Impact of British Aerospace Closure – by David Williams

The one other thing I would say about local history which did have a very strong impact on Ham and Petersham was theclosure of British Aerospace.  The factory there had started at the end of the first World War where Ham Urban District Council had very reluctantly said that if the Government really had to have this big emergency aircraft factory that they couldn’t really stand in the way but please would it be just for the duration of hostilities.  Of course Governments as soon as they get something valuable at the end of the war they don’t need they […]

Working at Latchmere House – Memories by RP

I think it’s purely something that you have to accept for yourself, the people that lived in Ham, the majority of them that I knew that lived in the vicinity of the prison were quite happy about it.  I think that as it went on I don’t think the people in Ham had any problems with the prison being there, in fact I think they thought it was quite secure living around there.  For instance, when we went out we never ever locked our doors because we knew that the environment all around there people just wouldn’t break into houses […]

Fighting to save Ham Lands – by David Williams

The biggest campaign that I was fighting in the 1970s was stopping building on Ham Lands. What had happened with Ham Lands is they were former gravel pits, disregarded and looked upon as ‘the wasteland’, one of the names for it used on the Wates Estate in the 1960s.  But the planning history of it was that Wates got permission to build on the 70 acres which is the Wates Estate now, but were then refused permission to build nearer to the river on the river side of Riverside Drive and in the typical local government way after Wates had […]

Leading Petersham Sea Scouts trip to Rhyll – by RP

I was the Scout Leader for my sins from 1982/83. That was the Petersham Sea Scouts and we used to go out on camping and so on and the reason I seemed to have got involved was that I said once to somebody that when are they going camping and they’d never been camping before.  So we went camping with our boats and so on and we went down to Rhyll or somewhere on the south coast, no Rhyll is in Wales we went down near Swanage, Poole harbour.  In those days it was just boys, the girls came later […]