I have very happy memories of St Catherine's. In the summer holidays my Grandmother and I would walk to St Catherine's. The reward a drink from the spring there, Gran would pack in her bag a small plastic beaker. It had red and white spots and would gently bend down and capture the water being careful to not capture any of the sand. We would have a drink and enjoy a rest on a seat before walking back to home.
I don't know if this is a view I remember, but I am sure that it is one that my Grandmother would have seen many times.
Published by the S. & W. Series of postcards circa 1910. This is a view that my ancestors who most certainly have seen as they walked this area. My Great Grandfather, Charles Butcher was born in Wonersh in 1869.
There was something familiar with this postcard. Recollections of visiting the lido through my childhood and sitting at the tables outside, with the ever so faintly mottled and dotted patten in a pale blue colour.
There is something about this scene that I can resonate with. Not that I was born in 1929!
My Grandmother who was 17 years old at the time would have seen this of the High Street. Yet, there is parts of the picture that I recognise, names of the shops - Timothy White Cash Chemists for example were in the same location when I was growing, of course Timothy White's vanished from our streets long ago and merged into Boots. The clock that sits proudly over the High Street and the Bulls Head, a familiar spot in my senior school days (all perfectly legal!).
The Manor House was previously part of the Manors at Artington and Godalming and is first mentioned as being under the ownership of Alfred the Great. The Manor made its way into the Wight Family in 1559 where it remained in their ownership until 1914.The College of Law purchased the property in 1964 they still own it today.
This small card, which measures about 5" x 3" is a first for me. This was issued by Guildford Borough Council to members of the Civil Defence Duties. This is named - Frederick S Warner who resided at 40 Fenton Road (a road this Guildfordian has never heard of!) and is dated 26th February 1942. This individual was enrolled into the fire prevention team.
This was produced to celebrate the opening of the Head Post Office and the Philatelic Counter at Guildford on 21st October 1981. I still have my stamped, posted and delivered copy.
The post office did look like this, although I notice that the post office has moved and now resides on the junction of where North Street meets the High Street, almost opposite where Thorps the wonderful bookshop used to be.
The 5th October 2014 marks the anniversary of the Guildford Pub bombings in 1974. I was just five years old, but I do remember the fear and emotional turmoil of Guildford even at that young age. As I got older and started working in both Guildford and London, I grew up with the political instability involving the "Irish Situation" and the terrorist threat.
Taken by J Goucher 28th September 2014
Just opposite one of the sites where the bombings happened, and next to Guildford Library is a spot known as Quakers' Acre. There sits a memorial plaque to those that lost their lives that day.
The victims were two men from the military barracks at Pirbright, two female military personnel from the female barracks at Stoughton Guildford and a civilian, who lived out of the County. They are all commemorated on the plaque here. A further 65 people experienced physical injuries and of course live with the emotional scaring that will have surely followed from such an experience.
The first explosion occurred at the Horse and Groom public house in North Street. The second occurred at the Seven Stars public house a little after 9pm, with no causalities because it had already been evacuated after the first incident. The sites chosen because they were popular with the military personnel when allowed out of barracks.
Image courtesy of Get Surrey
I remember the damage at the Horse and Groom, of course being only 5 years old I had no concept of what a pub was, why there was this damage, but could sense there was a degree of sensitivity and anger around what had happened.
The bombings were believed to be the work of the IRA. Four individuals, given the name of the Guildford Four, comprising of three men and a women were arrested, tried and found guilty.
The verdict over turned 15 years later, in 1989 when it was established that there were severe issues with how the case had been conducted and how admissions of guilt were obtained by Surrey Police. Surrey Police were of course pressured into bringing the matter to a swift conclusion, and this pressure without a doubt affected the integrity of the investigation. The culprits of the bombing remain unpunished to this day.
Since then, several books have been published, copies of which reside in my Guildford Collection
Proved Innocent by Gerry Conlon
Stolen Years by Paul Hill
Trial and Error by Robert Kee
I remember the verdict being overturned, the admittance that there had been a severe miscarriage of justice and of course the publicity as each book was published, each telling a personal story.
Whilst this is politically sensitive, for the families of those killed, for those (and their families) who were wrongfully imprisoned it is important that we acknowledge the historical event as it stands. We can, no matter how unpleasant something is simply ignore the fact that this event happened. The event is an integral part of the history of Guildford.