I haven’t developed a stutter: the London Borough of Wandsworth covers Putney, Roehampton, Battersea, Southfields, Earlsfield, Summerstown, Tooting and about half of Clapham – so Wandsworth, Wandsworth refers to just the Wandsworth part of the Borough.
Wandsworth – like so much of London – comprises much Edwardian, and older, housing and much new regeneration and redevelopment. Wandsworth – because of the River Thames and the tributary of the Thames – the River Wandle was quite an industrial part at one time and much of the old industrial areas are being redeveloped. I have photographed two of the major new developments on the banks of the Thames – one right next to Wandsworth Bridge is “Battersea Reach” and the other “Wandsworth Riverside Quarter”.
The former Youngs Brewery site in Ram Street – called the Ram Brewery – is being redeveloped by Greenland – a major Chinese property company. It will still include a small brewery as the former Head Brewer is setting up a new small specialist brewing company on the site. In keeping with developers love of the word “Quarter” it is called the Ram Quarter.
Despite the redevelopments taking place, some of which are very pleasant, they are marred by the dreadful road systems of Wandsworth Town Centre. The main problem is the fact that the South Circular and the A3 (together with others) intermingle and run through the centre. There are two major gyratory systems (whizzy word for ‘big fast roundabout’) and together with the roads – which are either congested or rat runs depending on the time of day – make for an unpleasant experience in walking about the area. Once, in taking these snaps I walked across a town centre junction and a lady, fairly young, in a hand driven wheel chair had to be assisted up the dropped kerb at the other side of the road. When she crossed in the direction at right angles she just made it before several lanes of swank-mobiles mowed her down.
One of my snaps is of “WRWA” – which stands for Western Riverside Waste Authority. It is a waste collection point for the London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth and Wandsworth. Waste from here goes by barges to the energy from waste plant down the river at Belvedere producing electricity for some 160,000 households. In general we have too few such plants in this country – and the need for more of them will become quite urgent when China stops taking much of our waste during the early part of 2018.
Away from the immediate town centre is Wandsworth Common – where much of the poshest and most expensive housing is situated and the Common itself is like a haven of peace away from all the traffic.
I wish you all a Happy New Year. I am sure that in 2018 the ‘rebuilding’ of London will continue – even though the pace slowed somewhat in the second half of the past year. The areas of really major redevelopment such as the Greenwich Peninsular, Isle of Dogs, the City, Battersea, Croydon, Stratford and so much of the riverside will continue to completely change the appearance of the city.