The History of Purley’s River Estate

The largest inter-war plotland site in Berkshire, Purley’s River Estate has a significant history. It began life in 1935 as a holiday destination for camping and caravanning in usually idyllic former parkland by the Thames. However, very soon many of the plots gained more permanent accommodation, particularly after war broke out in 1939. Entrepreneurship thrived, resulting in a multitude of private businesses and shops over the years, as did a strong community spirit. 

This talk is accompanied by lots of images of the estate and its people, including its famous adapted dwellings such as railway carriages and buses.

This is the last of three talks in the Summer Potpourri Talks Series. The other talks take place on 25th July and 22nd August. You may book tickets for individual events or for all three talks in the series for a reduced price.  

To book

Pre-booking is required, because the event link will be sent in advance.                             

To join this talk, you will need a computer device with speakers. Ideally, also a webcam and microphone. You also need to be able to access the internet from it. First-time users of Zoom, will be asked to download a small piece of software, which will be sent in advance.                                                                                                                               

To book – scroll down.

Image: The railway carriage at 10 River Gardens in 1969, courtesy of Kevin McCormack.

Book Event

Available Tickets: 40

For members of Berkshire Family History Society

The "Member" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Available Tickets: 40

For non-members of Berkshire Family History Society

The "Non-Member" ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Total: 0


Thu 26 Sep


14:00 - 15:15




Zoom Video Conference


The Centre - Berkshire FHS
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  • Catherine Sampson MSc
    Catherine Sampson MSc

    Catherine is a veteran family historian. Her own family history research is mainly concentrated in East Anglia and the North-East.

    She loves history across all periods, both the very early and the more modern. She is a keen social historian and regularly gives talks across Berkshire and the surrounding counties.

    Catherine is Chairman and Projects Coordinator for Berkshire Family History, and a former chairman of Project Purley, Purley’s local history society. She has published several histories of her own family and in 2010 edited “Purley in Old Images”. She is currently working on a new book on the history of Purley’s River Estate.