Flamsteed Astronomy Society

‘Walking the Willett Way’ with Curator Dave Rooney

September 1, 2007

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David Rooney helped kick-off the new Flamsteed season and took about 20 of us for a stroll ‘the Willett Way’ around Petts Wood.  Great excuse for a pint or several.  Dave has been researching William Willett, a Petts Wood builder who campaigned from 1907 to get Daylight Savings Time introduced into Britain.  It didn’t happen until 1916 during the First World War, when in fact the enemy, Germany, beat us to the punch and adopted it first.  Willett is amply commemorated around Petts Wood, most notably by the Wood itself which was bought by public subscription as a memorial.  Dave’s speculation is that the purchase was as much to forestall development of the Wood.  Ironic, when you consider Willett was a major builder and developer himself.  No matter.  The Wood and surrounding areas are ideal for a rural stroll close to SE London, and journey’s end was at the convenient ‘Daylight Inn’, a worthy hostelry, itself commemorating Willett.  Good morning’s outing!


Walking the Willett Way by Mike DrylandWalking the Willett Way by Mike DrylandDavid Rooney by Mike DrylandWillett's grave in St Nicholas, Chiselhurst, by Mike DrylandWillett memorial in Petts Wood by Mike DrylandWalking the Willett Way -- Patched Willett Recreation Ground signpost, by Mike Dryland

We admire Mr Willett’s Mercedes ... 

house, and blue plaque.  ‘The Cedars’ designed and built by Willett and where he lived.

“On the word ‘Go’, mill around aimlessly” — Intrepid Flamsteeders fail to be ejected from a private road

Willett gets the elbow.

— The Willett Memorial

in Petts Wood


Pictures by Mike Dryland

Dave Rooney

— Dave is very patient.  You don’t have to be mad to do this walk with the Flamsteed, but it helps.

Was William Willett a typing error?

Tippex comes in handy

Willett’s grave in

St Nicholas, Chislehurst

Recently renovated by the Willett family