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Merstham on the railway

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Image number 3079
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Merstham was the terminus of the world's first public railway, and you have here a picture of the company seal showing the horse-drawn railroad wagons.

With thanks to Alex Hunter, author of "20th Century Merstham", which is available from the Ancient House Bookshop, Reigate.


Comment 1

John Jay from London posted this comment on Monday 21 January 2013 11:07:00.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I fear I have a 'needle in a haystack' inquiry for you and your visitors. Does anyone know anything about the family of the late Derek Prentice, pre-war, wartime and postwar actor and BBC news broadcaster, who lived in the 1950s and 1960s at a house called Hillside in Church Hill, Merstham. His widow was called Katherine but that is all I know. I would be most keen to make contact with the Prentice family if anyone has any suggestions about how I might do this.

Yours faithfully,

john Jay


Comment 2

David Gale from Redhill posted this comment on Thursday 11 April 2013 18:10:00.

Hello John,

Only just seen your post re Derek Prentice. Perhaps you've already had some info from elsewhere, if so sorry to trouble you. Anyway heres what I've found:

Derek Prentice marries Katherine Welford in 1939 in Surrey. Luanne V. Prentice is born in the same district in 1940. Luanne V Prentice marries Christoper H Noel in Fulham in 1976.

Any help, let me know , David


Comment 3

Alex Hunter from Merstham posted this comment on Tuesday 30 July 2013 15:38:00.

As John Jay's post is not to do with the pic, perhaps you can send this on to him without posting it on this web site: "Derek G Prentice had worked for the BBC in Australia during the war. He and Katherine returned to Surrey and bought Hillside on Church Hill in 1949, though later they changed the name of the house back to its original Ancaster. Derek had a part in The Archers briefly and his rich baritone voice was known to his fellow parishioners of St Katharine's church at the bottom of the hill. In 1969 they moved to the Glade House at the end of Quality Street, Merstham, but 3 years later, when the M25 construction started at the end of their garden, they left - returning, it is said, to Australia.


Comment 4

Mrs. Sara Harris from Brighton posted this comment on Friday 17 October 2014 22:12:00.

I am the younger daughter of Derek and Katherine Prentice. I was widowed 6 years ago after a long and happy marriage to Roy Harris. I still work (from home) as a book translator. My mother, Katherine Prentice, a third-generation Australian with British citizenship, lives in sheltered accommodation 3 minutes' walk from my house. She will be 102 in January 2015 and although partially disabled (due to her great age) is totally unimpaired mentally and still very good company. My father, Derek Prentice, died in 1977 in Perth, Australia where he continued working until his death as a drama coach and occasional broadcaster. He was extremely happy during his years in Perth, Western Australia: January 1972 until his death.Our family had lived in Australia before, in Melbourne, from 1945 when my father was invited to join the staff of one of the main radio stations there, 3DB. In 1949 we returned to England and bought a house in Church Hill. My elder sister, Luanne, lives in London with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. In 2008 I visited Merstham for the first time since 1972 when I took my mother to see another former resident of Church Hill (now aged 107)and was very saddened to see the effects of the M25 construction. Where I used to ride my ponies along Church Walk, from Quality Street, over a wooden bridge which crossed a sluggish stream, on my way to ride in the fields along Gatton Bottom, there was a huge void and an unceasing, deafening hum of traffic.


Comment 5

PETER CLARK from southport posted this comment on Monday 14 September 2015 03:46:00.

dear mrs harris

i came across the name of your mother in a book on the Raj by anne de courcy.

is your mother keeping well?

she must now be a great age?

i am very interested in speaking to those who remember the Raj era and wonder if your mother is at all able to answer a few questions by letter or phone? i am a young man who is a freelance journalist and lives in southport.

yours

peter CLARK



This image was uploaded on Sunday 20 March 2005 11:31:45.

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Image number 3080
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From the SER guide book of the late 1840s. Note the water mill with mill pond below the toll road, the stream falling down to a wide water hole to the East of the railway before draining off down to Albury farm and beyond.

With thanks to Alex Hunter, author of "20th Century Merstham", which is available from the Ancient House Bookshop, Reigate.



This image was uploaded on Sunday 20 March 2005 11:24:59.

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Image number 3081
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The 301st Reserve Employment Company (Royal Defence Corps).
These men guarded the Merstham Tunnel, an important railway tunnel on the main
line from London to Brighton used in routing troop movements in W.W.1. 1915.


