Category Archives: Borough

Leonard H. Munday

Mitcham Borough Council Valuation Officer from 1928 to 1947.

In council minutes from 1917, he was a rate collector.

News Articles

Ex-valuation officer’s rating appeal dismissed

Mr Leonard Munday, valuation officer for Mitcham from 1928 until 1947, has failed in his bid to cut the rating assessment on his own house at Crescent Grove, Mitcham.

In a reserved decision in London on Thursday last week, Mr R.C.G. Fennell dismissed Mr Munday’s appeal against a local valuation court’s decision which reduced by £2 to £54 the gross value on his house. Mr Munday had asked the Tribunal for a greater reduction.

Industry zone

He said his house was within an area planned for industrial development. He had an intimate knowledge of rents in the borough, and in the absence of rental evidence relating to his own house, the next best method in fixing the assessment should be on the basis of the capital cost of the property. In adpoting such a method he arrived at figures representing a gross value of £38.

Mr Fennell said the present valuation officer, Mr W.H. Mason, had relied on pre-war rental evidence for 10 houses in the neighbourhood which he regarded as providing a fair basis for comparison, although they differed in size and situation.

Mr Munday was directed to pay the valuation officer a guinea costs.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 25th September, 1959, page 1.

Alfred Henry Bailey

Alderman and mayor of Mitcham 1944-45. Born 1876, died 22nd May, 1959.

Mayor of Mitcham 1944-45. This clip is from Merton Memories photo 50641 copyright London Borough of Merton

Mayor of Mitcham 1944-45. This clip is from Merton Memories photo 50641 copyright London Borough of Merton

His obituary as reported in the local press:

Mr A.H. Bailey, former mayor, Boer War veteran and campaigner for a better Mitcham, died on Friday after a short illness. He was 82.

Throughout his long connection with Mitcham he fought for improvements. It is through his efforts that Mitcham was provided with two secondary schools.

In recent years, despite his age, Mr Bailey continued to play an active part in local organisations and affairs.

Mr Bailey came to the district in 1909. For several years until his death he lived in a bungalow at Glebe Court Estate, London Road.

Before he met his wife and settled down he was a roamer. He went to South Africa in 1895, and fought in the Boer War.

He joined an uitlander regiment and, as sergeant, took part in the battles preceding the relief of Ladysmith.

After being a member of Mitcham Urban District Council for six years he was elected chairman in 1926. Since then he has served the district in almost every civic capacity.

He became a member of the Borough Council in 1935, an alderman in 1937 and in 1944 he and his wife became Mayor and Mayoress.

His interests in Mitcham were many. He was president of the local boy scouts association for 17 years, a war-time deputy chief warden, founder member of the North Mitcham Improvement Association and founder member of the Anglo-Netherlands Association – now the All Nations’ Sports and Cultural Association.

Mr Bailey’s funeral was on Wednesday (27th May, 1959) at South London Crematorium.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th May 1959

More information on his life was given in a profile in the The South Warder, magazine of the South Mitcham Residents Association, volume 1 issue 1, November 1947.

Born in 1876 at Epsom, he attended the same primary school as Mr. Chuter Ede, the MP for Mitcham in 1923.

At the age of 12 he was apprenticed to a trade he disliked, and when in his ‘teens he emigrated to South Africa, ultimately settling in Pretoria, working in a shop for three years and becoming personally acquainted with the State Attorney (Field Marshal Smuts).

When hostilities broke out he found the lines to Cape Colony and Natal blocked, and had to escape through Portuguese territory (this route was later used by Winston Churchill). Joining a Uitiander Corps, he quickly became a sergeant and saw service at Colenso, Vaal Krantz, Spion Kop, and eventually taking part in the relief of Ladysmith; he was then invalided home to England with enteric fever.

On returning to civil life he entered the Post Office engineering service, retiring in 1936 at the age of 60.

He came to Mitcham in 1909 and was elected to the Council in 1920, and raised to the Aldermanic bench in 1937.

Mr. Bailey was very prominent in the formation of the Air Raid Precautions of the Borough and served throughout the War as a Deputy Chief Warden.

He served on many Committees of the Council and also on several outside bodies, such as School Managers, Boy Scouts, etc., where he was well known for his intelligent approach to the problems arising therein.

Perhaps the highlight in his long career was to be chosen as Mayor during V.E. year, when, in addition to his normal duties, he was seen at practically every street party held in Mitcham, accompanied and ably supported by the Mayoress, Mrs. Bailey.

In the 1911 census, Alfred Henry Bailey, inspector in the engineers department of post office telephones, is living at 48 Boscombe Road, with his wife Florence May, aged 34, and daughter Mary Alice, aged 1.

From a public family tree on Ancestry, his daughter Mary Alice married Alfred MacIntyre Rodhouse in 1938.

