E & A Wates Go Into The PPE Business

Our last monthly meeting in March was an excellent talk by Roger Wates from the well-established Tooting firm E & A Wates. He has just sent me news on what the company is doing during lockdown, which is quite amazing.



NHS staff wearing the reusable visors during COVID-19, April 2020. Visors have been delivered to 21 hospitals including St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. Photo reproduced with permission.

In its 120th year, SW London interior specialist E & A Wates has switched their workshop furniture restoration work from high quality reupholstery to critical personal protective equipment (PPE).

E & A Wates showroom and workshop are temporarily closed in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). This week, with teams working at a safe distance behind the scenes, E & A Wates have supplied and cut foam to assist in making over 4,300 visors for NHS frontline staff within 21 hospitals in London and neighbouring counties with potential for another 2,500 components if required.

The visors are being made in conjunction with a prop maker Faye Jones and over 60 colleagues who crowdsourced the project so the visors can be donated to NHS hospital staff, the visors can be sterilised and reused after each shift. So far the group have made 6650 visors with 3200 planned for production this Easter weekend




Upholsterer Tomas Kilty works in isolation at E & A Wates workshop in Streatham, London cutting foam to make reusable visors for NHS staff during COVID-19. Photo © E & A Wates
Foam headbands at E & A Wates workshop in Streatham, London ready to be delivered to the visor-making team (60 separate makers) who have distributed 3990 visors (3165 to London Hospitals and 825 to neighbouring counties) made a further 2660 and have planned production of 3200 this Easter weekend during COVID-19. Photo © E & A Wates

John David Hayward,Stained Glass Artist of Tooting

John Hayward was a 20th Century stained glass artist. Born in Tooting in 1929, he went to Bec Grammar School (now Ernest Bevin School) in Beechcroft Road. Inspired by his art teacher, Jack Levin, he went to St Martins School of Art. There are over 200 churches in Britain which have stained glass designed by John Hayward.

In the 1950s, John Hayward designed three windows for Bec Grammar. They are now mounted above the entrance to Ernest Bevin College and are shown below.

John Hayward died in 2007. For a full Church Times obituary, see here.

For a gallery of his work around the country, see here.

Picture of stained glass window designed by John Hayward
Lanfranc of Pavia by John Hayward. Displayed at Ernest Bevin College
Stained Glass Window designed by John Hayward. Displayed at Ernest Bevin College.
Example of stained glass window designed by John Hayward
St. Anselm of Aosta. Stained Glass Window designed by John Hayward. Displayed at Ernest Bevin College.

Industry On The River Wandle: Our February Meeting

The River Wandle was once heavily industrialised. It now forms a tranquil backwater through 8 miles of South West London. Come and hear about the industrialisation and de-industrialisation of the Wandle at our next meeting. John Phillips, our speaker, has edited The Wandle Guide and speaks regularly at local history societies.

The meeting is on Tuesday 11th February at 7.30pm at The United Reformed Church in Rookstone Road SW17 9NQ (Details here)

Explore Your Archives: Opening Up the Body Event At St Georges: Thursday 28th November

Picture of a Post Mortem Case Book From 1860
St Georges Post Mortem Book From 1860

We have received details of the following event at St George’s Hospital archives this coming Thursday:

Come along to our Explore Your Archives event for a chance to learn about our Wellcome Trust funded project ‘Opening Up the Body: the Post Mortem Case Books of St George’s Hospital (1841-1946)’.  This event will explore the post mortem examinations and case books alongside other related materials held in the Archives & Special Collections at St George’s, University of London.

Two sessions are available on Thursday 28th November:

13:30 – 14:15 pm

14:45 – 15:30 pm

The event will be hosted at St George’s, University of London. Booking is essential via archives@sgul.ac.uk