A Road called Summerstown

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJune 1914two pubs‘Summerstown’ is a curious bending road which borders Wimbledon Dog Track and divides the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth. In 1914 it was a residential street of about eighty homes from where at least ten of the Summerstown 182 came. It is though right at the heart of the Wandle flood plain and still prone to flooding. The wooden houses of 1914 are long gone though briefly there were pre-fabs in their place. A famous resident was the teenage Marc Bolan who used to busk outside The Prince of Wales pub but thought the area a lot less hip than Stoke Newington where his family had moved from. Nowadays one side of the road is populated entirely by light industrial units, timber merchants and carpet fitters. The other side is home to a vast stretch of tarmac, the dog stadium’s car-park which doubles as a weekend market and car-boot sale. Glossy brochures have been pushed through local doors and there is talk of the whole lot being swept away and AFC Wimbledon  football club moving back into the locality in a new super-stadium. Until not very long ago the road was surrounded by pubs but now only The Corner Pin survives. At the southern end of the road The Plough (the grey building on the right in the above photo) was converted to a tile shop about five years ago and The White Lion/Hare and Hounds (the orange one on the left) is now a flooring showroom. On the north side, The Prince of Wales became a Tesco Metro last year. That had been around from at least 1911 under the same name. Spare a thought for the Summerstown 182 the next time you’re in there getting your lunchtime meal-deal.

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