The district of Wimbledon has become synonymous with its world-famous tennis tournament held here since 1922. This part of south-west London has been inhabited since the Iron Age and has developed over the centuries into two distinct parts: the `village' and the `town'. The village developed first as it began to attract wealthy merchants from the city but the arrival of the London & South West Railway in 1838 saw the focus of subsequent developments shift away from the original village towards the town, which is now the main retail centre.
Southfields, meanwhile, was still a largely an area of fields between the villages of Wimbledon and Putney until the coming of the railway in the late nineteenth century, connecting Wimbledon to Putney Bridge. Using a selection of old and new photographs, local historians Simon McNeill-Ritchie and Ron Elam trace the distinct journeys of these two suburban districts over the past century, making this book essential reading for anyone who knows and loves this famous part of south London.
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.