This week I am returning to my potted history of the buildings along the A30 and we have reached the junction of the London Road and the Frimley Road.
Before I tell a little of the story behind this corner building I have a Monday Mystery Question – why is the elevated roadway just round the corner called ‘Osnaburgh Parade’? Answer tomorrow, I promise!
Now back to the bank. Until fairly recently, the building on the corner was Barclays Bank and I think it was built by Simonds Bank in about 1890 – there used to be the name ‘Bank Chambers’ by one of the doors in Frimley Road.
Simonds were both brewers and bankers, in Reading. In fact they were an enormously successful concern and it is their site that became the Oracle shopping centre when the brewery was closed in 1980. Here is more information from our trusty friends Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonds%27_Brewery
In 1791 William Blackall Simonds founded a bank in Reading and by the late 1860s there were branches all round the local district. In 1913 it was sold to Barclays. The Barclays branch in High Street Camberley is still in one of the original Simonds Camberley buildings and I think there was another one next door to Camberley’s 1890s Post Office (can someone tell me if I am wrong, please?).
I would love to know what was on the corner site before the bank – does anyone have a postcard that shows it?