The Tunnel 1911, Reigate
Memories of The Tunnel 1911, Reigate
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Reigate & local memories
Read and share memories of Reigate and Surrey inspired by Frith photos.
Evangelical Free Church
I used to go to the Bell Street Evangelical Free Church during my teenage years in the 1950's. I joined a group called the Campaigners and in the summer months we used to play games in the Priory Grounds opposite. The minister was the Rev'd Bobs T. Lamb. Later, the church closed down and we became a bit nomadic, meeting in an old church in Lesbourne Road, in a nissen hut near or on Castlefield Road, and we even used a room in the Priory. The church is not there now and I have very vivid memories of a rich social life built around the youth club there.
On the right is Rushworth Road. When I joined WH Newson they occupied the land that is now the Canon office and Homebase. Newson's was a timber merchants with sheds full of timber, boards, fencing products etc.. Customers would come in, see one of the staff who'd accompany them to the yard and start collecting their items. I'd just left Reigate Grammar and was living in Raglan Close with my parents. We used to drink at the Bulls Head in Reigate on a Friday / Saturday too. Newsons was run by a larger than life chap whose name escapes me. Morris someone? Staff would occasionally go to his home to spend the day doing DIY or whatever. My manager there, Rick Beard and I would stroll over to the railway sidings and hard standing and race our radio controlled cars on the redundant British Rail owned area after work (sometimes during!) It was a large expanse of concrete the remains of which, are still visible if you go to the... Read more
I attended the Priory, as most 'South Parkites' did, I was born and grew up on Lyndhurst Road. There was only two people who owned cars on our street back then, Mr Jeffries a bus driver at Lesbourne Road garage and Mr Sageant a self employed window cleaner. We always had plenty of room to play in the street if we weren't 'up the park'. I have warm memories of growing up in South Park, there was a small parade of shops in Priory Road, grocer, fish shop, greengrocer and butcher, further along there was a baker (Ports) and a newsagent. My father was a milkman with Jersey Dairies, later it became Home Counties Dairies, then much later Unigate. He had a horse and cart until about 1953-54 then a little 3 wheel float. Some of my fondest memories are helping on the round and collecting the money from the shops in Bell Street on a Friday evening (it had to be after he was finished as those shops were... Read more
Alleyway to Smoke Lane
I used to walk down this alleyway to school. There is a sandbank on one side leading to the housing estate that I think is called Woodlands (It used to be referred to as the Wates estate). We used to ciimb up on to the bank in order to slide down it! The narrow section at the top (the rest of it is a driveway) was a great place to go too fast on a bike, hoping that no pedestrians were coming in the other direction.
The Hippodrome Cinema is the second premises on the right hand side of the picture. From the age of 11 (1955) I would go to this cinema with friends to see the latest small budget films, the more popular films would be shown at the Majestic Cinema in Bancroft Road. Bancroft Road starts on the right of this picture, you can make out the curve of the pavement in the picture marking the start of Bancroft Road.
The Dinner Gong Restuarant
I remember this restaurant well, my mother used to work there as a waitress part time. In 1950 when I was six years old, after school finished in Holmsdale Road I would often walk to the Dinner Gong to meet her and we would go into the Priory park before walking back to our house in Deerings Road. The Dinner Gong later became a very classy Chinese Restuarant, the food was really superb, and I used to eat there a lot in my late teenage years and early twentys.
I was born at No 26 Nutley Lane in 1937. Surname then was Bashford. Doing my family tree I found there were a lot of Bashfords and Wares living in that road. Bashford being my father's side and the Wares my mother's side. Have no actual memory of living there but nice to see a photo of where I started out. Thank you.
Teddy Boy Era
I was born at the top of Reigate Hill (Mogador) and would catch the 406 bus every Saturday night to watch the latest films at the MAJESTIC cinema. We would visit most of the local pubs in the area - Market / the Bell / The Queens / The Sultan (this was opposite the Co Op), there was also the South Eastern, and the Locomotive' The Home Cottage we never used. My girl friends father was George Pearman who was the foreman at Kennings garage between the Locomotive and Surrey Mirror buildings, in Ladbrook road. Some Saturday nights we would visit the old Market hall in Redhill to watch a rock band which most nights ended in a fight with the local lads from Merstham. The Ex-Servicemen's club was never in Redhill, but in Reigate where I still drink on most Saturday nights and still call out the bingo. Our group of lads were called the Kingswood Cowboys, and our last port of call on Saturday nights would be the Market Hotel Reigate... Read more
WoodHatch, Western Parade
This photo is of the shops in Western Parade, Woodhatch, Reigate. Also in the picture, partially obscured by the trees, is The Angel public house. Woodhatch is a suburb of Reigate, about 2 miles due south from the town centre and separated from Reigate by the "Infamous" Cockshot Hill. In the early fifties cars would break down regularly in the summer on Cockshot Hill due to over heating, most cars did not have a water pump or heater in those days. I lived from 1952-1967 in Blackthorn Road which in this photograph would be about 500yds behind and slightly right of The Angel pub. Woodhatch became our local shopping place when the Butcher's in Meadvale closed.
