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The latest from Sunbury, Shepperton & Molesey Matters

The Last Thames Frost Fair

February 1814: King George III was on the throne, Tory Lord Liverpool was Prime Minister and the Napoleonic Wars would soon be over. It was also the third coldest winter since 1659, when the Central England Temperature (CET) records began. After weeks of bitter chill, blankets of fog and drifting snow, Londoners awoke on 1 February to find that the River Thames had ground to an icy halt.

Save Hanworth Park House

A former hunting lodge of Henry VII is in danger of being pulled down. Hanworth Park House which comes under Hounslow borough, has stood empty for 25 years but was bought 3 years ago by Gary Cottle who wants to sell a part of the land off for housing and put the funds towards restoration of the lodge.

Aliens in Elmbridge

Acclaimed as a scientific and social prophet, Herbert George Wells was a prolific novelist famous primarily for science fiction but also for comic realism. After a brief apprenticeship to a draper, Wells became a student-teacher, eventually winning a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (later Imperial College) where his studies under the great zoologist T H Huxley inspired his science fiction writing.

Restaurant Review – The Ivory Tusk

There have been some tasty changes at the Ivory Tusk in Shepperton. The core menu remains the same, with a great selection of mild (including Mr C’s favourite Chicken Tikka Masala), medium and hot dishes on offer as well as vegetable side dishes, accompaniments and of course tandoori dishes.

Big Tree Night 2017 Review

The weather was not completely unkind to Big Tree Night. It poured with rain during the set up and later during the evening, but for the main part of the event itself, the clouds cleared away and the stars came out and the Big Tree looked fabulous! Children clasped hands with their parents, avoiding large puddles on the High Street as they looked earnestly for a view of Santa.

Ian Squire – RIP

The community was shocked and saddened to hear of the recent death of optician Ian Squire. I found myself caught up in the aftermath of the announcement by the Foreign Office in a bizarre way.

Campaign for Courtesy

We attended a very polite award presentation at The Anchor hotel recently with the Mayor of Spelthorne, Vivienne Leighton, borough and county councillors, local dignitaries and MP Kwasi Kwarteng.

Blooming Shepperton

Shepperton did well at the recent Spelthorne in Bloom awards at the Orangery, Shepperton Studios. The evening was presented by Nick Wood-Dow, chairman of SiB with a welcome address by Peter Hicks of Shepperton Studios.

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. Telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, the story has become a firm favourite all over the world.

Tanners Bridge Painting in Molesey Library

This is a detail from the painting of Tanners Bridge, which hangs in Molesey Library. The caption of the painting reads ‘Bridge over the Mole 1905 by Arnold Helcke’. Tanners Bridge is the bridge across the Mole at the end of Spencer Road.

Weird Christmas Traditions

Forget the Christmas turkey or ham. For many Japanese, traditional Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Due to a combination of tiny Japanese ovens and a clever marketing campaign convincing locals that fried chicken is a traditional American Yuletide feast, reservations must be made to eat at a KFC on Christmas Day.