The History of Wandsworth Common


Chronicles so far


Chronicles so far (every month from June 2021 to the present  . . . 


May 2024

My 75th Birthday Special: Wandsworth Common in 1949 Part II

Repurposing the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building for post-war education:

—  Wandsworth Training College

—  Honeywell Secondary School (mixed)

—  Spencer Park School for Boys

—  John Archer School for Boys

1949: What we watched at the Granada Cinema, Clapham Junction


March/April 2024

The personal is historical  . . .  and geographical

My 75th Birthday Special: Wandsworth Common in 1949 Part I

Including Dan Dare — born and bred in Battersea? — and the Revd Chad Varah sets up the Samaritans.


March 2024

—  "Dear Sir, You may be interested to know..." J.P.Ede's letters to the South Western Star on nature on Wandsworth Common, 1949.

—  "Up with the cuckoo . . .  "

—  Old Uncle Tom Knapweed and all . . . 

—  Cicely Mary Barker

—  Gorse: "What wealth is lavished upon Wandsworth Common in these days of Spring . . .  far beyond the worth of money . . .  richer than a miser's hoard."

—  Witchery o'er Battersea

—  Bird sanctuaries invaded

—  A plaque to Edward Thomas unveiled

—  The Cat's Back Bridge

—  Mulberry trees: Up, lads, and at 'em

—  John-Go-To-Bed-at-Noon

—  The Plough

—  Is the Horsetail a Fern?

—  Vikings off course

—  Blackberries: Ede is elated

—  Not the last of the Mohicans

—  Snakes alive!

—  Hedge Mustard as lucifer matches

—  Dragonflies

—  Toadstools

—  An injured heron

—  Beatrix Potter

—  Scarlet flycaps


February 2024

—  Down to the Crossroads  . . . 

—  Traffic lights, 1936  . . . 

—  The death of a young woman motor-cyclist, Ethel Hearn, in a collision with a bus, 1929  . . . 

—   "Bus and Car Collide", 1934  . . . 

—  "Extraordinary poisoning case", 1907   . . . 

—  A dispute between neighbours on Honeywell Road: A pet monkey poisoned and corrosive liquid thrown, 1890.  . . . 

—  "Curious Discovery of an Infant at Clapham Junction", 1878 — was she thrown from a passing train?  . . . 

—  The Royal Victoria Patriotic School for Boys up for sale, 1872  . . . 

—  Girl found wandering on the Common seeks adoption, 1909  . . . 

—  Burntwood Cottage young gentleman accused of theft, 1843  . . . 

—  The burial of Peter Le Neve Foster, 24 February 1879  . . . 

—  Feedback from Peter Santo Warner about an item in December 2023's Chronicles . . . 

—  8 February 2024: "Edward and Helen Thomas on Wandsworth Common", for the Friends of Wandsworth Common  . . . 

—  May Talk: "Stories from the Surrey Pauper Lunatic Asylum, Burntwood Lane — the early years"  . . . 

—  News of a 75th anniversary special  . . . 


January 2024

—   James Leadbeater, 11, imprisoned and whipped for stealing sticks of celery, 1873   . . . 

—   Tom Sayers, bare-knuckle fighter — his first big fight, c.1849  . . . 

—  Report of Christmas Dinner for 200 poor children, 1868  . . . 

—   Home-School on Trinity Road , 1890  . . . 

—  Poisoned Lovers on Wandsworth Common, 1907  . . . 

—  Election excitement, 1910  . . . 

—   Little Red Riding Hood for the happiness of the poor, 1903  . . . 

—  The Wombles of Wandsworth Common, 1975  . . . 


December 2023

— George Harrison and John Henry Dearle  . . . 

— Orchids sent from Wandsworth Common to Washington, "soften the impression that Britain is a land of grey austerity", 1949  . . . 

— Henry Nottidge Moseley sets off round the world on HMS Challenger, 1874  . . . 

— The death of a seal, 1856  . . . 

— Light Brigade-hero James Lamb, charged with being drunk and incapable, complains he'd been robbed, 1903  . . . 

— Juvenile pilferers, 1877  . . . 

— In praise of Virol: a Wandsworth mother's testimonial, 1914  . . . 

— A Christmas Quiz, featuring Wandsworth Common, a sword, and the adorable Mabel Looms. Plus lots of lovely images by a local artist  . . . 

— December 2022 stories  . . . 

— December 2021 stories  . . . 


November 2023

[Click on three dots to go straight to item]

— "Pitches for the playing of football, hockey, and rugby netball at the London County Council parks and open spaces will be fully marked out by the council's staff free of charge", 1913  . . . 

— Girls (from Clapham County School?) playing hockey near Bolingbroke Grove, c 1910  . . . 

— The Royal Masonic School for Girls, 1852   . . . 

— The Peabody estate, 1934   . . . 

— Heritage-washing  . . . 

— Ballooning from Wandsworth Gaspworks  . . . 

— Remembering local people who died in WWI and WWII  . . . 

— Oscar Wilde recollects his humiliation on Clapham Junction Station, 13 November 1895  . . . 

— "Fine Cell Work: Designer Charlene Mullen brings her signature style to the iconic Wandsworth prison. Complete with escape rope and ‘getaway’ helicopter this intricately embroidered and truly unique design is a focal point for any space."  . . . 

— Outrage continues over the destruction of gorse and trees, the planting and mowing of grass, and the erection of fences  . . . 

— Engraving of the "Windmill" and RVPA, 1932  . . . 

— Cyclist thrown from his bike by runaway horse, 1897  . . . 

— David Bromwich's poem "Wandsworth Common" published fifty years ago this month, 1973  . . . 

— Young girl assaulted when out with her governess. Her furious father writes to the South Western Star, 1904.  . . . 

— Cholera deaths in a tent on Wandsworth Common, 1866  . . . 

— Wiseton Road cows at fault, 1922  . . . 

— Calls for the 5-acre "Railway Enclosure Piece" to be returned to the Common, 1892  . . . 

— Pedestrianism - Double v. Moore [fracas], 1849  . . . 

— St James's Drive: A Victorian postbox is sited on the Common, but only after much debate.  . . . 

— November 2022 stories  . . . 

— November 2021 stories  . . . 


October 2023 / 1

— The Rustic Bridge remade in stone (largely by unemployed ex-servicemen), 1920  . . .  [click on three dots to go straight there]

— Improper conduct, 1900  . . . 

