General Section

This is the general page
Go to history page
Go to travel information
Go to railway page

At the top of this page you will find the links to 'History' which explains how we started, and what we are trying to achieve, and to 'Travel', which should help visitors find us.

We have now added a special page 'Railway' as a link to information about the Surrey Iron Railway, the worlds first public railway, which followed the line of the Wandle.

Latest developments/news and Coming Events

Dates for your Diary 2011.

See us at:

-	Morden Hall Park, May Fair. This is also the Royal Wedding weekend, 29 April to 1 May.

-	Our Summer Opening of the new exhibition - weekend of 11/12 June

-	Wimbledon Village Fair - Saturday 18 June

Our block printing demonstrations (and print your own) in the Chapter House at Merton Abbey Mills:

-	Wandle Weekend  - 4/5th June

-	Archaeology Month - tba but sometime in July

-	London Open House weekend - tba but usually 3rd weekend in September
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March 2011 - The February newsletter is now online.

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Peter Moore

December 09 - The news has just come through that Peter Moore, town crier for Wimbledon (and for London generally) for the last 30 odd years has passed away.
We will miss his presence at all the annual events which mark the passing of the seasons here. He brought colour to our lives, and those events will somehow feel less complete without him.

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30 December 2009 - The upload of Peter McGow's detailed history of the Surrey Iron Railway and Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway is now complete, although some tidying may still be needed. Click on Railway above, then follow the links, or access it via the Mills pages

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We have started to upload Peter McGow's detailed history of the Surrey Iron Railway and Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Iron Railway. The complete index and Chapters 1 to 4 plus references is now up. In Chapter 4 he goes into great detail on the battles between the rival canal and railway companies hinted at in his article in Issue 68. Click on Railway above, then follow the links, or access it via the Mills pages

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Latest Newsletter

Issue 68 is now online. This is in a simplified format owing to the loss of Webbo's services.

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Emma Lazarus and William Morris

On the Mills page we have uploaded a copy of the article by Emma Lazarus (who, among other talents, wrote the poem 'the New Colossus' which appears on the Statue of Liberty) about her vist to William Morris at his Merton works.

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Latest Newsletter

Issue 52 is now online. This is in a simplified format owing to the loss of Webbo's services.

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Mills of the Wandle, September 2005

All the Mills of the Wandle are now online. Our thanks to Stan Anson for his help, and to Peter McGow for making it possible in the first place.

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This Site is No Longer Maintained, November 2005

Webbo writes "I am writing this to let you know that I can no longer execute my technical duties, thus will not be involved with the Museum in future."

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Mills of the Wandle, August 2005

Mills 25-35 are now on the site, thanks to Stan. These include our own Ravensbury Mill, and the Liberty and Morris sites, as well as Connolly's. Only 14 to go!

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Mills of the Wandle

Mills 20-24 are now on the site, thanks to our latest virtual volunteer. Stan Anson is a great-great-great-grandson of the younger George Ansell of the Carshalton Mills, and has been kind enough to volunteer his expert services in tidying up the OCR versions of the Mills pages ready for posting to the web

7 July 2005
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Wimbledon Village Fair

Wimbledon Village Fair

Wimbledon Village Fair

We had a stall at the Fair again this year on 18 June, to help spread the word in Wimbledon about the valley's industrial history. A huge crowd enjoyed the sudden onset of summer, ensuring a constant stream of visitors.This brings to an end an intensive two week period of activity, and our thanks to all volunteers whose support made this possible.

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Wandle Valley Festival

block printing

Block printing

The Festival went off smoothly on 12 June, with all events taking place as planned. A full debrief is to take place soon, and all input would be appreciated. Mary Hart joined in the heritage events within the Chapter House, enabling many children (and others) to enjoy their first hands on experience of block printing, and the Museum was open all afternoon, with free admission.

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Summer Party

Mayor cutting Nelson Cake

Mayor cutting Nelson Cake

We were honoured by the Mayor of Merton at our Summer Party for the opening of the Menage a Trois exhibition, together with both Merton's M.P.s and various councillors on the one hand, and a distinguished group of local historians on the other, including Eric Montague, Judy Goodman, and Peter McGow, as well as many volunteers and friends. In keeping with the theme, the Mayor made the first cut in our Nelson Celebration Cake (baked by Mary, of course)

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Menage a Trois in Merton

Cutting the ribbon

Cutting the ribbon

The exhibition has now been opened by the Mayor of Merton, Cllr Judy Saunders. Clicking on the image will take you to the web site version, which will be updated soon with the actual text of the exhibition. Congratulation sto our Hon Curator, Meg Thomas, who produced the exhibition content singlehandedly, and to Eric Shaw for creating the space on which to show it!

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Wandle Valley Festival 2005

The Festival is set for 12th June, and we look forward to seeing you all at the various events. Please go to for all the news about this years events, and take a note of the new number 0870 714 07 50 for a detailed recorded message when you are away from your computer. Our own contributions are the opening of our Nelson exhibition the day before, ""Menage a Trois in Merton", and block printing demonstrations and hands on trials for visitors, at the Chapter House on the Sunday.

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Surrey Iron Railway

SIR Bench

SIR Bench

Wandsworth Council have installed a new bench on the north side of the Mapleton Road/Garret Lane junction, incorporating 8 SIR blocks. Hopefully they will add a storyboard soon to tell the story!

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Mills of the Wandle

We have added the text of Peter McGow's notes on sites 1 to 10 of the Mills of the Wandle to that section of the site. Click here to go to the Index Page

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Kevin Leyden

Kevin Leyden

Kevin Leyden

The week leading up to the Museum reopening was saddened by the death of Kevin Leyden.

