Sunday, 26 August 2018

Wimbledon




Alexandra Road
Wimbledon Traincare depot is a traction maintenance depot servicing primarily South Western Railway, on the South Western Main Line. It is of the busiest train maintenance depots in the country with an average of 250 train carriages being dealt with every night, and the team of around 170 depot staff.
Wimbledon Magistrates Court and Youth Courts. Dates from 1985.

Alternate Grove
Footbridge. A footbridge goes from here at Dundonald Road. This goes along a section of what was the original Wimbledon and Croydon Railway. A building there was originally an aircraft hangar. It dates from 1918 when it stood at Newhaven Royal Naval Air Service station. I was re-erected here around 1923.

Alwyne Road
Christ Church. This was a Congregational church built in 1910. It was demolished in 1978.  It appeared to originate with a group who had left the Worple Road Church.
Art College for Ladies. This was a Church of England College, established here in 1904.

Beulah Road
Back road with many small workshops, mainly motor related but there are others – recording studios, arts workshops, etc.
Mission Room. Since 2014 this is in use as a private childcare facility. Butterflies. Private nursery

Compton Road
St Marks Church Hall. The Church is behind in St.Mark’s Place
Telephone Exchange. No longer in use as an exchange. It is a classical 18th building dating from 1910
Marlborough Hall. This was built in 1899 as a church house and was home to St Mark’s Sunday School. In 1950 it was sold to the Sydney Black Charitable Trust to be used for youth work. It was then re-named Marlborough Hall.  It was used for community performances, and the proscenium arch remains. As the back section of the library it has become a performance and arts space plus more study space during the day. This is because of an Arts Council England grant.
Compton Hall. Hall which appears to be connected to Christ Church in Alwyne Road to the rear.  Demolished in 1978 and replaced by offices.
1 former Post Office. This dates from around 1900

Cranbrook Road
3 Wimbledon College started its life in the parlour of the presbytery here. The house itself was demolished in the 1990s.
Royal Mail Delivery Office. This large office block replaced an earlier building which had been here since the early 1950s.
Wimbledon Sanitary Laundry. This dated from at least 1882 and  had a deep well. They washed in a “clean, and wholesome manner without the use of Chemicals”. It was on the site of the Royal Mail office. It had gone by the Second World War
Glass painting Works. This replaced the laundry and was itself replaced by the Royal Mail Sorting Office.
Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club. Originally Wimbledon Squash & Badminton Club, this was built on its current site in 1936. In 1995 the new gymnasium, dance studio, reception area and shop were added and in 2000 changed its name to Wimbledon Racquets and Fitness Club.

Dundonald Road
Once known at Lower Worple Road until developed in the 1880s. Various members of the Cochrane family, Earls of Dundonald, lived in Wimbledon – but probably not the very famous Thomas.
Dundonald Road Tramstop. This opened in 1998. Trams run Between Merton Park and Wimbledon on Croydon Tramlink.
Railway. The tram line is on the line of the Wimbledon and Croydon Railway. This was designed by George Parker Bidder and was opened in 1855. From 1856 it was managed by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway who owned it from 1866. In 1868 they opened their new Tooting line which meant the approach to Wimbledon Station had to be altered. The original single line was abandoned and replaced by a double line further east – because of changes to the platforms at Wimbledon Station. The line was electrified from 1930 and reconstructed as the Croydon Tramlink in the 1990s.
Dundonald Road Crossing Signal box. This dated from 1884 and was called Worple Road Signal Box until 1909. In use until 26th May 1983. This stood on the site of the current tram stop.
Second Railway crossing.  There was also a level crossing protected by traditional gates and a footbridge over the railway. These were installed when the original single line was replaced by a double line from Wimbledon Station.   They were removed in 1975, and replaced by lifting barriers. 
First Railway Crossing. The length of the original line remained in place until at least the 1890s and was replace by a footpath from the original road crossing to the new rail line. This footpath now originates in a footbridge over the main line railway from the bottom of Alternate Grove which eventually joins the line of the old railway. It crosses Dundonald Road at the site of what was an earlier level crossing.
Amec Industrial Estate. This was the Wimbledon West Goods Yard -  Network Rail. Part of a large and complex site with several users – including the British Railways' Civil Engineering and Signal Telegraph Depot.
Firecracker works. Set designers.  They are in the Old Aircraft Hangar - A large and high metal-framed structure stands out among the other buildings. It was originally an aircraft hangar, of the Admiralty's 'Type G', but it has been modified by the Railway. In 1917 at Newhaven a sea-plane base was set up and a wooden hangar was built, and in 1918 it was extended to accommodate a larger number of planes and a new steel-framed hangar was built. The station was closed in the autumn of 1919, and the buildings were auctioned early in 1920.
Dundonald Recreation Ground. This had been land from Merton Hall or Merton Hall Farm. The Park dates from the 1890s.
Dundonald Road Schools. Built in 1904 and designed by a local architect, R.J. Thomson. It is currently a Primary School