— English and American Teeth from Wandsworth Common, 1906  . . . 

— Prince of Wales's homecoming eagerly awaited at Battersea, 1920  . . . 

— Baskerville Cricket Club play in the foggy gloom, 1953  . . . 

— On reaching Wandsworth Common, "the fourth eleven had rather an unfortunate experience", 1909  . . . 

— Bellevue butcher's horse worked when in pain, 1919  . . . 

— "Iniquitous" Tar-paving, 1909  . . . 

— A "refreshment kiosk" to be erected in Battersea Cemetery, 1898  . . . 

— "People are dying to move here! Incredible four-bedroom home with a spooky twist", 2021  . . . 

— A "mob of some four hundred persons awaited the arrival of the funeral cortege at Battersea Cemetery with the avowed intention of wreaking vengeance  . . .  ", 1877  . . . 

— Calls for a new mortuary to replace the "horrors of the present place", 1916  . . . 

— Battersea demands the right to deposit road sweepings on the Common, "as hitherto", 1887  . . . 

— Black Sea is being filled with refuse, 1869  . . . 

— Typhoid and other diseases in the girls' and boys' asylums caused by sewage, 1874   . . . 

— Pick of Past October Chronicles   . . . 


September 2023/1

— the arrival in Wandsworth in 1911 of groups of so-called "Galician Gypsies".


September 2023 / 2

— Zeppelin Raid, 1916  . . . 

— Harry Fullwood, Balloon View of the 3rd London General Hospital, 1915 (video)  . . . 

— Bombs on and around Wandsworth Common 1940—1945 (intro)  . . . 

— Bomb hits Wandsworth Common Station, 1940  . . . 

— "Grace's Gruelling Grind" — cycle clubs meet on the Common in spite of the bombs, 1940  . . . 

— "Footballers need shower-baths — not horse troughs", 1953  . . . 

— "From time immemorial the inhabitants of the Western suburb of London have rejoiced in Wandsworth Common: it is a delicious recreation ground. Nature's own handiwork with no laid out flower beds, no palings or stretched stiff walks", 1863  . . . 

— "In marking out the new season's soccer pitches, the LCC improves upon 'old Euclid'", 1920  . . . 

— The transfer of control over the Common from locally-elected Conservators to the distant Metropolitan Board of Works evokes fears of punitive over-regulation, 1887  . . . 

— "I, for one, never walk on a beaten track when I can get fresh turf for my feet", "Rus in Urbe" rails against rutted, straight footpaths over the Common, 1867  . . . 

— Alleged Black Sea Nuisance, 1870  . . . 

— Sounds of the (18)80s, 1889  . . . 

— This issue is between the games-playing and the non-games-playing public.  . . . 

— A puzzle for you: Who is young "Charles Baldwin", who parachutes from the top of a local printworks?, 1890  . . . 

— Cricket fracas at the Freemason's Tavern [Roundhouse], 1867  . . . 

— Navvies and Bricklayers' Labourers' Union meeting on Wandsworth Common, 1892  . . . 

— "Prisoner's arrest was the outcome of the smartness of a scboolgirl named Holly Leggett, 40 West Side, Wandsworth Common", 1909  . . . 

— Kalulu, "the lion of the day", has returned to Africa with Henry Morton Stanley, so cannot be present at Halbrake School Sports Day, 1875  . . . 

— The quest for conkers has begun, 1938  . . . 

— Beware men with badges: "In a furze bush — alleged spy charged with blackmail", 1906, and another in 1902  . . . 

— Death of Dr John Tod Thyne, 1932  . . . 

— "Obstinate alien" lands on Wandsworth Common, 1904  . . . 


August 2023

— "The death of Sarah Tonks, aged 18, who was found on Saturday morning sleeping on Wandsworth Common", 1909  . . . 

____________________

— "Wandsworth Common: Written on a sand-dune in the Sahara, near Timbuctoo" [Can you guess when?]  . . . 

— "In texture it rivals velvet of the richest pile" —lush grass on Wandsworth Common, 1930  . . . 

—  We don't want to keep off the grass: petition to remove the hurdles, 1896 . . . 

—  Sport v. Nature: the LCC defended, 1927 . . . 

—  "We like the bowling green best when there are no bowlers and no spectators", 1931 . . . 

— The newly laid cork pitch worries cricketers, 1951  . . . 

— George the Giraffe (not eating grass), 1954  . . . 

— Singer jeered: "Wandsworth Common in the neighbourhood of the bandstand may become as bad as Clapham", 1930  . . . 

— When Wandsworth Common Youths Make Whoopee, 1939  . . . 

— Throwing stones, 1916  . . . 

— Two small girls rob eleven children in one day, 1892  . . . 

— Twelve-year-old boy killed by a stray horse, 1874  . . . 

—  "The death of Sarah Tonks, aged 18, who was found on Saturday morning sleeping on Wandsworth Common," 1909  . . . 

— Cycleplane tragedy, 1909  . . . 

—  Wandsworth Common's "Seven Different Kinds of Air", 1927 . . . 

—  The Dunmow Flitch, 1899  . . . 

— The Bolingbroke prefabs receive their first residents, 1947  . . . 

— Cate Blanchett and Emma Thompson to star in new film about Wandsworth Common's inspirational Cook sisters?  . . . 

— Pam Alexander  . . . 


July 2023 — part two

— Elsie Duval comes to court again, for throwing stones, 1912   . . . 

— De-wilding Wandsworth Common, 1919   . . . 

— The history of Wandsworth Fair   . . . 

— Trouble at the Fair, 1822   . . . 

—  Wandsworth's earliest known women runners — Bet Beasley and Sal Humphries, 1822  . . . 

— Lightning brings tree down on prefabs — dog killed, iron leaves man's hand, 1955    . . . 

— Kalulu at Halbrake School's Sports Day, 1874   . . . 

— Samuel Sullings and the renovation of St Mark' Infant School   . . . 

— Queen Victoria lays the foundation stone of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Girls, 1857   . . . 

— Fifty years later, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra return to the RVPA   . . . 

— Intrepid balloonist Madame Garneron effects a safe descent on the Common, 1851   . . . 

— A wearying wait for prefabs to be built, 1946   . . . 

— Mick goes missing — is a gang of dog-stealers at work? — 1939   . . . 

— A permanent hospital to be built on the Common?, 1920   . . . 

— Lads shooting airguns on the Common, 1939   . . . 

