We let the people hope.

The writer is more than a little pleased that his abode is registered, thankfully, in SW18 and not the neighbouring areas of SW11 and SW15.

Thus is he able to maintain some form of normal existence … normal by today’s standards, that is … strolling daily through the pair of local parks and shopping for essential daily provisions without leaving the sanctuary of SW18.

He is nevertheless praying that his luncheon reservation in that noble nearby hostelry, The Queen Adelaide, in the middle of April will be able to be honoured in total safety. And by which time his wayward locks and eyebrows will have been professionally sheared.

Hence hope springs eternal as Spring itself is welcomed to this leafy, riverside haven.

Fare well, dear readers.


It’s only been a year since the ‘last post’ from the publisher of The Wandsworth Voice.

A lot has happened and a lot has not happened … for the reasons that everyone will only too aware of. But due to popular demand the Voice is speaking again.

Very few Ales have been taken on the Riverbank, very few joyful Tales are there to tell … rather a lot of Wails indeed.

But a ray of hope there is … as a vaccination is now scheduled for Friday next. So Hails there will be as Veils will be ever nearer to being cast off and the Yales will no longer need to be double-locked on our self-imposed Jails.

Mails will start to arrive again in a timely manner in SW18, friends in Wales may be visited, Sails will be hoisted in celebration, Gales of laughter will be heard, journeys on Rails will be planned and taken.

So this a start … it may not be quite yet the beginning of the end … but it may be the end of the beginning.

Happy Trails.


Pernicious Putney and Wicked Wandsworth

As has been oftentimes written … hostelries are not lacking along the Thames in SW15 and SW18 … and today has been, is and will be proof incarnate thereof … starting off with The Boathouse, drifting into The Duke’s Head … dining with chums in West Putney … your writer then found himself in The Jolly Gardeners before arriving in The Crane … about eventually to venture, with others, into the pleasantly refurbished Ram Quarter for a bottled beer tasting. If survival is granted … supper will be taken in The Brewers followed by nightcaps in The Queen Adelaide. So, for the moment, airport expansion issues are blissfully forgotten.



It’s a golden delicious time down here by the river as Apple decides to locate its core UK activities into Wandsworth Borough in the re-imagined Battersea Power Station.

As our politicians … councillors, MPs, Mayors, Cabinet Members – seek to pat each other on each other’s respective backs, so do we, the local citizens, have reasons to be cheerful as well.

Our already pretty good transport links will only improve … let’s go for an extension to the extension of the Northern Line underground service from Battersea Power Station into Wandsworth Town via Battersea High Street, let’s campaign for a new Thames Clipper stop and an all day, 7 days a week riverboat service, let’s get TfL thinking about re-routing Crossrail via the finally developed Power Station site and Embassy Zone. 

So here’s to Silicon River and Formula A  – welcome to Battersea.


It’s now Autumn … said by some to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness … and yet the sun still shines here in Wandsworth with but a wisp of mist above us in the clear blue sky.

However our clear sky camouflages the relatively recent and sad demise of two notable Wandsworthian hostelries … L’Auberge and Brady’s … both much favoured and frequented by the writer over the last few years.

Thankfully many eateries and drinkeries still thrive … the writer resides but 17 minutes away from 17 public houses. And another is scheduled to open soon in the now almost revitalised Ram Quarter.

We hope that somewhere amongst them that there might just be ones as welcoming as these two. And so, inspired by another English writer …. we write that hope springs eternal … even in this opposing season.



From The Waterfront

(with obvious apologies to Brando M, Malden K and Kazan E)

Spot the Difference …..

This very early evening your lighting-man (as opposed to your lighterman or your waterman) was to be found on the 16:28 Thames Clipper cruising from Embankment to Plantation Wharf, Battersea.

And thus he had the opportunity to observe the illumination status of the various road/rail bridges under which he passed … most of which have the joy to find themselves anchored in our dear Borough of Wandsworth.

So one by one … here we go ….

1. Known as the Grosvenor Bridge … it’s a railway bridge-only going from Battersea Park Station to Victoria … no side/surface lighting at all … apart from the statutory boat-facing yellow ones. One blink and you’ve missed it.

2. The jolly busy road bridge that is Chelsea Bridge …. lit gantries, very bright for all those who pass over or under …. fit for purpose. Thank you.

3. Albert Bridge … the most graceful of all our London Road bridges … a joy to behold (see above) … well-preserved, well-lit, well-managed, well-maintained … a real asset for us all. And has a fine pub named after it.

4. Battersea Bridge … not quite as graceful as its near near neighbour … but it’s pleasantly lit on its roadway with many ‘chandelier’ lights … most practical.

5. The railway bridge from Clapham J to various points north has the official nomenclature of the Cremorne Bridge … it quite rightly carries maritime lights … but nothing else. (Just waiting for a pedestrian/bike path to be added to its side … over to you Sadiq and TFL!!)

