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We consider ourselves fortunate to live in a lovely part of the United Kingdom, namely Weybridge in Surrey. We are close to London but also close to the North Downs and the South coast so going over to France and the Continent has always been a good option for us.

The small hamlet of Weybridge grew into a town during the 16th century when King Henry VIII built Oatlands Palace for his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. Unfortunately the Palace is no longer there but the site is now home to the Oatlands Park Hotel which has great views down to Broadwater Lake and the River Thames. 
An interesting fact about this hotel is that there have been ghost sightings by some of the staff who say they have seen 'a lady dressed in grey'. Also, one of the guest rooms has a 'cold spot' and visitors using this room have asked to be transferred to another room, sometimes in the middle of the night, for no apparent reason!
Many public houses in the area started life as hunting lodges used by Henry VIII. One in particular, The Lincoln Arms, was owned by the Earl of Lincoln and during Tudor times was indeed frequented by the King. Another is The King's Manor which can be found in Oatlands Chase. It is believed that Henry wooed Anne Boleyn here while still married to Catherine of Aragon!

This is the Lincoln Arms Public House. It is also the start of a great River Thames walk which takes you past the lock and around Desborough Island where Ben plays cricket for the Vandals Youth Squad during the summer. The Vandals also have a rugby club but Ben hasn't shown any interest in joining this yet!  

This picture of the Wey Bridge was taken in the early 1900's. It still looks very similar and fishermen use this bridge to get across 'the cut' to fish on the other bank. When you are driving down from the Lincoln Arms (now the Minnow) if you look out of the passenger side of the car you will always see fishing umbrella's up on the other bank. It's a very popular spot. I guess they must catch a lot of fish there!

Here is a map showing the walk which takes you past the footbridge leading to Eyot Island, the headquarters of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Richard D'Oyly Carte (1844-1901) was a theatrical manager who became famous as the producer of Gilbert and Sullivan Opera's performed at the Savoy Theatre in London which he built. On the banks opposite Weybridge you can see the town of Shepperton where Dan used to live. During the summer months there is a small ferry which rows you across. To call the ferryman you ring the bell which is situated just before Eyot Island. Shepperton is a pretty waterside location and worth visiting, especially the area known as Church Square where I used to work in Blubeckers Eating House.

Although we have only lived in Perrysfield since July '97, the twins and I have lived in Walton and then Hersham for quite some time. Myself and my girls since 1980 and the twins since they were born at St. Peter's Hospital. Chertsey on 29th August 1986. Ben at 7.20 and Robyn following closely at 7.40 pm. This picture shows staff at The Swan Public House in 1912. My eldest daughter, Loretta use to use this pub a lot when she lived locally, but the staff didn't look like this! There are some nice pubs along the river walking towards Hampton Court. One of our favourites is The Weir, located on the towpath just after Walton Leisure Centre. As its name indicates, its on the opposite bank to Lower Sunbury and their is a weir which separates the two river areas. As there are lots of tiny islands, or eyots, along that stretch of water, it is very pretty but also dangerous to navigate unless you understand the locks and weirs. 
Walton is the twins 'stomping ground' as all their friends live there and they make good use of all the town has to offer, which is not much. There is a library, a cinema, a sports ground which is home to the local football team and the Walton Athletics club and tennis centre, a swimming pool and a leisure centre plus lots of parks. Smaller children are well catered for, but sadly to say, not teenagers! Walton is in the process of building a new shopping area and they also have The Playhouse Theatre so that's some consolation.
The area called Cowey Sale down by Walton Bridge is very old indeed and Roman coins have been found there. Walton itself dates back to Viking times when raids were carried out on St. Mary's Church and further upriver at Chertsey Abbey which no longer exists. 
St. Mary's Church however, does still exist and the twins were Christened there. The present building is Norman in origin and it use to display a very interesting object called a 'scalds bridle'. Nagging wives had to watch out in Mediaeval times or their husbands could ask for a sort of metal harness which was strapped around the face and held the tongue at the back of the mouth. I haven't seen it in there lately so perhaps a needy husband has removed it for personal use!
This is a photograph of St. Mary's Church tower taken in 1910.

