West London History Conference

17 October, 2022

This years conference will be online.

The 42nd West London Local History Conference
SPORT IN THE PAST OF South & West London

Saturday 26 November 2022
Simon Inglis, author of Played in London, introduces the day, with
Philip Boyes on cricket & other sports on Wandsworth Common,
Graeme Roberts on the History of Harlequins Rugby Club,
Caitlin Davies, author of Downstream, on Thames swimming &
Rob Jex on Brentford FC & the growth of professional football
A one-day virtual conference
Tickets £15.00 on sale a
Conference sponsored by the local history societies for Acton, Barnes & Mortlake,
Brentford & Chiswick, Fulham & Hammersmith, Hounslow, Richmond,
Twickenham, Wandsworth and the West Middlesex Family History Society
The 42nd West London Local History Conference
sport in the past of South & West London

PROGRAMME for 26 November 2022
Welcome to our third digital conference. This year’s speakers will present the
history of the amazing range of sporting activities which have been played in
the area covered by our sponsoring societies.
9.45 Zoom meeting opens to admit participants
10.00 Welcome and introduction to the way we will operate the online conference
Val Bott, Editor, Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal & Conference CoChairman
10.10 Played in West and South West London
Simon Inglis, creator of the Played in Britain series & author of Played in London
11.00 BREAK
11.30 Turf Wars: How cricket & other sports transformed Wandsworth Common
Philip Boys, whose http://www.historyofwandsworthcommon.org/chronicles the Common’s
richly diverse past
12.15 Travels with the Jester from Hampstead to Twickenham: The story of
Harlequins Rugby Club
Graeme Roberts, a member of the Harlequin Heritage Team
1.00 LUNCH
2.00 Welcome back and introduction to the afternoon sessions
Neil Robson, Editor, Wandsworth Historian & Conference Co-Chairman
2.15 ‘Downstream’ – a history of swimming in the Thames, between Twickenham
and Battersea
Caitlin Davies, author of Downstream
3.00 Brentford FC & the development of professional football in West London
Rob Jex, a Brentford Football Club Historian
3.45 Thanks and summary of the day’s proceedings
4.00 Conference ends
The Conference starts at 10.00am. As we are expecting a large number of people to join in we will open the Zoom session at 9.45am to give time for everyone to assemble. Remember we will be ableto hear anything you say as you join in!
When we start the conference we will mute everyone’s microphones because background noise
can be intrusive.There will be a short time after each contribution for questions. You can type them using the chatfacility and they will show up during the session; we’ll try to respond to these first.
If you wish to join the discussion or make a comment then either type into chat, wave your hand,un-mute your microphone or, if the chair hasn’t spotted you, perhaps say “hello”. Whoever ischairing the session will bring you in.
There will be a mid-morning break and a lunch break. If you need to leave the
conference during the talks but intend to return it is best to turn off your video and
mute your sound but stay online.


October Meeting

17 October, 2022

Dont forget our Meeting this Thursday. Please note that there is now a Football match at Fulham, Kick off 7.30pm so allow longer if coming by Bus.VENUE: St Clement’s Church Hall,
St Clement’s Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 6DS (near corner of Crabtree Lane)
Buses: 74,220,424,430 (stop outside), 190,211,295 (stop nearby in Lillie Road).
FREE (Non-members £3 includes refreshments)
Thursday, 20 October at 7.30pm
Val Bott will give us a talk on an exhibition at Hogarth’s House, Chiswick .She will use contemporary portraits
to introduce the Hogarth family and their relations by marriage, their servants and household, and their
friends and neighbours in Chiswick, Brentford and Hammersmith who would have visited regularly. The
family acquired Hogarth’s House in 1749 and the last relative, Mary Lewis, lived there until she died in 1808.
The exhibition is open free until 6 November, Tuesdays-Sundays, 12 noon to 5pm. To visit: Hogarth’s House,
Hogarth Lane, Great West Road, W4 2QN. Bus 190
VENUE: St Clement’s Church Hall (see above for details

Next meeting Check your diaries now. Can you make it.?