6. And now Wandsworth Bridge ... our youngest Bridge … a mere 84 years old … painted light-blue in order to blend in with Old Father Thames (and thus deceive Luftwaffe bombers … not too difficult and thankfully a successful ploy) … it used to be lit on its roadway and have uplighting from its sides … as well as its statutory maritime lamps … but for the last 3.5 years it’s been very dark … and that’s what is both displeasing and dispiriting.

As well as most mysterious.

Excuses prevail. Rust is apparent. Sadness prevails.

(Do the KKK now have a foothold chez nous?!!)

… but let’s hope that as we’ve been in touch with TfL things might start to change … (who knows!)

After all we are The Brighter Borough … though on occasion that’s quite hard to believe … and we’ve only been talking about this for the last 4 years …


For one whole hour THE WANDSWORTH VOICE has become THE VENICE VOICE … or indeed LA VOCE DI VENEZIA.

And many comparisons there are … lots of water and lots of bridges … lots of places selling pizza … even the waiters have their visual counterparts in Brady’s …

However … (Don’t Look Now) … unlike Wandsworth, their bridges, albeit only a few centuries older, are in much better nick … and I haven’t seen any decomposing dolphins either.

Finally, for all my literary readers, we doubt whether Thomas Mann would have the same international success with ‘Death in Wandsworth’ and nor would the Bard of Avon have received such lasting renown with ‘Othello: The Moor of Wandsworth’.


We still let the people talk … 

The Wandsworth Voice is leaving its beloved Thames for a few days to explore the delights of the northern Adriatic coast and of Slovenia in particular. 

Its coast-line rivalling that of Monaco in terms of length will nevertheless be enjoyed but even more so will be the valley of the river Soča, whose emerald blue qualities contrast favourably with the grey, muddied banks of our own noble river. 

Photographs and eulogies will follow as the feast of St Martin is celebrated with local fine fare and vintages from the Vinoteka of Vipava. 

The coastal exploration will start in but a few hours’ time with a train journey from Venice to Trieste … truly following in the footsteps of Hercule Poirot and his recent impersonators, but, optimistic as ever, hoping to avoid murderous events. 
As they say in Belgium … à bientôt or tot zienes …  or in Slovenia … se vidimo kmalu. 


We let the people walk …. 

The aesthetic qualities and cultural ambitions of your esteemed Wandsworth Wanderer/Battersea Boulevardier know few limits … and certainly not geographical or fluvial ones – and so it was, a couple of days ago, that your noble riparian correspondent sauntered across Albert Bridge to two famed establishments.
Firstly, the newly renovated and rejuvenated National Army Museum, where contemporary paintings of Arthur Wellesley (aka The Duke of Wellington) riding through Spain are to be found side-by-side with posters promoting films featuring Maurice Mickelwhite (aka Sir Michael Caine).

There are ‘natures mortes’ displayed alongside ‘tableaux vivants’ on (mostly) silent screens – both showing current museum curation practice at its very best. The museum’s presentation and appeal is on a multi-generational level – it is neither didactic nor polemical; it seeks not to glorify our Army but rather to present a rationale for its previous and current standing and activities.

On the day that she re-opened the museum the Queen stops to inspect the uniform that belonged to her as Honorary Brigadier in the Women’s Royal Army Corps. 

And if it’s good enough for her … it’s good enough for me … 

Lunchtime during school holidays may not have been the best time for this transpontine foray into Royal Hospital Road but subsequent incursions are already being strategised.

It was thence but a short yomp down the road – certainly less far than a bold Agincourt Archer’s arrow-firing distance – to the second establishment of the day – indeed a long-favoured haunt, Chelsea Physic Garden.

As ever, a veritable oasis of calm and a sea of tranquility – even the visiting Bumptious Brats appeared to realise that here was not a place to shout, scream, scoot, skate or take delight in pursuing our feathered friends or persecuting their long-suffering nannies.

Objets jardiniers abound in the charming shop – highly recommended are the small-scale patent window-box seed dibbers – and these are to be found spade-by-trowel by reproductions of historic tomes, advising the Percy Throwers and Alan Titchmarshes of yesteryear on how best to nurture and cultivate cuttings, somehow shipped lovingly, from the Sumatran jungle or the Paraguayan plains.

The restaurant remains as charmingly chaotic as it was over 20 years ago – but at least it no longer requires seven senior ‘Friends of the Garden’ to serve, sell and account for a cup of tea.

All in all, therefore, a wonderful way of taking advantage of these fine Chelsea-based riverside facilities … the next step for your appropriately (or indeed inappropriately!) surnamed correspondent is a visit to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust along the river from Putney (to Barnes).

Of course, it means straying outside of ones belovèd Wandsworth – but as THE WANDSWORTH VOICE exists to proclaim all that is good and highlight all that is bad in our riverside vicinity … so be it.