Wandsworth Heritage Festival Explores Local Entertainment Throughout The Ages

From music halls and cinemas to bowling alleys and velodromes

Above: the Wandsworth Cycling Club in around 1890

Wandsworth's annual Heritage Festival runs from May 25 to June 9 and this year explores the theme 'Entertaining Wandsworth'.

From music halls and cinemas to bowling and velodromes, events throughout the festival highlight the role entertainment has played in the lives of Wandsworth residents past and present.

The festival’s highlights include:

  • A tour of the former Granada Cinema in Tooting;
  • A talk on Wandsworth and Battersea’s music halls by local historian Neil Robson;
  • A talk by author Pat Heery on the Putney Velodrome
  • A guided walk showing Battersea Park’s role in the 1951 festival of Britain celebrations;
  • A literary themed murder mystery staged by Wandsworth’s ever-entertaining librarians;
  • A tour, talk, and exhibition at Whitelands College showcasing the wealth of costume and archives the college has collected from 138 years of May Day revels;
  • A talk on the history of Putney’s cinemas from local historian Philip Evison;
  • A talk from Wandsworth Prison Museum’s curator exploring the role the prison has played in fiction and film
  • A guided walk round Wandsworth Town charting its entertaining past.

Additional highlights include a talk at Tara Arts Theatre from Dr Cathy Hunt about the Corruganza factory strike, a guided walk along the course of the Heathwall from historian and writer Jon Newman, and a magic show where children can join former Battersea magician and watchmaker John Neville Maskelyne in 19th century Wandsworth for some magic tricks interspersed with weird and wonderful facts from the borough’s history.

Many local groups and societies help to document and protect Wandsworth’s heritage. The festival provides an opportunity for them to showcase their work and recruit new members.

The festival is organised by charitable social enterprise GLL, which runs library and heritage services on behalf of Wandsworth Council.

See full details of what's on. Copies of the Festival programme will be available from local libraries and other public buildings from the beginning of May.


May 21, 2019