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Building Sw London

Building SW London

Walham Green Electricity Board showrooms

Fulham had its own power generating station from 1901 principally for industrial use. Mains power was not installed in homes widely until the 1930’s. Initially domestic use was limited to just electric lighting, so it was in The Borough’s interests to demonstrate the ‘all new electric home’ with electric ovens, lighting and hot water. Marstons built the showrooms in 1934. 

1934 Showrooms
Elec Board Show Rooms

A second coal fired power station was opened in Fulham in 1936, the largest municipally operated powerstation in the UK at the time. The site of the coal yards of the second power station are now occupied by Fulham Riverside and Sainsbury’s. De-commissioned in 1978 it warranted Parliamentary debate when it was demolished due to the lack of care taken to remove the asbestos. This site is now occupied by Regent on the River and The Harbour Club

The show room hosted demonstrations and provided finance to enable the hire purchase of larger appliances.

587 Fulham Road, occupied by the London Electricity Board and where Fulham residents paid their bills until the late 1990’s and has since become ‘The Elk’ wine bar.

Fulham Town Hall extension

Fulham Town Hall is made up of three buildings

The first, fronting Fulham Road, was constructed by The Vestry in 1890 at a cost of £28,793.

The second building fronting on to Harwood Road was built in 1905 at a cost of £28,519.

The third building was constructed in 1934 by Marstons for the contract sum of £16,299 :11:6. This was at a time when the Town Hall was the administrative hub for the Borough of Fulham and had been since the 1890’s and had to expand in to several other buildings in Fulham Broadway by the mid 1950’s. By the mid 1970’s the administrative base had largely transferred to Hammersmith Town Hall. Marstons held their centenary celebrations at the town hall in 1995. Wedding and registration of births continued in Fulham until around 2010. The building was put up for sale in 2011 and bought by Dory Ventures, a US based retail group who’s planning application was refused in 2015 and subsequent appeal in 2017 also refused. 

Marston Truck
Marston Scafold

Fulham Maternity Home

Parsons Green Clinic (next to The White Horse) opened as ‘Fulham Maternity Home and Clinic’ was built by Marstons and was opened on the 16th October 1937

'mothers say that the 14 days in our home is as good as a holiday to them' Fulham Chronicle 22nd October 1937 

From 1929 maternity services came under the direct administration of Fulham Borough. By 1933, 64% of confinements took place in institutions but Fulham could only accommodate a small fraction of the total.

The new maternity home was designed to accommodate 400 ‘confinements’ per year out of Fulham Borough’s annual total of around 2000 births. 

There were 25 maternity beds, one of them an isolation bed accommodated in two to six bed wards. There were two labour wards with sterilising room, sink and sluice room, fitted with shadow-less operating lamp, matron’s office, night nursery and babies’ bathroom. The wide sun balconies adjacent accommodated babies’ cots in fine weather. There were reading lights to each bed, a luminous call system, wireless headphones and doctors inspection lamps as well as telephones, fire alarm and electric sterilizers.

Heating and hot water was all electric with 3 x electrode hot water boilers and 2 x 8000 gallon thermal storage vessels and an air purifier.

Maternity Home Before
Fulham Maternity Home during construction
Maternity Home After
Completed in 1937
1970 Cement Mixer

21st century

Closed as a maternity home in 1970 the building is now an NHS walk in centre providing children’s services, diabetes clinic, minor injury’s clinic and  dentistry  

If you want an SW6 baby these days you will have to have your baby at home as there are no SW6 maternity facilities.  100 years ago 90% of births were at home , today it is less than 2.5%. 

Wbr Library

Wandsworth Bridge Road Library

Marstons built the Sands End Library in 1962, an insignificant building that was demolished in 2013 to make way for a Sainsburys with flats over. However, it’s place in Fulham history still stands– it was the last new building opened by the Mayor of Fulham before the amalgamation with the Borough of Hammersmith.

Richmond Swimming Baths 1962
Richmond swimming baths 1964

Marstons took on a complicated construction in 1964 in Richmond deer Park . Richmond swimming baths (or pools in the Park as it is now known) included an outdoor pool, indoor pool and learners pool set in contoured banks with imported fully grown trees.

Prestige projects in those days would  start with a turf cutting ceremony followed  by a stone laying ceremony and finally the official opening . The excavations started after the turf cutting with an open dig over 24 feet deep. As the concrete works rose to ground level the stone laying ceremony took place with the traditional shilling laid under the stone by the Mayor before it was tapped in to position. The dignitaries retired to tea with the site manager and the stone temporarily removed . The original shilling was permanently removed by someone so Marstons had to supply a new coin before the stone was installed permanently.

