Author: Gordon Elsden
Release date: 3rd July
In ancient times, the Latchmere Brook made its slow, almost lethargic way to the Thames through the present-day districts of Canbury, Tudor, Ham and Petersham.
This book endeavours to tell some of the stories of a remarkable group of people, who either lived, worked or went to school in the vicinity of the Latchmere, in the early to mid-20th century. Closer inspection reveals an enthralling period of local history that deserves a wider audience and a group of people from whom we can gain some inspiration and a little entertainment.
Fascinating stories include:
-The transformation of the agricultural landscape that included farms, dairies and orchards to one supporting large estates of residential property and protected nature reserves.
-Pioneers of aviation who established revolutionary aircraft factories in Canbury and Ham with aircraft that made a crucial contribution in both world wars and the cold war.
-Kingston’s own regiment, the East Surreys, who played a key role in the liberation of north Africa and Italy during WW2.
-Ham’s very own narrow-gauge railway.
-The daily activity of market traders, greengrocers and butchers. An unassuming man, who for 57 years, lived quietly “next door” with his family on the Tudor Estate, yet was appointed by the President of the Republic of France as a Chevalier in the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur.
-Escapades of local children who, having little in the way of material possessions, exploited the natural landscape to the full and using their fertile minds, imaginatively distracted themselves from the disruption and devastation of the Blitz.
-A boxing club in Ham that punched well above its weight.
-The explosion of an energetic new wave of jazz, R&B and Rock & Roll that placed this area at the forefront of the international musical revolution of the 1950s and 1960s.
Please note – this book is due to be released on July 3rd, and is therefore only available to pre-order!