Ashtead in Focus
Ashtead Residents' Association has published a book of 180 photographs taken by Albert Pruden at the time of the Millennium. The book is a pictorial record of Ashtead in the year 2000. A selection of Albert's photographs has appeared on the website for some time, but you can now buy the book of selected photographs. Price £8.99.
You can order direct from ARA - though please note we now have a very limited stock.
If you would like a book, please telephone our main line 0300 030 9980 and leave us a message. We will get back to you.
What goes around comes around....
The Ashtead Residents' Association was formed and as the article in the Surrey Advertiser shows, the concerns of Ashtead Residents in 1945 look very familiar with the concerns they have today.
- The need for more members to further strengthen the Association's voice.
- The increased power the Association would have in representing Ashtead residents in the Council.
- 1n 1945 Ashtead was under-represented with the number of Councillors compared to Leatherhead. In 2022 the Boundary Commission is recommending Ashtead lose a Councillor (7 to 6) despite Ashtead being the most populous conurbation in Mole Valley.
- Planning concerns with potential overcrowding of properties. Consider this with the proposed Local Plan and the mass of housing proposed in Ermyn Way.
- Encouraging younger generation residents to take an early interest in civic life. Today's Committee has an average age of 60+. How can we adequately represent Ashtead parents with school age children? We need younger members with children's education experience on the Committee
Thank you to John Rowley and the L&DLHS for discovering this item.
Evan Davis goes back to Ashtead – Built in Britain
Evan Davis, who grew up in Ashtead, goes back to examine how attitudes towards the M25 have changed since Junction 9 was first constructed on Ashtead's doorstep.
In 1996 the Residents' Association asked its members for their memories of Ashtead with the intention of publishing them in The Ashtead Resident but too many wrote in to make this possible. Instead, the memories are available to read here.
Grand Imperial Ship Canal
Did you know there were plans to build a canal from London to Portsmouth that went straight through Ashtead?
A local historian, Brian Bouchard, researched the plans that were drawn up in 1825 that would have taken a huge warship sized canal through Surrey and Sussex to Arundel and then onto Portsmouth.
For details of the scheme, the history, the dimensions and the local route map go to www.ryemeadows.org.uk and follow the link in "What's New".
Imagine what Ashtead would be like now with our own version of the Manchester Ship Canal going right through our backyard and 8 lanes of the M25 going over it!
In 1987 two pairs of semi-detached cottages were scheduled for demolition so that new maisonettes could be built on the site at the end of Woodfield by the iron railway footbridge. Originally built in the 1860s they were of historical value, and one pair of cottages was saved and moved to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in West Sussex where "Whittaker's Cottages" can now be seen.
They were called Whittaker's Cottages because they were owned by Whittaker, though he never lived there. He lived in the area now occupied by the Birch Court and Woodfield Lane maisonettes on the north side of the railway. When he lived there it was before the railway was constructed and the coming of the line bisected his property. The cottages to the south remained for rent by agricultural labourers, and Whittaker lived north of the railway in a property on what is now the maisonettes. After his death the area housed Cheney's Tea Rooms which had a playground and helter-skelter. These survived until the Second World War saw their demise.
Whittaker's Cottages were moved to the Weald and Downland Living Museum in 1987 and re-erected there in 1997.