Merstham High Street

This site is under construction. Please revisit from time to time to check progress.

The purpose of this website is to gather together memories of how people remember the High Street - which shop was where, who used to occupy the various shops, and so on. The majority of the information currently available comes from Trade Directories and Electoral Rolls.

Any memories that you have would be very welcome, and should be sent to

The High Street in 1964

For the purposes of this site, the High Street extends from "The Feathers" to Station Road (the former Barclays Bank) on the east and, on the west side, from the track to the new Home Farm development to the site of the old Cottage of Content. In most cases, information about the occupants of the various properties starts with names obtained from the 1911 census.

For some reason that has not been explained, during the second half of the 20th century the numbering of the buildings along the east side of the High Street was changed: for example, the building that is now Gervase Cottage (next door and to the right of Surrey Flooring) is shown on the 1964 OS map as number 26; its number today is number 30. To avoid any confusion, earlier numbers are shown in red and current numbers in blue. To add a further complication, in the early years of the 20th century properties were often numbered according to the estate plan (practically the entire village was owned by the Jolliffe family at that time); these numbers appear in green.

The Feathers

Merstham was on the main coaching route from London to Brighton, and The Feathers was one of the inns where the horses would be changed (there were stables behind the building). The coach, which would depart from Blossoms Inn, in Cheapside, would take around eight hours to complete the journey to Brighton, and so it is likely that there was at least one other stop besides Merstham. In the latter half of the 19th century it belonged to a Croydon brewery, Nalder & Collyer, which owned over 160 pubs in the local area. It ceased trading in 1936.

Feathers Inn, changing horses

During the first half of the 20th century there were several landlords. Until 1910 the landlord was Mr W E King, but an advertisement in the Surrey Mirror confirms that by September that year Thomas Walker had taken over. He ran the pub with his wife Eva Theodora - they were both from Lancashire and had been married less than a year. There were four 'live-in' staff, of whom only one was local, from Caterham.

John Wakeford (with his wife Edith) was the licensee during the war, but by 1955 a company (Clarke Baker & Co. Ltd) was named as the owner. The Feathers currently belongs to the Classic Inns chain.

In the middle of the 20th century there were seven pubs in the village, but over the years all but one has closed:

"The Feathers" is now the only pub in the village.

34 High Street

Across the public footpath alongside the Feathers (which was formerly the access to the stables) is the first building [40] in the short terrace between The Feathers and the entrance to Salters Cottages. Now a private house, for many years (at least 1911 - 1956) [138] this was a boot-repair shop [34]. In 1911 the owner was Richard Smith, who was originally from Westerham. He ran the shop and lived there together with his wife Emma and sister-in-law Ann Deighton. Of their eight children, three had died and just one - daughter Elizabeth - was living with them. Also living there was a grandson Edward James, who had been born in 1904.

Another of Richard and Emma's children, and brother to Elizabeth, was William Smith, born 6 August 1872 and baptised at St Katharine's on 22 September the same year. 27 years later he married Lilian Russell. Richard died on 29 January 1917 and was buried (at St Katharine's) on 2 February. William, and eventually his son Russell, took over the shop and ran it until at least 1951.

32a High Street

The next doorway is again a private residence - and it leads to the flat above the adjacent shop (no. 32). In 1927 the occupant of the flat was a Mr H Wood, then for several years (1942 - 1948) Mr Walter James Russell lived here. Walter was the brother of Lilian Russell, who had married William Smith, the boot repairer next door. When he left the new occupant (1951 - 1956) was Mr Charles Cook, and he in turn was followed by Mr Henry Whitehead.

32 High Street

The shop on the corner of the short passageway to Salters Cottages is now the village barbers [38], but for many years it was the village butchers [32]. In 1911 the shop-keeper was Harry Ball, who lived there with his wife Olive and their three young children Gordon, Vera and Raymond. A lodger, Augustus Davies, is also shown at this address. From at least 1927 the shop was known as "Thomas Joyce, butcher" but by 1956 it was managed by Arthur Knight. It is likely that Harry retired, as from 1927 he and Olive were living along the road at no. 20.

