Take a trip through Merton’s past on Heritage Discovery Day

This weekend we’ll be celebrating the first full Merton Heritage Discovery Day since 2019 around the library and civic centre with a full programme of events celebrating the best of the borough.

Following last weekend’s thrilling return of fans to Plough Lane, there will be action off the pitch as supporters can take selfies of themselves with the FA Cup won so memorably by Wimbledon FC in 1988, as well as meet members of the teams who participated in that match and the 1963 FA Amateur Cup Final that Wimbledon won 4-2 against fierce local rivals Sutton United at Wembley Stadium.

Fans can chat to goalie Dave Beasant and defender John Scales from the class of ‘88, while Dave Wills and keeper Mike Kelly will represent their amateur predecessors. Erik Samuelson, the former chair of AFC Wimbledon, will also be signing copies of his new book, All Together Now, about the rise of the club, and Wandle and Haydon, the respective mascots for Wimbledon FC and AFC, will be on hand too.

There will also be a slew of activities for children, who can try their hand at block printing, as once practised at William Morris’ Art & Craft works at Merton Abbey, and there will be a special colouring competition for kids as well as a Merton Heritage Quiz.

An exhibition will mark the 150th anniversary of Wimbledon Common being enshrined in law, and there will be stands stands showing what life in West Barnes and Raynes Park was like during the First World War and interwar years. There will also be an interactive display about Mitcham’s historic fair, which will showcase a new app that colourises old photos.

Members of our staff will deliver talks on such topics as Merton Park Film Studios and the history of Colliers Wood, and there will be a look back at the history – and a look forward to the future – of Canons House, as well as the screening of a new documentary based on the memories of London postal workers.

Author Clive Whichelow will be signing copies of his many local history books and there will also be a special self-guided heritage trail around the streets of Merton Park.

Proceedings kick off at noon on Saturday (21/8) and finish at 4.30pm. While everyone is welcome at the event, some of the events need to be booked in advance through Eventbrite. Don’t worry if you haven’t been able to secure a spot on one of the talks as many parts of the day do not require booking a ticket.