NEWSLETTER No. 160    September 2005


A series of talks arranged by Lambeth Archives
Wednesday 14th September 2005
At the Tate Library, 180 South Lambeth Road SW8
7.0 - 8.30pm


an illustrated talk by Jim Nicolson, followed by


by Jon Newman

For other areas of Lambeth, see 'Dates for your Diary'

There will also be House History Workshops at Lambeth Archives on Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th September at 7.0pm, and on Wednesday 28th September at 2.30pm.
Everyone attending will receive a free copy of the Lambeth Archives publication 'How to Trace Your Lambeth House History'

Archives Open Day
Lambeth Archives' Open Day this year will be on Saturday 24th September, and the theme will be 'Lambeth Childhoods': there will be a programme of talks throughout the day, guidance on how to research Family and House History, and local societies' exhibitions with stalls selling local history publications.

London Open House
On Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th Sept-ember, buildings all over London will be open to the public giving free access to some of the Capital's greatest architecture. Buildings in the Society's area open on Saturday will include the IMAX Cinema, Waterloo; Blue Sky House, 405 Kenning-ton Road; the former Annie McCall Mat-ernity Hospital, 39 Jeffreys Road; Lambeth Palace; Layout-Gaswork's Gallery, 155 Vauxhall Street (also Sunday); The Lilian Baylis Technology School, 323 Kenning-ton Lane; National Theatre Studio, 83-101 The Cut; and StJohn's Church Waterloo (also Sunday). For details of opening times and booking arrangements, see booklet available from Lambeth Libraries or visit

St.Anne's Church: Open Week and Exhibition
St Anne's Church, South Lambeth Road, will also be open on Saturday 17th Sept-ember and throughout the following week. On Saturday the Church will open at 9.0 and there will be an exhibition of local history, presented by the Vauxhall Society, a Karate demonstration at 11.30, Tea at 3.0pm and evensong at 5.30. The following week, Monday to Friday, the Church will be open from 8.0am to 6.30pm with Morning and Midday prayer and displays.

Annual General Meeting
The society's Annual general meeting this year will be held on Wednesday 12th October, at the Surrey Cricket Club, Ken-nington Oval. Further details and agenda will be circulated later in September.

Were you evacuated during the Second World War?
The Local History Committee of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and the Museum of London are co-ordinating a project looking at Londoners' experiences of evacuation in the Second World War and are inviting anyone who was evacuated to complete a questionnaire about their experiences. All contributions, whether long or short, will be welcomed by LAMAS as an important contribution to the understanding about evacuation and how it affected thousands of Londoners, both past and present. Copies of the questionnaire can be requested from the Secretary, Vauxhall Society, 20 Albert Square, London SW8 1BS or available to download from

Brain of Lambeth
For over 30 years the Lambethans' Society has run the annual 'Brain of Lambeth' quiz at Lambeth Town Hall with the cooperat-ion of the Mayor and Council. This year the Lambethans' Society's Brain of Lambeth competition will adopt a new format, and for the first time teams of four people from local community organis-ations are being invited to take part. The quiz will be conducted at Lambeth Town Hall, Room 8, commencing at 7.30pm. If any Vauxhall Society member would like to take part, please let the secretary know by Friday 23rd September.

Vauxhall Tower
Following a public inquiry last year, Lambeth Council's decision, to oppose the application by StGeorge for permission to modify their riverside development at Vauxhall to include a 50-storey circular tower, was upheld by the Inspector, who decided that the tower would adversely affect the Westminster World Heritage Site on the other side of the river. At the inquiry Lambeth's decision was supported by the Vauxhall Society, by Westminster Council and by residents on both sides of the river including some residents of the already partially finished StGeorge development.

Regardless of local opinion and of the professional advice of his own inspector, the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has given permission for the Tower to go ahead. When challenged on his decision by Vauxhall's MP, Kate Hoey, he simply responded by saying that Ken Livingstone wanted it. There is widespread concern that Livingstone's Draft London Plan, which supports the growth of tall buildings in clusters may lead to further proposals at Vauxhall. We have already heard of plans for development of the triangular island site adjoining Vauxhall Bus Station.

