Date posted 14 Apr 2022

This programme of events has been brought together by Heritage Wandsworth: the local history and historic environment partnership for the Borough of Wandsworth. Events are listed below, and a copy of the programme can be downloaded from here.


Many of the events of this year’s festival focus on sport in Wandsworth’s past and present. Sport and physical activity (particularly outdoor physical activity) has benefited many of us throughout the last two years. Part of the festival also falls during the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, so we are pleased to have displays in some of our neighbourhood libraries showing the many visits members of The Royal Family have made to Wandsworth!


The archives and local history library for the Borough of Wandsworth are located on the first floor of Battersea Library. For more information including opening times please visit our website: 
Follow us on Twitter: @Better_WHS
Browse our historic images collection: 

If you have any access requirements, due to the nature of some of the events and/or
restrictions of the venues, please inform the relevant organisation before booking a place. For access requirements relating to events which do not require advance booking and do not have contact details, please contact or 020 7223 2334.


Walk: the Green Fields of Blooming Tooting -Postponed to Saturday 18th June, 2pm
Organised by Summerstown182
A green loop through the fertile Wandle Valley and the heart of the Rollissons’ ‘Tooting
Nursery’. Featuring Streatham Cemetery, Fishponds Field, Springfield Hospital and Aboyne Estate. Explores the work of Peter Barr, ‘The Daffodil King’, and the area’s exotic orchid connections.
• Saturday 18th June, 2pm
• FREE, though donations for Summerstown182 plaques are welcome
• Streatham Cemetery, Garratt Lane SW17 0LT
• Booking required – contact 

Tour: Henry Tate Gardens, Streatham
Organised by the Streatham Society
View Tate’s Grade II* listed mansion Park Hill (exterior only) and explore the historic garden with its Grade II listed features, including the Pulhamite grotto, Victorian folly, lake and
• Sunday 29th May, 2pm and 3pm
• Meet at the lodge gates, Henry Tate Mews, Streatham Common North SW16 3HA
• Book via Eventbrite for 2pm tour:
• Book via Eventbrite for 3pm tour:
• No parking or toilets onsite

Walk: Exploring Wandsworth’s Blue Plaques
Organised by Dr Susan Skedd
Join historian Dr Susan Skedd on a guided walk exploring the lives of some of the celebrated people who have lived and worked in Wandsworth. The tour will highlight some of the
plaques recently erected by English Heritage.
• Sunday 29th May, 2pm
• FREE, though donations to English Heritage welcome
• Meet outside St Paul’s Church, St John’s Hill SW11 1SH
• Booking required – contact 

Children’s workshop: Fun with Flora
Organised by the South London Botanical Institute
Wandsworth Common is home to some wonderful wild flowers and other plants you might not have noticed! Come along and learn all about them through some fun games! This workshop will be led by Botanist Roy Vickery.
• Monday 30th May, 11am and 2.30pm
• Meet outside the Skylark Café, Wandsworth Common SW18 3RT
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: Historic grounds of Froebel and Digby Stuart Colleges
Organised by the University of Roehampton
Within the colleges’ grounds are delightful Georgian follies, a Mausoleum, an iconic war
memorial and two lakes. The stories behind these historic monuments are fascinating. The tour will end at the University Library for the opening of the Wandsworth Borough Collection exhibition.
• Monday 30th May, 2pm
• Meet at the main entrance to Froebel College SW15 5PJ
• Booking required – contact 

Talk: Sport along the River Wandle
Organised by the Wandle Industrial Museum
A talk looking at sporting activities from the past and present along the River Wandle – some of which are more disturbing than others!
• Monday 30th May, 6pm
• Earlsfield Library, 276 Magdalen Road SW18 3NY
• Booking advised – contact Earlsfield Library on 020 8946 2088

Talk: Sports and recreation at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
Organised by the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability Archive Service
Take a virtual tour of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability and learn about our sports and recreational activities – such as boccia (a Paralympic sport similar to boules) – that enable our patients to lead as active and fulfilled lives as possible.
• Tuesday 31st May, 11am
• This is an online event
• Booking required – contact 

