BOMBING OF ST PAULS

20 May, 2020

Like many of you we have been exploring the outer reaches of i-player and the TV schedule for interesting programmes.  We have been watching Dan Snow’s series on BBC2 (still on i-player) about archaeology of WWII which has now come to an end.  Tomorrow night at 1930 (7:30pm) it is replaced by War Walks which covers the bombing of St Pauls Cathedral.  We will certainly be watching that.

Hope you are all getting by with the lockdown.  The slight relaxing of the rules is welcome.  Take care.


MORE NOT GOING OUT!

29 April, 2020

Something for everyone, hope this provides some ideas.

More Personal Memories of the Borough

Last week I received a generous offer to our Members of a free pdf copy of a privately published Family History.  It centres on the Lally family living in Carthew Road & St Peter’s Grove Hammersmith from 1914 until 1944. Brackenbury and West Kensington Central Schools, churches and youth organisations all feature.  Some of our members helped provide background material. The depression and wartime spirit have a message for our current situation. It provides a narrative of the times that is both fascinating and instructive let me have your email address if you would like a copy.  The author has a few hardback copies at £30.

Whilst on the subject of personal histories you may have missed two books in our publications:

Ladybirds on the Wall

Ladybirds on the Wall

Memoirs of a London Childhood by Dorothy L Ash born at Anselm Road in 1899 covers her first 33 years living in Fulham.

Ladybirds on the Wall by Barbara Denny describes a life lived in West Kensington (North End)  from 1920-1940.

As well as personal, indeed social, history both books give an insight into life in West London at those times and have a nice style of prose, the second being written by a well known local reporter.

Jigsaw Therapy and History

These innovative interactive jigsaws have been put together by our local Archivist Kath Shawcross. Quite good fun and of course a reminder that all have significant histories. Challenge the grandkids or neighbours (electronically) to complete in a faster time than you and also to find out their history.

Fulham Bridge

Fulham Bridge

Hammersmith Bridge
Fulham Bridge
Fulham Palace

We have only a few Hammersmith Bridge books left but plenty of Fulham Bridge see Publications.

 

Video History

For something more national and on a grander scale here is a brief video of Julian Humphrys’ Top Ten Castles.

Finally BBC4 tomorrow Thursday 7:30pm Museums in Quarantine does a virtual tour of the British Museum.


THIS WEEK’S READING SUGGESTIONS

23 April, 2020

Here are some more books to consider if we are in this lockdown for the long run.  If not they’ll make great Christmas presents!

29 Angel 9780244803810.  A book by Barbara Tinsley and her father I devoured rapidly it faithfully portrays a 1930’s world that is rapidly slipping from our community memory.  In a charming if earthy style it is the story of young Stanley growing up in a Victorian terrace in Angel Walk Hammersmith.  The area was later truncated by the A4 fly-over.  It is a piece of powerful social history but also contains a story of a secret garden enjoyed by father and daughter.  There is a detective story to be solved.  Whose garden was it and why was it left neglected for decades?
A must read for anyone living in the area or students of social history and the very different lives of our grandparents and greatgrandparents era.
A snippet is online here.  It can be bought from Blackwells or Lulu.

Some more gems:

Fulham Past by Barbara Denny 9780948667435 lots of detail and photos
London’s Lost Rivers by Paul Talling 9781847945976 this includes several of our own.
How to Read London by Chris Rogers 9781782404521

More local books this time from Caroline MacMillan who will be familiar to the many who have taken her guided walks.  www.westlondonwalks.co.uk The vibrant modern photographs are interspersed with historical notes anchoring them to the past.  As well as the history of the area, each book contains two guided walks.

Wild about Fulham  9780993319310
Wild about Hammersmith  and Brook Green 9780957044777
Wild about Shepherd’s Bush and Askew Road  9780993319327

Again for those seeking fiction anchored in our area then try:

London by Edward Rutherford of Sarum fame 9780099551379
Capital Crimes Edited by Martin Edwards 9780712357494
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz 9781784757236 opens on the Fulham Road!


CATCHING UP ON READING

19 April, 2020

Lockdown is a restriction but on the other hand it has opened up hours of time for all those things you meant to do.  Well the DIY list is going down but there are other activities too.  Here are some suggestions for old books or new books to read with a London bias.

Given the time available Hilary Mantel’s trilogy could be worth exploring:
Wolf Hall – 9780007230204
Bring up the Bodies – 9780008381684
The Mirror and the Light – 9780008366704

Peter Ackroyd has loads of books on London try:
London Under – 9780701169916

I am currently re-reading Claire Tomalin’s:
Samuel Peyps – The Unequalled Self – 9780140282344

For a less fact based read try:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – 9780755322800
The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor – 9780008119096

Enjoy – John H


WEST LONDON NURSERY GARDENS

14 April, 2020

Having taken the advice offered in the latest Newsletter to consider our publications I selected at random West London Nursery Gardens.  I must be frank up front I have little interest in gardening and tended to render what I touched brown!  This is especially true now we only have a balcony and my limited skills of mowing, digging and harvesting apples are no longer required!

I got stuck into this 163 pages plus illustrations volume and was pleasently surprised.  The names of flowers leapt out to prompt my memories of my Northern Grandfather banging on about his successes on the allotment.  In fact the book is as much a social history as a botanical one.  The histories start in the 1660s through to the start of the 20th century.  Information gleaned from rate books, directories, private papers and gardening magazines and catalogues has been used to set out not only the bare facts but a little about the owners of each enterprise.