There is a story that there exists an underground passage under the road that connects with the former slaughterhouse, but this is likely to be apochryphal and probably never existed.

passage to Salters Cottages

Between the (now) barbers and computer shop is a passage that leads to Salters Cottages. This is a short terrace of three small cottages that was originally built as five dwellings for some of the workers on Home Farm.

In 1911 the five cottages were referred to as numbers 174 to 178.The census gives the number of rooms in each dwelling, from which we find that the cottages were not all the same size: the first and third, 174 and 176, each had two rooms, while the two southern-most cottages (177 and 178) had four rooms. The second, 175, had three rooms.

The first was occupied by James Edward Barber (a bricklayer), his wife Eliza, and their two children James Edward and Clara from at least 1911, but the family then moved to No. 142. In 1918, appearing on the Electoral Roll for just one year, the voter living at No. 174 was Charles Stemp. No further information about him has been found. For a few years the house was occupied by Ned and Mabel Belton, but then Ernest and Olive Wilmshurst moved in. They had married as recently as 1921, when Olive was 21 and Ernest was 36. He was a cowman at Home Farm, and they stayed at No. 174 until at least 1956. Ernest died towards the end of 1973, but he was not buried at St Katharine's.

The next cottage [175] had been home to the MORRIS family at the start of the century. Harry, born in Coulsdon, was a 'carter on farm'; he had married Rosina DUNN, from Bletchingley, in 1891. By the time they moved to Merstham they had three children: Sydney (about 1892, although it seems that his birth was not registered), Daisy Rose (1894) and Olive Annie (1895). Two more children were born, and baptised at St Katharine's, while the family was at Salters Cottages: Elvina Alexandra (baptised 28 September 1902) and Winifred May (baptised 30 October 1904). A sixth child, born probably between Olive and Elvina, died in infancy. Some time after Winifred's birth the family moved to Caterham.

Their place at 175 was taken by the the Stripp family. Thomas was a carter at the farm, and his wife of eight years was Ellen May. The 1911 census records five children, all under nine: Frederick George (1903), Albert (1905), Thomas Herbert (1907), Georgie (1909), and Lily Mary (1910). On 25 June 1911 three of the children (Albert, George, and Lily) were baptised at St Katharine's. This cottage was also home to William Hughes, a 44-year-old farm labourer, who lodged there. By 1914 the Stripp family had moved to No. 143, and the occupant of 175 was Charles Stacey; but by the end of the war he had moved, to be replaced by Alfred and Eliza Wheatley. They too stayed only a few years, for by 1922 Herbert Henry Boggis and his wife Ellen Daisy had taken up residence. Before the War they had lived at Pondtail Farm, at Brockham, where Herbert was a cowman. They had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, Reginald Allan (Allan was Ellen's maiden name), was married from Salters Cottages on 10 February 1923; he was a Private in the Royal Marines and had, presumably, joined up for the War. His bride, whose address was given as the same (175 Salters Cottages), was Lilian Janetta BILKE; perhaps she was staying with her future in-laws prior to the wedding. Later the same year, on 17 November, the elder daughter, Violet Esther, married Frederick James PARMENTER. The family remained at this address until at least 1939; their younger son, Leonard, was a 'gardener at a private lady'; he was aged 24.

The middle house of the terrace [176] was occupied by the HILLIER family at the turn of the century. George Alfred Hillier had been born in Wiltshire in 1868. Towards the end of 1885 he married Jane WIMBLETON, who was just 17, from Reading. They initially lived at Oxshott, where their first two children were born - Emily in the first quarter of 1886, and Albert George 15 months later. Their third child, Frederick, was born at Wandsworth in 1887, before they moved south again to Coulsdon. Two more children here: Henry William (1891) and Edith Alice (1897). After her birth they moved again, this time to Merstham, for the birth of Lilian Pretoria. A seventh child, Sydney Charles Wimbledon, was born towards the start of 1899 but died within six months and was buried at St Katharine's on 29 July. Within the next year or so they had moved away.

