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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Godalming, Surrey
A selection of photographs and postcards of a Surrey country town
 
High Street, Godalming, about 1908


A young woman is standing outside the pharmacy on the left; she is pushing a wicker hand cart. It seems as if a hat is balanced on the edge of her cart, but this is a trick of the eye as the hat is on display in the shop window. The sign above the shop reads: Drug Stores. Edwards. Modern _____. The last word is hidden by the ornate lamp.

In 1911 Samuel Edwards, originally from Ferryside, Carmarthenshire, was running the pharmacy at what was then 31 & 32 High Street; the property, with the lovely mid to late seventeenth century brick work, was described in the census as having 10 rooms[1]. The Edwards family had arrived in Godalming about 1888[2] and in 1911 Samuel's son, Alfred Samuel, by then 23, was working for his father as an assistant dispensing chemist.

It is difficult to tell what the shop behind where the group of young men are standing on the pavement was selling because the white awning obscures the shop window, but it also seems to be part of the chemists. The double fronted shop next door, with bay windows, sold spirits and ales; in 1911 this was run by Edward William Chilman and his family[1]. Mr. Chilman was born in Godalming and had run his wine and spirits business at 30 High Street for over twenty years[2]. In 1891 he was the agent for W. & A. Gilby[3].

If you look carefully at the Stuart building next door to Chilman's (just right of centre) you should see a suspended rectangular sign at first floor level which says "Telephone". Mrs. Caroline Elizabeth Atfield, a widow who was by 1911 aged 82, lived on the premises and acted as Caretaker for the Telephone Exchange[1]. She been there for at least ten years though she and her husband had kept the "Rose and Crown" on Mill Lane in the 1880s[2] and early 1890s[3].

On the right hand side we can see 80 High Street, which had a sign above the shop advertising "Refreshments". In 1901 Joseph Turner was a Baker and Confectioner here[2], but by 1911 Frederick Charles Record was living at and managing the shop[1]. However, Mr. Turner advertised in a 1913 trade directory so had presumably kept his business[4].

Kate Cheel, a widow who lived on Busbridge Lane[1], was a Tobacconist with premises at 81 High Street[4]. The Cigars sign on the far side of No.80 must have been her shop. She continued the business of her late husband Charles; in the 1891 census Charles described himself as a Wholesale Wine Spirit & Beer Merchant And Tobacconist[2]. Godalming was not short of premises selling wines and spirits.



There are minor differences to the Edwards building's upper floors today. The lamp has gone, the gutters and down pipes have been replaced, and what looks like a shallow wrought iron balcony beneath the right hand window on the first floor has been removed in the intervening years. Boots eventually took over Edwards[5] before moving to its present site and today the building is occupied by W. H. Smith.


"Godalming, High Street". No publisher, but has bear symbol on the back, No.22516. Posted 10 Mar 1908 at Tilford. Written message, but not relevant to image.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews. Photograph © Andy Andrews, 2007. This is a larger version of the image on the Godalming, Surrey (about) page
Researched by Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only

References:

[1] 1911 census.
[2] Census information can be found on FindMyPast.
[3] "Kelly's Directory of Surrey", 1891.
[4] "Kelly's Directory of Surrey" (1913) Kelly & Co. Ltd, London.
[5] Head, Ronald E. (2005) "Godalming", The Francis Frith collection, ISBN 1-85937-976-1 (with research by John Young).




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