by Dec 10, 2023

To many, a camera club/photographic society should be named after its locality. But many are not and Photocraft is one of them. It was time, then, to “Celebrate” our area and this Wednesday evening was all about Wallington and the local area…where we have spent many a photo walk.

The other part that this evening set out to do was to encourage members to print their work. Just some small prints and through any means- your own printer, the local supermarket or via an online company. You all know my passion for printing so this was hopefully an evening to show that printing is something that all of us can do.

The most unexpected feature of the evening was that it became a look back in time at our area. Yes, we had a small turnout but those present enjoyed a very informal evening and some fascinating conversations about the Wallington area of old.

Dave S brought us a fascinating collection of prints – produced by Simlab: link here – https://www.simlab.co.uk/

Can you guess the location of this wildflower meadow?

Mayfield Lavender 2004 – Dave S

This was taken nearly 20 years ago and it is now the home of Mayfield Lavender. Originally, the plan was for Yardley Cosmetics to use this for producing lavender for their products. However, following a takeover, this was dropped and the current owners stepped in to make the business grow into what we know today.

Close by, here is another image from Dave of times gone by:

This is the end of harvest in the fields opposite Oaks Park, taken in 1987.

Finally, from Dave, an image that prompted comments of “Well, I’ve never actually seen it like that” from several of us:

Grotto Canal in Spring – Dave S

This is the Grotto Canal in Carshalton Park and it transpires that historically, this was one of the sources of the river Wandle. Who knew? Not me. The water flowed out from a local spring, following the channels that go from the park towards Carshalton High Street, then into the waterway that runs under the Cryer Arts Centre, then down to the Wandle itself.

Geoff N was unfortunately not able to come along but he did share one of his images – a very atmospheric one of the old cemetery in Beddington Park, nicely framed by the church porch.

David M brought us a bit more up-to-date with this image of the BedZed development in Hackbridge. A rather different idea at the time, its main purpose was to be environmentally friendly.

Coming closer to home, David also got this unusual perspective of the church tower of Holy Trinity Church, on Manor Road.

For my part, I brought along some prints from the Little Woodcote Estate, taken at different times of the year. Mine were to show what I would say is the unexpected side of Wallington.

Those who know the Telegraph Track/Oaks Track area will know there are lots of fields and several locals there keep animals. These two ponies were out enjoying the cold air one winter afternoon:

The next shot is from a walk I did with my then new Canon R5. Yes, the sky was like that – it was the most amazing light:

Finally, from a summertime morning walk, the city skyline was pretty much hidden in the haze. This one, to me, shows that we can enjoy the local area of green fields and livestock, despite being so close to the buzz of central London.

A mention here to one of our newest members, Martin D. He brought along some prints of Carshalton and the high street, taken on a walk in 2020 – yes, that time when leaving your home was being actively discouraged. It was eerie to see these images of such familiar places without any traffic and very few people.

Thanks are due to Dave S, David M, Geoff N and Martin D for providing the work and to Brenda P, Paul S and Kevin B for coming along and getting involved in the excellent conversations that the prints led to. It was a very enjoyable evening.

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  1. Dave Stoneleigh

    Great write up Brian and given my interest in the local area history, I would just add to your comments under my ‘Grotto Canal in Carshalton Park’ picture.

    The water in the Grotto Canal, on reaching the High Street (where it is these days piped underground), until about the 1920’s, used to turn sharply and continue in the open along the side of it towards Carshalton Ponds. I therefore presume that on being built over, it still follows this route underground. The likely exit into the Ponds is visible at the corner opposite the Woodman Wine Bar. I was not aware water runs under the Cryer Arts Centre, but if it does, it does seem a bit off course.

  2. Dave Stoneleigh

    Further to my comment above on the route of the water from the Grotto Canal, I have now found a reference that says it ran along the High Street to ‘Westcroft’, so your original comment may well have been on the right track Brian. I must admit some of the old paintings make it appear otherwise but perhaps a degree artistic licence was involved! The exit into the Ponds by the Woodman seems therefore to be only from the Hog Pit in Carshalton Park. There was clearly a lot more water flowing in those old days!

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