The Wandsworth Society was formed in 1971. Its genesis was a sense of opportunities being wasted. There was still much dereliction, and much activity. Like many others, then, and now, the founding members had an antipathy to the then prevailing trend of large-scale development, both proposed and in the process of being carried out. These were by and large developments that it was felt paid too little regard to the value of the existing fabric of our area. The virtues of the new were over estimated, the qualities of the past were under valued. Fine buildings, and many less distinguished but still valuable buildings, together with open spaces had been lost, and more were threatened.
In 1971 a vast swathe of our town centre was cleared to make room for an Arndale Centre. When it opened it was the largest indoor shopping space in Europe. A year earlier Trinity Road, the A24, as it passed through Wandsworth Common, was converted from a two-lane road to a six-lane dual carriageway.