P i c t u r e s . o f.Y o u A _ N o r t h _ C h e a m _ C o mm u n i t y _ P h o t o G r a p h i c _ A r c h i v e
Developed by Charles Holden & SaM Skinner
Ac k n o w l e d g e m e n t s Our thanks go to Jessica Courtney Bennett and Anna Ramsay at Meanwhile Space. Kirsty Allen, Hermione Brightwell, Kirsty Jerome and Martin Furtauer-Hayes, at Sutton Council. Kath Shawcross and Sutton Local Studies and Archives Centre and local historian David Rymill, whose books on the area are invaluable resources - see www.buckwheatpress.co.uk for further info. Fiona Miles and Year 5 students at Cheam Park Farm Juniour School. Bryan Hopper and St Oswald’s church. Lindsay Wilson and residents of Brook Court. The staff of Sunray Motors, Mamas Pizza, Cheam Food Centre, Feedwell Cafe, North Cheam Traders Association, John Hall at Hampton’s, and Steve Eldridge of Steve’s Card Shop. Finally, thanks to everybody who has contributed their photos to this collection and made it what it is.
C ONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Aerial Views_16th & 20th Century Photographs from Sutton Local Studies & Archives
3. London Road 4. St Anthony’s Hospital 5. Brock’s Fireworks 6. Family and Leisure 20th Century
7. David Rymill_North Cheam Miscellania 8. Malcolm Corner_VE Day Party 9. The Eveleigh’s_Egham Crescent 10. Anita Plant - Maids of Honour 11. St Oswald’s Church 12. Tim Bridle_North Cheam 1986/87 13. Misc_Nuclear Bunker, Woolworths, & 93 Bus 14. Mike Dodd_Nuclear Bunker Protest
15. Paul Baldesare _ St George’s Day & Football 16. Ricky Haughton _ Nonsuch Park & London Road 17. Nicola Goodsell _ Still Lives 18. Branch Lines / Pictures of You _Holden&Skinner 19. John Hall_ Letters and CCTV Certificate 20. Cheam Park Farm School Year 5 Students _Photos, Questionnaire & Architects of the Future Texts
21. Notes & Blog Postings
Introduction This book is the product of research undertaken in 2013 into thearea of North Cheam, a suburban area in the London Borough of Sutton, England. It comprises historic photos sourced from Sutton Archives and Local History Centre, contributions from the local community, and other archives or web-based collections. Also included are maps, questionnaires, architectural drawings by Cheam Park Farm School year 5 students, interviews, quotations and texts. Together, we hope this collection of material offers a picture of a place, and an exploration of the place of pictures, in a community and the lifeblood that runs through it.
1 Introduction Extracts below from: Terry Phillips, A History of St. Oswald’s Church, North Cheam (32 page pamplet, 1993) - A copy is available at Sutton Archive and Local history Centre.
Workers Cottages were built. Mr. Brock had houses built for his daughters and these are still standing today. Thus, a community was springing up early in the century.
“At the turn of the century, North Cheam was centred between Gander Green Lane and the Lord Nelson Inn near to Pyl Brook. It comprised a few houses near to the inn on the north side of the London Road and some others on the south side between Gander Green Lane and where Staines Avenue now runs.
In the first two decades of the century, it remained a rural area with gently rolling countryside. One would see farm buildings and fields with dairy cattle, lavender and mint. Even in 1932, one could walk from Hamilton Avenue to the Parish Church in Cheam along footpaths through the fields, passing piggeries on the route. Indeed Elsie Hunter told me that her family moved into the newly built Hamilton Avenue from Brockley in order to “move into the country”.
The little community was completed by an estate called North Cheam House, situated where the hospital is now built and Park Farm, sited on the north side of Gander Green Lane, near to the London Road. Leaving the hamlet along the London Road towards Nonsuch Park, there were few buildings until one reached the Malden Road, where the Queen Victoria Inn would be seen on the left hand corner of the crossroads. Lower Farm, Cheam Common, would be just a little way down the Malden Road on the right hand side. The area assumed more of an identity in 1901 with the arrival of the Brocks Crystal Palace Firework company. Factories were built, separated by a considerable distance for safety reasons. they covered the area bounded by the existing Gander Green Lane and what we know know as Marlow Drive and Windsor Avenue.
The urban expansion of the late 20’s continued into the 30’s all over the metropolis. The Park Farm estate came into being in stages, after the bulding of Hamilton Avenue in 1932. Roads were named after Thameside towns - Molesey, Chertsey and so on. […] The suburbs were not a prime target for the Luftwaffe, but there was still a danger of bombs being jettisoned when the bombers were under attack by our fighter aircraft. In 1944, the V-1 flying bomb followed by the V-2 rocket were indiscriminate as regards target. the dangers were very real and North Cheam was hit. Ten people were killed in the district by air raids in early 1941. The church AGM of 6 February 1942 reported damage to houses in Gander Green Lane, Chertsey Drive and Staines Avenue.”
M APS O n c e h o m e t o a n a g r i c u l t u r a l c o mm u n i t y a n d N o n s u c h P a l a c e _ H e n r y VIII ’ s h u n t i n g l o d g e . N o r t h C h e a m t o d a y h a s c h a n g e d d r a m at i c a l ly o n i t ’ s j o u r n e y t o b e c o m i n g a 21st century suburb.
Map produced in connection with dispute of Sparrowfield, c.1550. The National Archives, MPB1/25
David Rymill writes via email:
“The North Cheam crossroads is near the top left of the map, with a little picture of a gate across the London Road going towards Ewell (south-west is at the top of the map), so the church near the left-hand edge is St Dunstan’s in Cheam Village (this means Malden Rd is very foreshortened); the London Road runs top-to-bottom near the left; the lane running across from the left-hand edge about half-way down, above two houses, is probably Gander Green Lane, and a little below that is a blue line indicating the Pyl Brook, north of St Anthony’s Hospital and Trafalgar Avenue.’
