Read the Surrey Ad article here: cranleigh2
The good old Surrey Ad has just produced an article from 1965 giving the impression that everyone objected to the development of Cranleigh 50 years ago, and it’s the same story 50 years on- but actually it isn’t, is it?
We here at the WW have heard from many of Cranleigh’s older folk who take issue with the impression given that they objected to increasing the size of the village – because they didn’t.
Said one: “Not only did we not object to development, most of us welcomed it. Many who bought houses in Cranleigh worked here for major employers right on their doorstep – to name a few.. Hawker Siddeley and then British Aerospace (nobody objected to planes,) Swallow Tiles; Steetley Chemicals; Three separate Cranleigh Brickworks; Hewitts Concrete Works; Cranleigh Public School; The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Orphanage at Nanhurst; the large number of horticultural nurseries in Cranleigh including`: Stotter and Mckay; Silverways Nurseries; The Elmbridge Nursery; West Cranleigh Nurseries and a thriving supply industry through Browns, Freemantles Coal; Howletts Oil; Beadles, Cranleigh Motors; and many other garages, complete with car showrooms. It also had a thriving shopping centre with numerous independent retailers – two large department stores and grocery stores – Gammons; the Co-op; Tylers; David Manns; The London Central; The Forrest Stores and a host of clothing and shoe retailers. It had four major banks, all with managers. HSBC is about to close and is rumoured to be taken over by… yes, you guessed a coffee shop chain!
There were factories: Permarks; Starbucks Stationers; The Windmill Factory; Repaircraft; and goods and materials arrived, and went out by – “train.”
Cranleigh had its own Regal Cinema which showed first releases; and villagers who worked in London and students of schools in Guildford, caught the train at its very own railway station. It had a thriving coach operator in Gastonia Coaches which ran regular trips to the Coast and beyond and a good bus service and taxi service to the outlying villages – all of whom had their own GP practices!
Cranleigh boasted its own Village Hospital – the first in the country, built by public subscription and which carried out minor operations; and dealt with minor injuries. Babies were born there and the elderly and sick died there, or recuperated there after major operations. All cared for by a dedicated team of doctors and nurses that were on call around the clock. Now closed. There was no such thing as an appointment with your GP- you just rocked up and saw a doctor, and if he was needed at night – he turned up on the doorstep, according to one of our Cranleigh followers – “in his pyjamas.”
The borough council built one of the premier sheltered housing units in Surrey at Rowland House and Ivy Hall where a team of wardens’ looked after thousands of Cranleigh’s elderly in their own small flats for very many years thus releasing council homes for young families. All now demolished, and now no sheltered housing exist.
There was a local authority nursing home called Longfields, where villagers could spent their twilight years close to family and friends – now lost, and no promised replacement!
Cranleigh hosted one of the largest Agricultural Shows in the country on the Knowle Park, shared for decades by its owners with villagers for recreation.
New Schools were built at Park Mead; and Glebelands, before development, with ample sports facilities. Now Cranleigh’s young children are in a school using the very same toilets they used 60 yeas ago! Villagers raised the funds to build the swimming pool, kept its hospital going through the League of Friends, until its closure, and converted the old school into the thriving Arts Centre it is to-day. Its sewage works was increased to cope with demand – not expected to dump two Olympic swimming sized pools of effluent into the Cranleigh Waters – where villagers once fished!
So NO – 50 years on – nothing is the same, say our mounting band of Cranleigh followers!
And.. is it any wonder Waverley has the highest proportion of serious allergy sufferers in all of the United Kingdom!