Category Archives: Buildings

1930 : Reburial of bodies from Zion Chapel

From the Norwood News – Friday 11 April 1930, via the British Newspaper Archive.

80 BODIES BEING RE-BURIED.

The Closing of a Mitcham Cemetery.

SECOND COMMITTAL SERVICE.

A somewhat gruesome business has been started upon this week at the burial ground of Zion Congregational Chapel, Western-road, Mitcham.

Owing to the sale of the property, it became necessary to remove the human remains interred in the old burial ground. There are about 86 bodies buried in the graveyard, dating back to a hundred years ago, when the chapel was founded. A licence from the Secretary of State for the Home Department was required for the removal of the remains, and this having been obtained, the work of removing the human remains, monuments, and tombstones from the burial ground commenced on Monday.

HOW IT IS DONE.

Mr. Donald S. Drewett, undertaker, of Upper Green, Mitcham, was given the task, and with an efficient staff of workmen carried out the task very expeditiously and reverently.

Canvas awning is erected around the graves, and the operations of the diggers is hidden from the public gaze. The strictest privacy is maintained, and only the medical officer’s representative and the Mitcham Council’s chief sanitary inspector, along with the minister (Rev. T. King), are allowed in the grounds during the operations.

Liberty was afforded the relatives of any deceased person, whose remains it was proposed to remove, to undertake themselves the removal of such remains, and a few availed themselves of the privilege; but the removal and re-interment are being carried out by the same workmen.

A SECOND SERVICE.

Large shells, or coffins, six feet long, are being utilised for the removal of the remains, and these are being conveyed in the undertaker’s van and re-interred in the Council’s new burial ground, London-road, where the Rev. T. King has conducted a second committal service, the reburial being a very reverent and solemn affair.

A gravedigger told our representative : ” The work is proceeding without much ado, except that we are screened off from the public gaze. Now and again we have met with a spring of water, and this has somewhat interfered with our operations a little. Most of the coffins fall to dust soon after they are exposed to the air. We collect the bones and put them carefully into new shells or coffins. A plan of the burial ground shows the positions of the graves and the monuments, and the names of the buried persons, as far as they can be ascertained, are kept as a record. The monuments and tombstones are being pulled down, and will be re-erected in the new cemetery. Every care is being taken that the remains are reinterred and the monuments re-erected in a manner that will give no offence to anybody.”

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St Marks Church Vicarage House

Vicarage for St Marks church, on the corner of Carew Road and Locks Lane,
although address is Locks Lane, CR4 2JX.

1952 os map

Planning application number 1586 was submitted by the Diocese of Southwark to build a vicarage in Carew Road. Source: Mitcham UDC minutes, page 196, volume XV, 1929-1930.

MITCHAM VICARAGE HOUSE

Progress is being made with regard to the building of the Vicarage House for St. Mark’s Church, Mitcham. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have £2,404 in hand for this purpose, and £40 17s. 5d. lies in Barclay’s Bank.

In order to meet expenses, £2,000 is required. Mr. Stanley Dale, of Mitcham, has been selected as the building contractor. The plans of the Vicarage House are at present with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for their final approval.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th July, 1929, page 1.

The website for St Marks church gives the vicars address here.


Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Urban District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Glendene, Love Lane

Possibly the earlier name for number 77 Love Lane CR4 3AW, in use before that road was renumbered.

In 1935 George Victor Dearn, of 77 Love Lane, registered the land that was to become Dearn Gardens. In 1929, planning application number 1515 was submitted by G.V. Dearn of “Glendene”, Love Lane, to build a WC and shed. The assumption then is that these two people are the same and that he didn’t move between 1929 and 1935.

Source: page 20, volume XV of Mitcham Urban District Council minutes, 1929-1930.

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Urban District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Baltic Close and Oslo Court

Road and block of flats off northern side of Colliers Wood High Street and built in 1938/9 by Mercer Taylor & Co. At this time the Mitcham borough boundary included this road. Royal Mail postcode lookup shows 16 flats, all with the postcode SW19 2BL.

1950 OS map

The developer wrote to Mitcham Borough Council and suggested that since this road was next to the Victory pub, then the name of the road could be Trafalgar Close or Victory Close. The council disagreed, pointing out there were already similar named roads in the SW19 postal district. The council suggested Baltic Close, and the developer agreed, who suggested that the block of flats be named Oslo Court.

Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, 1938-39 volume 5, pages 12 and 127.

Note that the Victory pub has since been renamed a couple of times, and the current (as of Feb 2018) name is the Charles Holden, who was an architect who designed the nearby Colliers Wood underground station.


Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

St. Mark’s Church building

St Marks Church and church room

1910 OS map

According to Eric Montague, in his Mitcham Histories: 7 The Upper or Fair Green, page 111:

the church was designed by Robert Masters Chart in a style of approximately 13th century … built by Stewart and Sons of Croydon

Dates (also from Montague)
February 1898 – foundation stone laid
1899 – nave and aisles finished
January 1901 – consecrated
1910 – chancel, north transept and south chapel added

The district of St Mark, which covered most of the electoral east ward, was previously part of the parish of SS Peter & Paul, Church Road. It became its own parish in 1905.

It is part of the diocese of Southwark, whose website says:

The church is built of soft red brick with Bath stone dressings and red/orange machine-made, plain clay tiles. There is a copper covered fleche with bell.

The copper at the base of the pointed spire (or ‘fleche’) has become green due to weathering.

Why Mrs Wood was last to leave Majestic Cinema

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 1st December, 1961

PROJECTORS whirred to a stop and the audience filed out of the Majestic Cinema for the last time on Saturday evening.

But Mrs. G. Wood, Carew Road, Mitcham, waited until the cinema was empty before she walked out. She had been the first person in Mitcham’s only
cinema house 27 years ago and she intended to be the last one out.

Mrs. Wood’s husband, George, had intended to be with her at the last performance but other commitments kept him away. Both had attended the first film on the opening night and enjoyed numerous films there for 25 years.

I’ve never played bingo and I don’t think I will,” added Mr.
Wood