Farnham in old picture postcards

Farnham in old picture postcards

:   Annette Booth
:   Surrey
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5910-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Farnham in old picture postcards'

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9. And then in 1868 came the Bank of John & James Knight, built by Norman Shaw. It was a four-fioored timber-frarned giant of a building, which stood two and a half times taller than its neighbour and it dominated the skyline until1931. You can get sorne idea of the scale of it by looking at the previous picture. That tall building, No. 76, to the lef! ofthe Market House, is dwarfed when placed alongside the Norman Shaw Bank. At No. 76, when this photograph was taken in 1888, was the suitably named H. Bodkin, tailor and habit maker. At No. 74 was a Mrs. Baker, who had taken over her busband's currier and leather cutting business, presumably on his death. Miss Swayne's Modern Commercial School for the daughters of tradesmen moved into the building in 1897 and in 1901 it became Farnharn Grammar School for Girls. The school moved to the old Boys' Grammar School in West Street in 1906 and 1. Alfred Eggar, the auctioneer, moved into No. 74, where his firm has remained ever since.

10. The photographs on these two pages give us a real feel for the Castie Street Fairs of the late nineteenth century. The man behind the camera was John Henry Knight, who we shall meet later. We believe that he taak bath pictures on the same day, in 1884. The fairs, which were held on 10th May, 24th June and 10th November, were not popular with local residents, Besides stalls and sideshows, livestock stretched the entire length of CastIe Street and, imagining the dust, stench and noise generated, one can understand why there were many calls for the abolition of 'this abomination'. It was a deep thorn in the side of the Local Board that they could do nothing aboutthe fairs, since they were held on private land. The Farnharn Market House & Town Hall Company levied the tolls on stall holders and they weren't about to give that up in a hurry. Each stall earned them 4/-; a shooting gallery, 7/6; and a testing machine, like the 'Test Your Strength' in the foreground, 1/-.

11. At the bottom of Cast1e Street, where it meets The Borough, the horse dealers would congregate on Fair Day. In 'A Small Boy in the Sixties', George Sturt describes the scene thus: ' ... They stood with their rails towards the pavement, facing towards the street they half blocked; and though they stood patiently enough, it was not altogether pleasant on the thronged pavement, behind their fticking tails and stamping hooves. Besides, the men who gathered about these horses were a sinister-looking lot, cunning, shifty of eye, loud of speech.' Ta the right, bebind the horses, is a sign advertising 'Edwards, Clothier' with mens suits at 14/-. This was obviously a bargain, since in the same year, the Outfitter Charles Moody, whose premises are to the left of the Town Hall building, was charging 16/6 just for the trowsers (his spelling, not mine!).

12. This wonderful photograph of Market Day in Castle Street is also believed to have been taken by John Henry Knight, again around 1884. George Sturt could have been writing the caption for this picture when he records in his Journal: 'Erected against the curb, exactly in front of the Corn Exchange doors, th is stall sereens from the streel a length of pavement, frequented by the richer men almast exclusively. There the closest bargaining is done; there the cunningest notes on farming business are exchanged ... In that narrow space there is rarely anyone solitary or disengaged. All are "subscribers" to the Cam-Exchange, prone to bustie in and out at the big doors.'

13. The Two Minute Silence is observed for the first time at a Red Cross Fair held on 10th May 1916. The event was organised by the Farnham Branch ofthe National Union of Farmers and during its preparation there was great concern that it was not appropriate to hold a fair while so many men were dying for their country. James Alfred Eggar, Farnharn auctioncer and founder of the present firm of estate agents, suggested that a two-minute silence should be held. This. was duly carried out with some 2,000 people in Castle Street observing that first ever silence. The idea was subsequently submitted to the government and in due course MT. Eggar received a letter of acknowledgement from the Horne Secretary, although when the Two Minute Silence was officially observed by the whole nation on 11th November 1919, the credit for it went to the King, or at least his advisers.