Alfred Henry Bailey died in 1959, as shown in his probate record, from Ancestry:

BAILEY Alfred Henry of 180 Glebe Court, London Road, Mitcham
Surrey, died 22nd May 1959 at St. Anthonys Hospital Cheam Surrey.

Probate London 9th July to Alfred MacIntyre Rodhouse quantity surveyor and Mary Alice Rodhouse (Wife of the said Alfred MacIntyre Rodhouse).

Effects £1886 13s. 8d.

Adjusted for inflation, this is worth around £40,000 in 2017 values.

Merton Memories Photos
1946 visit to Hengelo

H. Richards

He became a Councillor in 1922, Chairman of the Urban District Council in 1931, and Alderman of the Borough of Mitcham in 1938.

He was a lover of flowers and trees and was a Conservator of Mitcham Common.

He was chairman and secretary of the North Mitcham Plotowners.

He died in the spring of 1940.

Source: ‘The Sentinel’ magazine, September 1949.

Ernest Charles Clay, Mitcham Borough Treasurer

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo (c) London Borough of Merton

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo (c) London Borough of Merton

Mitcham Borough Treasurer for twenty years, he died at his home in Sutton on Friday 31st January, 1964, aged 57. He had retired from the council in September 1963, and had been suffering from ill heath for a number of years. The funeral service was at Mitcham Parish Church on 5th February 1964 which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs W.H. Sanderson; the Town Clerk, Mr R.H. White; and chief officers of Mitcham Council.

Mr Clay was one of the most prominent members in the community. Not only did he guide Mitcham Council on their methods of finance but also a large number of local organisations. He was a founder member of Mitcham Old People’s Housing Association; treasurer of the Old People’s Welfare Committee, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mitcham Youth Committee and a founder member of the handicraft class for the disabled.

He was also a district head of the Forces Help Society and secretary of S.A.F.F.A. as well as being connected with many smaller organisations.

Mr Clay joined Mitcham Council in 1929 when it was an urban district. When Mitcham became a borough he was promoted to deputy borough treasurer and during the war he became the Borough Treasurer.

A keen photographer, he was to have been presented with the A.R.P.S. on Wednesday.

Mr Clay leaves a widow, son and daughter.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 7th February, 1964, page 1.

In his will, he left his widow £5,516 which, when adjusted for inflation, is around £100,00 in 2017 values.

Ernest Charles CLAY of 86 Albion Road, Sutton, Surrey, died
31st January 1964.


London 18th March to Dorothy May Clay, widow. £5,516.

Source: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England (c) Crown copyright.

Note about his forename: the newspaper article and Merton Memories photo refer to him as E.C. Clay. On Ancestry, a death index entry has an Ernest C. Clay, aged 57, first quarter of 1964, Surrey Mid Eastern (Vol 5G, page 294), which is assumed to be him. Also from Ancestry, the will for Ernest Charles Clay is a match on the date of death, residence in Sutton.

Glebe Square

Social housing built by Mitcham Borough Council, in 1955, on the site of the Glebe Villas. The council’s 2,500th post-war dwelling was completed there.

The blocks of flats are arranged as a square, with the western side on the east side of Glebe Path. The two southern blocks face Lower Green West, but are separated from it by fencing. There are two other blocks, one on the eastern and the other on the northern side.

There are 36 properties in total, numbered anti-clockwise sequentially from 1. In 1960 an attempt was made to change the numbers of the western block that had doors facing onto Glebe Path. Protests from homeowners in that road prevented this. See Glebe Path renumbering.

Layout of Glebe Square. Lower Green West is at the bottom of this diagram.

Layout of Glebe Square. Lower Green West is at the bottom of this diagram.

Aerial view of Glebe Square. The road on the left of the square is Glebe Path.

Aerial view of Glebe Square, looking northwards. The road on the left of the square is Glebe Path.

Glebe Path renumbering

Glebe Square had been built by Mitcham Council as old people’s housing. This consists of blocks of flats arranged as a square around a green space. The western block has doors facing onto the east or right hand side of Glebe Path. In 1960 Mitcham Borough Council attempted to renumber all the properties in Glebe Path. Homeowners in Glebe Path protested.


It’s the battle of the numbers at Glebe Path, Mitcham. Residents of seven houses, who have been told by Mitcham Council that they must change the numbers on their front doors, gave their answer last week.

It is : “No, no … seven times No. Fines us, if you want.”

And it took Mitcham Council a little aback. For if they want they can force the people to change their numbers by taking them to court. The penalty for the number rebels could be up to £2.

Confessed a spokesman : “I have had no experience of anything like this before, but I presume we shall have to do something officially.”


But the seven rebels are standing firm … and meanwhile the number mix-up at Glebe Path and Glebe Square has caused chaos. For the council have already changed the numbers of THEIR property, the old people’s flatlets in Glebe Square.

So this is what tradesmen find when they arrive at Glebe Path: The numbers start at 2, climb to 28 … and then DROP again to 2 and continue up to 14.

