This Newsletter contains printed materials recovered using OCR technology

Newsletter #24 - Autumn 1998

1. Newsdesk

2. Presentation to Wandle Industrial Museum Presentation of a Brass Plate to the Museum recalls to 200 years of public service of the Chart family to Mitcham
3. Annual General Meeting
A report on our AGM, and a talk by Rachel Hill if the Environment Agency about her work on the Wandle
4. Wheels on the web:
Merton Chamber of Commerce funded SORB to create a website
5. Young's ram brewery: guided tour:
John Viner reports on our visit to Young's Ram Brewery
6. The Lease At Ravensbury Mill:
Nicholas Hart reports on leases in general, and the difficulties with the one proposed for Ravensbury Mill
6. Wandsworth Challenge Partnership Wandle Delta Urban Design Framework:
Chris Ruse of LB Wandsworth reports on the plans for regerneration of the Wandle delta
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The Wandle Industrial Museum

Image from the cover

The Vestry Hall Annexe -London Road - Mitcham -Surrey CR4 3UD - Telephone: 0181-648 0127 .



Museum open every Wednesday 1-4pm and first Sunday of each month 2 - 5pm


The museum also welcomes schools and groups by appointment


UPPER MILL, Wandsworth, one of the local flour mills which at one time produced germwheat Wando bread, no ingredient of which, it was said could "irritate the weakest stomach, but, on the contrary, it assisted digestion, and produced muscle, bone and brain".



MIDDLE MILL, Wandsworth, formerly known as Brasil Mill. Here was produced a red dye from a wood called Brasil, obtained from the East Indies in the first place and afterwards, co-incidentally, from Brazil.


Visits to the Museum

Once again we were pleased to welcome two groups from SS Peter & Paul First School making their annual visit to the Museum participating in our Textile Workshops. Merton Afternoon Townswomen's Guild also enjoyed a guided tour of the Museum and its exhibits.


Outreach Once again the Museum took a stall at the Merton Green Fair in September. This was an enjoyable and profitable afternoon and thanks to everyone who participated. Ray Leyden and friends represented us at the Annual Wandle Clean Up Day in October and did a grand job. Peter Harris represented the Museum at the special GLIAS/Surrey Industrial History Group joint meeting on The Wandle Valley in October with his slide lecture on the Upper Reaches of the Wandle.


Burglar y at the Museum

Unfortunately, we have to report a break-in and burglary over the Summer Bank Holiday period, when some of Peter's donated snuff and tobacco collection was stolen.


However, due to the diligence and foresight of volunteer Archivist Marguerite Lee-Delisle only half of Peter's collection was taken. Two weeks before the burglary, Marguerite noticed a group of visitors acting suspiciously in the Museum, moving quickly round the exhibits and showing undue interest in the snuff bottles and other snuff related articles, and asking questions as to their value. She was so concerned that she returned the next day and packed up all the valuable snuff bottles from two glass cases and stored them in the Vestry Hall Vault by kind permission of Maureen Willett, Vestry Hall Manager. So in the event all was not lost. Thank you Marguerite!


We must all be more alert to the potential dangers whilst the Museum is open to the public and to that end we are holding a series of security meetings with Volunteers to help us plan for the future security of the building.


Members Events

Past                  Visit to Youna's Brewery Visitor Centre - See separate article by John


                        Annual General Meeting - see article on separate page.

Present             Museum Christmas Party - see separate invitation

Future              If you have any suggestions for future visits/meetings in 1999 please

                        let Mary Hart, our Membership Secretary know.


In order to find out a little bit more about our Members, their interests, skills and expertise, and opinions about the Museum and its function and activities, we are enclosing a Membership Suivey and Information Request with this Newsletter. We do hope you will find the time to fill it in and return to the Museum. Your responses will be most helpful to the Committee and staff and we look forward to receiving them.

Wandle Industrial Museum Membership

Subscriptions for the 1998-9 Season now become due so a Renewal Form is enclosed with this Newsletter.

Sheila Harris

Charter Day, 19 september 1934, Granting of Borough Status to Mitcham, Charter Mayor Robert Masters Chart.


Presentation to Wandle Industrial Museum 30th September 1998


Geoffrey Kent of 3 Preshaw Crescent, Lower Green West, Mitcham, presented the Museum with a brass plate marked with the wording "Office of the Wandle Valley Joint Sewerage Board R.M.Chart Surveyor".


He presented it on 30th September 1998 at 1.30 p.m. and the Press were in attendance.


Mr. Kent found the plate in his garden at 3 Preshaw Crescent, a house which once belonged to Riley Schofield, sometime Mitcham Borough Surveyor, and eventual successor to R.M.Chart as surveyor to the Sewerage Works. Mr. Kent had presented this plate to Mitcham Library, but he has now retrieved it from the Library on the understanding that it is donated to the Wandle Industrial Museum.


R.M.Chart has been identified as Robert Masters Chart ( 1850 - 1942) who ended a lifetime of public service as the first Mayor of Mitcham in 1934 at the age of eightyfour. The Chart family had a remarkable record of service to the community which lasted for nearly 200 years - see diagram.


The Sewerage Works run by the Wandle Valley Joint Sewerage Board, formed in 1870 are now demolished and today the area forms part of the Wandle Meadow Nature Park. The offices of the Board were situated in Byegrove Road and this was probably the original site of the plate. The Sewerage Works were designed by R.M.Chart in 1877 and finally closed in 1971.


The Chart Familv

William Chart                                      -          Vestry Clerk 1762

John Chart (builder)                             -          Built the Parish Church

                                                                         Vestry Clerk


Edwin Chart (surveyor)                       -          Vestry Clerk


Robert Masters Chart                           -          Architect of Vestry Hall


(Architect)                                                        Parish Clerk

                                                                         Consulting Clerk to UDC 1914-1918

                                                                         Mayor 1934


Lt. Col. Stephen Chart D.S.0.              -          Clerk to UDC

                                                                         Town Clerk until after 1945


Members of the Chart family including John Chart, an undertaker and grain merchant who was a notable local benefactor, are buried at Mitcham Parish Church.


The Museum were very pleased to note that the photograph of this presentation was published in the Guardian Newspaper of the 8th October. We were very delighted to receive this donation which will shortly be displayed in the Museum.


Annual General Meeting

This year's A.G.M. was held in a new venue, a room in the William Morris Pub along side the River Wandle, which seemed to be a very appropriate setting for our meeting. The attendance wasn't quite as full as we had hoped especially as we thought the meeting place was rather inviting.


The meeting began with the usual business. Volunteers were thanked and appreciation was recorded of all the hard work put into the Lottery Bid and Lease negotiations by Ray Leyden and Nicholas Hart. As ever the formal business was completed in a fairly short time.


There was then a break during which we enjoyed the refreshments supplied by the pub which included a bar opened just for us!


We held a raffle with prizes donated by members and in spite of the rather low numbers we raised £45, a brilliant effort.


The second part of the evening was a talk by Rachael Hill, an officer of the Environment Agency. The River Wandle forms part of the area for which she is responsible. Rachael moved to this area from the West Country much to the puzzlement of some of her colleagues.


Rachael told us that the challenge of working in an urban area appealed to her; she felt that she could make more of a difference in an area that was constantly under threat than in an area that was relatively well protected One of the first things that surprised her was how accessible the rivers were. When she visited a river in her last post it usually entailed a longish drive and then a twenty minute hike to the river itself. Here she found she could usually park close to the river and be on the bank almost immediately.


Rachael was also impressed with the amount of interest shown by the local people in their environment. Many of the problems she has to investigate are brought to the Agency's attention by the local residents.


Rachael mentioned in particular the Beddington Sewage Works spillage of untreated sewage. Thames Water very much underestimated the local feeling and were forced to bring forward plans for improvements by several years. They also gave the Environment Agency £ 10,000 to restock the river with fish.


Rachael then showed us some slides of the work she has been concerned with, especially along the Wandle. Work is being carried out to improve the river edging and so provide habitats for river-dwelling mammals and of course improve the appearance of the river. Whenever there is new development along the river the project must contain plans to enhance the river side.


The slides contained many encouraging features, showing areas for regeneration along the river bank. There were also slides of less welcome growth. For example, areas of water mifoil, usually sold as an oxygenater for garden ponds, that has

probably been dumped after a pond clean out and now threatens to choke the water way.


When Rachael had finished her talk we all felt very encouraged by what she had shown us, and so the meeting ended on a happy note.


Meg Thomas

Wheels on the web

The Merton Chamber of Commerce has taken the local business community into the new millennium when it was recently awarded a Single Regeneration Budget to develop a World Wide Web site for Merton. This internet application offers a combination of business and community sites.


With the rapid growth of computer technology and the world wide audiences that is now at our finger tips it is not a question of if but more a question of when we are going to enter our wheels on to the web. With our future move to Ravensbury Mill it makes good sense to create a special web site exclusively to coincide with when we are fully established at the new premises. To develop a new web site will cost time and money and the Grade II listed watermill building will provide exciting new material for the "surfers". At the present, the world wide web has a massive capacity for new information on waterwheels, although we have found a list of mills under the title of "Hotlinks to Information about other U.K. Mills on the Internet". This information is very basic and only provides a listing of the mills by S.P.A.B. Wind and Watermill Section.


The Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the importance of access not only with disabled access into buildings but also the importance of access to information via the computer technology. With secure funding the Museum plans to offer a top class education service to local schools which will include the employment of the latest computer technology and information which students and the world at large can access. The computer terminals can also offer real life skills like word processing, desktop publishing, multimedia presentations and spread sheets to provide a comprehensive service.


Finally it has been observed by our in-house legal beagle that when we offer our services on the world wide web it will provide a great source of potential income. A new source of income will certainly help to drive the waterwheels once again.


Ray Leyden

Young's Ram Brewery: guided tour

Saturday, 23rd august 1998


I feel no pain dear Mother now

But oh, I am so dry!

O take me to a brewery

And leave me there to die


Inspired by this parody of a verse by the Victorian poet Edward Farmer, I met up with several other Museum members at the Brewery Tap in Wandsworth High Street, adjacent to the Ram Brewery. Eventually a group of twenty, made up by other interested participants, assembled to take part in a guided tour of the Brewery premises.


At 2 o'clock our genial Scottish guide introduced himself, and the proceedings started with an admirably concise and interesting audio-visual which outlined the history and progress of this famous brewery. The commentary by Mr. John Young, the present Chairman, described the firm's history from 1831, when Young's first became involved in brewing in Wandsworth, through its eventual establishment as a family concern, to its present day development and ambitions. Our party was then conducted to the main brewery premises, to be introduced to the highly complex machinery involved in brewing ale. Basically this process is "making alcoholic liquor from fermented malt, flavoured with hops etc.". Needless to say the procedure, as our guide explained, is somewhat more complicated. An inter-reaction of various types of barley, malts, sugar, water, hops and yeast - every brewery has its own "recipe" -eventually produces a satisfactory cask-conditioned ale. Our guide led us past impressive brewing equipment housed in various rooms linked by a catacomb of corridors and numerous iron staircases, all hospital clean and, to the uninitiated, impressively confusing. Young's ordinary bitter is typical of the house character of the brewery's ales (the hops, of which we were shown various samples are the classic Fuggles and Golding). The distinctive fruitiness derives from the carefully selected house yeast. Indeed it was when our party was shown into the room which housed the large open fermenters that the brewing process literally came to life. The successful fermenting of yeast, is a highly sensitive process in which "fermenting beer is aroused to a fury by the living organism yeast. It swirls, foams and develops its own heat". It also has a wonderful aroma, and a degree of self-control was needed to resist dipping one's finger into the simmering 'foam' to sample its taste.


Having learned much from our tour of the brewery premises, we were then shown round the courtyards where Young's handsome Shire horses and Suffolk punches are stabled. We also saw a magnificent specimen of a ram - the house mascot - and a Shetland pony sharing the same living quarters happily with a goat. A sort of Animal Farm but without all the hassle - or the pigs. Our enjoyable excursion into the brewery world of yeast and beast now over, we then reassembled at the Brewery Tap pub, where those so inclined were able to satisfactorily round off the proceedings with a free pint of ale. Cheers!


John Viner


The Lease At Ravensbury Mill


There is a general problem with leases, and that is that the mention of them, let alone the sight of them, is likely to send anyone, lawyer, landlord or tenant, to sleep. The eyes glaze, and there is an overwhelming temptation to do something, anything, to justify shifting it on to someone else's desk.

On top of this, there is no money in it for solicitors - i.e you can not charge commercial rates for the hour or so it takes just reading through it each time you pick it up, just to remind yourself what it says in the small print.

Typically this problem is solved by the Landlord's solicitors creating a standard form of lease, designed to cover all eventualities, and insisting on its universal application, however inappropriate. This way they have only one lease to remember, and can quote relatively modest fees for a price competitive residential sale. There are material differences between standard residential leases, and the longer commercial ones, but the tenant normally pays for the extra polish in those.

The poor tenant, on the other hand, is unlikely to instruct a solicitor who has ever dealt with exactly that form of lease, and will have to pay his solicitor for the learning curve, or accept a greater risk if either merely assumes the lease must be in order, because it is `standard'.

At Ravensbury we have fallen foul of a full set of these conflicting matters, with the added complication that the Landlords solicitors with whom we are now dealing are not the ones who drafted the lease, had assumed it was all agreed, and have been reluctant to go back to scratch and read it properly without someone agreeing to pay them to do it.

The problems are these:

1.           The Developers' solicitors drafted an adequate domestic lease for the flats sold on the estate,

and decided it would form the basis of our lease to achieve some degree of consistency and, possibly, (but perish the thought), save time and money;


2.           They then amended it by inserting clauses taken from the planning agreement;


3.           They further amended it by foisting in some commercial lease clauses;


4.           Then they took out the payment provisions which a commercial tenant would normally have



5.           But forgot to look at the real building (as opposed to a plan), and forgot to consult their clients over what had been promised by them in gaining the planning permission.

