Unique Merton pictures from last 150 years in online archive
Horse and carts line the High Street of Wimbledon Village as young boys wearing flat caps, blazers and shorts gambol along the pavement.
Men are wearing straw boaters and wheeling large barrows past recognisable shops such as Jaeger Clothing, which still stands today in modern day Wimbledon.
This black and white snapshot is part of the Merton Memories collection, and shows us what life was like in the 1970s in Wimbledon and the surrounding areas.
The collection of thousands of digitally archived images was put together with help of 26 volunteers aged 15 to 70 years old from groups including the Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage and the Merton Historical Society.
The collection includes a number of unique images that date from 1869 and include photographs of industrial heritage, the grand residences of the village elite to the humbler homes of the working class, schools, fetes and celebration events, and street views.
Funded by a Heritage Lottery Grant, the project, started in 2012, was made possible by the work of the volunteers and Merton Council’s heritage and local studies team.
The website where the images are now housed was launched on Saturday, March 22, at Morden Library, and is now available for the general public to look through the 15,000 images detailing what the borough’s past and present was like.
Sandra Vogel, a trustee for Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage organisation, said: "I have seen Merton Memories grow from a vague idea to a fantastic, brilliant website."
Construction of the London Underground is evident in transport section of the website collection.
An image from about 1925 shows construction workers in flat caps, leaning on spades and digging trenches to build the underground line to Morden, a line that now carries over millions of people a year.
The workers are more smartly dressed than today’s construction workers but with no safety hats, power tools or women in sight, this photograph gives an insight into the development of London about 90 years ago.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for community and culture Councillor Nick Draper said: "I am very excited about the Merton Memories website and having access to thousands of photos from the borough’s past.
"It is incredibly interesting to look through some of the photos and see how Merton has changed over the years.
"The feedback we’ve had from residents has been fantastic and several people have been in touch to share their memories of different times and places in Merton."
A second event with activities for the Merton Memories project will take place at Morden library on Saturday.
Visit the Merton Memories website here.
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