Tooting Commons have a long and controversial history of legal, political and financial conflict. Who runs the Common? Is it a Common or a park? Who sets the rules? How was it used in wartime? As part of The Wandsworth Heritage Festival, join Tooting History Group on a leisurely walk round the Common to hear about some of the extraordinary people and events that have helped to create this much-loved open space.
The walk is part of the HLF-funded Tooting Common Heritage Project and takes place on Saturday 9th June at 2.30pm. Meet at the newly refurbished fountain on Tooting Bec Road near the junction with Dr. Johnson Avenue.
Please book online at Eventbrite here.
Beryl Kingston, best-selling Tooting author, has blogged about her recent excellent evening at the Tooting History Group. You can read her engaging and upbeat account here.
Beryl Kingston, best-selling author from Tooting, entertained our May monthly meeting with her stories of wartime Tooting. Beryl spoke about the innovative and quirky teaching techniques at Rosa Bassett School (then Streatham Secondary School), the goings-on at the beauty parades at the Granada Cinema and the characters from Tooting market.
We had an eye-witness account of dogfights over Croydon airport and a vivid account of being evacuated to Harpenden in a chauffeur-driven limousine.
We also heard how the latest news travelled via the conductors on the trams during wartime, including news of the bombing of Balham underground. Beryl lived in Longley Road and above the off-licence on the corner of Church Lane.
Most movingly, Beryl spoke about going to see a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie at the Mayfair Cinema and watching the grim scenes from the Belsen Concentration Camp on the Pathe news reel.
You can stay in touch with Beryl via her blog here.
What was “A Penny For The Grotta”? What was stored in the Rosa Bassett school hall during the blitz? Why did your PE teacher disappear whilst you were sunbathing on the netball courts? Find out from Beryl Kingston, best selling Tooting-born author, at our next monthly meeting. Beryl spoke at Tooting Library in October last year and entertained us with her tales of life in Tooting, including evacuation and return to Tooting, the 1945 General Election and how she met her husband.
The meeting is on Tuesday 8th May at 7.30 pm in The United Reform Church, Rookstone Road, SW17 9NQ.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 18th April at 7.30pm. Geraldine Kelly will be talking about the history of allotments in Tooting. We look forward to seeing you at the United Reform Church, Rookstone Road, Tooting, SW17 9NQ. A map of the venue is here.
Our next meeting is Tuesday 13th March at 7.30pm in The United Reform Church, Rookstone Road, Tooting , SW17 9NQ. We will be talking about memories of the Irish Community in Tooting.