Sunday, 28 May 2017

Bookham



Church Road.
Bookham Station.  Built in 1885 it now lies between Leatherhead and Effingham Junction on South Western Rail. It was originally built by the London and South Western Railway.  They wanted to build the line into the centre of Great Bookham village but landowners and villagers were opposed and as a result the station was built north of the village in the country.  The original station buildings remain brick and with timber and corrugated sheet steel canopies, stationmaster's house (now a private house) and a cast and wrought iron footbridge.
Goods yard. This was west of the station and closed in 1965. The goods shed was used as a coal depot and builders yard and eventually demolished in the 1990s. There are now offices on the site.
Photo Me. This company building is now on the Atlas Works site. They make self operated phone booths and a range of related material was set up in 1954 and has an international reach.
Merrylands Hotel and Tea Room. This was built by Mrs Mary Chrystie opposite the station in 1885. She was a wealthy widow who invested in property development and had strong views on the dangers of alcohol. She entertained hundreds of poor families from London with non-alcoholic refreshments. In 1917 the Hotel was acquired for offices and the New Atlas Works was built in its grounds. When the factory closed in 1980 the hotel was demolished and a new office built for Photo-Me International.
New Atlas Works. In 1917 Waring, of Waring & Gillow, bought Merrylands Hotel and built New Atlas Works in the grounds and used the hotel building as offices. In the Great War it was used for the production of aeroplane parts. Afterwards the factory was run by Gillett, Stephens and Blackburne & Burney set up by Tom Gillett making engines for light cars and motor cycles. It then became known as 'Gillett Works' and was used by Wildt Mellor Bromley, a part of the Bentley Engineering Group. They made hosiery-making machinery, hydraulic equipment and undercarriages for Hawker aircraft. They closed around 1980. The factory area is now used for the manufacture of phone booths.


Edenside Road
House of Douglas Edenside nursery. This was here from 1893 to 1985. This was originally opened by James Douglas and passed to his osn Gordon. They specialised in auriculas, carnations and pinks. It was demolished in 1967 when the land was compulsorily purchased by the Leatherhead Urban District Council to enable building of Edenside council estate

Great Bookham Common
This is a remnant of a wildwood that once covered most of southern England.  In the late 1800s these commons became a popular destination for people enabled by the railway, to visit for the day. In 1923 the common was sold to a property developer and it was bought from him following a local campaign. In 1941 the London Natural History Society started making detailed surveys of these commons and since 1961 they are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. During the Second World War the commons were occupied by troops, ant-aircraft guns, a search battery, lorries and tanks. They are now managed by the National Trust
Stream. This is a tributary of the river Mole.

Little Bookham Common
This common was presented to the National Trust in 1924 by H Willock-Pollen, Lord of the Manor. It is mainly rough grassland and scrub which is poorly drained. There are several old gun pits and bomb craters.

Little Bookham Street `
Maddox Farm. Tarred 18th black barns
The Blackburn. This is the site of the old Atlas Works.  In the early 20th Thomas Gillett opened an engineering works here and in 1913 it became the works of Gillett, Stephens. They ran this along with the New Atlas Works making aeroplane parts in the Great War. Afterwards they made engines for light cars and motor cycles. In 1927 a motor cycle with a Blackburne engine won the Isle of Man TT. Engines were made here for the Bleriot 'Whippet' car and for the French-designed Marlborough car. Bookham Engineering Company took over this works in 1947 and overhauled tractors and later steel and wrought iron work. In the 1960s they moved and The Bookham factory was demolished in 1968
The Village Hall. This was a gift from Mary Chrystie, after she had bought up and closed down the Fox Inn here

Maddox Lane
Turner’s Bridge. Very narrow pedestrian bridge over the railway
Beehive Farm. The farm is also the address of an engineering company.
Bookham Grange Hotel. This opened in 1947 and closed in 2012. It is now converted into flats
Sewage works. This was built in the early 1940s by Leatherhead Urban District Council.

Maddox Park
Long Maddox Farm

Merrylands Road
Merrylands Cottages 

Oakdene Road
This was built by developer Arthur Bird and called Nelson Road

Oaken Wood
Said to be the last remaining piece of ancient woodland in the area. Mixed woodland with butterfly orchid and wild service trees.

Railway
Railway Tunnel.  The line passes through a 91 yard long tunnel which has brick portals.

Sources
Knowles. Surrey and the Motor
Mole Valley District Council. Bookham Heritage Trails
National Trust. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Photo-me. Web site
Tarplee. Industrial History of the Mole Valley District
Wikipedia. As appropriate

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