Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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It is a commuter town next to the river Thames, populated with a mixture of Art-Deco courts, spacious and grand late-19th century town houses blending into a sea of semi-detached 20th century housing estates.
The town first started to prosper when a plan to build the main railway line down to the south coast through nearby Kingston was rejected by the residents there, resulting in the line being routed instead through Surbiton. Kingston, as a result, is now located on a branch line whereas passengers from Surbiton, a smaller town by comparison, can reach central London in one direction in around 15 minutes and stations as distant as Portsmouth or Southampton in the opposite. This makes Surbiton a good town from which to commute into central London, and the population reflects this.
Surbiton's main claim to popular fame is as an icon of suburbia in such British television programs as The Good Life (starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal), and John Sessions' comedy series Stella Street , which has on occasion led to the town being nicknamed "Suburbiton". Other related trivia: the character from the 1980s Sinclair Spectrum computer games Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy was described as a Surbiton resident, and Black Sabbath played at the Surbiton Assembly Rooms, on 19th May 1970. The Assembly Rooms have however since been sold off by Kingston Council to a local school.
Surbiton has a number of fine drinking establishments, though it plays second fiddle to the larger town of Kingston upon Thames.
Starting at the east of the town centre one finds the Coronation Hall , this pub formerly a theatre is owned by the J.D Weatherspoon company. In the past the building was also home to a naturist health club which ran out of funding and so never opened. It is rumoured that underneath the pub there is a working Jacuzzi.
The next pub along the street is the Rat and Parrot , this pub is housed in a modern building and has pool tables.
The Surbiton Flyer is one of the nicer pubs in Surbiton, owned by Fullers it was refurbished approximately 9 months ago. The staff are extremely friendly though a little sharp tongued. Food is served before 6pm and steak nights are held every Saturday evening. They stock two real ales and host a guest beer that changes regularly. The pub is home to a number of characters ranging from the city gent to the computer wiz kids.
There is an excellent cocktail bar, Rubicon, on Maple Road (down St James road opposite the station then right onto Maple Road). The style is West End chic – try the Surbiton Ice Tea or Sex in the Suburbs.
- Kingston upon Thames
- Thames Ditton
- Long Ditton
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