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1900 top




Market Square, around the turn of the century

Berkshire Yeomanry march
through Wallingford, 1905


Former mayor of Wallingford James Morty falls to his death at Beachy Head.


Council School opens in St John's Road. A rifle range is opened behind the school.  The population of Wallingford is 2700. Wallingford Isolation Hospital is struck by lightening, demolishing a chimney and destroying bedroom furniture.



Wallingford Water Tower is constructed, to replace an earlier building built in 1883. The Frank H Jenkins garage is established in High Street. Amy Stanley from Wallingford survivies the sinking of "The Titanic"

St. Nicholas' College c. 1913


"Working Class Dwellings" are built in St John's Road - the town's first council houses.


The opening of the Bullcroft is postponed due to the outbreak of World War I. Many men fight as part of the 4th Battalion Royal Berks regiment. At least 88 men from Wallingford die during the war. Flood.



Wallingford's first museum is opened by Robert Russell Hutchinson in the Free Library. It runs until 1936.

The Bullcroft commemorative sign


Wallingford Comrades Club is established by soldiers returning from the war, and peace celebrations are held on the 19th July, with a carnival. Flood


Wallingford war memorial, designed by Guy Dawber, is unveiled.


Opening of the Catholic Church of St John the Evangelist, the first formal Catholic place of worship for several hundred years.

War Memorial, Market Square


Founding of Wallingford Town Football Club.


There are floods in 1925 and 1926.


Opening of new Cottage Hospital, Reading Road (on the site of the previous hospital), designed by J.E. Thorpe. Flood.



Production of malt at Wells' Brewery ceases. Wallingford Workhouse is renamed Berkshire County Council Institution.



The Regal Cinema opens. Wallingford United Football Club is formed.


Wallingford gets a new post office, bearing the royal monogram of Edward VIII, during his brief reign. The Free Library closes. Wallingford Bridge is strengthened

The Edward VIII post office

1939 Outbreak of World War II - 36 soldiers from Wallingford are commemorated on the war memorial, and a further 4 are commemorated elsewhere. Many children were evacuated to the Wallingford area during the war (including actress Sheila Hancock), and boys from Malmesbury Road School in Bow. Bailey bridges are built at Chalmore. Canadian Engineers are billeted at Howbery Park. Flood.


"The Berks and Oxon Advertiser" ceases printing in Wallingford. The paper was printed elsewhere from 1949 until 1963.

The obelisk at the junction of Andrew Road and Wilding Road


Two airmen, Flying Officer John Wilding of New York and Sgt John "Frank" Andrew of Abermule, Wales, are killed when they steer their damaged plane away from Wallingford (it crashed near Watery Lane, Crowmarsh, the force of the explosion causing damage in Wallingford). They are commemorated by an obelisk at the junction of Wilding Road and Andrew Road.





The maternity ward of Wallingford Hospital is shut because of a shortage of nurses. Wallingford Rowing Club is formed. There is a flood this year.

Floodmarks, Ferry House


The Sinodun Players amateur dramatics group is founded in Brightwell-com-Sotwell by Frances Curtis, a former Gaiety Girl. Berkshire County Council Institution becomes St Mary's Hospital, as part of the formation of the National Health Service.


Death of Claude Rowbotham, landscape artist who had lived and painted in Wallingford.


Wallingford's open-air swimming pool is opened, to be followed by a paddling pool a couple of years later. The ferry at Chalmore (at Ferry House) ceases operation.


William Ralph Inge, former Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, known as the "Gloomy Dean", dies in Wallingford.



Wallingford is officially granted a coat of arms, consisting of the portcullis, which has represented the borough for a long time, surrounded by 11 bezants (gold coins) to commemorate the year of the charter (1155). This is part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the charter, which see a visit from Queen Elizabeth II the following year.

 The open-air pool


The freedom of borough of Wallingford is conferred on RAF Benson.



Wallingford Grammar School is split, with the boys remaining there and the girls moving to Didcot Girls? Grammar School. Blackstone Secondary Modern is built. Construction of Paul's Malt tower in Hithercroft Road, a local landmark nicknamed "Wallingford Cathedral".

Wallingford's coat of arms.



The railway closes to passenger trains


Ken Lester of Wallingford becomes Great Britain's youngest male Olympian at just 13 years 144 days when he competes in the Rome Games.


