Following up the recent correspondence about Victoria Road and the Victoria Transport Company that was based there, Peter Watkins of Wrecclesham has written in with more details about Donald Cruickshank’s photograph taken from his bedroom window in his childhood home there.
Peter was the former electoral registration officer of Farnham Urban District Council (FUDC) and writes: “The building on the corner of South Street and Victoria Road was the old FUDC treasurer’s department. AE Redman next door sold electrical goods. They also did contract work and I believe also had a yard somewhere in Upper Hale.
“The building at the other end of Victoria Road was indeed a mortuary. In the late 1950s it was in the ownership of FUDC and was being used for storage. There were still a couple of coffins in there at the time so I should imagine its original use probably ceased some time in the mid-50s.”
If I am correct, the mortuary later became a chapel of rest for the Co-op funeral service and was the last part of the Union Road Co-op store to be demolished when the Gostrey House office block was built.
Incidentally, Mark Westcott has also been in touch with his views about the office building and the Co-op that it replaced that he photographed just before demolition took place. “I think you recently ran an item on the old Co-op and maybe asked if anyone had any more photos. Having been looking for something else completely, I came across this one which shows the whole frontage prior to its demolition.
“What a hideous office building was put in its place. The Co-op took pride in its buildings.”