News in Godalming

The Phillips family memorial in Nightingale Cemetery.

One hundred and nine years ago this week one of the world's greatest maritime tragedies unfolded in the north Atlantic, taking the lives of more than 1,500 people, including Farncombe lad John 'Jack' Phillips.

RMS Titanic, dubbed the 'unsinkable', foundered after hitting an iceberg. The story of the horror that unfolded in the aftermath of that collision is one of great tragedy - and great heroism. It sent shockwaves around the world - and no more so than in the village of Farncombe.

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The engine shed in Moss Lane. Photo courtesy of Roy Squires.

Godalming's fire crews are highly trained, dedicated, well-equipped men and women who respond promptly to all sorts of incidents – not just fires but also road accidents, and other incidents where people need help.

The presence of an organised firefighting crew in the town can be traced back 205 years - to 1816 - with the building of the engine house in Moss Lane. Our picture shows the building, which stood near the school.

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Hedge trimmers, carpet cleaners and tents could be among the items available to borrow from Godalming's planned new library - the Library of Things.

The library is intended to reduce waste by enabling people to borrow items they may need, rather the buying them and then only using them once. The organisers say they hope that the eclectic range of items on offer will encourage visitors to try their hand at mastering skills they might not otherwise have thought of - by borrowing a sewing machine, for example.

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A £10 note issued by the Godalmin and Surry Bank in December 1792. Photo courtesy of Godalming Museum/Trevor Howard.

News that HSBC is set to close its Godalming branch in the summer, following hot on the heels of Barclays leaving the town, has caused some concern that the town has lost many of its banking facilities.

But did you know that Godalming used to have its own locally-owned bank? Not just the one either - there have been three private banks in the town over the years.

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