Elm Grove
Footpath. This crosses the railway to reach Merton Hall Road
Essex Plating Co., Sycamore works. Electro plating works. “Electroplating, stoving and all forms of enamelling”. The works is on site here from at least the 1890s
Elmgrove Industrial Estate - Avebury Foundry, Crownall Works. The trading estate and buildings here appear to have been called “Crownall”  while a number of different industrial units have been located here. It appears to derive from Tube Patents Ltd. Who were here in the late 1930s and who used Crownall as the trade name for their couplings. They also had an address in The Broadway.  It also includes Ronian Works. Watson Diesel. On site since the 1950s these have now closed
6-7 Arrow Works. Bettix 1950s. This was a plastics factory. ‘Arrow’ may relate to Arrow Plastics, located elsewhere in Wimbledon.
6-7 Prototype Automobile Factory. This followed the plastics factory in the 1950s

Fairlawn Road
Congregational Church. The church appears to date from the early 1950s and to include 19th Dundonald Hall to the rear which is now in use by Building Blocks Nursery. This is a Congregational Church – clearly not part of URC.  Dundonald Hall appears to have been a mission building from the church in Worple Road.

Francis Grove
Old tram pole used as a lamp standard – this has now gone. Francis Grove is now entirely office blocks built since the 1970s.

Herbert Road
The road is divided in two by a green
St. Andrew. This was a daughter church of Holy Trinity Church, itself a daughter of St Mary's.  As a Mission Church it opened in 1883. The church was built in 1908-9 designed by William Henry Lowell.

Hartfield Road
1 Wimbledon Bridge House. Large office block
2 Prince of Wales. Greene King House. This dates from the 1870s and has an impressive tiled façade
14 Liberty Hall was here. Used for a variety of causes, including the local Labour Party, and the Quakers. Building is long gone.
17 The Slug Pub. Pub in old office block
18 Garratt and Gauge Pub
41-47 Hartfield House. Large office block
Wimbledon Picture Playhouse. This was closed before the outbreak of the Great War

Lingfield Road
Village Club. In 1857 a General Meeting of Subscribers agreed to build Village Club with funding from local donations. Use of the Reading Room and the Refreshment Room was available to subscribing members. A Lecture Hall was used for lectures, fencing classes, boxing, Penny Readings and scripture classes for servants. The John Evelyn Society Museum was included from 1916. In 1918 it was requisitioned by the Army for six months. In the Second World War the Lecture Hall was used for bombed-out families, and the charity law required a change in the class basis of the membership. In 1988 the Lecture Hall was restored and is now used by a Montessori School among others. More changes were instituted in 2002 under the charity laws and a trust was set up.
Village Hall. This is a multi-purpose 19th Gothic hall and community centre. It was designed by Samuel Teulon in 1858 and  Sir Thomas Jackson in 1895. It is run by a Trust initiated in 1858.  The hall itself has a stage and a balcony. It is part of a complex which includes the Museum and the Norman Plastow Gallery, exhibition space and is volunteer run.

