2017 Events Begin with “Mr Albert Smith’s Ascent of Mont Blanc” Tuesday 7 February 7.30PM

3 February, 2017

Autumn 2016 saw us welcomed by Jane Ashley to her delightful home Rose Cottage, a remnant of Carbtree Farm predating the Victoian homes surrounding it. In October a visit to the Hurlingham Club was popular and fascinating. A Show and Tell was held in November members and visitors bringing along items of history in what proved to be a most interesting evening. The festive season was welcomed in with a meal at a Hammersmith hostelry.

Just a reminder that subscriptions are now due: £8 or £5 for seniors and students – send to FHHS Membership Secretary, 49 St Peter’s Terrace, LONDON SW6 7JS. It will be worth it your committee are working on an exciting new programme.

This new year of events and visits begins with what promises to be a most interesting talk by Keith Whitehouse.

Albert Smith (1816-1860) was a celebrated novelist and showman who during his lifetime was as famous as his friend Charles Dickens. Smith was born in Chertsey in 1816 the Son of the local doctor. He himself qualified as a doctor and dentist and set up a practice in Percy Street off Tottenham Court Road. But his passion was theatricals and writing which he eventually did full time. He initially became popular with the public through his comic novels. From boyhood he had a passion for wanting to climb Mont Blanc which was believed to be a difficult climb due to the number of fatalities. He achieved this in 1852 to much public acclaim. He wrote a book and hired the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, opposite the Royal Academy, where he performed a monologue, a one man show. This became a sensation and led to the Times newspaper stating a ‘perfect Mont Blanc mania pervades the minds of our fellow countrymen’. The show was so popular that Queen Victoria and the royal children attended as did the Duke of Wellington. Smith was invited to private performances at Windsor Castle by the Queen and Prince Albert.
Smith did other monologues including ‘Mont Blanc to China’ after a visit to Hong Kong, China and the forbidden city. In 1857 he came to live in Fulham at North End Lodge, North End Road near St John’s Church, Walham Green. Smith overworked, caught a chill, got pnuemonia and died at just 44. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery where his overgrown grave may still be seen.
Come and hear this talk on this fascinating man who is almost forgotten except by collectors of entertainment memorabilia.
IIlustrated with slides and items of ephemera including letters, a Mont Blanc fan and a plate you could buy at the Egyptian Hall.
Place: St Clement’s Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 (near corner of Crabtree Lane)
Buses: 74, 220, 424, 430 (stop outside), 190, 211, 295, (stop nearby in Lillie Road).

How can you resist, see you there 1930 on 7 Feb. As with all our talks visitors are welcome and it is FREE.



25 August, 2016

TEA PARTY AT ROSE COTTAGE, CRABTREE LANE, by kind permission of Jane Ashley.
It is uncertain when Rose Cottage was built but may date back to the 18th century. In the 1970’s it became the
Crabtree Gardens Nursery established by Belita (Maria Belita Jepson-Turner,1923-2005) the
celebrated Olympic skater, ballerina, dancer and Hollywood film actress and her husband
James Berwick a film and television actor (Coronation Street, Father Ted, Minder). By the
1980’s business declined with the opening of the Fulham Palace Garden Centre and finally
closed. The cottage was purchased by Jane Ashley daughter of Laura Ashley who needs no
introduction. Jane has kindly offered to host the garden party. (more background in the newsletter)
Rose Cottage, 42 Crabtree Lane, SW6 6LW (near Rannoch Road)
Buses 74,220,424,430 (stop outside St Clement’s Church Hall 3 minutes walk away)
190,211,295 (stop nearby in Lillie Road)
Parking: street parking free on Sunday’s
Prior to the tea party there will be an EGM to elect Niel Redpath as Independent Examiner


16 July, 2016

Sun 17 July, 2pm
Moat Walk for the Festival of Archaeology
As part of the Festival of Archaeology, join this walk exploring the route of Fulham Palace’s former moat – the longest domestic moat in England. Learn more on the theories of its origin and why it was infilled in the 1920s.

Photo of excavated moat

Fulham Palace Moat

The walk will be led by local expert Keith Whitehouse, who carried out the first sectional excavations of the moat for Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group in 1982.
£5, accompanied children free
Booking essential, click here to book
Please meet by the fountain in the Tudor Courtyard


24 May, 2016

We have had archaeology, architecture, genealogy, the FROG, Census statistics and sport through history how about some history in words and music.

Elizabeth to Elizabeth
An uplifting celebration for the Queen’s 90th birthday! Concert trio ‘In Voice and Verse’ celebrate 500 years of British history in words and music. Actor Lance Pierson, soprano Belinda Yates and pianist Heather Chamberlain present the humorous highs and serious lows from across the centuries from the first Queen Elizabeth to our second.

