6 August, 2015
On 2 July a sizeable group from the FHHS and Fulham Palace heard a fascinating illustrated talk by our medical and naval historian Jane Bowden-Dan in the splendid facility that is the Jessie Milne Education Centre at Fulham Palace. We were enlightened about the conditions on board Naval ships at the time in peace and war. This included the shocking statistics on deaths from sickness and injury and how scurvy was defeated with fruit. We learned of Nelson’s career and his relationship with Lady Hamilton and of their brief home together at Merton before leaving for his final campaign that culminated in his death at Trafalgar.
As a bonus a small group went to visit Morden Hall Park on the 18 July. It is a National Trust site that includes the location of Nelson’s long demolished home. There was little trace of the building but one could understand the attraction of such a pleasant location not too far from London. The group were conducted by a National Trust guide.
5 August, 2015
The photography of CHRISTINA BROOM
Sue Pierson visited the exhibition and enjoyed it so much she wanted to share this review with you and encourage you to come to the talk and visit the Docklands Museum.
If you have never been to the Museum of London in the Docklands, you have missed a treat. Housed in a Grade One warehouse, it chronicles the history of London through the importance of the river. But until 1 November there is an added attraction in the photography of Christina Broom who lived in Chelsea and finally in Munster Road, Fulham. She is regarded as the first female press photographer, admired by royalty and respected by soldiers and suffragettes. Her photographs are largely informal and are all outside. She was a small woman but carried her bulky equipment on public transport or walked it along roads. She was above all interested in people and wasn’t too bothered about backgrounds.
Of particular interest to us in Fulham are her pictures of the Church pageant in 1909 and the Army pageant of 1910 both held in the grounds of Fulham Palace. There is a wonderful snippet of film of her wandering among the 1914 Boat Race crew at Putney no doubt looking for a good angle for her photo!
Christina died in 1939 aged 75 a few days after she had been enjoying her hobby of fishing in Margate. Her daughter Winnie acted as her mother’s assistant. She gave over 300 negatives to the Museum of London in 1945 spurred on by Queen Mary, herself a keen photographer, who said that they were ’for posterity where people may go and look at prints when they have more leisure.’ Last year the Museum acquired the remaining photos and associated material.
Take a helpful magnifying glass from the rack on your way in. If you are looking at the rest of the Museum, allow plenty of time. You won’t be disappointed!
24 February, 2015
Fulham’s Cyclist Battalion Goes to War 30 October
We were treated to an interesting illustrated talk by our Chairman Keith Whitehouse covering the formation of this unusual unit in 1888 and their eventual mobilisation initially guarding the coast of East Sussex but ultimately serving in India. The clerks, shop keepers and civil servants who joined this military cycling “club” could have never imagined that they might end up fighting in Afghanistan until 1919! Keith provided a wealth of slides and some uniform artefacts to view which made this small piece of local history come to life.
Tour of Bart’s Hospital 14 November
Religious Mural by Hogarth on Grand Stairs
A small group of members joined a guided tour of historic St Bart’s hospital. Our volunteer guide gave a comprehensive history of the hospital, its founders and others involved in its management. as befits such an ancient hospital it has its own museum and its buildings are substantial and quite grand.
What is not so obvious is the grand staircase beyond the museum with its depictions of St Bartholomew by Hogarth.
The stairs lead up to the Great Hall where founders and the trustees managed the hospital. Most importantly all the
Stained glass window depicting Henry VIII
benefactors are recorded on its walls and the major ones such as Henry VIII are portrayed in the stained glass windows. Hospitals really were different then! Of course the ancient buildings are no longer used for medical care and the impressive modern hospital towers above and behind the historic courtyard.
Also within the hospital grounds is the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less it has its own history having changed over the centuries. For the FHHS one interesting observation was the memorial to Sir Thomas Bodley (of Oxford fame) for his work in support of the hospital who at a different time was a resident of Fulham. Time and an impending service prevented us moving on to view the interior of St Bartholomew-the-Great, perhaps another visit.
Christmas Dinner 8 December
The annual meal was a chance to meet others and chat about the interesting year and what is planned for the new year. The pub was busy so we had to be patient but that did not detract from the company and conversation.