The Old Manor House, Walton-on-Thames
Walton-on-Thames shown within Surrey
|Population||22,834 Census, 2001|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Esher and Walton|
|List of places: UK • England • Surrey|
The name "Walton" is Anglo-Saxon in origin and is believed to mean "farm of the Britons" or "Saxon settlement". Even before the Romans and the Saxons were present, there was a Celtic settlement here. The Anglo-Saxon word for the Celtic inhabitants who lived here before them is "Wealas". Walton was also identified by William Camden as the place where Julius Caesar forded the River Thames on his second invasion of Britain. However according to the Elmbridge Museum, there is no evidence to support this.
Walton appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Waletona". The settlement was held jointly by Edward de Sarisber (Salisbury) and Richard de Tonbrige. Its Domesday assets were: 6 hides; 1 church (St. Mary's), 2 mills worth £1 5s 0d, 1 fishery worth 5s, 14 ploughs, 40 acres (160,000 m2) of meadow, worth 50 hogs. It rendered £28.
St. Mary's Parish Church is of Saxon origin, with parts dating back to the 12th century. The square flint tower, supported by a 19th century brick buttress, contains a peal of 8 bells, the oldest bearing the date 1606. The royal palace of Oatlands, built by Henry VIII in 1538, was a mile upstream to the west.
During World War I, troops from New Zealand were hospitalised in the now demolished Mount Felix House. They are remembered by a memorial in the cemetery, where those who died at Mount Felix are buried, and one in St Mary's Church where an annual service of remembrance is held. They are also remembered in the street name New Zealand Avenue, the Wellington Pub (formerly The Kiwi) and a small memorial in the Homebase car park. In World War II, largely due to the proximity of important aircraft factories at nearby Brooklands, the town was bombed on various occasions by the Luftwaffe. On 27 September 1940, fighter pilot F/Sgt. Charles Sydney, who was based with 92 Squadron at RAF Biggin Hill, died when his Spitfire (R6767) crashed in Station Avenue. He was buried in Orpington and is commemorated today by a memorial plaque close to the crash site.
Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM), now an Aston Martin dealer that diversified into Alfa Romeo in 2009, constructed its own racing car in the early 1950s. Stirling Moss competed in his first Formula One Grand Prix in an HWM. In addition, HWM was the world's first Aston Martin dealership.
Walton is located 15.3 miles (24.6 km) south west of Charing Cross and is between the towns of Weybridge and Molesey. The River Thames bounds the town to the north. The original village lies in the north, while later development took place in the south, closer to the railway station. A railway journey to London Waterloo takes 25 minutes. The town is situated between Sunbury Lock and Shepperton Lock on a stretch of the River Thames that includes a loop around Desborough Island.
Areas within WaltonEdit
Nearest places Edit
Walton-on-Thames is served by South West Trains services to Walton-on-Thames railway station. There are regular bus services run by the Surrey County Council to nearby towns like Weybridge, Shepperton, Hersham, Molesey and Kingston-upon-Thames.
The total population of Walton is 22,834. According to the 2001 census, the population of central Walton is 5,862, with Elmbridge's population being 121,936. Central Walton has a male population of 2,791 against Elmbridge's male population of 58,867, and the female population of central Walton is 3,071 against Elmbridge's 63,069.
Walton Bridge Edit
There have been five bridges at Walton crossing the River Thames so far and plans are advanced for a sixth. Prior to the first bridge there was a ferry which goes back to at least the 15th century.
The first bridge, constructed between 1748 and 1750, was a timber structure that stood until 1783. Canaletto painted a picture of this bridge in 1754. The painting, which shows the rococo-style of this bridge, may be seen in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The second bridge was constructed in 1788 and stood until 1859. Constructed of brick and stone, it lasted much longer than its predecessor. This bridge was painted by J. M. W. Turner in 1805 following his sketching tour of the River Thames and River Wey at that time.
After the second bridge collapsed a ferry crossing resumed until the construction of the third bridge in 1864. This was a girder bridge on stone piers. At the same time, a brick viaduct was constructed to span the flood plain to the south of the river. As of 2009 the viaduct is still standing.
The third bridge was damaged during World War II in 1940 leading to a permanent weight restriction. To alleviate this a fourth temporary bridge was constructed in 1953 on the downstream side of the old bridge which was relegated to use by cyclists and pedestrians only until finally demolished in 1985.
The fourth bridge was constructed from prefabricated sections designed by A. M. Hamilton in 1930; built by Callender Cables Ltd, it was called the Callender-Hamilton Bridge. In 1999, the fourth bridge was replaced by yet another temporary, fifth bridge occupying the line of the original bridges. This initially had several problems and had to be resurfaced a number of times causing huge traffic disruptions. The fourth bridge was restricted for use by cyclists and pedestrians only once the fifth bridge was completed.
