Dr Chris French is the author of a new book on Fulwell covering 1939-2020 (a follow-up to his previous volume which covered the years 1870 to 1939), published by the Borough of Twickenham Local History Society
Strangely, for an area with such a rich history, the most frequent question people ask is: “But where is Fulwell?” (Generally speaking, it’s the area between Teddington and Twickenham around Fulwell Bus Depot and Squires Garden Centre and is linked to Hampton Hill as one of the local authority’s wards).
However, the geographic area Chris defines as ‘Fulwell’ is not based on administrative boundaries but on the existence of a rich sense of community – where families live, where they shop, work or go to school, socialise, and care for each other. The overall focus is on the extent to which Fulwell has experienced continuity and change over the last 80 years, with sections on Fulwell in the Second World War, housing, shops and places of work, community facilities such as schools, churches and leisure outlets and Fulwell Bus Depot.
The book charts the real experience of living in the area at certain times such as during WW2 or during childhood. Memories include: “I remember a bomb fell in Fulwell Road. Prefabs were put there and subsequently flats replaced them, stretching into Sunnyside Road” and “I always took my bike to Palmers if I had a puncture… Dave Palmer was a really nice man, he’d always check the brakes and oil the chain for no extra charge.”