The Society offers a varied programme of talks and other events.
We hold regular monthly meetings, usually with a gap in the summer and a Christmas party in December. Our talks, and the discussions that follow, deal with a range of matters of local concern or otherwise likely to be of interest to members.
Unless otherwise indicated, meetings, usually held on the second Thursday of the month at 7.45 for 8.00 (with refreshments available), are free and open to all, with no booking required. Our regular venue is West Side Church, Melody Road SW18 2QQ – corner of Allfarthing Lane, opposite Wandsworth Preparatory School (the former Alvering Library).
Other events from time to time include a programme of walks, outings to places of interest and social events – the latter including the Society's 'soirees' (informal evenings for musical or other performances, usually held in a member's home). All such events may require prior booking, sometimes involve a fee and may be restricted to Society members and their guests.
All Society members receive occasional e-mail communications – ‘alerts', reminders about events or news of any last-minute changes to the planned programme – from email@example.com. Members also receive an electronic PDF version of our Newsletter, published five times a year, plus a bumper (printed) ‘Bedside’ edition in December. A printed copy of the Newsletter can be provided as well (distributed either by Society volunteers or through the post). If we have your e-mail address, it will only be used for Society purposes and not passed to anyone else. But you can of course ‘unsubscribe’ from Society e-mails, if you prefer.
Society meetings (other than walks and visits – see below)
Thursday 14 September
Britain's railways - past, present and future, a talk by Chritian Wolmar.
Christian is an award-winning author, journalist and broadcaster on transport matters, including railway history and Government transport policies. His latest book, to be published in November, is Railways and the Raj.
Thursday 12 October
Reflections on the NHS,
a talk with Sir David Henshaw.
David, interim Chair of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for a year until this April, has held senior NHS appointments since 1999. Previously Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council, he was appointed Chair of National Museums Liverpool earlier this year.
Thursday 9 November
HM Prison, Wandsworth – a changing institution,
a talk with Jeanne Bryant, who was recently appointed Governor of the prison.
Friday 8 December, 7.30 for 8pm
Christmas Party at St Anne’s Church Hall
Our ‘performers’ for the evening, and booking arrangements, will be announced in the autumn. (This event will be for Society members and their guests only.)
Walks and Visits
Tuesday 19 September
The Wandle, climate change – and our sewers!, a walk and talk with Joanna Ecclestone, Wandle Rain Gardens Project Officer, London Wildlife Trust. A short (hour-and-a-half) amble along the northern end of the Wandle, discussing the ecology of the river, how climate change is affecting it, and what we can do to mitigate the impacts. Meet at 5.30pm in Earlsfield at the Penrith Road junction with Garratt Lane, opposite The Wandle of Earlsfield. We will walk north towards Wandsworth town centre, ending with a visit to the Wendlesworth Estate to see some climate change resilience projects that have been carried out there.
This event is the Society’s contribution to Wandle Fortnight which runs from Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 September and includes over 60 community events during the 15 days. For other events see here. Why not also walk in the footsteps of William Morris, Nelson, Thomas à Becket – or even discover Wilderness Island? The River Wandle is ‘our’ river, available to be enjoyed by all local residents. Its preservation and enhancement are of course major concerns of the Society, as we regularly remind our Councillors.
Also of interest
Open House London, 16 - 17 September.
Buildings open in our area include Burntwood, Emmanuel and Graveney Schools, the Quaker Friends Meeting House, the Tara Theatre, Tooting Lido and the recently rehoused Wandsworth Prison Museum. Go to https://openhouselondon.open-city.org.uk to find details of these locations and many others both locally and in the rest of London
At 533 Old York Road, the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery is showing from 8 September until 8 October the work of Richard Stone: "Everywhen". You can read more about this exhibition (and future ones) at www.kristinhjellegjerde.com.
Further west and nearer the Thames, the Maestro Arts Gallery in Wandsworth's Riverside Quarter, which organizes a wide range of arts events in various locations, is also worth discovering, if you do not know it – see www.maestroarts.com for further information.
A local heritage walk
A short ‘heritage’ walk beside the River Wandle was led for the Society by Shirley Passmore, our President, in 2014 and attracted some 40 people. The walk took us along the Causeway from the Armoury pub on Armoury Way to Feathers Wharf (via the listed II* Wentworth House in Dormay Street), across the Causeway Bridge over Bell Lane Creek and along the temporary riverside walk to the Thames. If you would like to guide yourself on this walk, Shirley’s notes on the walk and history of the area, including some (but not all!) recent developments, are available here.