Family drop in session: Archaeology on your Doorstep
Organised by the Wandsworth Historical Society
Discover the history of where you live with archaeologist, Pamela Greenwood, who will help you identify archaeological objects such as Roman pottery. Bring anything interesting you have found in the ground!
• Tuesday 31st May, 12pm-4pm
• Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road SW17 9PD
• No booking required

Talk: Oscar Wilde at Wandsworth Prison
Organised by Wandsworth Prison Museum
Oscar Wilde was in Wandsworth for about 5 months in 1895 before being transferred
to Reading Prison. This talk by museum curator Stewart McLaughlin examines his time in custody at Wandsworth Prison.
• Tuesday 31st May, 5.30pm
• Meet at Wandsworth Prison Museum, North Gate Car Park, Heathfield Road SW18 3HR
• Booking required – contact 

Talk: For Battersea Dogs & Cats
Organised by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has provided temporary shelter and found permanent homes for cats and dogs since 1860. Find out about the charity’s history and archive collections from archivist Kat Hubschmann.
• Tuesday 31st May, 6.30pm
• FREE, though donations welcome via
• Battersea Park Library, 309 Battersea Park Road SW11 4NF
• Booking advised – contact Battersea Park Library on 020 7720 4122

Children’s workshop: Wandsworth at War
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service
Wandsworth was heavily bombed throughout World War II, but ordinary people continued to live and work here. Find out more about their experiences through artefacts and photographs.
• Wednesday 1st June, 11am
• Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road SW12 8QY
• No booking required

Talk: Swimming with the tide – the story of Battersea’s lost baths and beaches
Organised by the Battersea Society
By the 1900s Battersea boasted some of the finest municipal swimming baths in England, including the country’s largest indoor pool at Nine Elms. Find out more about these and other more dubious aquatic options in this illustrated talk by Sue Demont.
• Wednesday 1st June, 5.45pm for 6pm
• FREE with refreshments available
• St Mary’s Church, Battersea Church Road SW11 3NA
• Booking required – contact 

Tour: Ram Brewery Heritage Centre
Organised by Sambrook’s Brewery
Brewer John Hatch will lead a tour detailing the history of the site since 1533 and the story of brewing in London. Price includes tutored tastings of two classical London beers and a choice of cask beers.
• Thursday 2nd June, 7pm
• £15
• Sambrook’s Heritage Centre, 42 Ram Street SW18 1UR
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: ‘We still have time to finish the game’ – the bowling clubs of Wandsworth
Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common
The ancient game of bowls has long been a feature of life on Wandsworth Common. This walk will explore the history of the game and visit the four local bowling clubs still active
today. There may even be an opportunity to try your hand at the game itself!
• Friday 3rd June, 2pm
• Meet outside the Skylark Café (beside the John Buckmaster green plaque), Wandsworth
Common SW18 3RT
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: Planet Tooting
Organised by Summerstown182
Follow the sweet scent of alphonso mango as we celebrate the stories of a migrant
population whose contribution to Tooting has created one of the most vibrant, energetic and diverse communities in Britain. To be acknowledged with an historic plaque.
• Friday 3rd June, 6pm
• FREE, though donations for Summerstown182 plaques are welcome
• Meet outside Tooting Broadway tube station, Tooting High Street SW17 0SU
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: Mostly Medical
Organised by the Clapham Society
Gillian Robinson will lead this walk charting Nightingale Lane’s medical history. Learn about the Nightingales Home, Queen Elizabeth House, Audiology House, and the former South
London Hospital for Women.
• Saturday 4th June, 2.30pm
• Meet opposite the Hope Pub, at the end of Nightingale Lane near the entrance to
Wandsworth Common Station
• Booking required – contact 

Talk: Ram Brewery 1533-2020
Organised by John Hatch and Sambrook’s Brewery
The history of the UK’s longest continuously brewing site by John Hatch who has brewed on
the site since 1988.
• Sunday 5th June, 2.30pm
• Chimney Room, Sambrook’s Brewery Tap, Ram Quarter SW18 1UD
• Booking required – contact 

