The Marlow Free Press obviously reaches Leigh-On-Sea in Essex, since I had an email request from a former Oxford Road resident for more pictures from the Quoiting Square area, this following on from a really early view printed here a few weeks ago.

Pleased to oblige, although some of the above might be familiar, but I’m hoping that at least a few will be new to you.

1 The Square around 1900, showing one of the line of old cottages that used to be in front of the church.

In days before the motor car the game of quoits was played here and explains the name: in fact a quoiting post can be seen in the foreground. The Clayton Arms with a nice hanging lantern is across the road. Around 15 years later this became the morning parade ground for W.W.1 troops stationed up the lane at Bovingdon Green.

2 On the corner of West Street the beamed building that has housed Platts’ car showrooms since 1927 was originally A.J. East’s second-hand furniture shop.

Magnification reveals “Pianos and perambulators for sale”.

3 A side view of those cottages, and this lovely old picture has captioned on the rear - “The Bowles Family”.

4 This was the first ever picture I used when I took over this column nearly 16 years ago.

Adjoining the pub was Neighbours’ Provision Stores with Ted, wife Kate and daughter Dorrie outside.

Ted’s shop had an alcohol licence: not many similar places were so fortunate. This is one of my all-time favourite postcards.

5 A 1950s view of the Clayton Arms, with Price’s Blacksmith’s yard to the left, the latter now replaced by an office block.

6 Neighbours’ Stores became a Brakspears’ Off Licence, managed for many years by Ray Charrison. It is now a shoe shop, but that unusual little wide door is still there.

To the right, and only visible with magnification, the sign reads Castle Fisheries. They moved here from Chapel Street for just a short time: wet fish, and fried fish and chips.

7 The Square was for many decades the terminus point for Marlow & District Motor Services buses, which later became Thames Valley Traction. On the left behind these two spectacular vehicles you can see Dray & Co. – one of Marlow’s many blacksmiths who branched into engineering when demand for shoeing horses decreased.

8 Dray & Co. became Platts’ Radio & TV showroom, displaying a Pye Radio hanging sign.

9 Facing Quoiting Square in West Street, this distinctive Georgian building, once the home of author Thomas Love Peacock, housed a motorcycle garage for many years with petrol pumps outside.

When W.R.Compton took over bicycles became the speciality, but he still sold petrol. It was Peacock who persuaded his friend Shelley to move to Marlow.

10 A few yards up Oxford Road this little building was originally The Drill Hall but went on to become The Saw Doctors, selling, repairing and sharpening both industrial and commercial saws.

11 A number 28 service Thames Valley double-decker just about to leave for High Wycombe.

The other service to start from here was the number 18 to Maidenhead. Entrance gates to Platts’ sales yard on the right, with a Vespa scooter in front.

If you have not walked around Quoiting Square recently, the recently improved and extended little public garden in front of the U.R.C. Church is worth seeing.

Contact Michael at or 01628 486571