In 1949, a short sketch narrated by Peter Sellers was performed on the BBC radio comedy show Third Division. “Balham – Gateway To The South,” was a tongue-in-cheek travel advertisement, painting the austerity ridden post-war suburb in an almost exotic light.
An extended 1979 TV remake staring Robbie Coltrane continued to depict “Bal-ham” as a bleak and decrepit traffic-ridden slum.
Perhaps it put Balham on the map as fortunes changed. These days the gentrification makes for an attractive Zone 3 outpost, for those lucky enough to be able to afford it. Still, at least it remains a ‘gateway’ of sorts, the interchange between Northern Line and National Rail creates an important South London transport hub.
Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk