History of Wendelsworth Estate

This piece is taken from www.francisfrith.com/wandsworth/memories/

Wonderful Times And Great Friends
I remember living in Galesbury Road in the 1950s and going to Swaffield Road School, moving into Domelton House, Wendlesworth estate in the late 1950ss was luxury, central heating, a real bath and inside loo, for a ten year old exciting times were not far away. What is now Bembridge House was a bombed out building but for us kids it was a playground with no sense of danger. Other memories of Remos cafe and ice cream parlour, Barry Briggs record shop, King George’s swimming pool where I worked in later years, Mrs Wallis grocer shop in Iron Mill Place (all on the slate till payday), the first pub I ever had a drink in, the Iron Mill, and the boys and girls involved with Wandsworth Rovers FC who became my friends. Sadly work took me away from Wandsworth. I now live in Littlehampton in West Sussex where I’ve lived for the last 27 years but how my thoughts always return to those youthful days.
A memory of Wandsworth, shared by Leslie McDonnell

 

Thank you to Wandsworth Heritage Service for providing the following maps and articles.
1950s map of the area with the Wendelsworth Estate, which comprises only Domelton House and Bowyer House.

 

1960s map. Bembridge and Binstead now built, plus Thorness Ct and Kirton Lodge. The aqueduct and the Iron Mill pub are still there.

 

FROM BEVAN TO BRUNO – WENDELSWORTH ESTATE
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.
Rosie Taylor
All material courtesy of Wandsworth Heritage Service

 

NEW WANDSWORTH LANDMARK
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.

New Wandsworth Landmark

New Wandsworth Landmark

 

FIRST STAGE – NAMING OF BOWYER & DOMELTON HOUSES
Wandsworth Borough News 22 Oct,1948 p6

 

Iron Mill Place Flats

Iron Mill Place Flats

 

THE FLATS ARE DEEMED TO BE ESPECIALLY BRIGHT

from Wandsworth Borough News 25 Feb, 1949 p8

 

Brighter Council Flats

Brighter Council Flats

 

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

Minister of Health

Minister of Health

 

OPENING OF ESTATE BY NYE BEVAN, APRIL 1949
South Western Star 8 April, 1949 p3

Opening of Estate

Opening of Estate

 

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.

An Insult
“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.”

Tory Boycott

Tory Boycott

 

THE PUB, THE OLD IRON MILL, CLOSES IN 1962.
from Wandsworth Borough News

The Old Iron Mill Pub

The Old Iron Mill Pub

 

FRANK BRUNO PLANTS AN OAK TREE
Wandsworth Borough News February 25, 2000

 

Frank Bruno

Frank Bruno

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Comments on: "History of Wendelsworth Estate" (1)

  1. […] Wandsworth Borough News, 25 Feb, 1949, included with a range of sources and other detail in the history page of the Wendelsworth Residents Association […]

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