Thursday, 11 August 2016

Riverside -south of the river west of the Tower - Chertsey Bridge

Riverside -south of the river west of the Tower - Chertsey Bridge

This post covers sites to the south of the river only. North is Chertsey Bridge North

Post to the east Chertsey Meads and Shepperton Range
Post to the north Chertsey Abbey Chase and Laleham Littleton Lane Quarry


Bridge Road
65-67 Weir Lodge Garage. This was a private company which built the garage.  They specialised in supplying tax-free cars to HM Forces and they were agents for Volkswagen. The company moved to a site at Walton and continued in Chertsey until 1973. The site is now Mitsubishi Motors
65-67 Weir Lodge. Camping and caravanning club
Bridge Hotel.  The hotel was built in 1996 but dates from the 1890s and is referred to before that in the early, 19th as ‘The Bridge House Hotel. The Boathouse pub and restaurant are attached.
Bridge Wharf. The area around the hotel was once called Bridge Wharf. The hotel sits on an inlet off the Thames which appears to be artificial and to connect to a sluice which returns upstream to the Thames. This results in an island which is shown on 1890s maps at ‘Crane Ait’.  Bridge Wharf was used by Tom Taylor’s boat building business in the 1880s which here included a punt store, tea room and restaurant.
Cricketers. This pub was on the east side of the road and closed in 1990s. It is now demolished. It dates from the 1850s.
Statue in bronze of local heroine Blanche Heriot striking the bell by Sheila Mitchell. Thus is on a small island in the road outside Bridge House.


Bridge Wharf
Bridge House and gardens stood on the corner with Bridge Road.
Road running parallel to the river lined with new housing by Laing and Wimpey. It was earlier the site of a series of small factories.
Bates Wharf and Marina. The Bates family had started building wooden commercial vessels in the 1850s. They appear to have become independent of Taylor in 1934 and established a small boatyard immediately to the south. In the Second World War they built air and sea rescue vehicles and seaplane tenders. They also built Bates Star Craft until 1975, expanding southwards until 1965.
Following the split-up of the Taylor Bates partnership shortly after the war, Taylors sold their half of the site to the coachbuilders Whittingham and Mitchell and moved to new premises at Shoreham, where they could build larger boats than was possible on the Thames.
Tom and James Taylor yacht, skiff hiuse boat and barge building business in the late 19th. During the Great War what was by then Taylor and Bates built Thorneycroft coastal motor boats and pinnaces for the Admiralty. In the 1920s, they made river launches and a houseboat for an Indian rajah. In the 1940s they made a whole range of launches for military and related uses. They made 112-foot long high speed motor launches for the Navy but they also built 16-foot fast runabouts – they used to call them ‘skimmers’  – 35-foot seaplane tenders and 52-foot fire floats which were equipped with huge pumps for firefighters to pump river water up when fighting blazes along the river caused by air raids. The yard normally had two of the big launches on the stocks at any one time – it was a real production line – and as soon as one was finished and launched, work would start on the next. Some of the launches they built were used by the navy in the raid on the dry dock at St Nazaire when the destroyer, HMS Campbelltown, packed with explosives, was used to ram the dock gates to stop the Germans using it to repair their battleships.”  After the war, Taylor’s turned their 112-foot launches into ‘gentleman’s yachts. They moved to Shoreham after the Second World War and sold the site to Whittitngham and Mitchell.
Whittingham and Mitchell. The company began in Fulham as motor coach and body builders. During the Second World War they made light alloy components and later moved to Byfleet to male alloy marine equipment. Later they moved into structural reinforced plastics and came to new premises here. In 1964 they were taken over by GEC.
Evershed Power Optics in the late 1960s/early 1970s, used the Taylor site. They made digital control equipment for television cameras and related equipment.
Radamec (Radar Mechanicals) were here in 1981 on the old Taylor site. They made optical control systems for the defence and television markets and marine and environmental control systems. They sold their office here in 2003.
Carden-Loyd Tractors, these were on the inland side of the wharf from 1923 making tracked armoured vehicles, in association with amphibious and light armoured vehicles under Vickers-Armstrong. The 1928 Carden-Loyd Mk IV developed and built at the site and from it evolved the Carden-Loyd carrier and the Vickers-Armstrong Bren-Gun the most numerous armoured fighting vehicle ever built. Carden-Lloyd tankettes were also made
Book binding warehouse and stationery

Chertsey Bridge
Ferry. A ferry was here in 1299 when there is a record of the king being carried over the river by a ferry-woman called Sibille. It is said to have been preceded by a ford – this part of the river once had many shallows called Laleham Gulls
Chertsey Bridge. The first bridge here was built after 1299.   A bridge here was recorded in 1530 when it was repaired and may have dated from 1410. This was a timber bridge which had devolved to the Crown following the closure of Chertsey Abbey. It is said to have been slanted upwards from Middlesex to Surrey and said to be a danger to navigation. It was replaced from 1783 with James Paine as architect and Kenton Couse as surveyor and was slightly upstream of its predecessor. It has seven stone arches – five wet and two dry. There are also a masonry brick arches over the riverside paths and two buried arches under the approaches. It is said that the original specified number of arches did not meet the banks and required extra payment to get it connected. Semi circular recesses were attached to the piers by brackets but were removed in 1806. Cast iron grilles, which have been inserted over the piers in the 1820s, were repositioned during major repairs in the 1990s.
Chertsey Lock. The lock was first built by the Corporation of the City of London in 1813. It is connected to Chertsey Weir by a strip of land. In 1805 it was intended to build a cut along this stretch of the river with a pound lock at either end. However a lock here was eventually authorised. It was lengthened in 1893 and 1913. The centre gates have now been removed
Chertsey Weir. Built along with the lock as part of a flood prevention programme after 1809 by the City Corporation

Mead Lane
Long old lane winding down into the Meads.
Car parks for Mead users

The Bourne
Also called the Windle Brook and Hale Bourne

Sources
Bridge Hotel. Web site
Closed Pubs. Web site
Industrial Archaeology of Elmbridge
Kingston Zodiac
Mort's River Watch. Web site
Parker. North Surrey
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner.  Surrey
Pub History. Web site
Surrey Archaeological Collections. Web site
Surrey Industrial Archaeology
Visit Thames. Web site
Walford, Village London
Walton Lodge Garage. Web site
Wikipedia. As appropriate

No comments: