Category Archives: Garages

Grove Lodge Garage

Grove Lodge Garage was described in a news item on page 1 of the 24th February, 1933, Mitcham News & Mercury, as being at Tramway Path, near Mitcham Station, and kept by Frank GUYATT, builder and contractor.

BIG BLAZE AT A GARAGE
Fighting the Flames in the Snow
Factory Saved

Considerable damage was done by a fire which broke out shortly before six o’clock on Saturday morning at Grove Lodge Garage.

The discovery was made by Mr George Potter, of London Road, who informed the police, and they summoned the Mitcham Fire Brigade..

Chief Officer Albert O. Wells promptly turned out with one engine and a complement of men. The other engine, also fully manned, followed shortly afterwards. There was a blizzard of snow at the time, and the firemen experienced great inconvenience. They found a large corrugated iron building ablaze from end to end. Plenty of hose and a good supply of water enabled the firemen successfully to cope with the outbreak and keep it from spreading. The direction of the wind helped them.

The Damage

The garage was burnt out, two motor cars and a miscellany of goods, machinery, etc. being destroyed, running into several hundreds of pounds. The fire attacked a neighbouring factory, but this was saved, though police and willing helpers salvaged a valuable quantity of chemical food stored therein to make sure the fire did not affect it.

The firemen were handicapped by many tons of burning rubber refuse in the buildings, which caused dense fumes. Several tons of copies of the Talmud (Jewish books of law), which were unfolded and unbound, caught fire and were destroyed.

At one time the blaze was so terrific that it was actually seen by a milkman in Carshalton Road, two miles away.

Nobody was hurt, and the firemen left after several hours’ hard work, during which they had the satisfaction of saving some very valuable property.

The chemical food referred to may have been Lactagol.

Cranmer Motors

clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_Col_Cro_17-7, copyright London Borough of Merton, showing Cranmer Motors on garage

This photo shows 3, possibly 4, petrol pumps, and the sign projecting from the gable in the roof has the text:

Cranmer
Motors
Regent
Petrol

This dates the photo to before 1967 which was when the Regent brand was changed to Texaco, according to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Cranmer Motors was a garage that was near the present day roundabout with Madeira Road and Cricket Green. Although the 1953 OS map shows it between 76 and 94 Cricket Green, Cranmer Motors Ltd was listed in the 1963 Mitcham Borough List of Factories as Motor Vehicle Repairs, 1 Cranmer Road.

1953 OS map

The site was redeveloped as flats around 2008/9, as stated in planning application 06/P0708:-

Former Service Station Site, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4LA

Erection of a part 2 / part 3 storey building to accommodate 12 flats (9 x 2 and 3 x 1 bedrooms) together with 12 car parking spaces.

Filed with this application:

Following air raid damage to residential properties during the Second World War, a garage forecourt replaced the destroyed houses on the study site, which by the 1970s was redeveloped as an Esso fuel filling station.

Source: Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd. 2008 An Archaeological Watching Brief at the Former Esso Petrol Station, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, London Borough of Merton.


From the Mitcham Urban District Council minutes,
Volume 3, pages 104, Public Health and Burial Committee meeting of 11th September, 1917, a petrol licence for 150 gallons was issued to Mr G. Hart, Motor and Cycle Works, Cranmers Road.

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

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.

Foster’s Autocentre, 96 Church Road

Garage and MOT business at 96 Church Road, occupying premises of former varnish factory of G. Purdom.

From 1980s? to 2018?

Photo taken March 2018. On the left is the footpath Foxes Path, the Wheatsheaf.

Photo taken March 2018, looking north.

In the 1971 telephone directory, the company at this address was Bromhead & Denison, “Chems and Mins”, number 01-648 4494. Their name can be seen on this clip from Merton Memories:

clip from merton Memories photo Mit_​Work_​Industry_​8-1 copyright London Borough of Merton.

Renamed as B & D Clays and Chemicals Ltd., the company moved to Western Road in around 1983, according to a person on the Facebook Mitcham History group. This company currently trades from Willow Lane according to Companies House, which says the company incorporated in 1974.

Allen Bros (Mitcham), Ltd.

360/364 London Road

Car sales and repair business on west side of London Road, south of the White Hart pub and on the north side of the corner with Broadway Gardens.

Clip from Merton Memories photo, copyright London Borough of Merton.

The site was used by KwikFit for a number of years, as seen in this 2008 Google StreetView:

These aerial views are from Bing:

kwikfit-to-north

kwikfit-to-south

The site was bought by a property developer who wanted to build a block of flats. With the KwikFit signage removed, parts of the original words used by Allen Bros could be seen.

September 2014

September 2014

September 2014. Allen Bros (Mitcham) can just be seen revealed after KwikFit signage was removed.

September 2014. Allen Bros (Mitcham) can just be seen revealed after KwikFit signage was removed.

Demolition began in early December 2016.

13th December 2016

13th December 2016

Photo taken on 2nd January 2017

Photo taken on 2nd January 2017


From 1953 Who’s Who in the Motor Industry digitised by Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History:

Car and Light Commercial Vehicle Stockists.
360, London Road, Mitcham, Surrey.
Telephone: 0867.

Directors:
M.D. Allen.
Lt. Col. F.E. Manning O.B.E.
P.L. Smith.
H.F. Priest.


Merton Memories Photos
Mr. F.E.Manning, with his son in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in 1957
Vintage car outside Allen Bros. Garage


Advertised as the Broadway Garage in 1937:
1937 ad

1937 ad

1961 advert from Norwood News, via the British Newspaper Archive