Question of 18th May 2007

  • I will be moving to send in the next couple of months. The house I am buying backs on to the fishing lakes. I am interested in their history. Do you know of any sources of information about them. Thanks.

    Answer of 16th June 2007

    The site in question was originally part of the unenclosed Send Heath.

    It was enclosed in 1814 as an Inclosure Award under the Send & Ripley Inclosure Act of 1803. Presumably it was subsequently used for agriculture.

    Stanley Atherton, the Woking sand and ballast merchant, opened it for mineral extraction in about 1920-21. It was the first quarry in the area to be opened after World War 1 and it signalled the beginning of the mechanical age both for transporting the material and for extracting it. A Ruston Bucyrus deiesel excavator took what were then vast scoopfuls of earth down to water level and possibly lower. Before this local sites were worked by hand and the material transported by horse and cart.

    By the time the 1934 6″ OS map (with additons in 1938) was published this site of approx 10 acres, which did not then include the 3 acre allotment site near Sandy Lane, was worked out and had trees growing on it. Athertons had by then moved to the other site between the footpath and Send Road and became even more mechanised (details can be provided if need be). After finishing their second site which was worked “wet” from the start, Athertons returned to the one behind your house (which we know as the Briar Road pit) and, using a powerful 9″ suction pipe “hoovered” up material to a depth of up to 20 feet. They also extended the pit to include the allotment site. The 1961 6″ OS map (revised to 1.11.59) shows the site fully dug and water-filled. It has since been used for fishing and is a haunt for water fowl. The great crested grebe made a particularly fine site carrying their young on their backs.

    I don’t know if they are still there.

    Most of this information comes from an article I wrote in 1981 for the Send History Society’s Journal No. 36. The Society now includes Ripley as well. Should you be interested in becoming a member when you are resident in Send, details are, or course, on the website.

    I can tell you very little about the lake’s history from the fishing point of view.


Question of 24th June 2007