Thameside Molesey

Rowland G. M. Baker, 1989

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The authors are indebted to the people of Molesey who have told of their lives, shown or lent their pictures and records and allowed us into their homes. They are too many to mention by name, and sadly some are not now with us. Most will recognise themselves and remember their contributions, and we hope they will take this as our gratitude for their help and support. Once again, we must stress that anyone who ventures into local history must be grateful for the help given by public libraries and record offices. From national collections down to local ones, librarians and archivists seem always helpful, willing and courteous. We would like particularly to mention Molesey Library, Thames Ditton Library, Kingston Heritage Centre, Surrey Records Office, Surrey Local Record Office, British Library and Colindale Newspaper Library, Trustees of the British Museum, Hunting Aerofilms Ltd, Aerial Photography, and to thank most sincerely the staff of each and all of them.

Once again we are grateful to the Clerk of the old Esher UDC for allowing access to books and papers within his care and to Mrs Sally Ward for typing the manuscript.

Finally our thanks go to Mr Clive Birch of Barracuda Books, and to Mr Derek Brown, for kindly writing the foreword to this book.

FOREWORD by Derek Brown

This is Rowland Baker's last book and there could be no more fitting swansong. He was born in Molesey and as a child he wandered all round the district, exploring every road and path. The towpath beside the Thames was a great attraction and he was always stirred when walking among such scenes of gentle beauty.

He decided at a young age to collect everything that he could relating to Molesey's past, with an ambition eventually to write the history of his native place. The Book of Molesey, published a year before his death, is the splendid memorial of him and his life's work.

The opening of the present Molesey Library was a great pleasure: he saw it as the final repository for his extensive collection. He arranged an exhibition under the title of Joseph Palmer's poem, 'Dear peaceful Molesey, ever in my mind' showing a wealth of riverside pictures and photographs.

Molesey, its rivers and walks, were ever in his mind, so that his friends, reading this book, will keep him in mind and hear his voice again and recall his smiling enthusiasm as they ramble with him in spirit along the towpath. Readers who own this book will share his quiet enjoyment.


To Martin and Steven

ISBN 0 86023 414 2

Thameside Molesey was originally published by Barracuda Books, now part of Baron, publishers of heritage volumes - maritime, military, transport, sporting and local. It is made available here with the kind agreement of Radmore Birch Associates.

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A printed copy is available from:

  • Molesey Residents Association: Ernest Mallett, 20 Walton Road, East Molesey, Tel 020-8979-6446
  • Bookshop: 68, Walton Road, East Molesey 020-8224-3232
  • Molesey Library, The Forum, Walton Road, West Molesey 020-8979-6348
  • Houben's Bookshop: 2a Church Court, Richmond 020-8940-1055
  • Alternatively you may be able to get second hand copy on amazon.

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