A Guide to the Industrial History of Reigate and Banstead Borough
The Surrey Industrial History Group has now produced guides to each of the administrative districts of the county. This guide to Elmbridge is a revised edition of the earlier book written by the late Rowland G M Baker shortly before he died in 1987 and we acknowledge the help given by his work. Elmbridge Borough, like the other boroughs and districts in Surrey, was formed at the reorganisation of local government in 1974 when the Urban District of Walton and Weybridge merged with that of Esher. It comprises the old civil parishes of Cobham, East Molesey, West Molesey, Long Ditton, Thames Ditton, Esher, Oxshott, Stoke D'Abernon, Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge. The borough covers about 40 square miles with the river Thames as its northern boundary, between the river Wey in the west and the London boundary at Surbiton in the east.
Regarding communications in the borough, the Thames has had a large influence on its development, whilst the historic main road from London to Portsmouth passing through from Long Ditton to Cobham has been an important route for many years. The London and Southampton Railway was opened in 1838 as far as Woking, bringing trains to Esher, Walton and Weybridge.
A large part of the water supply for London and North Surrey is extracted from the section of the Thames flowing through Elmbridge; this has resulted in the presence of waterworks and reservoirs in the borough. Varied manufacturing activities have taken place, many of which were connected with the activities at Brooklands.
The book attempts to describe the history of the main industrial work within the borough as well as other related items of interest which may not be recorded elsewhere. As so many items of interest in this borough occur on or beside the waterways, separate chapters have been included which describe features along the Thames and Mole and the Wey and its navigation. The Group would welcome details of any errors or omissions in the Guide so that our records and those of others to whom we supply information, can be as accurate and comprehensive as possible.