23 September, 2022

THURSDAY, 29th September at 7.30PM
THE THAMES: ITS MYTHS & MYSTERIES, a talk by Robert Stephenson
The murky Thames, the life blood of London for centuries, has been a focus for sacred rites and popular
superstition since ancient times. This illustrated overview, besides covering the basic facts and figures, will
consider the ritual deposition of artefacts, legends, Cleopatra’s Needle, Deadman’s Hole, the execution of
pirates, modern murders and the Thames Barrier.
Robert Stephenson is a qualified City of London guide and a tour leader at Brompton, Kensal Green and
Margravine cemeteries. He has taught on London for twenty years.
VENUE: St Clement’s Church Hall,
St Clement’s Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road, SW6 6DS (near corner of Crabtree Lane)
Buses: 74,220,424,430 (stop outside), 190,211,295 (stop nearby in Lillie Road).
FREE (Non-members £3 includes refreshments)

Summer/Autumn Newsletter 2022

9 September, 2022

The latest FHHS news letter has been put on the website, but due to lack of webmaster skills can only be found by opening the Newsletter heading on the Websites fromt page and scrolling down to the end of the list of Newsletters. Click on this link to open It contains details of our next talk, and also the Agm agenda etc.

9 September, 2022

Summer Autumn 2022 News;etter.

Please check the new newsletter, which contains details of AGM . talks etc. Open Website and click on the Heading and open. I am trying to send link be email as well..from webmaster


7 March, 2022

Please could members kindly check their membership standing orders. A large number of you failed to notice the increase in your subscriptions for 2022, and consequently are slightly under paid. Please check your newsletter or the website for full rates .

Please credit the one-off extra payment as soon as possible by bank transfer, so we can balance our accounts, and adjust your standing orders for payments if you wish to continue as members and receive our newsletters. Thankyou


7 January, 2022

Those yearning for the days when we had regular visits and talks might want to have a look at Emery Walker’s House website for their Virtual Events. Not the same but interesting while we wait. I wasn’t aware of the T.E. Lawrence connection. Do have a look, their members get a discount.


29 December, 2021

Another article from the pen of Peter Trott showing just how development happened.

Thorpebank Road, Shepherd’s Bush was named after Thorpe Banks, also sometimes written as Thorpebanks or Thorpe-banks. The name originally referred to a large area of land where the northern end of Willow Vale now stands. A large house that was later built on the land was named Thorpebanks.

The earliest record I can find of the property named Thorpebanks is an electoral roll of 1859 listing the artist William Samuel Parkinson Henderson at the property. The 1861 census shows William living there with his wife Emma and two servants. I can find no reference to Thorpebanks in the 1851 census and it is not shown on an 1853 map. This would indicate that the house was built between 1853 and 1859.

On the 1865 OS map it appears as a large estate with ornamental gardens and orchards. The 1871 census lists William Biggar, his wife Jane and their six children living in Thorpe Banks, Willow Vale.

1865 OS map

In November 1881 Thorpe Banks was officially numbered as 24 Willow Vale.

On 30th December 1898 Thorpe Banks, Willow Vale, was sold by William Biggar, journalist, of 91 Shepherds Bush Road, and his mortgagor, to John Williams and William Henry Wallington, contractors of 132 Shepherds Bush Road. The Kelly’s local directory of 1896-7 lists Williams and Wallington as sand merchants, living on the west side of Willow Vale. So presumably they were already in the road when the conveyance took place.

The sale documents stated:

‘….all the piece or parcel of freehold land, parts whereof are, or were, recently covered with water, situate at Willow Vale, Shepherds Bush, in the county of Middlesex, formerly known as The Fisheries, but now as Thorpe Banks …..’

