52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Wk 4 – Home

Week #4 – Home
Week 4: Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?. This challenge runs from Saturday, January 22, 2011 through Friday, January 28, 2011.
My Grandparents rented a house in fairly central Guildford in 1940. The road was called Walnut Tree Close as at one time it had really been a close. My Grandmother was well acquainted with the road, as she was born in the same road just further down at 114, and the house my Grandparents were renting was number 17. My Grandparents rented from a private landlord who I am afraid to say was very keen to receive their rent, but was not willing to protect their investment. As I said their tenancy started in 1940 and when my Grandfather passed away in 1974 it transferred to my Grandmother. When she became unwell and went into nursing care it transferred to my Mother, who finally left the property in 1996. That is an association of some 56 years. During that time the property saw three generations of our family live there, and I have a real fondness for the house. At some point my Grandfather had been given the chance to but the property for the sum of £3,000. He declined as he didn’t, like many of his generation believe in loans and mortgages. Ironically we were in Guildford a year or so ago and saw the same property for sale. I could not resist looking in the agents window and seeing the property on the market for £325,000. I wonder what my Grandfather would make of that now?
The house is Victorian, built along the banks of the River Wey, which flows eventually to meet The Thames in London. The house was built on the site that had originally housed barns for the horses that carried goods up and down the river. On the opposite side of the road was another row of houses and beyond them the railway line. I am guessing that it was the railway coming to Guildford that made the horses redundant and the barns were knocked down to make way for housing.
The houses themselves were fairly small and simple. Literally, two up and two down, with each room being 12 foot square. To the left of the front door was the Kitchen / Dining Room and to the right of the front door the Lounge. Upstairs was two bedrooms. Originally there was no bathroom and a tin bath hung in the shed. Just off from the shed was the toilet. Sounds primitive doesn’t it and yet it was home.
There was an amount of industrial usage for Walnut Tree Close, which at some point had been opened up as a link road to the A3 the main road to London. There is still a fair amount of industrial usage and some of the houses were demolished in the early 1990s and a couple of tasteful sets of apartments and flats were built and some new houses.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, Pharos Tutor, lover of Books & History, Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, avid note taker and journal writer.
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1 Response to 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History – Wk 4 – Home

  1. Toni J says:

    Thanks for sharing your memory

    Like

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