Our present home, Perrysfield, although not situated by the River Thames as Dan's last home was, is nevertheless, located in a very secluded spot. We don't see many people, but we do see lots of local wildlife, especially squirrels,  foxes and a multitude of birds including a woodpecker, magpies and the occasional crow.

The plot where we live was once part of Lord Ellesmere's estate and our house is built over part of the driveway that once led to the 'Great House'. This house was once a hospital for the sick and wounded during the time of the Napoleonic Wars and then became a specialist hospital sometimes during the twentieth century. It is now a Berkley Homes development.
There is a Mulberry tree in our garden that is thought to be 300 years old. Perrysfield however, only dates back to the sixties so there is not much history in the house itself. It's a nice place though and we are blessed to have a garden full of trees, birds and the occasional ducks that fly across from the lakes in Burwood Park and try to nest. This picture was taken a couple of years ago when my Aunt Vera was still with us. My mum misses her a lot as they were friends as well as sisters. We have had lots of 'family gatherings' here and everyone has enjoyed being in the garden. 
At the bottom of our drive there is a very muddy lane which has land owned by Walton Charities. It has lots of trees and shrubs and Carina and I sometimes go down during early spring to pick a few bluebells.
We also have lots of wind-chimes, both inside and outside the house. I really like the noise they make but Robyn hates them so I have had to compromise and take any down that are near her windows!
We are located very close to St. George's Hill, a very select, very private estate which is home to many of the rich and famous. John Lennon of The Beatles used to live here during the seventies with his first wife Cynthia. Sir Cliff Richard lives in St. George's Hill and we are told by the staff at our local curry restaurant, Saffron in Oatlands Drive, that Sir Cliff has also been known to eat there too!

The town of Weybridge is quite pretty with a cricket green, monument, lock and river walks along the Thames towpath. It also has some great restaurants but not much in the way of shopping. Our nearest areas for that are Guildford, Woking and Kingston.

Weybridge is also famous for the old racing track at Brooklands,  considered to be the birthplace of British motor racing. They have a museum there showing how life was in the 1920's and 30's and many old cars and memorabilia about famous racing drivers and their machines. Brooklands is also famous as an aeronautical museum.

This is how the airstrip looked in the 1930's.
Brooklands dates back to 1906 when Hugh Locke King decided to build a great oval banked motor racing circuit. The track was the first of its kind in the world and not only became the home of British motor racing until 1939 but also the birthplace of the British Aviation Industry. The name Brooklands has always been synonymous with speed, excitement and powerful engines! Visit the Brooklands Society web site for more information.

On a quieter note, they also hold a Sunday morning market there which is quite popular if on the small side. Great for bedding plants in the early summer and much cheaper than the local garden centres.

The town is also home to The Elmbridge Museum which can be found above the Library in Church Street. This is a great place to take children as they have permanent and also temporary displays which change throughout the year. It is all about the History of the Borough of Elmbridge and is fascinating for children and anyone who likes looking back into the past.

As all of Surrey is classed as the  'Green Belt' surrounding London, there are some lovely walks very close to us. One area we love to walk our dog is Whiteley Village. This is an area given over to the elderly and retired who live there amid beautiful green surroundings. It is an entire village which can be found along Seven Hills Road. The village also holds a yearly music and arts festival. Last year one of Robyn's friends, Becky, was performing in a play there and the twins went along to watch.  Ben also used to play Saturday morning football there when he was younger.
Close to Weybridge station is The Hand and Spear public house where Dan and I used to go on a Sunday lunchtime to listen to jazz. This pub was really popular at one point but was then taken over by the 'Firkin' chain and has lost most of its clients and unfortunately is no longer the great music venue that it once was. It's a shame because we need more live music venue's in Weybridge.
There is a Weybridge music festival which is held during the summer months but this is more for lovers of classical rather than alternative bands and jazz.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about our part of the world.

Dan and I don't know if we will grow old here but it certainly suits us at present as the twins social life has taken off and they still have two more years to go until they pack their bags for University or Art College or whatever beckons.
I would also like to renovate another old property as I have always found this both stimulating and rewarding and it keeps me out of Dan's hair (no pun intended)!
Come back and visit us soon.
Goodbye from Weybridge.
13th October 2002

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This document maintained by Jacquetta.
Material Copyright © 2001 Dan & Jacquetta Holle