VIEW f r o m A b o v e Charles E. Brown, c. 1930 These photos depict areas adjoining North Cheam - principally Worcester Park, but are included here for their unique view of suburban ribbon development in the area, its documentation and resistance to it. David Rymill writes via email correspondence with the authors, May 2013:
“They were commissioned in the 1930s by the Cuddington Residents’ Association which was seeking to secure the preservation as an open space of Worcester Park House and its grounds, and they were therefore intended to show the property surrounded by a tide of development. Worcester Park House stood between Old Malden Lane, Cromwell Road and Grafton Road. The view that is closest to North Cheam is the photograph with the railway line running across the middle and a succession of roads running across the photograph above and below that - this includes roads such as Bridgewood Road and Stoneleigh Avenue.”
Charles E. Brown (20 January 1896, Wimbledon, London - 9 October, Storrington, West Sussex, UK) was a commercial aviation photographer working for various UK newspapers, the aviation industry and a freelance commercial photographer with official accreditation as a war correspondent. His aviation archive of 30,000 images has been preserved at the RAF Museum, Hendon since 1978. Taken with a large-format camera, these images dazzling clarity prefigure the modern satellite imagery and web mapping services such as Google Earth. Images courtesy of the RAF Museum - www.rafmuseum.org.uk
Photographs from Sutton Local Studies & Archives The reproduction rights in these photographs reside with Sutton Local Studies & Archives Service. If you are interested in a higher resolution image please contactÂ email@example.com
London Road London Road follows the lines of a Roman road - Stane Street - that connected London and Chichester.
‘The road must have been an important route for official messengers and soldiers between the coast and London, and also for traders and travelling craftsmen.’ David Rymill, Worcester Park, Old Malden & North Cheam: History at Our Feet (Worcester Park: Buckwheat Press, 2012)
‘Should you, when waiting for your No. 93 bus at North Cheam drift into a daydream, and begin to imagine galloping horses hooves and iron-shod wheels, pay no heed. It is only the ghost of Brutus Ironicus driving the last chariot home from London to Chichester as the Romans retreated back to their beloved Italy in AD 410.’ Tony Brett Young, A Stroll Through North Cheam’s Past, (Liberal Democrat Pamphlet, 1991)
London Road, North Cheam, looking to Epsom Queen Vic
Lower Cheam Farm, Cheam Common Rd, C. 1910
London Road Cottages, diagonally across from Queen Vic London Rd
London Road Cottages
Lower Cheam Farm Cheam Common Rd
Lower Cheam Farm The Rickyard
London Rd and Malden Rd, 1936
6 London Road, T J Berry, Poplar Cottages, London Road, Undated
Lavender Corner, c.1963
London Rd, 8 June 1956
White Star Radio London Rd, c. 1959
Lord Nelson Inn, London Rd, 2 Aug 1957
London Rd, North Cheam, 1967
Lavender Corner, c. 1963
285 Malden Rd, c. 1975
S t A n t h o n y ’ s H o s p i ta l
St. Anthony's Hospital new wing, Sep 1982
In 1904 five sisters from the Daughters of the Cross arrived in North Cheam to establish a convent and hospital. In 1905 they treated 30 patients, and this rose to 131 in 1914. A new building was built in 1915 that could accommodate up to 160 people. Soldiers from the First World War were treated there, some suffering from TB. And many victims of bomb damage during the Second World War were also cared for at St Anthony’s. New hospital buildings were erected in 1975 and 1982, and St Raphael’s Hospice was opened in 1987.
24. Clockwise L to R St. Raphael's, Sister Mary Perpetua & Harry Cowd, 1986 St. Raphael's Hospice, c. Mar 1986 St. Raphael's Hospice topping out, 28 Sep 1986
St. Anthony's Hospital, c. 1913
St Anthony's Hospital, c. 1930
L to R St. Anthony's Hospital Entrance Hall, c. 1914 St. Anthony's Hospital Entrance Hall, Undated
St Anthony's Hospital Children's Ward, Undated
L to R St. Anthony's Hospital, 1908 St. Anthony's Hospital Children's Ward 1908
St. Anthony's Hospital, 'Fresh Air Cure', 1908
St. Anthony's Hospital Men's Ward, 1908
St. Anthony's Hospital, Undated
St. Anthony's Hospital, Open Air Cure, 1910
St. Anthony's Hospital, The Sanatorium, Undated
St. Anthony's Hospital, Open Air Ward, Undated
St. Anthony's Hospital, Operating Theatre, Undated
St. Anthony's Hospital, Operating Theatre, c. 1908
St. Anthony's Hospital, X-Ray Dept, c. 1914
St. Anthony's Hospital, Operating Theatre, c. 1914
St. Anthony's Hospital, New Wing, Sept 1982
5 Brock’s Fireworks The area between Gander Green Lane, Windsor Avenue and Marlow Drive, once farmland, was purchased in 1901 by C T Brock & Co’s “Crystal Palace” Fireworks Ltd. The site was chosen for it’s remoteness and space which enabled the safer production of fireworks. Sheds and bunkers were dispersed across the site and connected to the central building by a light narrow-gauge railway. The firm continued to operate on the site until 1935.
‘By the 1930’s the factory was, according to the The Times, using 100,000 lb of gunpowder each year, and employed on average 400 people (a large proportion being women and girls); each day 96,000 fireworks were produced, not counting nearly 200,000 sparklers, which took nearly 20 miles of wire each day. During their time in Cheam the company continued to develop new ideas for fireworks: in 1907 it was announced that a performance would include showers of York and Lancaster roses, and a set piece of colonial flags, while novelties promised for 1932 included Martian Comets and Electric Hares.’ David Rymill, Worcester Park, Old Malden & North Cheam, p. 207 There is a kind of parrallell between fireworks and photography - both defined by light and dark, fleeting moments, spectacle and and vision. Furthermore cameras’ point and shoot modus operandi shares much with firearms and weaponry, just as fireworks manufacture and history is tied to gunpowder and rockets.
