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Dave Salmon, keen photographer and one of Guildford’s true characters, has died aged 78.
With a passion for railways, aircraft, buses, sport and all things Guildford, Dave was well known to many for his love of photography.
Born at the Jarvis Nursing Home on May 2, 1937, he lived in Guildford all of his life, apart from time away in the RAF doing his National Service.
After leaving Stoke Secondary Modern School at the age of 15 in May 1952, he started work for British Railways as an engine cleaner at Guildford Motive Power Depot.
At the age of 16 he trained to become a fireman on steam locos and his first turn of duty was on a shunting engine at Woking.
In his youth has was also a keen cyclist and took part in road racing for the Phoenix Cycling Club.
National Service beckoned and in May 1955 Dave reported to RAF Surbiton to join the air force as he had a keen interest in aircraft.
After training at various air bases in the UK, he was posted to 26 Squadron based at Oldenberg, near Breman in West Germany.
Demobbed in April 1958, he returned to the railways, but as he’d been away for three years he had to start at the bottom once more as a cleaner and then re-train as a fireman.
He left the railways in 1960 and started work for Guildford Corporation as a painter and was well known for his road markings on roads throughout the area.
With the demise of steam engines on Britain’s railways towards the end of the 1960s, Dave kept busy in his spare time taking photographs of them. He took lots of pictures at Guildford and at Woking, but also travelled around the country visiting engine sheds that were soon to close.
From the 1960s and into the 1970s he produced a lot of freelance sports photography for the local press – in particular at Guildford City FC’s ground in Joseph’s Road (he was even the club’s mascot when he was a boy).
Dave also photographed the changing scene in Guildford over the years, taking pictures of streets and buildings when they were being radically changed or demolished.
He regularly attended events in Guildford, such as the Remembrance Sunday services in the Castle Grounds, taking photographs.
He was also the Castle Green Bowling Club’s official photographer and a wonderful supporter of it for more than 15 years. Every year he went to the club’s dinner and presented its members with a new picture.
Always wearing a smart blazer bearing his RAF Squadron’s embroidered badge, Dave, with his dark wavy hair and deep voice, was indeed a familiar figure around the town.
Unfortunately, following a period of remission from cancer, Dave became ill and passed away peacefully on Thursday July 9, 2015.
His funeral will be held at Stoke New Cemetery, Stoughton Road, Guildford on Thursday, July 30, at 2pm. All family and friends are welcome to attend a short graveside service.
A memorial service celebrating Dave Salmon’s life will take place at St Saviour’s Church, Woodbridge Road, on Friday, October 16, at 11am.