Postcards from the Past

A set of postcards from 1919, sent simply to The Cottage, Littleton, Shepperton have had us delving into the past once again. The Cottage, refers to Astleham Cottage which was originally on Littleton Common, now the site of the Queen Mary Reservoir.

Learning from bees

Forget honey and even their pollination services! What we can learn from honeybees could change our whole way of thinking – but first we need to let go of the idea that humans are more important than anything else on the planet.

Shepperton National School 1908

This postcard, dated 1908, is entitled ‘The Almshouses Shepperton’. Far from being Almshouses though, this was at the time the Shepperton National School. An illustration of how important it is not to take things at face value when researching history! Many readers will recognise that the building (on the right) is now the ‘School of Spice’ restaurant, at the lower end of Shepperton High Street.

A Little Arts Festival 2016

There will be a varied programme during the festival as usual, but this year the SSAA will be presenting a mini festival from July 21st-24th. There will be something for everyone for sure, celebrating art through music, art, cooking and literature. Events will take place at the Riverside Arts Centre apart from the first two mentioned here.

Spelthorne Civic Awards 2016

“Whilst we may not be able to directly affect the lot of many people in troubled areas, we can make a huge difference within our own communities” said Chairman Colin Squire during the opening remarks of the 2016 Spelthorne Civic Awards presentation last month.

Why we need Bees

Shepperton is a great area for bees to live, because there is plenty of forage for them in the large undeveloped areas around the lakes and by the rivers, and there is little intensive agriculture or monoculture.

Shepperton Slate Sculptor & Friends

Stephen Kettle is not a regular sculptor as such, but creates art out of tiny chips of slate. Over the years he has had numerous high profile commissions and his work had been championed by none other than James May of Top Gear fame.

School Magazine Publishing in 1957

As a publisher myself I fully appreciate the work that goes into creating magazines. I have the luxury of a computer, the ability to correct spelling and move sentences around all at super-fast speed.

Mission for Vision

Imagine you are watching TV one evening and it is a strain to see detail. What do you do? In our privileged Western world, you simply call up your local optician, get an appointment and sort some long distance glasses. No problem!

Sir Edward Nicholl of Littleton Park

Sir Edward Nicholl was born at Pool, in Cornwall, on the 17th June, 1862. He came from a fairly modest background, and was apprenticed as an engineer. On completing his apprenticeship, he became a ship’s engineer, and worked his way up to become marine superintendent. Eventually he managed to raise some money and became a ship owner himself.

Shepperton Fair Photographic Competition

Shepperton Matters is once again sponsoring the Shepperton Fair Photographic competition. There are several categories to choose from. The Derek Belsey Memorial Trophy awards photos of natural history.

The Greeno –Lifeline to Many

It was wet and miserable outside. Inside it was vibrant, happy and fun. The Greeno was positively bustling and was brimming with positivity.

Friends of Thamesmead

I joined in some fun recently. I was invited to the Thamesmead School quiz one Friday night, put on by what was the Parent Teachers Association, to raise much needed funds for the school.

Chertsey Bridge

The local bridges over the Thames are a vital part of our transport infrastructure, if often the focus of long queues of traffic. Many of them have a long and interesting history, and that between Shepperton and Chertsey is no exception.

Things that go bump in the night

In the December issue, the history piece by Nick Pollard described ghostly goings on at Battlecrease Hall in Shepperton. These tales had been reported in the local newspaper in the mid 1940’s. Battlecrease Hall was given a new lease of life by current owners Mike Brennan and Lisa Rollin who moved in in 2013.


Charles Dickens, who knew the Sunbury and Shepperton area well, was the man who popularised the idea of the Christmas Ghost Story, in the mid nineteenth century. Whilst looking through old Christmas editions of the Middlesex Chronicle at Spelthorne Museum in Staines, I came across the following story of ghostly goings-on at Battlecrease Hall in Shepperton in the edition for 27th December 1946.

Maps, memory and landscape

The article on the Great Woodland Scramble 1928 in the September issue raised several conversations with informed readers, including members of the Barker family who first occupied Staines Road Farm in 1928.

Youth Speaks 2015

The ability to stand up in front of an audience and be able to give an address, is always going to stand you in good stead. Think of that best man’s speech, making a sales presentation or standing up and asking a question at a public meeting.

The Joys of an Allotment

Once was the time……. Friday night was the start of the weekend. Maybe a quick drink after work with friends in the local pub, before ending the night in a local restaurant. That of course was in those long ago days before I met my little Cherub. So, what did I do last Friday night? I went to the annual AGM of the Laleham Allotment Association.