For about a hundred years up to 1874 Vineyard Passage was a burial ground for St Mary Magdalene church. Over the past few decades it has been transformed by local residents and volunteers into a haven for nature and wildlife as well as being conserved as a site of historical interest. The lives of people buried here have been documented and the gardens are tended with great care.
Anne Logie, Historic Environment Volunteer, writes:
After reading the 'Flying Down To Rio' blog about the Graf Zeppelin's visit to the London Air Park, Tony Hancke sent us these pictures from his family archive. The Hancke family owned Myrtle Nursery in Hampton, and the first picture (below), which was taken by Mr Hancke’s father, Frank Lewis Hancke, is a view of the Zeppelin as seen from the nursery.
Working lives working places: preserving the history of Platts Eyot is the Environment Trusts new heritage project in progress. This project will have an industrial heritage focus delving into the rich history of Platts Eyot; an island on the River Thames in Hampton. Having started out as an area of land used to grow willow for basket making it later went on to play an important part as an industrial boat building hub for both world wars.
Four rarely accessible historic sites were opened up by the Environment Trust in partnership with London Borough Richmond upon Thames for Open House London on 18th September. See pics on flickr. 817 people visited the four sites during the day.
On Wednesday 24th August the Environment Trust were very pleased to host a historic environment talk by members of the Thames Eyot Loggia and Shell Grotto Group. Despite the sweltering heat the talk, titled The Challenges of Saving Heritage at Risk: Thames Eyot Loggia and Grotto, attracted a great turnout from interested locals and residents of the Thames Eyot flats.
Today excavation work began with the aid of Hirst Conservation in the raised garden area above St Leonards Court Air Raid Shelter in East Sheen. The work aims to further investigate the condition of the shelter and inform conservation work to preserve it.
When the shelter, which was built in two phases, 1938 and 1941, had its extension built to contain the night rooms what helped keep the ceiling waterproof was a layer of bitumen which coated the top of the cast concrete structure before it was covered in soil.
Inside this modest turret, stairs lead down to a large air-raid shelter, built in 1938 for the residents of St Leonard's Court in Mortlake that accommodates more than 70 people both day and night. Together with the Environment Trust, the Mortlake with East Sheen Society (MESS) is working hard to conserve the building, with the aim of bringing it into use as a visitor attraction and a place for children to learn about life in the Second World War.