Stories about the Twentieth century

Charlotte Despard
Charlotte Despard was born in 1844 and had a successful career as a romantic novelist; but it's not for this reason that Charlotte Despard Avenue in Battersea is named after her...
John Archer, Mayor
In 1913, John Archer was elected Mayor of Battersea, winning by a single vote. He was already well-known for his radical politics and opposition to spiritualism; and the election made him even...
Red Scum
In the middle of the 1970s, the National Front (an ancestor of the British National Party) circulated a newspaper for their members with a list of "Red Scum in Wandsworth." It gave the addresses of...
Shopping and Racing
Head to the Southside Shopping Centre (previously the Arndale Centre) at 8:15 on a Tuesday evening, and you'll find some shoppers buying in their dinner; some cinema-goers wandering up the...
Sunday Afternoons
The scene: a Sunday afternoon between the wars. For some it was a day of rest, perhaps sitting in the deckchairs, listening to the brass bands in the afternoon in King George's Park...
Sweets
Near where the Southside Shopping Centre is now, there used to be much smaller shops. In the 1920s, Gwen Copeland would earn money by doing the shopping for her neighbours, and then spend it in the...
The Brown Dog Affair
In 1906 the Brown Dog Statue was erected by anti-vivisectionists in Battersea, to commemorate animals who had died in the course of medical experimentation. However, medical students weren't won over...
The Fazl Mosque
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has built over 15,000 mosques in almost 200 countries; and the Fazl Mosque in Southfields, near King George's Park, was the first to be built outside of Pakistan, India...
The Fire
In the early 1940s, Gwen Copeland was living on the upper floor of a house in Haldon Road, with her 12-week-old daughter; and one night she woke up to find the house was on fire...
The Occupation
In 1984, the South London Women's Hospital was shut down. Many of the patients in the hospital had been moved there when nearby St Benedict's Hospital closed, and had been promised they wouldn't have...
The Protest
Putney Vale is nestled between Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park, a small and quiet community; but just to one side roars the A3. For years, the residents of Putney Vale could only cross the road by...
The Secret Spy Garage
St John's Road, near Clapham Junction, is a cheerful busy shopping street - much as it was in the 1970s. In the 70s, however, it was also home to a spy garage. MI5 agents from Section 4 of 'A'...
The Silver Jubilee
7 June 1977 marked 25 years since the coronation of Elizabeth II - her silver Jubilee. There were celebrations all across the country: street parties, games, parades, bunting galore...
The Tooting Destructor
In the early twentieth century, a lot of councils, including Wandsworth, got rid of their local rubbish with Dust Destructors: giant incinerators to which huge cartfuls of burnable rubbish could be...
The Wandsworth Walloper
Wandsworth Prison was built in 1851, and in 1878 it began to serve as London's hanging prison, where condemned prisoners were held and executed. It was also frequently the site of corporal punishment...