The result was not a pretty sight. Most important, the mill wheels, and their mechanisms, would have been excluded. We would have had no right to renovate them, let alone run them. The Landlords would have been directly liable for their maintenance, with no tenant under a legal liability to contribute. It would have been a disaster, with English Heritage and the Environment Agency squabbling over the pieces, and ourselves ducking the flack in the middle. If Faircloughs had still been the Landlords, this would have been easily dealt with. The new Landlords, with no background in the planning history to refer to, were a different matter, and needed convincing.

This hurdle has now been overcome, and at last there is real discussion about what the new lease should cover. By next newsletter, with any luck, we will be the tenants of Ravensbury Mill.

Nicholas Hart

Related articles

Wandsworth Challenge Partnership


Wandle delta urban design framework




Earlier this year the Wandsworth Challenge Partnership adopted an Urban Design Framework to inspire and guide the development of the area around the mouth of the River Wanctle. This area has become known locally as the Wandle Delta, a reference back 200 years or so when the Wandle split up into a number of channels as it entered the marshy ground alongside the Thames. The Wandsworth Challenge Partnership is a partnership between local businesses, voluntary and community groups, AZTEC and Wandsworth Council to regenerate Wandsworth town centre including the area around the mouth of the Wandle. The Urban Design Framework is intended to provide the vision for developing the area as a new Riverside Quarter for Wandsworth Town.


To prepare the Framework the Partnership employed architects Patel Taylor who consulted widely with local groups and landowners before presenting their initial analysis and proposals to the Wandsworth Challenge Partnership Forum - a public meeting held approximately twice a year. After further consultation and detailed discussions the draft Framework was presented to another Forum, after which it was adopted by the Wandsworth Challenge Partnership and Wandsworth Council, as the Local Planning Authority. This means it will guide the Partnership as it develops it's SRB funded projects in the Wandle Delta area and be taken into consideration by the Council in making decisions on planning applications.


The main principles of the Framework are for mixed development with three urban public spaces linked by a network of footpaths and cycle routes. An ecological corridor is to be developed alongside the Wandle with the. "Wandle Promenade" providing a strong physical link to the town centre. Overall the aim is to create a new Riverside Quarter to Wandsworth Town, which is integrated into the existing urban fabric, especially the town centre, and provides attractive new public facilities and access to the Rivers Wandle and Thames.


The `Wandsworth Town: A New Urban Riverside Centre' SRB scheme includes a number of projects which will contribute to achieving the proposals in the Framework, including:


(a)  Footpath / cycle network - a comprehensive network is proposed as part of the

       urban design strategy extending the Thames Path through the area and linking the

       new public spaces;


(b)  Visitor attraction at the mouth of the Wandle - a visitor centre at a key node in the

       footpath / cycle network is proposed at the confluence of the Wandle and Bell Lane



(c)    Water sports - the Framework suggests that informal access to the water should be facilitated

       through improvements to the riverbanks;

(d)  Footbridge over the Wandle - the location across Bell Lane Creek is endorsed as the preferred

       location. The footbridge is expected to be open by March 1999;


(e)  improving the Riverbanks - proposals for improving the riverbanks for both ecological / wildlife and amenity are suggested; and

(f) Wandle Promenade - a preferred option for this route is identified.

The plan shows these in an indicative form.

The Partnership will now be publishing the Urban Design Framework both in full and in a more "popular" form and using these to change the perceptions and aspirations of landowners and developers. If you would like to know more about either the Framework or what is proposed in the area please contact David Clark in Wandsworth's Borough Planners Service (0181 871 6612) or Chris Ruse in Wandsworth's Economic Development Office (0181 871 6203).

Development of thie wandle delta at wandsworth

After the recent members visit to the Ram Brewery Visitor Centre, a group of us decided to follow the River Wandle to its mouth at the River Thames. Following The Causeway past Bell Lane Creek to the Waste Station, we were surprised to find the new tree-lined walkway which led down to the Thames Path by the banks of the River Thames.


On a separate occasion, when delivering some Wandle Trail Maps to the London Borough of Wandsworth at Wandsworth Town Hall, I was interested to see a presentation booklet (for inspection only) on a table. I was interested to read about the plans set up by the Wandsworth Challenge Partnership, for the future development of the Wandle Delta.


I made enquiries as to who could give us more information about this project and I am pleased to say that Chris Ruse, Regeneration Programmes Manager from Wandsworth's Economic Development Office, has very kindly sent us this article for the Newsletter.


Sheila Harris.

Wandsworth's Urban Design Framework Plan
Click to see bigger version 289kb

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