This is where we keep all the information we have collated in each borough. 
The Digital Scrapbook so far


A brief history of Clapham & Stockwell...

A tale of riches, religion and war

The history of Clapham can be traced back to more than a thousand years, when it was a 

ninth century collection of cottages on a hill. The village centered around St Paul's Chapel

Still present today.

By 1700, Clapham became a significant village. The latter was accelerated by the rush out 

from the city after the plague and the Great Fire of London in 1666.

By the mid-eighteenth century the centre of the village had shifted, and the emphasis was now on the area around the Common, where rich Londoners had their new mansions.

Clapham High Street was an ancient 'diversion' of the Roman military road 

Stane Street, which ran from London to Chichester.

Made Famous 
Graham Green wrote Brighton Rock whilst living in Clapham. Published in 1938 and later made into films in 1947 and 2010. He also wrote Travels with my Aunt (1969), the screenplay of The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1958). Greene is one of my favourite writers and is an interesting man to study with his links to the Roman Catholicism and Fidel Castro. Read more on wiki
From bouts of depression in his youth to tea with Charlie Chaplin.


Samuel Pepys most famous for his diary, an insight into daily life during the English Restoration. The diary also includes eyewitness accounts of events such as The Great Fire of London and the Great Plague. Pepys retired to Clapham in 1701 and remained there until his death in 1703.

William Wilberforce  was a British politician, a philanthropist and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. Wilberforce's evangelical christianity directed his efforts towards social reform and the improvement of factory conditions. For eighteen years Wilberforce introduced anti slavery motions into parliament. In 1807 the slave trade was finally abolished but it was not until 1833 that an act was passed giving freedom to all slaves in the British Empire. Much of Wilberforce's work was supported by the Clapham Sect.

The Clapham Sect was a group of friends touched by the religious revival in the 18th Century, methodists. John Thornton, who was rumoured to be the 2nd richest mearchant on Europe at the time of his death left his wealth and his estate to his son Henry. Henry brought his great friend William Wilberforce to Clapham.  

Noel Coward's play 'This Happy Breed' written in 1939 is about the working class Gibbon family who lived in Clapham. The play is set against the backdrop of the Second World War. It has become famous for dealing with subjects outside of the middle and upper classes. The Times described the play as "sustaining an interest in a family of the lower middle class which may fairly be called absorbing.... Mr Coward keeps firm control of his narrative and in his own part occasionally permits himself to speak for an England which, though tired, is still possessed of an invincible stamina."

Clapham Common
In the 18th Century the common was known as a dangerous place, a prowling ground for robbers and highwaymen. 

The bandstand is the largest bandstand in London and a grade II listed building. 

A central feature of the park and a historical reference to Clapham's past
explore this cool 360º tour of the bandstand

The two large buildings that flank Cedars Road, built in the style of the French Renaissance were intended to act as a gateway to 'Park Town' a vast development that was to stretch to the river. However the project ran out of money. 

Between the years 1954 - 1985 the common was the home of London's most popular August bank holiday event the 'London Horse Show'. 

Mentions in popular culture
It is cited in Morrissey's song "Mute Witness":

And her silent words
Describing the sight of last night
4 A.M. Northside, Clapham Common

     Oh, god, what was she doing there ? 

Historical Clapham
The history of Clapham can be traced back to the Saxon period. Clopeham meaning settlement or village on a hill or scrubland is where the name Clapham originates from. 

'The man on the Clapham Omnibus' describes the solid upright citizen who resided in Clapham in the early 19th Century. Thackery was famous for saying Clapham stood for 'smugness and hypocrisy'.

AA Batteries on Clapham Common. Manned by the 8th (Belfast) HAA Regiment Royal Artillery during the Blitz

However a lot changed with the coming of the First World War. The common was the home to gun emplacements whilst the rest of it was divided into allotments and space to practice digging trenches. 


May we introduce to you Shepherds Bush
As you may never have seen her before...

Charles Booth poverty map 1898 - 1899

The name Shepherds Bush originates from the use of common land (Shepherds Bush Green) as a grazing point for shepherds and their sheep on their way to Smithfield Market.

1908 Olympics
In 1908 the White City Stadium was built to hold the Olympic Games. The track encircled a swimming pool and platforms for wrestling and diving.

The City Toastmaster makes an announcement to the crowd

The City Toastmaster makes an announcement to the crowd

Female archery contestants

Female Archery Contestants 1908 Olympic Games

Shepherds Bush Market
Shepherds Bush Market was established in 1914 and continues to sell products from all around the globe.

Shepherds Bush Market  © Tom Page

'Cocaine worth £1 million was seized in a unit on a business park in Depot Road, Shepherds Bush'.

'Two kilos of herbal cannabis with a street value of £5,000, drugs paraphernalia and equipment was seized in St Stephens Avenue, W12'.

12 months to June 11 (year)
12 months to June 10 (year)
Number of OffencesHammersmith & FulhamMet TotalHammersmith & FulhamMet Total
Total Crimes24,016821,96523,144827,498
Violence Against the Person (Total)4,711161,0944,722174,437
Other Sexual1606,8581577,180
Robbery (Total)82237,22180233,987
Robbery (Person)76434,33374730,725
Robbery (Business)582,888553,262
Burglary (Total)2,49195,0822,07290,695
Burglary Residential1,79462,5281,56959,460
Burglary Non-Residential69732,55450331,235
Gun Crime732,555683,431
Motor Vehicle Crime3,185100,3372,94798,244
Domestic Crime1,15147,9541,18250,966
Racist & Religious Hate Crime2538,1512459,861
Homophobic Crime281,220531,355

Wormwood Scrubs HM Prison
Wormwood Scrubs prison was built in 1874 using convict labour. During the Second World War the prisoners were evacuated and it was used by War Department and became the home of MI5. In the 1990's 27 prison officers were suspended on accounts of staff brutality. 
It recently housed a special edition of Question Time:

Shepherds Bush Empire
The Shepherds Bush Empire opened in 1903 as a music hall and variety show venue. The Empire was built by architect Frank Matcham for theatrical impresario  Oswald Stoll.

Fred Karno credited with the custard pie in the face gag opened the bill in August 1908.
Programme for Variety Show May 30th 1949

In 1953 the Empire was bought by the BBC and converted into a television and recording studio. Shows such as 'Crackerjack' and 'Hancock' were filmed at the Empire.

"It's Friday, it's five to five... it's Crackerjack"
In 1995 the Empire was turned into a world famous music venue. 
Keep up to date on W12
Here are some links to local bloggers...
Chris Underwood -News & Current affairs

ShepherdsBushW12 -News & Local Business

BushBirdie -Hot Spots & Events

The Who
The Goldhawk Pub was an early haunt of The Who and a venue for their early gigs.

Ravenscourt park
Hammersmiths Flagship park...

The park stems from medieval times, when the lake in the centre of the park, which is fed by Stamford Brook, was part of the moat that surrounded Paddenswick Manor. But it was only in 1888 that the 32 acre site was officially opened as public parkland.

Ravenscourt Park currently offers many facilities including tennis and basketball courts, a bowling green, an all-weather pitch, a walled garden, play areas & a popular tea room.

Uxbridge Rd...
A diverse neighborhood

Uxbridge Road is a major road in West London passing through many retail and large residential districts. Including our borough of W12 but also Acton, Ealing Broadway and Hanwell. 

With a rich sense of london's diversity on display Uxbridge rd. is a brilliant cross-section of contemporary London life

©Tom Page, 2 for 1

319. Uxbridge Road
By Evelyn Underhill (Mrs. Stuart Moore)  (b. 1875)

THE WESTERN ROAD goes streaming out to seek the cleanly wild,
It pours the city’s dim desires towards the undefiled,
It sweeps betwixt the huddled homes about its eddies grown
To smear the little space between the city and the sown:
The torments of that seething tide who is there that can see?        5
There’s one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!
He is the Drover of the soul; he leads the flock of men
All wistful on that weary track, and brings them back again.
The dreaming few, the slaving crew, the motley caste of life—
The wastrel and artificer, the harlot and the wife—       10
They may not rest, for ever pressed by one they cannot see:
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me.
He drives them east, he drives them west, between the dark and light;
He pastures them in city pens, he leads them home at night.
The towery trams, the threaded trains, like shuttles to and fro       15
To weave the web of working days in ceaseless travel go.
How harsh the woof, how long the weft! who shall the fabric see?
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!
Throughout the living joyful year at lifeless tasks to strive,
And scarcely at the end to save gentility alive;       20
The villa plot to sow and reap, to act the villa lie,
Beset by villa fears to live, midst villa dreams to die;
Ah, who can know the dreary woe? and who the splendour see?
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me.
Behold! he lent me as we went the vision of the seer;       25
Behold! I saw the life of men, the life of God shine clear.
I saw the hidden Spirit’s thrust; I saw the race fulfil
The spiral of its steep ascent, predestined of the Will.
Yet not unled, but shepherded by one they may not see—
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!       30

Monty Python's ascent of the Uxbridge Rd.

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