MOSTLY FULHAM with a quick detour to Uxbridge Road: 1903-06

Last updated: May 2008; December 2023


Founded: Women’s Social and Political Union (Pankhursts).  First: heavier-than-air flight (Orville brothers); transatlantic radio broadcast.  Published: Daily Mirror. 

Probably mid-1903; certainly by January 1904

William Gilbert Allen and Henry George Norris agreed with the members of the Axton family to buy their brick yard, situated at the ends of Adelaide Road and Oaklands Road (now Grove) off the north side of Uxbridge Road.

During 1903 the London Borough of Fulham approved the following applications to build, made by the Allen and Norris partnership:

1 house in Langthorne Street

27-34 Queensmill Terrace

1-56 Kenyon Street

unspecified properties in Harbord Road, Inglethorpe Road and Stevenage Road

59 and 62 Langthorne Street

35-42 Queensmill Terrace

1-51 and 2-52 Inglethorpe Street


On 31 January 1903 for unexplained reasons Henry Norris resigned from Fulham Lodge number 2512.  He had been a member less than a year.  He rejoined in October 1907.


On 10 March 1903 Henry Norris’ year as the Worshipful Master of Kent Lodge number 15 came to an end.

End of the 1902/03 football season.

Fulham FC were offered the chance to get elected to Southern League Division 1 - but they had to prove they could afford to play football at this higher level; and they had only a month to do so. 


SEE MY FILE ON HENRY NORRIS AND FULHAM FOOTBALL CLUB for a more detailed version of what happened next; and an explanation of how the Southern League operated.


Thursday 14 May in the evening I should imagine: a meeting was held at the King’s Head, Fulham Road and as a result of it, a group of local men set out to get Fulham into the Southern League’s top tier by selling shares in a company set up to run the club.  I haven’t found a list of who attended that meeting; but in view of what happened later (see below) I suggest that Henry Norris was there, with William Allen and also the partnership’s chief carpenter, Arthur Foulds.


Wednesday 20 May 1903 King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra made an official visit to Fulham.  There’s no evidence that Norris was involved officially in the organisation of this visit, but perhaps he took time out to enjoy it.


Evening of Friday 29 May 1903 the Southern League held its annual dinner, at The Mitre hotel in London.  According to later reports in the press, at that dinner some deals were done which caused a great upset the following day.  I couldn’t find certain evidence that Henry Norris went to the dinner, either as a guest or as a lobbyist, but someone was there, working on behalf of Fulham FC.


Saturday 30 May 1903 was the AGM of the Southern League, in London.  As part of it, two new clubs were going to be elected to be members.  It took two ballots to get a clear result.  And the result was that Fulham FC got in when Watford FC had been expected to.  Henry Norris made a thank-you speech on Fulham FC’s behalf when - after some debate - the result of the second ballot was accepted.


Saturday 6 June 1903 a meeting officially created Fulham Football and Athletic Club Company Limited, to run Fulham FC in Southern League Division 1.  Henry Norris was elected the company - and therefore the club’s - first chairman.


Between June and August 1903 representatives of Fulham FC negotiated with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who owned the freehold of Craven Cottage, for a longer lease on the club’s playing-ground.


Friday 19 June 1903 an advertisement in the local papers announced that shares in the new Fulham FC company were on sale.  Henry Norris, William Allen and Arthur Foulds were all directors of the new club (you have to own shares to stand for election as a director).


By Tuesday 4 August 1903 work had begun at Craven Cottage on a new grandstand, to hold 3000 with offices below it.  On Thursday 6 August 1903 Fulham FC obtained the necessary licence for the grandstand, from the London County Council.  The other three sides of the pitch were being banked up, for standing spectators.


Afternoon, Tuesday 1 September 1903 was Fulham FC’s first fixture in Southern League Division 1: (local club) Queen’s Park Rangers 2 Fulham 0.  This was followed on Saturday 5 September 1903 by the first home game, a derby: Fulham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0.  Parts of this match were FILMED, and shown at the Granville Theatre in Fulham, the club’s new  directors receiving special invitations to the showing on Friday 11 September 1903.


And from that week onwards until August 1927, football fixtures and football management formed an important warp and weft in Henry Norris’s life.  I’m not going to list them all in this profile - there are just too many of them!  I’m just going to mention the important ones.


On Wednesday 14 October 1903 William Hall, was initiated as a member of Kent Lodge number 15; so if they did not know each other already, he and Henry Norris met on this day.  Hall owned and ran a firm in Battersea which manufactured lead for roofing and other industrial purposes.  As far as I can tell, at this early stage William Hall had no involvement in football at all, not even as a spectator.


