A few weeks ago I had to dig out an old Ordnance map to show the position of the former Marlow Gas Works.

I found a choice of two, but I thought that a larger portion of the earlier one, circa 1900, might be of interest in this column. I am sure you know the term 'yellowed with age' as applied to books or pages: the one I have used today is 'pinked' with age but I have left it as it is.

As before, the two gasholders, one larger than the other, are marked between Crown Lane and Dean Street. Marefield then applied to the whole area of the town north of Cambridge Road and between Dean Street and Oxford Road. Today the name survives just as Marefield Road, but a trade card I have belonging to my grandfather lists him as 'York Road, Marefield, Marlow'.

The original Cottage Hospital was further west along Cambridge Road than appears to be indicated by the name on this map: it is actually the building level with the B.M. caption, but is now a private residence. B.M. can be seen several times above and indicates Bench Mark, a height above sea level and usually indicated by an arrow on a nearby building. There is one on All Saints Church porch. 

Another letter appearing several times is W. We are back in the days here almost three decades before every house in Marlow had mains water. W indicated a well or pump where you could draw your own supply. If you lived out of town or were disabled the local water-cart could be requested. Most houses had provision to collect rainwater.

I have filled the wide open and empty spaces of Crown Meadow (now Riley Park) with a picture I was so pleased to find a couple of years ago, possibly the only one with a good view of the former Marlow Football Club grandstand whose ground was here up to just after WW1. The outline of the stand is shown on the map alongside Crown Lane.

The postcard (15 years later than the map) shows a sports day organised by the Royal Engineers whose training camp was at Marlow Common. The stand had provision to seat 300 spectators, but no changing facilities: part of the Crown Hotel stable block was used by the Football Club, who often had team pictures taken in the Crown Courtyard.

P.H. is of course Public House, and there were plenty of those in Marlow at this time. Both Methodist Chapels were open, and a certain amount of rivalry existed between the Wesleyan in Spittal Street and the Primitive in Chapel Street, the latter now the Liston Hall, but before this served as Marlow Library.

The two hotels indicated are the Crown and the Greyhound, whilst two blacksmiths ('smithy's) were Green & Collins in Chapel Street and Arthur Strange in Spittal Street, noted as 'Spital' here as it was on many old postcards from this era.

In Market Square G.P. (guidepost or signpost) is combined with M.S. (milestone), both functions served by our obelisk, which in this era was topped with four ugly gas lamps and piping. The obelisk, by the way, is once again looking a bit sad. The renovations 5 years ago did not last long. 

I did not include areas to the east of this map, as not much was happening back then: Glade Road was largely uninhabited and the undeveloped third of a mile up to Newtown Road (just a track in those days) was known as Marlow Fields.   

Contact Michael at michael@jazzfans.co or 01628 486571.