Martin LEWINGTON, who had grown up living in Jolliffe Row with his parents, married Emily BISHOP early in 1902. She was local, from Caterham, and they started their married life in 176 Salters Cottages. Their son Herbert Frank was born early in 1904 and baptised at St Katharine's on 14 February. a member of the long-established Batters family - Rachel. Although she had been married for 19 years, her husband was not listed on the census. Of their seven children, one had died but five were living with her at Salters Cottages. Twenty years later, in 1935, the occupant was William Henry Auton with his wife Annie and daughter Phyllis, but by 1948 the occupant was Leonard Victor Hills. During the late 1950s Ronald Medhurst lived at this address.

Next to Rachel, at no. 177, was George Henry King, a 40-year-old farm labourer. Althbough he and his wife Catherine had been married for five years, they had no children.

The last cottage in the row [178] was home to Walter Wickham and his wife Emily. He was another farm worker, a cowman. They had been married for 11 years (in 1911) and had five children, all of whom were still with their parents. They were also providing a home for Alfred Finch, another cowman.

The former Baptist Chapel

The building on the next corner is now a computer shop. The first building on this site was a Baptist chapel [30], built in 1874 with help from the chapel at Redhill. The congregation met there until 1958, when a new site (on Weldon Way) was made available. The building was demolished, and a new commercial shop [36] built by Mr Jim Francis.

What was it before it became the village computer shop?

28 High Street

Next door to the former chapel was the village Post Office. It was run by Mrs Florence Emmeline Cecile Beswick, a 47-year-old widow, and her daughter Gladys Dorothy. Florence's husband Arthur had died in 1896.

By 1927 it had become a confectioners, presided over by Mr Alfred Evans [28]. He was there until at least 1956 with his wife Rose. It is now a shop [32] selling flooring, tiles, and carpeting.

28a High Street

The inconspicous door to the right of the flooring shop gives access to the flat above. It is clearly labelled 32. In 1927 it was home to a Mr H Wood.

During the war years Walter James Russell lived over the sweet-shop. He was a 'Railway Booking porter (trained as signalman)' and in 1939 had been living at 4 Railway Cottages with Henry Bignall and his wife Ethel. Walter had been born in 1904 at Cuckfield, in Sussex, and early in 1940 he married Edith Bates there.

In the 1950s the flat was occupied by Charles Cook.

Gervase Cottage

The dwelling now known as Gervase Cottage [30] [137] was formerly the village baker [26]. In 1911 the proprietor was George Robert Partridge. He was assisted by his wife Mildred, who was from Chelsfield in Kent, and by a 14-year-old niece Blanche Christian Arnot. A son George Harry and two daughters, Ena Kathleen and Mabel, completed the household. Both George and Mildred were buried at St Katharine's; Mildred on 13 March 1924 and George four years later on 8 June 1928.

From at least 1927 to 1937 the shop was run by Mr Evan Addison and his wife Rose.

At the beginning of the war it was empty, but by 1948 it had been converted into a private dwelling and was occupied by Mr Sydney Matthewman. During the early 1960s Sydney and his wife Phyllis moved to Albury Edge West (in Rockshaw Road - see for more details. Another tenant in the same building remembers him as 'an eccentric character, often dressed in jodhpurs and a heavy wool jacket, and wearing a monocle'.

Gable House

Hunger's End

In 1911 the next two buildings, the one now known as Gable House [24] and the shop Hunger's End [26] were one concern; the building, which on the ground floor was a grocer's shop, had ten rooms in all and was occupied by a branch of the Underwood family. Ralph and William were grocers and drapers, sons of William who was listed as a 'retired grocer and draper'. Edith Agnes and Margaret completed the family, and also living there were assistants Albert Arnold and Ronald Mitchell, shown as 'draper' and 'grocer' respectively. One servant, Emma Amy Bignall, presumably 'lived in'. Ralph and William were still here in 1939, along with their sisters Edith and Margaret.

By 1951 the shop had been taken over by the South Surburban Co-operative Society, and at some time during the following few years it was divided to be as we see it today. Henry Burt, a dispensing optician and also a 'registered medical auxiliary', was shown at no. 24 while the larger portion of the building remained as a grocery store, albeit now as a branch of the SSCS.