These men, and sometimes their widows, created a new line of business initially centred on London and botanical trophies of the age of discovery.  A fashion for ornate gardens and unusual plants amongst the landed gentry fed the businesses.  This grew eventually to the classless hobby of many but by then nurseries were more widespread and the land in London was more valuable for housing.

These were often men of humble origin from all over the country gardeners to the rich who grasped an opportunity.  The work and fresh air clearly had its rewards as several lived into their 80’s and 90’s.  The opposite is also true – at least 2 careers were ruined by falls from horseback. In the 19th century more

West London Nursery Gardens

middleclass businessmen tried their hand in this world of plants often driven by an interst in botany or exploring for species to cultivate.

Families are also featured heavily with sons following fathers into the business or associated areas.  Many had 2 or more wives and very many children with many dying young.  Whilst I know my grandparents were from large families the levels of child mortality and deaths in childbirth have slipped beyond living memory.

It also relates much about the geography of our streets today as land was given up for building the pockets of land often recognisable.

This book is definitely worth a read; gardener or not!

John H

II – Post Script

Anyone thinking about reading this book or just curious will find this map from the excellent National Library of Scotland’s website very helpful.  Although later than most of the activity it does show many of the remaining nurseries surviving as development crept westwards.

It also shows the scattering of large houses amongst the market gardens that may feature in Keith’s talk post lockdown!


THE HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM – BY ROBIN PIERSON

12 February, 2020
Byzantine Frieze

Byzantine Frieze

We had a fantastic and fascinating talk last Tuesday about how the history of this enigmatic period of the Roman story is brought to life through the medium of podcasts. Robin Pierson researches, writes and performs these pieces to the microphone and most of the nearly 200 are freely available on the web with some supporting material on the website https://thehistoryofbyzantium.com .
You missed an excellent talk but can dive into podcasts right now look it up.
Don’t forget the next event is our AGM with a talk about the Houses on the Original London Bridge on 3 March at 7:30pm see Newsletter for details.


THE PRE-RAPHAELITES & WILLIAM MORRIS

17 January, 2020

For those who joined our visit to Emery Walkers House or to Leighton House you may be interested to catch the following:

  1.  The National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition the pre-raphaelite sisters is due to finish on 26 Jan.  It is well worth a visit for the historical context and the background of these ladies who were often talented artists too as well as muses (even if you are not keen on the paintings!). Catch it while you can.
  2. Chanel 4’s George Clark’s Old House New Home a recent episode covering an arts and crafts home near Croydon featured Emery Walkers’ House and the William Morris wallpaper archive and some block printing. This is on All 4 not sure for how long.

CHARLES DICKENS APPEAL AND MORE

2 April, 2019

Charles Dickens is in the news currently as a lost original portrait has been discovered there is an appeal by the Charles Dickens Museum for funds please check out the link.

Did you know that the great author had links to to our borough.  The Guardian says:      In 1847 Dickens had founded a “home for homeless women” with his friend the wealthy philanthropist Baroness Burdett-Coutts. With typical energy he found the premises – Urania Cottage in London’s Shepherd’s Bush – and then flung himself into organising every detail of it, from the food to the flower garden, and the piano around which the women would gather for wholesome evening entertainment.

On a sadder note his son also Charles was born at Furnivals Inn in Holborn, London, the first child of Charles Dickens and his then-wife Catherine Hogarth. Charles Dickens Jr. Died 20 June 1896 (aged 59 ) Fulham, London, England.

The area also features in his work – The mystery of Edwin Drood has a great illustration by Sir Luke Fildes of people in a boat passing by Fulham church and bridge.

Fulham Church and Bridge from the Thames

Fulham Church and Bridge

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham

LONDON – 2000 years of History

2 April, 2019

Just a quick note to say I watched this programme on My5 (channel 5’s version of i-player).  It is a rapid canter through loads of history but no less interesting for that.  The joy of course is that there are very few adverts when watching this way.  Worth a look there are only 4 episodes.


WINTER ACTIVITIES

21 September, 2017

Summer saw us having a truly revelatory visit to Buscot Park the home of Lord Farringdon with previously unseen drawings and documents by Charlotte Sulivan, a stand at the Parson’s Green Fair and summer Garden Party.

Now for the Winter programme we have two splendid talks and a show and tell evening with a Christmas Party in December. Full details are in the latest Newsletter here are the dates:
26 Sep 7:00pm The Development of the Peterborough Estate (Lion Houses) a talk by Peter Kulpa. Jesse Milne Centre Fulham Palace.
10 Oct 7:00pm A Proud Unthankefull City? – London & the English Civil Wars A Talk by David Flintham. Jesse Milne Centre Fulham Palace.
15 November 7:30pm Show and Tell – following last year’s success, a chance to talk about your and other’s pieces of history. At St Clements Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road.
11 December 7:00pm Members’ Christmas Buffet at Pryors Bank, Bishop’s Park Fulham.
Do note the two talks are slightly earlier and in the Palace Education Centre to ensure the best facilities.

To all those interested in our local history there can be no greater event than an archaeological dig. At our own Fulham Palace a search for the documented Dovecote and possible earlier medieval buildings will begin in October but your help is needed please look at the website and persuade your friends and local businesses to contribute. The Society will be making a significant donation but lots of help is needed. We eagerly await news of whatever they uncover.