Wednesday 21 October 1903 Henry and Edith’s second child was born; daughter Margaret Audrey, known as Peggy.


By November 1903 Fulham FC were having a run of bad form; and so after the first flush of local enthusiasm, the number of people watching football at Craven Cottage was dropping.



Founded: FIFA; Rolls-Royce, London Symphony Orchestra.  Invented: diode valve.  Sir Francis Younghusband’s expedition reached Lhasa.  First: number plates; electric trains in UK; production of Peter Pan (James Barrie).


During 1904 Allen and Norris didn’t make quite as many applications to build as they had done the previous year.  The London Borough of Fulham agreed to the following list:

6-16 and 5-15 Inglethorpe Street

1-45 and 2-48 Harbord Street


Henry Norris’s 1904 really began in 1902, when the freehold of a sports ground off the Fulham Road was acquired by the Mears brothers, sons of a contractor who’d made his fortune in the building of tube and railway lines in London.  The lease of Stamford Bridge held by the London Athletic Club was due to run out in September 1904.

January 1904

The Axton family’s brick yard was sold to the Allen and Norris partnership, in a series of plots ready to be built on. Allen and Norris never built on it, though.


Afternoon of Monday 28 March 1904 a semi-final of the Army Cup was played at Craven Cottage.  This renting-out of the football ground became a regular feature of Henry Norris’s football clubs - every little helps balance the books.  And the same evening, although the football season still had a month to run, the directors of Fulham FC held a dinner for the club’s shareholders and supporters; at The Horseshoe, Tottenham Court Road.  Henry Norris was the star of the show, making several speeches but muddying the waters about whether or not the club would remain at Craven Cottage when its lease ran out. 


By 31 March 1904 the directors of Fulham FC had appointed Harry Bradshaw to manage the club, starting with pre-season training in August 1904.  Both his sons played for the club while he was manager.


Saturday 23 April 1904 Fulham 1 West Ham 1 was the last match in Fulham FC’s first season in the Southern League Division 1: they ended just below mid-table (a place Henry Norris would become all-too-familiar with). 


Thursday 19 May 1904 and despite the uncertainty over how long Fulham FC would remain at Craven Cottage, some plans by Archibald Leitch, for an ambitious and more permanent new grandstand, reached the planning department of the London County Council.


Saturday 11 June 1904 first indications that the directors of Fulham FC were not entirely happy with life in the Southern League: at a meeting in Bristol, Fulham were elected members of the Western League.  This wouldn’t make any difference to their first team; but the club’s reserve team would play in the Western League, not Southern League Division 2 where it had spent season 1903/04.  I haven’t been able to find out who attended the meeting on Fulham FC’s behalf.


Afternoon of Tuesday 21 June 1904 was a HUGE day in the cultural life of Fulham.  Crowds mobbed Sarah Bernhardt as she arrived at the Grand Theatre, Fulham to play in her most famous role - La Dame aux Camellias.  Henry Norris doesn’t seem to have been a theatre-goer but surely the greatest living actress was worth a bit of effort.


Between Thursday 30 June and Friday 8 July 1904 the first AGM of Fulham Football and Athletic Company Limited took place.  Henry Norris took a prominent role in this, and it was he that told the shareholders that it was mostly likely the club would leave Craven Cottage when its lease was up during season 1904/05.  John Dean joined the board of directors.


It’s not clear to me exactly when negotiations began but close season 1904 seems the most likely time for Gus Mears to have approached Fulham FC about leasing Stamford Bridge.  See my file NORRIS AND FULHAM for why negotiations fell through: Norris’s first efforts in football at making enemies and influencing people.  I can’t discover exactly when the negotiations were called off, either, but I’m fairly confident that it was before December 1904.


Saturday 3 September 1904 was the first match in Southern League Division 1's season 1904/05: Spurs 0 Fulham 1, a good beginning.  Apart from the possible deal with Mears, the season saw three other developments:


1) Fulham FC started to produce match-day programmes: an extra expense but one designed to encourage fan loyalty in an era when you didn’t have to have a season ticket to get into a match.


2) A football reporter calling himself Crock started writing about Fulham FC each Friday in the Fulham Chronicle.  As with most football columns in pre-radio, let alone pre-TV days, it was mostly full match reports, with some news of injuries and transfers.  This particular writer, was not as neutral an observer as the FC’s readers might have supposed, however.  He was Herbert Jackson, an ex professional footballer, now club secretary at Fulham FC.


