(Featuring the Articles and Archive of Iain Wakeford)




1901-02 - The Woking & Bashot Light Railway - Chobham's last chance at 'Railway Mania' with notes on the Castle Grove public house, the Horsell Common Estate (Russell Road) and the tramway system that was to be built from Monument Road, down Walton Road, Commercial Road and Goldworth Road to St Johns, Knaphill & Horsell via Littlewick Road; Lighting Woking's Streets by Gas instead of Electricity; Lord Pirbright's Hall.

1902-03 - More Blue Plaques Required - Irish Artist Paul Henry (and writer Robert Lynd) at White Cottage and Beaufort College in Knaphill; George Bernard Shaw at Maybury Knowle and William Ernest Henley at Maybury Hill; The Opening of Wisley Gardens.

1902-03 -  Victorian Artist William Eyre Walker's painting of 'Beauty for Ashes' (and Helen Allingham's 'The Cuckoo'); Chobham's floods of October 1903; Voysey's Vodin at Pyrford; The History of the Woking Village Coffee Room (The Welcome) and the St Peter's Institute and Young Men's Recreation Room.

1904-05 - Drowley & Co., Building Woking's Landmarks including the Trinity Methodist Church and Woking Urban District Council Offices in Commercial Road; The Death of John Rowlands, aka Henry Morton Stanley (discoverer of Dr Livingstone) of Furze Hill Pirbright; The Rebuilding of the Fox & Hounds public house (now The Olive Tree) at Sutton Green.

1905-06 - Horatio Bottomley & The Basingstoke Canal Scam with shares sold as The London & South Western Canal Company; The Breaking of Hermitage Bridge by a Traction Engine carrying Potatoes to Inkerman Barracks; The Breaking of Chertsey Road Bridge by cars travelling at 20mph (and the Temporary Wooden Bridge that lasted over 15 years).

1905-06 - The Church of England's Waif's & Stray's Society's St Nicholas' Home at Byfleet Corner (West Byfleet) and at Pyrford; The naming of Victoria Arch; Britain's First Hindo Temple recorded at Woking.

1906-07 - The Building of Brooklands Motor Racing Track by H F Locke King on Wintersells Farm at Byfleet and Brooklands Farm at Weybridge; The Shops of Rosemount Parade and other Conservation Areas in West Byfleet; Woking's Building Boom of 1907 with houses built on Maybury Hill, Aberdeen House at Wych Hill and Tilehurst Cottages in Triggs Lane.

1906-07 - Horsell's Administrative Separation from the Chertsey Rural District Council and their Amalgamation with Woking Urban District Council, with the building of Horsell Parish Hall (designed by J B Drower); The Building of Holy Trinity Church at Knaphill (designed by J H Ball); The Building of St Mary of Bethany Church at Mount Hermon (designed by W D Caroe).

1907-08 - The High Cost of Land in Woking in the early 20th Century, including the sale of George Rastrick's land on the corner of Chertsey Road & The Broadway (Ashby's, later Barclay's, Bank), the sale of the Woking Lodge Estate around Heathside following George's death in 1905 (including sites in Guildford Road and Station Approach) and the corner of the High Street & Church Path where the London & County Bank (now NatWest) was built in 1908; A shop on the corner of Omega Road and Boundary Road hit by lightening on the 30th June 1907; Woking Football Club's F.A. Cup exploits of 1908 (and defeat to Bolton Wanderers).

1908-09 - The London & South Western Railway Servant's Orphanage's move to Oriental Road in Woking; The Building of the Brookwood Working Men's Club; The new St Saviour's Church in Connaught Road at Brookwood.

1909-10 - Woking's Edwardian School Report (the effect of the 1902 Education Act on the schools of the Woking area); The Maybury School Violin Class of 1910; Mayford's mysterious Catholic School.

1910-11 - The River Wey as foe and friend - the floods of 1910 and the Woking Swimming Club's use of Triggs Lock at Sutton Green and Walsham Lock at Pyrford as bathing pools before the pool in the Mount Hermon Recration Ground (Woking Park) was opened with water pumped into it from the Hoe Stream; The Dartnell Park and Byfleet Boat Clubs built by F C Stoop; The Salvation Army Citadel on the corner of Clarence Avenue and Church Street in Woking.

1910-11 - The Sydney Street Seige and the funeral of P.C. Walter C Choate of Byfleet, murdered at Houndsditch in the run-up to the siege, with notes on the new steam-powered fire engine for the Byfleet Fire Brigade  led by Vivian Howell; Mr Howell was also the leader of the newly founded Byfleet & Pyrford Scouts; The pupils of St Mary's School possibly preparing a dance for Byfleet Parish Day.

