Everyone who has passed along the London Road recently will be familiar with the fate of the Duke of York – Camberley’s first hotel, now well on its way to being a tall block of flats.
It was the creation of a brewer from Eversley – William Belsher Parfett, who also built the King’s Head in Frimley Green. He had bought one and a half acres of land for £677 5s 0d in 1816 and provided a building that could accommodate 12 guests and 9 horses.
In the early years of Yorktown, the large hotel in Blackwater was where many meetings were held but, in 1858, there was a general meeting in the Duke of York to form The York Town and Blackwater Gas and Coke Company Ltd. In 1913 there was a dinner for 22 Crimean War Veterans after which they were all given a gift of a tin of tobacco. (Detail, as ever, from Ken Clarke’s Time Gentlemen Please).
Unfortunately, after the focus of the town moved to the east and the High Street, it became impossible to find a buyer for the building after The Harvester chain moved out.