Fringe Box



Where Is This? No 246

Published on: 9 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 9 Feb, 2017

By David Rose

Thanks to all who replied to last week’s post.

I think Charles Graham’s answer to the location of the vintage picture showing the River Wey in flood in 1968 is correct. In that the view was taken from the basement car park of the earlier Bridge House looking towards Bedford Road.

Assuming that is correct, the Bridge Street bridge is just out of view to the right. I think there is a slope there today by the current Bridge House.

Also thanks for the extra details about the firm Hugh Wyllie, whose sign was shown in the picture. Brian Holt noted that the firm later traded in Ripley. In more recent years it was Wyllie & Marr, but I think the firm ceased trading in 2014.

The quirky picture featuring a coat of arms can be found on the Laura Ashley store building in North Street and was formerly the Guildford Borough Police Station.

Last week’s posts also contained further details relating to Where Is This? No.244 about the building in Millmead where stray dogs were once housed and information from Margaret Jackson about the plaque on the wall at the Town Wharf.

Click here to see last week’s post and all the replies.

Men of Billings Fire Brigade taking part in a drill. But exactly where in Guildford?

On to this week’s and I have been holding back some potentially really tricky vintage views, but having said that, there are usually a few readers who make the correct identification.

The picture shows men of the Billings printing works’ fire brigade practising their firefighting skills. I believe the picture to be pre-war. It is not Billings’ print works that was in Walnut Tree Close, but a building that had a specific purpose somewhere not too far away on the opposite side of the river. Any ideas?

Any ideas what this building is and where?

The quirky picture was taken by Dragon NEWS editor Martin Giles and there would seem to be a ‘fire’ theme this week as this building features fire buckets hanging on brackets from the weatherboarding. The building also has brick and hanging tiles. It is just outside Guildford and looked after by a certain trust.

If you think you know the answers, please leave a reply in the box below. The answers, along with the next pair of images, will be published at about the same time next week.


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Responses to Where Is This? No 246

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    February 10, 2017 at 11:19 am

    I think the Billings firemen are practising at the old Guildford town gas works.

    The quirky picture is of Shalford Mill.

  2. Dave Holt Reply

    February 11, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Picture one: I guess this is within Guildford gas works.

    Inside the front cover of David Rose’s book “Guildford Our Town” there are similar buildings.

    The firemen are attempting to knock down numbered targets which were used at fire brigade competitions held in Guildford possibly at Shalford Park. Readers maybe able to add or correct me on this.

    Picture two is NT’s Shalford Mill.

  3. Chris Townsend Reply

    February 12, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    The firefighters are in the yard of Friary Brewery. I note that Surrey History Centre also holds a few photos of Billings’ Fire Brigade, including a postcard dated c.1940; perhaps it’s the same view.

    The quirky picture is of Shalford Mill, owned by the National Trust.

    More info’ here:

  4. Kirsty Smith Reply

    February 12, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Shalford Mill

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    February 14, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    1. The picture is one of buildings at the old gas works site inside the Onslow Street entrance.

    At the top of the left side of the picture you can see the gantry for the travelling crane.

    2. The 18th-century watermill located on the river Tillingbourne at Shalford. Built around 1750, it originally housed two separate mills.

  6. Margaret Cole Reply

    February 15, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    The first picture shows Billings in Walnut Tree Close. They were a large concern and had their own fire brigade.

    They started their business a long way down the road and as they expanded came up to the station end.

    The next picture shows the north side of Shalford Mill, which was used for several commercial ventures until it became a private residence, then taken over by the National Trust, which it is to date.
    My uncle lived in Mill Cottage next door, so it’s always been a favourite of mine.

  7. Dave Holt Reply

    February 16, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Further to my previous reply I have been searching records at the Surrey History Centre today and came across some pictures that confirm that fire brigade competitions were held at this location.

  8. Brian Holt Reply

    February 16, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    A fire brigades’ competition was held in Shalford Park at the Shalford Church end.

    We were playing football on the bottom pitch on a Sunday afternoon when firemen had a competition there, laying the hoses out and hitting the targets.

    It was around 1950.

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