Remarkable Tolworth – Ongoing Project IV



Extracts from the Tolworth Observer pdf document

Lucy Furlong – Local resident ‘Tolworth Treasure’

“The little-known but fascinating, rural history of Tolworth belies its current, neglected suburban feel. Tolworth Court Farm, for example, has medieval origins and is still visible in the area. The allotments of Tolworth played a vital role in growing food for local people for over 100 years but little is known or documented about their heritage and impact on the community.”

Robin Hutchinson – The community brain ‘SHEDx project’

Along with ‘feeling safe’ and ‘people’, our annual community surveys reveal that what matters most to the community is ‘feeling included community events’ and ‘public spaces’. We hear how people want ‘spaces to breathe’, for ‘public land and spaces to be kept public, and better preserved’. And they reveal concern about traffic levels, congestion and pollution in Tolworth. We know that locally produced food, independent business and nurturing talent are key drivers of people’s sense of a community where hospitality and communal eating play a significant part in its character.”

Tolworth observer

As I said in my previous blog post, there is a rich history there. Most of it got destroyed with time and is no longer visible. We first thought of building on that existing history. Our initial thought was that without heritage, there is no community. Without community, there is no heritage. We decided otherwise because it goes back to Medieval times and that period is too far away to be relevant to the current community. So following Simon Yewdall’s (from dn&co) presentation, we agreed to create something new or build upon the existing values shared by the inhabitants.

A civic and community project is working to make a difference in the civic life of one’s community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

(Civic: relating to a city, citizen, or citizenship)

Ideally, we’d like to appeal to the community as a whole. We are currently gathering information by contacting people, both residents and workers living outside of Tolworth.

Nothing in Tolworth is properly indicated and while we agree that wayfinding would be an undeniable plus. We don’t think it’s a priority. Instead, we want to tackle the environment. We thought the mural was a good idea, but on its’ own it doesn’t do much. We believe expanding on that would give an identity to the town, something to be proud of.

I had a look at what SHEDx wrote in their area plan as that would help us write our place manifesto.


Extracts from the Tolworth Observer pdf document

“Tolworth will be an accessible and well-connected place, known for its quality of life, community, and distinct role within the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames.

The quality and diversity of Tolworth’s leisure and recreational offer will be known across the Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames and south west London. Tolworth Station will offer quick and frequent access to central London within a mixed-use district containing shops and places of work, alongside new homes and public spaces. The station will be well connected to a busy and successful Broadway, which will offer a diversity of shops, services and civic uses. A family-friendly evening economy will re-enliven Tolworth’s rich history of entertainment.

The A3 will no longer divide the town. Tolworth will also benefit from new pedestrian, cycle and bus routes that make it easy for workers at the successful Chessington and Red Lion industrial estates to make frequent use of local shops and social venues. Facilities at the Kingston University sports ground will complement the Hogsmill Nature Reserve, open spaces and healthy streets. Open spaces will be easy to reach for all, with people often taking advantage of the rest of Tolworth when they visit.”

Tolworth observer i

They follow 6 guiding principles:

 1- Support regeneration opportunities

 2 – Build a strong local high street and wider economies

 3 – Make the most of green assets

 4 – Encourage low emission transport

 5 – Connect Tolworth

 6 – Promote local identity

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