Margaret Underwood died around 1952, and William died in 1954, followed by Edith two years later. Ralph died the following year. None of the four siblings had married, and so there were no children to carry on the family business.

The glazed door at the extreme left of the Hunger's End coffee shop gives access to the offices on the floor above.

Merstham Glass Ltd

The next shop along the road [20] was a 'General shop', presided over by Fanny Blaker and her daughter Kitty. This building had only four rooms (in 1911) and so must have been only part of what is now Merstham Glass Ltd.

The right-hand half [135] had a further four rooms, and appears to have been a private dwelling: it was occupied by 77-year-old Caroline Hall and her 37-year-old unmarried daughter Cora.

The 1939 Register shows only one dwelling here, and it is apparent that the present-day Merstham Glass Ltd shop is not an amalgamation of two earlier buildings, so possibly the two former buildings had been pulled down and rebuilt. The occupants of no. 20 were Harry E Ball, a retired butcher (he was 66), and his wife Olive, who was 58; she is shown as a grocer and greengrocer. They had moved here from no. 32 some ten years earlier. Olive's maiden name had been Blaker; it is likely that she was the daughter of Fanny next door.

Olive died on 2 February 1941, and was buried at St Katharine's. Harry survived her by 14 years and joined her in 1955, followed by their son Gordon (1984) and his wife Gwen in 1988. Harry and Olive's daughter Vera was buried in the same grave in 1990.

Flint Cottage

The dwelling on the corner, originally no. 18 but now no. 22, is known as Flint Cottage. In 1911 this was another grocer's shop, with William Slogrove and his wife Ruth Ellen in residence. Their unmarried daughter Edith Jane, aged 29, lived with them but their five other children had left home; their eldest son, another William, was to lose his life just after the end of the First World War. William was originally from Ashdon (Essex), while Ruth came from Gainsborough.

William and Ruth, together with son William, are buried in St Katharine's churchyard: William died 31 May 1915, Ruth on 31 March 1930, and son William on 3 December 1918.

By 1927, and probably well before this date, the shop had been taken over by Frederick Barwell, a tailor. He lived there with his wife Kathleen and their son Alan. As well as being a 'master tailor', Frederick was also a Special Constable.

From 1955 the occupant was Raymond Ball, presumably the son of Harry and Olive Ball who had lived next door until Harry's death in that year.

The next group of shops, between the two Station Roads, was not there in 1911, although somewhere on that block there were several buildings, one of which was South Lodge, home to Dr Walter Weir, the GP for the village. He had been born at Upper Norwood, and had been baptised at St John the Evalgelist on 18 December 1885. His father, also Walter, was a physician, and the baptism register had been signed by D. William Weir, perhaps an uncle. He married Ruth Maude Bell at Stratford (on Avon), her home town, early in 1911, and so they had only very recently moved to Merstham.

Another building close by was the village Dairy, presided over by Albert Daws, the dairyman. He was local to Merstham, but his wife Theresa, who helped him in the work, came from Berkshire. Before moving to Merstham they had lived in Guildford, where their one daughter, Lilian, had been born.

Close by the Dairy was Dairy Cottage. In 1911 this was occupied by Robert Maynard, a 61-year-old widower. He was a labourer.

The shops along the reaminder of the High Street - that is, those between the two Station Roads - were not renumbered: the numbers they bear today, in the 21st century, are the numbers shown on the 1964 map. They therefore appear in black.

The Salon

By 1927 the shop on the corner, No. 16, was another grocer; this one was Uridge's, and was run by Miss M L Uridge. This was Minnie Louisa; she had been born in the Lewisham area in January 1881 and died in 1963 at Deptford. From at least 1935 the shop was in the hands of George Uridge (brother?). The shop was known as Uridge's until at least 1956.

Newtons No. 12

The next building to the south seems to have combined both No. 14 and 12.

No. 12 and 14

The map to the right shows the High Street as it was in 1964, and it seems clear that between the two Station Roads there was one building divided into three separate premises, Nos. 16, 14 and 12. The right-hand shop (12) was (as can be seen from the map) Lloyds Bank, and so the centre part (14) may have been living accommodation which was called (at least during the war years) 'Bank House'.

