Fringe Box



Where Is This? No.46

Published on: 26 Feb, 2013
Updated on: 26 Feb, 2013

By David Rose

The mystery picture seen last week shows Southway in Westborough, looking east. Think everyone who replied correctly recognised the view. Click here to see the post and all the comments at the foot of it.

Looking back at previous writings of mine, I now believe the Westboorugh prefabs were built and occupied by the end of 1946 (not 1944 as I stated here last week). See my book Guildford Remember When, co-written with Bernard Parke.

In that book we wrote: “Prefabricated houses were introduced as part of the UK’s Temporary Housing Scheme at the end of the Second World War. A total  of 155,667 were constructed throughout the country costing about £2 million. There were about 13 different styles and some were more expensive than a normal house. But they could be manufactured and assembled very quickly – helping to address the acute housing shortage faster than the time it took to build a conventional house.

“The criteria for these temporary homes stated that they should last for 15 years and make the best use of redundant materials [left over from the war effort].

“The Westborough prefabs appear to have been of the aluminium type, known as the B2. These were designed by the Aircraft Industries Research Organisation for Housing. There just happened to be surplus capacity in aluminium production after the war and these were the first homes in the UK to be manufactured on a production line.”

This isn't this week's mystery phtoto, but a group of people in front one of the Westborough  prefabs. But if you know exactly where it was and any names, I'd be interested to hear from you.

This isn’t this week’s mystery phtoto, but a group of people in front one of the Westborough prefabs. But if you know exactly where it was and any names, I’d be interested to hear from you.

Guildford’s prefabs lasted slightly longer than the given 15-year life expectancy. By 1965 people in the Westborough / Park Barn prefabs were being offered new council houses at Slyfield. But many didn’t want to leave. They liked their cosy prefabs and had formed a strong community in the area. I think the last of them were vacated by 1967. The large roundabout and nearby flats occupy the site where the prefabs stood.

Today there are a few left around the UK, and I don’t know how many are occupied. There is a row in Birmingham that I believe have been given listed status, while the Rural Life Museum at Tilford near Farnham has a preserved prefab that’s fully furnished with period decor and fittings.

And last week’s mystery sign is on the front of the Guildhall in North Street.

Do you know the location where this building once stood?

Do you know the location where this building once stood?

Seen this sign before?

Seen this sign before?

Here’s this week’s mystery vintage image. Do you recognise this building and where it once stood? The photo dates to no earlier than 1933.

The mystery sign is close to the town centre. It points the way to somewhere most of us would never choose to have to go to.

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 photo and mystery date, and the next pair of images.


Share This Post

Responses to Where Is This? No.46

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 7:26 am

    1) Guildford Lido

    2) Magistrates’ Court

  2. John Lomas Reply

    February 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    This one is the snack bar at the Stoke Park Lido, it was on the hill at the ESE end of the site.
    Steps in front of it lead down to one of the fountains.
    The photo might have been taken from one of the platforms on the diving board as it seems to be almost on a level with the building and is taken from an offset angle.

  3. Ray Springer Reply

    February 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Think the picture is of the cafe which used to be in the Guildford Lido grounds.
    The lido was opened on 21st June 1933, so as you say the photograph must have been taken after that.

    The mystery sign “somewhere we would never choose to go” is probably at the Law Courts

  4. Shirley and Brian West Reply

    February 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Guildford Lido. On June 21 this year the lido celebrates its 80th anniversary.

    Mystery sign is to the Police Station

  5. Norman Hamshere Reply

    February 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Guildford Lido, opened in 1933.

  6. Chris Townsend Reply

    March 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    The building was at the Lido, opened in 1933.
    The sign points to the Law Courts.

  7. David & Ann Bailey Reply

    March 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    The building shows the original refreshment kiosk at the Lido.

    The sign shows the entrance to the Police Station.

  8. Brian Holt Reply

    March 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    This photo is Guildford lido which was opened in 1933 and the open-air pool was built largely by unemployed men who had been given jobs funded by Mayor William Harvey’s pioneering Work Fund.

    The sign is outside the Magistrates’ Court, Woodbridge Road.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *