A Glimpse of the Past

Glimpse from the Past 2 - 22 years ago our first Newsletter contained the following:

Newsletter N0:l - September 1983

The Concept and the Present Position There are at least 20 Industrial Museums in the country as a whole, but as yet, not a single one is in London. The capital does, of course, have the Science Museum to serve as a reminder that science forms as much a part of a nation's culture as do the arts.

Where technical museums offer a literal machine-centred image of industrial life; industrial museums attempt to show the way in which industry has developed and actually altered the lives of ordinary people. Industrial museums have therefore, an additional dimension, focussing on living and working conditions of particular industries as well as the products and personalities.

An industrial museum does not just have exhibits brought to it, but has usually inherited an industrial site of some kind and incorporated the site in the museum, or fitted the museum into the site.

London's River Wandle, which has an industrial history going back to Norman times, offers an exciting potential for development as an industrial museum.

We are fortunate in having in Merton a historical factory complex, complete with water mill and two further water mills within walking distance, which could form part of an industrial heritage trail, linking the three sites.

The Wandle Industrial Museum is a project sponsored by the Merton Community Trust, which is a non-profit making trust. The project has been initially funded by the Manpower Services Commission. The efforts of the Trust are at present, concentrated on the Liberty Mill site, near Colliers Wood Station in Merton. The site is vacant and the Trust is in discussion with the owners, with a view to acquiring possession

A project group was established in June 1983 to research the mill site and develop proposals for its future use. A study is also being undertaken of various historical aspects of the area and the Wandle as, a whole. Our ideas and proposals have received an enthusiastic response.

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