A new take on history in Merton

Local historians, volunteers and heritage staff joined Merton councillors and the mayor last Wednesday night to officially open the borough’s new Heritage and Local Studies Centre in Morden.

The new centre, based on the second floor of Morden Library at Merton Council’s Civic Centre in Morden, opened its doors to the public last month following a move to give more residents increased access to historical resources, exhibitions and events.

Merton historians were given a chance to see the new home for Merton Council’s historical documents and meet staff and councillors at the opening event.

The change in venue means the centre will be able to stage many more events and activities for those interested in Merton’s history, including talks and workshops, as well as put on more exhibitions than has previously been the case.

Located just a stone’s throw from Morden tube and bus stations and a five-minute walk from Morden South station, the centre is also now at Merton’s transport hub and will be more easily accessible to the majority of Merton residents. It will also be open to visitors six days a week, as opposed to 4 days a week previously.

Visitors will also be able to take advantage of all the historical documents, maps, old newspapers and genealogical material held by the Morden Library-based Local Studies Centre at the same time in a single location.

Councillor Linda Scott, cabinet member for housing and community services said: “Merton has an extremely rich heritage and many famous figures, including Lord Nelson, have lived here. We want to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to find out all about Merton’s history and the new Heritage and Local Studies Centre will enable us to do just that.

“Displays and activities will of course continue to be available locally in all our libraries, including Mitcham library, where we will be organising a range of events and school visits during the year.

Notes to editors:
· The Heritage and Local Studies Centre is located on the second floor of Morden Library in the council’s civic centre.