Mansel Road
High School for Girls. The Girls Public Day School Trust founded Wimbledon High School in 1880, in Wimbledon Hill Road. Within ten years they had expanded into Mansel Road. In 1917 the school was subject to a fire and a new building was opened in with gymnasium and two new laboratories. They also bought a sports field from the All England Tennis Club. In the 1920s the school campaigned for the same tax relief as boys' public schools winning a judgement in the House of Lords. After the Second World War the school became a direct grant school. When the direct grant scheme ended the school became completely independent. . In 2000 a Junior School was opened with increased capacity; 2005 a Design and Technology Centre opened and in 2007 the Rutherford Centre for the Performing Arts. In 2017 there was increased provision for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths
Trinity Church. In 1883 a group of local people decided to form a ‘Scotch Church’ here. A ‘Preaching Station’ named ‘Trinity Presbyterian Church’ was set up and many members were ‘exiled Scots’ and many of the ministers was appointed from Scotland. In 1886 a hall was built - now the ‘Old Hall’ –and 1891 a new church building was dedicated. In the Great War the Hall open nightly to soldiers providing refreshments and entertainment. A memorial was later set up to those killed. In 1944 the church was damaged by a V1. After the war the church became involved in the evangelical movement and membership grew rapidly. Youth groups flourished and a new hall was built. In 1972 the church became part of the ‘United Reformed Church’. The church currently has a Chinese congregation

Nursery Road
Named for a nursery which was on the south side of the road until the 1920s
Wimbledon Ambulance Station. This replaced a Territorial Army centre here in the 1950s
Wimbledon High School Playing Field. The school bought this site from the All England Club in 1923. They have recently renewed the Pavilion – which had survived from the All England Club. 
All England Club Playing Field. The All England Croquet Club was started in 1868 here and 12 croquet lawns were laid out.  They held croquet championships here. In 1875 the new game of Lawn Tennis was added. In 1877 it was renamed the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club and began to hold tennis meetings open to all amateurs with prizes.  In 1922 they moved to their current site as the tournament outgrew Nursery Road. Gate posts on the site commemorate this past use.
Kodak Photographic works. In the 1930s this was the Roll Film Company. Kodak had a film processing laboratory here which appears to have closed in the early 1970s. However Kodak did not finally leave Wimbledon until 2002.

Queen's Road
Only buildings at the southern tip of the road are in this square.
Queens Hall. To the rear of the Town Hall and part of the Baptist Church. This is now part of the shopping centre. It appears to be a branch of Boots
4 Queens Road Baptist Church opened in 1897 and extended since.  Baptists have now become the Everyday Church which is further north in Queens Road. The original church appears to be part of the shopping centre.
Court house. Magistrates' Court built 1895. This moved to a new building in Alexandra Road in the 1980s. It appears to be part of the shopping centre.
Fire Station 1907. Wimbledon had had a volunteer force for many years. This was established for its professional service in 1907. The building is now part of the shopping centre, like everything else
15-23 Police Station. Opened in 1900, apparently recently under threat of closure.

Ridgeway
An old road, which runs from the junction of Wimbledon Hill Road and the High Street.
Emmanuel Church. This is a propriety chapel under the Church of England where the living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of trustees. It originated in 1876 following a split from the parish church of St.Mary. The current red brick building dates from 1888. It includes a Japanese ministry.
22 John Evelyn Society Museum.  Local history museum. This derives from collections made in the 19th by Richardson Evans who started The John Evelyn Club in 1903. His collection was installed on the top floor of the Village Hall in 1916. The Museum is volunteer run and open every weekend.