The population of Wallingford is almost 5000. "Wallingford Herald" begins publication.




The Thames is frozen, allowing skaters to cross it. New Frank H. Jenkins garage built in High Street by Hancock Associates - this building was noted by architecture critic Nikolaus Pevsner and praised by the "Twentieth Century Society", as an open plan glass box with Mies van der Rohe character: exposed, riveted steel frame. The Wallingford and District News, formerly The Berks and Oxon Advertiser ceased publication, following a merger with the Wallingford Herald. It was one of the first British newspapers to use the web-offset process.


Ann Packer, who went to school in Wallingford, wins a gold medal at the Tokyo Olypmics in the 800 m.


Railway is shut to goods trains (the station is demolised in 1969), but continues to serve Paul's Malt.

Wallingford Rugby Club (formerly Cholsey Rugby Club) founded.


The last official service is held at St Peter's Church.


An invitation from Wallingford, Connecticut, for Wallingford, Berkshire, to take part in the 300th anniversary of the town starts a link between the two towns.



Rowse Honey, established in Ewelme in 1954 by Tony Rowse, builds a 30,000 sq. foot factory in Wallingford.



The Hedges family house at the castle site is demolished.


Agatha Christie


Regal Cinema shuts down. Gladys Bronwyn Stern, author, dies at Wallingford. A group of 40 farmers set up an organisation in Wallingford to tackle cattle rustling, offering rewards of up to £10,000.


Wallingford becomes part of Oxfordshire, rather than Berkshire. It also loses its Borough Council status, having a Town Council instead. The Wallingford History and Archaeology Society is founded. A plan by the Architects' Benevolent Association to build a home on the castle site is opposed by the Department of the Environment, although it withdraws its opposition the following year. Architects Ahrends, Burton & Koralek build Habitat's first drive-away furniture showrooms and a warehouse on the Hithercroft.


Death of Agatha Christie. Christie, who lived at Winterbrook House, is said to have based the layout of Market Basing on Wallingford, and to have used the Lodge as Danemead, Miss Marple's house in the village of St Mary Mead. A planning enquiry turns down the application to build on the castle site, and in the following year, Sir John Hedges gives the outer baileys to the Town Council, in what becomes Castle Gardens.

Christie and Mallowan's house.


Death of Max Mallowan, archaeologist and second husband of Agatha Christie in Wallingford. Sir Peter Hall opens the Corn Exchange as a theatre (he is living at "The Wall House" in nearby Mongewell).


Wallingford is twinned with Luxeuil-les-Bains in France. The first Chinese leader to visit Britain, Chairman Hua Kuo-Feng, visits a farm in Wallingford during a 6-day trip. There is a flood this year.

The Lamb Hotel


The Lamb, the forming coaching inn, is converted into an antiques arcade.


The railway ceases to serve Paul's Malt, and British Railways run a final service, "The Wallingford Wake", for enthusiasts, who set up the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway Preservation Society the same day. Wallingford Museum opened at Flint House -a fire had prevented it opening the previous year. William Revell, Wallingford Mayor, says he will not attend event where the new South Oxfordshire District Council coat of arms is displayed, as the Wallingford portcullis has only six holes instead of 12.

A book about Rex Warner


St Mary's Hospital, on the site of Wallingford Workhouse, closes.


Paul Rotha, documentary film maker, dies in Wallingford. 200 people are involved in brawl outside a pub in Wallingford, in which 3 policemen are injured.


Wallingford-based sculptor John Buckley installs "Untitled, 1986", better known as the Headington Shark, in the roof of a house in Oxford. Rex Warner, author, dies in Wallingford


Wallingford Bypass, with a new river crossing, opens - it had been under discussion since 1938. Barbara Mallowan, archaeologist and widow of Max Mallowan, dies in Wallingford.


Wallingford Bypass bridge


Wallingford Town and Wallingford United football clubs merge to become AFC Wallingford. Wallingford Gospel Hall is built. A £40 million plan to build an art park in 32 acres on the banks of the Thames is opposed by the town council.


The first Wallingford Funday is held.


Wallingford Castle Meadows is purchased by South Oxfordshire District Council in 1999. Death of Sir Hugh Fish, water and conservation expert, in Wallingford.

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