John Salter’s map of 1830

The 1830 map clearly shows a very large brickfield lake that covered the area. The newly created fishery can be seen north of Willow Lodge on the 1848 map by James Wyld. It also appears on a later 1853 Parish map and can be seen as part of the gardens on the 1865 OS map (marked as 77).

James Wyld’s map of 1848

On the 1901 census Thorpe Banks was occupied by crane driver John Starr with his wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth who worked as a laundress, and son William. They were probably the last tenants to live in the house before it was demolished and the land cleared.

1915 OS map

The 1915 OS map clearly shows the vacant plot that was eventually developed as the northern end of Willow Vale.


7 October, 2021

This post is an appeal by Peter Trott for help in finding the family the documents relate to or a relevant home for them. Surely a challenge for all you local history experts out there? Or maybe just local community knowledge? Over to Peter:

Help us find a relative and a home for these family documents and photos.

I help run a local Facebook Group and earlier this year one of our members told us how she had saved these documents and photos from being thrown away. They all centre on a Moynes family who lived in Willow Vale, Shepherd’s Bush. She kindly passed everything to me and since then I have researched the family.

Michael Moynes was born in 1901 and he married Jessie Rabjohn who was born in March 1902. In the 1939 census Michael and Jessie were living at 54 Willow Vale. At the address was also listed Margaret Moynes born 1875; possibly Michaels mother, and Patrick Moynes born 1913; possibly Michaels brother.

Doreen Moynes Documents

Michael and Jessie had a son Michael John Moynes who was born on 15 February 1930 and his birth was registered in Marylebone. Unfortunately I was unable to find him on the 1939 census. The family probably moved to 49 Willow Vale during WW2.

Michael senior joined the RAF around 1942. He was briefly overseas in 1944 and 1945 and after the war was awarded the 1939/45 Star and the France & Germany Star. His son Michael John was a butcher’s roundsman and in 1948 at the age 18 he enlisted in the army. He left the RAOC in 1950.

Michael John Moynes married Doreen Hatton in 1953 and the marriage was registered in Kensington. Doreen had been born in the same area on 10 February 1933 and the family lived at Portland Road, Holland Park.

The couple appear together on the 1954 electoral roll at 49 Willow Vale. Some of the Moynes family were still at the address in 1962. Around that time I found a Michael John Moynes listed in Scotland but there is no way to confirm it was the same person. Doreen died in 1989 and Michael John died in 1995; both deaths were registered in Slough. They do not appear to have had any children.

Michael Moynes Documents

Patrick Moynes married Margaret Patience in 1940 (registered in Hammersmith). They lived at 50 Loftus Road and later moved to 72g Lime Grove. Patrick died in 1973 (registered Hammersmith) and Margaret died in 1986 (registered Ealing). They had three children Patrick (1939/40), John (1941) and Elizabeth (1950). At least one of the siblings appears to have been living at 27 Cathnor Road in 1965.

Elizabeth married Denis A Sheehan in 1969 (registered Hammersmith). Tragically the following year they appear to have had a daughter who died shortly after birth. Evidence suggest they had two other daughters Julie (1971) and Deborah (1973).

Can you help? Do you know any of the names listed?


30 June, 2021

Another interesting, though grisly, article from Peter Trott – a wealth of inforamtion about Shepherd’s Bush. Enjoy.

For as long as I can remember an urban myth has linked public executions to Galloway Road and Gravesend Road in Shepherd’s Bush. However, in the booklet ‘Street Names of Fulham and Hammersmith’ it states that Galloway Road was possibly named after Mr Galloway, an engineer, mentioned by Faulkner in 1839, as having lived in the Goldhawk Road. And Gravesend Road was named after Richard de Gravesend and Stephen de Gravesend who were Bishops of London in the 13th and 14th centuries respectively. But having said that Shepherd’s Bush at one time was a location for public executions.