— Widening the Bellevue railway bridge, 1892   . . . 

— "All's well that ends well", 1870    . . . 

— The Wandsworth Common Act is passed, 1871   . . . 

July 2023 — part one

— "All love for Benni and Bella Spanier who were killed in Auschwitz in 1944 and Ruth, their daughter, who escaped Nazi Germany on kindertransport, arriving in England, aged 11, in 1939 and for those who have lost their lives or been impacted by war.   . . . 


June 2023

— Gone fishing  . . . 

— Children fishing in the 1930s and 1950s - and "gentles"  . . . 

— Edward Thomas on fishing  . . . 

— Even more on fishing  . . . 

— Dora Littlechild (1928—2023)  . . . 

— Friends of Wandsworth Common, Common Memories video (2023)  . . . 

— Victory Funfair — Wandsworth Goes Gay (1945)   . . . 

— Bagpipes on the Common may spark revolt (1904)  . . . 

— Yellow-bay gelding stolen from Common — £5 reward (1831)  . . . 

— Those darned spikes again (1939)  . . . 

— Trees and lightning deaths — science v. the supernatural (1914)  . . . 

— Couple's disgraceful conduct (1901)   . . . 

— Ernest Bevin public meeting attended by just 14 children (1945)  . . . 

— Elsie Duval in court for smashing post office windows (1912)  . . . 


May 2023

— Leonora Green, View from my window, 1932   . . . 

— The early history of the Battersea Rise crossing   . . . 

— New hard tennis courts for London, 1923   . . . 

— Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary celebrated on and around the Common, 1935  . . . 

— Inwood v. Twilly on Wandsworth Common, with 2000 spectators, 1845  . . . 

— Twilley Street and the Twilley Asteroid  . . . 

— A sign in the Wandsworth Heavens, 1939  . . . 

— Bowls — marbles for grown-ups, 1934  . . . 

— Wandsworth Fair, 1837 . . .   . . . 

— A new railway station suggested for Trinity Road, 1914  . . . 

— On the Common, Broomwood Road celebrates the end of the war, 1945  . . . 

— Dancing Green, 1934  . . . 


April 2023

— Jack Heath's attempt on the World Non-Stop Walking Record, 1973  . . . 

— "Mr. Bertram . . . for a wager . . . to walk from the Hope Tavern, Wandsworth Common, to Clapham Junction station in 20 minutes", 1877  . . . 

— Notice of Arthur Twilley's first race, 1845  . . . 

— Ninety-five reindeer have their run of the Common, 1887  . . . 

— Would-be duellists "Wilkinson, Smith and Jones" — their identities revealed, 1839  . . . 

— Earlsfield Road evolves, 1879  . . . 

— The remnants of the 3rd London General Hospital sold off, 1921  . . . 

— Cricket pitches opposed as "enclosures", 1877  . . . 

— Spencer Cricket Club leaves the Common, 1878  . . . 

— Indignation at the public "being deprived of ancient common rights" by the erection of fences and signs to "keep off the grass", 1895  . . . 

— Some very naughty boys set light to the Reformatory on Spanish Road, 1870  . . . 

"Black, grim, and weird looked Wandsworth Common  . . . 

— Mysterious death of a woman, 1887  . . . 

— Cowkeeper George Rough waters down his milk, 1874  . . . 

— The first prefabs to be built on the Common, 1946  . . . 

— Classic anti-war play by Battersea resident Sean O'Casey performed at St Mary Magdalene, 1939  . . . 

"The day when all news will be transmitted by wireless may be far distant, but a decided step in this direction has been made" on Wandsworth Common, 1913  . . . 

— In case of emergency  . . . 

— Crossing the Common at night, William Thorne breaks both his legs, 1838  . . . 

— Fundraising for Bolingbroke Hospital, 1895  . . . 

— Man injured vaulting over iron railings, 1939  . . . 

— A new slaughter-house for Bellevue Road?, 1893  . . . 


March 2023

— Firing the furze on Wandsworth Common, 1850 — two boys face transportation to Australia  . . . 

— Tom Taylor (Punch): "The Warning of Wandsworth Common", 1865  . . . 

— Whiteley Exerciser for sale, 1899 — Lewis Carroll  . . . 

— Charles Booth — Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898—1903  . . . 

— George Neal jailed for the manslaughter of Lottie Crump, 1900  . . . 

— The death of a child in a pram, 1902  . . . 

— Alias Wilkinson, Smith and Jones — a duel interrupted, 1839  . . . 

— Edwin Ransome, long-time campaigner for the Common, defends the record of the outgoing Conservators, 1888  . . . 

— Appeal for donations to buy the 20 acres of "Neal's Farm" that will become the Cricket Field, 1912  . . . 

— Outrage at the destruction of trees, 1920  . . . 

— Open air dancing, a bandstand, quoits and croquet on the Common, 1925 — the Extension is finally "thrown open to the public"  . . . 

— IRA bomb on the track near the Cat's Back Bridge, 1992  . . . 

— The energetic cyclist Olive Elliott endorses "Constrictor" bicycle tyres, 1913  . . . 

— Beating the Bounds — a perambulation of Battersea parish with John Buckmaster, 1862  . . . 


February 2023

— Hunting for Treasure, 1904  . . .  [link]

— Big Ben's Boom heard on Wandsworth Common, 1857  . . . 

— Rugby-netball — Wandsworth, Clapham and Battersea's homegrown sport, 1912  . . . 

— Spencer Lodge, a great "lost house", demolished 1855  . . . 

— Volunteer regiments in case of emergency, 1895  . . .  [link]

— "2000 spectators gather on Wandsworth Common to watch a race, 1847  . . . 

— Attempted suicide in the Black Sea after "a matrimonial squabble" — 1867  . . .  [link]

— A considerable quantity of sound Mangel-wurzels for sale, 1838  . . . 

— "Juvenile horse stealers", 1868  . . . 

— "Cock-fights in a Wandsworth beer-shop," 1838  . . . 

— Hare and hounds run through the Asylum, 1872  . . . 

— Daylight aurora on Wandsworth Common, 1871  . . . 

— The late A.F. Pieschell's cellars of French and foreign wines for sale, Burntwood Lodge, 1823  . . . 

— Shots fired at a crowded train at Wandsworth Common, 1939  . . . 

— The new Trinity Road underpass opens, 1970  . . . 


Turf Wars — How Sport Transformed Wandsworth Common Part II.

