I’VE BEEN delighted by the response to my question about readers’ memories of the Walton Yacht Company during the 1940s and 1950s. I had so much input that I have enough information to produce a special feature about the place.
Thanks to all those who responded.
ADDITIONALLY, I’d asked whether anyone remembered something called the Walton petrol run during the Second World War, and Ray Moyse from King George’s Drive in New Haw has come up with the goods.
Roy, now 82 and a long-time Walton resident, tells me he remembers what he described as ‘miniature tankers’ coming up the Thames to load all kinds of fuel from a little jetty beside some concealed oil tanks on the site now occupied by the Esso terminal close to the Xcel leisure centre.
Roy said: “They used to ferry all different kinds of fuel into central London, including petrol, aviation fuel and diesel.”
The fuel was pumped along a 6ins pipe to the tanks at Walton, all the way from a refinery at Avonmouth near Bristol so that tankers did not need to run the gauntlet of German air raids and naval attacks in the English Channel.
Roy added: “I think we suffered one or two bombing raids in Walton because the Germans were trying to hit the oil storage depot but it wasn’t very visible from the air because the tanks were covered with earth and grass.”
He remembers Walton gas works in Manor Road, where his dad worked, being hit by incendiary bombs in September 1944.
“We always believed they were looking for the oil depot and just mistook the gasometer for an oil tank,” he said.
IF YOU’RE looking for a great source of information about the Thames you might try logging onto the website put together by Shepperton Marina operations manager Steve Cray.
It’s www.sheppertonlink.com and has a wealth of data about local wildlife, river conditions, local history and social clubs in addition to news and special offers aimed at berth holders in the marina.
Steve said: “We wanted to provide something for everyone who loves life on and around the Thames and to help people make the most out of the area.”
STAINES and Egham Sea Cadets have now completed their move into a temporary new home at the Lammas Park in Staines while the future of the Bridge Street car park is decided.
Unit commander Steve Bennett delighted with his new surroundings and is keen to attract more youngsters aged between 11 and 18, both boys and girls, to join the cadets.
If you’d like to find out a bit more about what they do – including opportunities to learn sailing, rowing, abseiling and shooting – give Steve a call on 01784 469064.