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Image number 3079
oldmerstham.com 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


Comment 6

Sara Harris, nee Prentice from Seaford, East Sussex posted this comment on Saturday 03 April 2021 21:11:50.

I am sorry that it has taken so long for me to visit this site again (3/4/21) Alas, my mother died at the end of November, 2016 just over a month short of her 104th birthday and still totally mentally alert. I encouraged her to dictate her memories of India to me and I still have the typescript.



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