Category Archives: Cricket Green Conservation Area

Road name signs in Cricket Green Conservation Area

The Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area was created in 1969 and hence it is believed that the road name signs are, in 2017, 58 years old.

The road name signs have a green background, with large white lettering for the name of the road, and underneath is written, in smaller letters, ‘Cricket Green Conservation Area’.

A white horizontal line below the lettering indicates a cricket pitch. At the left and right hand ends of the sign are three white vertical lines, with a white horizontal line on top, to illustrate cricket wickets. The white horizontal line on which they sit extends just past these ‘wickets’, to further emphasise that they are on a field. Another white horizontal line, is above the lettering, but not connecting to the ‘wickets’, completes the design.

An example road name sign showing the cricket pitch and wickets design.

As of June 2017, there are 44 road name signs in the conservation area, and can been on this Google map. Of these 44, two are for Chatsworth Place which was removed from the conservation area in 2013.

Of the remaining 42, two have been replaced with an incorrect design. By missing out the gaps between the top horizontal line and the wickets, and the extension of the lower horizontal line at the feet of the wickets, the ‘cricket pitch’ design is lost. Madeira Road and Willow Lane have these new designs.

Errors in the design of the new road name signs lose the ‘cricket pitch’ of two wickets on a field.

Three signs are missing, and can be seen on Google Street Views.


‘Cricket Green’, was on boundary fence of the Burn Bullock, near the junction with London Road. This Street View was from 2009.


‘Church Road’ was a freestanding sign in front of number 10 Church Road, as seen on this Street View from 2015.


‘Lower Green West’ a new freestanding sign, on the north side, between Church Road and Preshaw Crescent, as seen on this Street View from 2015.

Cricketers pub building demolition

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Mortuary Chapel in parish churchyard

In 1882, the parish church’s burial ground was enlarged and a mortuary chapel was built by Crockett at a cost of £1,761, as referred to in an advertised tender in the Surrey Mirror. (Adjusted for inflation, this was the equivalent of around £200,000 today.)

An entrance from Church Road was made, opposite the post office (later 71 Church Road). A path from this entrance led to a circular path in front the chapel.

The new burial ground was consecrated on 15th January 1883 by the Bishop of Rochester.

This 1910 Ordnance Survey map shows the entrance to the chapel as being opposite the letter box on the west side of Church Road. Another building is shown north east of the chapel, along the wall with Miles Road. The entrance that is there today is not shown and it is not known whether this building was related to the mortuary chapel.

1910 OS map


When Mitcham became part of the London Borough of Merton in 1965, the Coroner decided that autopsies and inquests would be performed at Battersea for both Merton and Wandsworth. This decision was recorded in the minutes of the Parks, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee dated 26th May 1965:

612. Mitcham and Wimbledon Mortuaries

The Director of Parks reported

(i) that following the reorganisation of the London boroughs, H.M. Coroner had decided that as from the 1st April, 1965, he will hold all inquests for both the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth at the Battersea Coroner’s Court and that consequently all autopsies on bodies will be carried out at the Battersea Mortuary; and

(ii) that no request has been made to use the Wimbledon and Mitcham mortuaries which had been kept in readiness since the 1st April in case local funeral directors wish to use them as Chapels of Rest, and

(iii) that consequently there seemed to be no necessity to keep the mortuaries available particularly as some financial arrangements would have to be agreed with the London Borough of Wandsworth for bodies admitted to the Battersea Mortuary from this borough.

Source: Minutes of proceedings of the council and committees, London Borough of Merton Council Minutes, 1965-66, volume 2, part 1.

Today, nothing is left of the chapel building, although the circular path remains. It is currently not known when it was demolished.

Photo taken 26th April 2017 of plot where mortuary chapel once stood.

Measurements made using the online map show the length of 45 feet along its east-west side, and its depth of 30 feet along its north-south side.

Inquests were held at the Mortuary Chapel. Here are links to some newspaper articles that reported them.

