The Edge Runners in Ravensbury Park

Recently I attended a meeting at Ravensbury Mill and while I was in the area I saw the Edge Runners that are set up in Ravensbury Park. Someone who also attended that meeting asked if they were originally used in the Wandle Valley area. It occurred to me later that perhaps very few of our members know the story behind these runners, or how they arrived at the present location.

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Wandle industrial Museum acquired the runners when the original owners, a company called Brome and Schimmer at Colworth Grove Walworth, relocated to Hampshire. They were set up on the ground floor when Wandle Industrial Museum was at Hartfield Crescent in Wimbledon. When we had to vacate that site, rather than have to pay someone to dismantle them and remove them to our new location at Hartfield Road, we did the job ourselves, together with help from the Transport Department of my then employer, Frys Metals. The runners couldn't be reerected at Hartfield Road, so the pieces were stacked down on the ramp leading to the basement, and they stayed there until we had to vacate that site. Fortunately when that happened Ray Leyden managed to get a company called Lansing Bagnell to loan us a forklift truck, on condition that we had a competent person to drive it- me!

Again, my employers provided a lorry, and the pieces were loaded and taken to Bond Road School, where we were allowed to stack them in the playground, courtesy of the then headmaster Harry Galley, one of the Museum's directors, and then its Chairman.

There they stayed, until in 1997, a grant sponsored by the Education and Libraries Department of Merton, and Groundwork Trust, made their erection in Ravensbury Park possible, close to the prospective site of our new Museum.

Eric Shaw

(Editor's Note. The Museum has a copy of a lengthy article from 'Londons Industrial Archaeology' by Brenda Innes, called 'Edge Runners in Walworth', which provides much detail about the original location and use of these stones, and their application.)

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