Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.152

Published on: 18 Mar, 2015
Updated on: 18 Mar, 2015

By David Rose

Many readers remembered the archway at the foot of North Street that led to Friary Square – and then to a footbridge over the river to the Farnham Road bus station, as featured last week.

Not surprisingly, the Alby John dance school and Fogwills corn and seed merchants were recalled, along with details of the former militia barracks that once occupied the site.

In addition to Chris Townsend’s reply, Nigel Vinson (now Baron Vinson) who founded the firm Plastic Coatings (originally Durable Plastics) in a couple of Nissan huts in Friary Square, has the white stones that formed part of the arch preserved on his estate in Northumberland. They are laid on the ground in a semi circles and form an attractive seat!

When the arch was demolished (early 1970s) the stones ended up with an antique dealer – believed to have been Granshaw’s of Shalford. By this time Plastic Coatings had moved to a new factory at Woodbridge Meadows. When Mr Vinson retired as chairman of the firm in 1973, the stones were bought by the firm and presented to him as a leaving present. There is a picture of him sitting on the stones in the chapter about Plastic Coatings in the book Guildford Remember When I co-wrote with Bernard Parke, and published in 2007. Copies are still available in local bookshops – well worth buying!

The stones have a Latin inscription on them – does any know what it is?

Last week’s quirky photo featured the bridge over the river at Bowers Lane, Burpham. I guessed Jim Allen would leave a comment – he couldn’t fail to recognise it!

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies at the foot of it.

Going but not forgotten?

Going but not forgotten?

Moving on to this week, and the vintage photo is, I guess, not that old! It shows a Guildford office block being demolished. Where was it and what was it?

Have you been to where this building stands?

Have you been to where this building stands?

The quirky photo is a building that is situated in a place that the public can visit, but it is a bit tucked away. You may have been there?

So, do you know where it is and, more importantly, do you know what it was once used for?

If you know the answers 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 photos and the next pair of images.


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Responses to Where Is This? No.152

  1. Martyn Pryce Reply

    March 19, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    1. Portsmouth Road by the keystone (formerly cannon pub) and I think it was Southern Electric?

    2. Not sure where but looks like a water works building.

  2. Chris Townsend Reply

    March 22, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    The office block was Burymead House, built about 1960. It belonged to the Central Electricity Generating Board, and occupied the site near the foot of Portsmouth Road now known as Guildford Plaza, which has been a waste land for too many years.

  3. Mark Knight Reply

    March 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Picture 1 is Burymead House. Built in the early 1960s and home to the Transmission Project Group / Transmission Division of the old Central Electricity Generating Board.

  4. John Lomas Reply

    March 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I think the vintage photo shows the building that used to be on Portsmouth Road where it drops down towards the junction with High Street and St Nicolas church.

    I think it was an electricity board building, was it SEEBoard?

    The modern picture has a look of a pre-war educational establishment.

  5. Doug and Bill Staniforth Reply

    March 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    It’s the CEGB building, site of the eagerly awaited Guildford Plaza on the Portsmouth Road near where Swiss Cottage Automobiles were..

    We think it was demolished in the early 1980s, we are puzzled as to why it still remains undeveloped. Does the editor know?

    The quirky photo is in the Woking Road dump. We suspect the old CEGB building may have contained experimental electric speedboats.

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    March 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    1. This is the old Central Electricity Generating Board offices, Portsmouth Road, looking down the road towards the town.

    2.This building is inside the Guildford Borough Council depot at Woking Road. It is opposite the recycling and cleansing offices.

  7. Ray Springer Reply

    March 25, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I believe this was the offices of the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) at the bottom of Portsmouth Road near the junction with the High Street.

    The site is still empty apart from weeds and the so called “Guildford Plaza” an exciting development has yet to be built after about 30 years or so.

  8. Linda Jackson Reply

    March 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    The first photo maybe the demolition of the Central Elictric Generating Board on the old Portsmouth Road.

    This site has been empty since then, but recently, I noticed a for sale sign attached to the building. Let’s hope.

    The quirky photo is the maintenance building in the Woking Road Council Depot by the river.

  9. Margaret Cole Reply

    March 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    The office block was the Central Electricity Generating Board’s office in Portmouth Road from Wycliffe Buildings down to the Cannon pub now he Keystone.

    Now this second picture is a sheer guess again. Is it the old waterboard pumping station Ladymead? Who knows?

  10. Linda Heather Tickridge Reply

    March 29, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Along Ladymead near Stoke Mill.

  11. Gregory Martin Reply

    November 15, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Confirming that this was the CEGB headquarters, built around 1961 on the site previously of the Guildford glassworks.

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