Addlestone Historical Society

Pictures of Addlestone

The Wey Navigation, from 1653

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

The Wey Navigation at Addlestone, the first true canal in England since Roman times.An Act of Parliament in 1651 approved the canal's course from Weybridge to Guildford (laterextended south) and it opened to traffic in 1653, bypassing the River Wey's meander to thesouth.

Granny Berry, c.1880

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker)

Granny Berry, seen outside the Duke's Head, Addlestone, c. 1880. The 1861 Censusrecords her as a widow, living in Church Road with her 7-year-old son, and her occupation as hawker. She is reputed to have lived to the age of 104.

Marsh Lane, Addlestone, c. 1910.

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker) Marsh Lane was still a country lane in the early years of this century, with open land on either side. The northern end was built up by the mid-1930s.

The first motor omnibus through the Addlestone district, c.1914.

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker)

This 26-seater bus of the Guildford and District Motor Services is outside the White Hart, New Haw. Their 30 h.p. Dennis vehicle was taken over by the Aldershot and District Company in 1915.

A. J. Norris's Delivery Cart, Addlestone, 1920s.

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker)

Day Trippers, Station Road, Addlestone, c. 1921.

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker)

Residents of Alexandra Road starting out on a charabanc outing.

Addlestone Carnival Float c. 1929.

(An Addlestone Album, copyright Jocelyn and David Barker)

Typical of the decorated vehicles prepared for the procession was this "coster" cart. The slogan urging support for home industries reflected the prevailing economic situation.

Barge passing through lock on the Wey Navigation, 1950s

(Transport, copyright Michael Palmer)

The horses are resting while the barge passes through the first lock on the Wey Navigation. The tow path can clearly be seen.

House of John Cree, c.1820s

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

This house, in High Street, Addlestone, was built for his son by John Cree, the famous Addlestone horticulturalist, who owned a nursery where the National Westminster Bank now stands. In 1829 he published "Hortus Addlestonensis", a catalogue detailing his extensive stock of plants and shrubs.

Keighley Cottage, Addlestone, Methodist church from 1885

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

Keighley Cottage, No. 47, Simplemarsh Road, Addlestone, looks like a chapel and indeed was the Methodist centre from 1885 to 1897, when their present church was opened in Station Road.

Coxes Lock Mill, 1777-1983

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

Coxes Lock Mill, Addlestone, being converted into a residential complex in 1989. From 1777 the water of the mill pond was used to power an iron mill, originally built by the Wealden iron masters Raby and Rodgers, which operated on the site until 1832. It was rebuilt as corn and silk mills by 1835. The massive mill and silo buildings were erected during the first decade of the 20th century. Flour milling ceased in 1983.

Woburn Park Hotel, Addlestone, built 1884.

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

Woburn Park Hotel, built 1884 adjacent to Addlestone railway station, about the same time as the shops to the west of the crossing. This was then known as The Broadway, but is now Station Road. There is still a plaque with the old name over one of the shops. The Woburn Park Hotel was demolished in September, 1993

St. Augustine's School, Albert Road, Addlestone, built 1882

(Addlestone Town Trail, copyright Addlestone Historical Society)

St. Augustine's School, Albert Road, Addlestone, built 1882 and demolished 1987. It was originally a dual-purpose church and school, the first St. Aigistine's Church at this end of Addlestone. This function ceased when the second St. Augstine's Church, known as "The Tin Church" was built the other side of the Weybridge Road. It continued as a school, however, until in the 1960s when it became the nursery annexe of Darley Dene School. It finally closed in 1983.

A detailed curriculum is given in the early part of the logbook. For instance, in 1895 the Upper Division had the following "object lessons": Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Cow, Bear, Beaver, Camel, Sheep, Reindeer, Goat, Squirrel, Eagle, Ostrich, Parts of a river, Mountains and hills, Winter, Tea, Sugar, Wheat, Coal, Money, An Apple, An Orange, Cork, Soap, A Book, The Hand, A Letter, Railway Station, The Baker, Post Office, Stories of Animals.

In 1901-1902 we seem to get more advanced concepts: ELEMENTARY SCIENCE: Soap, Sugar and Chalk, A Brick, Sand, A Candle, Coal, Lead, Iron, Water, Plants and growing things, How plants grow, How seeds grow. OBJECT LESSONS IN GEOGRAPHY: First ideas of a plan, plans of local surfaces, first ideas of proportion and distance, Lessons on Scale, the Four Cardinal Points. ANIMAL KINGDOM: The Fox, the Honey Bee, the Spider, the Shrimp, the Herring.

During the second world war children spent quite a lot of time in the adjoining air raid shelters, in very cramped conditions as the shelters were even smaller than the school.

Plan of the site of Taylor and Penton (John Lewis Partnership) drawn 1946

Copyright: John Lewis Partnership

The Taylor and Penton furniture factory in Addlestone (formerly a leather factory). Note the position of St. Augustine's Church. This is the second St. Augustine's (the "Tin Church") on the site of the present Mormon church. The present St. Augustine's is in Albert Road.

Taylor and Penton (John Lewis Partnership), Addlestone, 1957

Copyright: John Lewis Partnership

Wood cutting in the wood factory, Addlestone.

Expansion at Addlestone

From the John Lewis Partnership Gazette, 30th June 1962

JONELL BEDDING; Jonell kitchen furniture; Jonell quilts; all these are made at Addlestone.

