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.
We have received an email from Annabelle May that brings news of an imminent decision to vacate Lilla Husset and store the archives elsewhere, as yet unspecified.
Members will know that the FHHS is not at all poitical or even a campaigning society but you will all know that the font of knowledge about the borough is the LBHF Archive. Although some records are now at the London Metropolitan Archives or The National Archive the bulk of our history and much of its cultural depth is contained in the Archive. There is of course the local history and ready access archives of books, photos and some maps in the recently created archives space above Hammersmith Library. The real gems and source material are contained in the purpose built archive storage at Lilla Husset. This was a planning gain when its parent building was authorised; the lease has now run out and rent is being charged.
The archive storage is a vital resource for historians and local residents but also provides an important function for many professionals. Drainage plans and old maps are regularly accessed by architects and planning consultants, residents wishing to make alterations can research their building and the rich history of their immediate location, although not available instantly it can be accessed through the archivist. Just imagine the rigmarole if this storage is held remotely and even worse if its contents were to be managed and controlled by another organisation. Even LBHF councillors would find this difficult and may find charges for holding the archives and for accessing them could outweigh the current rent. See the Local Government Acts for their responsibilities. This was an issue under the Conservatives but now recurs under Labour so all politicians appear to be uncaring where their, and our, archives are concerned.
Here is Annabelle’s email in full.
We have had a number of mentions of Zoffany recently and Vernon Burgess tells me that the definitive book is ‘Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed‘ | ISBN 9780300176049 it is ferociously expensive even online but may be available second hand or from libraries.
I have once before sung the praises of the London Topographical Society and you may recall that one of their books about London Bridge prompted the brilliant illustrated talk by Dorian Gerhold that many attended. As a member of the society you receive a copy of their newsletter and any book published in the year. A serious boon for anyone interested in the history of London presented through Maps and documents; do have a look at their website. I have just received ‘London Parish Maps to 1900‘ a massive tome which is an illustrated catalogue of maps ordered by parishes. Although it just contains the bare information about most maps for some it provides snippets of information and there is a brief detail about the main personalities involved with the maps. For Fulham and Hammersmith I learned that Frederick Crace (1779-1859) an interior decorator who worked on Woburn Abbey, Carlton House, Brighton Pavilion, Windsor and Buckingham Palace lived in Hammersmith. On his death his collection of topographical prints and commisioned paintings of historic buildings was bought by the British Museum: the maps are now in the British Library. At a less elevated level the Vestry Clerk at Fulham in 1898 was suspended from his duties and is believed to have absconded to America! There are a number of coloured illustrations of the maps commissioned by the two Vestries to help in their work and mention is made of the FHHS and its predecessors’ publications. Some of the maps are in the LMA and not held in our archives so perhaps an excuse for a trip to the LMA and lunch in the Gunmakers when the restrictions are lifted.
Westminster Archives are publicising a video talk about the Blitz which is linked to a book by retired professor Mark Clapton called ‘The Blitz Companion‘ check out the video and details of the book are in the link.
Emery Walker Trust has again been busy and in addition to its virtual tour and other resources it will present a talk about the Islamic objects in the collection. This will be on 7 November at 1500 (3:00PM).
As the restrictions are tightening again we will try to keep up a flow of items of interest so do link to our front page for notification of new posts. Meanwhile stay safe.
Again venturing forth a visit to the Tate Britain Gallery (Buses 211 or 14/414 then 360) produced two more surprising connections. We walked through the 1540 to 1890 Collection Route where we found many Turners and Hogarths amongst the Constables, Stubbs and others when we noticed an oil by John Linnell in 1811-12 entitled Kensington Gravel Pits! This reminds us all just how different our area was only 200 years ago. Investigation reveals that there was a hamlet of this name roughly where Notting Hill Gate is now this map from British Vision may help. Of course much of our area was market gardens and nurseries at this time.
Further into the gallery we strayed into British Art 1930 to the present and again were amazed to see Hanging Gardens of Hammersmith No 1. Having never connected Hammersmith with Babylon this deserved further investigation. Victor Pasmore was a conscientious objector during WWII and this was produced 1944-7 at 16 Hammersmith Terrace and is the view down his garden to the Thames.
As a result of last week’s post we have been notified of a talk on William Morris by Maxine Morgan 1:30 to 4:00PM on 12 September at William Morris Meeting Rooms, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19. Face Masks are required and social distancing measures will be in place.
