Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.261

Published on: 25 May, 2017
Updated on: 25 May, 2017

By David Rose

Well done to those who correctly identified last week’s mysteries.

The vintage picture was of the village of Puttenham, with the Good Intent pub on the right-hand side.

The quirky picture was of the Sutherland Circle in Sutherland Park at Burpham. It’s a new art installation that commemorates nine men to whom the park is dedicated.

The mystery is: who are the nine men? The plinth in the centre of the metal leaves do not name them, which seems a bit of a shame.

Some months ago I asked Guildford Borough Council if the names could be revealed, but I have not heard back.

It has been suggested they may be names of men from Burpham who died on active service during the Second World War, but the war memorial in the grounds of St Luke’s Church lists 11 men.

An official unveiling of the artwork was due to take place in March, but was cancelled. Unfortunately, I do not know if it was rescheduled and took place.

Any news will be reported on The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

On to this week’s mysteries…

Do you recognise this view? Some of the buildings have been replaced. Click to enlarge in a new window.

The vintage picture is a postcard view and dates from about the 1930s. A parade of shops can be seen and the location is on the outskirts of the town.

Newer shops and premises occupy the site to the right today, but there is still a bus shelter at about the same spot. Do you recognise the location?

Do you know where this ‘rare’ pillar box can be found? Click to enlarge in a new window.

The quirky picture shows a pillar box that is a bit of a rarity and why? Do you know where this can be found?

It is also on the outskirts of Guildford and roughly in the same direction as the vintage picture, but on a different road.

If you think you know the answers and can add some extra details, 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.261

  1. Paul Hart Reply

    May 26, 2017 at 1:28 am

    The post box is on Kingpost Parade, Burpham, outside Rajdoot restaurant and Cycle Works, just over the road from Aldi. It is one of a very small number in Britain bearing the monogram of Edward VIII from his short reign.

    It was knocked over by an elderly driver a couple of years ago.

    I think the parade of shops in the postcard is Epsom Road in Merrow, facing towards Guildford.

  2. Dave Middleton Reply

    May 26, 2017 at 11:45 am

    The street scene is of the A25 Epsom Road at Merrow, looking towards Guildford, from just about the car park entrance to the Horse and Groom pub. Just visible to the left of the picture is Walnuts Cafe and Guest House, which stood about where the Ashuka Tandoori stands today, serving a very different type of fare.

    The letter box is on Kingpost Parade at Burpham. Its rarity stems from the royal cipher on the door, that of King Edward VIII, a king who never took the throne, abdicating before being crowned to marry the woman he had fallen in love with, Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee.

    It was unheard of for a British monarch to marry a divorced woman, much less one who had been married and divorced twice before and a constitutional crisis was in the offing. This was a very different time to today and the Second World War was on the horizon, Wallis Simpson was also suspected to be a Nazi sympathiser and possibly even a German secret agent.

    Because of this and getting back to the letter box, very few of these were produced with the Edward VIII cipher. Only about 130 of them remain throughout the country. The next nearest one to us is in Claygate.

    Ours had a close shave in February 2015, when a driver lost control of their car and crashed into it, knocking it almost out of the ground. Luckily the letter box was made of solid stuff and survived the impact, to be reinstated. I wonder if the scuff to the black paintwork is a legacy of that little incident, or another close shave?

  3. Claire Lee Reply

    May 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    The postbox is an Edward VIII one situated in Kingpost parade Burpham. It is rare – there were only 100 made because Edward VIII abdicated so was never crowned.

    It still bears the scars of an encounter with a motorist but was repaired by the Royal Mail (presumably due to its rarity?).

    The vintage photo is Merrow – I cheated for this one and used the name of the cafe – Francis Frith has some old photos on its site of around the same time but different views.

  4. Simon Nelson Reply

    May 26, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    The vintage photo is on the Epsom Road at Merrow.

    The Horse and Groom pub is behind where the photographer was positioned. There is a parade of shops now on the right that includes Lloyds Bank. The only surviving house now is the semi-detached house on the apex of the bend as the road goes out of sight, and is on the corner of what is now Bushyhill Drive.

    The quirky photo of the post box in on the London Road at Burpham at the entrance to Kingpost Parade. The base of the post that supports the sign for Kingpost Parade is visible by the post box. I have no idea why it was called Kingpost Parade.

  5. John Lomas Reply

    May 26, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    The old picture is on Epsom Road immediately on the town side of the Horse and Groom pubat Merrow.

    The site of the Walnut Cafe now appears to be rank of three shops; a Tandoori Restaurant, an undertaker and a barber.

    The next house to the right (just out of view seems to still be there)

    In 1914 it looked like this.

    The extended entrance roof is visible here.

    In 1935 it was like this and you can see that the post office is now where the car is seen in the photo.

    I would put that car as late 1920s early-mid 1930s, so reckon that is closest for dating.

    Further down the road, I think the houses with the double pitched/gable window bays at the far left is the pair of semis on the town side of the entrance to Bushy Hill Drive.

    The Edward VIII pillar box is on London Road outside the row of shops at Burpham.

    There are believed to be only around 130 pillar boxes with the Edward VIII cast cipher. 57 of which are listed here:

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    May 27, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Picture 1.The Walnut Cafe was in the Epsom Road at Merrow. In the late 1930s other shops included Masseys the chemist, Kimber & Sons bakers, who in later years brought his bread from Ayres bakery.
    Today there is Lloyds Bank, an Indian restaurant, and hairdressers among other shops.
    This picture is in the book Memory Lane Guildford & District by David Rose.
    Picture 2. Kingspost Parade Burpham. This rare King Edward VIII postbox is outside the shops. It is understood that there are only 160 of these left today. Another is on the Portsmouth Road at the junction of Esher Close, in Esher.

  7. Margaret Cole Reply

    May 30, 2017 at 6:41 am

    The bus shelter is near the Horse and Groom pub in Merrow and opposite the shops.

    The red pillar box is on the Kingpost parade at Burpham. It’s the only Edward VIII one in Surrey and very rare as he didn’t last too long.

  8. Chris Townsend Reply

    June 1, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    The postcard shows the Epsom Road shops at Merrow.
    In view are the post office and Kimber’s grocer’s (with the awning), Massey’s the chemist on the left of the double-fronted building, and a dairy on the right.
    I particularly like the bus shelters in and around Guildford in that style; I believe they were made by the Astolat Fencing Company of Peasmarsh.
    This Frith view shows the Walnuts Cafe – and guest house as well:
    The pillar box is next to the Kingpost Parade sign, on the London Road at Burpham.
    It’s one of only about 100 from Edward VIII’s brief reign, and locally listed.

  9. Frank Ayling Reply

    February 14, 2022 at 6:33 am

    I used to live in Merrow as a child from 1945 to 1955.

    I remember the shop on Epsom Road and Massey’s the chemist. The then owner would invite all the poor children in the area for a children’s party every Christmas so we would have presents.

    I lived at 1 Alma Cottages, Merrow Street that were tied to [owned by] Great Goodwin Farm where my stepfather worked. The farm has been
    gone a long time.

    Maybe someone else can remember the old Merrow from those times?

    Anybody can email me if they want at I now live in Adelaide, South Australia.

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