Balham to Tooting Bec Trail


A community group run by and for people living or working between Balham and Tooting Bec.


Balham To Tooting Bec Trail

Balham to Tooting Bec Trail

Ever wondered about the history of your high street? This Podcast takes you on an historical journey along Balham High Road, from Balham to Tooting Bec station (and back again) as those who live and work here tell you their stories.

So, whether you’re a visitor to the area, have recently moved in or are a long-term resident, join us on the Balham to Tooting Bec Trail. Access the podcast here and it tells you all you need to know – and is best used with the accompanying map which can be downloaded here or picked up at local shops or the library.

The Trail Podcast

Location 1 – Irene House

Rosemary Harley long-time resident tells us about this office and the IRA bomb in 1974.

Location 2 – Saint Mary & Saint John the Divine Church

Hear from the Reverend Eileen Serbutt about how the involvement of the church and the community has changed since the 1960s.
Location 3 – Du Cane Court

This art deco building opened in 1937. Let Charles Jones, long-time resident, tell you how it was then and is now.
Location 4 – Polish Church

Monika Wilson tells you about the founding of the church and its importance to the local Polish community.
Location 5 – Balham Barnets

Tim and Lisa Booker tell us about their hairdressing services here since the 1970s.
Location 6 – New Housing Development

You will never imagine what this site used to be in the past- Rosemary Harley tells you all.
Location 7 – Upper Tooting Methodist Church

A victim of the bombing in the blitz, hear how the church ‘arose’.
Location 8 – Wimbledon Sewing Machine Shop and Museum

Be surprised by what Lauren Rose tells you about the museum
Location 9 – The Wheatsheaf pub

Dan Watkins relates the story of how the pub was saved for posterity
Location 10 – Tooting Bec station

Simon Cooke from Transport for London tells us about the station in the war and now
Location 11 – St Anselm’s Church

Nick Dunne tells the story of Tooting Bec and the heroism of local residents in the face of the bombing.
Location 12 – Ritherdon Road-Heaver Estate

Follow these roads to see what you find – let Colm O’Flynn tell you more
Location 13 – Territorial Army Centre

Hear from Rosemary Harley about its use as a base for soldiers then and now.
Location 14 – Hamilton House/White Eagle Club

The Polish Community and cultural centre – Colin Ashton tells you about it
Location 15 – Spiritualist Church

More going on here than you would think!
Location 16 – Robbie’s Photographic Shop

An opportunity to change a career brought Robbie (Ron McRobbie) to Balham
Location 17 – Balham Tube Station

Hear from Simon Cooke about the biggest historical event in the area, the bomb that killed 66 people
Location 18 – Finale

Arthur Smith self-styled mayor of Balham (‘nightmare , I don’t do days’) gives his personal take on the high road.