Monday, 30 March 2009

Wandsworth Town Hall, SW18

All the other panels on the High Street facade of Wandsworth Town Hall were carved by John Linehan. This one depicts the people of Streatham, although most of the old parish is now in the London Borough of Lambeth.
From right to left:
Roman soldiers march along the road from London to Brighton that Streatham is named after (Old English street-ham or homestead by the street). Next are Cave Man and Cave Boy, dressed in skins like the Wandsworth stone age people, but with boxer shorts.
St Leonard, the patron saint of Streatham, holds his chains to show he is also patron saint of prisoners. Sir John Ward rides off to join the Black Prince, recognisable by the three martlets on his shield. He paid for the rebuilding of St Leonard's church in 1350.
Now for Streatham's most famous residents: Mrs Thrale entertains Dr Johnson and Fanny Burney to tea, telling Dr J that if he starts one more sentence with "Depend upon it, Sir...." she will rub the tea leaves into his wig.
Two 18th century pleasure-seekers take the waters at Streatham's spa. The pump is behind, guarded by a beadle.
A 19th century workman tries to install a fence post as part of an attempt to enclose Streatham Common, but a gent in a panama hat tells him to sling his hook, saving the common for cricket.

No comments: