Tooting Common cafe 120th anniversary: quiz answers

Thanks to Peter Ramell from Friends Of Tooting Common for providing the quiz last Monday. Here are the answers.


Q1.  When was the cafe built?   (1.   1918       2.      1878       3.      1898)

Answer is  3 – 1898



Q2. How many Tooting Commons are there?   (1.    One    2.    Two   3.    Three)

Answer is  2 – Two   [They are Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common]



Q3. There is a pond on Tooting Common where Elmbourne Road meets Tooting Bec Rd. What is it known as?   (1. The Ecology Pond.  2. The Old Yachting Pond.   3. Both)

Answer is  3 – Both



Q4.  What was the annual rent paid to run the cafe for the first three years after its opening?

(1.     £25      2.     £15         3.    £125)

Answer is 1  – £25



Q5. The Friends of Tooting Common do bat walks on the Common in summer and have heard lots of bats hunting insects. Which bats have we heard? Circle all those you think are right

(1. Pipistrelle.     2. Daubenton.    3.  Soprano pipistrelle)

Answer is all three



Q6.   When the cafe opened, how much (in “old ” money) would a tea, lemonade and two hot chocolates (all together) have cost?  (1.  2 old pennies (d)    2. 8 old pennies (d) 3.  4 old pennies)

Answer is 3 – 4 old pennies (d) 



Q7. Dr Johnson’s Avenue is named after Dr Johnson, who crossed the Common to visit friends. How did he travel?    (1. Horse & cart.     2. Riding on a bike      3.  Riding on a horse)

Answer is 3 – riding on a horse



Q8. There is a fossil tree on the Common, near the “main” pond. Who put it there?

(1. The Victorians    2.  The Romans     3. The Edwardians)

Answer is 1 – The Victorians



Q9.   What long distance path runs across the Common, crossing Bedford Hill at the path just north of the cafe, and running towards the Lido car park?

(1.   London Loop    2.   North Downs Way    3.   Capital Ring)

Answer is  3 – Capital Ring



Q10.  What is the architectural structure of the cafe usually known as?

(1.   Half-boarded     2.   Half-timbered     3.   Square-framed)

Answer is 2 – Half-timbered


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)

Mrs. Thrale And Dr Johnson: Our July Talk

Poster For July 2018 Meeting

Dr Samuel Johnson was a regular visitor to the Streatham Park Estate next to Tooting Bec Common where he met with Mrs. Hester Thrale and her circle. He had his own room set aside and would drink up to 23 cups of tea a day. But what did they talk about? Come to our July meeting and find out.

Dr Cassie Ulph from Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, will be talking about “Mrs Thrale and Dr Johnson: The Strange Story of the Mistress of Streatham Park and  man-of-letters Dr Johnson” at our next meeting on July 10th at 7.30pm. Venue details here.


Big Turnout For Tooting History Group Heritage Festival Walk

30 people joined Tooting History Group members on a walk around Tooting Common as part of the Wandsworth Heritage Festival last Saturday. We highlighted the recently restored fountain, Second World War events, the Lido and fossilised Tree, and Dr Samuel Johnson’s connections with the Common amongst other points of interest.


Janet Smith,our Chair, relating the history of the refreshment hut on Tooting Bec Common, June 9 2018. Photo Andrew Cordani


Philip Bradley tells a tale of how a crowd ripped up the fencing put up by the Lord of the Manor of Tooting Graveney. THG Walk on 9 June 2018. Photo Andrew Cordani.


Cynthia Pullin tells the story of how the newly restored fountain came to be on the Common. THG Walk 9 June 2018. Photo Andrew Cordani.


Paul Gander tells how the Second World War impacted on Tooting Commons with both rockets descending and ascending. THG Walk 9 June 2018. Photo Andrew Cordani.


The Tooting Common Story: Walk Around Tooting Commons Saturday 9th June

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.

Poster Advertising THG Walk Tooting Common June 2018

Tooting Commons Walk Poster June 2018