Spencer Hill
St.John the Baptist. This church dates from 1875. It was built following expansion of Wimbledon south of the Ridgway. Land was acquired in 1867 but shortage of funds led to the purchase of an ‘iron Church’ from St John’s, Battersea. In 1873 Thomas Jackson was appointed as architect for the present building on a site made   difficult by underground streams. A tower and spire were never added because of this. The north porch was donated by the daughter of General Sir Henry Murray, who led the final charge at the Battle of Waterloo. In the Lady Chapel is a reredos designed by Martin Travers donated by the Bloxham family as a Great War memorial to their son. Some stained glass windows came from the famous William Morris works at Merton. The Church has a crypt used for meetings, and a Church Hall used for community activities. 

Spencer Hill Road
58 Electric lamp factory. Bell lighting – British Electric Lamps Ltd - dates from 1920 when E R Grote, established an incandescent lamp factory in Wimbledon, although a works appears to be on the site from the 1890s. They are now based at Merton Abbey Mills with a distribution centre in West Yorkshire, the Grote family still being involved – Trevor Grote is the current Managing Director.
40 Friends Meeting House. This is an ordinary suburban house.

St. Mark’s Place.
St Mark’s. This is an Anglican church. The original 19th church was burnt down in 1966.  The new church was built in 1968-9 by Humphrys & Hurst to an unusual pentagonal design. There is a large cross on the roof, taken down in 1987 for safety reasons, it is now reinstalled and floodlit. The site includes a large garden funded by Haig Galustian in 1959 in memory of his mother. The church hall also opens onto the garden.

The Broadway
Town hall. Wimbledon Public Offices was a modest building OF 1878 by Thomas Goodchild for the local Board. It was demolished in 1929 for a new town hall. This was built in 1928-31 by Arthur John Hope, of Bradshaw Gass and Hope. It comprised a D-shaped civic range, fronting the Broadway with a rear assembly hall. It became functionally obsolete in 1985 when the London Borough of Merton, moved to Crown House on London Road. After three public enquiries, most of the town hall and civic and religious buildings to the rear were demolished in 1990 for a shopping complex by the Building Design Partnership. Only the front was kept.
Odeon. New cinema in a supermarket development. This is on a site some distance from the original Odeon cinema in the Broadway.
23 Curzon Cinema. This is built on top of a store in a storage area, and opened in 2009.

Wimbledon Bridge
Wimbledon Bridge is a bridge over the railway lines – as distinct from everywhere else where it is over a river.
Wimbledon Station. Opened in 1838 this is now the terminus of the District Line from Wimbledon Park and also the terminus of Croydon Tramlink from Dundonald Road. It lies between Earlsfield and Raynes Park on South Western Trains and between Haydons Road on Wimbledon Chase on Thameslink and Southern Trains.
1838 . The Station was originally opened by the London and Southampton Railway on its new line from Nine Elms to Woking. It was originally called ‘Wimbledon and Merton Station and was south of the current site on the south side of Wimbledon Bridge. Some remains of the station, a wall, into the late 20th.  It is thus a half mile from what was then the town centre and was not initially designed for suburban traffic. It had two platforms.
1855. The Wimbledon and Croydon railway opened. It used a new purpose built bay platform. This is the line which has been converted to Croydon Tramlink.
1859. The Raynes Park to Epsom railway began to use the station.
1868. The Tooting Merton and Wimbledon railway was opened by G.P.Bidder. This joined the Wimbledon and Croydon Railway at Tooting Junction. 
1869. The line New Malden and Kingston began to come to Wimbledon.
1881 The name of the station changed to ‘Wimbledon’.
1889.  The South Western Railway opened the line from East Putney to District Line trains. These ran into the ‘North’ station which had been built on the site of the coal yard where two new platforms and been were built for it together with a separate booking office. It was the first line to be electrified in 1915.
1910 The Wimbledon and Sutton Railway was promoted by local landowners who wanted a railway from Wimbledon to Sutton. It was originally intended as part of the Distract Line but delays because of the Great War did not open until 1930. The service was provided by the Southern Railway. The line leaves Wimbledon station running between the main lines, the old goods yards and the signal works. It is now called the St Helier Line, and forms part of the Sutton Loop, served by Thameslink and Southern.
1920s. the station was rebuilt with its Portland stone entrance by the Southern Railway as part of the rebuilding for the line to Sutton,
1997 the line to Croydon was closed for conversion to Tramlink.
Stag sculpture by Isabelle Southward installed 2012.