YouTube video of a HistoryBoys/Magic Lantern Show talk for the Friends of Wandsworth Common at NatureScope, 17 January 2023.


January 2023

— Jumbo lost on Wandsworth Common . . .  [link]

— "Ostend Rabbits"  . . . 

— Revd John Erskine-Clarke, "Chatterbox"  . . . 

— Prisoner 4100, George Davey, aged 10, gaoled for stealing two rabbits  . . . 

— When the Circus came to the Common  . . . 

— Nurseryman Robert Neal appeals to "Noblemen and Gentlemen" to buy his plants, to make way for the Toast Rack  . . . 

— Back gates onto the Common  . . . 

— A new road bridge over the railway  . . . 

— "Robert Inwood of Tooting, Surrey — Winner of Upwards of Fifty Races"  . . . 

— Wandsworth Common woman discovers Grape-Nuts  . . . 

— An iron church on the edge of the Common  . . . 

— Resurrection-men dig up four bodies  . . . 

— Treasure-hunters dig up the turf on the Common  . . . 

— Quadricycle Tandem for Sale, Blenkarne Road  . . . 

— Death of Thomas Crapper  . . . 


Turf Wars — How Sport Transformed Wandsworth Common Part I.

Video of a talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, 29 November 2022. Part II is due for delivery on 17 January 2023.


December 2022

— St Mary Magdalene Church "pillaged"  . . . 

— Whatever happened to "Nottidge Road"?  . . . 

— When Vampires (and Reindeer) played football on the Common.  . . . 

— 2-3-5, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, 3-5-2  . . . 

— Chartism and the death of Mrs Brough  . . . 

— Albinia Countess Dowager of Buckinghamshire seeks tenant for Burntwood Cottage  . . . 

— After a Magic Lantern Show, "the Asylum disappeared for ever, its place taken by the migrant from Westminster" — Emanuel School displaces the Royal Victoria Patriotic School for Boys . . . 

— Wandsworth sculptor's new mechanical hand  . . . 

— Unemployed to titivate Wandsworth Common  . . . 

— Battersea Vestry declines to contribute £1000 to increase the area of Wandsworth Common  . . . 

— "Amputations avoided — the knife superseded"  . . . 

— Two December duels  . . . 

— Catastrophe on a number 19 bus  . . . 

— Two undertakers slug it out in Battersea Cemetery  . . . 

— "Death of the Battersea Claimant"  . . . 

— Losing money at a cock fight  . . . 

— "A real live Woodcock has been discovered on Wandsworth Common"  . . . 


November 2022

The Black Sea: Birth, Life, Death.

YouTube Video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, 18 October 2022.


November 2022

— The Man Who Eats Grass, 1939

— Clive Branson, radical Battersea artist

— Shepherd fined for driving 36 sheep to Wandsworth Common after 10 in the morning, 1920

— The death of Edward Archer, 1826

— The "primitive wildness" of Metropolitan Commons under threat, 1863

— Women Munition-Makers at Battersea Polytechnic, 1916

— Edward William Mountford, local architext

— A Bridge for Wandsworth, 1863

— Boys begging on Wandsworth Common, and cholera, 1866

— "Dr Livingstone, I presume . . .  " 1871

— Armistice Day, 1920

— "Pincher", a black terrier, lost. One guinea reward.1822

— Mayhem in Battersea Cemetery, 1873

— Grimm views of Wandsworth Common and Battersea Rise in the 1770s

— Walter Besant and the Black Sea's killer Pike   . . . 

— A bizarre death at "Wandsworth Common" station, 1849

— "Dig for Victory" competition, 1942

— Fog and ice, 1920

— Photographs by Lewis More O'Ferrall, 2022


Barrage Balloons over Wandsworth Common

Queen Elizabeth II visits Wandsworth, 1953


October 2022.

— Spot the barrage balloon   . . . 

— The great British Pet Massacre   . . . 

— Mysterious assault upon a Gentleman (was it the one-armed Watchman?)   . . . 

— Signals between the Common and Belleville School   . . . 

— Malicious damage of trees   . . . 

— Pedestrianism and running races (a suspicion of match fixing?)   . . . 

— Starving boy runs away with the gypsies   . . . 

— The Charge of the Light Brigade   . . . 

— UFOs over West Side   . . . 

— Scavengers wanted (to deal with "scrapings of the roads, and for collecting and removing all dust, dirt, ashes, rubbish, ice, snow, and filth, in the parishes of Battersea, Clapham, Putney, and Wandsworth")   . . . 

— Mr Bonham's prize-winning potato   . . . 


September 2022

— Price's Battersea Sperm Candles   . . . 

— The Marylebone Cricket Club   . . . 

— The Charge of the Light Brigade   . . . 

— Bernard Holloway (1888—1915) of Burntwood Grange   . . . 

— Skye Terriers   . . . 

— The Rood Screen at St Mary Magdalene Church   . . . 

— The Navvies and Bricklayers' Labourers' Union   . . . 

— The Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Boys   . . . 

— Major Rohde-Hawkins   . . . 

— Europa and Zeus (in the guise of a bull)   . . . 

— Braxton-Hicks and the Lambeth Poisoning Mystery   . . . 

— Madame Poitevin, The Parisian Aeronaut, comes to ground on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Whale hunting in the Southern Ocean   . . . 


August 2022

— World War Two Wandsworth Common from the air    . . . 

— How to deal with fire bombs   . . . 

— Allotments   . . . 

— Prefabs around the Common   . . . 

— Heat waves   . . . 

— August Bank Holiday 1935   . . . 

— the Common's disgraceful cricket pitches

— George Lohmann: superstar cricketer who learnt his trade on the Common   . . . 

— Stamping Out Revolt in Upper Tooting   . . . 

— Conveying a woman naked through the streets   . . . 

— Laundresses demonstrate   . . . 

— Two actors duel over the reputation of a lady   . . . 

— Adder bites boy and ends up in hospital   . . . 

— "Legs" v "Fly"   . . . 

— The last rabbit on Wandsworth Common?   . . . 


July 2022

— Water Sickert an the bust of Tom Sayers   . . . 

— Mrs Purrant of Bennerley Road, Wandsworth Common, writes about her husband's poisoned finger   . . . 

— Police win game of Quoits   . . . 

— My postillion has been inhumanly kicked in the face by an Army Captain on his way to the Epsom Derby   . . . 