Up until the late 18th century a huge number of public executions took place at Tyburn which stood on the present junction of the Edgware Road and Bayswater Road. It was common practice for the dead bodies to be hung in metal cages or in chains from gibbets on roads leading to London as a warning to potential criminals.

An unnamed inn once stood in the vicinity of what is now Shepherd’s Bush Green and it was recorded as the only house standing between Acton and The Kensington Gravel Pits. Rocque’s map c1745 does show a building on the north of the Green. The map also clearly shows one single and one double gallows or gibbet at the eastern end of the Green. Records state that they stood on a piece of waste ground known as Gallows Close. The Athenaeum magazine once reported:

at the east corner of Shepherd’s Bush Common two ghastly gibbets reared their disgusting height, and held, rocking in the wind, the rattling bones of murderers hung in chains’

Shepherd’s Bush Gibbets

In 1737 a black man named Jeffery Morat was arrested for burglary with violence at the house of the Marquis of Lindsay. He died in prison. A private soldier by the name of Maw was hanged at Tyburn for the murder of a watchman at Shepherds Bush. The bodies of both men were hung in chains at Shepherds Bush. A public journal dated March 12th, 1737 stated:

On Sunday last thousands of people went to Shepherd’s Bush to see Maw, the Soldier, and Morat, the Black, hung in chains. The roads were perfectly lined with People and several had their pockets picked under the gibbet. The Black hangs in a very indecent manner: he has nothing over his face, but quite exposed, with his mouth wide open, and his swelled tongue hanging out, and looks very frightful. He is hung in his green livery, but without shoes or stockings. The Soldier has a white cloth over his face, and hangs more decent. There were several gallons of gin sold on that road all Sunday, not only by Running Distillers with bottles, but almost every hundred yards was a stall with gingerbread and gin’

Ten years later Richard Ashcroft and John Cook were caught smuggling brandy and tea in Eastbourne. They were held at Newgate Prison and executed on 29 July 1747 at Tyburn. Their dead bodies were also hung in chains at Shepherd’s Bush.

The General Evening Post dated 29 July 1747 announced:

Yesterday morning about eight o’clock Richard Ashcraft and John Cook, the two smugglers, were carried under a strong detachment of the guards, from Newgate to Tyburn, and executed pursuant to their sentence; after which their bodies were hung on a gibbet at Shepherd’s Bush, in the Acton Road, near James Hall, who was executed some time since for the murder of his master, Counsellor Penny’

James Hall had been executed for the murder in 1741 and this account indicates that his body had been hanging on the gibbet for six years.

Two un-named highwaymen were executed at Shepherds Bush in 1748. Reports suggest four further bodies were hung in chains between 1747 and 1751. One of these was a smuggler named Samuel Austin – his body was gibbeted in December 1747 and the Morning Advertiser reported:

the body of Samuel Austin the smuggler, who was executed on Monday last at Tyburn, was afterwards hung in chains at Shepherd’s Bush, on the same gibbet with the two lately executed’

On 29 August 1751 Robert Steel murdered his wife at Brick Street Hanover Square and was subsequently sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. He appears to have been the last reported person to be hung on a gibbet at Shepherds Bush.

Rocque’s map also shows two further double gallows or gibbets standing at the junction of Starch Green (Becklow Road) and the North High Way (Uxbridge Road). The approximate position would be close to where the Princess Victoria pub now stands. I found no reference to these, but it could be the site where Ashcroft, Cook and Hall were gibbeted as the report states the site was in the Acton Road.

Starch Green Gibbet

There are no records of the number of criminals executed in Shepherd’s Bush but the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1856 reported:

there were gallows and occasional executions at Shepherd’s Bush, when Tybourn succeeded St Giles’

Finally the Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser of Tuesday, March 26, 1765 reported from the previous year:

Saturday night last the only remaining gibbet at Shepherds Bush was blown down, so that place remains now without any marks of ignominy upon it; which has not before happened for a century past”