HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE (NEW EDITION)

6 January, 2021

Our latest publication (with the Barnes and Mortlake History Society) is now available. As you can see from this  Flyer it is a handsome volume and the content has been updated and includes some new colour illustrations.  Excellent value at £12 including post and packaging. Please send cheque with your order to:

Mrs Sue Pierson
48 Peterborough Road
London SW6 3EB

sue@lancepierson.org

PS:  Those who pay their subscriptions by cheque should know these are now due and should be sent to:

Hon. Secretary Heather Watson  (acting Hon Treas)

  78 Harbord Street London SW6 6PJ

 


HISTORY AT BOTH ENDS OF THE DAY

26 November, 2020

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.

 


MORE BOOKS & EMERY WALKER TALK

29 October, 2020

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.


FULHAM IN WWII AND A TASTE FROM THE PAST

26 September, 2020
Fulham in the Second World War

Fulham in the Second World War

Given the current largely adverse BLM presence in the news it is encouraging to hear of  kindness in Fulham during the war. Under Fire: Black Britain in Wartime 1939-45 by Stephen Bourne (ISBN: 9780750994354) is a book that includes just such a story. It was reviewed recently in the ‘i’ newspaper here. For those who have not already seen our publication Fulham in WWII there are a few copies left, see our publications page.

On a rare COVID safe visit to the outside space of the Captain Cook pub I spotted a bit of living history.  Still in use as a door stop this tin of Nuttall’s Mintoes brought back memories of a Yorkshire childhood – admittedly not really history – yet.  Notice the use of the old coinage and Imperial weights. Eight old pence per quarter pound or 4 ounces. About £0.03p for 113 grams much less prosaic!

II

As a postscript those with an interest in the first item might like to look up LBHF’s Newsletter article on Edmonia Lewis a well travelled and impressive black sculptress who died in Hammersmith.


JULY MISCELLANY

23 July, 2020

Apologies for not keeping up the regular flow of posts.  Here are a few items of interest to keep you going. Also I will do answers to the June quiz and try to develop a new one, but all in good time.

Those of us who visited Brompton Cemetery on a guided tour or those who regularly use it for exercise or a traffic free short cut will be interested to peruse the Royal Parks website as Brompton is the only nationalised cemetery, as we learnt, and now managed by them. A lengthy list of past celebrities with a page about them, try Reginald Warneford VC, Adelaide Nielson, Augustus Mears and Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale. A further link gives details of the Cemetery in Film and the extensive Conservation Project.  For those that haven’t yet visited there is also a recent video of a walk in Brompton Cemetery on YouTube. Thanks to Vernon for the links.

We all know of Fulham Palace and some of its history Maya spotted this gem in Spitalfields Life  now featuring in the LBHF Libraries blog.  It is a charming photo-essay of a visit to the palace.  A delight to gardeners too.

Despite most of us being able to get out now there is still a little time for reading; my latest find is The AtoZ of History of

AtoZ History of London

The AtoZ History of London

London ISBN 9780008351762.  Not a deep history as it covers so much ground but it takes themes and follows them through maps.  Fascinating although the white print on a scarlet ground on one or two pages is hard for older eyes it is nevertheless a good read to dip in and out of.


CHALKE VALLEY HISTORY SHOW

25 June, 2020

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.


A FLORAL DIVERSION

18 June, 2020

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 Emery Walkers Gardengarden. 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.

A London Floral by Natasha Goodfellow (Finch Publishing)

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.

ISBN 9781527259164

Back to local history in the next post I promise, stay safe.


JUNE QUIZ, MORE READING AND WALKING

6 June, 2020

We are all able to get out a bit now but still mainly at home so how about another Quiz?  Something to read? Or perhaps a Walk?

First up Here is the Quiz.

Foreshore Recording and Observations Group

FROG

For the reading you might try a Thames theme.  We’ve had a couple of talks from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)’s Nathalie Cohen and Eliott Wragg about their work on the Thames foreshore and the work of the splendidly named FROG (Foreshore  Recording and Observation Group) indeed a couple of our members have given updates on the work.  MOLA produced a book written by Natalie and Eliott – The River’s Tale   ISBN 9781907586453.

