Thursday, 4 August 2016

Riverside north of the river and west of the Tower. Desborough Island

Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Desborough Island

This post covers only sites to the south of the river.  North of the river is Lower Halliford

Post to the east Walton Bridge and Walton Bridge Road
Post to the north Shepperton
Post to the west Old Shepperton

Desborough Channel
Desborough Channel,  This is an artificial cut which was dug in 1930-35 to improve flow and ease navigation. It provides a straight course between Walton and Weybridge for ¾ mile. It also helped prevent flooding in Shepperton. It thus creates the only stretch on the river where there are two alternative main navigation channels. There are navigating markers alongside the cut to enable speed checks. It was opened in 1935 by Lord Desborough who the cut was named after. He was chairman of the Thames Conservators 1904-1937.


Desborough Island
Created between 1930 and 1935, when Desborough Cut was dug. The effect was to isolate a large chunk of land, part of which is used by water authorities, the rest of which is playing fields and meadows.
Weybridge Rifle and Pistol Club. Set up by Sir Philip Pilditch. Who thought everyone should 'learn the use of a rifle' if needed to protect his country. Hugh Locke-King offered a piece of ground and a public meeting in Weybridge Hall was supportive. The inaugural meeting was held in 1913, with Locke King as President and Pilditch as Captain. The Club celebrated its centenary in 2013 with a dinner at Brooklands with the Duke of Edinburgh. Here they have an indoor 25yd and outdoor 100yd ranges
Weybridge Vandals. In the earl 1930s Frederick Monkhouse, and John Scurr, both in the London School of Economics first team, invited ‘rugger men’ from London University to help set up a team for past students". It was to be "London University Vandals R.F.C'. And they played at the University's grounds at Motspur Park. The site called Brownacres at Desborough Island was identified with space for changing rooms, three pitches and a house doe a bar, tea and club room plus a flat for the groundsman. New changing rooms were opened in 1970. In 2003 the name of the club was changed to 'Weybridge Vandals RFC'
The Vandals site is marked as ‘Riverside Farm” before the Second World War. The Vandals say that it was a private zoo when they bought it.
Coal Post. This is on the riverside. It dates from around 1860 and there is the City of London Shield cast on the front. It indicated the boundary at which duty was payable.
Desborough Water Works and reservoirs.  These were originally built in the 1850s as West Surrey Water Works – and to the west in Walton Lane. The first high-duty Worthington pumping engine constructed in England was installed at these works.

Walton Lane
Walton Lane is essentially two roads – one of which loops away from the other northwards and then runs parallel to it, on the Island.
Coal post in a field SW quarter mile of Walton Bridge
Bridges at each end to carry road and water mains over the Desborough Cut


Sources
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Pastscape. Web site
Pevsner. Surrey
Surrey Industrial Archaeology
The Elmbridge Hundred. Web site
Weybridge Pistol and Rifle Club Facebook page
Weybridge Vandals. Web site
Wikipedia. As appropriate

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