Tooting…Out Of This World

Picture of Tooting Crater on March
Tooting Crater, Mars (Photo: Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark)

Janet Smith (Vice-Chair, Tooting History Group) has written for us about how Tooting has been put on the map again…on Mars.

Yes, it really is!  Tooting is not only in south London, but also on Mars!

This is entirely thanks to Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark, who grew up in Tooting in the Fifties and Sixties and is now Professor of Geology at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

His special interest is the geology of the Red Planet and because of his analytical work on a new meteorite crater, he was invited to give it a name. All suggestions have to go before the International Astronomical Union and they gave the thumbs up to naming the crater after Peter’s home town.

Map of part of Mars Surface showing Tooting Crater
Map of Mars Surface Showing Tooting Crater (Photo: Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark)

Tooting Crater is about 28 km in diameter and is located to the west of the Olympus Mons volcano – thought to be the largest volcano on Mars. Peter estimates it was formed 3-5 million years ago making it one of the planet’s newest craters.

Picture of Dr Peter Mouginis Mark At Tooting Bec Station
Dr Peter Mouginis-Mark on a trip to Tooting (July 2006)

Many thanks to Peter’s brother David for alerting us to this wonderful story!

You can find out more about Tooting Crater here.

Tooting Bec Common Cafe Bank Holiday Celebrations

Over 100 local residents joined the Mayor of Wandsworth to mark the 120th anniversary of the Cafe on Tooting Bec Common on Bank Holiday Monday. A historic board giving the history of the cafe was unveiled by the Mayor and much delicious cake (and cupcake) was eaten. Janet Smith (Chair, Tooting History Group) led a short walk to the newly renovated fossilised tree by the lake. Peter Ramell (Chair, Friends of Tooting Common) provided a quiz. The event was jointly organised by Tooting History Group and The Friends of Tooting Common.

27th August 2018

Over 100 local residents at the Cafe 120th Celebrations (Photo:Marion Gower)


27th August 2018

The birthday cake made by Francesca from the Cafe. (Photo Marion Gower)

27th August 2018

The Mayor cuts the ribbon on the new historic board at the cafe. Janet Smith (Chair THG) and Andy Flegg( Tooting Common Heritage Project) looking on. (Photo Marion Gower).

27th August 2018

The newly refurbished fossilised tree by the lake (Photo Marion Gower)

Ice House At Burntwood School Wins Council Design Award

The recently restored Grade 2 listed ice house at Burntwood School, Tooting has been awarded a design award by Wandsworth Council. The Council Press release announcing the award cites”a ‘flawless’ restoration of a grade II listed ice house that was on the Heritage at Risk Register.”

You can read the Press Release here.

You can read a report on the THG visit to the Ice House in November 2017 here.

Photo of interior of the ice house looking down to the drain in the brick-lined floor.

Looking down to the brick-lined floor of the ice house with the drain in the centre.

THG Visit To Springfield/Burntwood Ice House 28th November 2017

14 members and friends of the Tooting History Group visited the Springfield/Burntwood Ice House on the morning of 28th November 2017. The ice house is in the grounds of Burntwood School, Burntwood Lane. We were very warmly welcomed by Helen Dorfman, Head Teacher and Cath Brookes, Deputy Head and Head of History. They gave us an informative presentation which had been prepared by history students in the school for Governors.

The ice house is Grade 2 listed and for a long time was on the heritage at risk register (details here). However, this year the school has arranged clearance and restoration of the ice house using money from the developers of the nearby Springfield Hospital site.  We were able to see the rebuilt entrance way and look down into the brick-lined ice house. We also saw some of the late 19th and early 20th century objects which had been retrieved during the restoration.

Photo of members of Tooting History Group at the entrance to the ice house

Members of Tooting History group at the Springfield ice House November 2017.

Photo of brick-lined entrance passage to the ice house.

The reconstructed entrance passage to the ice house.

Photo of interior of the ice house looking down to the drain in the brick-lined floor.

Looking down to the brick-lined floor of the ice house with the drain in the centre.

The brick dome of the ice house is being covered with a layer of topsoil prior to being turfed over. The entrance has been reconstructed and you can see where the original brickwork meets the reconstruction. We were reassured that 19th Century bricks have been used at £30 each! The view of the floor shows the drain hole for meltwater from the ice, which the builder advised us was still working.

The ice house has a claim to being the oldest built structure in Tooting. However, not much is known about Springfield House which the ice house was attached to. Quite a lot is known about Springfield Farm which was incorporated into the grounds of Springfield Hospital when it was built in 1841.







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