The Cabbage Patch

From the website of the Environment Trust:

Jam Yesterday Jam Tomorrow was an Environment Trust heritage local project that enabled local people to explore the rich history of market gardening in South West Middlesex in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Heritage Lottery Fund resourced the project which ran from 2012 to 2016 and included an exhibition, factsheets, oral histories, education sessions, drama and heritage walks. It also established a Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park where we continue to work with local volunteers to grow produce and run community and educational events in heritage conservation.”

From the website of the Twickenham Museum:

“The coming of the railways led to an increase in the number of pubs. In Twickenham three ‘railway’ pubs opened; The Albany Hotel (1860s), The Railway Hotel (opened 1853, closed in 1962 and demolished) and The Railway Tavern (opened 1853 and now called The Cabbage Patch).”

Patrick Baty, historical paint consultant, writes on his blog:

“(Alfred, Lord Tennyson) began to find Twickenham too close to London, with too many visitors now that the railway had arrived. He also complained of the smell of cabbages in the vicinity. In November 1853 he left for the seclusion of Farringford in the Isle of Wight and his widowed mother Elizabeth Tennyson moved into Chapel House.

Tennyson House was bought by Pete Townshend, of The Who in 1985, and sold by his wife Karen Townshend in 2008…”

Reporting for the Rugby World Cup 2019 included the following:

“Five years before the Titanic embarked on its ill-fated maiden voyage, Billy Williams splashed out £5,500 of the fledgling Rugby Football Union’s cash for a 10-and-a-quarter acre market garden that was used to grow cabbages.

The first stands of Twickenham Stadium were constructed on the old cabbage patch a year later – hence the ground’s nickname – and after roads and pedestrian pavements had been constructed, the arena was ready to host its first match.”

From the website of the Twickenham Museum:

“In 1906, all-round sportsman and property entrepreneur, William Williams, was charged by the Rugby Football Union to find a home ground for the England game. But so dubious was his choice of site that it was immediately dubbed ‘Billy Williams’ Cabbage Patch.’ Despite huge difficulties, two covered stands were eventually built east and west of the pitch and the ground was opened on Saturday 9 October 1909 to less than 2,000 spectators who turned out to see the New Ground’s tenants, Harlequins, beat Richmond 14-10.

The first International match to be played at Twickenham took place on January 15 1910 when England beat Wales for the first time since 1898, ending a 12-year losing streak. The England side quickly found success in its new home at Twickenham and went on to win the championship, share it with Ireland in 1912, and go on to twice win the Triple Crown. With the outbreak of war in 1914, the RFU suspended play for the duration and mothballed the stadium.

The first Varsity match was played in December 1921, by which time the popularity of Twickenham had soared. Extra accommodation was found in a North Stand built in 1925 by the legendary football stadium architect, Archibald Leitch. By 1931, the famous ‘Twickenham Look’ had come about. This comprised a huge slab of concrete forming the South Terrace, Leitch’s North Stand, and two great double-decker East and West Stands that spoilt the view from Richmond Hill.

At the outbreak of World War Two, Twickenham stadium became a Civil Defence Depot, with special responsibilities as a decontamination centre in the event of a chemical attack on London. The closest the stadium got to being hit by enemy action was in July 1944 when a V1 flying bomb fell in the front garden of a house opposite the West Gate, injuring 16 people.

After the war and for the next three decades, Twickenham lagged behind other large grounds in all areas of development. In 1981 a South Stand was built, followed in the 1990s by new North, East and West stands. The ‘concrete horseshoe’ was completed in 1995 exactly 100 years after the issue of amateurism split the Rugby Football Union in two and almost destroyed the England game. The year 2005 will mark the centenary of the idea to build England’s national stadium, which was realised in Twickenham.”

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