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Date posted 12 Apr 2021

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 as a PDF from the end of this article.

Many of the events of this year’s festival focus on homes and housing in Wandsworth’s past and present. Our events this year are either online or outdoors in response to the Coronovirus pandemic.

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: better.org.uk/archives 
Follow us on Twitter: @Better_WHS
Browse our historic images collection: boroughphotos.org/wandsworth

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 heritage@gll.org or 020 7223 2334

SCHEDULED EVENTS

Walk: Albert Hill’s Tooting Gold
Organised by Geoff Simmons, Summerstown182

Tooting's double gold winning athlete Albert Hill's extraordinary achievement at the 1920 Olympics will hopefully be commemorated this year with a blue plaque in Trevelyan Road. This walk takes you through his Edwardian Tooting.

  • Saturday 29th May, 2pm
  • FREE, but donations for the plaque are welcome
  • Booking required – contact rgbsimmons182@gmail.com. In the event of cancellation, there will be an alternative self-guided option available.

Guided tour: Henry Tate House
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.

 

Guided walk: Twixt the Taverns
Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common

A walk from the Hope Tavern to the County Arms, along Bellevue Road, Lyford Road, Heathfield Road and Alma Terrace, ranging from late-18th century grandeur to 21st century ultra-modernism. Highlights include an Arts and Crafts gem, a garden suburb, and the homes of pioneers in design, ballet and aeronautics.

  • Monday 31st May, 2.30pm
  • FREE
  • Booking required – contact history@wandsworthcommon.org

Talk: Council Housing in London before and after the Totterdown Fields Estate
Organised by the Tooting History Group

John Boughton, author of Municipal Dreams, assesses the significance of the Totterdown Fields Estate in Tooting in the development of council housing in London.
Built by the London County Council at the turn of the 20th century, this 'cottage estate' broke new ground.

Walk: Growth of a Victorian Suburb
Organised by the Clapham Society

Timothy Walker will lead his popular walk tracing the development of housing ‘Twixt the Commons’ by a series of speculative builders as the older houses were demolished.

  • Wednesday 2nd June, 6.30pm
  • FREE
  • Booking required – contact tehwalker@uwclub.net

Walk: The Wandle’s Industrial Heritage
Organised by the Wandle Industrial Museum

Local historian John Sheridan leads this walk from Earlsfield station to the mouth of the River Wandle, with illustrations and descriptions of former mills and industrial activities along the route.

  • Thursday 3rd June, 11am
  • FREE
  • Booking required – contact john.sheridan08@gmail.com. A recorded talk will also be made available in due course on the Wandle Industrial Museum’s YouTube channel.

Workshop: Virtual Locomotion
Organised by the Black Heroes Foundation

A weekly digital community event taking place in your living room! Every Thursday at 11:00 am 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.

Talk: London Undercurrents – celebrating women’s history south and north of the river
Organised by London Undercurrents

Battersea poet Hilaire and Islington poet Joolz Sparkes read from their poetry collection London Undercurrents, and discuss the inspirational women behind their closely researched work, including Charlotte Despard, apprentice laundresses, lady cyclists in Battersea Park, and their north London sisters.

  • Thursday 3rd June, 7pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – contact events@batterseasociety.org.uk

 

Walk: Lady Bountiful’s Upper Tooting Tour
Organised by Geoff Simmons, Summerstown182

This tour features the remarkable history and stories of some of the people associated with the area near Holy Trinity Church and Springfield Hospital, once the estate of wealthy Tooting benefactress Eliza Jane Bell, known as 'Lady Bountiful'.

  • Friday 4th June, 6pm
  • FREE, but donations for Summerstown182 welcome
  • Booking required – contact rgbsimmons182@gmail.com. In the event of cancellation, there will be an alternative self-guided option available.

Talk: Four 18th Century Houses and their occupants
Organised by the Battersea Society

Local historian Jeanne Rathbone takes you back in time to Elm House, Lavender Sweep House, The Shrubbery, and Gilmore House to meet Jeanie Nassau Senior, Britain’s first civil servant; Tom Taylor, playwright; Laura Barker, composer; Marie Spartali, Pre-Raphaelite artist; and Deaconess Isabella Gilmore.

  • Friday 4th June, 6pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – contact events@batterseasociety.org.uk

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.

Walk: The People of Wardley Street
Organised by Geoff Simmons, Summerstown182

The gypsy/traveller community has a long-established and enduring history in Wandsworth, nowhere more so than Wardley Street and Lydden Road. Families here worked with horses for generations; as flower-sellers, costermongers and market traders. This walk tells their story.

  • Saturday 5th June, 2pm
  • FREE, but donations for Summerstown182 welcome
  • Booking required – contact rgbsimmons182@gmail.com. In the event of cancellation, there will be an alternative self-guided option available.

Walk: A Stroll through Furzedown looking at the houses and their famous or infamous former residents.
Organised by the Streatham Society

A tour of the Furzedown area looking at the houses or locations where the famous and infamous lived.

Tour and talk: The Power of Home – a 1950s estate in 21st century lockdown
Organised by the Friends of Wandsworth Common

Photographer and curator Sharon O’Neill leads a virtual tour of the Fitzhugh Estate on Wandsworth Common and tells the story of how one architect’s vision of the ‘modern world’ is realised today through the homes and lives of the current residents.

  • Monday 7th June, 6.30pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – contact sharon@sharononeill.co.uk

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.

  • Tuesday 8th June, 6.30pm
  • FREE
  • Booking required – contact thenightingales95@gmail.com

Talk: In Mrs Ganley’s Footsteps
Organised by Sue Demont and Carol Rahn

A virtual walk through Battersea taking in sites associated with Caroline Ganley CBE, whose life of public service began under Queen Victoria, and lasted until the Swinging ‘60s. Find out how this extraordinary woman came to be known as ‘London’s Greatest Housewife’!