Building a sixth bridge is due to start January 2011 and is expected to finish by the summer of 2013. The bridge will replace the two existing bridges, which will remain in use until the new bridge is completed. The new £32.4 million bridge will have no piers in the river, thus opening up views along the river and improving navigation for boats.
Local politics Edit
Walton-on-Thames is part of the parliamentary constituency of Esher and Walton, which is a safe Conservative seat. The current MP is Dominic Raab.
In local elections, recent contests for seats on Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council have been between the local Conservatives and the local Residents Group, the Walton Society.
The Walton Society was founded in 1975 by its late President, the writer and intellectual Ronald Segal, and entered local politics in 1980 with Gordon Chubb MBE who served until his death in 2006. At one point there were nine Society councillors in all the Walton wards during the period of Residents Groups' control of Elmbridge from the 1990s to 2006. The Society currently has two councillors representing Walton Central ward, including Elmbridge's Leader of the Opposition Chris Sadler. In 2005 its then chairman Tom Phelps Penry narrowly won the Walton division (North, Ambleside and half of Central ward) on Surrey County Council from the Conservatives, and retained the seat in 2009. The Walton South and Oatlands division of Surrey County Council, which includes parts of the town centre, is Conservative held.
Walton's most recent Labour councillor was defeated in 2000. From 2006 to 2008, local Conservatives increased their representation to nine seats in Walton on the Elmbridge Borough Council at the expense of the Walton Society: three in Walton South ward, two in Walton Ambleside ward and three in Walton North. Walton Central ward is currently split with one Conservative and the two remaining Walton Society Elmbridge councillors.
The Heart of Walton Edit
The Heart of Walton is the name given to the re-development of the Walton town centre. The old town centre was built in the 1960s and had become very run down due to poor maintenance. The redevelopment includes a shopping mall and 279 one- and two-bedroom apartments with views over Ashley Park. The main part of the centre, a covered walkway, has several brand retailers including Next, Waterstone's, HMV and Desire by Debenhams. The public library was relocated and is now situated in the Heart. There are also several restaurants along New Zealand Avenue, including Nando's, Giraffe, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, glo and Wagamama.
Notable people Edit
The following people were born in Walton: Tony Walton, set and costume designer, in 1934; Dame Julie Andrews, actress, singer and author, in 1935; Nick Lowe, singer-songwriter, musician and producer, in 1949; Ian Rank-Broadley, sculptor and designer of previous British coinage, in 1952; Danny Sapsford, tennis player, in 1969; Gail Trimble, student and contestant on University Challenge, in 1982; and Tyger Drew Honey, actor in Outnumbered, in 1996.
Cliff Thorburn, the 1980 World Snooker Champion, lived in Walton for two years in the 1980s before moving back to Canada. Ballroom dancer Camilla Dallerup, of Strictly Come Dancing fame, and actress Zöe Lucker, who has starred in Footballers' Wives and Holby Blue, currently live in the town. John Bradshaw lived in the Tudor manor house. He presided at Charles I's trial.
In 1909, composer Jerome Kern took a boat trip on the River Thames with some friends, and when the boat stopped at Walton, Kern went to a pub and inn called the Swan to have a drink. The proprietor's daughter, Eva Leale, was working behind the bar, and on 25 October 1910, the two were married at St. Mary's Church in Walton.
Madeleine Albright, 64th United States Secretary of State, went to a school in Oatlands, the building whilst no longer a school, has been converted into flats and stands next to a pub/restaurant The Oatlands Chaser, formerly known as The Badgers Rest and the Kings Manor.
Max Clifford, the infamous media mogul, current lives in Walton.
In the media Edit
The Walton Hop was a teen disco started by Deniz Corday in 1958. It is reputed to have been the first disco in the UK. During the 1970s and 1980s, it was frequented by now-convicted child sex offenders such as former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning, Tam Paton (manager of the Bay City Rollers) and Jonathan King. It closed in 1990.
Amanda Dowler, murder victim, was born in Walton in June 1988 and was still living there when last seen alive on 21 March 2002. Her body was found some 45 kilometres (28 mi) away in Hampshire six months later. Levi Bellfield, a 41-year-old man from Isleworth serving a life sentence for two murders and an attempted murder, was charged with the murder on 30 March 2010, just after the eighth anniversary of Dowler's disappearance.
The Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre is situated to the east of the town near the River Thames. The centre includes two swimming pools, an extensive gym, indoor courts and a climbing wall.