Lambeth Transport Local Implementation Plan
The Society welcomed the recent public-ation of Lambeth's Local Implementation Plan for Transport. We were, however, concerned that although the 'Road User Heirarchy' quite rightly gives top priority to Walking as the preferred transport mode, there was apparently no section of the Plan specifically devoted to walking, although 32 pages were devoted to cycling. There are, of course, many references to walking within the document but in the absence of a comprehensive index it is difficult to obtain a coherent view of the Council's policy. In our response to the document we suggested that a chapter bringing together all matters relating to walking would be welcomed.

The Society has in recent years responded to a number of the Council's consultation exercises on Transport in general and on walking, and has made a number of recommendations for the improvement of the walking environment. One of the most comprehensive proposals is the document 'Getting About' which was originally prepared by Lambeth Pensioners Forum, in 1998 in response to an earlier Lambeth Council consultation exercise. This was produced with particular concern for the elderly but most of its recommendations are equally relevant to pedestrians in general and the Vauxhall Society fully supports it as a walking strategy and has suggested that it could form the basis for a suitable chapter in the current document.

Battersea Power Station
A detailed Planning Application for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station was submitted to Wandsworth Council on 11th July by Parkview International, who took over the building 1993. The plans include an exclusive single-table restaurant to be sited at the top of the north-eastern chimney, a tour, starting in the restored Art Deco control room, visiting an interactive museum and ending with a ride to the top of another chimney, whilst a third chimney would contain an ecologically friendly power plant.

An application for Listed Building Consent has also been submitted for the demolition and rebuilding of the four chimneys. Parkview claim that steel reinforcement in the chimneys is badly corroded and beyond repair.

The Battersea Power Station Community Group have expressed concern that once demolished, the chimneys might never be rebuilt, and suggest that if consent is given they should be demolished and rebuilt one at a time. They point out that it would be difficult to enforce compliance with any conditions imposed as the Power Station is owned by a Parkview subsidiary based in the Virgin Islands. They cite a number of earlier demolitions on the site including the Coal Conveyor in 1995, the Water Pumping Station (for which they were given Listed Building Consent in 1997) and the Pumping Station Boiler House in 2001.

The Battersea Power Station Community Group are also critical of the way English Heritage has failed to monitor progress on the site. In 2002 the Group applied to the World Monuments Fund for inclusion of the Power Station in its list of the World's 100 Most Endangered Sites, although English Heritage declined to support the application

E-Mail Addresses
We often receive information on environ-mental and planning issues just after a newsletter has been mailed which may no longer be relevant by the time the next issue is prepared. If you have an e-mail address and would like to receive news of important events or developments, please forward your address to the President, at Similarly, if you have news of anything which you think may be of interest to other members, please pass it on to the above address

Dates for your Diary
Listed are some of the meetings and events arranged by organisations and groups in and around Vauxhall: non-members are always welcome and admission is normally free unless otherwise stated.

Sun 11 'HOUSE HISTORY': Illustrated talk by Alan Piper on dating your house and ways of researching previous residents. The Brixton Society, at the Vida Walsh Centre, 2b Saltoun Road
Tue 13 'HOUSE HISTORY': illustrated talks by Alan Piper and Jon Newman, at the Minet Library, Knatchbull Rd: 7.0pm.
Wed 14 'HOUSE HISTORY': illustrated talks by Alan Piper and Jon Newman, at the Minet Library, Knatchbull Rd: 7.0pm.
Sat 17 &
Sun 18
LONDON OPEN HOUSE: Interesting buildings all over London will be open to the public. Full details in booklet available from Libraries, or visit website
Tue 20 LAMBETH COUNCIL's PLANNING APPLICATIONS COMMITTEE meets at the Town Hall, Acre Lane SW2: 7.0pm.
Sat 24 LAMBETH ARCHIVES OPEN DAY: 'Lambeth Childhoods': Exhib-itions, talks and information from local societies at the Minet Library, Knatchbull Road SE5: 10.0am-5.0pm.
Tue 27 to
Thu 29
HOUSE HISTORY WORKSHOPS: at Lambeth Archives: for details and booking,
Thu 6 'BRAIN OF LAMBETH': Teams of Four from local community groups are invited to compete for this year's title. The Lambethans' Society, at Lambeth Town Hall, Acre Lane SW2: 7.30pm.
Wed 12 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the VAUXHALL SOCIETY: at the Surrey Cricket Club, Kennington Oval. (Details and agenda to follow)

Published by THE VAUXHALL SOCIETY: for further information, please apply to the Secretary, Mrs B.Nicolson, 20 Albert Square, LONDON SW8 1BS