Rowland G. M. Baker, 1989
How one can best classify this little volume is difficult to say. It is not intended that it should be yet another Thames guide book, (there are so many, which cover a much wider area than this book hopes to do). Neither is it entirely a chapter out of the district's long and fascinating past, nor an anthology of river literature, not yet just a retrospect of the author's personal riverside memories. Nevertheless it somehow contrives to be a confusion of all of these — local history — anthology — nostalgia, a vade-mecum for all would be ramblers of the towpath.
The author has known the riverside for well over half a century. The Thames has been a place in which to swim, on which to boat, and alongside which to stroll. In wartime it was something to be guarded, in peace it was somewhere to court. It has been a pleasurable experience he would share with others, by leading the reader on a ramble along the towpath of Molesey's river. For, like John Taylor, the seventeenth century water poet, he declares:
'Noble Thames, whilst I can hold a pen,
I will divulge thy glory unto men'.
Note: Sadly the author died after completing the text for this, his second book on Molesey's past; his widow, Gwen, has searched out the illustrations and their captions from her husband's records, adding her own affectionate knowledge of the same riverside, and her own, independent researches. Obviously some inevitable recent changes may have taken place since the text was completed in 1987.
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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