Date posted 31 May 2018

The 2018 Wandsworth Heritage Festival runs from 26th May to 10th June.

This year’s festival features a wide variety of talks, walks, workshops, and exhibitions celebrating Wandsworth’s parks, gardens, and open spaces. Many events highlight how these spaces have impacted on the lives of Wandsworth’s residents; and have in turn been shaped and changed by Wandsworth’s residents.

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Pets in the Archives
Produced by the AHRC-funded Pets and Family Life Project at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Manchester
The display focusses on the diary of late Putney resident, Florence Turtle, and her pets and is part of a project that explores how pets became such an important part of British homes and families.
• Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, Putney SW15 2DR
• During library opening hours throughout the festival

A Walk in the Park
Produced by Royal Photographic Society, London Region
Photographs taken as part of the RPS’s Breathing London Project, a London-wide photo project to capture the diversity of London’s public green and open spaces – the lungs of the City – over the course of a year.
• Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, Putney SW15 2DR
• 4th-23rd June during library opening hours throughout the festival


Saturday 26th May – 10am-2pm

Drop in session: Tooting Common Maps
Organised by the Tooting Common Heritage Project
View a collection of historical maps and drawings relating to parks and green open spaces in Wandsworth. The focus is Tooting Common but a selection of maps from other green open spaces in the borough will also be made available.
• Tooting Bec Lido Pavilion, Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RU
• No booking required

Saturday 26th May
2pm - Talk: The Life and Times of Tooting Jazz Pioneer, Sadie Crawford
3.30pm - Guided walk: Entertaining Tooting
Organised by Summerstown 182
Heralding the placing of a plaque on 16th June, Sadie Crawford’s grand-nephew Stephen Willis outlines the life and times of a remarkable jazz pioneer from Tooting, featuring exclusive sound recordings of some of her work. Then follow in her footsteps taking in key locations in Sadie’s early life. This walk will highlight the local personalities and entertainment venues of Tooting 100 years ago.
• 2pm Tooting Library, 75 Mitcham Road SW17 9PD
• £5 combined charge for talk & walk (proceeds towards plaque)
• Please book in advance:

Sunday 27th May & 10th June – 11am
Guided walk: Historic Battersea
Organised by Tony Belton on behalf of the Battersea Labour Party
Councillor Tony Belton will lead this informal walk from The Latchmere to Battersea Arts Centre, looking at different housing styles and exploring local historic events and individuals.
• Meet outside the Latchmere public house, corner of Latchmere Rd/Battersea Park Rd
• £10
• Duration: approx. 2 hrs
• Please book in advance:

Sunday 27th May – 2pm & 3pm
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 temple.
• Meet at the lodge gates, Henry Tate Mews, Streatham Common North, SW16 3HA
• FREE (donations welcome)
• No booking required
• No parking or toilets on-site

Monday 28th May – 2.30pm
Guided walk: Bedford Hill and Tooting Bec Common
Organised by the Balham Society
John Rattray will lead this walk covering the Bedford Hill area’s history from its early farms to the present day. Also covering the parts of Tooting Bec Common which were once colloquially known as Balham Common.
• Meet outside Tooting Bec Common cafe, off Bedford Hill, SW12 9HJ
• A collection will be taken (proceeds to the Balham Society)
• No booking required

Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th May – 10-4pm
Workshop: Watercolour Landscape Painting
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
Explore this historic landscape and vista, initially in the studio and then outside along the Putney riverside and parks (weather permitting). You will be working on quick drawings in sketchbooks leading to finished watercolour painting. Some experience an advantage.
• Meet at Putney School of Art & Design.
• £56 - Booking required
• Please contact the school for further details:

Tuesday 29th May – 2-4pm
Workshop: Photographing Battersea’s Riverside
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
Photograph the historic landmarks of Battersea Park and riverside, benefiting from technical and creative guidance from Putney School of Art & Design’s photography tutor. You will need a camera or a smartphone.
• Meet at London Peace Pagoda on the riverside of Battersea Park.
• £8
• Please book in advance:

