Summerstown182 is a volunteer organisation founded and lead by Geoff Simmons. We are proud to have made a notable impact in our community over the last seven years, promoting lesser known local history in an engaging and creative way. Our work has been recognised with a number of awards; Sadiq Khan's 'Community Hero' and three Civic Awards from Wandsworth Council. We were fortunate in 2016 to receive support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We have worked extensively with local schools.
One way of creating interest in a story or project is through raising funds to put up a commemorative plaque. We will promote the initiative through walks and talks and visits to schools. We will work with artists, charities and community groups, maximising publicity for a memorable unveiling event. Photos and videos of some of these occasions can be seen on the Summerstown182 blog. Through our 'Quid for Sid' campaign we used Crowdfunder a few years ago to raise donations to put up a plaque in memory of Sidney Lewis, the youngest British soldier in the First World War.
On other occasions we have championed Sadie Crawford, one of 'The Lost Women of British Jazz', Peter Barr 'The Daffodil King' and the presence of a Victorian running ground.
Usually though, funds are raised through donations made on our very popular guided walks. The pandemic has impacted this and for that reason we are seeking to raise funds for our latest plaque initiatives in other ways.
'Toots Musical Roots' intends to celebrate the existence of a recording studio in the centre of our town. Over a 15 year period it attracted some notable musicians and artists. Some of these came from all over the world and the TMC Studios were renowned for glam rock, early synthesizer pop and most notably reggae. There is even a story that the great Bob Marley may have visited!
Money raised will pay for a plaque with a little left over to promote a community celebration event next summer when it will be unveiled. In the meantime, we will promote the story of the Studios in our work with schools, online and possibly through a resumption of the guided walks. It will be flagged on a number of downloadable self-guided walks devised during the lockdown. Its also mentioned in a 'Tooting Black History Cycle Trail' which will be launched for Black History Month.
Very few people know about this very engaging piece of cultural history and we believe the placing of a plaque will add considerable interest to our area and be something that everyone in our community can take great pride in. Music is one of the greatest unifying forces and this project will bring people together, help lighten our load at a difficult time and contribute towards making our neighbourhood a better place to live.