Brock's Fireworks Illuminations, Postcard, Undated
Brock's Firework Girls, Undated
Brock's Firework Factory, Undated
Brock's Firework Factory, Undated
Brock's Firework Factory, Undated
Brock's Fireworks Factory, 1930
Brock's Workers, 1930
Brock's Workers, 1930
FA M ILY & LEISURE Queen Victoria Pub - Interior Description from1964 Press Release:
‘Queen Victoria North Cheam is a superb example of balanced designs created through the ‘package deal’ system. One company, K. B. Contracts Ltd, was entrusted with the entire project… Bar counters and panelling are finished in solid teak and Zebrano, with gold Terrazzo surrounds. Original William Morris designed wallpaper, blending beautifully with Somerset stove and slate fireplace, provides warmth and background for the specially designed and unusual wall lights. Black deep buttoned seating with mustard chairs and stools rest on the purpose woven Wilton carpet and complement the teak and aluminium tables. Food is cooked in from of the customer in the very latest MicroWave oven.’
Queen Victoria, North Cheam, 1964
‘On the Road to Epsom Races’ (Nelson Inn) James Pollard, 1838
Babies at North Cheam, c. 1935
Mothers and Babies, North Cheam, c. 1935
Mothers and Children, North Cheam, c. 1935
Coronation Party at The Woodstock, North Cheam 15 May 1937
Coronation Party The Woodstock, 15 May 1937
Woodstock Public House Snooker Group, Undated
The Woodstock, 1977
2 0 th C e n t u r y
D AVI D RY M ILL _ M i s c e l l a n i a David Rymill’s family has lived in Worcester Park since his grandparents moved to the district on their wedding day in 1937. Since 1993 he has worked as an archivist at Hampshire Record Office. He has been researching the history of Worcester Park and Cuddington since he was 13, and has published ‘Worcester Park and Cuddington: A Walk through the Centuries’ (2000) and ‘Worcester Park, Old Malden and North Cheam: History at our feet’ (2012); both books are available through www.buckwheatpress.co.uk Included here are an assortment of contributions from David including: postcards and photos of St Cecilia’s School, St Anthony’s Hospital and the Granada Cinema.
Cheam Common Road - view along Cheam Common Road from the Queen Victoria crossroads, with the Lingfield Road area on the left, c.1900
North Cheam Crossroads - looking up the London Road towards Morden, postmarked 1931
Park Farm Advertisement for houses on the Park Farm Estate (i.e. Brocks Drive area) from the Surrey Comet, 1934
Umballa School - one of the large Victorian houses near the North Cheam crossroads, while in use as a private school in the 1940s (Queenfield Court, London Road, now occupies the site).
The Cottage 1970, photograph of The Cottage, one of the staff houses at the foot of the entrance drive to Cheam Sanatorium, in the London Road between Glyn Road and Langley Avenue
TB Lane of Longfellow Rd, Undated
Cart of WH Randall of Cheamside, Undated
M a l c o l m C o r n e r _ VE
D ay Pa r t y
Dear Fiona, When I first met you at a school governor training session a year or two ago, I mentioned that I had two photo’s of a street party held in Mosley Drive to commemorate VE Day. At the time you expressed interest in recieving copies for the school and I said I would let you have them. Unfortunately, having searched high and low over a period of time I was unable to fid them. Howerver, recently my wife was having a major clear out and lo and behold, what did she come across, but the missing photo’s, neatly filed in a reinforced brown paper envelope. I’ve had copies made so here they are! I hope they will be of interest. Perhaps some of the children may be able to identify great grandparents!! Informatively, the party was held towards the Henley Avenue end and I’m the ‘good looking’ lad sitting in the front row second from left. Yours sincerely Malcolm A Corner
T h e E v e l e i g h ’ s _ Egham These images represent four generations of the Eveleigh family in North Cheam. Gillian Eveleigh’s grandparents moved to Egham Crescent from Battersea and Highgate.
Included here are: Photos of a VE Day party 1945, Egham Crescent, from the collection of Gililan Eveleigh’s father, Ron Eveleigh. The men dressed up as women, and served the women their tea. Ron and his sister Peggy are present in the photos. A group portrait of Ron Eveleigh and friends, on Egham Crescent c.1945/46. A photo of Gillian Eveleigh age 4, July 1961 in the garden, Egham Crescent. 3 postcards of surrounding area, from Ron Eveleigh’s collection. And a photo by Gillian’s daughter Juin Eveleigh taken in 2012 from the top of Sainsbury’s car park overlooking Fairlands Park.
Juin Eveleigh, Top of Sainsburyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Car Park Overlooking Fairlands Park, 2012.
A n i ta P l a n t F a m i l y P h o t o s U n d a t e d & M a i d s H o n o u r C h e a m P a r k F a r m Sc h o o l M a y 1 9 5 3
Anita Plant speaking in March 2013 - discussing the above family photos
‘These were really old, but these wouldn’t have been in this area though... I wish I’d ask my mum more now, when she was alive.’
‘I still see this girl, Wendy Lewis. I still see her... She’s died, as they do, it’s weird when you see it like this... We threw rose petals, it was really something to be chosen for. It was like a reward for good behaviour to get picked.’
11 S t O s w a l d’s C h u r c h Shown here are a selection of photos from St Oswald’s Church own archive, made up from numerous sources. Bryan Hopper, Church Warden, speaking to Sam Skinner, March 2013:
‘In the 40’s and 50’s there used to be several hundred children going to the Sunday school and that continued through to the 60’s, then it started easing off with the advent of television, more people had cars, more mobility, etcetera, and the numbers have gradually diminished… and now we have half a dozen to a dozen children coming. When the original hall was built in the 1930’s it was the same time as Park Farm Estate was being developed… there were new families coming into the nieghbourhood, there was no social centre at all, so that’s why they built the hall first, and that doubled up as the church, because they couldn’t afford to build the church at the same time as the hall… the hall was converted every Sunday and the altar up on the stage, and services in the body of the hall, and during the course of the week there were other activities going on.
The stage in the hall was fully equipped to put on plays and shows.. all the backdrops, curtains, coloured lights, and a big lighting board, that’s all been stripped out now because it was so old it was all condemned. After the war they decided they wanted to build the church they’d been planning since the 1930’s, but of course money was tight and also building materials were too, so what was originally planned as quite an elaborate substantial church, with three aisles, big tall walls, stained glass windows, because of the lack of availability of building materials and lack of funding, it became somewhat more of a utility sort of building - brick built, smaller than originally planned that was opened in 1953. But the hall has continued to be very much a part of the community… as far back as I can remember it’s fully used, everyday. There’s a preschool there every morning during the week, set up by the mothers union… and there are dancing classes, karate, woman’s guild, services for older people and people hire it out for parties, celebrations etc.’