14. This postcard of a Reeruitment Rally being held in the town on 2nd October 1915, serves to remind us that, unti11916, when compulsory conscription was introduced, men between the ages of 18 and 41 were 'invited' to enlist. Crowds lined the pavements in Castie Street to watch the parade of uniformed men from D Company, 3rd Volunteer Battalion, The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. Accompanied by the lire brigade and boy scouts, they marched into The Borough on a damp October day. Many of those scouts were, na doubt, wishing that they were old enough to serve their country - their time would come just 24 years later.

15. The people of Farnharn gather in prayer at a United Open Air Service in Castle Street to mark the second anniversary of the First World War. It is poignant that nearly al! of them are women, many with young babies in their arms. They are not only praying for peace, but for the safe return of their loved ones. Tradespeople in the town closed their premises to al!ow staff to attend the service on Friday, 4th August 1916, and the large crowd was joined by members of the 23rd Surrey V.A.D. British Red Cross Society, under Mr. Duncan Bethune, as wel! as wounded soldiers from Waverley Abbey Hospital, accompanied by Mrs. Rupert Anderson, and a number of her nursing staff. At 12.15 p.m. the Chairman of the Urban District Council, Mr. G.E. Aldridge, mounted the platform with ministers of the Farnharn churches. The service began with the hymn 'Oh God our Help in Ages Past', led by Farnharn Parish Church choir with Mr. Maclin conducting and Mr. A.G. Ransom at the harmonium.

16. A general view of Castie Street at the turn of the century. The contentious cobbled area belonging to the Farnham Market House & Town Hall Company can be very clearly seen on the right and at the end ofthis area you canjust make out the Bell & Crown inn, where licensee Kate Blount offered hot dinners every Thursday. She was in the perfect position to catch all that market day trade. Almost opposite the pub was Tily's. the general ironmongers, now Robert Dyas. Rope and string were made by Tily's at premises they occupied in Long Garden Walk. John Henry Knight, in a book published in 1909 entitled 'Rerniniscences of a Country Town (Farnham)', remembers watching a man 'with his bag of tow walking slowly backwards across Castle Street, the wheel being somewhere up Long Garden Walk'. Looking at the picture, you can see th at this would be quite feasible - the traffic was light, to say the least!

17. Almost the same view ofCastie Street, but this time in 1932. Gone are the old Town Hall buildings and gone too, is Norman Shaw's huge edifice. Both these landmarks disappeared in a major building programme at the beginning of the 1930's, and the face of CastIe Street was completely changed - many would say for the better. I must admit I wish I could have seen that giant of a building for myself. On the left of the picture Conragc's lorry is just pulling away from the Coach & Harses public house, which the Alton brewery had taken over from the Farnharn United Brewery in 1928. The local residents were becoming increasingly concerned about car parking. One gentleman wrote to The Farnharn Herald complaining that one of the most beautiful streets in England was becoming little more than a garage. 'Why not complete the job,' he wrote, 'I suggest that the street be roofed over and that American firms be invited to tender for petrol stations ... '

18. A John Henry Knight photograph ofThe Borough, taken in 1888. Photography was stilI novel enough to make everyone stop and stare, which is probably a good thing, considering how long the exposures had to beo In the centre of the picture is the Town Hall and Corn Exchange with its 88 ft high clock tower. The clock, chiming every quarter hOUT, was a gift from Mr. Samuel Nicholson, a farmer owner of Waverley Maner, and is now on the present Town Hall building. Mr. Nicholson had offered one with luminous dials, but it was considered that the cast of gas for Iighting this would be far too great, so the people of Farnharn went without! The Goat's Head pub moved to No. 40 The Borough after the Town Hall was built on its site and can be seen below the tall chimney of the London & County Bank on the right. The pub lost its licence in 1909 and was purchased by Charles Ernest Borelli. He, along with the architect Harold Falkner, restored the building to its former glory.

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