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.
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 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.
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.
For those, like our Contact Us enquirers Dr Giz Mariner, Norman Lippitt, David Drew and Peter Dazeley, who are interested in Fulham Pottery then the LBHF Archives have a wealth of information. Specifically:
1869-1969: ledgers, day, cash, letter, time, wages, sales, stock and despatch books, misc corresp, price lists, copies of plans
Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre
NRA 16821 Fulham Pottery
1901-1978: corresp, ledgers, wills and catalogues
Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and Local History Centre
There is the Fulham & Hammersmith Historical Society Archaeological Section (Occassional Paper 1) published in 1974. The Fulham Pottery, a preliminary account by V.R.Christophers, D.C. Haselgrove and O.H.J. Pearcey, also in the archive.
Also the following book may be of use if you can obtain it:
The Journal of Ceramic History number 11 John Dwight’s pottery 1672 to 1978 a collection of documentary sources published Stoke-on-Trent Museum 1979 edited by Dennis Hazelgrove and John Murray.
The following oil paintings are from the Burgess collection.
Posted here for reference as the Contact Us files are only temporary.
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.
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!
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.
During the present restrictions I’m taking walks for exercise but also hoping to discover more, as I walk, about local history.
Today I’m starting out from home in Brackenbury Village, walking briskly through side streets and making sure to keep my distance from other people according to the rules.
I’m going up Iffley Road and noticing that work is commencing again on No. 41 which is being refurbished and renovated for up-to-date studio space. When I first moved to the area I was stunned by the wonderful
which is in a 15th century Venetian Gothic style. Quite unexpected in an ordinary residential road. I’ve learned that the original Mission Hall was built in 1883-4 by the architect H.R. Gough before the rest of the street and is Grade 2 listed. There is a blue plaque to the scenic artist John Campbell who worked here. Sadly most of the façade is at present hidden behind scaffolding but you can see the very top from the road. I can’t wait for the work to be finished!
I’m now heading down Sycamore Gardens towards Goldhawk Road. I really like the almshouses with their pleasant outside space. What I’ve learnt is that Sycamore House was built in 1950 and renovated in 2012. It is supported by what was originally Dr Edwards’s and Bishop King’s Fulham Charity and is now Hammersmith United Charities. John King was Bishop of London from 1611 to 1621. In his will he left £20 to be bestowed upon the poor of the parish at the discretion of his wife. The first distribution of “a twopenny loafe of breed and a pice of befe to eleven poor people of Fulham and fourteen poor people of Hammersmith” was made on Easter Eve 1623.
On I go across Goldhawk Road and then left along Lime Grove. The very impressive façade on the left was originally that of
Hammersmith Public Baths. The full name is still proudly displayed on the façade. Apparently it opened in 1906. The website “Finding Lidos: Dive into lost Lidos” tells me that “the walls were lined with glazed tiles and the bath was converted into a public hall on some occasions often staging boxing matches.” During the first World War it served as a public food kitchen. It is now apparently converted into residential flats.
On the right are Gaumont Terrace and Gainsborough Court. I’m pleased that the original names remain from the film studios that were here from 1915. Alfred Hitchcock made “The 39 Steps” here in 1935 and David Lean and Michael Powell worked here. When I lived in Shepherds Bush I remember the impressive Gaumont Towers which dominated the surrounding streets. They were demolished in 1993. I’m surprised that I don’t remember that happening as it must have been a very noisy and dramatic affair!
Now across Uxbridge Road and left down Frithville Gardens. There are tall trees in the distance at the end of the road which look quite promising. Yes…it is a park… Hammersmith Park (although it is in Shepherds Bush!). There is a small rock garden with a bridge and a pool. An unexpectedly calm space with beautiful trees and plants. The notice board tells me that it
was the site of the 1908 Olympic Games and the Japan British Exhibition in 1910. The rock garden is on the site of a traditional Japanese garden and it still has a Japanese feel to it. The avenue of traditional stone lanterns is unfamiliar to me: apparently it was added in 2018 together with an authentic Japanese gateway by the Japan Society, the Embassy of Japan and various local businesses and Japanese companies. The original gateway from 1910 is now in Kew Gardens as part of a Garden of Harmony. That gateway was restored in 1996 before creation of the Japanese landscape around it at Kew.
Just around the corner is the QPR football stadium. Maybe I’ll go back home another way past the stadium and down Bloemfontein Road. The South African street names are interesting: most people think that they relate to the British Commonwealth and Franco British exhibitions of 1908.
I’ve enjoyed my walk. As well as appreciating being out of doors I have learnt quite a bit about the local area. I’m sure that there is much that I have missed and so I will be walking that way again soon!
II – POSTSCRIPT
Quick as a flash these old photos came to hand, hope they add some flavour if not colour.
As you think of Victory in Europe it is worth a flick through the pages put together by LBHF Archivist.
Also the Flikr collection.
There is an article on the parks during and after the war.
As you would expect it only gets the briefest of mentions in the last pages of our book Fulham in the Second World War.
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?