Fringe Box



Where is This? No.241

Published on: 5 Jan, 2017
Updated on: 5 Jan, 2017

By David Rose

Back now after the seasonal break and I can reveal that the previous Where Is this? No.240’s vintage picture was indeed taken at Guildford Cathedral.

In Dave Middleton’s reply he suggested it was the unveiling of the wooden cross in 1933, while others suggested it was the laying of the foundation stone in 1936.

However, according to a note written in pencil on the back of the actual photo, it was a blessing service in 1938 by Bishop J. V. Macmillan. The photo was taken by Donovan Box of Guildford who was the official photographer of the building of the cathedral during the pre-war years.

The stone with a a line from psalm 34, as seen in the previous quirky picture, can be found at Newlands Corner. Both Dave Middleton and Margaret Cole gave the answer to that one.

Where is this in Guildford town centre? Click to enlarge all the pictures in a new window.

Moving on then, here’s a Guildford town centre scene from the early 1960s. Don’t think I have shown this actual image before. What’s going on here and where?

Four lions in a row! But where?

Dave Middleton kindly emailed this week’s quirky picture, so he can only enter if he gives some details about these lion heads. Where are they and what do they represent? The building is close to the town centre. Does it ring any bells?

Close up of one of the lions.

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 in about a week’s time. Good luck.


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Responses to Where is This? No.241

  1. Mary Bedforth Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Guildford Telephone Exchange
    Leapale Road

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 10:38 am

    The street scene picture is taken from just inside Friary Street, before you get to the High Street end.

    Courts store is the building with the white balcony in the top right corner of the photo.

    The road opposite Friary Street no longer exists, but used to lead down to Jackson’s Garage.

    The construction site is the building of the Debenhams’ store on what is now Millbrook, although Millbrook hadn’t been laid down by then.

    No idea of the story behind the lions heads, so I’d better keep quiet!

  3. Charles Graham Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I think this is the building of Plummers ( Debenhams) and the second picture is the front door of the telephone exchange in Leapale Road.

  4. Aubrey Lehay Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Looks like the old telephone exchange.

  5. Claire Robertson Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    First picture is looking from Friary Street towards the traffic lights at the bottom of the High Street. The building under construction was Plummer Roddis now Debenhams deartment store.

  6. John Lomas Reply

    January 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    This is an interesting old picture as it shows an interim stage of the building of Debenhams.

    But Milbrook is coming out where the garage used to be opposite Friary Street and Courts is still there, unlike your comment about Where Is This? No.213 when you mentioned Courts being swept away.

    The road alignment seems to tally with the 1963 http://www.oldmaps.

    The bells ring at the telephone exchange, or they used to, I think nowadays it is probably all flashing lights.

    Unless there is some sort of reference to whoever lived in Leapale House prior to the building of the exchange, then I would guess that the lion heads were a symbol of the telephone service.

    If they had been on the walls of an older building I would have considered fire insurance plaques.

  7. Mo Legg Reply

    January 7, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    The picture was taken from the High Street end of Friary Street long before it was closed to traffic and looking towards the new store being built for Debenhams.

    Courts furniture shop can just be seen on the opposite side of the lower end of the High Street.

    The quirky photo is of the main entrance to the telephone exchange in Leapale Road.

    I must admit that I have never noticed the lions so cannot make comment on them.

  8. Chris Townsend Reply

    January 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

    The 1960s scene is viewed from Friary Street, looking towards Millbrook. Courts furniture store was on the further corner, and “John Collier John Collier the Window to Watch” on the near corner. Plummers, later named Debenhams, was the building under construction.

    I recognise the distinctive windows of the Telephone Exchange at the junction of Leapale Lane and Leapale Road. (The year 1937 on it was the mystery date featured in “Where is This No. 20”.) The four lions are on the Leapale Road side of the building, plus another two lions at the ends of the canopy, but I don’t know their significance.

  9. Bill and Doug Stanniforth Reply

    January 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    The first picture shows the building of Plummers (now Debenhams) taken from Friary Street (John Colliers “the window to watch” is on the right)

    Construction was hurried just in time for the 1968 floods. In their wisdom the electrical department was on the lower ground floor. It would much better to have put the speedboats there. [There are some speedboat fans that we might wish were kept in a basement too. Ed]

    The four lions are on the BT exchange in Leapale Road. They represent Leones.

  10. Brian Holt Reply

    January 10, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Photo taken from Friary Street looking across the High Street into the now Millbrook, and the building of Plummers store which later changed its name to Debenhams.

    You can see Courts’ shop on the right corner.

    The lions are on the telephone exchange, Leapale Road.

  11. Russell Morris Reply

    January 11, 2017 at 6:18 am

    First pic looks like Plummers (now Debenhams) under construction and viewed from a pre-pedestrianised Friary Street.

    Maybe the photograph dates from about 1968. Clue on the right is a glimpse of John Collier tailor’s fascia, now Wagamama.

    The lions are on the porch of the telephone exchange in Leapale Road near North Street.

  12. Margaret Cole Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

    First picture Friary Street looking across to Millbrook

    Second one one no idea. Just a guess Eastgate Gardens?

  13. Judy Oliver Reply

    January 12, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Friary Street at the bottom of High Street?

  14. Aubrey Lehay Reply

    January 15, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I was wondering about the lions heads on the telephone exchange.

    I remember that the official police cape was fastened with a chain between a very similar looking lions head on each collar.

    Since the police station was almost opposite the telephone exchange could there be an area, borough or county connection?

    If memory serves there is a lion couchant on the Guildford coat of arms.

  15. Linda Hills Reply

    February 21, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Was wondering in which year was the old Courts furnishers building demolished and when did new Courts in Friary street open?

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