The History of Wandsworth Common



Jennifer Penny

Jennifer Penny, Christmas 2021

With many thanks to her daughter Rachel, who sent us this delightful photograph.

(Click on image to enlarge)

We are very sad to report the death of Jennifer Penny in early January 2022, after a brief illness.

Jennifer was a very active Friend of Wandsworth Common who joined at the launch. She was part of the litter-picking and swan-and-duck-food-bagging teams and a great supporter of the Walking for Health group.

She also contributed to the article on Bellevue Road in The Wandsworth Common Story, based on her extensive research, and described herself as 'obsessive' about the Wandsworth Museum.

Stephen Midlane and I met with Jennifer just before the start of Covid in January 2020 to plan a walk'n'talk along Bellevue during the Heritage Festival in May of that year. When it became clear that wasn't going to be possible, we made an inline "virtual walk" instead.

Take the Bellevue Virtual Walk here.

March 2020

A note by Jennifer Penny, Stephen Midlane, and Philip Boys

This study-in-progress about the history of Belle Vue (or Bellevue) Road is based on a U3A project and display created by Jennifer Penny in 2017.

We are augmenting it with pics, maps and additional info. The original study focused on shops, but we've added material on the pubs at either end (Hope, Surrey Tavern), and also some of the houses in between.

Our original intention was to guide a group walk (on May 31st 2020) during the Wandsworth Heritage Festival. But since the walk now looks rather unlikely (thanks to rampant viruses), we are experimenting with this online perambulation as an alternative.

We still have images, memories and info to add — but everyone is encouraged to pitch in.

We also hope you will help create your own virtual walks.

Acknowledgements: Jennifer Penny would like to thank Ron Elam, Susan Nollet, Robert Trindle for their help in her original 2017 study.

Contact us.

* PB: Actually, I'm not sure it is 35. There are (or were) 35 numbers — but some buildings combine several numbers, and some have been subdivided or added to. Take this virtual walk and count them.

Belle Vue Road

Here is the railway bridge and St James's Drive . . .

Here is Althorp Road . . .

Here is Wiseton Road . . .

Here is Trinity Road . . .

Send me an email if you want to comment on anything you've seen or read on the site, or would like to know more about something, or just want to be kept in touch.

Philip Boys (aka "HistoryBoys")