Tour: St Leonard’s Church
Organised by the Streatham Society
Much of the narrative of Streatham’s history can be found in its church building. Led by
parish archivist John Brown, this tour will reveal the stories behind St Leonard’s colourful
windows and the building’s design.
• Monday 6th June, 1.30pm
• FREE, though donations welcome
• St Leonard’s Church, Streatham High Road SW16 1HS
• Book via Eventbrite:

Film screening: Wombles from the lane – an oral history of Wimbledon Football Club
Organised by digital:works
Often cited as the greatest story in football, Wimbledon AFC are the only club to have won both the FA Amateur Cup and the FA cup! This film charts their story with newly collected oral testimony, archive footage, and images from Merton Heritage & Local Studies Centre.
• Monday 6th June, 5.30pm
• Earlsfield Library, 276 Magdalen Road SW18 3NY
• Booking advised – contact Earlsfield Library on 020 8946 2088

Talk: Wandsworth and the Edwardian Roller Skating Boom
Organised by Sean Creighton
The years 1908-1912 saw a boom in rinking (roller skating). Several rinks operated in
Wandsworth. Sean Creighton will explain the history of the boom in the area and the links with the National Skating Association.
• Monday 6th June, 6pm
• Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road SW17 9PD
• Booking advised – contact Tooting Library on 020 8767 0543

Book launch: Inspiring Women of Battersea by Jeanne Rathbone
Organised by the Battersea Society
Hot off the press, local historian Jeanne Rathbone presents her book on Battersea’s
extraordinary range of notable women, from Elsa ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Lanchester to
Britain’s first female pilot, Hilda Hewlett. Come along and be among the first to get your
signed copy!
• Tuesday 7th June, 6pm
• FREE Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill SW11 5TN
• Booking required – contact 

Talk: a History of Trinity Fields
Organised by Graham Jackson and the Friends of Wandsworth Common
Part of Wandsworth Common until 1852 and since protected by a covenant, and used for sport since 1877, the talk will explore the famous clubs and personalities who have used the ground and its social history and future.
• Tuesday 7th June, 7.30pm
• NatureScope Wandsworth Common SW18 3RT
• Booking required – contact 

Talk: Streatham Ice Rink – the Early Years (1931-1946)
Organised by the Streatham Society
Saki Hajnal, who has campaigned for the provision of ice skating in Streatham with
the Streatham Ice Skating Action Group, will give this talk charting the beginnings of
Streatham’s ice rink.
• Tuesday 7th June, 7.30pm
• St Leonard’s Church, Streatham High Road SW16 1HS
• Booking not required

Walk: Crossing the River – a Putney and Fulham Heritage Walk
Organised by Chris Van Hayden Tourist Guide
In this fascinating walk Blue Badge Tour Guide Chris Van Hayden will share the rich history of these two villages. The tour’s main themes are rowing, the English Civil Wars, Mary
Wollstonecraft, sewers, the two churches, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Bishops’ palace.
• Wednesday 8th June, 1pm
• £10
• Meet on the corner of Festing Road/Putney Embankment SW15 1LB
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: Industrial Heritage of the River Wandle
Organised by the Wandle Industrial Museum
John Sheridan will lead this walk along the River Wandle from Earlsfield to the Thames.
Similar to his walk last year (a virtual version of which is on the Wandle Industrial Museum YouTube channel), but containing new material reflecting this year’s theme.
• Wednesday 8th June, 2pm
• Meet at Earlsfield Station entrance, Garratt Lane SW18 3DL
• Booking required – contact

Talk: Wandsworth’s Lost Fishing Village
Organised by the Wandsworth Historical Society
From the seventeenth century to the nineteenth, an area dominated by fishermen and
watermen flourished near Wandsworth Bridge. Dorian Gerhold tells the story of this
remarkable settlement and the families who lived and worked there.
• Wednesday 8th June, 6.30pm
• Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane SW18 4AQ
• Booking advised – contact Wandsworth Town Library on 020 8877 1742