This image was uploaded on Tuesday 24 April 2012 09:26:08.

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Image number 3082
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The old S.E.R. Station, Merstham. 1905. Adamstone Series.


This image was uploaded on Saturday 08 March 2003 22:59:20.

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Image number 3083
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Merstham Station. 1907. F. Frith & Co. Ltd.

Comment 1

Ken Ball from Merstham posted this comment on Saturday 19 January 2013 17:25:00.

About 55years ago, my friend and I had been in the area of the station "conkering". we eventually "strayed" into the station behind the shelter on the down (to Redhill) line and proceeded to knock down a few conkers from the tree that was there. We were caught by a railway worker who promptly marched us to the Station Masters Office.

(now a taxi office). The Station master threw all of our conkers into a waste bin and threw us off the premises with a "Flea in our ear". we thought that he was most unfair !!


Comment 2

Robert ('Bob') Hill from Saffron Walden, Essex. posted this comment on Sunday 12 October 2014 00:02:00.

Hya Ken, Sounds like you're about the same age as me (slightly over 21!) At about the time you're describing (c.1958) I was 13, and a pupil at the nearby Royal Alexandra & Albert school at Gatton Park. It was a boarding school, and if we'd been 'good' during the week, we were allowed out on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. As a keen train spotter, on summer Saturdays I'd go to Redhill station to indulge myself with the many extra steam passenger excursions, usually heading for the south coastal resorts, 'snapping them with my Kodak 'Brownie 127' camera, and on Sundays I would head for Merstham station and goods yards, for the freight trains, which were also steam. At that time I was also getting the taste for smoking, and there was an old-fashioned (to us now) tobacconist nearby who quite knowingly sold us packets of 5 cigarettes ("Park Drive" mostly) for I think 10d or so, plus a box of Bryant & May's matches. I/we used to congregate on the footbridges over the tracks where the engines were shunting where we lit up, the idea being that should we be observed, it might be passed off with the shunting engine's emissions! Maybe it was different during the weekdays, but Merstham on those quiet Sundays always seemed like a sleepy backwater, where nothing much happened between us lot arriving at start of school term, and leaving at the end for holidays. Oh to go back those 55 yrs again!



This image was uploaded on Saturday 31 October 2009 14:19:21.

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Image number 3084
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Merstham Station. 1913. C.H. Adamstone.


This image was uploaded on Saturday 03 April 2004 19:56:04.

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Image number 3085
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Merstham Railway Station. S.E.C.R. Circa 1910.

Comment 1

Ken Ball from Merstham posted this comment on Saturday 19 January 2013 17:09:00.

I can remeber standing on this bridge on many occasions 50/55 years ago and waiting for the steam engines to pass underneath. Also standing on the uncovered bridge over the sidings, no longer there, and watching the Brighton Belle and "posh" steam engines go past on the fast line.


Comment 2

Robert ('Bob') Hill from Saffron Walden, Essex. posted this comment on Sunday 12 October 2014 01:18:00.

Yes Ken, me too - and so glad that you've reinforced my memory, as I sometimes think back and wonder, "was that really so?" or "did I really do that?" Yes, in this age of everything sanitized, there's not much 'fun' left, such as we could enjoy back in those days when even motorways were hardly heard of, unlike now! I think much of the area of Merstham station and the old goods shunting yards from my 1950s schooldays has disappeared under the concrete of the mighty and all-devouring M25/M23 interchange, rendering the once-tranquil days that you and I remember as much a relic of the past as this wonderfully atmospheric photo!



This image was uploaded on Sunday 01 February 2004 00:24:01.

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Image number 3086
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Merstham Station. Unknown date. Unknown publisher.


This image was uploaded on Saturday 01 November 2003 18:39:41.

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Image number 3087
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Upside Merstham Station S.E.R. 1905. Unknown publisher.


This image was uploaded on Saturday 12 March 2016 22:08:06.

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Image number 3088
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Merstham Station. Unknown date. Unknown publisher.

Comment 1

eric tarrant from shropshire posted this comment on Friday 27 November 2009 17:39:00.

I found all of the pictures interesting. But the signal box has a great interest. I have one of the signal levers from the box and most of the lever plates I.D s I also have a cable ajusting wheel with LBSR stamped on it also removed from the old signak box. As a boy I stood by the old box many time colecting loco names and numbers.



This image was uploaded on Friday 03 August 2007 22:45:27.

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