This piece is taken from www.francisfrith.com/wandsworth/memories/
Wonderful Times And Great Friends
Thank you to Wandsworth Heritage Service for providing the following maps and articles.
Here follows an account of the building of the Wendelsworth Estate (originally called the Iron Mill Place Estate) as written about in the local newspapers, Wandsworth Borough News & the South Western Star. The local newspapers were scanned and put onto microfilm, which can be viewed on special microfilm reader machines at Wandsworth Heritage Service, at Battersea Library on Lavender Hill. However, the scans were not always copied well and some scans are barely legible, so a couple of accounts have been transcribed. These pages chart the development of the estate from 1948 to the opening by the Health Minister, Nye Bevan, who was the chief architect of the NHS, in 1949 to the ex-boxer, Frank Bruno, who grew up in Wandsworth, planting an oak tree in 2000 at the junction of Vermont Road & Allfarthing Lane which is the exact geographical centre of the borough of Wandsworth.
All material courtesy of Wandsworth Heritage Service
from the Wandsworth Borough News – 4 June, 1948 p6- NEW WANDSWORTH LANDMARK –
For many years the Pepper-Pot Church has been a landmark around Wandsworth with its unusual tower visible from all sides. Now a new landmark is springing up nearby-the first blocks of flats in the Iron Mill Estate. The church tower seems to be looking on at the growth of this rival monument which grows every day. Although it is not very long since the building work began, the roofs of some of the blocks are being put on already, and the scheme seems to be taking shape. Walking by there the other day, I could see the tall buildings which are taking the place of the shabby old houses of the area. While one site is being built up rapidly, another is being cleared, and the estate seems to be advancing towards Garratt-lane. The ultimate aim is to have a full-scale estate here with a frontage from the acqueduct in Garratt-lane to All-farthing-lane. When it is finished, this part of Garratt-lane will be quite transformed, particularly since the buildings are being attractively designed.
FIRST STAGE – NAMING OF BOWYER & DOMELTON HOUSES
Wandsworth Borough News 22 Oct,1948 p6
THE FLATS ARE DEEMED TO BE ESPECIALLY BRIGHT
from Wandsworth Borough News 25 Feb, 1949 p8
First mention of the estate as the Wendelsworth Estate & the official opening to be on Friday, lst April 1949.
from the Wandsworth Borough News 18 March, 1949
OPENING OF ESTATE BY NYE BEVAN, APRIL 1949
South Western Star 8 April, 1949 p3
TORY BOYCOTT ESTATE OPENING
Wandsworth Boro’ News 8 April, 1949 Front page
“Petty & childish “ – says Ald.Rowe
Wandsworth Council Opposition party boycotted the opening ceremony of the Wendelsworth Estate, Wandsworth on Friday, although one of them, Clr.W W.Charman, of the Housing Committee, turned up because no one had told him of his party’s ban.
Ald. G.F. Rowe, Housing Committee chairman, told the Wandsworth Borough News later: “We invited the Tories, of whom there are 27 on the Council. I asked Ald.G.F.Morris as leader of the Opposition, to participate in the ceremony. He put me on to Ald.William C.Bonney, one of their leaders, who said his party had decided not to attend.”
He added: “I think their tactics are petty and childish.’”
Not a Stunt
Earlier, Ald.Rowe told his audience, “Unfortunately a lot of local publicity has been given to an accusation which was levelled at me that this Estate was being opened today as an election stunt. “I think it only fair to the Council and to the people of Wandsworth that they should be aware this is very far from the truth. I have no objection on personal grounds, in view of the fact that it is one of many, but it was originally intended that this Estate should be formally opened early in March, which would have been well before the L.C.C. elections.
The building programme, added Ald.Rowe, had been hampered by shortages. An Opposition member told the Wandsworth Borough News that the Labour Party made arrangements for the ceremony without consulting the Conservatives.
“Whatever Ald.Rowe may say,” he said, “I have yet to meet anyone who accepts his explanation. Only a few flats were officially opened, and surely there should be a much greater number for such a ceremony? After Ald.Bonney had raised the matter in Council, Ald.Rowe asked Ald.Morris if he would propose the vote of thanks to Mr.Bevan.
“Had it not been for the fact that the matter was raised in Council, Ald.Morris would not have been asked at all. It is nothing more nor less than an insult.”
THE PUB, THE OLD IRON MILL, CLOSES IN 1962.
from Wandsworth Borough News
FRANK BRUNO PLANTS AN OAK TREE
Wandsworth Borough News February 25, 2000