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This is the third booklet of a series being published by the Surrey Industrial History Group describing the industrial archaeological remains to be found in the County of Surrey. The River Mole has been an important source of power for almost as long as man has been settled along its banks. (TQ118583) Originally the mill of the manor of Downe, the site has been used for a number of purposes - grinding corn, paper, iron and tinplate manufacture, producing flock, and the generating of electricity. It bears a stone panel with the words JESSOP'S WELL. It was closed as a fire station in 1961, and is now used by the St John's Ambulance Brigade. In 1930 the engine was moved to a new station by the side of the council offices in Portsmouth Road, and the old premises were adapted as a private dwelling. Purpose built in the flamboyant picture house style of the 1930's. (TQ153682) A purpose built cinema, opened in 1912 as the "East Molesey and Hampton Court Picture Hall", it was purchased by one of the cinema chains in 1932, modernised and re-named "The Court Cinema". (TQ101665) An early purpose built cinema called "The Regent", now used as a showroom by a firm of house furnishers. It was opened as "Weybridge Kinema Theatre" in 1920, later to become "King George's" and then "The County". (TQ083645) A purpose built cinema erected by the Odeon chain in 1934 and closed in 1960. Brooklands also remained at the forefront of aviation design and development after the First World War with the production of the Vickers Vimy [which made the first non-stop transatlantic crossing in 1919] the Hawker Hurricane fighter and the Vickers Wellington bomber being best known.
Because this is a formidable task, the method is to use the existing district council areas created in 1974. Domesday Book listed some twenty mills on the river in 1086, and its waters turned the wheels of at least six mills within the area now forming the Borough of Elmbridge. The present U-shaped brick and tiled structure dates from the eighteenth century, but many other buildings have been demolished. (TQ129624) On Esher Common, near the north bank of Black Pond, may just be traced the remains of what was once a horse or donkey operated pump. This little building, erected in the eighteenth century, stands over a mineral spa, the waters of which exhibited extreme purgative qualities. (TQ114597) Originally built about 1833 as a parish school and later used to house the Merryweather steam fire engine donated to the village by Mr Charles Combe of Cobbam Park in 1889. The following buildings used at the height of the cinema boom still stand but are no longer used as such:- 123. (TQ108601) The Village Hall in Anyards Road, built by public subscription in 1888, was used as a cinema during the 1930's. It closed in 1937 and the premises were taken over as a printing works. It closed its doors in the early 50's and the building was acquired by the local authority for a public hall. It is now used as a Roman Catholic church, known as St Martin de Porres. (TQ114597) Wall letter box, south-west side of road, on the side of the former fire station. The outbreak of the Second World War and subsequent permanent closure of the motor racing circuit in 1939 by no means sounded a death knell for Brooklands, although the motoring fraternity was later stunned by the news that the cost of restoring the Track post-war was prohibitive.
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Events on Wednesdays in Weybridge & local areas include Live Music, Antiques & Furniture Auctions, Bridge Club, NCT, Scuba Diving & Social Club, Yoga Classes, Brownies, Tots & Toddlers Exercise & Play Groups, Choir Rehearsals, Judo Classes, Hockey Club, Dancing, Kung Fu & Kick Boxing, Pilates ...Because of the outstanding national importance of the Brooklands site, it has been dealt with in separate articles from material supplied by the Brooklands Society and the Brooklands Museum to whom I send grateful thanks. Permission should be obtained before any attempt is made to view the site. Before 1951 two mills stood side by side with waterwheels between. (TQ158625) The revised signalling route between the Admiralty in London and Portsmouth Dockyard laid down in 1820/2, using a semaphore system devised by Admiral Sir Home Riggs Popham, passed through two stations in the Borough, both of which survive. Locally listed as a building of historical interest. Although in an extremely remote position, it was occupied as a residence until 1963, when it was condemned as unfit because of lack of services, since when it has been badly vandalised and was partly damaged by fire in 1984. There have been three devices mentioned for raising water from the river to the lake, a lift of about twelve feet. (TQ095601) This pump, situated near the Bath-house and worked by horse power, was originally installed to supply water to the house from a nearby spring. To prove that graffiti are