Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Sepia Saturday 167

Through discontent of my long fruitless stay
In prince's court, and expectation vain
Of idle hopes, which still do fly away
Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain),
Walk'd forth to ease my pain
Along the shore of silver-streaming Thames;

Edmund Spenser




Not quite as exotic location as this week's Theme Image with it's tropical seas and eucalyptus trees, but nonetheless it fills all the boxes of comings and goings, and boats and water.

  Anglers' Wharf about 1895
River Thames by the Anglers' Wharf date unknown.

Commonly, and currently, known as the Anglers' Wharf after the near by Anglers' Hotel, it was once known as the town wharf.  It was one of the main ways large bulky goods got into the town.  My late Father-in-Law told tales of him going down to the Wharf to get livestock  and drive them back to the Slaughterhouse where he worked.   They were driven through the Town, up to Walton station and under the foot-passage under the rails. 

The Hotel was once fairly basic serving the needs of wharf workers and boaters, it also housed a long defunct Buff Lodge. Nowadays, the Anglers', whilst it has been gentrified and the food poncified, probably doesn't attract a better class of punter.  

Circa 1890

A short way to the right of this image a Ferry used to ply it's trade and take people to and from the Middlesex side;

The Minstrel sitting down to dine

To retrospection doth incline;

“A faultless figure, watchet eyes

As sweet as early summer skies !

What pretty hands, what subtle grace,

And what a winsome little face !”

In the Anglers’ driest sherry

He toasts the lass of Walton Ferry !

Adapted from Bolney Ferry, J Ashby-Sterry (1886):

38 comments:

  1. Mike,A Bountiful Catch Of Sepia Photos! Such A Shame That Old Industry Disappears In such A Fashion.But As Long As We Have Plenty of Dry Sherry & somebody to Toast with it,All is not lost!

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    1. I'll drink a toast to that later, but in Hogs' Back Brewery TEA (English Traditional Ale)

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  2. With a name like Anglers' Wharf, I expected the wharf to be mainly a place to fish.

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    1. I think the original, and possibly the proper? name was the Town Wharf. As kids we fish there and later we swam off the wharf and went into the Pub dripping wet

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  3. A plethora of apostrophes in that sign!

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    1. Probably another 2 at the other end

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  4. A pleasant Sunday afternoon, just messing about on the river.

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  5. Just wondering where this was along the river? What town are you speaking of anyway? Great to see those folks all sitting down by the hotel...must have weary feet!

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  6. These very old pictures are great! They capture the time period as well. I really enjoyed learning about Anglers Wharf. Thank you.

    Kathy M.

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  7. The second picture maks me think of Three Men in a Boat for some reason.

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  8. Girls, girls, girls I've commented below in the order you entered my world,

    Boobook, we certainly did that in the summers - roamed like savages stirring up mischief.

    Barb. It's the River Thames, and the Town Walton-on-Thames, it has a long history the name is Anglo-Saxon meaning homestead or farm of the Celts or Britons - It has a Norman church, with earlier Angle Saxon bits, and a Timber Framed Manor House.

    Kathy. I sometimes feel out of my time and have a hankering to live then, but with some modern comforts.

    Nell. The Three Men in a Boat was set on the Thames and passed through this way - must have a reread. A "Three Men in a Boat" trip has been done quite recently to raise money fro charity. The link below should get you there.

    http://www.streeten.me/threemeninaboat/

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    1. I hadn't seen that one - it was in my time out period.

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  9. I almost didn't need to see the text after immmediately recognising that iconic Thames barge sail in your first picture. I've been to the Thames Water water treatment plant at Walton when running environmental auditing courses - saw the river in a different light as a result.

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    1. There are two plants at Walton, one upstream and a Metropolitan Water Board one downstream - I had mates that worked at both.

      When we were kids the river was filthy, but that didn't stop us swimming in it.

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  10. I'm currently ploughing my way through Peter Ackroyd's book Thames Sacred River. I'm looking forward to reading about this era, if I survive the turgid first few chapters, and the banging on about how sacred the river is.

    The first photograph reminds me of a Sutcliffe photo. I suspect it's something to do with the broad beam of the boats and the low camera angle.

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    1. Never viewed the river as sacred, but the ancients might have in pre-history. Given the subject I would have thought it would be a very interesting Book. It has been a working river from before the conquest, with fishing, different types of mills, transport, the construction of bridges, weirs, locks, waterworks etc.

      I'll let you research the photo, you're a wizard at it.

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  11. Lovely old photos and a great glimpse into the history of Anglers' Wharf.

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  12. The Thames was really a busy waterway. Steamers and kayaks all going every which way - looks like rush hour traffic.

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    1. Mainly pleasure craft these days, only busy in the summer

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  13. The water and the land look just about even. There must have been a lot of flooding.

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    1. It used to, works in the thirties reduced it, but some parts still flooded every winter when I was a kid. A lot of work was done in the 1980/90s to reduce flooding upstream when locks were closed to protect London. The have been no real problems this century on the lower Thames that I can bring to mind

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  14. Wonder what the dinners were like served at the Angler's Hotel. It doesn't look like a very spiffy place. But these are wonderful old photos of a time gone by.
    Nancy

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    1. Pretty basic I'd guess. Bit poncy these days more pretension that quality

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  15. I've spent very little time near the water or boats, but find the pictures fascinating.

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  16. Last summer my wife and I came over at the Jubilee. We stood in the rain (with thousands more royalists-for-a-day) for the grand fleet sailing/rowing down the Thames. From kayaks to ocean going barges, it was probably the most river traffic the Thames has seen in decades. And probably scared the fish away for weeks.

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    1. We do rain, quite well don't you think.

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  17. Ah yes, a nice collection of fun and life on the water! Nice post!

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  18. Thanks for the old photos of Anglers Wharf. It was obviously a popular spot for shutterbugs like us. Interesting to see that women did not frequents the local pub in those days.

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  19. The Thames always fascinate me. I try to imagine it through the old photo and when it was very crowded during the Jubilee celebrations.

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  20. What I find fascinating is that the river looks to be on the same level is the town. Flood much?

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    1. It looks as if it is in spate in the first picture.I can remember it coming over the wharf, but not into the Pub. At the back of the buildings the land climbs quite steeply. The main town in about, as the crow flies, 400 yards away mainly up hill.

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  21. Amazing old photos on the Thames, thanks for sharing!!

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  22. There is something very special about rivers and inns and hotels next to them, something that reaches way back to the ancestral traveller in all of us.

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    1. Until the railways Rivers and canals were the main arteries of travel and trade, Inns and Hotels were vital, albeit and bit dirtier and less hygienic than today, but probably better place for the crack. I can recall most Pubs had their resident "Character" who sat in the corner, sucking on his pipe, and fond of saying "...I don't mind if I do..." when offered a pint as he regaled one with tales of yesteryear. Barred now for smoking and probably for being unhygienic.

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  23. The little balconies on the first photo look ideal for whiling away the hours just watching the sailing ship go by, before repairing to the Anglers Hotel for luncheon, a word you don't often see in full nowadays.

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  24. The hotel looks a little hostile but it probably got them out of the cold and the rain. Great post.

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  25. Joy,

    That is more or less as I remember it as a kid.

    L.D.

    I think that building must have been demolished sometime between 1890 and 1895 as the later image is much as it is to day. I should be able to find out the History of the building along there. if I put my mind to it.

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