1895 Death from pleurisy
1910 Miss Ellen Peerless, of the Ship Laundry


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


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

1968 Cricket mural unveiled at Cricketers pub

UNVEILING a new wall mural at The Cricketers Public House, Mitcham, on Tuesday, Mr. John Young, chairman of Young’s Brewery, said that the pub and the Cricket Green opposite had been connected with the sport for well over 200 years.

The first Australian team to tour this country had used the original pub as a pavilion and changing rooms.

When the new building was opened in 1958, following a fire at the previous pub, they put numerous photographs of cricketers around the bars.

“ We thought it would be a good idea to have a mural based on a cricket match in the bar, and this we have done,” Mr. Young added.

The mural is the work of Mr. Conrad Nickolds, who first had to take a picture of a cricket match, played on Whit Monday, with a wide angle lens.

Mr. Nickolds, who describes himself as a craftsman and not an artist, then coloured the print and mounted it on a frame to recreate the cricketing scene.

Later in the evening, following the unveiling of the mural by Mr. Young, the licensee and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cromack, opened their new “ Doubles ” bar and restaurant upstairs.

Customers were able to take part in wine tasting, and during the everting there was a competition with a prize of 12 bottles of Spanish table wines.

Among the regulars were Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Young — not related to the brewery firm—who have been visiting The Cricketers for 40 years.

“ I can even remember coming to The Cricket Green in 1908 with my father, and while he went into The Cricketers for a pint, I would be sent to a little shop across the road for a bag of sweets,” Mr. Young said.

Mitcham Cricket Pavilion was opened 18th May 1904

As repoorted in the Sporting Life, the Mitcham Cricket Club president’s wife performed the opening ceremony.

MILITARY CRICKET.
MITCHAM v. HON. ARTILLERY CO.
A NEW PAVILION OPENED.

Since the earliest days of Surrey cricket, Mitcham Green, the scene of yesterday’s match, has been a noted locale. Additional interest was attached to the present fixture, as it was set apart for the opening of the new and commodious pavilion. The ceremony was performed by Mrs. G. J. Poston, wife of the president, in an appropriate speech.

The match, which provided some keen play, resulted in a victory for the home side, eight minutes before the time, by 53 runs. For the winners, W. Hussey was top scorer with 68, which included eleven 4’s: while for the Volunteers W. Stopper had 58, consisting of ten 4’s, and J.D. Gillespie 42 not out. The last-named, who hit six 4’s, made 16 in one over from Hussey. Major Triffey has sufficiently recovered from the injuries sustained in the recent South African campaign to renew association with the summer game. It will remembered this gallant soldier was invalided home after being severely wounded.

Source: Sporting Life – Thursday 19 May 1904 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Mitcham Police Station

The current police station was opened on Saturday 18th June 1966. The previous building it replaced opened in 1855.

It was announced in 1964, that the building was to be demolished, eighty years after it was built.

POLICE STATION IS COMING DOWN

Work on Mitcham’s new police station has started. For this week a demolition squad moved in to knock down the old station, which dates from 1884.

The squad were expected in October but they didn’t arrive and it looked as though local police would have to put up with their present building for some time to come.

A temporary police station was erected but no signs of the old one coming down were to be seen.

The present station, which overlooks the Cricket Green, will be replaced by a modern building, probably with several storeys.

Work is expected to take 18 months.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1964, page 1.


Mayor opens new police station

Mitcham’s new £98,000 police station was officially opened on Saturday by the Mayor of Merton, Sir Cyril Black. And over 3,000 members of the public toured the station and visited a special exhibition in the car park throughout the day.

“The open day was very successful, far better than we anticipated,” commented Inspector S.W. Brunger, who organised the day with Supt. H.W. Gibson.

He added: “Open days are usually held for particular occasions like an opening. But because the public showed a great deal of interest it is quite possible they will be held more often.”

The opening ceremony was held on the top floor in the canteen. Members from all walks of life were present and Mr Robert Carr, M.P., arrived later.

