JUST for once I’ll start at the bottom and work upwards because the first and oldest of these pictures (top left) and several others suffer the very frequent problem of bearing no dates or details.

However, number one, bottom right, is a scene you will recognise: the Chapel Street cottages, and with two ladies, straight out of the 1930s, toddling along.

The yard behind the double gates and the building bearing a sign board were shared by blacksmith Henry Collins and wheelwright Joseph Green.

Number two was in Quoiting Square adjacent to the Clayton Arms, and is Albert Smith & Son, one of the longest lasting local blacksmiths.

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When the demand for more traditional services declined they moved towards wrought iron work, up until their line of cottages was demolished and replaced by a modern office building.

Number three might seem an odd choice for a blacksmith picture, also being in Quoiting Square and showing celebrations for the 1935 Royal Jubilee.

(This picture appeared in the first of the “Trip Back In Time” booklets and I cheekily entitled it Inaugural Meeting Of The Marlow Vegetarian Society!)

In fact it is the only picture that I have showing, to the rear, the premises of Dray and Co. Smiths & Engineers.

They had taken over the business from a former blacksmith John Blackwell.

The many blacksmiths of Marlow

The many blacksmiths of Marlow

In the picture wearing a trilby hat is Garnett White from Lowgrounds Farm, from the same family as John White and Rachel Brown, née White.

Later this became Platt’s Radio & TV shop but is now Back In Action.

Number four and five are of Marlow best known blacksmiths - Hillsdons, with yards listed in Wethered Road, Dean Street and long before that in Spittal Street, the latter premises, I think I am correct, being on the corner before the first cinema was built.

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The young lad behind the wheel (Wethered Road) is Terry Hillsdon who gave me this picture 15 years ago.

Also in the picture Terry’s father and grandfather plus Jack Dorrall.

Number six with the appearance of being early 1900s this picture provides a bit of a puzzle.

From the fascia sign we know it’s another A. Hillsdon premises and apparently in Station Road.

Part of this sign (enlarged inset) certainly reads Station Road, but I now have a few doubts, as I’ve never managed to find any listing of it in all the Marlow street directories that I have, covering many decades. I was once told that it might have existed where the Cooperative Stores used to be, these days replaced by Charlotte Way Cottages. However, closer inspection of the sign reveals “Residence Station Road”.

I have a feeling this might have been, as listed in the 1927 Directory, A. Hillsdon’s smithy in Dean Street, and the “residence” was perhaps an address for urgent out of hours enquiries.

Any further information welcomed.

Number seven is another Hillsdon photo, and this inside the Wethered Road smithy which was converted, after they closed, to a Funeral Directors, although the family name remains today with Hillsdon Monumental Masons alongside.

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Finally, number eight, this is also a mystery as regards confirming the exact location: it is restored as best as possible from an early 1900s faded Findlow of Station Road sepia postcard.

I’d like to think this was the interior of (1), the Chapel Street smithy, which around that period had been owned by Albert Farey; the roof line looks similar, but perhaps we will never know for sure.

After 15-and-a-half years writing this column I have always resisted doing a full page with pictures of Marlow’s notorious record shop Chiltern Sound.

However following a request and suggestion from Martin James it will finally happen next week.