Saturday, January 30, 2010

The prison demolition ...

I received some terrific images from Brian Quaintmere who grew up living at the Barracks for the majority of his childhood.

Brian witnessed the demolition of the barracks and has distinct memories of seeing some of the old cells within the prison during the demolition. He also reports that below the old parade ground was a large underground brick built reservoir that supplied water for the barracks (formally Woking Convict Invalid Prison). Brian's father and his colleagues would occasionally go down into this to inspect it using a small rowing boat that was permanently moored underground for the purpose. Rumours were at the time of demolition and redevelopment that this reservoir could not be filled in and may therefore possibly remain underground to this day.

Brian also recalls various ghost and haunting stories about the barracks and one of the houses was purportedly haunted by a man in a black cloak and/or frock coat and hat.

In addition, Brian has kindly supplied a series of photographs and colour slides taken by his father during the early sixties at the barracks (formally Woking Convict Invalid Prison). A couple of them even show what was once the female prison ...




I believe the building you see in the distance (see above) - beyond the male-prison gate - is part of the old female prison ...



Brian has some vague recollections about this photo (see above). He seems to recall that Surrey Fire Brigade took the opportunity to use the derelict buildings to test their new turntable fire engine. You can see the rear of some of larger houses right at the end of Raglan Road, which were Officers houses. You can also see on the left a pile of reclaimed bricks. Most of the barracks was built of sandstone bricks, which were quite expensive and all salvaged, recycled and re-used elsewhere...

This is a demolition photo taken from the rear upstairs window of 51 Raglan Road by Brian's father...


Circa 1960 view from Inkerman Barracks clock tower looking towards Brookwood Hospital water tower-note junction of Victoria Rd and Raglan Rd.


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