1911-12 - The Houses of Hook Heath, including Hook Hill (now called Whinfield and Brockhurst) built for Henry Fisher Cox (editor of The Examiner) - later occupied by the Duke of Sutherland who went on to rent Sutton Place - by the architect Horace Field who also designed South Hill (for himself), Little Frankley (for the M.P. & sportsman Alfred Lyttleton), Hook Hill Cottage (for Edith Cox) and Gorse Hill Cottage. Also notes on houses developed on Hook Heath by W G Tarrant (Hembury Knowle in Hook Heath Road, Homewood in Pond Road and Corner Cottage in Firbank Lane) and W J Drowley (Little Widbury, Hurstgate, High Housen, Woodside, Lingdown, The Links and Commeragh Court) on the land developed by the  London Necropolis Company utilising the popularity of the Woking Golf Club and other golf courses at Worplesdon & West Hill; The History of Gorse Hill (designed by Edward Prideau Warren) the home of John Ingram, insurance underwriter on the Titanic and later home of Noel Mobbs founder of the Slough Trading Company (later Slough Estates); The Development of Birchwood Road at West Byfleet by F C Stoop of West Hall, designed by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin of the Hampstead & Letchworth Garden City and built by Moss & Sons of Loughborough.

1911-12 Suffragette or Suffragist - the antics of Ethel Smyth the composer of The March of the Women who lived at Coign, Hook Heath Road and taught Emmaline Pankhurst of the Women's Social & Political Union to throw stones on Woking Golf Club near the home of her friend's the Balfour's at Fishers Hill (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens). Also notes on Mrs H Laird-Cox of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in Woking, Mrs Horace Barratt of Maybury Croft (leader of the Woking WSPU) and Mrs Skepwith of the Tax Resistance League who all played their part in women's suffrage movement; The Foundation Stone, possibly of the underground toilets in Commercial Road, laid by the Sanitary Committee of Woking Council lead in 1911 by J Hutchinson-Driver; Woking's New Courthouse in Heathside Road (now the site of St Andrews Court) and the creation of the Woking Petty Sessional Division that formerly met at the Assembly Rooms or the old Onslow Hall in Guildford Road.

1912-13 The Woking Co-operative Society's Garden Suburb in Horsell (Holyoak Crescent) designed by H Clapham Lander and opened by the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Director W Lander, with mention of the founding of the Co-op in Woking in Chertsey Road and Church Street with branches at Kingfield and Knaphill; The Church Hill Estate in Horsell, developed by the Horsell Land Company between the village, Cheapside and Kettlewell Hill (including Church Road, The Ridgeway, Morton Road, Horsell Rise and Fletcher Road - now Horsell Vale) and the sale of Southcote built by Drowley & Co (who also built Horsell Dene, Meadow Lea and Hillside on the estate); The Hockering Estate developed by W G Tarrant of Byfleet (who also built St George's Hill at this time) on land formerly owned by the Smallpiece family and the Roundhill Estate of the Earl and Dowager Countess of Lovelace.

1912-13 Rupert & Gwendoline Guinness' Emigration Training School at Woking Park Farm in Old Woking for those wishing to move to Canada, Austrialia, New Zealand and other Commonwealth Countries; Excavations at Woking Palace by Charles E Lovell; The Woking Palace Theatre in Duke Street (later to become the Astoria & then Odeon Cinema).

1913--14 Further Education in Woking including the building of a new (temporary) infant school at Horsell (where Bury Close is today), the public elementary schools at Camphill Road in West Byfleet, St Johns Senior School run by Mr Savage between Barrack Parth and Hermitage Road (now the Cranstock Centre), the Woking Domestic & Handicraft Centre in Commercial Road Woking (on the corner with Chapel Street, formerly the Wesleyan Chapel and later the Library), and the Woking Secondary School and Technical Institute (later the Woking Boys Grammar School, and later still the police station); Percy Lambert's World Land Speed Records at Brooklands and his fatal crash; Woking's Canal Bridges and Road Widening including the replacement of Wheatsheaf Bridge, Stumps Bridge and Pirbright Bridge at Broowood, the widening of Chobham Road at Kettlewell Farm (Fenns Farm), Gongers Lane at Kingfield, Westfield Road and improvements to The High Street in Woking.

The election results for Woking Urban District Council 1902-1914




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