I have just started reading an independent mudlarker’s account which is also fascinating and almost immediately relates the fate of the Dove type (thrown from Hammersmith Bridge!). – Mudlarking – Lost and Found on The River Thames by Lara Maiklem ISBN9781408889237.

You might like to build up a thirst by checking out London’s Riverside Pubs by Tim Hampson ISBN9781847735027 which could lead to walks!  Especially when they re-open.

For those interested in post war buildings try John Gringrod’s Concretopia ISBN9781906964900 a catalogue of triumphs and failures in this unloved but practical material (even the Roman’s used it!)

A crime novel linked to the histoic bombing of St Pauls The Blue Last by Martha Grimes ISBN9780747268420 or 0747268428 will keep you gripped.

  

And finally to walks. LBHF has catalogued a number of short walks with a set of downloadable guides here. Some cover ground trod on our outings but there are plenty so should last the lockdown.  thanks to Vernon Burgess for the link.

If you cannot get out then you may like to delve into the William Morris Society’s online exhibition a short video and a trail through the exhibits.

 

 

 

 


SIR EDWARD ELGAR

28 May, 2020

How many members are aware that Elgar lived in Fulham and that there is a London County Council ‘blue plaque’ on his former home?

Sir Edward Elgar, one of England’s greatest composers, was born at Broadheath near Worcester in 1857. His father was a piano-tuner who also ran a music shop and was organist at St. George’s Roman Catholic Church. Elgar succeeded him as organist between 1885-89.

Growing up in a musical family, Elgar won praise as a child for piano improvisations but had no formal musical training apart from violin lessons he received from a local teacher. Later he played in the orchestra at the festivals of the Three Choirs. He left school at 15 and for a while was apprenticed to a solicitor’s office but soon decided to devote his life to composing, and thereafter worked as a teacher and freelance musician.

A turning point came in 1886 when Caroline Roberts, the daughter of the late Major-General Sir Henry Gee Roberts, became one of his piano pupils in Malvern. She became his wife in 1889. They decided to set up home in London and took as their residence 51 Avonmore Road in Fulham, a backwater off the North End Road near Olympia, where their only child, Carice, was born. Here in 1890 he wrote his popular ‘Froissart’ Overture for the Worcester Festival. However, in 1891 the couple decided to leave London, where his works had not had much success. They lived in Malvern, then moved to Hereford in 1904.

His wife’s belief in his genius was a great spur to Elgar and he spent most of his time composing. By 1899 with the publication of the ‘Enigma Variations’, one of his most popular works, he was being recognised by the public as a major composer. The following year he produced what is considered his masterpiece ‘The Dream of Gerontius’, the setting of part of a poem by Cardinal Newman. Elgar drew inspiration from the culture and landscape of England, working in all the major forms of music except opera.

There now followed a period of great musical activity, his finest works were composed over a time span that lasted two decades. The most well known of the period include the Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901-07) the first being known as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’; the overture ‘Cockaigne’ (1901); Introduction and Allegro (1905); the Symphonic Study – ‘Falstaff’ (1913); the Violin Concerto (1910) the first performance of which was given by the great violinist Fritz Kreisler; the 1st and 2nd Symphonies (1908 and 1911). His other famous work, the Cello Concerto (1919), immortalised in the public mind by the performances given by the late Jacqueline du Pré, was written as a reflection on the terrible catastrophe of the First World War. Elgar said it described ‘a man’s attitude to life’. The death of Elgar’s wife the following year had such a profound effect on him that no further major work ever again flowed from his pen.

Elgar’s climb to public recognition was slow but once he was seen as one of England’s greatest composers the honours flowed in. A Knighthood in 1904; Order of Merit 1911; appointed Master of the King’s Musick 1924; KCVO 1928, Baronetcy 1931, GCVO 1933, as well as numerous honorary Doctorates and Degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, London, Yale and many others. Edward Elgar died at Worcester on 23 February, 1934, aged 76, and was buried in his wife’s grave at St. Wulstan’s Church, Little Malvern.

This article first appeared in the Fulham Society newsletter no 77 in July 2007 and we are grateful for permission to use it

This is just one of the 450 Personalities of Fulham and Hammersmith that are briefly summarised in our publication of the same name by Keith Whitehouse.


MORE READING ONLINE AND AN UNUSUAL GUIDED WALK

21 May, 2020

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!