WALKS AND TALKS
Our Summerstown182 Walks have been described as ‘One of the best things I have ever done in Tooting’. They are a great way for people to get to know the neighbourhood a little better. Over the last five years we have done over 30 walks in the Earlsfield and Tooting area. Look out for the dates on our website and via social media. One very special Walk this year to conclude the commemoration period will be a Walk of Remembrance on Saturday 11th November. This ‘double circuit’ Walk will start at 11am from outside St Mary’s Church. As well as stopping outside the homes of the Summerstown182 to tell their stories, we will be leaving candles to be lit in their memory on this very special Remembrance weekend. We sincerely hope that families of the Summerstown182 will be able to attend.
Before that, on Saturday 8th September we are back on the Wandle, with an ‘Earlsfield Wandle Wander’ Walk. The Walk will start at 2pm from St Andrew’s Church on Garratt Lane. Another date to look out for is ‘The Greatest Tooting Tour in History Part 2’ on Sunday 23rd September, starting from the King Edward VII statue outside Tooting Broadway tube station at 2pm, part of the annual Tootopia Festival.
SUMMERSTOWN182 stripes of peace
Its now the last few months of the First World War centenary. Building up towards Remembrance Weekend, look out for these beautiful personalised ‘Stripes of Peace’ tributes to local servicemen who lost their lives appearing round the area. Some of you are related to them. If you want to get involved, come along to one of our workshops where you can help make them. More details coming soon, but a great opportunity with be at the BATCA Community Fun Day in Tooting on Saturday 22nd September in Broadwater Road. The tributes will all be in place at the locations where these heroes lived in time for our all-day Summerstown182 Walk of Remembrance taking in both Earlsfield and Tooting circuits. That starts outside St Mary’s Church, Keble Street at 11am on Saturday 10th November. Thanks to the Wandsworth Borough Council Grant Fund for supporting this initiative.
SUMMERSTOWN CELEBRATION AND PLAQUE UNVEILING
A Summerstown Celebration took place at St Mary’s Church, Keble Street, SW17 on Saturday 16th September 2017, marking a year of Heritage Lottery Funding and an opportunity to showcase some of the work we’ve been doing over the past twelve months, particularly with local schools. See more about that on our Schools page.
We combined it with another of our fantastic plaque unveilings! Robert Sadler’s ‘Copenhagen Running Grounds’ is somewhere many of the Summerstown182 would have grown up hearing about. This was located off Garratt Lane between 1853 and 1864. Contemporary knowledge of it was practically non-existent until local historian Kevin Kelly wrote a book about it a few years ago. We have now further publicised this remarkable story by placing a plaque at the site, opposite Tesco, near the junction of Garratt Lane and Burmester Road.
On 16th June 2018 we organised another historic plaque event, celebrating an extraordinary jazz musician from Tooting called Sadie Crawford. One of the first women to play with the likes of Louis Armstrong, she featured in a BBC Radio programme called ‘The Lost Women of British Jazz’. She is the first woman commemorated in Tooting in this way, so we’ve dubbed this initiative #FirstLadySadie. Born Louisa Marshall in 1885, the youngest of seven children, Sadie spent her early life in a tiny house on Fountain Road. Scrubbing floors at the age of eleven, she escaped domestic service through music, dance and the London stage. She played all over the world with some of the greatest stars of the jazz age and spent the last thirty years of her life in America.
Streatham & Clapham High School were so moved by the initiative that they announced they are establishing an annual ‘Sadie Crawford Music Scholarship’. The first recipient of the award, Adrianna Forbes-Dorant played for us before the unveiling.
‘Far from the Western Front’ Exhibtion at St George’s Hospital
We were very proud to play a leading role in bringing the stunning Far From the Western Front exhibition to this area. It outlines some of the South Asian experiences of the First World War and launched at St George’s Hospital Tooting in early September. Over the month, the response from the local community was phenomenal with so many people telling us they were delighted to have the opportunity to learn something about this largely untold history. We supported it with two guided tours of the hospital and its vicinity, highlighting its historic role at the time.
FRIENDS OF SUMMERSTOWN182 MEETINGS
A regular quarterly meeting takes place at St Mary’s Church Hall, Keble Street, Summerstown. These are great opportunities for people to get involved in the project, discuss ideas and initiatives. In the last one we discussed our plans for the final year of the commemoration period and imaginative ways to promote our project in the future.
We welcome speakers at these meetings and one of our talks last year was from the curator of the outstanding ‘Far From the Western Front’ revealing the extent of the involvement in the conflict of South Asian soldiers and non-combatants. We later initiated them bringing their exhibition to St George’s Hospital. We’ve also learnt about genealogy, military research and how to record oral history. This has included visits to archives and museums and attending relevant talks and events. Just turn up or register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.