Balham To Tooting Bec Trail And Podcast Launch

Where is the stone pineapple on Balham High Road? Who is the Mayor of Balham? Where did an IRA bomb go off in Balham? Find out on Saturday 28th April in a walk starting at Irene House (next to Balham Station/St Mary’s Church) at 12 midday.  Neighbourhood Network SW12/SW17 have launched a trail and podcast from Balham Station to Tooting Bec. (Details here).

Poster For Balham-Tooting Bec Trail

Poster For Balham To Tooting Bec Trail

Balham To Tooting Bec Trail And Podcast Launched

Image for promoting Balham To Tooting Bec Trail

Balham To Tooting Bec Trail Artwork

The Balham to Tooting Bec Trail, podcast and map is a fascinating self-guided historical walk – and we hope that you will join in, take part and enjoy it. This circular walk takes you from Balham station to Tooting Bec and back again – on the Podcast those who live and work here tell you their stories and you can use this with the beautiful map that shows you the way. Did you know:

  • That we have here the only sewing machine museum in the world?
  • That the self-styled mayor of Balham lives here, or
  • That you had to have an interview before you could rent a flat here?

So do please join in and take part- access the Podcast at or download it at soudcloud or itunes

Download the map at the website or pick it up at local shops and the library. You can borrow an MP3 player from Balham library if you do not have a Smartphone. You can do the walk alone, or with friends and/or family – it takes about an hour in all and there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments along the way.

Or, if you can why don’t you join us on the launch walk on Saturday April 28th 2018 meeting at midday at Irene House (next door to St Mary and St John the Divine church)

We hope that you would like to use this trail. Please could you forward this information to all those who might be interested- we really hope that this is a well-used community resource.

The Neighbourhood Network SW12 and SW17 trail team

Summerstown182 January 2018 Update: Calendar of Events

Saturday 24th February 2pm

‘Wandle Wake Up’ Guided Walk
Starts 2pm at St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon Road, SW17 0UQ
An entertaining and informative ramble through the industrial heartland of the Summerstown182 alongside the River Wandle and its nearby streets, featuring some of the words of the poet Edward Thomas who passed through here in 1913 ‘In Pursuit of Spring’. Also on the agenda; The Corruganza Girls, Wimbledon Stadium, the Lost Streets of Earlsfield, the Watercress Queen, Copper Mill Lane and the special place where the waters of the Wandle and the Graveney meet.

Saturday 24th March 2pm
Your chance to contribute to the placing of a historic plaque commemorating local jazz pioneer Sadie Crawford

‘Sadie’s Swinging Tooting’ Guided Walk
charge – Starts 2pm at Edward VII statue outside Tooting Broadway tube station

A grand tour of local historical hot-spots, celebrating the world of jazz pioneer Sadie Crawford. One of the first women to play with the likes of Louis Armstrong, she featured in a recent BBC Radio 4 programme called ‘The Lost Women of British Jazz’. She will be the first woman commemorated in Tooting in this way, so we’ve dubbed this initiative #FirstLadySadie. Born Louisa Marshall in 1885, the youngest of seven children, Sadie spent her early life in a tiny house on Fountain Road. Scrubbing floors at the age of eleven, she escaped domestic service through music, dance and the London stage. She played all over the world with some of the greatest stars of the jazz age and spent the last thirty years of her life in America. Play your part in raising funds to pay for a plaque for this remarkable, inspirational woman by attending one of the guided walks lined up over the next months. ‘Sadie’s Swinging Tooting’ on 24th March, starts at 2pm from outside Tooting Broadway tube station. It takes in key locations in her early life and will stop at her childhood home. The Walk will include many other historical hot-spots with a particular focus on entertainment; the local personalities, cinemas, dance-halls and meeting places that were springing up in this area around one hundred years ago. If you can’t make this date, we will be doing another very similar fundraising walk a few months later, hopefully as part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival, details to be confirmed. We are indebted to Sadie’s relatives, the Willis family and historian Howard Rye for their support in this initiative.


Saturday 21st April 2pm
Summerstown182 Guided Walk featuring Streatham Cemetery

‘Summerstown High Fliers’

Starts 2pm at St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon Road, SW17 0UQ

Its one hundred years since the founding of the Royal Air Force. That seems like a good moment to highlight some of Summerstown’s airmen and women, some of whom rest in the delightful Streatham Cemetery. These include an original ‘Top Gun’ from the First World War called Captain Gilbert ‘Gibb’ Mapplebeck whose local connection and daring deeds only recently came to light thanks to The Cemetery Club. We’ll also be visiting the ‘Magnificent Seven’ graves commemorating women including WAAF, Beryl Troke and hearing the stories of four Summerstown182 who served in the Royal Flying Corps. All that and the almost unbelievable story of WW2 Hurricane hero and human cannonball, Flight Officer Paddy Flynn.


Tuesday 16th June 2pm

Sadie Crawford Plaque Unveiling Event

At 143 Fountain Road, Tooting, SW17

Plans are underway for a spectacular unveiling ceremony on Saturday 16th June, attended by her family, special guests and musical accompaniment. Everyone is welcome!

Summerstown182 Flier For Next Plaque Unveiling

Sadie Crawford Plaque Unveiling

Saturday 10th November 11am
A very special Summerstown182 Guided Walk to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War

‘Walk of Remembrance’

Starts 11am at St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon Road, SW17 0UQ

Walking in the footsteps of the Summerstown182, stopping at their homes, telling their stories. This unique ‘double circuit’ covers the Earlsfield area in the morning, Tooting in the afternoon. The Walk will finish with a viewing of the war memorial in St Mary’s Church.





Historic Day In Tooting-London To Brighton Passes Through

The annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run takes place every year on the first Sunday in November. Usually it runs down the main A23 Brighton Road through Streatham, but this year due to a burst water main in Brixton, the run was diverted to run through Tooting. The run leaves Hyde Park at 7am onwards, and from 7.30 the veteran cars started to appear on the road through Tooting. This took Tooting somewhat by surprise  and only a few hardy souls were waiting at Tooting Broadway station when the first cars came through. There was a mix of petrol, diesel and steam driven vehicles and even a few penny farthings. 600 vehicles take part in the run and soon there was a steady stream. Below are some photos of the early cars coming past Tooting Broadway station. Will it come through Tooting again? Well if they don’t repair the water main in Brixton, perhaps next year?

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2017

Outside The Castle Pub Tooting 5th November 2017

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Tooting 5th November 2017

Young and old Participants Took Part

Car breaks down in Tooting on Veteran Car Run

Break down in Tooting

Lady following directions through Tooting

No Sat Nav So Follow The Directions Carefully

Pedestrians found it difficult to cross the road .

Difficult To Cross Tooting High Street

Antarctic Talk And Exhibition At St Georges Hospital November 23rd

A talk and exhibition about Dr. Edward Wilson, who accompanied Scott to the Antarctic, is taking place at St George’s Hospital. The talk is on Thursday 23rd November at 7pm and the exhibition is open Friday-Sunday 24-26 November. Edward Wilson studied at St. George’s Hospital when it was based at Hyde Park Corner and accompanied Scott to the Antarctic in 1912.  Tickets for the talk are £10 and can be purchased here.

Dr Edward Wilson talk St Georges Hospital 23rd November 2017

Poster For Edward Wilson Talk