3) London County Council began proceedings against Fulham FC because the grandstand built in 1903 was still standing: originally meant only to be in place until the end of season 1903/04, it was eventually knocked down in the close season 1905.  Somehow, these proceedings turned into a dispute between the LCC and the London Borough of Fulham over which had the right to supervise Leitch’s new grandstand at Craven Cottage, with Fulham FC’s directors being called as witnesses when it reached court in November 1904.


On 18 September 1904 Henry Norris was hit by tragedy very close to home: his good friend and brother-in-law Alfred Ellis died, of a heart attack.  Henry and Alfred were the same age: 39.  Alfred and Annie had two small children, in whom Henry Norris took a fatherly interest. 


After November 1904 the first architect-manager employed by the Kinnaird Park Estate Syndicate retired.  By now the Syndicate had an office at 1 Burnt Ash Lane Plaistow, Bromley; which it continued to occupy until the early 1930s.  Between November 1904 and May 1905 the Syndicate set itself up as a limited company: Kinnaird Park Estate Company (KPEC).  From 1918 to his death in 1934 Henry Norris was the company’s chairman.  I haven’t found any evidence at all for any involvement by Norris before 1918, but I shall go with my hunch and suggest that he was involved with the limited company (though not the Syndicate) from the start, giving advice, buying shares and possibly being a director.  I do not know who the other directors were but Lord Kinnaird (the footballing one) was the freeholder of the land on which KPEC was building, so he must have been the prime mover and major shareholder at this time; other possibles are Arthur Gilbert of KPEC’s solicitors, and William Gilbert Allen.  For more on KPEC’s house-building in Bromley and Chiswick, see my file on Kinnaird Park Estate Company. [ROGER I’LL NEED A LINK HERE WHEN THE FILE IS WRITTEN.]


Wednesday 7 December 1904 a large number of new shares were issued in Fulham Football and Athletic Club Company Limited.  Henry Norris and William Allen both ended up the day owning over 100.  And William Hall bought his first ten shares in the company. 


Over the weekend of 10-11 December 1904 the London football pages carried first rumours that a completely new, professional football club was to be formed to play at the Stamford Bridge sports ground when its redevelopment by the Mears brothers had been finished.  Later in week-commencing Monday 12 December 1904 Gus Mears confirmed that the rumours were true, in conversation with a reporter from Fulham Chronicles rival paper, the West London and Fulham Times.



First: aspirins on sale in UK; iron-clad battleship (HMS Dreadnought, which sparked an arms race).  Founded: Sinn Féin; Automobile Association.  Imperial Russia and Japan fought each other; Russia lost.  Attempted revolution in Russia put down with violence; but the Romanovs had to accept the existence of an elected parliament.  Einstein’s great year produced: mathematical proof of the existence of the atom; and e = mc²; though it was for his paper on light that he got his Nobel Prize.  San Francisco earthquake; leading to a run on British insurance firms.  Salon d’Automne - fauvism (in Paris).

1905 was a very modest year for the Allen and Norris partnership.  The London Borough of Fulham approved these applications:

2-58 and 1-25 Cresswell Street

50-72 Finlay Street


January and February 1905

Gus Mears began the process of getting his new football club elected to the Southern League; but found that its members agreed with the policy of having no new clubs from London: a policy described by the press at that time as having been put forward by Fulham FC.


Saturday 28 January 1905 Southern League Division 1 match with an amazing scoreline: Fulham 12(twelve) Wellingborough 0 (Wellingborough were bottom of the division, I need scarcely say!).  So at 7.30pm guests must have been very jovial at the Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate Street in the City of London, for a dinner for shareholders in Fulham Football and Athletic Company Limited and other supporters of Fulham FC.  Again, Henry Norris played the biggest single role at this event, making several speeches including one giving first news that the club had negotiated a 99-year lease of Craven Cottage, beginning this year.  William Hayes Fisher, Conservative MP for Fulham; and Fred Wall, secretary of the Football Association, were amongst the guests. 


Thursday 9 March 1905 the Southern League fined Fulham FC £20 for playing their reserve team on Saturday 11 February before a mid-week FA Cup replay: the score had been Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Fulham 4.  The replay had ended Fulham 1 Reading 0 aet, leading to a big-money tie in the next round with Nottingham Forest of the Football League, so it had been worth the £20.   


Early March 1905, possibly Friday 10th or Tuesday 14th: finally, the official formation of Chelsea FC - the club which would play at Stamford Bridge.  In its report of the event, the Times said that the club would be applying for election to the Football League, not the Southern League.


Monday 20 March 1905  Athletic News reported a statement issued by Fulham FC denying recent rumours that they, too, would be trying to join the Football League at the end of season 1904/05.


Tuesday 4 April 1905 Archibald Leitch submitted to the London County Council a second set of plans for a grandstand at Craven Cottage: the one that was finally built in the summer of 1905.



14 April 1905 William Hall bought 200 shares in Fulham Football and Athletic Company Limited.


Saturday 29 April 1905 was the last game of season 1904/05 in Southern League Division 1.  Fulham FC ended 6th after a very good run during the last few matches.


Mon 2 May 1905 saw the first planning application from the newly-formed Kinnaird Park Estate Company.  The application was for 12 houses on King’s Avenue, Plaistow, Bromley. Identifying which houses KPEC built in Bromley has been very difficult; but I believe the 12 included the current numbers 1, 3, 9 and 11.  For more on KPEC’s house-building in Bromley and Chiswick, see my file on Kinnaird Park Estate Company [ROGER I’LL NEED A LINK HERE WHEN THE FILE’S WRITTEN].   


Around the end of May 1905 though impossible to date precisely.  Henry Norris acted to make peace with Gus Mears and Chelsea FC, sending a letter suggesting a series of pre-season friendlies between the two clubs.  In view of the behaviour of Fulham FC and Norris especially during season 1904/05, the directors of Chelsea FC took the decision not to reply to the letter.


Monday 29 May 1905 AGM of the Football League, at which both of its two divisions were increased to 20 clubs.  Chelsea FC and also Clapton Orient FC who played in Hackney, East London, were both elected to Football League Division 2.


Tuesday 30 May 1905 the AGM of the Southern League, at which the majority of club representatives resisted various attempts to bring it in line with practice in the Football League.  They declined to have relegation and promotion between the two divisions; preferring to stay with requiring the bottom club of Southern League Division 1 to apply for re-election (they were always re-elected - this WAS a closed-shop, after all).  They wouldn’t increase the number of clubs in each division from 18 to 20.  And they refused even to discuss transfer fees (which were not allowed between Southern League clubs).  Clapton Orient resigned from Southern League Division One; Leyton and Crystal Palace were amongst the clubs which were NOT elected to replace them there and reports in the press attributed their failure to the opposition of the other London clubs, worried about their crowd figures.  Instead, Leyton and Crystal Palace went into Southern League Division Two.


Reports of this difficult meeting didn’t specify which clubs had put forward the ideas for making the Southern League more like the Football League; and I couldn’t find one that stated in so many words that Henry Norris was at the AGM.  But the idea of relegation/promotion, at least, was something Norris felt strongly about.  So I think he was at the meeting and probably a prime mover in all three defeated motions.  After the AGM was over, there was a dinner.


Between Thursday 29 June and Friday 7 July 1905 the second AGM of Fulham Football and Athletic Company Limited.  William Hall was elected to the board of directors.  Henry Norris continued as chairman.  Despite the expense of the redevelopment of Craven Cottage - still ongoing - the Company had made a profit of £1412 in the last financial year.


In August 1905 Fulham FC’s Herbert Jackson was still writing as ‘Crock’ in the Fulham Chronicle.  And on Friday 25 August 1905 an article appeared in its main local rival, West London and Fulham Times, by Henry Norris; the first of four published during Chelsea FC’s first few games and also covering the re-opening of both Craven Cottage and Stamford Bridge after redevelopment work.  On Monday 28 August 1905 a photograph of Craven Cottage taken from the air appeared in Athletic News.  But the ground wasn’t quite ready for the public: the builders had to work through the nights of Thursday 31 August and Friday 1 September to finish it off before the re-opening ceremony.


Friday 1 September 1905 Fulham Chronicles newly appointed football correspondent to cover Chelsea FC, writing as Chelstam, made a vitriolic attack on Fulham FC and Henry Norris in particular.  Norris was sufficiently upset by the attack to reproduce extracts of it in his column in West London and Fulham Times the following Friday and to spend the rest of it defending himself against its accusations. 


On Saturday 2 September 1905 preparation work continued at Craven Cottage up to the official re-opening at 1.30pm; William Hayes Fisher, Conservative MP for Fulham, did the honours, and then there was a lunch before the first Southern League match of season 1905/06, which had the now-familiar scoreline of Fulham 0 Portsmouth 0.