The River Thames offers extensive opportunities for water based sports including rowing, canoeing, kayaking, skiffing, punting and sailing. Walton Rowing Club and Thames Valley Skiff Club are situated on the river towpath between the town centre and the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre.
Walton Athletics Club was founded in 1942 and is based at Stompond Lane. The club has around 200 members ranging in age from 9 years to over 60 years old. The club provides qualified coaching in all athletics disciplines and participates in a number of different leagues to provide appropriate competition for all age groups in track and field, cross country and road running.
Walton & Hersham F.C. are a football club who are currently spending the 2009–10 season in the Isthmian League Division One South. Nicknamed the Swans, they play at Stompond Lane. The club play in a red and white home kit and a yellow away kit. In 1973, they won the FA Amateur Cup in its penultimate year, beating Slough Town 1–0 in front of 41,000 spectators (the third largest crowd of the day) at Wembley. Later that year, they achieved a shock 4–0 win over Brian Clough's Brighton & Hove Albion (then a Football League Third Division side) in the FA Cup.
Walton Casuals F.C. are a football club who are currently spending the 2009–10 season in the Isthmian League Division One South, the same league as their neighbours Walton & Hersham F.C. Nicknamed the Stags, they play at the Franklyn Road Sports Ground just off Waterside Drive and adjacent to the new Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre. The club play in a tangerine and black home kit and a claret and blue away kit.
- Tommy Bolin's song "Dreamer" was written for someone in Walton, and he makes references to the railways in the song.
- Monty Python filmed a lot of their sketches in Walton. The old town hall can be seen in one sketch. Another sketch shows an Admiral Nelson dummy being thrown from one of the flats in Wellington Close (see the re-released video of "Always look on the bright side of life" containing a "best of" compilation of old sketches) and the public toilets up near the pub "The Regent" are in the background of another sketch.
- The horror film, Psychomania, was shot on location in Walton, including several key scenes in the town centre.
- The ITV sitcom Is It Legal? was shot on location in Walton.
- The Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed at Nettlefold Studios in Walton.
- "The Walton Hop", referencing the aforementioned disco night, was a song on the Luke Haines Album "Off my rocker at the art school bop", documenting the exploits of Jonathan King in particular
- ^ a b "Walton-on-Thames.org". walton-on-thames.org. Walton-on-Thames.org. http://www.walton-on-thames.org/. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ "Julius Caesar and Cowey Sale". elmbridgemuseum.org.uk. Elmbridge Borough Council. http://elmbridgemuseum.org.uk/?Document=100.030.010x1. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ "Sudrie". domesdaymaps.com. DomesdayMaps. http://www.domesdaymaps.com/maps/English%20Maps/Sudrie.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ "2001 Census: Town/villages in Surrey with population more than 1000" (PDF). surreycc.gov.uk. Surrey County Council. http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspublications.nsf/591f7dda55aad72a80256c670041a50d/1c602ea59c869c9180256e600054b26c/$FILE/Town%20populations.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ "Key Figures for 2001 Census: Census Area Statistics". statistics.gov.uk. Directgov. http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=5943025&c=KT12+1BZ&d=14&e=16&g=489875&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&enc=1. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ surreycc.gov.uk, accessdate 2011-01-19.
- ^ "the heart". theheartofwalton.com. O&H Properties Ltd. http://www.theheartofwalton.com. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ Banfield, Stephen (2006). Jerome Kern. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300110470.
- ^ Blackman, Michael Ernest (1989). A short history of Walton-on-Thames. Walton-on-Thames: Walton & Weybridge Local History Society. p. 10. OCLC 24159639.
- ^ "The Swan". swanwalton.com. The Swan. http://www.swanwalton.com/history.html. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ Ronson, Jon (2001-12-01). "The fall of a pop impresario". guardian.co.uk (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2001/dec/01/weekend.jonronson. Retrieved 2009-10-11.
- ^ "Massive search for missing girl". bbc.co.uk (BBC). 2002-05-25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1888659.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ "Fresh leads from Milly TV appeal". bbc.co.uk (BBC). 2008-04-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7324475.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- ^ Stephen Wright (2010-03-31). "Milly Dowler's parents in fresh hope for justice as Levi Bellfield is charged with murder". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1262235/Levi-Bellfield-charged-murder-schoolgirl-Milly-Dowler.html. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- ^ "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Monty Python". youtube.com. YouTube LLC. 2007-03-17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHhootD0_mQ. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
- Walton Business Group ~ taking action for Walton
- Walton-on-Thames.org - local website with discussion forum
- Elmbridge Borough Council
- The Walton Society
- Parish of Walton-on-Thames
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