Workshop: Virtual Locomotion
Organised by the Black Heroes Foundation
A weekly digital community event taking place in your living room!
Every Thursday at 11am we go online to learn about our heroes, sing, dance and have fun. Providing a safe virtual space to meet and share stories, and support each other.
• Thursday 9th June, 11am
• This will be an online event
• Booking required –

Talk: Stories from the post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital, 1841-1946
Organised by Archives and Special Collections, St George’s Hospital
Archivist Dr Juulia Ahvensalmi and Curator of the Museum of Human Diseases Dr Carol
Shiels delve into the historical post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital with stories about the patients and diseases in the casebooks, from smallpox to murder cases.
• Thursday 9th June, 1pm
• Library, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace SW17 0RE
• Book via Eventbrite:

Talk: A Brief History of Rowing in Putney
Organised jointly by the Putney Society and the Wandsworth Society
Local historian Philip Evison charts the development of rowing in Putney and the people and events which became part of its history along the way.
• Thursday 9th June, 8pm
• West Side Church Hall, corner of Melody Road/Allfarthing Lane SW18 2QQ
• Booking not required, but any queries can be sent to 

Walk: James Knowles and the Park Town Estate

Organised by daab design architects
From the dream of a “Southern Belgravia” to constantly evolving Park Town estate
Conservation Area, tread the steps of James Knowles during Battersea’s railway boom.
• Friday 10th June, 10am
• Meet at Battersea Park Station entrance, Battersea Park Road SW8 4BH
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: the Corruganza Box Makers
Organised by Summerstown182
In the summer of 1908, 44 courageous young women at the Corruganza cardboard box factory won a notable victory in the struggle for womens’ rights in the workplace – this walk visits key locations and outlines their story.
• Friday 10th June, 6pm
• FREE, though donations for Summerstown182 plaques are welcome
• Meet at Burmester House (opposite Summerstown Tesco), junction of Burmester Road/ Garratt Lane SW17 0PG
• Booking required – contact 

Performance: Black Heroes Soul Food Café
Organised by the Black Heroes Foundation
The Black Heroes Soul Food Café provides a creative space for inclusive artistic expression celebrating Black Heroes and exploring the historical and contemporary presence of Black Britons in the community. Join us for an evening of music, dance, and drama.
• Friday 10th June, 7.30pm
• This will be an online event
• Booking required – 

Exhibition: Wandsworth Prison Museum open weekend
Organised by the Wandsworth Prison Museum
The prison history in over 450 photos and objects. Stories of staff, prisoners, escapes, and hangings. Featuring Oscar Wilde, acid bath murderer John Haigh, traitor William Joyce
(Lord Haw Haw), and great train robber Ronnie Biggs.
• Saturday 11th June and Sunday 12th June, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
• Wandsworth Prison Museum, North Gate Car Park, Heathfield Road SW18 3HR
• Booking not required

Walk: Extraordinary Earlsfield
Organised by Summerstown182
Homely Earlsfield has some amazing history – gently nurturing the flowering of rock
legends Marc Bolan and Girlschool, ancestral homeland to generations of Gypsy
Travellers and a celtic connection with ‘Lovely Leitrim’ birthplace of Robert Davis, the man who gave it its name.
• Saturday 11th June, 2pm
• FREE – though donations for Summerstown182 plaques are welcome
• Meet at St Andrew’s Church garden, junction of Waynflete Street/Garratt Lane SW18 3QG
• Booking required – contact

Walk: Sport and recreation on Tooting Common
Organised by the Streatham Society
Robert Doyle leads this walk though Tooting Common charting the common’s sporting history from swimming to football and everything in between.
• Saturday 11th June, 2pm
• Meet at junction of Garrad’s Road/Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RG
• Book via Eventbrite: 

Walk: a Stroll around Battersea Park
Organised by the Friends of Battersea Park
Finish off the festival with a gentle stroll round beautiful Battersea Park, taking in the park’s sporting past and present as well as its many historic features.
• Sunday 12th June, 2pm
• £5 donation welcome
• Meet at Albert Gate, Albert Bridge Road SW11 4JN
• Booking required – contact 