Monday 4 September 1905 all the Fulham FC directors were amongst the footballing big-wigs invited to the first match at Stamford Bridge - a generous gesture by Chelsea FC.  The match was a friendly between Liverpool and Chelsea and if they had not met already, Henry Norris would have been introduced to Liverpool FC’s J McKenna, a leading light in both the FA and the Football League.  The two were good friends, at least until 1913.


During the week before Saturday 16 September 1905 some local wag went around Fulham scrawling the word ‘abandoned’ across all the posters advertising Fulham v Millwall; Fulham FC had to issue a statement assuring supporters that the match had not been cancelled.  The perpetrator was never caught.


Thursday 2 November 1905 there was a new departure at Craven Cottage when Fulham FC played host to a match between a London League XI and a team from Paris: won 11-0 by the home team.


By Saturday 23 December 1905 if not before (few contemporary newspapers print league tables) Fulham FC were top of Southern League Division 1.



January - Liberal Party won the General Election; Fulham’s Hayes Fisher was amongst those Tories who lost their seat.  First:Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (chassis shown at the Motor Show); national insurance (Workmen’s Compensation Act); use of Twickenham as a rugby venue; permanent wave (hair).  Opened: Bakerloo line, Piccadilly line (important to Henry Norris in 1912); Vauxhall Bridge.  Published: first volume of The Forsyte Saga (John Galsworth).


During 1906 the London Borough of Fulham approved the following applications to build, made by the Allen and Norris partnership:

93-145 and 98-150 Harbord Street

55-99 and 56-104 Inglethorpe Street


At its regular new year meeting, on 10 January 1906 the members of Kent Lodge number 15 agreed to move their meeting place from the Freemasons’ Hall while building works were going on there.  From February 1906 until 1910 the meetings were held at the Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly.

Saturday 17 March 1906 in a ceremony at the Criterion Restaurant, Piccadilly Circus, Henry Norris’s solicitor for family business, Arthur Gilbert, began his year as Master of Kent Lodge number 15.

Saturday 21 April 1906 Bristol Rovers 0 Fulham 1 secured Fulham FC the Southern League Division 1 championship.  They had got 48 points from 33 games; but Athletic News attributed their success to the team’s defence, which had conceded only 15 goals; and to the good fortune they’d had in being able to play the same set of defenders in 23 of the 33 games.

Saturday 28 April 1906 the Charity Shield was played at Craven Cottage; at this stage in football’s evolution the participants in this match varied.  This year Football League Division 1 champions Liverpool beat the doyen of public school amateur teams, Corinthians, 5-1.  Lord Kinnaird, a famous amateur in his day and now President of the FA, presented the shield, so Henry Norris met him that day if not before.  In the evening, Fulham FC held its annual dinner at the Holborn Restaurant, a favourite venue for both footballing and Freemasonry occasions, on the corner of Kingsway and High Holborn on the edge of the City of London (now a Tescos - sic transit...).  200 guests heard Henry Norris in such a good mood that he actually cracked some jokes - not something he normally did.   Amongst the guests that day were McKenna again, J J Bentley of the Athletic News and Phil Kelso manager of Woolwich Arsenal FC.


Monday 30 April 1906 Rate-payers in Fulham held a meeting to protest about recent rises in the rates.  I’m not suggesting Henry Norris attended it, but rate increases were a big issue when the local elections were contested in November 1906.


During the night of Friday 18 to Saturday 19 May 1906 one of the most terrible incidents in Henry Norris’s life took place: Fulham FC’s club secretary Herbert Jackson, killed himself (bear in mind suicide was still a crime in those days), aged 32.  The inquest was held on Monday 21 May 1906; several employees of Fulham FC were called to give evidence as to Jackson’s state of mind, though Henry Norris doesn’t seem to have been one of them.  However, both he and William Allen went to the funeral, at Putney Vale cemetery on Thursday afternoon, 24 May 1906; and they were certainly amongst those who set up a fund to provide for Jackson’s widow.


Saturday 26 May 1906 The AGM of the Southern League.  Henry Norris tried to get the other representatives to discuss changing the way the League did transfers. Thursday 31 May 1906 It’s not clear who represented Fulham FC at the AGM of the FA but it’s quite likely to have been Henry Norris.  After a long enquiry into the financial affairs of Manchester City, the FA threw the book at the club’s directors for making payments to players that were banned by under the FA rules; so when Henry Norris did the same in the 1920s no one could say that he hadn’t been warned.