Bousfield School

Bousfield School 

The Primary school built by Marstons between 1954-56 was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. The Architects originally lecturers in Architecture at Kingston Polytechnic designed Golden Lane estate in EC2 having won a competition in 1951. The practice went on to design the Barbican between 1965-1976, all three buildings are listed.

Wjm Bousfield School

The modernist building includes glass curtain walling with obscured panels in blue, yellow and green with dark brown brick and some white glazed brick detail. Some elevations are fully glazed, except for white brick band below cill level on ground floor. There is a spherical painted concrete water tower on circular pier to rear that was particularly tricky top build.


London Oratory School

Built on the site of the Fulham Fever Hospital, the London Oratory School was built by Marstons in 1967. The buildings were designed by Architect David Stokes.

The site was continually broken in to at weekends which as nothing was stolen was a bit of a mystery until it was realised that it only happened on match days. Lads were skipping over the train tracks to get in to ‘The Shed’ to watch Chelsea.

St Mary’s Putney

The reconstruction of St Mary’s Putney in 1981 followed a massive fire that gutted the church in 1973. It was a church on the same site that Cromwell held ‘The Putney Debates’   to discuss Universal Suffrage – not to be achieved for another 280 years.

In 1973 a debate started in the parish as to how the restoration should be carried out. It was decided that the church would be re-oriented with the alter to the North and the chancel converted in to a church room . Some of the charred timber supports to the balconies were retained but the remnants of the charred pews and balconies were burnt on the beach at low tide. Great care was taken to protect the buried lead lined coffins.

Marston’s employed their own specialist plasterers at the time who were able to run the replacement arches in their elliptical shape to match the original stone. John Marston turned a wooden finial for the roof on his own lathe.

St Marys Putney Scafold
St Mary’S Putney

The Plough

Marston Properties purchased the derelict buildings at 516 Wandsworth Road in 1968. Very little was left of the machinery or interior save for the features listed with the site as a whole on the 22nd May 1974. New floors, staircase and lift were installed to the east wing. The water tanks were removed from the third floor and a caretakers flat built. The brewery buildings were leased as offices to a single occupier, The Medicus Group, who  took the whole front building and stable block until 2001.

Plough 1968
2015 Main Plough Elevation New Windows
Plough Bike

The lower yard was a jumble of portacabins and the storage in the undercrofts used in the 1970’s by  Chelsea Girl a fashion label that became  River Island . By the 1980’s the undercrofts and yard were filled by large chillers belonging to Mayhew Chickens who chopped up the meat ready for the supermarkets . In the early 1990’s the yard was cleared to make way for Tun Yard that was built between 1995-1997

In 2015 the windows to the Plough were replaced with steel windows more in line with the detail of the original brewery cast iron windows.  In 2018 the building will be 150 years old and Marstons will be celebrating ownership of the building for one third of those years. In 2017 The Clapham Society awarded The Plough a green plaque to commemorate the change of use from brewery to office. 

Tun Yard Being Built
1995 Tun Yard
Plough Beam Ceiling

Tideway Yard and Old Power Station

Built in 1901, Tideway Yard and The Old Power Station occupy the site of electricity generating station, coal yards and Borough Parks Department. Tideway Yard served as stables, coach houses and a steam engine shed. 

In 1986, as a result of Philip Lancashire and Gillian Harwood winning a competition run by Richmond Borough Council to make use of the council’s redundant buildings on the river in Mortlake. Tideway Developments Ltd was formed in conjunction with W J Marston & Son Ltd and the buildings converted it into 50 small B1 (40,000 ft2) offices and workshop spaces, together with a popular local Restaurant, The Depot and eighteen newbuild flats at Tideway Wharf. In 1989 the scheme was awarded an RIBA conservation award.

Signing For Tideway 1984
John Marston signing the agreement with Richmond Borough Council, 1983
Converting The Old Power Station 1985
Converting the Old Power Station
Tideway Pre 2009
The Depot Restaurant, around 2000

The site is on the bend in the River Thames on the last straight of the Putney Mortlake boat race overlooking the fields on the Chiswick side of the River. Many units have beautiful views of the Thames, with access to balconies or terraces.

Marstons bought out Tideway Developments in 2009 and purchased the freehold from Richmond Borough Council in 2010 After over 30 years of trading ‘The Depot’ was sold to Rick Stein in 2017.

Tideway River Thames
Tideway Yard
Old Power Station Balcony
Old Power Station Main
Old Power Station
Mg 1450 Tideway Yard Offices To Rent Barnes Mortlake River Thames Marston Properties
Tideway Yard
Rick Stein Interior
Rick Stein 2017
Tideway Open Door