Category Archives: People

Tom Sherman, the fastest bowler of his time

Cricketer who made 82 appearances in first class matches in the 19th century.

Born in Mitcham on 1st December 1825, his father James Sherman was also a cricketer. He died 10th October 1911.

A letter dated 30th November was published in the The Sportsman of Thursday 1st December 1904:

TOM SHEARMAN.

Sir.,

I thought it would be of interest for you and others interested in cricket to know that Mr Tom Sherman attains his seventy-ninth birthday to-morrow. He is the oldest Surrey cricketer, and has the unique distinction of having played continuously for fifty years. His health haring quite failed him, and circumstances for this reason being anything but comfortable, I would be glad if something might be done to make his position a little more comfortable during the winter months. I feel quite sure that some of the older generation who knew him in his famous bowling days would willingly help him if they knew his position.

— Yours, etc.,
Arthur B. Wilkinson.
Studio,
Carlton-gardens,
Lower Green,
Mitcham, November 30.

Source: The British Newspaper Archive

His obituary was reported in the Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette of Saturday 14th October 1911.

TOM SHERMAN DIES AT CROYDON.

A Famous Surrey Cricketer.

The Inquest.

The death of Tom Sherman, of Mitcham, who succumbed at Croydon Hospital, Tuesday, after breaking his leg at Mitcham, leaves William Caffyn the only survivor of a great band of professional cricketers who were in their prime nearly sixty years ago.

In “Scores and Biographies,” Sherman, who was born 1827, is described the as the fastest bowler of his time, and himself recalled the fact that in one of Surrey matches against Yorkshire at Sheffield he broke stump into five pieces. For this feat an admirer gave him a case of razors.

For the greater part of his long life, says “Unknown” in the “Morning Leader,” he lived at Mitcham, one of the famous nurseries of the game, and it was on the village common nine years ago that I last saw Sherman, on the occasion of his annual benefit. It may the vanity of old age to compare the present with the past to the disadvantage of the former, but I remember the wrinkled veteran as very emphatic in expressing an opinion that the bowling in his time was a great deal faster than that of modern days. In the matter of physical power, he believed that Alfred Mynn and himself were considerably ahead of latter-day bowlers when it came to question of pace. “This right knee,” he said, ” was put out as result of a scorching ball from Mynn. and it has never been right since.”

Sherman played for Surrey during eleven or twelve seasons with Julius Caesar, Caffyn, Lockyer, Martingell, and Mortlock. Sherman never bowled against Dr. W. G. Grace, but the man for whom he had the greatest respect as a bat was Fuller Pilch. Sherman dropped out of county cricket when his county were at their best, taking scarcely any part in the great things achieved by the Surrey team under Mr. F. P. Miller, who led the side to victory against All England in 1861. Appearing at Lords in 1846, Sherman met with most success in season the of 1850 and 1851, taking 99 wickets in the course of ten matches during two years. This was before bowling analyses were taken. Described as one of the fastest round-arm bowlers, he earned fame as a contemporary of Alfred Mynn, Fuller Pilch, George Parr, William Caffyn, Felix, and Martingeil. Two months older than Caffyn, Sherman was the oldest professional cricketer living.

1924 : Fireman Aged 7

From the Belfast Telegraph – Tuesday 05 February 1924, via the British Newspaper Archives. which requires a subscription.

FIREMAN AGED SEVEN.
DRIVES MINIATURE TENDER.
REMARKABLE CAPACITY.

When Mitcham Fire Brigade turned out yesterday people in the streets were amused to see following at a long distance behind the engine a smaller fire tender complete in every detail pedalled by a very small boy fully equipped as a regular fireman. It was a model exact in every detail — just a third the size of the Mitcham motor tender and escape — made by Fireman A. Palmer Riley, of the Mitcham Brigade, for his 7-year-old son, Alexander, who is as keen as his father on fire engines and fire brigade work. This was young Alec’s first appearance with his wonderful machine.