Poles in South London
Organised by the Stockwell Partnership
This exhibition will tell the story of Poles who settled in South London after World War II, mainly in Balham, Clapham and Tooting. Blended with artefacts and digital materials
produced by Polish speaking residents from South London.
• Running throughout the Wandsworth Heritage Festival and the Wandsworth Arts Fringe
• Balham Library, 16 Ramsden Road SW12 8QY

Wandsworth Diversity Past & Present
Organised by the University of Roehampton
This exhibition will feature artworks, textiles, photographs and domestic items related to Wandsworth’s diverse heritage from the 19th century to the present. The exhibition is staged by Roehampton students and staff working with the Wandsworth Borough Collection.
• From Monday 30th May, 2pm
• University of Roehampton Library, Roehampton Lane SW15 5SZ

Caribbean through a Lens
Produced by The National Archives
A snapshot of over 100 years of Caribbean colonial history in The National Archives’
collection of images from Ministry of Information and Foreign and Commonwealth Office collections. Also features some recently collected Wandsworth stories from Hestia’s Age Activity Centre.
• Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill SW11 1JB

100 years and growing: a history of allotment life in Putney
Produced by the Roehampton Garden Society
Documenting 100 years of change, this exhibition will take you from the Society’s roots
in the Garden City movement right up to today’s Grow Your Own revival. Our thriving
allotments provide solace, exercise and pleasure for those who cultivate them.
• Putney Library, 5-7 Disraeli Road SW15 2DR

The Royal Family in Wandsworth
Produced by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service
From Queen Mary’s narrow escape from a car accident in 1939, to HM Queen Elizabeth II visiting the Ram Brewery (not to mention Prince Charles pulling a pint!), The Royal Family have frequented Wandsworth more often than you might think!
• On display in the following libraries: Earlsfield Library, Northcote Library, Battersea
Park Library, Southfields Library, and Roehampton Library


Available throughout Wandsworth Heritage Festival on Wandsworth Libraries’ YouTube page

A short history of Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton from 1915 and WW1 to the present
Produced by the Archives and Museum Group at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton
Margaret Dangoor tells the story of the history of Queen Mary’s Hospital since its early day of opening in 1915 for First World War soldiers who had lost limbs through to the present modern rehabilitation services established in the new community hospital.
Sporting Wandsworth Common: a talk of two halves
Produced by Philip Boys and the Friends of Wandsworth Common
Historian Philip Boys reviews 250 years of sport on Wandsworth Common, from stag-hunting, cock-fighting, bare-knuckle fighting, fishing, ‘pedestrianism’, and penny-farthing racing; to cricket, cross-country running, rugby, tennis and football – including sport’s profound impact on the landscape we see today.

Tooting Bec Lido: a living history
Produced by Janet Smith and Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service
In 2016, Janet Smith combined her loves of cold water swimming and local history
when she was tasked with managing the cataloguing and digitisation of the South
London Swimming Club’s rich archive. In this short film, we explore the collection’s

788 Battersea
Produced by David Appleyard
Following a period of in-depth research, artist David Appleyard presents his concepts
for a series of public artworks that celebrate the work of Charles Rolls, the Short Brothers and their connection to the railway arches at Prince of Wales Drive, Battersea. Programme for the Oxford versus Cambridge boat race, 1957 

Sporting Women from London Undercurrents
Produced by London Undercurrents
Join local poet Hilaire and north London poet Joolz Sparkes for a quick sprint through London Undercurrents – the hidden histories of London’s unsung heroines. Meet a freewheeling cyclist, an ambitious young footballer and a daring tightrope walker.
The Coronation Stamps of 1953: a Platinum Jubilee reappraisal
Produced by Neil Robson, Editor of the Wandsworth Historian
Right across the Commonwealth stamps were issued to celebrate the crowning of the Queen in 1953. Talented designers eagerly grasped the challenge. In this talk, Neil Robson will reassess six of the most successful results they created.

Queen Mary’s car crash
Produced by Neil Robson, Wandsworth Historical Society
While George VI’s mother Queen Mary was travelling home through Wandsworth in May 1939 her limousine was struck by a lorry with distressing consequences. In this year of jubilee, Neil Robson takes up the story.