Although Lloyds Bank was here from at least 1927, there doesn't appear to have been any resident until 1937, when Kelly's Directory showed Ernest Wilson and his wife, Lucy, at this address. Ernest was a blacksmith; by 1942 he and Lucy had gone and Mrs F L Costa was living here. By the end of the war she too had gone, replaced by Mr Sydney John Forrest.

In the latter years of the 20th century, and until about 2015, 12 and 14 together formed a music shop called Newton's, as can be seen from the photograph. After remaining empty for some time, this building is now being conberted into a Boxing Gym.

Just south of the former Lloyds Bank there was a footpath through to the station (this is shown on the map). This space is now occupied by a curtain shop.

Curtain shop

The last small group of shops on this side of the High Street appears to have been built as one block, and is arranged as three shop units with a doorway in between each pair of shops (see map above.

10 High Street

For many years before and during the war the next building to the south, No. 10, was a drapers shop, run by Benjamin Clark and his wife Alice, but the year after the end of the war it became a Ladies' Hairdresser. An advertisement in the Surrey Mirror reveals that it opened on 11 February 1946, and it was called Hearnden's. It remained in business for at least ten years before becoming the village Post Office, after this moved from its earlier site in Station Road. Some years later it moved again, although not far - just one shop along, to No. 6.

In the early years of the 21st century No. 10 served as an Off Licence, run by the family that owned the newsagents on the corner at the top of School Hill. After standing empty for a couple of years it was taken over as a second Barber's shop.

No. 8 (this is the white door between the two shops) led, presumably, to the living accommodation above, which was home to Benjamin and Alice. Alice Chipperton had married Benjamin Clarke in 1918; the 1939 Register shows him as a 'Builder's clerk'. It seems that they were running the draper's shop for most of the war years, but the Directory for 1955 shows just Alice at No. 8.

6 High Street

During the war the occupant of No. 6, the centre shop, was Benjamin Clark - for a few years around 1942 the Electoral Registers show him as the voter at all three addresses, 6, 8, and 10. For a short while after the end of the war this shop sold antiques, with Percy Wiley behind the counter, but throughout most of the 1950s it sold wools and baby linen. In 1951 it was known as "Pamela's", but later it was called "Annette" and run by Mrs F M Faulkner. No. 6 was, at the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st, the village Post Office. After a brief existence as a shop selling antiques and other miscellaneous items, it is currently waiting for a new occupant.

Like No. 8, No. 4 gives access to the flat above. Unlike No. 8, though, this seems to have been separate living accommodation with no connection to the shops below.

At the start of the war the voters listed were Mr Frederick Rigby, an engineer, Ellen Birt (director and secretary) and Ethel Skinner, so it is likely that No. 4 was an office, rather than a domestic dwelling. From 1942, and possibily slightly earlier, this flat was occupied by Cyril Stanway, and he remained there until the early 1950s, when Mrs F M Faulkner, the owner of the wool shop at No. 6, took up residence.

2 High Street

No.2 High Street, the unit on the corner of Station Road (south), was a branch of Barclays Bank from at least 1927. During the 1950s the manager was Mr Geoffrey C Bacon. Later in the 20th century it was an insurance broker's, proprietor Peter Miles; later still it enjoyed a brief, but very popular, incarnation as a coffee shop / art gallery. Currently (2020) it is a 'Pizza Place'.

Below Station Road, in what we now know as School Hill, between the main road and the former Shaftesbury House, was a row of small cottages. Most had just four rooms, although No. 134 had six.

The first of these, No.135, was occupied by Abraham Bylett and his wife Sarah. Living with them was Ann (shown as a sister, but likely to have been his sister-in-law) and her son Edward. Edward was a carter, and his uncle Abraham an estate labourer.

Their neighbour, at No. 134, was John Durling, a gardener. Both he and his wife Martha were from Kent, but their three children had all been born in the village.