— When swans go bad   . . . 

— John Buckmaster's Cookery Class   . . . 

— Emily Duval comes to court for smashing windows: "Every little helps"   . . . 

— Lost on Wandsworth Common: A blood bay mare   . . . 

— Samuel Sullings appears in a new suit   . . . 

— Risks to children playing on the Brighton Line   . . . 

— Coroner's Court at the County Arms pub: Neal's farm worker dies "by the Visitation of God".   . . . 

— Madame Poitevin's balloon lands on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— King and Queen meet the allotment holders of Wandsworth Common during WWI   . . . 

— Trams for Bolingbroke Grove?   . . . 

— Phoebe Buckmaster wins a prize for reading penmanship   . . . 

— The "horrid chasm which they have made on Wandsworth Common, which henceforward is to be divided eternally . . . "   . . . 

— On Wandsworth Common, a pedestrian named Wigley performs a herculean feat.   . . . 


June 2022

— James McNeill Whistler, Friend of Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— the Conservators announce new rules for grazing animals on the Common — all "entire" (i.e. uncastrated) males banned   . . . 

   . . . 

— Edward Stern, brother of Lord Wandsworth, pledges to make up the funds to purchase the cricket area   . . . 

— Queen drives across Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Leopard escapes on the Common   . . . 

— Thunderstorm kills seven, including four young children   . . . 

— Lord Spencer sells 55 or so acres of Wandsworth Common for £3700.   . . . 

— Edwin Rayner Ransome, Quaker campaigner for Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Emily Duval's daughter Elsie in court for throwing stones through a Post Office window   . . . 

— Thomas Hardy writes about two young women passengers on his train from Wandsworth Common to Town   . . . 

— Bellevue Garage: We Win!   . . . 


May 2022

— [Endymion Porter map?]   . . . 

— Wandsworth Lodge cleared   . . . 

— The Princess Royal lays a foundation stone at the Bolingbroke Pay Hospital   . . . 

— The Common's Conservators sue milkman George Rough for pound-breach.   . . . 

— Donations to the fund to preserve Wandsworth Common mount. Concern for fence-breaker Samuel Sullings, languishing in gaol.   . . . 

— Thomas Hardy sees "a monster whose body had four million heads and eight million eyes".   . . . 

— John Buckmaster in court for fence breaking.    . . . 

— The "sagacious collie" Grissel saves a child from drowning in a Wandsworth Common pond.   . . . 


Maps and the Making of Wandsworth Common (video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, April 2022).


April 2022

— A new prison, but where to put it?   . . . 

— Charles Knight sentenced to 15 years' transportation   . . . 

— Edward Thomas, In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)   . . . 

— "LOST!!! One thousand pounds reward""   . . . 

— A railway and a barracks   . . . 

— Have some Madeira, m'dear   . . . 

— The death of Edward Thomas, Easter 1917, at Arras   . . . 

Wandsworth Common: The Musical   . . . 

— Shooting a dog   . . . 

— Death of a Lunatic   . . . 

— The Nightingale, a flight of Cuckoos, and bird-trapping   . . . 

— A suicide through jealousy   . . . 

— Dangerous holes   . . . 

— Attacking the Salvation Army   . . . 

— Surely this is Fernside?   . . . 

— Two wheels good, four wheels bad   . . . 

— Bird trapping   . . . 

— The Hope for sale   . . . 

— The trouble with cricket   . . . 

— Baby abandoned in a cabbage patch   . . . 

— A wife and house for Revd Moseley   . . . 

— To pond or not to pond?   . . . 

— The Vote and suffrage meetings on the Common   . . . 

— Samuel Sullings imprisoned   . . . 

— Oswald Parsons, the first known fence-breaker — and the "Magna Charta"   . . . 


March 2022

— Stags and hounds on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Sporting Wandsworth Common: A Talk of Two Halves   . . . 

— Celebrating the poet Edward Thomas   . . . 

— Black Sea — cricket on ice   . . . 

— The origins of Neal's Nursery   . . . 

— The Magdalen estate: "artistic, convenient and well-planned houses . . .  to which Small Motor Houses could be erected"   . . . 

— Thomas and Emma Hardy move in   . . . 

— An iron fence to protect a little-known part of Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Funeral of Andrew Cameron, local politician and last Chair of the Wandsworth Common Board of Conservators   . . . 

— Crossrail II opposed   . . . 


February 2022

— Thomas Hardy — 1 February 1880   . . . 

— Trinity Schools? A lake on Trinity Road in Upper Tooting?   . . . 

— London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway requested to remove the gipsies "camping on their land on Wandsworth Common."   . . . 

— "RIDING over Wandsworth Common the other day, we suddenly met a cycling Rip Van Winkle . . .    . . . 

— 5 February 1881 — Death of historian and cultural critic Thomas Carlyle   . . . 

— Whistler's friend, lawyer and major collector James Anderson Rose   . . . 

— "The Thames Angling Preservation Society has just presented 5000 "tiddlers" for restocking the ponds of Wandsworth Common . . . 

— On Wandsworth Common, in front of "an enormous concourse", local man Mills loses to "the Holloway Novice" Frost.   . . . 

— Stealing Robert Neal's Horsebeans   . . . 

— The Bolingbroke Fancy Costume Ball was held at the Albert Hall, February 6th in aid of Bolingbroke Hospital, opened three years earlier on Bolingbroke Grove — yet another initiative by the extraordinary John Erskine Clarke.    . . . 

— High drama on Bellevue Road. A greengrocer horsewhips a lady living nearby for not having paid her bill.   . . . 

— Happy Birthday, Mr Buckmaster — but when exactly were you born?   . . . 


January 2022

— What connects Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes, and Wandsworth Common  . . . 

— Gunshots over Wandsworth Common salute the New Year   . . . 

— Thomas Hardy, "A January Night (1879)"   . . . 

— Birds on the Common were trusted weather forecasters, as here with the arrival of snipes:   . . . 

— Snipes near London . . . and other bird auguries   . . . 

— A snowy Hope Tavern and Belle Vue Road, early 1900s.   . . . 

— Iced-over ponds and lakes were a great source of pleasure but also of grave danger. The death of an eighteen-year-old boy in the Black Sea in 1833.   . . . 

— Attempted suicide in Black Sea 1833   . . . 

— Skating was commenced on the large piece of water on Wandsworth Common to-day, where the ice was at least three inches thick. Hundreds people availed themselves of the opportunity.   . . . 

