from the age of 11, when we moved opposite his parents house in Artillery Road.

    Met him a few times when I revisited Guildford a few years ago. So sorry to have learnt of his death. Guildford will be a poorer place without his character. RIP David x

  10. Roger Edwards Reply

    October 10, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I did not know David but the boy on the right in the threesome schooldays photo is Brian Joyner. I knew him from St. Saviour’s Scout Troop circa 1949/50.

    The middle face looks familiar. Can anybody identify? Condolences to David’s family.

  11. Nicole Wickham Reply

    October 18, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Having a look through this website I was shocked to hear about the death of Dave Salmon.

    I loved working with him at Surrey County Council, such a laugh (back in the 1980s).

    He will now be keeping my dad, Stanley Wickham, company as we lost him two years ago to cancer. He also worked with Dave in the highways department.

    RIP Dave, you will keep them all smiling up there. xxx

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