His father, who is a master plumber and sanitary engineer at Collier’s Wood, later told a “Daily News” correspondent — “My son is a born fireman and runs after fire engines wherever be sees one. He continually worried me with questions, so in my spare time I made him an engine, or rather a tender for himself. I finished it on Saturday. It is an exact scale model of the Mitcham tender, minus the driving engine. It is made of wood, steel, and brass, the rod work being old gas tubing. A steel tank inside it will hold two gallons of water and what is called a first aid supply.

“A five foot escape is on top, two chemical extinguishers at the rear made out of salt tins, and a complete tool outfit and hose piping are carried. Two electric headlights and a searchlight and a resounding brass warning bell, all made by myself, are other main features.”

Alec wears a brass helmet and axe, also made by his father, and a full fireman’s uniform made by his mother. Mr. Riley is a remarkable fireman. He speaks French fluently, and understands modern Greek, Italian and Spanish. For years he travelled as a highly skilled craftsman in all the countries of Europe for big London firms.

From Ancestry.com:

1911 Census

Alexander Palmer Riley, aged 32, was living at 10 Park Road, Colliers Wood with his wife Alice Gertrude, 29, and their daughter Alice Eileen, aged 2. His occupation was listed as Plumber Gas and Hot Water Fitter.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry; London, England; Freemasonry Membership Registers

On 16th October 1917 he is listed as a Regimental Sergeant Major, residing at the Holborn Military Hospital.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)

He died in 1962 leaving £2,664. His address was 2 Glebe Path, Mitcham.

See also report on a fire in 1932

Laburnum Park Estate

Laburnum Park was the name used for the housing development on the former Mitcham Stadium site. It may have been the name given by Wates Ltd, the developers, who bought the site in 1955.

In the Mitcham Borough council minutes of 14th June, 1956, the road names were recommended:

Mitcham Borough minutes, volume 23, 1956 to 1957, page 67

From OpenStreetMap, 2018

Newspaper Items

Norwood News, 15th May, 1959, via the British Newspaper Archives.

MITCHAM, Laburnum Park Estate – Two-year old luxury, modern, terrace house, three bdrms., bthrm., open plan downstairs, central heating, Marley floor, large kit., garage; £3,300 freehold – Box N0790, News, Upper Norwood.

Norwood News, 29th April, 1960, via the British Newspaper Archives.

Members of the Laburnum Park Estate Residents’ Association, Mitcham, presented one of their neighbours – England and Surrey Cricketer Ken Barrington – with a golf trolley at a dance held in his honour at the White Hart Hotel, Mitcham, on Friday. Pictured with Ken, who recently returned from the West Indies with the M.C.C., are officials of the association and Tooting and Mitcham players Brian Bennett, Paddy Hasty and Ted Murphy, who were among the guests.

Leo’s Ice Cream

Leo’s Ice Cream bar was at number 317 London Road, next to the King’s Head pub. It was part of a block, numbered 317 to 321. Eric Montague said in his Mitcham Histories: 4 Lower Mitcham, page 130, that the block was demolished in 1977-80 and replaced by a building called Boundary House. Currently, in 2018, this houses the Job Centre.

Leo’s Cafe, was run by Lionel (Leo) Dimashio. He also had a fleet of ice cream vans, see the 1959 news item below.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1973 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1960 Leos Cafe

1960 Clip from Merton Memories photo 51737 Copyright London Borough of Merton

1953 OS map


The following family background is from a family tree on Ancestry.com by kind permission of Leo’s father-in-law’s granddaughter, who resides in Australia.

When Tommaso Perrotta arrived in the UK from Italy, he changed his name to Thomas Perrott. It was he who started the ice cream business. When his daughter Adelina married Lionello DiMascio in 1931, Thomas and Lionello went into business together and were life-long friends. Lionello changed his surname to Dimashio, and used Leo as his first name. Leo was born in Lanarkshire in 1905, and died in Italy in 1982, aged 76.