As the rules relax we are all venturing out a little, perhaps visits to family or favourite places. Yesterday a trip to test how busy the transport system was and how a large gallery was coping with the rules proved to be a pleasant surprise. A couple of buses, mainly the 11; which were only allowed to carry 30 passengers and thus we were very well spaced, took us to Trafalgar Square. Again this tourist hot spot was hardly busy. A free timed slot at the National Gallery gave us access to one of three routes through the standing exhibitions. We chose route C for its Turners but were delighted to see them juxtaposed with Constables and many others – largely landscapes. West London can claim Turner as one of its own and some members may have visited his home at Twickenham now newly restored and re-opened under COVID restrictions but with a small exhibition of his oil sketches see details. It was a great visit but the first surprise was seeing Johan Zoffany’s painting of “The Sharp Family” on their barge Apollo at Fulham. Photography was allowed but this picture is on loan from a private collection so a rare treat that gives a feel for the area and the times. Granville Sharp was a respected resident of Fulham who helped found the colony of Sierra Leone and used his position to campaign for the abolition of slavery. The second surprise was to see a Canaletto of the Rotunda at Ranelagh Gardens. Noticing the Ranelagh connection and delved a little deeper as had never heard of the Rotunda, which was demolished in 1805.
So well worth a visit to the National and to Turner’s House. We even managed a snack lunch at the National’s cafe.
Talking of re-opening the London Metropolitan Archive will re-open with restrictions from 7 September details on their website. Likewise the V&A is open and the British Museum is re-opening too. So do venture forth and take in some more History and perhaps lunch. Let us all know if you find any historical gems.
II – POSTSCRIPT
See Vernon Burgess’ comment below.
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.
We are all a little freer now after the easing of restrictions and are able to get out and about more. We were grateful to be able to book up and visit Kew Gardens, not much of a history link other than the ties to some of the West London Nurserymen and some structures from the Japanese Exhibition, but it was good to walk in some pleasant open space and see the outside of the Palace and other buildings.
Maya Donelan has provided the following link about Emery Walker’s garden. Many of you will be familiar with the inside of the house and its contents and may even have wandered in the garden down to the river bank as we did on the Society’s visit but few will have picked up this wealth of information. Emery Walker’s Garden. We should acknowledge this comes from the London Gardens Trust Blog which you can explore on a rainy day.
Surprised to come across what appears to be Fulham Palace as the centrepiece of a map of gardens in London. Excuse the advert but it may be of interest to the many FP volunteers as well as gardeners.
Finally even more off-piste but maintaining the theme – Derek Jarman’s Book published by the Garden Museum brings a different perspective to gardening and his view of the world from his last home on the beach at Dungeness.
Back to local history in the next post I promise, stay safe.
We all know that the National Archive is mine of information and will usually have an answer to your question. More difficult is the desire to browse and see what else is there. When my son worked there years ago he pointed me to their blog; in particular one by Andrew Janes about the King’s (Private) Road. I have rediscovered this and whilst only short it is one of several by this author usually with a map theme. There is one about V bombs and women with interesting jobs. So one evening when the TV is too grim explore the TNA Blog.
Maya has let me know about this website called TreeTalk There is no history involved and it is a little out of date with venues and frustratingly lists all the (closed) pubs. You put in your postcode, or a start and destination, and it will give you a route to find a variety of specimen trees. We are lucky that previous generations have planted interesting and varied trees in public spaces. Most street trees are not listed but we are lucky also to be in a borough that values and replaces them. Take a walk and tell us about the history you found!
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?
TUESDAY 10:30AM 4 JUNE 2019 “ALBERTOPOLIS” A WALKING TOUR OF THE MUSEUM, ARTS AND EDUCATION HUB INSTIGATED BY THE ROYAL CONSORT28 May, 2019
Annika Hall a lively, knowledgable and experienced Blue Badge guide will lead us around this world
famous cluster of Museums, a University, the RCM, Albert Hall
and more. This should be a fascinating tour and an opportunity to
learn more about the institutions we visit. We will meet at 1030
outside the Cromwell Road entrance to the V&A museum. This
is a fairly gentle walk and will take in all the key buildings and aim
to finish in time for lunch at any of the many venues nearby. There
will be a charge of £15, payment in advance to the Treasurer at 49 St Peter’s Terrace, London, SW6 7JS or on the day but you must let him know if you intend to come. firstname.lastname@example.org or 07717359913.
Buses: 14, 414, 430, 74 to South Ken or 9 to Royal Albert Hall
Tube: District and Picadilly lines to South Kensington.