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1949 Staines/Egham Abandoned army base, squatters

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    1949 Staines/Egham Abandoned army base, squatters

    My dad told me a story of how his mum dad and himself were in digs when he was a baby (abt 1949). The landlord was taking all his milk rations so they moved to an abandoned military base around the Staines/Egham area.. They were there a long time and claimed squatters rights. Apparently it was near the river on flood plains, so the building was on stilts. His earliest memory is playing under the house.

    I would of thought they'd be some kind of paper work documenting this and was hoping it would confirm my Grandad started using the name Frank instead of Francis..
    I've not had much luck on ancestry with finding anything about squatters though.

    Any tips?
    Also if squatting at what point if any would they have started using the address for electrol roll?


    #2
    wonder if this may help
    https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...w=1280&bih=585


    Val

    Comment


      #3
      Army bases would belong to the MoD, so squatters rights wouldn't apply. Squatters rights apply after 12 years of no contact by the owner of the land.

      When did your grandparents die? Where were they living then? Did they leave wills? I would work backwards from their deaths.

      Do you know where your father went to school? Again, that would be an indicator of where they were living.

      Frank is a diminutive of Francis, so he could have been called that all his life.

      OC

      Comment


        #4
        Left this all out not wanting to post an annoying lengthy post, but I'll try summarise.
        I know where my grandad died, I know where my dad lived for most of his life and went to school etc..
        Seems my grandads grandparents brought him up as his own. They used his middle name as his first name. Found a 1911 census where he's living with who I believe to be his gran, where he's Frank and he's listed as Grandson.
        Then there's a huge gap, then marries my nan in 1948 in ascot, address on marriage cert for both is also ascot. Found a possible address for a Frank and my nan a year later in Bracknell. Then my Dads story, then living on a council estate in Egham until he died.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you for the link Val... I'm combing through it now

          Comment


            #6
            You could trace your grandparents back on the electoral roll to get an idea of when they moved to a council house. But why would they, if they had obtained squatters rights?

            OC

            Comment


              #7
              My grandfather was Francis William but was called Frank all his life, even as his business name. I think you'll find, as OC also said, that Frank is a common diminutive of Francis, so not a name change at all.
              Anne

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                #8
                My grandfather too was a Francis and called Frank all his life. His son was named Peter Frank - not Francis. Their daughter was named Monica Frances.
                Caroline
                Caroline's Family History Pages
                Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

                Comment


                  #9
                  My great aunt lived in a 'temporary' building in Wickford near Southend, it had no running water or electricity. (she actually lived there until the early 80s!) I looked into that a while back and from memory following the war there was a housing crisis and various 'schemes' were around, hers was one of those schemes. I wonder if this was a similar thing, and that they were then housed permanently by the council in the 50s.

                  I know not the same area at all but maybe to give you an idea https://www.wickfordhistory.org.uk/c...ckford-prefabs

                  There is a timeline post on Egham history site that the 500th Council house was built following the war in 1950.

                  There are still properties on stilts in that area - but mainly 'posh' ones now I think. I drove that way not so long ago to avoid M25!
                  Carolyn
                  Family Tree site

                  Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                  Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

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                    #10
                    The closest WWII military base I can find to Egham is the one that was on Smith's Lawn in the Windsor Great Park, about 3 miles away. (Now the site of the Polo Club). I haven't been able to find a great deal about it, but it was used partly by the Americans and some small huts were built for the officers. There is a photo of these huts , but they don't seem to be on stilts. However on one site someone said that they were possibly moved after the war to become an old scout hut, so may have just been sitting on a base of some sort.

                    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22s...YfQ-8bDBXAjzM:
                    Linda


                    My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This is quite interesting. Talking about old POW sites in Bagshot and Chobham, both not too far from Egham. A number of people have stated that their parents squatted in these camps, some for a number of years, before they were eventually rehoused in council houses. The housing on the POW sites seems to be mainly old Nissen huts. There was a POW site in Ascot, which is closer to Egham, and just up the road from Bracknell, but I can't find much about it.

                      https://www.bagshotvillage.org.uk/know/pow.shtml
                      Linda


                      My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I found that article too, and also found the ascot one - but not near water, and I thought still a reasonable distance from Egham?

                        Scoobylou are you still in that area, a trip to the library might bring some results?

                        Years ago I worked and lived in Bracknell and also Camberley (at Councils), wracking brains to think if there was anything mentioned.

