A selection of the latest articles from Shepperton Matters.

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The Worst Flood In Living Memory – 1947

At this time of year, residents who live near the Thames will be remembering the terrible floods of three years ago, which caused such disruption and damage. Exactly 60 years ago, in 1947, our community was facing an even worse challenge.

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Rotary and Men in Sheds Support Mission for Vision

Mission for Vision, featured last year in Shepperton Matters, was founded by Ian Squire in 2003 as a means to improving the lives of those living in the poorest regions in the developing world.

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The History of Sunbury Pubs

To my mind, Sunbury is defined by its pubs. The joys of living along the river are never more evident than when enjoying a pint alongside it in a pub.

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Emma Dow’s Final Bow

Sunbury has lost a great talent, a great personality and a great inspiration. After a battle with cancer, Emma Dow passed away in the Sam Beare Hospice, aged 45, with her family at her side in November 2016. She has left a huge legacy within the community and touched many lives.

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Something Has to Give!

It has all gone crazy! Everywhere I turn there are new houses springing up. We understand there is a housing crisis and that the demand for more housing has never been so great.

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Spelthorne’s Late Blooms

So, judgement day arrived in late October (after we had gone to print with the November issue, so excuse the tardy report). You may remember me reporting that we had been persuaded to enter our riverside garden into the Spelthorne in Bloom competition earlier this year.

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Rotary Youth Speaks Competition 2016

Nine teams from five schools took part in Youth Speaks, the annual public speaking competition for schools, organised by Shepperton Aurora Rotary on 18th November at the Council Chambers in Staines. Each team consisted of 3 members, a Chairperson, a Speaker, and giver of Vote of Thanks, and spoke on a subject of their own choice. Choices of subject covered a wide range, from ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover’ to ‘The Dark Side of Exams’.

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Still Brewing in Spelthorne

You are probably aware that Staines has a brewing tradition. 200 or so years ago there were in fact many small breweries in the area, attracted by the pure water in Staines. In the late 18th century records list Thomas Gates and William Harris as brewers and the Harris family went on to be one of the major local brewing families.

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Christmas Past

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I would take a look at the festive season in our community in years gone by, starting exactly 90 years ago in 1926.

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A Sunbury Victoria Cross Holder

In this month of Remembrance, I thought I would share the story of a former Sunbury resident who won the Victoria Cross, the Nation’s highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, and almost incredibly, survived his ordeal.

Meeting the Prop Master

We are loving having a peek behind the scenes at Shepperton Studios. Not on set, you understand, but what goes on in the making of a film. Last month we brought you a piece on Motion Capture and the role it plays in blockbusters.

If you missed an issue of Shepperton Matters, don't worry you can read them all online. Find out more about each issue or read the online version.

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Issue 64

In this months issue you can read plenty about threats to services: the buses, fire station etc. But we look back also at the worst flood in living memory and it is not the one of 3 years ago, but 1947. We can be thankful at least that we have seen some improvements in infrastructure since then.

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Issue 63

This is our last issue of the year (and the first of next year as we are doing a joint issue for the first time). We hear about the schools public speaking competition, about the local brewing heritage and about the winners of Spelthorne in Bloom.

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Issue 62

As well as reflecting on Armistice Day with a fantastic cover from Amy Hannaford Cooper, the super talented 11 year old from Shepperton, we take another trip to Shepperton Studios, behind the scenes and meet the Prop Master. We also share some memories of The Hovel which is well remembered by many, not necessarily for the food!

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Issue 61

This month we carry articles on safety in the water following the tragic death of a teenager. We also look behind the scenes at Motion Capture at Shepperton Studios and hear about one Shepperton lady’s quest to help youngsters in African get an education.

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Issue 60

Well, what a month! Celebrations in Shepperton when it found it had been voted one of the happiest places in the UK. We have a look at why. We have coffee with Diana Moran, the Green Goddess and talk health and fitness in later years and we hear about the mystery of the Millais Window in St Magdalen’s Church, Littleton.

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Issue 58

What an issue this is. Local events galore. We have a review of the wonderful Shepperton Fair, as well as the Laleham Open Gardens. We also say goodbye to the old Mayor of Spelthorne and welcome the new one in, Alfred Friday, who has plans to make Spelthorne sparkle during his term.

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As well as our usual look at Shepperton of yesteryear, we meet Fat Al, the strongman of Shepperton, who has just opened his own gym by Nauticalia. We also hear about the talent at Thamesmead School through their annual Songstar competition. Finally, we hear about the bee society and find out that we could actually learn a lot from their ways of interacting.

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Issue 56

Bridal fashion truly comes to Shepperton, at an affordable price. The Princess Alice Hospice shop now boasts a special floor of wedding dresses, prom dresses and outfits for the mother of the bride. Brilliant. We also meet Stephen Kettle, slate sculptor to some rather special clients.

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Issue 55

This month we meet a former lord of the manor, Sir Edward Nicolls of Littleton Park. Nearer to our world today, we talk to optician Ian Squire about his charity Mission for Vision which he set up to help those in impoverished countries in Africa who do not have access to eye care. The Shepperton Fair is not far away now and the theme has been announced as Colourful Carnival. We look at what the fair means to local primary schools who take part in the parade.

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Issue 54

We spend a morning that The Greeno centre. It involves rugby players, dogs, welding and a visit to the hair dresser. What a morning!
We also see the launch of the Shepperton Fair photographic competition, sponsored by Shepperton Matters and attend a quiz night at Thamesmead School as part of the fundraising activities by Friends of Thamesmead.

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Issue 53

This month we visit Battlecrease Hall in Shepperton to hear from current owners Mike Brennan and Lisa Rollin about their experiences of ghosts, poltergeists and spirits. We also meet the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey for coffee and find out about his work representing the royal family. We also talk to the old boys who worked on the river maintenance of the Thames, dredging and keeping channels clear to ensure no flooding. If only we could go back to those days!

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Issue 51

It seems that Shepperton has it’s own Christmas ghost story. We hear tales of things that went bump in the night at Battlecrease House. We also revisit the story of the Great Wood Scramble, with further memories of the market gardening around Watersplash Road.