Vol 11.2 PLATTS EYOT Part 1

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Vol 11.2 PLATTS EYOT Part 1

Post by Les1949 »


Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

No 2 PLATTS EYOT (Part 1)
Hampton’s Secret Island

Platts Eyot is an island that is easy to miss unless you take a walk or drive down the Lower Sunbury Road. The Island has an industrial history connected to Thorneycrofts who built all thing military on the site – especially during the Second World War. However, despite looking somewhat desolate there are still things going on there, but first the background.

One of the earliest references to Platt’s Eyot is in the 16th century when it was mentioned in conjunction with the carriage of bricks to build Hampton Court. Up and until then it had been used as a plantation of Osiers – a form of willow used in basket making. The island was later used as a dumping ground for spoil in the 19th century due to the expansion of the Waterworks opposite.

Boat building started in 1866 when Tom Tagg built a yard and house on the island – he later re-located to what is now Tagg’s Island further downstream.

In 1887, Moritz Immisch (1838 – 1903), an engineer from Germany started to build electric launches on the island. Within a very short period of time and up until the outbreak of WW1, electric launches were a common sight on the Thames, with electric charging points placed at frequent intervals – this was years before the same principle was to be applied to electric cars.

John Thorneycroft (1843 – 1928) took over and re-named the yard as Hampton Launch Works. They also had their own football team Hampton Launch FC.

Thorneycrofts continued building naval vessels on the island until the early 60s.

Port Hampton Ltd are now the owners of the island and are responsible for boat moorings and renting out buildings – some of which are in a deteriorating condition. The island has been made a conservation area and the buildings are considered to be of historic value. Port Hampton had sought permission to demolish them but they were prevented from doing so. Consequently, the area may look desolate, and deserted but that is not the case, it is much busier than is first apparent.

More to follow…..

The Old Historian
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