                        Did you see that there was one at Kempton Park? thought that was too far away too
                        Last edited by cbcarolyn; 05-06-19, 19:21.
                        Carolyn
                        Family Tree site

                        Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                        Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                        Comment


                          #13
                          One other thought I had, was that Egham is in Surrey, as is Chobham. If they were eventually provided with a council house in Egham, wouldn't they have had to be living in Surrey already?
                          Linda


                          My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I was bought up in Wraysbury, the opposite side of the river to Runnymede and Old Windsor. I wonder if this could be the area your relative was talking about. Evacuees were sent to the village during the war, but I could find no mention of the type of buildings you are asking about, but an internet search indicated that a National Service hostel was set up in Colnbrook. The area would correspond to your description of the area. There is a PDF online regarding the history of Colnbrook.
                            http://www.colnbrookwithpoyle-pc.gov...20of%20cwp.pdf
                            The National archive has these records https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ptiontype=Full.
                            This of course may not be the place but maybe it's a start.
                            Of course Egham is very close to Heathrow, which was not an airport in Wartime, my Grandparents actually lived in a small village, Lampton, which was taken, in the first phase of the building of the airport. I believe there was a small aerodrome there in Wartime.
                            Bubblebelle x

                            FAMILY INTERESTS: Pitts of Sherborne Gloucs. Deaney (Bucks). Pye of Kent. Randolph of Lydd, Kent. Youell of Norfolk and Suffolk. Howe of Lampton. Carden of Bucks.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ozgirl View Post
                              One other thought I had, was that Egham is in Surrey, as is Chobham. If they were eventually provided with a council house in Egham, wouldn't they have had to be living in Surrey already?
                              Not sure how council housing worked after the war, District councils didn't come into being until 1973, these days it is the district (or unitary), that deals with housing.

                              or development corp in 50s with regard to Bracknell
                              Last edited by cbcarolyn; 05-06-19, 21:27.
                              Carolyn
                              Family Tree site

                              Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                              Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                              Comment


                                #16
                                more on Bracknell development
                                "In 1947 the government passed the New Towns Act and Bracknell was chosen as one of the eight new towns for the London overspill. Bracknell Development Corporation was set up. By 1950 the first houses had been built at Priestwood, followed later with estates at Easthampstead and Bullbrook."
                                Carolyn
                                Family Tree site

                                Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  have to say there are some great FB groups with local 'historians' posting photos and mini histories about their towns, I follow one for Harlow. many called name of town old and new, and only allow posts with photos.

                                  there is this one
                                  https://www.facebook.com/groups/172692419600246/
                                  Carolyn
                                  Family Tree site

                                  Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                  Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    does this mean anything to anyone:

                                    https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peo...a2047637.shtml
                                    "In the spring of 1939 the unit would descend on Penton Hook Island, on the river near Staines, where a hutted camp existed for weekend exercises."
                                    Carolyn
                                    Family Tree site

                                    Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                    Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      cant find a picture, only this at 42 seconds
                                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEoJrvTN6KI

                                      ones on here not on stilts
                                      Carolyn
                                      Family Tree site

                                      Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                      Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Further to my previous post regarding Wraysbury. I spoke to my mother in case your description rang a bell. With no prompt from me she also cited the Wraysbury area. She also spoke of friends of hers living on one of the roads by the river (now prime properties) gained their house via squatters rights, initially building a wooden shed and using it as a weekend retreat from their London home. Like me she also wondered about Hythe End, at the Staines end of Wraysbury and immediately opposite Runnnymede on the Thames. I too remember as a child in the late 60's many wooden buildings there.
                                        I have also remember that historically Wraysbury was badly flooded in 1947, so perhaps would fill the time line of your Grandfather, there was also flooding in the 50's and 60's. My parents bought a house with concrete floors there as when the previous owners were putting the damage to rights they decided on this course of action.
                                        You may recall that only a few years ago the village was again badly flooded, this time due to manmade causes aka the flood prevention of Maidenhead and Windsor. However I also recall a friend with a riverside property initially lived in a timber and asbestos!!! bungalow this was raised on a stilt like structure. She actually appeared on the news at the time of the more recent flooding as her house had been raised when rebuilt after a previous flood.
                                        It is amazing what your one post has made us remember, so thank you for that. I hope this may be of help to you.
                                        Bubblebelle x

                                        FAMILY INTERESTS: Pitts of Sherborne Gloucs. Deaney (Bucks). Pye of Kent. Randolph of Lydd, Kent. Youell of Norfolk and Suffolk. Howe of Lampton. Carden of Bucks.

                                        Comment

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