A book fan has tracked down the former home of famous Victorian illustrator, Arthur Frederics, only to find out the building is being demolished soon.

Local Historian, Dr Mark Bryant, was excited to discover the illustrator of Jerome K. Jerome’s 1889 comic novel, Three Men in a Boat, had once called Tooting his home.

Frederics was renowned for his famous images of the three men and their dog, Montmorency, on their hilarious trip along the River Thames.

The account of a two-week boating holiday from Kingston to Oxford was intended as a serious travel guide, but has been a favourite with readers since for its witty and relatable jokes.

After much research, Dr Bryant, with the help of the Wandsworth Heritage Service, confirmed that the illustrator lived at Merton Lodge, 113 Tooting High Street.

However, Dr Bryant’s joy was short-lived, as the building is due to be demolished and redeveloped into serviced apartments.

Although plans to erect a commemorative plaque have ‘sunk’, campaigners are appealing to the developers to include a tribute to Frederic’s memory.

They believe the site has historic value, as it was the home to Frederic and his family for five years until they sailed to Australia 1889.

Later, it formed part of the Tooting Constitutional Club when it opened in 1917 and has a rare Old English skittle alley.

President of the Jerome K. Jerome Society, Jeremy Nicholas, said:

“It is very sad to learn that this important historical building is to be demolished. It would be a fitting gesture if the new development acknowledged Frederics’s association with the old building in some way, perhaps by naming part of the new building after him.”