Wandsworth Heritage Festival

Thanks to everybody who has been out on a Walk so far this year and is helping us celebrate our incredible local history. The Frank Kitz plaque, overlooking the Wandle goes up in Merton on Saturday and three more are on the way! Its full steam ahead for a plaque commemorating ‘The People of Wardley Street’ and ‘Planet Tooting’ – if you can’t come on the Walks, there will be a Crowdfunder coming soon. Four of the walks coming up are part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival and one of these treads in the footsteps of the ‘Corruganza Boxmakers’ who we also intend to acknowledge with a plaque this year. 

Sat 23 April ‘WANDLE TO WHARF’ GUIDED WALK

Starts 2pm from Ram Brewery, Wandsworth High Street bridge, (opposite Southside)

A fascinating circuit from the Ram Brewery development to the mouth of the Wandle, then along the Thames riverside, under Wandsworth Bridge all the way to Plantation Wharf. Now a mass of towering residential developments, this was an industrial area once populated by gas workers, candle makers, Travellers and Eco-Villagers, there are also reminders of this part of the river’s association with the transatlantic slave trade.

Sunday 8 May ‘KITZ IN FITZ’ GUIDED WALK 

Starts 2pm outside Leicester Square tube station, corner of Charing Cross Road & Cranbourn Street (alleyway next to Wyndham’s Theatre) 

What happened before Frankie went to Collywood?Join us in discovering radical 1870’s London W1 between Tottenham Court Road and Fitzrovia inhabited by Frank Kitz before he joined forces with William Morris in Merton. Welcome to a world of sweatshops and overcrowded rookeries – populated by refugees, anarchists and Communards on the run…


Saturday 14 May
 ‘THE PEOPLE OF WARDLEY STREET’ GUIDED WALK 

Starts 2pm St Andrew’s Church garden, Earlsfield, corner of Garratt Lane and Waynflete Street, SW18

Discovering the enduring Wandsworth heritage, lives and work of the Romany and Traveller community centred around the famous Wardley Street and Lydden Road. For generations, families here worked with horses – as flower-sellers, costermongers or market traders. Very soon we will be celebrating these ‘People of Wardley Street’ with a historic blue plaque! 


Saturday 28 May
 ‘THE GREEN FIELDS OF BLOOMING TOOTING’ GUIDED WALK 

PART OF WANDSWORTH HERITAGE FESTIVAL

Starts 2pm Streatham Cemetery, Garratt Lane, SW17

A sweetly-scented green loop through the fertile Wandle Valley to the heart of its herbaceous heritage – visiting the site of the Rollissons ‘Tooting Nursery’, Streatham Cemetery, Fishponds Field, Springfield Hospital and Aboyne Estate. Discover the work of Peter Barr ‘The Daffodil King’ and this area’s remarkable exotic orchid connections.

Friday 3 June ‘PLANET TOOTING’ GUIDED WALK 

PART OF WANDSWORTH HERITAGE FESTIVAL

Starts 2pm from Tooting Broadway tube station, SW17

Follow the aroma 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. Young people have been telling us what that means to them in a ‘Planet Tooting’ schools competition and one of their messages will appear on a historic blue plaque to be placed later this year at Tooting Market.

Friday 10 June ‘THE CORRUGANZA BOXMAKERS’ GUIDED WALK

PART OF WANDSWORTH HERITAGE FESTIVAL 

Starts 6pm from Burmester House (opposite Tesco Express) Summerstown roundabout, Garratt Lane

In the summer of 1908, 44 brave young women at the Corruganza cardboard box factory in Summerstown won a notable victory in the struggle for women’s rights in the workplace – this walk visits key locations and outlines their story. Raising funds to acknowledge this history with a blue plaque.

Saturday 11 June ‘EXTRAORDINARY EARLSFIELD’ GUIDED WALK 

PART OF WANDSWORTH HERITAGE FESTIVAL

Starts 2pm St Andrew’s Church garden, Earlsfield, corner of Garratt Lane and Waynflete Street, SW18 Homely Earlsfield has some amazing history – the early days of rock legends Marc Bolan and Girlschool, ancestral homeland to generations of Romany Gypsies and Travellers, not to mention a celtic connection with ‘Lovely Leitrim’ birthplace of Robert Davis, who gave it its name.

Saturday 17 September ‘MARC BOLAN’S TEENAGE DREAM’ GUIDED WALK  

Starts 12 noon from Tooting Broadway tube station, SW17

Last year we put up a historic blue plaque to commemorate Marc’s formative years in Summerstown. Once again, we welcome his fans, from all over the world to come to this corner of London and learn more about this important period of his life. From Tooting to Earlsfield, via the site of his old prefab home, the schools, the workplaces, the fledgling gigs… this is a must for all fans coming to London that weekend, the 45th anniversary of Marc’s death.   

@summerstown182
AWARD WINNING COMMUNITY HISTORY PROJECT

Going up this year! Historic plaques for PLANET TOOTING CORRUGANZA BOXMAKERS 

PEOPLE OF WARDLEY STREET FRANCIS KITZ

TAKE A TRIP TO PLANET TOOTING!

DOWNLOAD ‘GREAT ESCAPES’ – 26 FANTASTIC SELF-GUIDED LOCAL HISTORY WALKS IN SW LONDON AREA!

#LondonIrishHistoryTrail #BloomingTooting #MarcBolansTeenageDream

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