"Yesterday several large parties of the unemployed in the neighbourhoods of Battersea, Wandsworth, and Clapham paraded the various thoroughfares asking alms . . .  "   . . . 

— William Morris's protegee John Henry Dearle (1859-1932).   . . . 

— Winters particularly hard in winter for Gypsies and other Travellers.    . . . 

— End of the First World War, the preacher Harry Jeffs generated spiritual warmth from a chance observation of couples cuddling together in the snow on Wandsworth Common.    . . . 

— Cold Januaries called for off-the-shelf medicinal or dietary interventions, such as Fynnon Salt and Grape Nuts.   . . . 

— Atom-hot car found on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Wandsworth Common was often used for sermonising and speech-making at mass political and religious gatherings. A number were attacked by hostile locals, which raised the issue of a public right to free speech.    . . . 

— Unusually large Wandsworth Common pond-life.    . . . 

"Fears about the presence of exotic animals was boosted on Saturday when a fisherman found a terrapin the size of a dinner plate in Wandsworth Common Pond . . . "   . . . 


Magical History Tour: From "The Beeches" to the "Belgian" Congo (video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, 18 January 2022).


Lewis Carroll, Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes and Wandsworth Common


December 2021

— The Ashantee and other C19 wars and the RVPA — letter to The Times reminds us of the function of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylums on Wandsworth Common not just to take in orphans of the Crimean War.   . . . 

— Unpardonable liberty: Daniel O'Connor, a carpenter, charged with being drunk and wantonly ringing a bell at the house of Peter Le Neve Foster Esq., Wandsworth Common, in the middle of the night.   . . . 

— Opposition grows to the repurposing of the St James's Industrial School (on today's St James's Drive) as a smallpox hospital.   . . . 

— Wandsworth Common and the making of JRR Tolkien — 33 Routh Road in 2021 — Christopher Wiseman's home from 1913, at which Tolkien and friends met at the start of the first world war.   . . . 

— Sudden death of Canon Theodore Wood, vicar of St. Mary Magdalene, Wandsworth Common.   . . . 

— Ernest Perry, MP for Battersea South (1964-79), recalls Wandsworth Common in the years on either side of WWII — including vandalism to trees and house-proud squatters in Nissen huts.   . . . 

19 December 1940 — the death of James William Lovegrove, Master Tailor, Allotment activist, Sufi mystic.   . . . 

— The first obituary of J.W.Lovegrove was published in Tailor & Cutter and Women's Wear, January 3rd 1941, so I'll probably describe his life in more

— 1827 — Yesterday a very numerous meeting of the most affluent and respectable resident gentry of the neighbourhoods of Battersea, Wandsworth, and Clapham Commons, assembled at the Swan Tavern, at Stockwell . . . " To oppose Lord Spencer   . . . 

— "Wandsworth-common is a receptacle for every species of filth, which is brought from the most distant parts and there deposited . . . ."   . . . 

— The newly-formed "Wandsworth-Common Preservation Society", meeting at the Freemasons Hotel, New Wandsworth Station, issues a call-to-arms:   . . . 

— Horse lost, £5 reward   . . . 

— Christmas Dinner for Poor Children at New Wandsworth, 1867 — "The little children were gladdened by receiving from Mr Buckmaster a gift of 2d each to keep in their pockets for Boxing Day."   . . . 

— W. Wilson of Wandsworth Common registers a design for his new beetle trap.   . . . 

1865 — "A bustard was shot on on Wandsworth Common by two lads, who were out shooting small birds."   . . . 

— Alfredo Antunes Kanthack, the brilliant young Brazilian scientist who counted bacteria on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Duel on Wandsworth Common, 1831   . . . 


November 2021

— 1 November 1869 — New Wandsworth Station closes after 11 years.   . . . 

— 2 November 1828 — Cricket — Wandsworth Gentlemen triumph against the MCC on Wandsworth Common, "with not a wicket down".   . . . 

— Origins of the name "Heathfield".   . . . 

— 7 November 1866 — "They hate trees and everything that is beautiful" — John Buckmaster gives evidence before a Parliamentary Select Committee on local democracy and how to improve our area:   . . . 

— "London going out of Town or The March of Bricks & Mortar!", a satirical print by George Cruikshank, 1829.   . . . 

— 7 November 1846 — Strange visitor shot on Wandsworth Common — a Bittern   . . . 

— AT THE PLOUGH, Garret Lane, Wandsworth, on last, Mr. D of Rotherhithe and Mr Chance shot at 25 sparrows each, for £10; Mr D. won by 1 bird, killing 22 in first-rate style. — On next Mr Toby and a gentleman shoot at 25 birds each, for £10. Other matches will be shot; to commence at two o'clock".

— Date? — Soldier shoots a pet dog on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— 22 May 1894 — John Ingram, a 32-year-old gravedigger in Putney Vale cemetery (opened 1891), was killed by a stray bullet from the rifle range on Wimbledon Common   . . . 

— 9 November 1839 — The Chartist Northern Star rages against the "inclosure" of the commons (including Wandsworth Common): "The poor of this country do not possess so many privileges, that they can afford to be patiently robbed of them . . .  here the rosy-cheeked, chubby little children may freely inhale the breath of Heaven."   . . . 

— Chartist meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848.    . . . 

— Monday 11 November 1918 — Armistice Day / Sunday 14 November 2021 — Remembrance Day — Remembering Eddie Fisher ["Sir Edmund Tintacks"], who lived on Loxley Road and was a pupil at Emanuel School.   . . . 

— 17 November 1866 — Abraham Smith (12), whose feet were naked, and who appeared destitute of underclothing, and Edward Cherry (13), both living in the gipsy encampment near the Wandsworth Railway Station, were brought up on remand charged with soliciting alms off foot passengers on Wandsworth-common."    . . . 

— 20 November 1879 — Death of Conservator James Du Buisson — for many years an active Wandsworth Common campaigner and benefactor.   . . . 

— 20 November 1914 — it is claimed in the House of Commons that "thousands of men" are unofficially drilling on Wandsworth Common, such as their enthusiasm to fight "in the event of an invasion".   . . . 

— 20 November 1875 — The head teacher of a local private school asks the Common Conservators if they can repair the nearby "Heathfield Ground" cricket pitch — but faces objections from local footballers " who are fearful that the ground will be monopolized by patrons of the sister sport to the former's detriment. This is surely a most shallow and puerile objection, as we can see no reason whatever why both sports should not continue to be played on the Common."   . . . 