12 Tim Bridle V i c t o r i a H o u s e _ T h e G r e at S t o r m _ C h e a m H i g h Sc h o o l Tim Bridle was an aspiring and prolific photographer during his teenage years in North Cheam, making full use of the dark room facilities at Cheam High School. Working independently, and inspired by the street photography genre he took a series of photographs from the elevated car-park in Victoria House, using a zoom lens. His images of the 1987 storm can be seen to fall into the category of aftermath photography. Depicting a decimated and scarred land, in which people starred in disbelief at the chaos, and pulled together to help one another. ‘The Great Storm of 1987 occurred on the night of 15–16 October, when gale-force winds caused casualties and extensive damage on both sides of the English Channel, as a severe depression in the Bay of Biscay moved north-east, affecting the denselypopulated London and Home Counties area. Forests, parks, roads and railways were littered with fallen trees, and the National Grid suffered heavy damage, leaving thousands without power. At least 22 people were killed in England and France, and a gust of 122 mph was recorded in Gorleston, Norfolk.’ - Wikipedia While at Cheam High School, Tim took photos of student life there, and his photos were used in the school paper. Images here include a sports day and group portraits.
NU C LEAR BUNKER _ 9 3 BUS _ WOOLWORTHS
North Cheam_Nuclear Bunker London Group Control_Church Hill Road The Kemnal Manor (Chislehurst) war room was abandoned and is now heavily vandalised. Its role was taken over by one of the oddest bunkers ever built. This occupied the bottom two floors (not underground) of a block of council flats at Pear Tree House, Lunham Road., SE19 and was the South East Group Control until the end of the civil defence era. The Mill Hill war room was apparently abandoned by the early 1980s. The four war rooms were built to a common design in 1951-53 on the edge of the conurbation. They were single-storey surface blockhouses topped by three distinctive ventilator shafts. They were built around a central area which could be viewed from the controller’s offices through glass screens. There was the usual back-up generator and air filters. A small canteen was provided but as in controls generally at this level there was minimal sleeping provision.
supporting. They were administered by the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority (LFCDA) but as this, unlike County Councils, had no staff of its own the Group Control Staff including the Group Controller would have been provided by the borough councils within the group. By the time civil defence was revamped in the early 1980s only the Cheam, Wanstead and Pear Tree House controls were operational. When the new message switching teleprinters were installed at the end of the decade the equipment for the North and North West groups had to be installed at the LFCDA’s headquarters to maintain the system’s integrity.
By the late 1980s the Mill Hill war room was nominally designated as the North Group control although it was never re-equipped. Plans had also been drawn up to provide the North West Group with a control by converting the former tube station at Brompton Road. It is possible that the intention was to use this as a centre for a general LondonIn their last role as Group Controls or Emergency Centres they stood wide peacetime emergency in the spirit of `civil protection’ which by between the controls of the individual London boroughs and the RGHQ this time had all but replaced the term `civil defence’ but the plan was for London at Kelvedon Hatch and they would have performed a similar abandoned when the moratorium was placed on capital expenditure function in a post-strike regional government as a County Main for civil defence. There is no sign that the controls were ever exercised Emergency Centre although unlike the counties they had no standby although at least Wanstead was involved in exercise Square Leg.” centre. Apparently, they were considered close enough to be mutually
North Cheam_Nuclear Bunker London Group Control_Church Hill Road Extract below by Steve Fox from... http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/london_controls/ The London Civil Defence Controls “During the last war the boroughs of Greater London were divided pielike into five sectors, three north and two south of the Thames. This division continued to be used for civil defence into the 1990s. With the re-emergence of civil defence in the early 1950s, four of the sectors were provided with war rooms originally known as ``sub-regional commissioner’s offices’’. These four war rooms were identical and can still be found at: Partingdale Lane, Mill Hill This was one of four London group controls, which covered the South West Group (Wandsworth, Lambeth, Merton, Sutton, Kingston-uponThames and Richmond-upon-Thames). The bunker has since been demolished and the site used for flats.
(opposite the barracks and next to the sub-station just on the bend)
Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead (behind the council estate) Kemnal Manor, Chislehurst (a long way down the road which seems to go nowhere) Church Hill Road, Cheam (next to the pub just off the shopping centre) These served (in order) the North, North East, South East and South West civil defence groups. A control for the North West Group was never built. During the 1970s and early 1980s a former civil defence centre in Southall was nominally the Group Control.
9 3 _ BUS Extract below from Peter Osborn’s website www.red-rf.com/rf-510
“Route 93 is a well-known south London route, but when it started ran almost entirely north of the river! After serving destinations as diverse as Harrow Weald, Wembley, Southall and Clapham Common, and featuring for a period a through Sunday service between Southall and Cheam via Wembley, the route settled down in the early days of the war to run between Putney Bridge and Epsom, extended summer Sundays to Dorking.”
Putney Bridge’s RT31 stands at Priory Road, North Cheam, with a canopy-blinded RT (or possibly RTL) behind, Undated. Photo © Jim Andrews
Production Date: 1960-1979 © Museum of London collection.
Production Date: 1948-1958 © Museum of London collection.
Woolworths This sign was displayed in the food department of the North Set of self-indicating counter balance scales with four weights. Used Cheam and Whetstone branch of Woolworth’s. It reflects an era by the North Cheam and Whetstone branch of Woolworth’s for weighing when preservatives were regarded as an asset to processed food. loose sweets. Woolworth’s spent much of the 1960s rolling grocery and greengrocery out across its stores before deciding in 1969 that profits were not high enough and the range should be scaled back.
