News Desk

Visits to the Museum:

We had two Textile Workshops before Christmas when Poplar Primary School made their first visits to the Museum. Lantern Hall Day Centre in Croydon also had another guided tour of the Museum travelling to us on the Tramlink. The Centre is a 55-place purpose-built Day Centre catering for people with mental health needs from age 18 upwards, whose main aim is to enable their clients to lead an ordinary life.

The De Morgan Centre

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They have visited the Museum several times with Day Centre Officer Cathy Beacom and have found the visits stimulating and informative.

We were also very happy to welcome the Mayor of Merton, Cllr Stuart Pickover, to our Museum in January. He toured the Museum Exhibition at the Vestry Hall Annexe, meeting several Volunteers, and after refreshments provided by Volunteer Mary Hart, went down to Ravensbury Mill to tour the site there. Our presence was reinforced by historian Eric Montague, and led to his article about Thomas Welch's Table Cloth Printing Works (see below)/

Members Events:


The New Year Dinner at Morden Hall proved a very popular event and 20 Members, Volunteers and guests enjoyed a very sociable evening eating, drinking and chatting.

Fund Raising Day at the Savacentre. This was another successful event which raised £136 for Museum funds. Many thanks to all those Volunteers who gave their time and effort on this occasion.


The next event will be a visit to 'Honeywood' Sutton Heritage Centre in Carshalton on Sunday 17th March at 2.00pm. There will be an Exhibition in the house called Fancy Fabrics about textile printing on the Wandle including information about William Kilburn a calico printer from Wallington, and our own William Morris.

We will book places in the Tea Room for 3.00pm and there will be an optional walk around Carshalton Ponds after refreshments. Please telephone Mary Hart if you would like to come on 8542 7534. Honeywood is at Honeywood Walk, Carshalton.

We are a Registered Museum:

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Wandle Industrial Museum is now a Registered Museum. We were pleased to receive our Certificate of Registration awarded to us on 7th January 2002 on behalf of Re:Source - the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. The Registration Scheme established in 1988 sets standards for the operation of Museums throughout the UK. The award shows that our organisation:
    [1]   Has achieved approved standards in Museum management, collection care and public services.
    [2]   Is a suitable home for collections which are part of our common heritage.
    [3]   Is worthy to receive support from public sources.

We are all delighted to receive this Award and will be planning a celebratory event at the Museum later in the year. See the next Newsletter for details.

Investing in Volunteers:

Nicholas Hart is putting the final touches to all our Policies and Procedures which should be completed by the end of March. We then wait to hear when we might be visited by the external Assessors. The main aim behind Investing in Volunteers is to strengthen the good work that is already going on, put good practice in place, and enhance the volunteering experience for all parties. Part of the process involves undertaking Risk Assessments for the various tasks Volunteers may perform. The Human Hamster article (see below) illustrates one we hadn't considered!

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News From the Wheelhouse:

Visitors to the Wheelhouse at Merton Abbey Mills will have seen two new exhibits. The first is the early pug mill worm screw installed and running off the wheel there, ready to use for clay tile extrusion. More recently, a small grinding stone uncovered during the excavation of Bennets Mill (see Merton Abbey Mills update below) cleaned up and mounted on a fine new stand by member Norman Fairey.

And in other News:

Sustrans report that an engineering feasibility study is looking at a walking/cycling route underneath the railway bridge at Earlsfield. This is good news for the ever improving line of the Wandle Trail. They also report applying for a Landfill tax bid for upgrading sections of the route in Sutton and Merton - Wandle Heritage's November meeting reviewed a ‘Brief for a Feasibility Study for the Presentation and Dissemination of the Archaeological Remains of Merton Priory' [phew!] If successful, this represents a real hope for a comprehensive look at the site and its needs, and we must wish them well. See also Merton Abbey Mills update, below.

Recently Groundwork Merton have held a public consultation on initial proposals for some improvements in Ravensbury Park. What was interesting was the number of people who came forward, remembering the boating activities on the Wandle as it runs through the park, and wanting their return. Whether practicable or not, it underlines the need for a constant attraction in Parks such as this which will bring the public in, and in numbers which discourage antisocial activities, such as the increasing graffiti problem there.

As for the proposals:

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Ray Leyden reports: "Ravensbury Park - Public Consultation on Environmental Improvements, Saturday 2nd March.

These are the proposals by Groundwork Merton which are of direct interest to us. The original plan and still ongoing is, The Restoration / Conservation Plan for Ravensbury Park, conservation study of the Park by London Borough of Merton, funded by the lottery

The proposals include: Associated Landscape Works; Edgerunner Feature - Replace and relocate seating area. Replace and relocate ornamental plants with natural riverside species; Ravensbury Ruins - Explore the possibility of opening up access to ruins without compromising archaeological and ecological value of site. Commission archaeological

report on condition of remains. Clear some vegetation and make foundation as necessary. Install interpretation panel with information about the history of the Park."


Very many thanks to all members who responded so promptly to our request with the last Newsletter. A reminder sheet is included with this Newsletter for those who have not yet replied.

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