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Heritage and Local Studies Events - Merton

Heritage and Local Studies Events

Current Exhibitions

To Us it was Like Paradise...

Till 26 August 2017. 

To accompany our main exhibition, we are are also showing displays charting the history and development of the St. Helier Estate, a vast housing development started during the late 1920s. Discover more about the origins of the estate, the choice of site and the female politician who was a driving force behind its creation. 

The exhibition covers many different aspects of life on the estate from shops and pubs, to local churches, entertainment and famous associations.


9 - 23 September: we will also be staging small exhibitions as part of Wandle Fortnight ( details below. )


Rebels with a Cause: Booth, Bandages and Bombs...

25 September - 21 October, 2nd floor, Morden Library

To mark the 130th anniversary of the Wimbledon branch, this exhibition looks at the work of the Salvation Army, past, present and future. Displays will look at the origins of this important charitable institution, the heroic contribution of members during the Second World War and current initiatives, including efforts to safeguard the victims of human trafficking.


Where Do You Think You Are?

20 September - 21 October, 2nd floor, Morden Library

Discover the living heritage of Merton Park from Gilbert the Norman, to Horatio Nelson and the modern day. This exhibition will feature photographs, archives and artefacts from the collections of the John Innes Society and Merton Heritage Centre.



Wandle Fortnight at Merton Heritage Centre.

Wandle Fortnight celebrates the heritage of the River Wandle and its surroundings. Between 9 and 24 September, a terrific programme of environmental, cultural and historical events will be held across the boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth.

As part of the 2017 programme, Merton Heritage Service will be staging the following events:


The River Wandle : Did You Know...?

9 - 23 September, 2nd floor, Morden Library

This small-scale exhibition will reveal some unusual facts about the River Wandle and its surroundings, from ancient settlements and artistic connections, to famous residents and aspects of natural history.


A Thing of Beauty: Images of the River Wandle from the Merton Heritage collection.

9 - 23 September, 2nd floor, Morden Library.

This exhibition will be accompanied by extracts from the reminiscences of local people.


A River Runs Through It : The River Wandle and its links to local heritage.

23 September, 2 - 4pm, 2nd floor, Morden Library.

Of key importance to the history of Merton, the River Wandle was once one of the most heavily worked waterways in the world. This illustrated talk by Heritage Officer, Sarah Gould, will look at the significance of the river and key sites along its course.


West Barnes Local History Group.

Merton Heritage Centre organises monthly talks at West Barnes Library.These are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 10.30am to 12 noon. 


19 September: Speaker - Michael Norman-Smith, U3A.

The story of Ely's department store, Wimbledon.


17 October: Speaker - Sarah Gould, Merton Heritage Service.

Things that go bump in the night : Ghost stories and the paranormal in Merton. 


21 November: Speaker - Sarah Gould, Merton Heritage Service.

The human face of war : Tales of Merton's First World War combatants.

December: There will be no talk in December. The programme will resume in January 2018. 

Admission to the West Barnes history talks is FREE. 

For more information : Contact Merton Heritage Centre, Tel. 020 8545 3239 or email:


Add your family's First World War stories to the Carved in Stone archive.

Did any of your relatives live in Merton during the First World War?

As part of the Carved in Stone project, we have staged a series of War Story Days where volunteers have filmed short interviews with Merton residents whose relatives fought in the First World War, or supported the local war effort. These have been used to produce a range of web resources, school packs and exhibitions. There is still time to add your family stories to our collection, so if you have information that you would like to share, or wartime memorabilia that we can record for posterity, we would love to hear from you.

If you would like to be interviewed, please contact:

Merton Local Studies Centre. Tel. 020 8545 4038/3239. Email:

For more information about the Carved in Stone project, visit