Walton-on-Thames Heritage Festival

Saturday 18th September 2021

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers.

Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

Saturday the 18th of September sees the turn of Walton-on-Thames to host their own Heritage Festival

The Festival starts at 10am and runs throughout the day till 16:30.

There is a fair at Bridge Street with the Truck Tow competition, the Dog Show down at Walton Wharf along with boat trips on the Thames, the Playhouse is open for tours and film screenings, Riverhouse Barn will be running various arts events, and St Mary's Church doing their very popular abseiling and tours.

Walton Heritage Festival Programme of Events

10:00 St Mary's Church opens for abseiling and viewing registers.

Abseiling 10:00-14:00
Limited numbers of pre-booked individuals can abseil down the church tower. Cost and further info via St Mary's Website Tower Tours - 14:00-16:00
All Day 10:00-16:00 Registers of baptism, confirmation and marriage, dating from early to mid 20th century up to date, available to inspect
Guided or self-guided tours of the church, including information and a quiz about its history
Information on First World War including casualties from Walton and New Zealand
Collect your STAMP from St Mary's, get the set and enter our PRIZE DRAW for £100 worth of vouchers!

10:00 Riverhouse Barn Arts & Crafts Events

10:00 - 10:45 Nature Mandala - (family activity)

Make your own nature mandala print using leafs and flowers gathered from outdoors. When making your mandala you and your child will have a chance to engage in a mindful and fun activity, identify the leaves, flowers and learn about the benefits of spending time outdoors in nature.

At the end of the activity you will be able to take the print with you.
(All materials provided)

11am - 11.45am - Make a Wildflower Smudge Stick

Join us for a relaxed session of connecting with nature through making beautiful wildflower smudge sticks. Kate & Alicja will assist you in creating fragrant smudge stick made with lavender and wild flowers collected from meadows around Walton. During the session you will have the opportunity to learn about foraging, sustainable living and the history and benefits of smudge sticks.
(All materials provided)

Time TBC - Ben West, lover of landscapes, wildlife and the outdoors and a lifelong ‘student of nature’, will lead some nature walks thorough the area around Riverhouse. These will provide an opportunity to connect with nature, and Ben will teach you how to identify the birds, plants and insects local to Riverhouse.

11:00 Paddleboarding begins

From 11am at Walton Wharf - Blue Chip SUP School will be running quick introductory sessions and demonstrations throughout the afternoon, down at the river near the Swan Pub

30 minute sessions, running at half hour intervals from 11:00-15:00. There will be a small £5 fee for this. Any slots not filled can be picked up on the day.

A short timed route that can be attempted by anyone competant on a paddleboard will also be offered. Quickest time will win 2 hours free paddleboard session - worth £50

11:30 Bridge Street Fair opens

The Bridge Street Fair will have a selection of fun stalls, kiddies rides as well as events throughout the day including a Tow Truck competition, free face painting for children, a balloon artist and the annual Mayoral Procession down to the Wharf.

Radio Wey will be compering the event.

11:30 Walton Playhouse Opens

Tours - Visit the site of the Cecil Hepworth Studios at the Walton Playhouse. Run by volunteers from the Walton & Weybridge Amateur Operatic Society

Original films - black & whites, made at Nettlefold Studios Walton-on-Thames, will be showing, thanks to Talking Pictures TV

11:30 - 'Memories of Walton I'

12:00 - Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1951)

Running time: 91 mins.

Directed by: Gordon Parry. Cast: John Howard Davies, Robert Newton, James Hayter, John Charlesworth, John Forrest, Michael Hordern, Max Bygraves, Francis De Wolff, Amy Veness.

This faithful rendition of the Thomas Hughes book portrays life at Rugby School for Boys, shot on location at the school itself.

14:00 - 'Memories of Walton II'

14:30 - A Celebration of Nettlefold Studios and Cecil Hepworth

Running time: 17 mins.

Join Dr Simon Brown (Associate Professor of Film and Television, Kingston University), Mike Read, William Russell (Sir Lancelot) and Patricia Dainton to celebrate the famous Nettlefold Studios.

We explore the history of Nettlefold, reflecting on the work of Cecil Hepworth, director, film producer and screenwriter.

15:00 -Three Silent Men (1940)

Running time: 67 mins.

Directed by: Thomas Bentley. Cast: Sebastian Shaw, Derrick De Marney, Patricia Roc, Arthur Hambling, Cameron Hall, John Turnbull, Peter Gawthorne, André Morell, Jack Vyvyan, Meinhart Maur.

A pacifist surgeon, (Sebastian Shaw), operates to save the life of the inventor of a deadly weapon to be used against the allies in war. When the inventor dies, the surgeon becomes the prime suspect.
12:00 Dog Show

Held at Walton Wharf by the river, next to The Anglers Pubs, the Walton-on-Thames Heritage Day Dog Show is always extremely popular and has been running very successfully for a number of years.

Dog Show Categories Include:

  • Prettiest Girl
  • Handsomest Boy
  • Cutest Puppy (under 18m)
  • Best Fancy Dress Outfit (for owner and Dog)
  • My Dog’s Got Talent (dog that performs the best trick)
  • Best in Show
Registration starts at 12:00 noon for the show to commence promptly at 13:00
Entries are limited, 1 dog per person
You may enter more than one category
There will be a maximum of 12 dogs entered into each category, first-come, first-serve
Entrance fee of £2.50 per dog, payable upon registration on the day.
All proceeds go to the Mayors’ charities
Only dogs over 6 months will be allowed to take part in the show
The judge’s decision is final.
There will be rosettes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and prizes for the winners in each group
Dog owners must be responsible for their dogs at all times
Dog owners must clear up any mess created by their dog

12:00 River Rides

12:00 til 14:00 - Sea Cadets Boat Trips

Sunbury & Walton Sea Cadets and TS Black Swan are volunteering to take Heritage Day Vistors on a trip down the River Thames. Come down to the Wharf between 12:00-14:00.

No charge, but donations welcome!

12:20  Elmbridge Mayor Parade by Sea Cadets Corps

13:00 Dog Show Starts

13:30 Tow Truck Starts

The Truck Tow - throughout the day in Bridge Street

Almost 5 tons of truck matched against individual teams!

Launched in 2018 the Truck Tow pitted a 5 ton truck against various teams. With the coveted prize of a Truck Tow Trophy held for the year, competition was fierce. In 2018 the Bear Pub was the first winner. In 2019 the Old Manor Inn claimed the prize in just 11.8 seconds. Who will it be next?? 14:00 Tow Truck Heat 1
14:00 Tow Truck Heat 2
15:30 Tow Truck Heat 3
15:30 Walton Playhouse Closes
15:30 Paddleboarding Ends

16:00 Duckathon at Walton Wharf

Duckathon - 4pm at Walton Wharf

Running again after an enforced hiatus in 2020, the Duckathon consists of a race between eight hundred plastic ducks. 1st Walton Viking Sea Scouts sell the ducks in the run up to the event and on the day.

Ducks are sold for £2 each. Cash prizes go to the top three ducks, with remaining funds going to the Sea Scouts.

If you'd like a duck come aong on the day before 15:30 as the ducks start racing at 16:00.

16:15 Tow Truck Competition Prizegiving

16:30 Fair Closes

Huge credit to the amazing hard work of WOTTA for yet another fantastic local event.