Tuesday 29th May – 3pm
Guided walk: The War Graves of Wandsworth Cemetery
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
A walk and talk on the 600+ war graves in the cemetery. NB this is a repeat event of the one conducted as part of the Heritage Festival some six years ago.
• Meet at the Cross of Sacrifice, just inside the cemetery gates on Magdalen Road, SW18
• No booking required

Tuesday 29th May – 6.30pm
Talk: Spies on the Common FULLY BOOKED
Paul McCue, Secret WW2 Learning Network
A talk and presentation on the M.I.5 London Reception Centre, located in the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building on Wandsworth Common during WW2.
• Battersea Library, 265 Lavender Hill SW11 1JB

Wednesday 30th May – 2pm
Talk: Tooting Commons: from private to public ownership
Organised by the Tooting History Group
Tooting Commons went from private to public ownership in the 1870s. Hear about the demonstrations, court cases and public disobedience which resulted in the commons coming into the ownership of the Metropolitan Board of Works.
• Furzedown Project, 93 Moyser Rd, SW16 6SJ
• No booking required

Wednesday 30th May – 6.30pm
Guided walk: Best of Battersea’s Trees
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
Take in the historic and notable trees of Battersea Park.
• Meet at the Bandstand in the Park.
• Free
• Please register interest by sending email to

Wednesday 30th May – 7.15pm
Talk: The Wandsworth Area as 18th Century Powerhouse
Organised by Agenda Services
The Wandsworth area was an economic and political powerhouse during the long 18th Century. This talk by Sean Creighton will examine aspects of this, including the Huguenots, the networks, the Clapham Sect and the Pitt Government.
• Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane SW18 4AQ
• No booking required

Wednesday 30th May – 7.30pm
Talk: Putney Riverside Over the Centuries
Organised by Friends of Wandsworth Park
An illustrated presentation exploring the historic riverside from St Mary’s Church to Point Pleasant including Wandsworth Park. Michael Bull, a lifetime Putney resident and member of the Wandsworth Historical Society, will share his memories of Putney and how it has changed over the decades.
• St. Mary’s Church, Putney High Street SW15 1SN
• No booking required

Thursday 31st May – 11am-6pm
Family drop in session: Archaeology and Local History on Your Doorstep
Organised by Wandsworth Historical Society
Discover the history of the borough where you live using historic maps and by handling and identifying archaeological objects such as Roman pottery. Bring along anything interesting you have found in the ground!
• Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane SW18 4AQ
• No booking required

Thursday 31st May – 2-4pm
Drop in: Family Art
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
Explore the Grade 2* heritage-listed open space and boating lake in Battersea Park. A tutor from Putney School of Art & Design will provide some guidance and materials for families to use.
• Meet outside the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park to collect your materials.
• No booking required

Thursday 31st May – 4pm and 6pm
Guided Walk: the historic and notable graves of Putney Vale Cemetery
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
A guided, leisurely walk around the cemetery visiting many of the notable and historic graves.
• Please expect to walk about 1½ miles. Some steep inclines.
• Meet at the crematorium carpark at the top of the drive, SW15 3DZ
• Booking essential: (quote ‘Heritage Festival’ in the subject line)

Thursday 31st May – 6.30pm
Guided Walk: Clapham in World War II
Organised by the Clapham Society
A walk along the south side of Clapham Common seeing how the war came to Clapham and the lasting effect it has had on our streets and the development of South London. Led by Derrick Johnson.
• Meet at Clapham Common Underground Station at 6.30pm
• No booking required

Thursday 31st May – 7.30pm
Performance: Black Heroes Soul Food Cafe
Organised by the Black Heroes Foundation
The Black Heroes Soul Food Café provides a creative space for artistic expression celebrating Black Heroes. Please participate as an audience member or creative artist sharing your expression of celebration whether it be song, spoken word or visual art.
• Leilani Restaurant and Ashanti Lounge Bar, 14 Lavender Hill, Battersea, SW11 5RW
• £3
• Please book via Eventbrite:

