This attractive London suburb is known from many references in popular culture, frequent appearances on film and television and, of course, as the starting point of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race. Recorded as Putelei in the Domesday Book, it has many historic associations, not least as the birthplace of Thomas Cromwell and post-war Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Putney's very first bridge, a toll bridge opened in 1729, was once the only Thames bridge between London and Kingston and led to the development of nearby Roehampton as a desirable residential area.
Putney is well supplied with open spaces, such as Putney Common, and for centuries it was the place to which Londoners flocked to play games and enjoy the clean air. Putney Heath was a mute witness to notorious duels between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, and Queen Elizabeth I was a frequent visitor to the area from 1579 to 1603. Today the London suburb is changing, and this photographic tour provides an insightful comparison between Putney and Roehampton past and present.
Simon has lived for over twenty years in the Battersea area, where he is a popular public speaker on local history. A regular member of the Wandsworth History Society and Deputy Editor of the Historian, he also served until recently on both the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society's Council and Greater London Local History sub-committee. Simon has published two books, a DVD and several articles about aspects of local history in the area. He has an Advanced Diploma in Local History and is currently studying for a PhD in History at the University of Cambridge. Ron Elam is a well-known local historian. He has collected many thousands of views of the streets of London showing life in the early years of the 1900s. His speciality is the areas of inner South and South West London. He also has a considerable number of pictures of many other parts of Greater London.