The Sykes Brothers cont...

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

  Richings Park today ...

Under The Motorway

Searches at Companies House and the Public Records Office at Kew revealed that none of the companies were ever declared bankrupt. However, there appear to be no records for the Richings Park (1928) Ltd. Estate Company at all. The assumption is that at some point the company was wound up and its small amount of remaining land assets transferred to the Crown. The records for the Phormium Co. Ltd were destroyed 1961 at the end of later ownership and the records of Outram Estates Ltd were also destroyed although no date could be found indicating that at some point this company was terminated.

Other Company Developments

The 1928 company prospectus included a proposal for another, more luxurious Estate at Esher Place (Surrey), bought from Lord D'Abernon. From the hill where Lord D'Abernon's 19th Century mansion still stands, the site spread west to straddle the River Mole.

There was to be a swimming pool, tennis courts, a golf course and another new railway station - near today's Hersham Station on the main line to the South West from Waterloo just east of Walton-on Thames Station. Sandown Race Course was next door and the 19th Century mansion was to be a Country Hotel and Golf Club. Rowing was also proposed, with special housing earmarked for the rowers. But by the time of the failure of the company in 1931, only a few of the proposed houses had been built. In 1999 around a dozen houses on Pelham Way and Esher Place Avenue remained which could be clearly identified as coming from the drawing board of George Clare; these houses were about one and a half times the size of Richings Park houses.

Other schemes came under another subsidiary - Outram Estates, which was concerned with buying property in and near Oxford Street, which was, at that time, in a fervent of property

speculation. The principle scheme was referred to as "Reverentia" and was thought to be aided and abetted by Sir Howard Frank (Knight, Frank and Rutley).

The scheme was to build on Oxford Street a department store to outdo Selfridges (which had opened in 1909). Friend Sykes seemed to have overlooked the fact that Gordon Selfridge really was a close friend of Sir Howard Frank. "Reverentia" was the name of a race-horse owned by Friend Sykes. As Mr Roberts dryly commented: "The horse didn't win either". The scheme had a backer in a Mr Price (a 50 shilling tailor), but come the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the slump thereafter in this country, he withdrew and the whole scheme failed. Interestingly, Outram Estates were quoted in the later conveyances of plots in The Poynings in 1931.

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