Friday 1st June – 2.30pm
Guided Walk: the Story of Putney Old Burial Ground
Organised by Philip Evison
Discover the 200-year story of Putney’s historic burial ground (1763-1963). Learn details of some of the eminent people buried there and of the remaining tombs, four of them Grade II-listed.
• Meet next to Daley Thompson fitness centre, 215 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 6SY
• Booking required: 07981 898961 or

Friday 1st June – 6.30pm
Talk: Wandsworth Common Railway Station: the station with an arcane past
Organised by Steven Taylor and Wandsworth Heritage Service
Railway historian Steven Taylor shares his fascinating research illustrated with copious photographs and maps he has discovered along the way. His quest began with a photograph showing an incarnation of the station that had never been previously recorded.
• Balham Library 16 Ramsden Road SW12 8QY
• No booking required

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd June – 10am-1pm & 2-5pm
Exhibition: Wandsworth Prison Museum Open Weekend
Organised by Wandsworth Prison Museum
The history of Wandsworth Prison displayed in over 400 objects. Stories of staff, prisoners, escapes, and hangings. Features Oscar Wilde, Acid Bath Murderer John Haigh, Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, and James Earl Ray.
• Prison Museum, North gate car park, HMP Wandsworth, Heathfield Road SW18 3HR
• No booking required.

Saturday 2nd June – 10am
Guided walk: Woodfield Plants: natives, guests, and invaders
Organised by the Woodfield Project
Roy Vickery of the South London Botanic Institute will lead the walk. He will identify plants on the Woodfield Ground and the neighbouring fringe of Tooting Bec Common, and discuss their history and lore.
• Meet at Woodfield Pavilion (accessed via Tooting Bec Common or footpath at 16A Abbotswood Road, SW16 1AP)
• No booking required– for more information email

Saturday 2nd June – 11am
Guided walk: A Historical Walking Tour of Emanuel School and its Grounds
Organised by Emanuel School Archives
This 90 minute tour of the buildings and grounds will whisk you back to the days of the boarding school and orphanage. The School Archive will also be open.
• Emanuel School, Battersea Rise, SW11 1HS (Entry via Bridge on Spencer Park)
• No booking required – for further details contact: or 020 8875 6959 

Saturday 2nd June – 2pm
Guided walk: Battersea Park
Organised by the Battersea Society and Friends of Battersea Park
Frances Radcliffe, Chair of the Friends of Battersea Park, and Mike Bates will explore Battersea Park’s rich history, pointing out items of specific historical or botanical significance.
• Meet by the entrance to the car park inside Albert Gate, Albert Bridge Road SW11 4NU
• £5
• No booking required

Sunday 3rd June – 10.30am
Guided walk: Putney Heath: history and health
Organised by Roehampton Forum
A walk across Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common, noting the historical features from Roehampton to the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields and Asda, via the Windmill. Led by John Horrocks, former Commons Conservator.
• Meet at Shell petrol station, 237-239 Roehampton Lane SW15 4LB
• No booking required

Sunday 3rd June – 11.30am
Talk and Workshop: Textile Printing in the Wandle Valley
Organised by Wandle Industrial Museum
The textile industry along the Wandle Valley was introduced by the Huguenots in the 17th century. You will have the opportunity to learn about the traditional technique of block printing and the chance to produce your own print.
• Wandle Industrial Museum, Vestry Hall Annexe, London Road, Mitcham CR4 3UD
• FREE (donations welcome)
• Duration: 90 mins
• Please book in advance: or 020 8648 0127

Monday 4th June - 6.30pm
Talk: War Comes Home: growing up in wartime Battersea
Organised by the War Comes Home volunteer committee
What was Battersea like during World War II? This talk shares highlights of filmed interviews with men and women recounting their childhood experiences here. It is a fascinating story of disrupted schooling, the terrors of bombing and astonishing independence.
• Christ Church & St. Stephen, 38 Cabul Road, Battersea SW11 2PN
• Refreshments available to purchase
• No booking required
• For more information see Eventbrite

