Your scribe was honoured to witness this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show, a parade of livery companies, youth and military organisations, NHS and charities and some charitable companies working in and for London. Amongst the bands and floats are a couple of wicker giants representing Gog and Magog a tradition going back to medieval times and with mythical links even earlier you can read the history and fables here. This year made history too as due to COVID the previous Lord Mayor served 2 years and his succesor also served 2 years as Sheriff. The new Lord Mayor Alderman Vincent Keaveny a resident of Fulham is the 693rd to hold the post and unusually was born in the Republic of Ireland. In addition to the pageantry and ceremony the Lord Mayor’s main role is as an ambassador for the City of London’s business and financial activities across the world.
Many of you will have visited Emery Walker’s House but did you know that during lockdown they are running a series of virtual talks? There is also an online quiz. Do look on the website . The next talk is about May Morris. She was a lecturer, writer, editor, accomplished designer and jeweller, champion of women’s rights, but it is her work as an embroiderer that is considered to be her greatest achievement.
Taking a leisurely shower this morning I was surprised to hear Melvyn Bragg discussing a ship called the ZONG which achieved notoriety for throwing many of its cargo of slaves overboard whilst still alive. The connection to Fulham and Hammersmith is that Granville Sharp became heavily involved in trying to get the Master and Crew tried for murder rather than insurance fraud. An horrific story but well worth listening to, from BBC Radio 4.
At the opposite end of the day I am reading Peter Ackroyd’s Dominion his fifth volume of The History of England. It covers the end of Regency until Victoria’s death. He races through this period but nevertheless it is a very dense read. There are lots of quotes from the period and he exercises his wit on the main characters. He also seems to have a desire to revive historic and archaic words that tease the mind. He exposes the dreadful state of government and politics and the grudging moves towards democracy whilst in the midst of famine, wars and engineering transformation. I am finding this really helpful as this period was not covered at school (science ‘O’ levels) and of course this is just the period when our borough was itself in transition from the semi-rural and estates to the rapid development of railways and terraced housing. It forms a very useful backdrop to our local history. (Dominion by Peter Ackroyd ISBN 9781509881321)
As a footnote news is breaking of Foster & Partners proposal to put a double decker temporary roadway onto Hammersmith Bridge. Bazelgette, one hopes, would have been delighted! Do note that an exciting revamped reprint of our Hammersmith_Bridge_ publication will be available before Christmas.
Well we are still constrained and cannot meet, we all hope that we will be able to do something soon. The priority is for everyone to stay safe. If you have found the quiz a useful way of recalling past visits and landmarks the answers to the June Quiz will not surprise you. I shall have to try a lot harder for the next quiz.
When we first moved to the area we went to a presentation at the Town Hall on the impressive murals there. Here is an article from the Spitalfields Life that explores them. Enjoy and thank Maya for finding this, it also appears in the Library Blog which is always worth a browse.
No apologies for returning to a jewel in Hammersmith’s history.
Emery Walker’s House has launched a series of online talks and tours to keep people in touch with the Arts and Crafts home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace.
What a stunning photograph! Courtesy of the Trust. Here are the dates and subjects.
The Doves Press
July 9th at 3pm
The Doves Press was the most influential twentieth century typeface to emerge from the Arts and Crafts movement. Yet the two friends who created it fell out spectacularly. This talk will tell the story of the creation of the Press, its loss and eventual recovery.
Past Residents of Hammersmith Terrace
July 30th at 3pm
Hammersmith Terrace is a Georgian terrace of seventeen houses which boasts three blue plaques. But that barely scratches the surface of its notable residents. Meet eleven more extraordinary people who lived here.
In Search of Emery Walker with Simon Loxley September 19th at 3pm
Author and graphic designer Simon Loxley discusses his latest book Emery Walker: Arts, Crafts and a World in Motion. Simon will paint a picture of Walker, his work and his world, a man who professionally and socially seemed to ‘know everyone’. He will re-examine what has been written about him, and include his research of archive material, much of which came from Walker’s home at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, where he lived from 1903 to 1933.
Book your places here emerywalker.org.uk/copy-of-events.
Emery Walker’s House has been closed since March, so their usual visitor numbers and income from tickets and giftshop purchases for this period have plummeted from 90% bookings to zero. The Trust has made available a virtual and guided tours of the house and riverside garden on their website. Emerywalker.org.uk also has a wealth of information on the house and the people who lived there, and an online shop selling embroidery kits, handmade gift cards and other items so do drop in for a virtual visit during closure.
The tours are free, and the interactive talks are via Zoom by donation.
As a former resident of Salisbury I was intrigued to hear from Vernon that the Chalke Valley History Festival has responded to the lockdown with a series of videos on its website. There was nothing like this when we were there do have a look and catch them live if you can. The content is not all local and may be of wider interest with book reviews etc.
As you think of Victory in Europe it is worth a flick through the pages put together by LBHF Archivist.
Also the Flikr collection.
There is an article on the parks during and after the war.
As you would expect it only gets the briefest of mentions in the last pages of our book Fulham in the Second World War.
Those who read our latest Newsletter (149 Spring) may not have had all the answers to our quiz so here they are. How did you do? Should we try this again?
Our latest Newsletter is now posted on site and contains a message from our Chairman. In view of the current COVID19 regulations it seems unlikely that we will meet for a while but we have included an outline of our plans should the regulations be slackened. Meanwhile we have added a quiz, the answers to which lie in your memories of visits and also appear on our website or in newsletters. Have fun and stay safe.
On Tuesday we hold our 49th AGM; a chance to have your say, vote in the committee and hear the reports. We also have a talk from Dorian Gerhold about London Bridge and its houses. In history terms this is bridging the middle ages to Victorian times. Should be a fascinating talk. Don’t miss it. All welcome £3 to non-members. see our latest newsletter for details of venue and transport.