These next photographs date from between 1985 and 1987. They were taken using a Kodak disc camera, now long-discontinued. This type of camera was not a huge success, on the rare occasion that it worked properly, the tiny negative size (11x8mm) resulted in poorly defined, grainy prints - as can be seen in these scans.

A view of the west side of the Old Town Hall. A few years after this 1986 photograph was taken, the door was restored in the right-hand bricked-up doorway.

The Barons is a fine town house, built in the reign of Queen Anne. Situated in Church Street at the eastern edge of the shopping district, it was fully restored in the late 1970s by its new owners, Redlands, who also removed a large Victorian extension.

The Barons can be seen on the left of this view of Church Street, looking west towards the Old Town Hall. There is not actually a church located anywhere along Church Street - its name comes from the Reigate parish church, St Mary's, home to England's first lending library, and is in Chart Lane which joins Church Street at its easternmost point. Out of sight on the right of this photograph were located the headquarters of the aforementioned Redland Group, while just behind the photographer stood the Church Street Garage from where you could buy a brand new Renault - this later made way for a small-scale office development. These offices were severely damaged in 1995 when a lorry overturned, though no one was hurt as the accident took place in the early morning.

A grim view of the High Street, looking west, on a late afternoon in winter 1985/86. A number of the shops in this scene are empty, most prominently the former Woolworths store which closed in the early 1980s. Incredibly it remained empty for over ten years until Martins the Newsagent moved there in 1993 - apparently able to boast the longest magazine rack in the country. To the left of the empty shop, at this time was a carpet shop, however for many years previously this had been a branch of Timothy White's.

Now the quality really starts to nosedive...

Though known as the Old Town Hall, it was originally built as a market hall and was only actually used as a town hall from 1863 to 1901. In 2007 it became a branch of the Caffe Nero chain.

Numbers 4a, 4 and 2 High Street. The building on the left is the oldest, dating back to the early 17th century - despite this, it is curiously numbered '4a'. Incongruously, in the 1980s this near-400 year-old building became a record shop. In the middle, Lloyds Bank stands on the site of The Crown Inn. Between these two buildings is a narrow passageway and steps, known as the Crown Steps, which lead up to the Castle Grounds. On the right is The Market Inn, with Tunnel Road immediately to its right.

It could be argued that the graininess of these photographs lends them a certain hazy nostalgia...

Bell Street, looking north towards the town centre. The Post Office is on the left, while on the other side of the road the Reigate Hippodrome once stood - though demolished many years before this photograph was taken, it would have been just out of sight on the right. Reigate's other cinema, the Majestic, stood just round the corner in Bancroft Road until its closure in 1982. It was replaced by the present day cinema, The Screen at Reigate.

A snowy view of Priory Park and the pond, sometime in the mid-80s.

The uprooted tree in the foreground of this view of Priory Park dates this photograph as being taken shortly after the Great Storm of 1987.

Another view of the playing fields of Priory Park. After these photographs were developed, the decision was taken to get a new camera.

Next page: 1985


Old Reigate
The Reigate Society

Images copyright © Robert Williams 1985-1987