West Barnes Local History Group

Merton Heritage Centre organises monthly talks at West Barnes Library. These are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 10.30am to 12 noon.


20 March: Huguenot Heritage.

During the 18th century many Huguenot families fled religious persecution in Europe and settled in Wandsworth, Mitcham and Merton. They played a major part in the development of local industry, particularly the bleaching and printing of calico. Discover more from this illustrated talk by Mick Taylor of Wandle Industrial Museum.

17 April: The Work of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership.

Find out about the many environmental and heritage initiatives organised by the partnership, which is dedicated to raising awareness and increasing access to the River Wandle and the Wandle Valley.

15 May: 1988 – A Year to Remember.

To mark 30 years since Wimbledon F C won the F A Cup, this illustrated talk by Sarah Gould will look at key events of 1988, including the Dons journey into football history.

19 June: ** Talk to be confirmed.

17 July: The History of Croydon Airport.

The airport boasts a fascinating history from its origins in World War 1 and the development of luxury passenger air travel during the 1930s, to its role as an RAF airfield in the 1940s and its current use as a popular visitor attraction. Discover more at this talk by Peter Skinner of Croydon Airport Society.

21 August: The Human Face of War.

This illustrated talk by Sarah Gould will look at the life stories of Merton’s First World War combatants, using material gathered for the Carved in Stone project.

18 September: Reminiscences of Old Merton.

Using readings from the work of local resident, W. Chamberlain, Heritage Officer Sarah Gould will offer an insight into life in Merton during the 19th century.

16 October: Women’s Suffrage in Merton.

To mark 100 years since UK women were granted the vote, this illustrated talk by Sarah Gould will focus on the women’s suffrage campaign in Merton and the role of local suffragettes such as Rose Lamartine Yates.

20 November: World War 1: Forget-me-not.

In this colourful session, Michael Norman-Smith will use historical information, contemporary songs, poems and literature to mark the end of the First World War.

December: There will be no talk in December.

Admission to the West Barnes history talks is FREE.

For more information : Contact Merton Heritage Centre, Tel. 020 8545 3239 or email: local.studies@merton.gov.uk