Woolworths Staff, North Cheam 1953. Opened on 02.04.37 and extended on 10.03.39. Modernised, refurbished and converted to self-service on 13.05.71. ‘C’-type refurbishment 01.10.92. Photo © Woolworths Archive
14 M i k e D o dd _ N u c l e a r
This photo was taken in 1982 at a protest outside the North Cheam nuclear bunker. Mike Dodd is an ecologist who has been taking natural history pictures for over 25 years. Â He has had over 600 photographs published in books, magazines, calendars and on digital media. Â www.amanita-photolibrary.co.uk
2 1 ST C e n t u r y
P a u l B a l d e s a r e _ St I was born and still live and work in London as a photographer and teacher. My work has been published and exhibited in a variety of different fields with some of it finding its way into public and private collections. I continue to work on long term personal projects and have done so since 1983.
G e o r g e ’ s D ay & F o o t b a l l Most of my projects are shot in and around London simply because that’s where I live and work and the place that has influenced me emotionally and visually since a child. In the last three decades the fabric of London has undergone many changes and it is these changes that have increasingly influenced the projects I’ve undertaken. Most of my photography is shot candidly. This allows me to be more spontaneous and objective to the subject. It also means that I’m not influencing the outcome of the scene and allows it to unravel in the same way as if I wasn’t there. This is very important to me. www.baldesarepaul.com
Chelsea Football Supporters North Cheam S.W.London
Penalty Shoot-out Tones Bar North Cheam S.W.London
England Football Supporters North Cheam S.W.London
England Supporter singing the national anthem North Cheam S.W.London
Madness Tribute Band Night North Cheam S.W.London
World Cup Victory Celebration North Cheam S.W.London
England Fans celebrate with the traditional handbag dance Tone's Bar, North Cheam S.W.London
Father and son St Georges Day Celebration North Cheam S.W.London
St Georges Day Celebration North Cheam S.W.London
‘Henley Toffs’ St Georges Day Party North Cheam S.W. London
R i c k y H a u g h t o n _ L o n d o n R oa d _ N o n s u c h Pa r k _ 2 0 1 3 Ricky Haughton’s photos depict North Cheam at its most atmospheric - at night and in the snow, simultaneously black and white, and in colour. Slow exposures render the street lights like stars, streets shimmer with reflections, cars make luminous trails. And Nonsuch Park in snow is transformed, becoming a softened muted landscape, grey skies and snowflakes, casting thoughts and footsteps, with a sublime crystalline beauty. Interview extract below with North Cheam resident Maureen Warburton, Feb 2013:
“All this is Henry’s land. Did you know that. All this belonged to Henry VIII... and in the day of Henry, because of the plague it came as far as the traffic lights, from London... and Samuel Pepys, who was head of the treasury, brought all the money from London and put it in Nonsuch Palace. And it’s not ‘Non Such’ it means No Such Palace, because it was so elaborate and beautiful... It was built for his son, who died at 15 or 16... It’s all in this book, ‘A Quest for Nonsuch’... my mother worked for the author John Dent, and when he wrote it he was the historian for Bourne Hall, so my copy is a hard back signed by John Dent, and when he first started it he was told that Nonsuch Palace was East Cheam, but he said no it’s not it’s North Cheam! So this is what it’s all about, and it’s all to do with Henry.”
“My Mum and Dad came here (North Cheam) in 1935. They brought a Gleeson’s show house brand new on Brock’s Drive... They lived in Balham before. My dad was a signwriter and glass writer, for Hovis for 51 years. His apprenticeship was 7 years... The deposit on the house was 25 pounds. The mortgage never went up a penny in 25 years. And now I live there with my husband. He used to live on Caversham Avenue, which is only round the corner... My cousin said he looks nice!... and we got married in St Dunstan’s Church. And so either of us know anywhere really but here.” “And how would you say it’s changed?” “The shops. It’s shame really, but the shops have gone. There’s so many eating places!? I mean there used to be little sweet shops, and ladies underwear shops... where Santander is was beautiful gowns and millinery shop, but people don’t want that sort of thing now.” See Also: Martin Biddle, Nonsuch Palace: The Material Culture of a Noble Restoration Household (Oxford: Oxbow Press, 2003). John Dent, A Quest for Nonsuch (Sutton: Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1962).
Nicola Goodsell Still Lives Nicola Goodsell is a photographer based in North Cheam, and graduated with a BA in Photography at University for the Creative Arts, in 2011. These images are not obviously of North Cheam, but they are of North Cheam in another sense - of its details, its interior, and also offer a view of what alternative modes of photography are being explored there today. They push the boundaries of what is a credible photo or subject of North Cheam and of photography itself. We normally pass over these objects, everyday kitchen utensils but here they are simultaneously focussed on and abstracted, with bold and imaginative use of colour and light. www.ngoodsellphotography.com
18 Branch Lines & Pictures of You Holden & Skinner In December 2013 we installed a large poster artwork across the facade of Victoria House, comprising branch outlines composed of, and interlaced with, a multitude of motifs - including street and architectural plans, modernist artworks, bus routes, bomb sites, prayer matts, circuitry diagrams, optical illusions, and glitch effects.
The space also functioned as an open access archive - people could drop-in and submit photos to the archive, interviews were undertaken and recorded, and a selection of local history books and archive related texts were also available. We also undertook off-site talks, discussions, and slideshows, as part of a participation and engagement programme, at Brook Court (Raglan Housing sheltered accommodation), St Oswald’s Church, and Cheam Park Farm School.
As part of the Pictures of You project we occupied a vacant shop, 462 London Road, between February and April 2014, just across the street from Victoria House. On display was an exhibition of photos from The archive was run in parallel to a programme of activities run by Sutton Archive, alongside the ‘Architects of the Future’ designs by Year Meanwhile Space, in an adjoining room, which included a skate ramp, 5 Cheam Park Farm School Students. Re: Start Project, children’s art classes, a second hand furniture shop and North Cheam Traders Association meetings.