Wimbledon Hill Road
33 The Alexandra. Young’s pub
Library. This opened in 1887. There is ornamentation over the door and busts of Shakespeare and Milton on the façade.
All Bar One.  Pub in old bank buildings

Worple Road
Wimbledon and Merton swimming baths. These were extant in the 1890s. These appear to have been run by a private company and closed before 1914. It appears to be on the site which became Worple Hall
Worple Hall. This appears to have replaced the swimming baths. Early projections here were by Ruffles' Imperial Bioscope and it later became Worple Hall Electric Cinema but was also used for civic events and election meetings (featuring Bertrand Russell). It was later planned to become the Wimbledon Hippodrome. This included a skating rink n was opened by Harry Lauder. The project lasted five months.
19 The Queens Picture Theatre was opened in 1914, renamed New Queens cinema in 1925, Phoenix Cinema in 1931, and Savoy Cinema in 1932. It was closed in 1935 and demolished. A new Odeon Theatre was built on the site and opened in 1936.  It was demolished in 1960 and offices and a supermarket are on the site.
21-33 Telecom House.  By W. S. Frost of the Ministry of Public Build1ng and Works, 1958-62. Telephone exchange
28 British Red Cross. Offices
Congregational church
.  In 1871 it was felt that a Congregational church was needed and a pastor was appointed to undertake this. At first they had to meet in a pub. The money was offered and with some difficulty a site secured ad an iron church was put up. A congregation was then set up along with a Sunday school. In 1876 a lecture hall and vestry added. A new pastor was appointed to undertake the building of a permanent church. Money was raised and a church opened in 1884 which prospered. It a since been demolished
37 Hillside Church. Evangelical but not very forthcoming about it. It appears to be on the same site as the earlier Plymouth Brethren central hall
41 Wimbledon School of English. This dates from 1964, and claims to be one of the oldest English language schools in the UK. It was founded in Wimbledon Village and moved to Worple Road in the mid-1970s.
44-46 Wimbledon District Synagogue. This closed in 1997 and converted to housing. The community moved to a larger site.
56a Kenneth Black Memorial Hall. Wimbledon Bridge Club. This was originally a scout headquarters set up with a bequest from a member of the Black family, closely involved in the Free Church Movement. The Bridge Club eventually took it over and opened a bar there.
59 Christian Science Church. The church bought this building in 1924,
61 Spencer Hall.  This also appears to have been used by the Synagogue.
Wesleyan Methodist Church. This was built in 1886 and demolished in 1971.
66 TS Trafalgar sea cadets. This was used as their headquarters from 1950 until 2002 when the site was sold and a new building provided elsewhere for the scouts.

Sources
Cinema Theatre Association. Newsletter
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Cleal. The Story of Congregationalism in Surrey
Clunn. The Face of London
Emmanuel Church. Web site
Faded London. Web site
Field. London Place Names.
Girls High School. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
John Evelyn Museum. Web site
John Evelyn Society. Web site
London Borough of Merton. Web site
London Railway Record
Milward.  Wimbledon Past
Moore. Portrait of Wimbledon
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner.  Surrey
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
St.Andrew’s Church, Wimbledon. Web site
St.John the Baptist. Web site
St.Mark’s Church. Web site
Time and Leisure, SW19. Web site
Trinity Church, Wimbledon. Web site
TS Trafalgar. Web site
Wikipedia.  Web site.  As appropriate
Wimbledon Bridge Club. Web site
Wimbledon Girls High School. Web site
Wimbledon School of English. Web site
Wimbledon Society. Web site
Wimbledon Squash & Badminton Club. Web site
Wimbledon Village Hall. Web site

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