Piecing Together the Past

The internet has brought contact from all over the world in matters related to Sunbury. I am lucky to have a close relationship with the Sunbury & Shepperton History Society so it sometimes results in us doing some joint detective work.

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.

How are the bees?

Here in Sunbury they have thrived for the 12 years I have been keeping bees. There is plenty of forage for them, the apple, pear, cherry trees in spring, then the lime trees, sweet chestnut take over.

Cycle Repairs on my Driveway

One of my dear friends had suggested I join her for a charity bike ride in March to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. 40 miles with my old bike seemed like an impossible challenge.

Never too Young to Train as a Gymnast

I was amazed to learn that its literally never too young to start with the famous Spelthorne Gymnastics. As well as their groups of older children who perform at world class level, the club offers pre-school classes from the age of only eight weeks old!

Embroidery Gallery

This year sees a series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of the Embroidery Gallery. Hopefully most residents will have visited the gallery and marvelled at the incredible Millenium Embroidery depicting our village.

Sunbury in Literature by Gavin Worrell

Those of you who use Facebook, and who are part of the Sunbury on Thames group, will no doubt have been enlightened by Gavin Worrell’s many postings on Sunbury, including history and some fantastic photos. Gavin has allowed us to reproduce some of his postings for those of you who are not on social media.

Where there’s muck, there’s money!

In the 1790s, the Board of Agriculture commissioned two qualified surveyors, Thomas Baird (1793) and John Middleton (1797) to report on the state of agriculture in Middlesex.

Coffee with the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey

What does one wear when one visits the Lord Lieutenant, the Queens representative in Surrey? I selected my charity shop coat of course. Amongst his many charitable roles, Michael More-Molyneux is a major supporter of Shooting Star Chase (yes, that is where said coat was purchased!), having been involved in it since its foundation.

To Dredge or Not to Dredge…

Twenty years ago the Environment Agency made the conscious decision to halt river maintenance. They sold off the dredgers and plant. That decision was irreversible and deliberate and broke up what was an effective and professional management of our rivers.

Shepperton and The Great Train Robbery

I recently visited the Museum of London’s excellent (if gruesome in places) exhibition of items from Scotland Yard’s Black Museum, connected with infamous crimes. One of the displays was about the Great Train Robbery of August 8th, 1963.

The History of The Shahin

In 1957 18 year old Mahmadur Rashid came to the UK from Pakistan to find his destiny. It had been an adventurous journey. With a one way ticket, he took a 28 seater plane from Dakar which had to make an emergency landing when the radio gear caught fire.

Lost & Found

Continuation in finding lost friends and relations through Sunbury Matters.


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.

Middlesex – London’s Market Garden

I recently visited a fascinating exhibition put on by the Environment Trust about the forgotten history of market gardening in South West London entitled “Feeding London”. It is on at the library of the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew and is well worth a visit.

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.

New HQ for Sunbury Scouts & Guides

I was a shy young thing. Ironically, joining the Brownies, would have been just the thing for me, as I discovered when I went to the grand opening of the new HQ of the 1st Sunbury Scouts & Guides. The event was teaming with old and young, those who had been a scout or guide back as far as 40 years ago.

Légion d’Honneur for Sunbury Man

The Légion d’honneur, is France’s highest decoration. It was established by Napoleon in 1802 to recognise individual merit. Among its recipients are those who have played a part in the liberation of France and so it was that Sunbury’s John Cairns was recently invited to a special ceremony at the French Embassy to receive such an award for the part he played in WW2.