19 John Hall L e t t e r s & S t o n e g at e H o m e s Victoria House proposal mock-up John Hall, owner of Hampton’s shoe shop, London Road, and former chairman of North Cheam Trader’s Association, visited Cheam Park Farm School with developers from Stonegate Homes to talk with students about the proposals for the project and history of the area. Also shown here is a North Cheam CCTV certificate he donated to the archive. Why include a C.C.T.V. certificate in the archive? Because John Hall donated it, and from the start our approach has been that we would accept any submission that anybody deemed relevant. Some have critiqued this as a ‘tenuous’ criteria, but lines blur, especially with regard to what constitutes a place or an archive. Furthermore there is a striking parallel between Pictures of You’s attempt to photographically picture North Cheam and the CCTV project’s own visual survey of the area, but each to very different ends. For further discussion see: John Tagg, The Burden of Representation http://www.scribd.com/doc/62846095/The-Burden-of-Representation-John-Tagg-1988
20 Year 5 Students C h e a m P a r k F a r m Sc h o o l _ L o n d o n R o a d
These photos were taken by students on a visit to Victoria House and to the archive pop-up shop space. We talked about the building, the Branch Lines artwork, and their forthcoming exhibition in the space. The photographic element functioned as research alongside their drawings, questionnaires and other activities.
Victoria House A r c h i t e c t s o f t h e F u t u r e _ C h e a m Pa r k Fa r m Y e a r 5 S t u d e n t s We worked with Year 5 students and teachers at Cheam Park Farm School and developed a project for which (alongside street photography and questionnaires) students created new design proposals for Victoria House - inspired by the changing history of the site, the various buildings that had occupied it over time, and in particular the modernist avant-garde stylings of the existing building, its multi-purpose design and bold use of concrete as a material. See â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Future is Unwrittenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; text in the appendix for further info on this project.
Victoria House_100 Years
Stonegate Homes proposal for new Victoria House 2013
21 Answers to the Questionnaire on North Cheam and Victoria House C o n d u c t e d b y Y e a r 5 S t u d e n t s C h e a m P a r k F a r m Sc h o o l w i t h f r i e n d s & f a m i l y 1.Do you live in North Cheam? Yes - 100 No - 69
4. Do you like Victoria House? Yes - 12 No - 139
2.Why do you visit North Cheam?
-Shopping 102 -Visiting family 105 -Driving through to go somewhere else 33 Goals, park, swimming, restaurants, school, hair/barbers, Dr/dentist, vet, bank, post office
*dump *the back is broken *disgusting *old and not colourful *disgusting *looks like it’ll fall down *eyesore *don’t like the wall paper *big and no use *ugly, old, a waste of space *bad condition * makes junction look jaded and ugly *derelict *under utilised large site
3.What do you like about North Cheam?
5. What would you like to see in the new development?
*Macdonald’s *Goals *quiet *park/woods *amenities (Dentist, vet etc) *shops *shops *friendly *nearby *friends *swimming *convenient for shops *access to London *post office *its clean *schools *access to M25 *all my friends are there *not too busy/much traffic *Not much –and nowhere to park
*small play area *sports centre *Laser quest *cinema *star bucks *youth club *nice looking pub *library *sweet shop *pet salon *health centre *bowling alley*arcade *pet shop *kids centre *aquarium *hotel *mini theme park *KFC *ice rink *no cars for sale *good car park *learning area for schools *13+ chill out zone *something to bring life and character *care home for elderly *coffee bar for young people
Architects of the Future C h e a m Pa r k Fa r m Y e a r 5
22 Hello! blog posting_January_2013 For the first phase of the project, Meanwhile Space and Sutton Council, with funding from the Outer London Fund, tasked us with transforming the facade of Victoria House, a derelict shopping centre/office/bar/ car-park (a true multi-purpose modernist building/ruin!) at the crossroads of London Road and Malden Road. We designed and installed a large-scale poster artwork entitled Branch Lines, which comprises tree forms made up of and interlaced with a range of motifs and references, including: modernist art, design and architecture; maps of the local area, bus routes, train-lines, and bombsites; and various diagrams, including one of the family of Indo-European languages and another of an electronic circuit. We measured every window and shop-front of the building, created the final design on the computer, then printed hundreds of metres of the poster artwork, which we then cut and coloured, ready for pasting. We then worked flat-out over a week installing the artwork using bucket loads of poster paste and elbow grease! It was hard work with long, cold, wet and windy days, never mind the bird poo! But ‘mega’ breakfasts at the Feedwell Cafe and positive comments from passersby buoyed our spirits, and we were excited to be given the opportunity to work on such a unique building. We appreciate that the building had become an eyesore, so to address this in some small way was both challenging and a responsibility.
We’ve had a lot of positive responses from local people and we’re happy with what we’ve achieved. We hope the site and building are less of a blot on the landscape, and now help a little to connect the four corners of the cross roads in a more positive way. We also hope that for all Victoria House’s failings and dereliction, our artwork is something of an ode to building and its classical modernist design – something of a rarity in the UK. However, we appreciate that of paramount importance is that this site needs action, way beyond paper thin aestheticisms. We hope though that our artwork feeds into a discussion and understanding of the sites past, present and future. Our artwork is intended to draw attention to both how a city and its development can be compared with a living organism, like a tree, but also how it’s growth is undeniably constructed and controlled to varying degrees by more political and commercial forces and agents. The artwork’s imagery of growth, development, and ecology, coupled to more material factors such as modernism, transport, the city and complex interrelated networks, illustrated in ink on paper, stuck fast to every groove and contour of the building, its gridded windows, security shutters and cracking paint, is an epitaph of sorts, to the dreams, successes and failures of the building, its destiny as a future pile of rubble, and what may rise from its ashes.
Archivisms Blog Posting_February_2013 When we spoke to the children from Cheam Park Farm Junior School during the development of this project (i’ll post about their amazing work next – check it out in the images section), one of the questions that came up was: What is an archive? And it’s not an easy question to answer, because there are so many types, from public to private, comprising almost everything under the sun. But it has something to do with things that refuse to disappear, and the belief that an awareness of history and its traces are important, useful or somehow beneficial to engage with.
But what remains was often not intended for posterity, but that is often were the magic of such documents, like photos, resides. Such objects that live on, beyond what they index, posses a charm, or nostalgia, of life lived, times passing.
But still the question remains – what is an archive? Is a shoebox of photos an archive? One could argue that only when it is actively used does such a storehouse of memories fulfil its archival potential. For although we all store and collect, how often do we disseminate this material. Archives are made-up of things that leave a mark, whether that be materially like a photograph, or an event that through sheer force of significance demands to be remembered.
