Putney's Hidden Gems

Whilst the bridge is closed take time to discover new or old favourites

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Putney Bridge is currently closed for essential repairs but Putney Town Centre is open for business and would welcome you to come and discover the beauty of Putney, the great range of retail shops, fine restaurants and pubs, relaxing cafes, excellent entertainment and of course the river bank.

Each day during the bridge closure works the Town Centre Manager will identify a gem of Putney which she recommends you visit.

Week 1
Monday 14th July - Putney Bridge
Do you know why and how Putney Bridge came about?
One story suggests that "in 1720 Sir Robert Walpole (the following year considered the first Prime Minister) was returning from seeing George I at Kingston upon Thames and being in a hurry to get to the House of Commons rode together with his servant to Putney to take the ferry across to Fulham. The ferry boat was on the opposite side, however and the waterman, who was drinking in the Swan, ignored the calls of Sir Robert and his servant and they were obliged to take another route." Walpole vowed that a bridge would replace the ferry.[1]

The then Prince of Wales equally "was often inconvenienced by the ferry when returning from hunting in Richmond Park and asked Walpole to use his influence by supporting the bridge."[1]
The legal framework for construction of a bridge was approved by an Act of Parliament in 1726. Built by local master carpenter Thomas Phillips to a design by architect Sir Jacob Acworth, the first bridge was opened in November 1729, to become the only bridge between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge at the time. A toll bridge, it had tollbooths at either end of the timber-built structure.

Putney Bridge has today closed for vehicular traffic for essential repairs. It is open to pedestrians and cyclists if they dismount.

Reference: 1. Putney Bridge on London Historians

Tuesday 15th July – The Avenue Cookery School
Did you know that right in the heart of Putney there is a cookery school, The Avenue Cookery School offering one week and two week courses as well as day and evening classes for all ages from teenagers upwards. The courses are fun and informative – the relaxed atmosphere enables students to learn a huge amount and become confident cooks. Total beginners and accomplished cooks come on our courses and they all leave with new recipe ideas, up to date skills and a refreshed and refreshing approach to cooking.

The school is in Walkers Place less than 100 metres from both Putney High Street and Waitrose.
Next time you are near us come and visit us and see us in action. www.theavenuecookeryschool.com

Wednesday 16th July – EMILE’S RESTAURANT
96 -98 Felsham Road, Putney, London SW15 1DQ
Tel: 020 8789 3323
This well established neJuly 17, 2014 consistently good modern British-Eclectic cuisine side by side with classic French dishes at probably the best value in London - 3 course menu £29.50 or 2 course menu £26.00.
A comprehensive wine list backed up by a separate ‘fine wine’ list also represents terrific value.
Located in a side road and approximately 5 minutes walk from Putney High Street this 100 cover restaurant is laid out over three rooms with simple decor and well-spaced tables.
Parties are catered for on a regular basis and the restaurant also features private dining facilities for up to 47 guests.

For menus, photos and further details please visit our website at www.emilesrestaurant.co.uk

Thursday 17th July - Soul Brother Records

Soul Brother Records are one of the leading Independent Record Shops in the UK.
You will find a massive selection of Quality Soul, Funk, Jazz, Reggae and Blues titles on CD and Vinyl both New Pre-owned and Collectables. We also have many Rock and Pop Pre-owned Vinyl records, and have access to most available titles. We offer a good and knowledgeable level of customer service and have listening facilities in store. Pop in and have a look around or check our website www.soulbrother.com.
1 Keswick Rd Putney SW15 2HL (1 min from East Putney tube) Open Mon-Sat 10am- 7pm Sun 11am- 5pm 020 8875 1018

Friday 18th July – Sporting Feet

Sporting Feet in Lacy road, Putney sells great quality footwear for all major sports including football, rugby, netball, hockey, running, racquet sports, gym & fitness, cricket and others.
This is a great family shop for adults and kids who offer great service and expert advice. The shop is also a useful hub of information on sport in the local area.
Sporting Feet are particularly well known for running shoes and offer free natural gait analysis and free digital foot scanning. Another key product category is sports insoles which can help with stability and injury prevention.
3 Lacy Road, Putney, SW15 1NH 020 8780 0558

Saturday 19th July – Wandsworth Park

Wandsworth Park is a Grade II listed urban park in Putney. The park is situated along the south bank of the River Thames and bordered to the south by Putney Bridge Road. The park is 8 hectares in size and is home to over 350 trees of many different species.

Wandsworth Park was purchased for £33,000 in 1898 by London County Council, Wandsworth District Board, and by public subscription. The land was previously allotment gardens. It was designed and constructed under the supervision of Lt Col John James Sexby, the first Parks Superintendent for the London County Council. The design is dominated by a 3.5 hectare playing field in the centre of the park surrounded by an oval path. The south east corner has a more ornamental design, and an avenue of trees form the northern edge along the river. The design has remained largely unchanged since its construction.

The park is now home to a very popular children’s playground, and a recently added mini golf course, putt in the park.

Sunday 20th July – St Marys Church

Putney Bridge is the only bridge in Britain to have a church at both ends; St. Mary's Church, Putney is located on the south and All Saints Church, Fulham on the north bank.

St. Mary's Church is an Anglican church in Putney, sited next to the river Thames. There has been a centre of Christian worship on this site from at least the 13th century, and the church is still very active today. It is also noteworthy because in 1647, during the English Civil War, the church was the site of the Putney Debates on the English constitution.

The building itself has seen many changes; parts of the existing church have survived from medieval times, such as the 15th century tower and some of the nave arcading, and the early 16th century Bishop West Chapel, built by Bishop Nicholas West. Most of the building, however, dates from the substantial reconstruction of 1836 to the designs of Edward Lapidge. He largely rebuilt the body of the church in yellow brick with stone dressings and perpendicular windows. Some of the medieval pillars and arches in the nave were retained, but both the north and the south arcades were widened.

In 1973 an arson attack gutted much of the church. Rebuilding was not completed until nearly ten years later, when the church was rehallowed by Rt. Revd. Michael Marshall the Bishop of Woolwich, on 6 February 1982. Since the restoration, the altar has not been positioned, as is usual, in the chancel or even at the eastern end of the nave, but instead halfway down the northern side of the nave, with the seating arranged to reflect this.

In 2005 a new extension to the church, the "Brewer Building", built at a cost of £1.7m was opened by the Bishop of Southwark.

July 15, 2014