  • Wednesday 9th June, 6pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – contact warcomeshome@mailwise.co.uk

Tour and talk: A Home on the Hill – a virtual tour of the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
Organised by the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability

Take a 45-minute virtual tour of the buildings, interiors and grounds of the former Royal Hospital for Incurables and find out what life was like for its former Victorian residents.

  • Thursday 10th June, 1pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – rhn.org.uk/events

Talk: Battersea’s ‘palaces in the night’

Organised by Jon Newman

James Whistler wrote of Battersea's industrial riverside, as depicted in his 'nocturne' paintings: “the tall chimneys become campanile – and the warehouses are palaces in the night". Apartment blocks have long replaced industry, and Jon's talk traces the history of these new riverside 'palaces'.

Talk: Transforming Springfield Hospital
Organised by the Wandsworth Society

Emma Hill, Community Engagement Officer at Springfield Hospital, talks about the redevelopment of Springfield Hospital as well as the hospital’s new Integrated Programme for better quality mental health treatment.

  • Thursday 10th June, 8pm
  • FREE
  • This will be an online event
  • Booking required – contact events@wandsworthsociety.org

Walk: Home to Many: Wild Flowers in Battersea Rise Cemetery
Organised by the South London Botanical Institute

Alongside some of Battersea’s former residents, Battersea Rise Cemetery is also home to many wonderful wild flowers. This walk offers the chance to learn more about them.

  • Friday 11th June, 11am
  • FREE, but donations welcome.
  • Booking required – see slbi.org.uk or contact info@slbi.org.uk

 

Walk: Tooting Magical Musical History Tour
Organised by Geoff Simmons, Summerstown182

No Glastonbury this year but what a line-up in Tooting! Marc Bolan, Sadie Crawford, M.I.A., Mud, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Girlschool, Harry Lauder, Mad Professor, The Strawbs... This walk covers key locations associated with this area's musical heritage.

  • Sunday 13th June, 2pm
  • FREE, but donations for Summerstown182 welcome
  • Booking required – contact rgbsimmons182@gmail.com. In the event of cancellation, there will be an alternative self-guided option available.

Walk: Battersea Park and Prince of Wales Drive
Organised by Friends of Battersea Park

A walk looking at homes and housing in and around Battersea Park.

  • Sunday 13th June, 2pm
  • £5 donation welcome
  • Booking required – contact fhradcliffe@gmail.com

PRE-RECORDED TALKS

Available during the Wandsworth Heritage Festival on the Wandsworth Libraries’ YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI3082cr46JnU8z8ydDvy7w

Talk: A Tooting Childhood
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service and Beryl Kingston

Bestselling author Beryl Kingston speaks to Archives Assistant Sofia about growing up in Tooting and where she finds inspiration for her writing.

Talk: Wandsworth Prison – a War Time Home
Organised by Wandsworth Prison

Curator Stewart McLaughlin tells us about the prison during the Second World
War, home to staff, spies, criminals, and traitors. The prison never closed in spite of restrictions and regulations caused by the conflict.

Talk: The Wandle – from Industry to Homes
Organised by the Wandle Industrial Museum

Covering the whole of the Wandle Valley, this talk will look at the changing face of the buildings, estates, and how sites have changed and been developed or lost over the years.

Talk: Constance Cummings-John
Organised by Amma Poku

Local historian Amma Poku talks to Politician Constance Cummings-John’s Grandson about her life and work. Cummings-John was the first woman in Africa to join a municipal council, and the first woman to serve as Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone. She lived in Tooting for the latter part of her life.

Talk: Heritage on tap – opening up the Young’s brewery archives
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service

Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service is now home to the Young’s brewery archives – find out more about the collection in this whistle stop tour of its contents.

ONLINE SELF-GUIDED WALKS

The Putney Society has a range of self guided walks available on their website covering topics from architecture to trees: putneysociety.org.uk

Summerstown182 have a range of self guided walks available on their website: summerstown182.wordpress.com

 

ONLINE CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES

Available throughout Wandsworth Heritage Festival on Wandsworth Libraries’ YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI3082cr46JnU8z8ydDvy7w

Children’s workshop: What can you find in the ground?
Organised by Wandsworth Historical Society

Archaeologist Pamela Greenwood shares some of her favourite things from the ground. What do the many things dug up tell us about the people who called Wandsworth home hundreds and thousands of years ago? And how can you find out more yourself?

Children’s talk and craft: Homes of the Great Fire
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service

Children’s author Kate Cunningham shares what life was like at home for Londoners living in 1666 – the year of the Great Fire of London. No electricity, cars or running water (not to mention no flushing toilets!).

  • Use the downloadable illustration by Sam Cunningham to make your own picture –readingriddle.co.uk

Children’s story time: The Wombles
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service

Roehampton Children’s Librarian Gillian reads some of her favourite Wombles’ stories. At the time of publication, every effort has been made to persuade her to do so in costume.

Children’s craft: Homes for Bugs, Bees, and Beneficial Beasties
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service

Tooting Children’s Librarian Heather shows you how to make cosy habitats for bugs in your garden to attract wildlife all year round!

Children’s craft: Dolls and Dandies
Organised by Wandsworth Libraries & Heritage Service

Battersea Children’s Librarian Carolyn shows you how to make and dress paper dolls in Victorian and Edwardian Costume and shares some of her favourite Wandsworth homes from both periods! Contact heritage@gll.org for templates.