And just as the authority of any archive lies in its contingency, so to the photo’s status as evidence or document is highly constructed and mutable – our minds are hard wired to entertain photography’s illusion, conjuring stories from the slightest alchemic or digital trace put before our eyes.
Furthermore archives are always specific to something or place and form a ‘foundation from which history is written’.
An archive is not a library, a memorial, or simply a collection, but a little bit of all of these. It is a multi-layered space, to be worked through, not unlike how an archeologist or psychologist examine the traces and meanings of past experience.
We hope our archive is an engagement with North Cheam, with photography and with the notion and possibilities of the archive. This is an experiment in engagement and participation, an inquiry into concepts of place, an opportunity to rewrite a little bit of history. So please have a rummage, spread the word and drop-in to the space, or email or call us – all details can be found on the contacts page.
The Future is Unwritten Blog Posting_March_2013 Back in January we developed a partnership with Year 5 students at Cheam Park Farm Junior school. We devised a mini-syllabus around Victoria House and the photo archive. It had a few different elements. For the first element children visited Victoria House and took photos of the building and the surrounding area. They also visited the You Are Here pop-up shop on London Road, just before the space officially opened. I gave a little talk on what I thought was interesting about the Victoria House, in particular its ‘modernist’ underpinnings: it’s multi purpose design that combined shops, a car-park, offices, living accommodation, a pub, and a billboard, all in one structure; its bold use of concrete as a material; and its avant-garde styling, stridently ‘forward’ thinking, indifferent to styles of the past - but which had so desperately failed. And I asked the children to take these as their guiding principles for a project to design a Victoria House of the future! To think about what different elements they could bring together, what might be useful or fun things to combine. They had some amazing ideas and visions: from jungles to chocolate factories, wind turbines to libraries, all carefully linked together. I also talked about how their designs would be on show in the You Are Here space,
featured on the website and would be included in the archive - so they were to be exhibiting artists as well as architects of the future. And Anna from Meanwhile Space gave a talk on ‘meanwhile use’ of shops and what they were trying to do in the area, which all the children really engaged with and ‘got’. The children also undertook homework in the form of a questionnaire with their family and friends - about their views on Victoria House and North Cheam. See the answers below. And they also asked family and friends for photos of the area for the archive - one of the best examples of this research being Malcolm Corner’s photo’s of a VE day party on Brock’s drive - check it out in the image section. And back in class teachers showed the children the work of Archigram - the wildly inventive British Architecture practise of the 1960’s whose imaginative designs are examples of a completely different type of modernism, much more imaginative, where form doesn’t so much follow function, as function itself is completely re-invented.
The Future is Unwritten Blog Posting_March_2013 Charlie and myself also visited the school and gave a talk on the project and showed photos from Sutton Archive - in particular the London Road area and photos of the two Queen Victoria pub buildings, previously occupying the site. And I talked about Sutton Local History and Archives centre and how their drawings and photos would be included in the collection, looked after and made available for future generations. We talked about what an archive was and why an awareness of history was important, and connected this to Victoria House and the fact that, including the future development on the site, there will have been 4 different buildings on the site in just under 100 years. In our discussion one boy summed everything up by asking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How will the new building not just fail again?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Our response was that it probably would fail again, and that another way to think about it was how to make buildings flexible, adaptive, even purposefully temporary, and it was also an issue about the planning of the whole area and wider governance. Most of all, children just wanted something to happen there - and they were obviously also voicing their parents frustrations too. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth remembering that the children, aged 9 and 10, had only ever known this building as a ruin. It reminded me of the way older people in the area talked with a mixture of fear and intrigue about the nuclear bunker, which sat ominously vacant for years, just behind Victoria House.
Before our talk, one of the developers from Stonegate Homes responsible for the new Victoria House development, had gone in to talk to the children about the project too, and this was a good grounded counterpoint to all our utopian dreaming. He gave an insight into the planning process and what they were hoping to achieve, from affordable housing through to shop premises. And also made his case for the size of the building, something planners had objected to, and why it needed to be this size to be economically viable. So over the course of the project the children took photos, worked as archivists, undertook surveys, studied modernism, created designs, exhibited in a pop-up shop, met artists and developers - and engaged with their locale and broader issues of place, to a profound degree you only need to look through their drawings to see their brilliance and potential.
It’s About Bleeding Time ( IT ’ S ALL ABOUT THE NU M BERS ) Our project began with a focus on Victoria House a vacant modernist shopping centre, office block and car park in the heart of North Cheam. We were tasked with artistically addressing its dereliction, demolition and eventual replacement. The poster artwork we created was a symbolic offering of sorts, perhaps not so different from the birthday cards, party poppers and such like, sold just across the road from Victoria House at Steve’s Card Shop, or floral tributes from Flower Fayre, a little further down the street. Charlie and myself had never set foot in North Cheam before, and only ‘seen’ Victoria House using Google Street View, or via photos on Flickr, in groups called ‘It’s Grim Down South Too’, ‘The Abandoned’ and ‘Urban and Rural Decay’. We felt that branching organic forms across the building would work with its ruined and overgrown state, whilst also suggesting the possibility and promise of new growth on the site.
He explained, as he lent against his Maserati, that it wouldn’t be ‘economically viable’ otherwise, and that it was ‘all about the numbers’. A few months later I met some people who were squatting Victoria House, they were living without money - they opened up a ‘shop’ in one of the vacant units trading in ‘free stuff’ - as I spoke to one of the group, others sat on the steps, playing bongos and guitar. I explained that I was working with ‘posh squatters’ Meanwhile Space, and we talked about the ethics of squatting, the pros and cons of asking permission, of working from within and outside the system. I warned them that the building wasn’t safe, and that the pigeon shit was a serious health hazard. They were evicted soon after.
