The Wandle Trail

Looking for Carshalton's lost heritage

By Beverley Walker

In August 2013 The Circle Library Local History Group had an enjoyable wander along the River Wandle. We were accompanied by Bob Steel author of the River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide who guided and informed us of the history of the area, pointing out the hidden remains of mills and waterwheels that often remain unnoticed as we go about our daily lives. We started at the old Hackbridge, ventured onto Wilderness Island and finished in the park by Westcroft.

Photo:On the Wandle Trail

On the Wandle Trail

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Looking at old maps

Looking at old maps

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Bob Steel pointing out the local history

Bob Steel pointing out the local history

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Walking along the Wandle Trail

Walking along the Wandle Trail

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Hidden amongst the undergrowth the remains of building

Hidden amongst the undergrowth the remains of building

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Heron on the River Wandle

Heron on the River Wandle

Zoe Roberts

Photo:Discussing what we have seen

Discussing what we have seen

Zoe Roberts

This page was added by Beverley Walker on 09/06/2014.
Comments about this page

Oh yes the Wandle, we used to play all day along and in it. I remember  the big reeds in it how clear it was. We used to get a pass from a sweet shop and go through a gate by the soap factory by the bridge on Mitcham road. We once dragged an old fuel tank which held three of us, from the dump opposite and went down the river it was "our boat ". Great times ! 

By Roy Marsh
On 16/04/2015

Roy, I was born overlooking the Wandle (River Gardens) in the '60s and spent my childhood, probably from age 6, wandering the brambles, bamboo(!!) and fauna either on my own of with various friends now long forgotten! Happy days!!! I've still got my old 'bird spotting books' from 1974, long before Wildreness Island was accessible by anything other than a squeeze through the railings or a (brave!) climb over the big corrugated gate at the bottom of Strawberry Lane... avoiding the rusty barbed wire.  Anyway, your post reminded me of what my dad told me. He grew up in St Helier (Goat Lane?) just after the war and told me about the old airplane dump and of him and his mates sitting in old 'drop-tanks' and paddling down (up?)  the Wandle. Once they found belts of .303 ammo and set fire to them to set the rounds off.  

By Knitted Gandhi
On 23/12/2016

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