Sir Cyril Black said he hoped the police would have no work to do in their new station, but if they did it would have a satisfactory completion.

He emphasised the need for the public to see what goes on in a police station and to understand the policeman’s work.

He said: “The police are anxious that their work is fully understood by the public. We must realise the task in which the police are engaged.”

He added: “The public have got to be educated in their duty to co-operate with the police. The task of policemen would be easier if full co-operation from the public was always forthcoming.”

Commander G.C.F. Duncan said the ambition of the police was to show the people of Mitcham what they are paying for and what goes on in the station. He said they wanted to knock down the idea that the police were working behind closed doors. The police had nothing to hide from the public.

“This is the newest police building in South London,” he said, “and it took many years to achieve it, but it has got to last a long time and we hope the public will think the money was well spent.”

Plans for the new station were first under way in 1962 and building started in 1964. It stands on the site of the old station which was built in 1884.

Before the public started to arrive the guests were taken on a tour of the station. They saw the various offices, detention rooms and the cells.

Then in the car park at the rear they saw an exhibition that included a mobile police unit, police dogs and horses, police sports car and a car that was involved in a fatal accident.

The most important exhibition was a special van and equipment used when accidents have occurred and to warn other motorists of the accident and dangers ahead.

Then from lunchtime to well into the evening the public were shown round.

One little girl was so pleased with her visit that she presented the sergeant on duty at the front reception desk with a flower.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th June 1966, page 1.


Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Preshaw Crescent

Photo taken 2nd January, 2017

Photo taken 2nd January, 2017

Photo possibly taken after the houses were built.

Photo possibly taken after the houses were built.

A row of four pairs of houses from the corner with Glebe Path running west, in parallel with, but set back from, Lower Green West. Built after 1897 on the site of a pond, which is shown in this 1866 map:

1866 OS map

1866 OS map

According to Eric Montague in his book Mitcham Histories: 5 Lower Green West, page 11, the pond measured 200 feet by 50 feet and had been called King’s Pond. The sub-soil here is sand and gravel and Montague suggested that this was originally a pit dug for the gravel, which would be used in building. With the water table high the pit would have filled in with water forming the pond.


The year of 1897 comes from the Land Registry title for number 6, which was auctioned in early 2016:

A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 2 September 1897 made between (1) The Reverend Frederick Wilson Clerk (the Incumbent) (2) The Governors of The Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of The Maintenance of The Poor Clergy (the Governors) (3) The Right Reverend Father In God Edward Stuart (the Ordinary) (4) Francis Charles Simpson (the Patron) (5) The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Frederick By Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (the Archbishop) and (6) Richard Arthur Bush (the Purchaser) contains covenants details of which are set out in the schedule of restrictive covenants hereto.

The restrictive covenant contained in the conveyance of 2nd September 1897 stated that …

the purchaser would within 12 months of the date of abstracting presents erect not less than 4 detached houses or two pairs of semi detached houses on the premises.

That no buildings other than dwelling houses with their offices should be erected on the premises the prime cost of which for work and materials should not be less than £400 or in case of pairs of semi-detached dwellinghouses should not be less prime cost than £650 per pair.


This 1910 OS map shows the four pairs of houses:

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

Occupants

From the 1915 street directory:

Lower green west, from London Road
NORTH SIDE

… here is Glebe Path
PRESHAW CRESCENT:
1, Charles STUART
3, George Henry NELSON
4, Robert CHART
5, Arthur LANGRISH
7, Charles Clarke APLIN
8, John David CLARKE

From the 1925 street directory:

Lower green west, from London Road to Church Road
WEST SIDE

PRESHAW CRESCENT:
1, Charles STUART
2, Miss Bessie May MARTIN
3, George NELSON
4, John William ALLEN
5, Arthur LANGRISH
6, Charles R SINCLAIR
7, Mrs HOLLIS
8, Herbert E HART
9, George W.T. ORMOND

Note that number 9 is possibly the White Cottage.


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