Kevin was a founder of the Museum, and has remained an enormous influence on us. Click on the image for a link to the full obituary.

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New Displays

Our new displays are now on-line. Click on the image in our Home page or click here for the displaysto see these.
Our Webbo has been at pains to include a text only version for those with accessibility needs.
We would welcome any comments/criticism on the new pages to help us keep improving. Please use the Discussion Forums

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Museum reopening 12 June 2004

May 2004. The Museum re-opening on theweek end of 12/13 June 2004. was a great success, and we are grateful for the compliments received.
It formed part of the Wandle Valley Festival weekend, which was itself a success, sufficiently so for plans to be afoot for it to become annual. A provisional date has been set for the second weekend in July 2005.

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Derek Jack Huxtable 1926 ~ 2004

Derek jack huxtable

Derek Huxtable

The weekend of the May Fair saw the sad demise of Derek, who died on Monday 3rd May, 2004.

Derek has hardly missed a Wednesday opening of the Museum for 9 years, and has been a mainstay of our volunteering activities. The picture here is of him a couple of years ago, manning a stall for us in Mitcham. His was a well attended funeral, as you would expect for such a popular man, and, fittingly for us at the Museum, was held at the Lambeth Crematorium in Blackshaw Road, which borders the line of the Surrey Iron Railway. Click on the image for a link to the full obituary.

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Wandle Valley Festival weekend 12/13 JUNE 2004

May 2004. For those who don't yet know the weekend of 12/13 June has been set for the first Wandle Valley Festival weekend. This is an initiative of the Wandsworth Environment Forum, enthusiasically adopted by the four boroughs and many local organisations. See press for details. Our grand reopening ceremony, attended by the Mayor of Merton, Cllr Margaret Brierley, will be on the Saturday, while on Sunday Mary Hart will be joining with Dave Saxby of the Museum of London in the Chapter House at Merton Abbey Mills for block printing demonstrations. The museum will be open to the general public on Saturday from 2.30pm until 5 pm. On Sunday we will be open from 12 Noon until 4 pm.


An unfortunate side effect of our closure is that we have run stock particularly low. The success of the only sunny day of the May fair has meant we have liitle left. We are reordering, and will reset the Mail order pages as soon as possible.


Because we have taken the decision to completely redesign our exhibitions, the Museum has been closed for longer than originally planned. Hopefully all will now be in pace for the grand reopening on 12 June, as part of the new Wandle Valley Festival weekend


JANUARY 2004. Starting 17 January 2004, the Museum exhibitions will be closed during refurbishment. We would expect to be open to the public again by the middle of March, but will keep you posted. The office will still be manned throughout this period, so please feel free to contact us as before. Although we are unable to lay on our popular block printing exhibitions for schools at the Museum, alternative arrangements have been made, so feel free to book as usual.


JULY 2003. This year represents the bicentenary of the opening of the Surrey Iron Railway. We have now launched a brand new full colour A4 trifold booklet to mark the bicentenary of the opening, available at £1.95 from our shop (discounts for large orders). We celebrate the bicentenary of its opening on 26 July 2003, when the Mayor of Merton will open our new exhibition and help the launch of our new publication.


Hopefully you will have seen the broadcast of the Time Team's visit to the old Liberty site at Merton Abbey Mills. We were very pleased to have assisted both with Bill Rudd's broadcast contribution to the block printing experiment, as well as Mary Hart's technical assistance behind the scenes.


Work has now started on the redevelopment of the site. Extensive archaeological excavations were undertaken, and the publication of the results by the Museum of London is keenly awaited.

It is a source of great sadness, however, that the architectural contribution to the site by the new development is so negative, reflecting neither its more recent industrial history, nor its grander mediaeval importance and not even substituting any attempt at modern architectural quality or style to compensate for this loss

Funding has been released to help source a new heritage body to rectify this, but, as evidence from elsewhere shows, no amount of hype can sustain an interest in the invisible. Without daily reminders of the relevance of the site, whether by architectural detail, physical displays integrated into the development, or even simple naming conventions, all will be lost.


September 2002. We have now turned the Wandle Trail Map into a booklet format, and created a PDF version which is suitable for use on PDAs running Acrobat, and is available for download from this site. This is our first effort at this, so please go to Archive Section, and let us know what you think.


For your convenience, we have added this London events link, which will take you to a web site which contains details of many different events going on all over London.


September 2002. The Mayor of Merton, Cllr Macauley, is visiting us on 9th October to present our formal certificate as a registered Museum (see below). Before then, all being well, we hope to have succeded in our Investors in Volunteers application, so this should be a double celebration. Some 86 pages of new or revised documents were created for this process. If their worth is proved by success in the application, we are considering publishing these as a help to others, as this process is rolled out across the country, if sufficient interest is shown

Registered Museum:

On 7th January 2002 the Wandle Industrial Museum was awarded the ‘Registered Museum' certificate.

The admission to the Museum Register is the result of many years'effort by the trustees, permanent staff and volunteers.

Registered museum logo

The status of a registered museum creates confidence towards third parties. The Museum has shown that as manager of this part of our cultural heritage it takes its responsibillity seriously. Registered museums know what to expect from each other.

Private individuals know that the Museum deals with gifts and loans in a responsible way, visitors can expect the museum to offer basic facilities. The Museum must comply with certain fundamental demands, such as a financial basis, a policy plan, the collection and its registration, maintenance, research and qualified staff and volunteers.

Finally the Museum is expected to abide with the law and regulations relevant to museums, their staff, collections and the facilities.

Site Maintenance:

It has been pointed out that our online order form was confusing.

Accordingly, we have tried to simplify this. Please feel free to look, and let us know if you think it is now clear, or not, as the case may be!