This week, I am beginning at the Meadows roundabout with the waterways on the county boundaries – the Blackwater River and Wish stream – then looking at some of the buildings that are westwards along the London Road, and their history.
The subject of the boundaries, where Surrey begins and Berkshire and Hampshire ends, is quite complicated – there are ceremonial counties, and even postal counties (but these have been abandoned, apparently, in favour of postcodes). Although they started in the middle ages, it was the Local Government Act of 1888 that divided the country up into administrative counties and the Local Government Act of 1972 which came into effect in 1974 and created Surrey Heath Borough Council also affected the county structure, but, fortunately, did not alter this little set of local ‘markers’.
So, what of Camberley’s western boundaries, now rather lushly wooded as you can see. My photographs include an early view of Blackwater Bridge around 1900. Originally just a ford, I haven’t been able to find a date for the building of the bridge in the sepia postcard. The current road bridge you can see in my photos, and this dates from 1930 after the original was found to be too narrow to be used by pedestrians safely. More information on the history of Blackwater itself can be found here: http://www.blackwaterandhawleytowncouncil.gov.uk/22/area-history
I have also included two photographs of the Wish stream in its newly cleaned up state running out from underneath Next’s carpark and down past the back of the car-wash. It starts on (roughly) Old Dean Common and flows through the RMA. The photo in the top middle shows it joining the Blackwater, not far from Blackwater station.