William Morris' Wimbledon Links Are Being Commemorated

Local treasures can be viewed in William Morris House

The William Morris House in Wimbledon town centre is being 'Morrisfied' to commemorate the artistic and political links that Morris had with the area.

The meeting rooms at William Morris House, which is opposite the Polka Theatre on the Broadway, has had its meeting rooms renamed as follows:

Room 1 is now The Burne Jones Room; Burne-Jones was the world-renowned artist and designer who worked with Morris on his designs. Two of his stained glass windows (below right) presented by Morris to a local suffragette are illuminated and on display.

Room 3 is now The George Bernard Shaw Room; The world renowned playwright who came and spoke to rallies in Wimbledon with William Morris. His signed picture reads "many respectable people thought we should be hanged. I am happy to hang in a Hall named after Morris".

Room 4 is now The Rose Lamartine Yates Room; Rose Lamartine Yates was secretary of the Wimbledon Branch of the Women's Social and Political Union who was imprisoned as a suffragette. She was also a founder member of Wimbledon Labour Party.

Room 7 is The Tom Braddock Room; Tom was Labour MP for Mitcham and served on Wimbledon Council and Surrey County Council for Labour. He was instrumental in the purchase and development of William Morris House and was also a founder member of Wimbledon Labour Party.

  • William Morris House (which is opposite the Polka Theatre) was opened as a co-operative by the Labour MP the Rt Hon Arthur Henderson as a community meeting rooms in 1922.

The House was purchased in 1922 for £1,100 primarily for local trades unions and the infant Wimbledon Labour Party to meet and campaign from. Workers from the William Morris Works in South Wimbledon, together with local suffragettes, including Rose Lamartine Yates, and Labour Party members were instrumental in acquiring the building. 

Today a wide range of local organisations use its rooms and the management committee also welcome those who might have an interest in local history to drop by and view the treasures on display.

Contact the House Administrator, Caspar Osborn Telephone: 020 8542 3049 or email: manager.wmhouse@gmail.com.    

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February 15, 2016

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