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Blogs and News

17th Oct 2018

Putney Networking Meeting Sends Positive Signals

Mayor opens new bistro at historic pub in Putney Heath


The Mayor and Peter Linacre opening the Bistro

Wandsworth Chamber held a well-attended meeting at The Telegraph pub in Putney Heath, to celebrate the opening of its new French bistro and utilise a convivial location for its popular networking meetings.

Peter Linacre, Co-owner and Managing Director of the pub, gave a short talk about its fascinating history. It was part of a series of stations set up in the Napoleonic Wars to transmit information about French activities via semaphore. A message could travel up from the coast to London in only 20 minutes. Apparently, when there were “pea-souper” fogs in London, and the semaphore signals couldn’t be seen, riders on horseback were needed to carry the messages from the telegraph station to their final destination of the Admiralty.

The pub stands proud on the original location on Putney Heath, although the buildings have been much modified since then. Ironically, this evening was to be the start of a new French invasion, of a more benign kind, the opening of a downstairs bistro, serving good French fare and excellent wines, which the Telegraph stocks. It holds regular wine-tasting evenings. Steve Pinto, CEO of Wandsworth Chamber, described it as as “An amazing oasis of calm and a terrific venue for so many different types of events,” He emphasized how business networking could keep money circulating between businesses in the borough, so that everyone could support the vibrant business culture that exists here. The pub has good Wi-Fi connections so can be used as an office while you are having a pint.

Douglas Shanks, the Chamber’s Chairman, said that the pub had been his local for nearly 40 years, and then paid tribute to a sadly-deceased Chamber member Lucy Gardiner, who had been very dynamic in promoting Wandsworth Chamber activities and passed away at an early age.

After a preliminary networking session, aided by some of the Telegraph’s wine selection, the main speaker of the evening, the Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Piers McCausland. He started off his talk by mentioning one of Britain’s greatest Prime Ministers, Pitt the Younger, who lived, worked and died in Putney Heath in 1806, not far from the site of the Telegraph. He noted that the Borough of Wandsworth is an interesting fusion of both urban and rural areas, with a very young population. New developments, including the “town centre” in the former Battersea Power station would bring fresh commerce to the area.

After this reconnaissance through local history, the Mayor went downstairs to cut the ribbon and declare the bistro open for business, like the whole borough.

Julian Jackson is Wandsworth Chamber’s blogger, whose interests encompass technology, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is here: