News

Stop Trashing Wandsworth Common!

During the fine weather at the end of June all the Coomons, including Wandsworth Common, have been invaded by sunseekers – often picnicking and leaving vast amounts of rubbish. The Friends of Wandsworth Common and those paid to empty bins have made a sterling effort to clean up but the littering shouldn’t be happening in the first place.

38 Degrees have set up a petition and you can add your name to that in the hope of effecting some important drivers including fining perpatrators to reduce the problem:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-trashing-of-wandsworth-common

Debenhams in Arding & Hobbs closed forever

Sadly an icon of Clapham Junction since 1885 will not re-open after the lock down closure and the store is now boarded up.

This has been on the cards for a while. It goes back to Debenhams’ CVA process (a sort of ‘voluntary bankruptcy’) last year where Debenhams asked landlords at 105 stores all over the country (including the Arding & Hobbs building) for rent cuts so they could afford to keep trading. In exchange the landlords were given a consolation prize of being able to end the leases early if they found a better deal.

Most landlords just accepted this, but in Clapham Junction’s case, W Real Estate found it was a great opportunity to make a quick return by selling it for redevelopment. And that is what they have done.

A new tall building for the town centre

The planning application for a 20-storey tower was approved at the Planning Applications Committee meeting of 19 May. The site is immediately behind the Wandsworth Medical Centre on Garratt Lane, on the east bank of the Wandle opposite the recently completed Pocket Living building on Mapleton Crescent.

The Society objected to the application, submitted in 2017, principally as we considered the building to be too tall. We welcome the opening up of the riverside walk associated with the proposed development, but regret that this has come as the price of another tall building.

Paschal Allen

  The death of Paschal, a long term member of the Society, was announced in April. He had been unwell for a number of years with Alzheimer’s.

In the wider world he will be remembered for his fine voice, he sang with the English Opera Group, and at Glyndebourne, the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals, and particularly the Royal Opera House.
  In the Society’s narrower orbit he was appreciated in smaller settings. He sang at the inaugural Society Soirée in 1986, and many others; those who had the pleasure of hearing him sing at our soirées or a musical evening at Earlsfield Road will feel particularly privileged. A fine singer and a lovely man, he will be much missed. A memorial concert is planned.  

Wandsworth prisoners need your help

These are unusual times so we are using this medium as a one off to to make a plea for a very local cause. A team of friends of the prison are creating activity packs for the prisoners (who are all on 23-hour lockdown); so far 800 have been assembled. These consist of jigsaws, board games (e.g. dominoes, chess, ludo), coloured pencils and paper and appropriate magazines including motoring magazines, History Today and colour supplements. They are also looking for books including airport style novels and foreign language books and dictionaries.

If you are out exercising, items can be left in two plastic crates outside the door to the Visitor Centre in Heathfield Road although the centre is not manned at weekends so best to leave items on weekdays.  Or, if there is a substantial collection, please email events@wandsworthsociety.org and your email will be forwarded to arrange collection at a specified time from your front garden.