Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.219

Published on: 20 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 20 Jul, 2016

By David Rose

Thanks as always to everyone who replied to last week’s mysteries.

The vintage picture showed men of the 4th Guildford Battalion Surrey Home Guard, on parade in Shalford Park. The date was actually June 4, 1944. Sorry, I made a mistake last week stating it was June 6, which, of course was D-Day.

Even if it had taken place on D-Day, I guess the Home Guard event had been planned well in advance and that its officers may not have had any specific details of the Normany Landings, that was originally planned for June 5, but postponed on that day due to bad weather in the English Channel.

In his book, The Guildford Home Guard, Col G. W. Geddes, who had overall command of the Guildford Home Guard, wrote: “To start the Soldiers’ Week [a fundraiser] in Guildford the Battalion staged a miniature Aldershot Tattoo on Shalford Flats.

“Rescue teams demonstrated with their lorries how to get casualties out of a bombed house. Trailer pump teams came into action and demonstrated how to put a fire out in the burning house.

“Machine guns gave a display of coming into action.

Smith guns came into action with live shells.

“The ‘Battle of Guildford’ in which Home Guards disguised in the unifrom of German airborne troops attacked a perimeter line held by Home Guards.

The finale…. the Battalion presented arms.”

The quirky picture featured Guildford’s Adult Education Centre in Sydenham Road.

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies, withy lots of extra details from readers relating to both pictures.

Do you recognise this place? It once had a military use. Click to enlarge in a new window.

Do you recognise this place? It once had a military use. Click to enlarge in a new window.

Where do this this is for this week’s vintage picture? I don’t think it’s changed that much. Can you add any details?

Where is this and what was it once used for? Click to enlarge in a new window.

Where is this and what was it once used for? Click to enlarge in a new window.

The quirky picture is a fine looking small building in a picturesque village not far from Guildford. Do you know where and what it was once used for?

If you know the answers to this week’s mysteries, please leave a reply in the box below – and include extra details if you have them.

They will be published along with two more mystery images at about the same time next week. Good luck.

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Responses to Where Is This? No.219

  1. Dennis Reply

    July 20, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Henley Fort, The Mount.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    July 21, 2016 at 12:41 am

    The quirky picture is the old fire station on Middle Street in Shere.

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    July 21, 2016 at 9:07 am

    1) Henley Fort

  4. Sue Warner Reply

    July 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

    The first picture I believe inisHenley Fort on top of The Mount / beginning of the Hog’s Back.

    No idea where the little building is.

  5. John Lomas Reply

    July 21, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    The old picture is Henley Fort, view taken looking NE.

  6. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    The first picture is of Henley Fort at the top of The Mount, the destination of the unfortunate coach last week.

    Photo two is the old Shere fire station, opened in 1885.

    Not sure when it closed down on handing over responsibility to the Guildford Borough Fire Brigade, but the building was converted to its current use as public toilets in 1977.

    It must be a thing about old fire stations becoming toilets; North Street fire station is a public loo too. Maybe it’s the ready supply of running water?

    There’s some lovely information about the Shere & Albury Fire Brigade, including a film of a call out avavilable via this link:

  7. Brian Holt Reply

    July 24, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Henley Fort, is a Victorian fort built during the 1880-90s, as part of the London Defence Positions.

    Its purpose was to protect the capitol from French Army initially. Construction was rapid due to the invasion threat, but it slowed as that threat passed.

    It is the most westerly fort of a 17-mile chain,that would have formed a secondary line of defence between the South Coast and London.

    It was never used as a fort in the conventional sense, having neither the men to garrison it or sufficient munitions. It was instead used to train volunteers who manned it.

    During the Second World War, Henley fort was used for defence purposes by the Home Guard. It is now an outdoor education centre.

    The old wooden Fire Station, in the second picture, dates from 1885 and is in Middle Street, Shere.

    This was the station for the Shere and Albury Volunteer Fire Brigade, which had 16 members.

    It was last used to fight a major fire in 1916. As this was during the First World War, only one horse and various elderly men were available to fight the blaze.

  8. James Dix Reply

    July 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    A classic photo of a very familiar place in Guildford for me, Henley Fort at the top of The Mount.

    Built in the 1890s as part of a chain of forts below London, it was intended for use as a mobilisation centre to help defend against a French invasion.

    My re-enactment society representing the Queen’s Regiment and Surrey Rifles of the fort’s period was formed at Henley Fort in 2003, and we display there every year for Heritage Open Day.

    Anyone interested in Guildford’s military heritage please do come along this year on Sunday 11th September when the fort will be bought back to life by re-enactors.

  9. Bill and Doug Stanniforth Reply

    July 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Henley Fort up The Mount.

    The building [quirky picture] was once the fire station near the mighty River Tillingbourne in Shere.

    We believe the TV series Trumpton was inspired here (Hugh, Pew, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Petty Officer Giles).

    Petty Officer? It’s you lads who want to be sailors. I always preferred terra firma. Ed

  10. Chris Townsend Reply

    July 27, 2016 at 11:29 am

    The vintage picture shows Henley Fort on the Hog’s Back, now an outdoor education facility, but built as a late Victorian Fort.

    School camps were held there as long ago as 1922, and the Home Guard used the site during the Second World War.

    Some history and photos here:

    The quirky building is the former fire station, dated 1885, on Middle Street, Shere, and now converted into public loos.

    There’s a remarkable early film of a Shere and Albury Fire Brigade turn-out here, along with more photos:

  11. Margaret Cole Reply

    July 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    The first picture shows Henley Fort which is up the Mount half a mile on towards the Hog’s Back now used as Surrey Outdoor Learning Centre.

    It was was once a Victorian Fort to ptotect London from a French invasion.

    It was then used by the Home Guard in the Second World War.

    I actually stayed there in the 1950s with our school Pewley.

    The second picture is the old fire station in Shere and is now the local loos.

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