Just after the war, the Partnership bought a seven-acre factory site there (and recently sold a small part of it for more than the original price). It had a variety of old buildings on it, including a "chapel", a factory that had made Vickers parts during the war, and a sort of shed at the back that had mass-produced darts for the N.A.A.F.I. Some 40 Partners moved out there, mainly from Clearings, and began to make bedding; one man and two boys were employed m making wooden divan frames.


Now, there are about 40 Partners working in the wood factory alone; the same number on bedding, 25 on quilts, and about 30 on soft furnishings. This sort of expansion has quickly outgrown the existing buildings; and Addlestone has recently been celebrating a rebuilding milestone in its short history. A completely new factory has just been completed for the Wood section; quilts and soft furnishings have moved in there too from their cramped temporary quarters; some of the old buildings have been demolished altogether, and the Bedding factory has had a face-lift.

Last Thursday the Chairman and other Central Management Partners visited the site to see the factories in operation; the previous Saturday. Addlestone Partners were invited to bring their families and friends to see round. The whole site was open to the visitors; 2 display of the latest products had The new factory has been arranged in the new factory; and some of the Partners there had turned their skilful hands to cake-making in honour of the occasion.

Wood factory

The new wood factory, where Jonell kitchen furni:ure is made, represents a big investment of Partnership money (about £75,000). lt was specially designed by a factory architect; it is built in attractive soft yellow brick, with weather-boarding under the ridge roofs, and Ilex green (Partnership green, to the initiated) on the woodwork. Very streamlined and elegant it looks, too. Inside, it is open, spacious and clean-all the dust and waste from the various processes is sucked into pipes that swirl it away for safe disposal outside: dust can be explosive if it is allowed to collect.

The progress of the work inside is streamlined too, to save time and effort. Wood from all over the world arrives in the receiving dock at the front: Parana pine that has been floateddown the Parana river in Brazil, Yugoslavian beech birch from Finland and Russia, mahogany, and many more.

The next stage is to saw it up; then it goes to machines that plane it, shape it, and whirr it into dovetailing for drawers or mortice-and-tenon joints for strong frames - all automatic, and all accurate at least to 1/32 of an inch. It then goes to the sanding machine which has a continuous belt 6 inches wide and 26 feet long to smooth down the surfaces.

Then the carcases are assembled. with glue, or with the new pneumatic tacker that virtuitlly staples panels on to a frame, more accurately, quickly and evenly than can be done by hand. Next they pass through the spray shop and emerge in gay modern colours, looking suddenly recognisable as Jonell kitchen furniture. In the final assembly bay they are finished off; and by this time they have reached the back of the building, are keenly inspected, and then out through the back doors on to the vans for Clearings.

It's not quite so simple as it sounds, however: production is in lots of a hundred at a time; with thirty-five articles in

the complete range, each with drawers, shelves, tops, handles and so on, and each produced in several colours, the operation takes a good deal of organisation.

Quilts at speed

The quilting and soft furnishing sections are also housed in the new building; they too have modern mechanical aids, like the automatic quilter which will complete a Terylene quilt with a diamond pattern in three and a half minutes. Addlestone sends out some two hundred quilts a week, and up to seven hundred cushions; and is making a name for itself in the art of making-up curtains.

The bedding factory, still in the old building, has been transformed: the old gloomy corrugated frontage has been

yellow-washed and re-faced to match the new factory. Here mattresses and divans are made, in a series of intricate processes, from coils of apparently ordinary wire, lengths of fabric, and rolls of stuffing.

Spring song

One machine, the Swiss-designed coiler-and-knotter, sucks in wire from a flat coil, chops and twists it noisily inside, and spews out electrically-tempered shaped springs, neatly knotted top and bottom; it gets through over a ton of wire a day. Next to it, the assembler arranges these springs in rows and feeds another wire in and out through them in a long coil to hold them together.

These are "open-unit" springs; upstairs, they make the more expensive pocketed springs, for ' clipped-pocket" mattresses. l-or these the wire is .oiled inlo all unknotted "barrel" spring which is the same width all the way down. Each spring is then stitched by machine into its own little pocket in a long strip of material. These are then clipped together, but the springs each act independently - which means that the whole mattress doesn't sag when you sit on one bit of it.

Or there are honeycomb. springs they are much smaller and are sewn by hand into individual bags to make the most luxurious mattress of all. It was one of these mattresses that recently prompted a grateful customer to write that he was at last sleeping soundly after years of wakefulness, and had even thrown away his sleeping pills.

Finishing off

Whatever the type of springs the next stage is to put the mattress cover, or the divan, round them, sewing the edge down so that they will stay firm through years of use. Then the automatic buttoning machine takes over to put in those little buttons top and bottom that hold the filling firm. The needle and twine automatically shoot up, round and down gathering up two buttons en route and tying them down with bowline knots, all in a matter of seconds-you could watch it for hours.

The compression tufter gets the same result in a rather different way: it clamps the mattress tightly so that a 17-inch needle threaded with a short metal-ended tag can be jabbed through. The needle is then twisted to release the tag, and in one movement the "jiffy tuft" is in place and is held firmly by its metal ends on either side of the mattress.

With their factories, their machines and their no less impressive manual skills. Addlestone Partners may seem far removed from retailing; but (provided you know the road, it isn't far to Clearings, and every day they send up two van- loads of lonell products that go from there to Partnership shops all over the country. They are doing an importanl job and we wish them the best of success in their new factory.

Taylor and Penton (John Lewis Partnership), Addlestone, 1974

Copyright: John Lewis Partnership

The main gates of the factory during the flood of 16th November 1974.