A few weeks later, Charlie and I were back at Victoria House, reapplying some damaged sections of the artwork, two young smartly dressed men with clipboards who had been circling Victoria House approached us and asked if we had permission for what we were doing. I joked As we installed the artwork over a long cold week in December, we met and told them ‘No, we just do this for fun, slapping posters on derelict many local people who were interested to see something happening buildings, as planners and developers play chicken, play for time, play to the building. People spoke to us with a mixture of high and low expectations, hope and resignation in equal measure - all were keen to waiting games. As local people have to put up with eyesores, kafkaesque bureaucracy, and interminable power-plays - that are about profiteering, see some development. We spoke positively that something was going to happen, based upon what we had heard, and that it was going to be about bleeding time, about the numbers.’ Of course I didn’t actually say this. Instead we asked them what was happening with the building, knocked down and the site redeveloped soon. Two different gentlemen, just as people had been asking us, they said it was being put on the on two different days, both responded by saying: ‘It’s about bleeding market - sold on, again. We were surprised that this could be done. time.’ Several other people said: ‘I’ll believe that when I see it.’ I asked would it be the same plans as put in by Stonegate. Possibly, One day during this week, we also met someone from Stonegate Homes - probably not - in fact they could be changed as many times as the new the developers of the site. We asked about how planners had objected to developers wanted, subject to approval. When might something happen? ‘Well that depends on the market.’ And off they shuffled. the height and size of their proposed development.
P h o t o _ S h a r i n g _ C o mm u n i t y ‘I went once and was annoyed / dissapointed. nothing that a moderately interested local cant learn from going in the Wetherspoons ;-) !!! (they always have local history displays). plus i dont have kids,and i don’t LIKE kids. i suppose it is good for them to learn about local history, rather that than being brainwashed with political correctness and so-called “liberal humanism”, but im not interested in their pictures or overhearing their nauseating middle-class post- grad “guardian” reader parent’s opinions.’ Anonymous comments on Meanwhile Space online questionnaire in reference to the Pictures of You project space
One of the ideas behind the project was to pictorially assert North Cheam’s history. Cheam Village and Worcester Park have both been developed and more densely inhabited for longer and as such can appear to have ‘more’ history, but of course this is not the case. The point of underscoring North Cheam’s history in a project such is to promote it as a resource for study, engagement and identity. And in exploring certain histories and characteristics, the project in some small way seeks to defend North Cheam’s individuality, in particular it’s shopping centre - that is so powerfully challenged by the industry giants of McDonald’s, Starbucks and Sainsbury’s, alongside the dual pressures of out-of-town and internet shopping.
‘Never was the word “community” used more indiscriminately and emptily than in the decades when communities in a sociological sense became hard to find in real life.’ Eric Hobsbawn, in Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid On focussing simply on photography in North Cheam - our project Modernity (London: Polity Press, 2000), p. 171 addresses the edges of photography, where its falls away and turns into something else. And though we might promote an unromantic Today we live in an age of spectacle, that seemingly prefers the taxonomy of place, of the archive, of photography - the desire to world as an image of itself. Places and local governments market rescue images from obscurity, and reappraise them in a new context, themselves, using image construction, art and culture, in this process. is probably guilty of a certain amount of liberal-humanist gesturing, Our project, for all its abstract engagement with history and identity, however well meaning. But, it should be made clear that however is part of these processes too. But however much we may tick these much we have arranged the order and context, we have censored boxes, our approach, the focus on participation and what you might nothing - everything in this book was donated freely, because people call ‘user generated content’ is far from a controlled image of place, thought the photos relevant somehow. instead it offers a diverse multitude of perspectives, representing the varied history of the area, from St Anthony’s Hospital, Brock’s Fireworks, and Nonsuch Palace, to its contemporary community spirit.
P h o t o _ S h a r i n g _ C o mm u n i t y Roland Barthes described photos as ‘but fugitive testimony’ and perhaps the archive, and this book are a quest to fix, find or capture these fugitive traces and hidden memories. Utilising digital scanning, the website, the ebook, we are reacting to and taking advantage of, the convergence between old visual technologies and computing. The relative ease to create a digital archive, and publish today are profoundly new ways to engage with the world - of the past, present and future. This is a revolution that is not so dissimilar to when photography was first invented 150 years ago. Then, as now, we feel we are living at a pivotal moment of technological revolution.
We seek to value individuals personal photography, honour its rarity, by representing it in the public sphere. Photography is a document of memory, of the eye, or as Walter Benjamin would describe it, of the ‘optical unconscious’, just as psychoanalysis discloses the instinctual unconscious. Photographs are tri-partite portraits - of what’s in front of the camera, of the camera itself, and of the photographer. And something similar happens when we look at a photograph - there is the picture itself, our surrounds, and us the viewer. A veritable hall of mirrors - reflection ad infinitum. As Mary Prices describes, in her book ‘The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space’, the meaning of a photo is determined though it’s life, when and where it is shown and talked Our process of scanning and representing, has been to effectively about, its active contexts in which it is used - and thus does not have double individual photographs. And however easily the photograph can a closed meaning, but a mutable and emergent meaning. be duplicated, it rarely is. The process of duplication has been linked to a loss of aura, of such personal items, but it can be argued that The anonymous person’s comments I quote at the beginning reflect the instead the original gains something in this process. Photo sharing in dichotomy at the heart of representation and specifically photography this way, in particular in the community context, becomes not a loss - a tension between its visual or referential characteristics and the of privacy, but a reinvigoration of the public sphere. Crucial to this is contexts of interpretation and usage. Our pop-up archive space the voluntary aspect, as opposed to the commercialisation of personal was very different to Weatherspoon’s, and however participatory our data by the burgeoning information industry, in which data has intentions, its always going to appear pretentious compared to the acquired a commercial value - the new resources of the 21st century, local pub. And however much I talk of liberating photos, we are also not so different from coal or steel before. collecting them under a homogenising banner. Furthermore, as Derek Price writes, photographic documentation functions ‘as part of a discursive system... [that] constructs the reality it purports to reveal.’ But for all the perils and pitfalls of such a photographic endeavour, and all the thoughts and words you can band about, at the end of it all, the pictures, silently speak for themselves.
Thankyou_to_all_who_contributed D e s i g n _ C h a r l e s H o l d e n - TEXT _ S a m S k i n n e r - A l l i m a g e s c o p y r i g h t _ t h e c o n t r i b u t o r s _ 2 0 1 3
w w w.picturesofyou.org.uk