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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Godalming, Surrey
A selection of photographs and postcards of a Surrey country town
Church Street Shops and Parish Church, Godalming, early 1940s

Church Street is little more than a car's width's wide along most of its length, although is slightly wider by the parish church. There is a polite notice next to the hedge between the churchyard entrance and what is today Barlow Robbins that reads "Please do not park here". This seems a little superfluous as there wasn't a car in sight!

The shop closest to the camera sold knitting wools, patterns and, presumably, haberdashery as there is a dressmaker's dummy in the far window. The blinds are down on the business premises next door and although the name is written on the glass it cannot be read. These shops have well kept exteriors today and are regularly painted.

John Janaway, in "The Story of Godalming", points out that Church Street has kept many of its old buildings and much of it has changed very little since the early 1800s. However, the living conditions then were cramped and without proper sanitation[1]. A quick look at the street's inhabitants at the time of the 1841 census shows a wide range of occupations for those then living on Church Street. There were Ag Labs [Agricultural Labourers], bakers, a blacksmith and a butcher, carpenters, a china man, a cooper and a candlemaker, a coppersmith and a currier, cordwainers, a grocer, a hosier, labourers, a miller, a parchment maker, a plumber, several servants, a saddler, a schoolmistress, several tailors, some of independent means and the Vicar and his family at the Vicarage. The Mellersh family had a house on Church Street and in their household alone were two attorneys, a farmer, a banker and a surveyor. So households with large and modest incomes lived side by side[2].

"Godalming, Parish Church". Judges Ltd., Hastings No.23577. [early 1940s] Posted 29 Jul 1951 at Godalming and sent to Troon. Personal message not relevant to picture.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews. Researched by Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only


[1] Janaway, John "The Story of Godalming" (1983), Local Heritage Books, Newbury ISBN 1 86368005 4.
[2] The 1841 census is available on FindMyPast.

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