The music includes pieces by Handel, Beethoven, Purcell, Holst and Britten, as well as ‘Rule Britannia’ and the National Anthem. The words include poetry by Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Milton, Tennyson and John Betjeman.

Monday 6th June, 7.30pm
All Saints Church Fulham, Church Gate, London SW6 3LA


9 May, 2016

Don’t forget Tuesday 7:30pm St Clements Church Hall, SW6 6DS this looks to be an interesting talk spanning – English Heritage, Architecture, Sport, Recreational Heritage (including pub games). See previous post.

Post Meeting Note
Well so it proved. A most interesting talk from Simon Inglis that had us all absorbed until the caretaker arrived to close the hall! After a brief introduction to his subject and to sport in London we were then treated to interesting facts and anecdotes about sporting buildings, sites and clubs. How the rivalry between the two builders who created Craven Cottage and Stamford Bridge grounds in fact spawned 4 successful football clubs. The first floodlit sports match was a polo tournament in Fulham. So it continued – all this and more is the subject of his English Heritage book Played in London ISBN 978-1-84802-057-3. Perhaps we can persuade him to return and cover the White City and its tournaments.


3 April, 2016

Sorry for the lack of posts recently but here is a catch up.

Palace Foreshores
We had a superb talk from Natalie Cohen from the Museum of London Archaeology about the work at the shoreline to record our past. It was both an enthusiastic and fascinating presentation do check the Newsletter for a fuller writeup.138 Spring 2016

The AGM will be on Tuesday at 7:30pm in St Clements Church Hall, again full details in the newsletter.

Tuesday 10 May at 7:30pm
Simon Inglis, who edits the Played in Britain series for English Heritage, offers a lively illustrated lecture on the surprisingly rich and varied sporting and recreational heritage of Fulham and Hammersmith. Here is athletics as described by Wilkie Collins at Lillie Bridge, billiards on Fulham Palace Road, skittles with AP Herbert at the Black Lion and a plasterer called Joseph Bickley, whose ‘secret formula’ had racket-wielding aristocrats queuing at his workshop on Lillie Road. We shall hear how a Scottish engineer nipped between Stevenage Road and Fulham Road during the summer of 1905 to build new stadiums for rivals Fulham and Chelsea, and how a squash court in
the grounds of Latymer School was one of seven sports-related buildings listed by English Heritage in 2014-15 as a result of Inglis’s latest, award winning book, Played in London – Charting the Heritage of a City at Play. https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/played-inlondon/. Also to be revealed is how, in 1878, a field in Fulham hosted what is thought to have been the first sporting event ever to have taken place under floodlights in Britain. If not interested in sport, don’t be put off. The evening’s focus is on architecture and social history, with some capital fun guaranteed.
Talk will be held in St Clements Church Hall (see details above under AGM)
Tuesday 14 June 7pm
Fulham as well as a palace has a prison, some of the buildings still survive. We will look at the site of the wooden Fulham Bridge and the ferry crossing, where the first Mercedes cars in Britain were built, the temperance billiard hall now a pub, the Fulham war memorial garden where a plaque commemorates a Victoria Cross winner, the surviving kiln of Fulham Pottery, the road that gave its name to a lavatory system and much more. A walk not to be missed. Led by Keith Whitehouse.
Meet outside the Eight Bells pub, 89 Fulham High Street. near the river at 7pm
(one of Fulham’s oldest pubs that has stood here for over 400 years) and perhaps a drink afterwards.
Sunday 24th July 3-5pm
Come and enjoy tea, cakes and conversation at 48 Peterborough Road, SW6 3EB on Sunday 24th July from 3 to 5pm the home of Sue and Lance Pierson. If it is fine we can spill into the garden. Parking is free. Parson’s Green is the nearest station a 10 to 15 minute walk away. Buses 28 and 295 go along the Wandsworth Bridge Road which is 5 minutes walk away. Number 48 is 2 doors from the junction with Daisy Lane.


14 February, 2016

Tuesday 16 February 7:30pm
This talk by Nathalie Cohen Head of Community Archaeology at the Museum of London Archaeology ( http://www.mola.org.uk ) will discuss discoveries made during investigations by the Thames Discovery Programme on the inter-tidal zone in London, including Richmond, Fulham, the Tower of London and Greenwich. http://www.thamesdiscovery.org/ The Thames has been central to London and its development through the centuries. A fascinating subject and we are lucky to have Nathalie to present the discoveries; one not to be missed.
Place: St Clements Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 (near corner of Crabtree Lane,) Buses 74, 220, 424, 430 (stop outside), 190, 211, 295, (stop nearby in Lillie Road).
Do tell friends and others who might be interested, all welcome FREE.