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FEEDING LONDON: The Forgotten Market Gardens of South West London
November 15, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Talk by local historian DAVID LAWRIE
Think of a brawny young woman carrying a heavy basket on her head loaded with fruit and vegetables bound for market some 20 kilometres away and your imagination is immediately swept away to a hot, dusty country in a distant time and place. But this young woman is not where or when you think; she lived in Middlesex in the mid-nineteenth century and she carried all that local produce – in a basket on her head – all the way from Hanworth to Covent Garden Market.
This talk will reveal the rapid and radical change of land use arising from London’s ever-growing population, from the desperate need to increase food production in the 1800s, to the demand for housing for the new ‘commuter classes’ in the 20th century. Through the stories of the great gardening dynasties of Middlesex, who developed horticultural expertise, built flourishing businesses and became major employers, and with sound recordings of living memories, we will trace the growth, peak and decline of the production of “Feltham Firsts”, “Hounslow Wonders” and “American Beauties”. All will be revealed!