not just twentieth century phenomena, some of the initials carved into the soft red brick date back to 1778. Post-war, Brooklands carried on its tradition of innovation in design and development and, under the direction of Barnes Wallis, the vast unique 'Stratosphere Chamber' was built in 1947 to explore the problems of pressurisation and climatic conditions on aircraft. A Dictionary of Local History" (Greenwood Publications, 3rd edn., 1978) G. Greenwood: "Hersham in Surrey" (Greenwood Publications, 1977) G. Greenwood: "The Elmbridge Water Mills" (Privately printed, 1980) G. Greenwood: "An Account of the Royal Mills, Esher" (EDLHS, Newsletter No. Hillier: "Old Surrey Water Mills" (Skeffington, 1951) Duncan James: "The Statue Foundry at Thames Ditton" (Foundry Trades Journal, September 1972, pp.279-289) Avril Lansdell: "If It Moves Film It.Francis Haveron (Series Editor) Surrey Industrial History Group, Surrey Archaeological Society, Castle Arch, Guildford, Surrey. The older mill was then demolished to straighten the course of the road, a sacrifice to the ubiquitous motor car and an undoubted advantage for road transport but an irrevocable destruction of a very pleasant visual harmony. The tower has been restored by Surrey County Council and the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust to mark the centenary of the County Council with accommodation for a resident warden, a museum and the restored signalling apparatus. The first a wheel, thirty-six feet in diameter, with paddles around its circumference, turned by the flow of the stream, and with four leather tubes curved to the axis, which scooped up the water and delivered it to the middle where it flowed out of a trough and so into the lake. Vickers-Armstrongs meanwhile embarked on the design and manufacture of a new generation of aircraft and its successful family of civil airliners included the Viking, Viscount and VC10. A Surrey Ironmaster" (WWLHS, Monograph No.34,1985) G. A History of Film Making in Walton-on-Thames" (Weybridge Museums, 1973) Avril Lansdell: "The Way Navigation" (Elmbridge Borough Council, 1975) Michael Nash: "Early Seventeenth Century Schemes To Make The Wey Navigable' (SAC, Vol.ROWLAND BAKER, 1919-1987 As the son of the village policeman, he was brought up in Molesey and lived there for most of his life. He joined the Surrey Archaeological Society in 1948 and wrote a paper on the Hampton Court bridges for it in 1961. MINERAL EXTRACTION Gravel Working : Glass sand : Brickworks C. The remaining building of brick with tiled gables dates from about 1820. (TQ132658) Like most mills on the Lower Mole, this, too, has had a chequered history - corn, brass wire, iron, paper, linoleum, bookbinding and light industry. The second is depicted in an illustration which appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine in 1771, and shows an endless chain of buckets worked by a cog and pinion from a shaft rotated by a horse. Brooklands also had its part to play in the production of the BAC One-Eleven and Concorde. LXVI, 1969) Metropolitan Water Board: "London's Water Supply 1903-1953.He was a founder member of the Esher Society and published "The Book of Molesey" in 1986. MISCELLANEOUS INDUSTRIES Forges : Brewing : Film making : Boat building : Engineering D. Unlike Downside, the career of this mill has always been linked to the grinding of corn, which continued until the 1920's. There was even an attempt at one time to use it as a gun-cotton factory. (TQ077659) An elegant single span bridge, with very high arch. (TQ093665) Four different bridges have at times spanned the river here. This suffered badly by war time bomb damage and in 1953 was declared unsafe. (TQ154682) The construction of Hampton Court Way in 1933 to link the new Hampton Court Bridge to the Portsmouth Road, necessitated the spanning of the River Ember. (TQ149677) The present Esher Road was constructed in the mid-eighteenth century as an approach to Hampton Court Bridge, the owner of which built two wooden bridges to span the Mole and Ember, and maintained them until 1876 when the tolls ceased. This was replaced in the 1830's by a pump operated by a large cast-iron water wheel, thirty feet in diameter, which like the first, worked by the flow of the river. The whole structure has been terribly dilapidated, the wooden weather-boarded pumphouse falling to pieces, the water wheel shedding its paddles and the pumps and connecting rods rusting up. Today the Brooklands Museum Trust is committed to ensuring the continuation of the Brooklands story and is currently developing a major project on 30 acres of the original site of so many milestone achievements and of so much excitement and endeavour. A Review of the Metropolitan Water Board" (MWB, 1953) E. Orasby: "Engineering Works of Willans and Robinson" (The Engineer, February 1965, pp.255-8) Bernard Pardoe: "Ham Mills, Weybridge" (WWLHS, Dialstone, No. Stonebanks:"The Thames Bridges at Walton" (WWLHS, Paper No.4,1969) John A.