The next cottage was home to George Sampson Anderson, who was a coachman. He had been born in Norfolk, and just four years earlier had married Agnes Jane Bryne, who was from Wareham, in Dorset; their marriage had been registered in Bromley. They already had two children: George (2) and James (9 months).

At No. 132 was Mary Allen, a 63-year-old widow, and her son Percy, who was shown on the census form as a 'general labourer'. Also in the cottage was 5-year-old Eileen Allen. She is described as a 'boarder', but is likely to have been a relation of some sort.

These four dwellings are the only ones shown in this part of the High Street in 1911.

Cottage of Content On the western side of the High Street, the first building (from the south) was the Cottage of Content. It had been one of the local pubs in the village since at least 1840. In 1911 (photograph) this was managed (owned?) by James Arthur Bish. He was local, having been born at Earlswood in 1882, but his wife Emily Eliza was from Wangford, in Suffolk. James and Emily were still running the pub in 1918, but by 1927 it had been taken over by Benjamin Wilkinson and his wife Jemima. They were there for many years, until at least 1956 although in the latter years their son had taken over the licence following the retirement and death of his parents (Jemima died in November 1941 aged 83, Benjamin died six years later at the age of 90; both are buried in the 'new' churchyard).

Elm Cottages

Next to the pub was a short cul-de-sac at right-angles to the main road, with a row of cottages along the northern side known as Elm Cottages. The cottages were numbered 121 - 127 on the estate plan, but by the time of the 1939 Register the numbers had become 1 - 7. Most of them had just three rooms, although 1 and 6 had four rooms. The cottages are still there today, although the terrace of the seven earlier cottages has been converted into four rather larger dwellings. The photograph shows a view from the far end of the terrace, looking toward the High Street.

7 Elm Cottages [127]

In 1911 the occupant was Maria Louisa Burrows, a 53-year-old widow. Her husband, John, had died in 1902 although he had been only 42. With Maria were three of her sons, one daughter, and two grandchildren. The eldest son, Albert (26), was employed as a gamekeeper. He was also widowed; he had married Eliza Alice Livett in 1908, but she died within only a few months. Her death occurred while she was in the 'Rural Isolation Hospital' so it is likely that she was suffering from something highly infectious, perhaps tuberculosis. She had been buried at St Katharine's on 21 November 1908. Maria died on 2 February 1924. Both Maria and John are buried at St Katharine's.

By the end of the war the cottage was home to Arthur and Beatrice Maud Belton, who had married in 1909. Arthur was a groom by profession, and came from Outwood, while Beatrice came from Whitstable. Before the war they had been living in Horley with Arthur's mother, Ann.

They did not remain at Elm Cottages for many years, for by the summer of 1920 the residents were William Oliver and his wife Elizabeth Mary. They had married only recently, towards the end of 1918; Elizabeth's maiden name was Morley and it is possible that she was the daughter of John and Rose, who until recently had lived at No. 124. A few years later they had been joined by Francis and Edith Stone, but by 1927 the Oliver family seem to have been the sole residents. They didn't remain here for much longer, for by 1930 they had moved to 29 Brook Road; and ten years later they moved again, but this time a much shorter distance - along Brook Road to no. 21.

From around 1927 William and Stella Biggs had moved into the cottage, and they were there until at least 1955. Little is known about this couple, other than they had been born in 1892 and 1900 respectively. They had not been married, neither was either buried, at the local church.

6 Elm Cottages [126]

Next door to Maria and her family in 1911 were Thomas Hughes, his wife Fanny, and son Thomas. Thomas senior was a carter, employed at the Lime Works. He had been born at Ipswich, and Fanny at Bentley, in Essex, as Fanny Elizabeth Cason. Their marriage had taken place in the Guildford area towards the end of 1890, and their daughter Fanny May was born at Shalford (near Godalming) in December the following year. The family then moved to Merstham, where Thomas was born; he was baptised at St Katharine's on 30 June 1895. The family remained in the village for many years. In 1911 son Thomas was an 'under-gardener', and his sister Fanny was employed as a housemaid, and 'living in' at Oakwood, in Rockshaw Road, working for Percy Savill. By the end of the war, in 1918, Thomas and Fanny had moved a few doors along, to No. 122.