My Last School
Reigate Priory County Secondary School to give it it's full name was my last full time school. I went here at 11 and stayed untill the summer of 1960 when I turned 16. The fields in front of the school were, and still are, part of the public park that surrounds the school. There were three football pitches in the winter and two cricket pitches in the summer. The school had playing fields, also open to the public, to the left of and slightly behind the picture of the school in this photo. Parts of this building go back to 1400 but most of it is from 1600-1700. There were about 600 of us at this school and no fences or enclosed playgrounds. We used all the Priory Park grounds, the wild park, and had freedom to roam the town during breaks and dinner hour. Guess there was more trust then!
My Last School
Closer view of my last school. This photo is from 1955, the first year I went there and it took me about 18 months to settle in! After that the sense of freedom I had from being in such great surroundings was very inspiring! I was really quite sad to leave in 1960.
Living on Cornfield Road
I had lots of friends to play with up on the green and also the woods where we used to ride our push bikes or swing on the big rope swing over the sandy bank. I even fell off and broke my arm. I also broke my jaw falling out of a tree on the green at the top of the road. We also had two shops at the bottom of the road, Cornfield Stores, run by a man called Fred, on the other side was Portmans. There were lots of children living on Cornfield Road, like the Grubbs, Hockleys, Frosts, Scraces, it was an idyllic childhood living on this street.
White Tomkins & Courage
In the 1960s I used to hurry down Nutley Lane each morning to my job as telephonist at WTC, which was situated a few road away at the distal end of Nutley Lane and has long since disappeared. WTC was a thriving, example of local industry in the area, producing biscuits and fruit squashes, alcoholic beverages and many more products of which I dont recall now. The offices were situated in a lovely old building which has long been demolished and has been replaced by housing.Behind the offices were laboratories and factory buildings. The company provided work for a lot of local people, scientists, factory workers, technicians and clerical staff to name a few. Being about 15 years old at the time, I only recall a couple of faces from that era (1963/4). The office manager was Mr Edwards and I think his P/A was called Pauline, there were a few other secretaries, plus Vanessa Paine, a 16 year old glamorous girl who worked as receptionist. I also remember Mr Smith... Read more
Fate Led me Here
Bell Street, Reigate. The address of my great grandfather, and until 2006 I had never been there. But on a nostalgic trip from Sweden, seeking my roots so to speak, I visited Reigate to see if any signs were to be found. Needing to buy a flower for a birthday, I went into a florist's on the west side of Bell Street, a couple of buildings down from the High Street. Then I went into the Old Book Shop further down on the east side, where I was able to buy a book of Old Reigate. In the book was a photo of my great grandfather's butcher's shop. Yes - on the site of the florist's ! ! It sent shivers down my spine to know that I had unknowingly walked on the site of Chandler's Butcher's Shop, now long gone. My great grandfather, Joseph Chandler, had also had a farm on the outskirts of Reigate, Albury Farm (or Manor) where I believe there is now a school.
The world... Read more
Reigate, Doods Road 1939-50
My Granny and Grandad Weller, in their cramped semi, took me, my mum and dad, my brother and sister plus 2 billeted soldiers under their loving wing in 1940 and I can honestly say that was the most happy household you could ever wish for. We knew things were serious when they installed concrete mini pyramids in the street outside which apparently would stop tanks from advancing. And people flocked to Reigate caves to sleep the night, crazy on reflection, these are natural sand caves and I suspect one good wallop from a Doodle Bug that didn't get over the North Downs chalk cliffs would have caved the lot in, thank God it never happened. My father was an entertainer, a good one. Highly professional, Magic, Ventriloquism (he won the UK International Brotherhood of Ventriloquism Cup in the 1950s). He trained me up at the age of 7 to carry out a 15 minute performance on any stage magic using sleight of hand, I hated it but it meant... Read more
'The Market '
'The Market' - this was what we used to call the small hotel on the corner of High Street and Tunnel Road. It was the most wonderful time, hippies were in every night, there was a disco and psychadelic light show once a week upstairs. I drove a red Morgan and had a Dutch au-pair girl on my arm, all this and I was 21 years old, a most exciting time. Thank you Reigate.
This is the exact location in which my family has placed a memorial bench for my mother Ann Gout (nee Edwards). She spend many happy hours on Reigate Hill when she was a Girl Guide and loved this view. A few years ago the trees and bushes has become overgrown, but thankfully the council have now cut them back. I think that the house in the background is still there, but is now hidden behind trees.
my grandad was the head gardener, dick jenner. i have great memories of going into the caves and staying with my grandparents in their little house in the castle ground. my nan, eileen veness (jenner then) is still well and living in sussex.my mum, uncle and aunt all lived in that house for many happy years. Bridget Harwood (as was then)
Farrington's of Reigate
The Farrington family of Reigate were the Lime Merchants that owned and worked the Lime Kilns at Reigate. The business was established by Benjamin Farrington my Great great Grandfather one hundred before Frederick Price Farrington (Alderman of Reigate 1889-1911) finally took it over until his death in 1927. The family lived at the Lime works on Reigate Hill, many of the children later lived in Nutley Lane.
Reigate Springcopse Road
I live in one of these houses, and my children play on the green to the right of the photo. There is a great community feeling here. In the Queens 50th Jubilee year we organised a street party on the green for the residents of Springcopse Rd, Cornfield Road and Furzefield Crescent.
The four detached houses to the left of the picture are numbered 2, 4 ,6 and 8 Furzefield Crescent, built by my Gt grandfather, George Elsey.
I lived at number four between 1960 and 1978 with my parents.
The railings on the right of the picture surround an area of grass and trees, the railings were removed in the second world war.