The council want the numbers to start at 2 and end up at 42.

Why have the seven started their number strike? It’s because they think Mitcham Council blundered when they numbered the old people’s flatlets which face on to Glebe Path.

THE MAN AT NO. 14 (42 IF THE COUNCIL HAD ITS WAY) SAID : “I refuse to submit to the renumbering.”


“Someone on the council needs to have his knees caned for having so little foresight as to number the old people’s flatlets the way he did. If they were numbered properly in the first place this would never have happened.

“Look at the trouble we should have to go to if the numbers were changed. We would have to notify the bank, change the deeds of our home, tell the land registry people, the Post Office, and alter our letter headings.”

THE WOMAN AT NO. 8 (36, SAY THE COUNCIL), Mrs M. Bassano, said: “I have lived here for 31 years. Why should we change our numbers because of a council mistake after all this time?

“Why couldn’t the council have just changed the numbers of the ld people’s flatlets?”

THE MAN AT NO. 2 (30, IF THE REBELS GIVE WAY), Mr Palmer Riley, said:


“Look old man, we are not grumbling because we think we will have to go out with a screwdriver and put the new numbers up. But after all we were here first, and it is the council’s mistake.

“I will have to alter my letter heading embosser, and I know there are plenty of people here who will have reams of notepaper made useless.

“I have worked out that it will cost me 8s. at least to let people know my new number.

“The numbering of the old people’s flatlets was the height of inefficiency.”

Mr J.R. Thomas, chairman of South Mitcham Residents’ Association which campaigned for the numbering of Glebe Path and Glebe Square to be altered because of confusion between the two, said:


“The residents decided to stand firm at a meeting on Friday. When we asked the council to change the numbers we just wanted them to reverse the numbers of their own property, Glebe Square.

“But now they have brought one side of Glebe Square into Glebe Path.

“They did not do it the simple way. But it was the woriding of the notice which, I think, annoyed people most. It just stated the change had to be made and mentioned a £2 penalty – I think a more human letter would have had more effect.”

Mr Thorns has written to the council asking the renumbering of Glebe Path be suspended until discussions can be had with the highways committee. Most others of the seven residents have also written in protest.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 1st April 1960, page 5.

The council reversed their decision.

The rebels looked like winning

The seven rebels of Glebe Path, Mitcham, looked like winning the battle of the numbers yesterday (Thursday). They are the people who said no when Mitcham Council told them to renumber their homes.

A resolution before the council yesterday completely surrenders to the rebels. It says that they may keep their numbers – they live at 2 to 14.

The resolution says that it is the council cottage dwellers at Glebe Path who will have to have their numbers changed AGAIN. Nearly a month ago they were changed by council workmen.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 22nd April 1960, page 9.

William Lancaster, the Last Mayor of Mitcham

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Coun. William Lancaster, 66-year-old veteran of the First World War, was appointed Mayor of Mitcham at the Council’s annual meeting on Thursday last week.

He is the 31st and last Mayor of Mitcham. For at the end of the municipal year Mitcham Council will cease to exist. It will be merged with the new Borough of Merton.

At the mayor-making ceremony, watched by a large audience, Coun. Lancaster said he hoped that, at some time in the future, when he is referred to as the last Mayor of Mitcham, he will also be acclaimed as the last but not least.

His nomination was proposed by Counc. Dennis Hempstead, chairman of the housing committee, and seconded by Ald. Herbert Ash.


Coun. Lancaster has served as a Labour Party member on the councilfor 12 years.

After he had signed the register the new mayor said: “It is with some sadness that we reflect that Mitcham as a separate borough will end in March, 1965, but during the 30-odd years we have been our own authority we can be justly proud of our record, particularly in housing, welfare and predominantly, I would say, in financial administration, for without doubt our treasurer’s department have in their astute handling of the finances of the boorough brought immeasurable relief to us as ratepayers.”

He added: “There are many things we would like to have seen carried on in the development of the borough, but these must now be in the hands of the new Borough of Merton in which I am sure we all will wish the best of good firtune.”

Eralier Coun. Lancaster spoke of past Mayors of Mitcham.

“Apart from my years as a councillor, I have made the acquaintance of many of my predecessors and there have a personal knowledge of the devotion they gave to the duties of this high office and the dignity they brought to the traditions and services of this council and the borough as a whole.


“This knowledge will form the basis of the standards that, with my wife, the Mayoress, we will set ourselves to maintain during our term of office and I sincerely trust we shall be successful in our efforts.”

After the mayor-making a presentation was made to the retiring Mayor, Counc. William H. Sanderson.

In a short address he thanked all officers and members of the council for their help during the past year.

Coun. Sanderson, who did not stand in the recent elections for Merton Council, was presented with a self-winding, five-year clock.

Counc. George Shearing has been re-appointed Deputy-Mayor.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th May, 1964, page 1.