The History of Wandsworth Common




Videos, Talks &  . . . 


Seasons Greetings, 2023 — video

A sleigh ride over a snowy Wandsworth Common around 1905 — images from local photographers (particularly Bellevue's Dorrett & Martin) set to The Ronettes' version of Sleigh Ride:





[Click on image to view — redirects to Vimeo.]

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More Friends of Wandsworth Common videos here . . . 


Women patients in the Surrey Pauper Lunatic Asylum, c.1851.

[Sorry, no video available yet.]





(Click on image to see the entire photograph.)

On 1 December I gave a short talk to the Wandsworth Historical Society on a series of photographs of women in the Surrey Pauper Lunatic Asylum. They were taken by the remarkable psychiatrist Hugh Welch Diamond, Superintendent of Women, c.1851.

I brought the story up to date by exploring some of the ways these images of incarcerated girls and women are being used (and even faked) today. Many are now displayed in art galleries throughout the world, or featured on mugs, tee shirts and shopping bags (a fact which I find rather disturbing).


Two talks on Victorian and Edwardian photography for The Friends of Wandsworth Common

In October, I gave two talks on pioneering local photographers to/for the Friends of Wandsworth Common. As usual, they were filmed by the wonderful John Crossland — thanks, John! You should be able to view the videos on the Friends website.

Dorrett & Martin

On Tuesday 24 October, at Naturescope, Chris Allies and I talked about the amazing Battersea photographer Paul Martin, including his partnership with Harry Dorrett at their studio facing the Common at 16 Bellevue Road ("Athol House"). They opened up in 1899. Martin pioneered the use of 'snapshots' taken with a hidden camera and images taken with very long exposures at night.







Paul Martin, "Surrey Tavern (on Trinity Road), Wandsworth Common, 1896. The negative of this was taken by moonlight (40 minutes exposure). Keep rather bright and strong."

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"Seeing and Believing: Pioneering photographers on and around Wandsworth Common, 1845—1875"

Including Geoffrey Bevington, Hugh Welch Diamond, Peter Le Neve Foster, Lewis Carroll, John Thomson, and Henry Morris.





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Turf Wars II

Turf Wars —How Sport Transformed Wandsworth Common, Part II.

Video of a talk to/for the Friends of Wandsworth Common, Tuesday 29 November 2022. There's still more to be said, so, who knows, there may even be a Part III.


Turf Wars I

Turf Wars —How Sport Transformed Wandsworth Common, Part I

Video of a talk to/for the Friends of Wandsworth Common, Tuesday 29 November 2022.


The Black Sea: Birth, Life, Death

The Black Sea: Birth, Life, Death (video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, 18 October 2022).


Maps and the Making of Wandsworth Common

Maps and the Making of Wandsworth Common (video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, April 2022).


Magical History Tour: From "The Beeches" to the "Belgian" Congo

Magical History Tour: From "The Beeches" to the "Belgian" Congo (video of talk to the Friends of Wandsworth Common, 18 January 2022).


Victorian Photographer Geoffrey Bevington and the Search for Ivy House

Victorian Photographer Geoffrey Bevington and the Search for Ivy House —video of Zoom talk to the Wandsworth Historical Society, 26 November 2021.


Down with the Fences Part II

Down with the Fences Part II (May 2021).

[Redirects to Friends of Wandsworth Common.]


Down with the Fences Part I

Down with the Fences Part I (March 2021) [link and info to be added].

[Redirects to Friends of Wandsworth Common.]


WaterWorld

Wandsworth Common / WaterWorld (March 2021) [link and info to be added].

[Redirects to Friends of Wandsworth Common.]


What a Carve Up

What a Carve Up (January 2021) [link and info to be added].

[Redirects to Friends of Wandsworth Common.]


The Hidden History of Loxley Road

My very first video talk, in the early days of the first lock-down:

The Hidden History of Loxley Road (2020).

[Redirects to YouTube.]


Some video shorts . . . 

The Lake

A couple of years ago I made a short video (my first) from Edwardian postcards and photographs of the lake, set to music by Claude Debussy, which you can view here. Utterly self-indulgent.

The Lake is also known as the Dog Pond, the Long Pond, or just 'the Pond'.




And here's one on the Three-Island Pond




Even more videos, talks etc . . . 

P.Y. Betts: The Movie. Superb. Don't miss.

[Redirects to Friends of Wandsworth Common.]


"COMMON MEMORIES: Life on & around Wandsworth Common, 1930s-1980s"



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COMMON MEMORIES — Life on & around Wandsworth Common, 1930s—1980s

6/2023 — Over the past year, members of the Friends of Wandsworth Common Heritage group, led by Ros Page, have interviewed lifelong residents of the Common to explore their life and experiences and how the Common used to be.

The interviews were all filmed by John Crossland and the more than 20 hours of footage beautifully and sensitively edited down into this 'charming and engaging' film by Rosa Navas, a local film maker and Friend.

The film is interspersed with old images and film clips, bringing alive the narrative of the interviewees. The result is a fascinating insight into how life on Wandsworth Common has changed over five decades.

With special thanks to the production team led by Ros Page, including Stephen Midlane, Henrietta Gentilli, Louise Murphy, John Turner, cameraman John Crossland and editor Rosa Navas.

The film was launched on 6 June 2023 in the Fiennes Theatre, Emanuel School, and special thanks are due to Lisa Irwin and the school for their very generous support.

The video is now available to view via the Friends of Wandsworth Common website or on YouTube .

A DVD is also available, at £5.


Send me an email if you enjoyed this post, or want to comment on something you've seen or read on the site, or would like to know more —or just want to be kept in touch.

Philip Boys ("History Boys")


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