— 21 November 1874 — John Buckmaster to give a lecture on Cookery at the Assembly Room, Wandsworth.   . . . 

— 22 November 1861 — At the Appeal Court, Mary Ann White, a homeless woman accused of indecent exposure on the Common, is refused permission to be kept prison while the appeal is being decided.   . . . 

— 24 November 1834 Old Bailey — "These are the claws of my goose." Thomas Flavell, a labourer living on Wandsworth Common, recognises his goose, that has been stolen (and probably killed) by James Clarkson. Clarkson declares: "The goose was dead when I found it in the hedge."   . . . 

— 25 November 1886 — Provisions are to be inserted in the Metropolitan Board of Works Various Powers Bill for next Session transferring to that body all the powers at present exercised the Conservators of Wandsworth Common, provision being also made for winding up the affairs of the Conservators, and discharging them from any further liabilities in respect of that common.   . . . 

— 26 November 1937 — Call in House of the Commons for a great road to be built joining Hampstead and Wandsworth Common.   . . . 

— 28 November 1878 — Thomas Hardy has recently moved to 1 Arundel Terrace, Trinity Road. He is often troubled at night. "Woke before it was light. Felt that I had not enough staying power to hold my own in the world."   . . . 

— 30 November 1886 — Calls are heard from some Battersea ratepayers to abolish the local Conservators — who've been managing Wandsworth Common since the 1871 Act — and hand the Common over to the widely-despised Metropolitan Board of Works. They believe this will save them some money.   . . . 

— A furious John Buckmaster writes letters in defence of local democratic control. He ridicules as trivial the amount the Common costs per capita, and reminds people how disgracefully the MBW has always behaved towards the Common.    . . . 

— Earlier in the month The Times (19 November 1886) has reported an escalating conflict between the defenders of the Common (the Conservators and the "Wandsworth Common Protection Society") and the Patriotic Fund (that runs the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylums for girls and boys).    . . . 

There are grievances.   . . . 

— The Patriotic Schools have been built with money given as an act of charity by the public to provide for the orphans of soldiers and sailors. Earl Spencer had taken some of this money for the 50+ acres of Common now lost to the people of Wandsworth and Battersea. Two "asylums" had been erected on the land. Yet in 1882 the boys' school has been sold off to fee-charging Emanuel. (In 1882 Emanuel Hospital, then located in Westminster, had gazumped a bid from the local School Board.)   . . . 

— Moreover, twenty acres is now being leased to market-gardeners/building contractors the Neal(e) family, who are "carrying on a trade or business" there and trashing the land in the process. It is a private deal, without public advertisement or competition. Buckmaster senses skulduggery.   . . . 

— In the view of the Conservators, any land superfluous to the RVPA's requirements should be restored to the Common.   . . . 

— Local people are fearful:

— "those who had noticed the extent of building operations in London would understand that the letting of land for agricultural purposes was generally the preliminary to its forming a building estate."

— [PB: And they weren't wrong, were they? The "Neal" land was bought (not given) back around 1911 — it's now the fine open cricket/rugby/bowls/tennis area near "Neal's Lodge".

— But the RVPA for Girls is now privately-owned, and surrounded by houses — the Fitzhugh Estate (built by the LCC in the early 1950s) and the "Windmill Green Estate" — is that what it's called? There has even been talk by WBC of considerable further building in the area.]

— 7 Nov 2021: Graham Jackson on the location of the field, and the idea of playing cricket in November   . . . 


Victorian Photographer Geoffrey Bevington and the Search for Ivy House — video of Zoom talk to the Wandsworth Historical Society, 26 November 2021.


October 2021

— 1 October 1807 — "Volunteer Sham Fight", Wandsworth Common — more military manoeuvres on the Common during the Napoleonic Wars. A force "of upwards of 3000 men . . .  subjected themselves to military exercise, for an uninterrupted period of nearly 30 days."   . . . 

— 2 October 1863 — George Fergusson Wilson (of Price's Candle Works) on how he dealt with the invasion of "American Water-Weed" in the Black Sea, which lay outside his house on the Common.   . . . 

— 5 October 1867 — A deputation from the Wandsworth Common Preservation Society presents the petition or "memorial" to the Metropolitan Board of Works, calling on the Board to take control of the Common away from Earl Spencer.   . . . 

— 8 October 1870 — Common campaigner George Bickerdike asks for donations to support John Buckmaster's court costs — Buckmaster had "accidentally" broken a window of the "Lord of the Manor" pub for which he was facing prosecution.   . . . 

— The quarrying of gravel on the Common.   . . . 

— 9 October 1804 — "Coronation" of a new Mayor of Garratt.   . . . 

— 10 October 1866 — a boy, John Hobbs, caught throwing stones at trains, runs away with the gypsies on the Common (with the court's blessing).   . . . 

— 10 October 1847 — "Pedestrian races" — hundreds of people assemble on the Common to watch — and gamble — on walking and running contests.   . . . 

— 10 October 1863 — A deputation of local "great-and-good", including the vicar of St Mary's, Rev. J.S. Jenkinson, the solicitor and vestry clerk Arthur Corsellis, and John Buckmaster, is granted an audience with Earl Spencer at Spencer House.    . . . 

— 11 October 1889 — Old soldier John Breeze dies in his home in Park-road Battersea — and is buried in St Mary's Cemetery, Bolingbroke Grove on 18 October 1889. More about JB later in the month, on the anniversary of the Charge of the Light Brigade (25th October 1854).   . . . 

— 12 October 1889 — One of several "Polytechnic Bazaars" at Bramblebury, West Side, Wandsworth Common: "The youth of Battersea want a Polytechnic, and won't be happy till they get it . . . "   . . . 

— 15/16 October 1987 — "The Great Storm"

— I was thrilled to get this response from Cathy Rowntree. Cathy grew up on Nicosia Road, then moved to the other side of the Common with her husband Phil. She taught at Honeywell School for many years, and remains their archivist. (She's also the archivist for Clapham County School for Girls, Broomwood Road, 1909-1991.)   . . . 

Women's Franchise — Sunday 18 October 1908   . . . 

— Local suffrage campaigner Mrs Emily Duval is advertised to speak on Wandsworth Common, and her son Victor — Battersea-born founder of the Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement — at Caxton Hall a few days later   . . . 

