Tooting History Group 2018 AGM Report

70 people came to our AGM on Tuesday night. After the AGM business, Graham Gower gave a very interesting talk about the Manor House of Tooting Graveney. He  shared with us some previously unseen photos of the Manor House taken shortly before it was demolished in 1896.

Janet Smith was re-elected Chair for 2018 and she gave the following report on our activities during 2017:

“2017 has been a busy and successful year for Tooting History Group.


  • launched our own website –
  • taken part in the Wandsworth Heritage Festival
  • contributed to the Tooting Common Heritage Project
  • given talks to other local groups
  • organised visits to local places of interest
  • linked up with a local primary school
  • kept an eagle eye on local planning applications & conservation matters


In addition, we’ve held our regular programme of talks. We’ve welcomed guest speakers on topics such as conservation techniques, local sporting venues, the history of St George’s Medical School and Ted Foster VC.


We’ve established a good relationship with the Archivist at St George’s and in October she invited us to the Medical School to see some of the unusual objects kept in the archive. It was a good opportunity for members to socialise away from our usual venue. In November, we were invited by Burntwood School to see their Grade II listed 19th century ice-house and hear about its restoration.  Both visits were free to members of the Group.


Our membership has remained steady at around 65 despite the increase to £10 in our annual subs. We also have 400+ followers on Twitter and 1400+ on Facebook. The addition of the website  to our digital presence provides a valuable focal point for all those interested in Tooting’s history. A big thank-you to Philip Bradley for not only creating it, but first going to an evening-class to learn how to do it!


I’d also like to thank other members of the committee for their continued support and the volunteer time that they give: LIbby Lawson for leading the conservation sub-group; Jane Kellock for looking after the money; Angela Cornes for administering membership and emails; Sue Cutler for organising publicity and refreshments; Andrew Cordani for handling the technology. We’re sorry to be losing Heather van Silver, who’s stepping down for personal reasons. We’re always keen to welcome new blood and new ideas so if you think you have something to offer, please don’t be shy!


There are also times when we need some extra pairs of hands for a special event, so we’ve asked you to say on your membership form whether you’d be willing to help out now and again.


Looking ahead to this year, we  will, for the first time, be holding monthly talks – we hope this will make us a firm fixture in your diaries!  A full list of talks to the end of the year is available tonight and can be viewed on our website: topics include votes for women, a reminiscence evening about the Irish Community in Tooting, the mysterious relationship between Mrs Thrale and Dr Johnson, the Tooting Common Story, and a look-back at the old cinemas of the area. We will also be welcoming Tooting-born author Beryl Kingston for a lively evening of wartime memories.


There will be more visits, including one to the Houses of Parliament at the invitation of our local MP, Rosena Allin-Khan, and more of the best researched walks in Tooting.


We hope you will agree that THG is well worth the membership fee and we look forward to welcoming you to many more of our meetings.”

Janet Smith, Chair THG

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