Tuesday 12 June 1906 and again on Tuesday 18 June 1906 the Southern League met again to try to reach a concensus on the way their fixture list should be organised.  Whoever it was who represented Fulham at the first of the two made his contribution to a vote which overturned a decision reached at the AGM and forced the second meeting.  Then Spurs appealed against the decision reached at the second meeting and the Appeals Committee had to sit on Monday 2 July 1906 to hear Spurs’ complaints.


Evening Friday 29 June 1906 AGM of Fulham Football and Athletic Company took place and Henry Norris was sufficiently relaxed on this occasion to permit some unscheduled questions from the floor (almost unprecedented in his public career).  Fulham Chronicle said that, in response, he had “waxed exceedingly eloquent” on the subject of team selection - possibly indicating that - unlike now and even unlike his own later career - it was NOT left entirely to Fulham’s manager to pick the team.  (The rise of the football manager is an interesting story but not one I have pursued in detail.)


Saturday 1 September 1906 football season 1906/07 began with Fulham FC facing TWO rivals for floating supporters in west London: nearby Brentford FC had been elected into Southern League Division 1 for this season. 

Monday 3 September 1906 18 months after the founding of Chelsea FC the friendly Fulham 0 Chelsea 0 was the first fixture between the two clubs.

By Monday 10 September 1906 Athletic News was commenting “The scoring of a goal by Fulham bids fair to be one of the events of the season” - so nothing much had changed there!

Monday 17 September 1906 Fulham 3 Rest of Southern League 2 was a benefit match for Herbert Jackson’s widow.  And also on that day, a document issued by Fulham Football and Athletic Company was the first to be signed by Henry Norris’ brother John Edward as the new club secretary.

Sometime between 9 September and 21 September 1906 the directors of Fulham FC were so annoyed by a match report on Fulham 0 Luton Town 0, played Saturday 8 September 1906, that they withdrew the Daily Chronicle’s press pass.


Friday 21 September 1906 Fulham Chronicle announced that Henry Norris would be standing for office as a Moderate (= Conservative) in the local elections due in November.  He would be a candidate in Sand’s End, one of the poorer districts in the borough, lying between Wandsworth Bridge Road and the Gas Light and Coke Company’s depot.

Wednesday 26 September 1906 saw campaigning begin in earnest, with all the Moderate Party candidates making speeches to a meeting at St Matthew’s parish hall.  Fulham Chronicle (the local Tory paper) described Henry Norris’ speech as “short and pithy” - contrasting with all the others.

Tuesday 23 October 1906 saw another campaign meeting, with Norris making a speech described as “straight and pointed” in the Fulham Chronicle and managing to make some jokes.

Thursday 1 November 1906 voting in the local elections saw the decimation of the Progressive Party (= Liberal).  Henry Norris was elected and he continued to represent Sand’s End ward on Fulham council until deciding not to stand in the elections of November 1919.

Tuesday 6 November 1906 the councillors of the Moderate Party held their first meeting at the Fulham Town Hall in Walham Green.  Henry Norris’ good friend George Peachey had been a councillor for several years already.

Evening 9 November 1906 the new mayor of Fulham was chosen in the first formal meeting of the new Council; and elections took place amongst the new councillors to decide the make-up of the standing committees that would do the Council’s daily work.  Henry Norris was elected to two of them: the Works and Public Health committees though pressure of work caused him to resign from the public health committee a few weeks later.


JUST A QUICK NOTE ON HOW LOCAL COUNCILS WORK as its quite important for understanding Henry Norris’s commitments over the next 13 years: the standing committees make the major decisions in the borough and have their own weekly or fortnightly meetings to get through their work.  Each standing committee is elected in November and serves for one year; though once you’re in, you tend to stay in until you choose to leave or are elected mayor - mayors not being allowed to serve on them.  The political party with the majority in the borough gets to choose the standing committees’ chairmen, and the mayor.  The full council meets once a week or so (it’s up to the councillors to decide how often) and considers the reports of its standing committees, usually just ratifying the decisions they’ve recommended.  Full debates are rare and only on very controversial subjects - like the rates.  The level at which the local rates are going to be charged is decided twice a year during Henry Norris’s time: March, when the Council budget is decided and allocated; and September.


The full council of the London Borough of Fulham met on Wednesdays at 7pm, once a fortnight (though with long holidays at Christmas, Easter and July-August) except during World War 1.  Considering how many other calls on his time Henry Norris had, he missed relatively few of these during his three years as a councillor, and even fewer during his 10 years as mayor.



Copyright: SALLY DAVIS

August 2007

December 2023