The electoral roll for 1918 does not show anyone living here, but two years later several people of voting age were shown: John and Louisa Snelling, Percy William Aden, and Charles Lark. Nothing is known of Percy, but towards the end of the 1920s Charles was living at 'The Mill'. John Snelling had married Sarah Louisa Bates in the Haslemere / Godalming area in 1912. In 1918 they had been living at Salters Cottages before they moved to Elm Cottages. This must have been a temporary lodging for them in 1920, because they disappeared from the Electoral Roll for several years, reappearing in 1927 at No. 69 Worsted Green. However, the following year they had moved back to Elm Cottages, but this time to No. 124.

By 1922 No. 126 had become home to a branch of the King family, who had moved from No. 123, and they remained here until the start of the next World War. James Thomas was the son of James and Eliza, and he had married Mary Grace Peto on 27 November 1920 in St Mark's church at Peaslake. The marriage was witnessed by Mary Ann King and Frederick Charles King, James' sister and brother. Mary had been born on 11 June 1886, and baptised on 5 September along with her twin sister Margaret Ida. At the time their address was 'Smoky Hole', Peaslake.

James and Mary had no children, but the 1939 Register (taken just before the outbreak of war) shows that Anthony Edmund Stocking was living in the house with them. He had been born in Lewisham in 1925, but his relationship to the King family (if any) isn't known.

Following the deaths of both his parents, in about 1940 James and Mary moved along the road to No. 3. No. 6 became the residence of Herbert and Ellen Boggis. They had lived at Salters Cottages since at least 1922 before they moved to Elm Cottages, where they remained until at least 1951.

5 Elm Cottages [125]

This cottage was home to George and Rosanna Wickham (age 71 and 68 respectively) in 1911, together with son Henry (37), a grandson George (18), a 32-year-old lodger, William Reed, and Sarah Winch, a servant. All were from either Surrey or Sussex, with the sole exception of Rosanna, who came from Scotland. The three younger men were all farm workers, presumably at Home Farm: William was a shepherd, and George a cowman, working under his father who was the head cowman.

None of the family appear to have been buried in the local graveyard. Perhaps they moved away, for at the end of the first World War this cottage was occupied by James King, who a couple of years later moved to his parents' cottage at No. 123 before marrying and moving yet again to No. 126.

By 1920 Elizabeth Best and Emma King were the residents at 125. Emma, who had been born on 9 March 1857, was the elder sister of the James Thomas King at No. 123. The family had been living at Meadvale in 1861, and by 1901 had moved to one of the Noddyshall cottages in Rockshaw Road, probably the one now occupied by Libby and Chris Green. Aged 44, Emma was still single and living with her parents and one of her younger brothers. By 1922 she had moved to No. 125 Elm Cottages, where she remained for the rest of her life. She was buried at St Katharine's on 29 January 1953 aged 95.

Elizabeth had been born Elizabeth Sargeant, and had married Caleb Best in 1861. He died in 1908, and a few years later Elizabeth was living with her son Alfred and his wife in Meadvale. By the end of the war she was living at No. 14 Manor Road, from where she moved to Elm Cottages to join Emma at No. 125; she was there until she died in 1925. Elizabeth was 18 years older than Emma.

4 Elm Cottages [124]

Although No. 124 was just another 3-room cottage, in 1911 John and Rose Morley lived here with seven of their children. John was a carter for a haulage contractor; he and Rose had been married for 25 years. They had 12 children, although two had died in infancy. The ages of the children living with them ranged from Herbert (22) down to Leonard (just three years old). By 1920 the Morleys had moved to 80 Albury Road, and the cottage was occupied by Frederick George Thomas Kenward and William Richard Henley.

Frederick George Thomas Kenward was local, having been born in September 1897 and baptised at St Mary's Reigate six months later. At that time the family was living in Garlands Road and his father, also Frederick George, was a railway porter. By 1911 Frederick George and Louisa, with four of their five children, had moved to Railway Cottages, Merstham, and Frederick (senior) was a railway signalman. On his 18th birthday (so iin 1915) son Frederick enlisted with the Royal Navy for 12 years, and during that time served on five ships. He may have been discharged early, for he appears at 124 Elm Cottages on the Autumn 1920 Electoral Register. A couple of years later he was living at The Lodge, Merstham House.

William had been born near Burgess Hill in 1854. He married Annie Hannah Rayner in 1893; they had just one child, Richard. During the early years of the 20th century they lived at 3 Albert Road, in Reigate, but by 1911 they were living at Spyrs Farm, in Merstham. By the end of the war they were once again living in Albert Road, but this time the one in Merstham, at No. 23. They later moved to live at 124 Elm Cottages, where they remained until 1928, when William died aged 74.

Arthur and Margaret Couzens also appear at 124 for a few years. Arthur had been born on 10 October 1894, at Brighton. In 1911 he was a shop assistant in a hosiery store, and living with his parents at Havelock Road, Brighton. Nine years later, in 1920, he was resident at Cane Hill Mental Hospital (presumably as a member of staff, as a patient there would not have been able to vote). He married Margaret Doyle in 1922 and by 1927 they were living at No. 124 Elm Cottages. By 1930 they had moved to No. 121.

By 1928 John William and Sarah Louisa Snelling had returned to Elm Cottages (see No. 126 above) and they remained here many more years. John died and was buried on 20 September 1935. The 1939 Register shows that the occupants of No. 4 were Sarah Snelling and Dorothy Streeter. Although Dorothy was 25 years younger than Sarah, they both worked in a restaurant as 'cleaner and help'. Sarah died in 1964 aged 85; both she and husband John are buried at St Katharine's, although there is no longer a stone to mark the grave. They lived at Elm Cottages until at least 1956, possibly until 1964 when Sarah died at the age of 84.

3 Elm Cottages [123]

In 1911 the occupants of No. 3 [123] were James and Eliza King. They had been married for 26 years and had three children, all of whom were still living at home with their parents: they were James Thomas (25), Mary Ann (23) and Frederick Charles (13). James (senior) was a carter, as were several of his neighbours. James the younger was an 'engine driver's mate', driving a steamroller for the local Council, while Mary Ann was a domestic servant.

Eliza died on 26 June 1934, aged 70, and the 1939 Register records James as the sole occupant of the cottage. He died the following year, on 15 January 1940, aged 81. Both James and Eliza are buried at St Katharine's. The cottage was then taken over by their son James and his wife Mary. They lived there until at least 1948. Mary died on Christmas Day 1951, and James died in February 1972, aged 86. Both are buried at St Katharine's.

2 Elm Cottages [122]

John and Robert Quiddington, father and son, lived at No. 122in 1911; Harriet, John's wife, had died in 1898 aged just 49. Although John was 75, he was still working as a wheelwright at the Lime Works, and Robert was a bootmaker's assistant. John died two years after the census was taken, in 1913, and both he and Harriet are buried at St Katharine's.

By the end of the war the Hughes family had moved here from No. 126. In 1924 their daughter Fanny May married Frederick Prior, and by 1927 they were living with her parents at No. 122. These both died in the 1940s: Fanny in June 1940 and Thomas in 1946. Both are buried at St Katharine's in the 'new' churchyard.

Frederick and Fanny had both been born in 1893, and following their deaths in 1963 and 1986 respectively they were also buried in the 'new' churchyard.

1 Elm Cottages [121]

The Bullock family were at No. 121 in 1911. This was George Henry (born 1878) and Lilian Maud (born 1884), with two daughters Lilian (3) and Ethel (2). George and Lilian (nee Affleck) had married at Wandsworth in 1906. George was a telephone operator working for the National Telephone Company, presumably at the Telephone Exchange in Station Road. They lived at Elm Cottages until about 1927, from where they moved to Norbury (53 Melrose Avenue).

Following their departure Arthur Henry Couzens and his wife Margaret moved from No. 124, and they remained here until at least 1948.

Old Bicycle Shop

Emerging from the row of Elm Cottages and turning left, to follow the High Street, the dwelling on the corner has a plaque proclaiming it to be 'The Old Bicycle Shop'.