Leo Dimashio and his wife Adelina in March 1931

From the Norwood News, 9th March 1962

Miss Adelia Lucia Dimashio, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Dimashio, London Road, Mitcham, was married to Terence John O’Leary, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. O’Leary, Tavistock Crescent, Mitcham, at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Mitcham, on Thursday last week. Carrying a bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley, the bride wore a full-length gown of silk and Nottingham lace. She wore a pearl coronet with a silk tulle veil. Matron of honour was Mrs. Sylvia Ferrari, the bride’s sister. She wore a chiffon dress and coat. Bridesmaids, Miss Sandra Dimashio and Christina Ferritto wore pink knee-length dresses with matching shoes and hats. They carried bouquets of spring flowers. Youngest members at the wedding were Miss Carla Dimashio (aged four) and Angela Carolla. They wore lavender organza dresses and carried posies of spring flowers. Mr. Michael O’Leary was the best man.


News Articles

Chime gentlemen please – but do it quietly

THE battle of the ice cream chimes, which has been noisily raging for months in local estates, is likely to be a much quieter one — thanks partly to a Mitcham man.

The Ice Cream Alliance, to which about 95 per cent of Britain’s ice cream vendors belong, have issued a code of conduct which should lessen the complaints about musical vans — if
it is obeyed.

Mr. L. Dimashio, London Road, Mitcham, owner of a milk bar and a fleet of ice cream vans,
helped to formulate the code. He is a former president of the Ice Cream Alliance.
Now a member of the executive council, he said: “Some time ago we foresaw the annoyance that would be caused if the chimes caught on. But we did not reckon on it happening so fast.”

Most complaints about the chimes have been from local housing estates — particularly
Glebe Estate and Pollards Hill.

Mr. M. Hedden, Glebe Court Tenants’ Association official said:
“ Although it is winter there has been no real improvement as far as the noise of the chimes is
concerned.

“ But it is in the summer when we really notice it. Then about five different vendors practically race round the estate.

Eldorado

“I did not know the Alliance existed. In the event of further complaints I shall certainly con-
sider writing to them.”

The company who have come in for most complaints at the Glebe Estate are Eldorado Ltd — NOT members of the Alliance. But a spokesman said: “ We are members of another organisation which is preparing its own code of conduct.”

The Alliance code of conduct says:

Chimes or similar mechanism should be kept at a minimum after 7 p.m. They must be sounded while the vehicle is on the move and at not more than five-minute intervals.

The volume should not be excessive. Tunes should be limited to a few bars.

Horns or bells should be sounded only at a few moments each time.

Particular stress is made on not annoying hospitals, night workers and nursing homes.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 30th January, 1959, page 1.


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

Paul Bowness Memorial Gardens

A small memorial garden, dedicated to Paul Bowness, near the north end of Abbey Mills where the footpath on the west side of the river Wandle meets the Merantun Road.

This map is from the information display at the gardens.

map of Abbey Mills showing the location of the Paul Bowness Memorial Garden as near the Merantun Way

Photo taken 26th September, 2018

Underneath this display is the plaque:

Wandle Heritage
The Paul Bowness
Memorial Gardens

Paul Bowness was Chairman of the Wandle Heritage Trust. He died in 1998. His obituary was published online in a newsletter from 2000 by the Wandle Industrial Musem.

1933 Explosion – Slightly Injured List

From the Norwood News – Friday 31 March 1933, via the British Newspaper Archive

SLIGHTLY INJURED.

