The south-west London suburb of Surbiton, part of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, came into being after a plan to build a London-Southampton rail line took a route somewhat to the south of Kingston. Surbiton Station, originally called Kingston-on-Railway, was opened in 1838 and the suburb grew from there. Formerly within the county of Surrey, Surbiton became part of Greater London in 1965, together with neighbouring Kingston and Richmond.
Surbiton has always been a desirable place to live and has attracted some very famous residents, among them writers Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton; the Pre-Raphaelite painters, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt; and Rupert the Bear artist, Alfred Bestall. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame was as the fictional home of Tom and Barbara Good and their neighbours, the Leadbetters, in the much-loved sitcom The Good Life. The fascinating history of this most suburban of neighbourhoods is captured in this unique selection of old and new images and informative captions, compiled by London author and historian Tim Everson, and is essential reading for anybody who knows and loves Surbiton.
Tim Everson is a semi-professional author and researcher and has an unrivalled knowledge of the local area, having been Local History Officer for the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames from 1990 to 2001. His previous titles include A Century of Kingston upon Thames, Kingston and the Boer War and Kingston, Surbiton and Maldon in Old Photographs. He is also an acknowledged expert on English copper coinage of the 17th century. Tim and his wife live in New Malden, Surrey.