Postcard trail of the High Street, Woburn Sands
A wander down the High Street, with the shops and businesses, starting at The Square at the southern end, and ending at the start of Station Road, to the north.
Please note: Dates given refer to the date of the original top postcard if postally used, which could have been years after the photograph was originally taken. All the modern views below were taken in July 2006.
The Square, looking toward the High Street. Not much has changed since 1982.
More noticeable changes since 1907. The scene is much the same, but the cottages on the corner of Aspley Heath have gone.
Another view from 1907, the Fir Tree has now lost its walled carriage park and flagpole. Ben Garrett was landlord then, lasting from 1889 to 1913. The sender remarked how quiet the town was, as there were a lot out of work.
The horse trough had stood in the Square for many years, but was moved to opposite the Fir Tree when the War Memorial was erected in 1919.
This unsent card comes with a Churchill quote on the rear, and the code of the card pinpoints this issue to 1943, but I have seen the same image used as early as 1938. The hall by the side of the Swan was demolished to widen the road junction.
This card came from Pikesleys Post Office in about 1915. A shot of wide open empty roads.
A favourite view with photographers through the years, north from the Square with the Swan. Undated card.
Another unsent card, but by the car I would say 1930’s?
This rural scene probably predates any cars in the village. It was sent in 1905.
1910 in Woburn Sands. I wonder if that’s her Sunday Best?
A nice advert card during R. Hammond’s tenure at The Swan Hotel. He was landlord from c.1906 to c.1910. That might be him stood outside. The telephone number for the Swan was just……4!
Sent in 1905 to Mrs Turney in Upton Manor, London, this card has a comment on the rear “See Edies scene of labour?” They must have worked at the Fir Tree or the Tuck shop that once stood opposite.
An early 20th century view of the Square, with the horse trough in its original position.
The full story of the War Memorial is available elsewhere on this site. The ‘Last Post’ used to be sounded on Remembrance Sunday from the balcony of the Swan Hotel, which also once provided the power for the clock..
The War Memorial was removed from the Square in 1972 to its new site in the High Street. An undated card.
An untitled card that I was lucky to identify in a dealers stock box marked “Location Unknown”. It was the arch top window that I recognised. Someone has written “This is the Town Band” on the rear, but it has not been posted. The large space on the front of the card for extra message means it is quite an early postcard, possibly from 1902 – 1904.
One last view of the Square before we enter the High Street.
The zebra crossing seen in 1958.
This view, by local stationer Herbert Gregory in his Sandpine Series, was sent with birthday greetings in 1907.
Another early 20th century view of the High Street.
One of the most taken views of the High Street, with the entrance to Vicarage Street on the right. This view from 1905.
Just a little later, 1909, a card sent from Noel to his Grandfather in Germany. Five years later, our countries were at War.
This was sent from Will to Kit to let her know he had arrived safely in 1913.
This card is by Walford and Sons of Fenny Stratford. The shop on the right has a huge collection of picture postcards in the window, and I believe this shop was Gregory’s Sandpine Press, publishing postcards and the Woburn Sands newspaper, so this would be before 1914.
Quite a jump forward to Jubilee Year, 1977. Hardly a change, bar the business names.
An early car graces this scene from 1923.
Although not sent, the rear of this card reads: “Dear Beck, This PC is very deceptive to look at it you would think it was a big place, but if you count up the shops you will find there are only 12ish, a pub, and out of the twelve there are two drapers, 2 chemists and 3 ironmongers. Some hope. Love Cyril.” There were certainly more than 12 shops and how they failed to see the other pubs…..!
A late 1950’s view at the top of Club Lane.
Looking towards the end of the High Street and the start of Station Road, in 1947.
Two quite similar view of the Methodist Chapel, the first is one is an early card, posted anonymously in August 1903, with space still beside the picture for a message.
This view is undated, but fits with others of a series used in c.1910.
This 1921 card was sent with the message “…Good shops – a small town I should call it, better than Walton a long way. Very pretty country.”
An undated shot of the High Street by J E Slapoffski, Northampton. Although his business was in another county, Slapoffski lived in Woburn Sands.
Sent in June 1916, the writer was very impressed with Woburn Sands: “The air here is so beautiful and envigorating [sic]… the fine woods are simply lovely.”
Lastly, a Sandpine Series card from about 1906.
Your journey continues into Station Road, which can be found under a separate Postcard Trail on the menu.
Page last updated Dec. 2018.