10 Belgrave Road
Mrs. MARY WALLS (aged 57)

12 Belgrave Road
Miss MAUD SEALEY (aged 17)
ELIZABETH SEALEY (aged 12)
PEGGY SEALEY (aged 10)

13 Belgrave Road
HENRY SEALEY (aged 29)

16 Belgrave Road
MYRTLE CONNOR (aged 15)

18 Belgrave Road
FREDERICK WELLER (aged 18)

20 Belgrave Road
Mrs CISSIE SPARROWHAWK (aged 42)

24 Belgrave Road
Mrs. MINNIE JARDINE (aged 40)
ALEC JARDINE (aged 17)

28 Belgrave Road
CHARLES WHITING (aged 30)
Mrs. MINNIE E. WHITING (aged 30)
ELIZABETH WHITING (aged 12)

30 Belgrave Road
Mrs. ETHEL GOODSELL (aged 48).

34 Belgrave Road
JOHN FOSTER (aged 48)

27 Queen’s Road
Miss ELLEN COOPER (aged 18)
ANNIE COLLINS (aged 18)

6, Stanley-road, Morden

FRANK CAPLIN (aged 28)
All these are suffering from bruises and cuts on head, body, and legs (not of a serious nature), caused by falling debris.

The Official Report on the Explosion also has names and addresses of those affected, with details of buildings damaged.

Frank Henry Wood

From the Norwood News – Friday 30 September 1938

ILLNESS AFTER HOLIDAY
Death of a Popular Mitcham Resident

MR. F. H. WOOD’S MANY INTERESTS

BY the death of Mr. Frank Henry Wood, Mitcham has lost one of its most popular residents. Mr. Wood, who passed away on Friday at his home, “Hayling,” Cedars-avenue, took a keen interest in many local activities and the offices he held included the vice-presidencies of the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club. the Mitcham Village Golf Club, and the Mitcham Athletic Club. He was also a member of the Mitcham Golf Club. At the age of 15 he entered the offices of the former Charing Cross Electricity Company, of which he later became secretary. On the centralisation of electricity distribution, his company was merged with others into the Central Electricity Company, Ltd., and he was appointed secretary.

He was due to retire shortly from this position. His death after a very short illness came as a shock to his many friends and business associates. He had been on holiday at Lyme Regis, and was taken ill on the first day of his return to business, and he died 10 days later. He was 60 years of age, and leaves a widow and two sons. The cremation took place at Streatham Park Crematorium on Monday, a service being conducted by his nephew, the Rev. S. Miller.

Among the mourners were the directors of his Company; Mr. J. Perkins (chairman, representing the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club and Mr. F. H. Priest (president of Mitcham Athletic Club). Wreaths were sent from: the widow; his only brother George; his sons, Michael and Frank; his sister-in-law. Mrs. Potter; his nephew and niece. the Rev, and Mrs. S. Miller; Judy; Bert: the chairman and directors, Central London Electricity Company; Mr. C. Parker; Miss Joan Gatti; Mr. J. A. Gatti; Lady Gatti; Mr. R. J. Gatti; Mr. and Mrs. Cracknell; Howard Foulds; W. Fisher; Charlie and Melite: Mr. and Mrs. H. W. White; Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Mellhuish; Mr. and Mrs. Bentley and family; Reg and Dot; directors and staff of Antony Gibbs; H. T. Young; Horsley Bros., St. Martin’s-lane; Mr. and Mrs. Gray; Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club, Isaac Wilson. president; members of the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club; Mr. and Mrs. Spicer; Fred Andrews; N. and H. Bentley; Stephen Gatti; Kitty Chuter: Mr. and Mrs. Riviere; Miss Church; Mitcham Village Golf Club; Mr. and Mrs. Jeffs; Barrel Golfing Society: H. L. Westall; W. E. Cox and family: F. W. Hill: H. J. Dibben; G. Ratcliffe; Mitcham Athletic Club; and the following departments of the Central Electricity Company: showroom staff, executive staff, accountancy department. engineering staff, C.L.E. accessories, Colauhoun-house staff. Pelhamstreet staff, Charing Cross electrical engineering department, Maiden-lane staff, and the Administrative staff ano Workmen’s City Association Sports and Social Club.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. W. J. Mellhuish and Son. 118. Upper Tooting-road.