— 18 October 1866- >Gravel digger buried alive on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— Earl Spencer's initial demand for an annuity of £500 per year for relinquishing control of the Common was largely based on the income from gravel that he would be forgoing   . . . 

— Although John Buckmaster disapproved of gravel digging on the Common, and called for its cessation, it was a visit by two poor gravel diggers c.1863 that he says caused him to try to save the Common   . . . 

— 19 October 1907 — Rugby — Bath play Harlequins on Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— 23 October 1880   . . . 

— On returning to his home in Trinity Road, the author Thomas Hardy falls dangerously ill   . . . 

— 23 October 1886 — In praise of Wandsworth Common in mid-October. A remarkably poetic article highlights the wholesale damage being done by the Neal family to "one of the prettiest corners of the Common", where "a couple of real full-grown willows stand, as if to weep over the spoliation going on under their shadow"   . . . 

— 25 October 1854 — The Charge of the Light Brigade — Battersea-resident John Breeze died on Friday 11 October 1889 and was buried in St Mary's Cemetery, Bolingbroke Grove a week later   . . . 

— 26 October 1828 — Cricket: MCC to play Wandsworth home and away   . . . 

— 29 October 1835 — Birth of John Poyntz Spencer, future 5th Earl Spencer, who relinquished control of Wandsworth Common in 1871 in return for a substantial annuity and the land on which Spencer Park now stands.   . . . 

— John Poyntz Spencer (1835-1910)   . . . 


September 2021

— 1 September 1860 — "To be disposed of . . .  two fine Brahmin cows"   . . . 

— 2 September 1904 — "A perfectly white sparrow has taken up its quarters on Wandsworth Common"   . . . 

— 2 September 1860 [CHECK DATE] — 200 ratepayers sign a memorial to Earl Spencer opposing enclosure of the Common. This is decribed by one anonymous writer to the press (John Buckmaster?) as like "a petition from sheep to a wolf".    . . . 

— 3 September 1860 — what appears to be John Buckmaster's first letter about the enclosure of the Common is published in the Times   . . . 

— 8 September 1854 — at the height of the Cholera epidemic, Wandsworth prison is declared free of this and many other diseases — said to be a testament to the healthfulness of Wandsworth Common, and vindicating its choice as the site of the new prison (opened 1851)   . . . 

— 10 September 1869 — "On Wandsworth Common a tree was literally shattered in two, and on the south side of the common, at the back of the residence of Mr. Allen, a valuable horse was killed by the lightning"   . . . 

— 18 September 1865 — "The Bride and Her Groom" — a humorous poem in the Cockney vernacular, featuring the Common and other Wandsworth locations. Based on a true story   . . . 

— 18 September 1871 — In August and September John Buckmaster gives a series of lectures at the Albert Hall on displays of art and craft in the International Exhibition, including the Pre-Raphaelites   . . . 

— 21 September 1863 — a proposal to cut two more railway lines across Wandsworth Common   . . . 

— 21 September 1802 — "Quitting the Manor farm . . .  numerous articles for sale", including "250 loads of dung"   . . . 

— 25 September 1804 — "Grand sham fight" on Wandsworth Common — military manouevres during Napoleonic wars

— 25 September 1869 — Questions are asked about the fenced triangle of land opposite Lake Terrace at the corner of West Side and North Side   . . . 

— 28 September 1869 — "Three Wandsworth Commoners" write in support of local butcher Mr Clark for breaking down the fences made by his neighbour John Costeker   . . . 

— 29 September 1864 — two men and four women (all in their twenties) appeared in court for "wandering abroad and lodging in an outhouse on Wandsworth-common without having any visible means of existence"   . . . 

— Date? — Wandsworth District Board of Works orders an avenue of Black Poplars to be planted on the Common   . . . 


August 2021

No Chronicles posted


July 2021

— 1 July 1858 — "Melancholy Death of a Child on Wandsworth Common"   . . . 

— 9 July 1870 — Samuel Sullings, Wandsworth Common martyr, released and feted. "Three cheers for Mr Buckmaster, three groans for those who had enclosed the common"   . . . 

— 11 July 1857 — Queen Victoria lays the foundation stone of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum for Girls, Wandsworth Common. An event stage-managed to "sparkle" that turned into a dull farce.   . . . 

— And the Oscar goes to . . .  Wandsworth Prison / Part I   . . . 

— 14 July 1870 — The Great Mansion House Meeting, "under the presidency of the Lord Mayor, to invoke the sympathy and assistance of Londoners in preserving the rights of the public over Wandsworth-common."   . . . 

— 15 July 1871 — Eels on Wandsworth Common, a great Victorian enigma . . .    . . . 

— 20 July 1908 — "Grand Old Man" John Buckmaster's death announced   . . . 

— 177? — "Master Bruce" writes a letter home: "Dear Sister, We hunt upon the Common and one of the great Boys is the Hare, and the middle Boys hunt it . . . "   . . . 

— 29 July 1879 — Kate Webster executed for the murder of Julia Martha Thomas.   . . . 

— 29 July 1844 — 26-year-old Amelia Alfery attempts to drown herself and her two youngest children in the Black Sea, Wandsworth Common.   . . . 

— 30 July 1827 — The Gypsey Party pitch their tent among the cedars on Wandsworth Common . . .    . . . 

— 31 July 1871 — The Wandsworth Common Act 1871 is passed: "The Conservators shall at all times keep the Common open uninclosed and unbuilt on"   . . . 


June 2021

— 14 June 1914 — Thunderstorm on Wandsworth Common kills seven. Four of the dead are small children   . . . 

— 28 June 1823 — Birth of Edwin Rayner Ransome in Colchester, Essex He died on 17 May 1910 in Rushmere Cottage, Wandsworth Common, London at age 86, and was buried in FBG Wandsworth   . . . 

— 27 June 1879 — Thomas Hardy: "From Tooting to Town again. In railway carriage a too statuesque girl; but her features were absolutely perfect"   . . . 


Down with the Fences Part II (May 2021) [link and info to be added].


Down with the Fences Part I (March 2021) [link and info to be added].


Wandsworth Common / WaterWorld (March 2021) [link and info to be added].


What a Carve Up (January 2021) [link and info to be added].


The Hidden History of Loxley Road (date) [link and info to be added].


Back to this month's Chronicles.


HistoryBoys Talks & Videos etc, with links

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Philip Boys ("HistoryBoys")