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Scrapbook History No.1

Published on: 18 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 18 Jul, 2020

By David Rose

People have been pasting photographs, drawings, pieces of ephemera, newspaper and magazine cuttings into scrapbooks for years.

Back in the 1920s and 30s there appears to have been a bit of a craze to fill scrapbooks with newspaper and magazine cuttings on the topic of local history as well as notable events to be remembered.

Scrapbooks full of clippings from Guildford newspapers and a magazine from the inter-war years. Click on images to enlarge in a new window.

I have seen a number of these scrapbooks and have acquired three, full of snippets of interest to the Guildford area.

People were certainly doing the same in more recent times. I have met people who each week clipped out the Surrey Advertiser’s From the Archives history page that I launched (with then editor Graham Collyer) and edited from 1998 to 2011. In some cases cuttings from it have been given to me – although I do have my own record of every edition I produced!

Then there was once the Surrey Advertiser’s much enjoyed Seeing Eye column that featured John Baker’s pen and ink drawings of buildings of historical interest and his notes about them.

Many people cut out copies of that page which graced the front page of the ‘second section’ of the broadsheet newspaper. And again several ‘sets’ of Seeing Eye cuttings have found their way into my collection, along with one original drawing.

The fact that ‘old’ pictures were being printed in local media by the 1920s may have led to a wider interest in local history? There were certainly few books on the subject back then, unlike the plethora of local history books that have been published over the past 20 years and longer – with the Guildford area ones down to the likes of me and a number of others!

That may have led to a decline in people pasting vintage newspaper pictures into scrapbooks, and the fact that in the last 15 years at least, so many vintage pictures now find themselves being featured online, be it news sites such as The Guildford Dragon NEWS, or the countless social media pages that have appeared. Of the latter, there appears to be at least one (often more) for every county, city, town, district and even village in the UK.

Some of the images that were cut from local newspapers and magazines were vintage pictures, others being of notable events that people may have wanted to remember. Often the person compiling the scrapbook added a date, as seen here. These look to be from the Guildford City Outlook magazine. Click on images to enlarge in a new window.

Therefore, here’s the start of an occasional series of pictures and lettering from Guildford publications that have been pasted into scrapbooks. They speak for themselves, are in no particular order, but from which publications?

Few will be from the Surrey Advertiser, as it wasn’t known for its wide use of images until the late 1940s and early 1950s, from which time it slowly introduced more photos in its editions.

It’s once close rival the Surrey Times fared a little better with photos of news items. However, during the inter-war years the third local paper for the Guildford area, the Surrey Weekly Press was much more ‘modern’ in its layout and design, with a generous use of artwork, including photos.

It was the Guildford City Outlook magazine with its heyday in the 1930s that led the way, and it seems to have made quite a thing about Guildford’s past, perhaps inventing the ‘archives’, ‘peeps into the past’, ‘as it was’, ‘looking back’ type of column. And it was printed on better quality paper than the Surrey Advertiser and Surrey Times, the images therefore being a little more crisper to view.

It’s 1934 and the Guildford City Outlook magazine was looking back 68 years to when the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Farnham Road, Guildford, opened.

Lost shops here, along with an ‘old’ engraving of the Portsmouth Road. The picture seen lower right has turned up recently as it graces the cover of my latest book – Lost Guildford, published by Amberley £14.99!

The person who cut out this image of the ‘old’ bridges at Stoke (Woking Road) had the opportunity of cutting out a photo of the then new replacement bridges, but didn’t both to include that image in the scrapbook.

Not only images, but a variety of text was often clipped for the said scrapbook, especially if it was about local history of one kind or another as seen here.

I can’t recall seeing this photograph before, although there are other images of the earlier sports ground off Woodbridge Road.

No. 122 High Street refers to the numbering in use in 1935. Today that is a few shop units down from the Tunsgate Quarter. It’s the shop with the false window on the non existent top floor.

Google’s Instant Street View of the same building.

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