Monday 4th June – 7.30pm
Talk: Thomas Cromwell and his family in Putney and Wandsworth
Organised by Wandsworth Historical SocietyThomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right-hand man, grew up in Putney at the mercy of his violent father, Walter, according to historians and novelists. But groundbreaking research by WHS chairman, Dorian Gerhold, paints a very different picture of Cromwell family life.
• St Mary’s Church, Putney High Street, SW15 1SN • £5 (proceeds to WHS)
• Please book via Eventbrite:

Monday June 4th – 8pm
Talk: Bygone Streatham
Organised by the Streatham Society
A look at Victorian and Edwardian Streatham with local historian and author John W. Brown. His well-illustrated and informative talk will look at the people, places, buildings and events that characterised Streatham during this period.
• Woodlawns Centre, 16 Leigham Court Road, Streatham SW16 2PJ.
• No booking required

Tuesday 5th June – 2pm
Guided walk: Hidden Heritage: the wildlife wonders of the Wandle
Organised by Enable Leisure and Culture
Take a walk upstream from the mouth of the River Wandle to King Georges Park to learn more about the wildlife on the river and measures to enhance habitats.
• Meet at the junction of The Causeway & Smugglers Way / Enterprise Way where the footpath crosses the river
• Free
• No booking required

Tuesday 5th June – 6.30pm
Guided walk: Development of a Victorian Suburb
Organised by the Clapham Society
A walk ‘twixt the Commons to help understand how the area was developed by a series of speculative builders as the older houses were knocked down. Led by Timothy Walker.
• Meet at Clapham South Underground Station
• No booking required

Wednesday 6th June – 10.30am-2.30pm
Drop in session: Scything Taster Session
Organised by the Tooting Common Heritage Project in partnership with idverde UK
Come along for a taster session in the art of scything, a traditional grassland management technique used for centuries in England and with origins dating back to 500 B.C. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors and weather.
• On Tooting Common next to the Staff Yard at the junction of Dr Johnson Avenue / Hillbury Road
• No booking required
• For further information contact:

Wednesday 6th June – 2pm
Guided walk: Historic walk around the Grove House Estate, Froebel College
Organised by Gilly King, History and Heritage Advisor, University of Roehampton
Froebel College is a constituent College of the University of Roehampton. Within the grounds of this charming Georgian house are delightful follies, a lake, a Mausoleum and an ice house. The stories behind these historic monuments are fascinating.
• Meet at the main entrance of Froebel College, University of Roehampton, junction of Roehampton Lane & Clarence Lane, Roehampton SW15 5PJ
• Duration of tour: approx. 90 mins
• Please book in advance: or 020 8392 3514

Wednesday 6th June – 6.45pm
Talk: A Walk in the Park
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries
Public parks are such a cherished part of everyday life, you might be forgiven for thinking they have always been there. Acclaimed author Travis Elborough traces their extraordinary history in an illustrated talk based on his book ‘A Walk in the Park.’
• Putney Library, 5-7 Disraeli Road SW15 2DR
• Please book in advance: or 020 8780 3085

Wednesday 6th June – 7.45pm for 8pm
Talk: Capability Brown’s Wimbledon Park, then and now
Organised by the Wandsworth Society
Dave Dawson has researched the history of this fine 18th century landscaped park. Hear how it came to be, was eroded by London’s spread - and how the valuable, but at risk, remaining part became a Grade II* Heritage Landscape.
• The Nature Centre, next to the Skylark Café, off Dorlcote Road, Wandsworth SW18 3RT
• Refreshments available to purchase • No booking required

Thursday 7th June – 10.30am
Guided walk: Putney Lower Common: understanding its history
Organised by the Putney Society
Peter Haldane, the Wimbledon & Putney Commons Conservators’ Conservation & Engagement Officer, will lead this walk, explaining how the Common has developed from the days when it belonged to the Lord of the Manor, Lord Spencer.
• Meet on the Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Commondale - by the 22 bus stop
• No booking required

Thursday 7th June – 2pm
Guided walk: Wildlife Walk on the Common
Organised by the Tooting Common Heritage Project
A wildlife walk focusing on habitat restoration on Tooting Common. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors and weather. The event will involve walking on uneven surfaces and crossing roads and cycle paths.
• Meet at Tooting Bec Common Café, SW12 9HJ
• No booking required For further information contact:

Thursday 7th June – 2.30pm
Guided walk: Uncovering the Falcon Brook
Organised by Jon Newman
Follow the largely forgotten and completely underground Falcon Brook’s lower course, from close by Wandsworth Common to its former mouth into the Thames at Battersea. Hear about the river’s history and previous uses along the way.
• Meet at Wandsworth Common Station, Jaggard Way SW12 8NL
• Duration approx. 1½ hours
• Please book via Eventbrite:

Thursday 7th June - 7pm for 7.30pm
Talk: The story of Battersea Park, an ever changing landscape
Organised by Battersea Society and the Friends of Battersea Park
Battersea Park has seen two World Wars, the Festival of Britain, and periods of decline and restoration. Join Jennifer Ullman to hear about the rich history of this much loved London landmark and learn how our times are leaving their mark.
• St Mary’s Church, Battersea Church Road SW11 3EN
• £5
• No booking required

Thursday 7th, Friday 8th & Saturday 9th June – 2.30pm & 7pm
Experimental performance: Common Salt
Organised by the Battersea Arts Centre
‘Common Salt’ explores lucre, enclosures and borders: the economic and social stories of trade. Developed over 3 years of research into the colonial and geographical history of England and India, the work resonates with our contemporary times.
• Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill SW11 5TN
• £5
• Please book via or 020 7223 2223

Friday 8th June – 2pm
Talk: Pets in the Lives of Twentieth Century Londoners
Organised by Royal Holloway University of London in partnership with Wandsworth Heritage Service
This talk by Dr Rebecca Preston will explore changes in pet keeping in the twentieth century and, by looking at the diaries of local resident Florence Turtle, the place of companion animals in Londoners’ busy home, work and social lives.
• Putney Library, 5/7 Disraeli Road, Putney SW15 2DR
• Please book in advance: or 020 8780 3085

Friday 8th June – 6.30pm
Talk: Calico People of the Wandle Valley
Organised by Wandle Industrial Museum
Mick Taylor will look at the rise and fall of the River Wandle’s Calico industries, and the people associated during its 300 year history. Covering the Wandsworth Huguenots, the factory workers, William Morris, and Liberty’s.
• Earlsfield Library, 276 Magdalen Road SW18 3NY
• No booking required

Saturday 9th June – 2.30-4.30pm
Guided Walk: the Tooting Common Story
Organised by the Tooting History Group
A leisurely walk exploring some of the extraordinary events and people that have created the Common we know and love today.
• Meet at the drinking fountain, corner of Tooting Bec Road/Dr Johnson Avenue
• £6 including refreshments
• Please book via Eventbrite:

Sunday 10th June – 10am
Talk: From Lake to Lido: the story of Tooting Bec lido
Organised by South London Swimming Club
Janet Smith will look back at 112 years of the lido and the SLSC with the help of the club’s newly created digital archive. Please bring along any historic photos of the lido for on-the-spot scanning.
• Tooting Bec Lido Pavilion, Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RU
• No booking required

Sunday 10th June – 2pm
Guided walk: Significant Women of Lavender Hill
Organised by the Battersea Society
Led by Jeanne Rathbone. Featuring Jeanie Nassau Senior, first woman civil servant; Charlotte Despard, socialist suffragette; Caroline Ganley MP; Marie Spartali, Pre-Raphaelite artist; Deaconess Isabelle Gilmore; Laura Barker, composer; Pamela Hansford Johnson, author.
• Outside Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill SW11 5TN
• £5
•No booking required