Category Archives: police

1852 : Mr Ashby, miller

Mentioned in a case about the theft of sacks.

WANDSWORTH.
— SACK STEALING.

— At the Police Court on Saturday, James Bennett, marine store-dealer, Garrett-lane, Tooting, apprehended by police-serjeant R. Whittle, V division, was charged with having in his possession three sacks, the property of Mr. B. L. Charrington miller, of Carshalton, Messrs. Hall and Davidson, and Mr. Ashby, miller, of Mitcham. The parties belonging to the Sack Protection Society.

Mr. Turpin, the officer to the society, attended to prosecute. The sacks were identified, and defendant was fined 10s. for each, and expenses, and in default of payment was committed by T. Painter, Esq. for one month.

Source: The South Eastern Gazette, 26th October, 1852

1924 Fracas at the Bucks Head

“SABINI BOYS” AGAIN.
ROWDY SCENE AT MITCHAM.

Arising out of fracas at The Buck’s Head, Mitcham, on the previous day, Ernest Charles Straney, thirty-four, of Lollard-Street Kennington; Edward Wiggins, twenty-six, of Brixton; and George Wiggins, twenty-five, of Lyndhurst-road, Chadwell Heath, were charged before the Croydon County Bench with having been disorderly and assaulting Major Poole, M.C., licensee of the house, Mr. S. G. Leney, manager, Police-sergeant Constable, and Police-constable Siviour. Blows with fists, kicking, and biting were alleged.

Mr. Stanley Smith, prosecuting, said that six men arrived in a taxi, and appeared be such a rough lot that the licensee asked a constable to stand by. Straney left the saloon bar and went into the dining-room, and began strumming the piano. As soon as he was asked to return to the bar, where the men had ordered drinks and smokes, the row started. Major Poole was injured on his right arm, which would have to be X-rayed.

Major Poole, in his evidence, said one of the men boasted of being a pugilist. Leney was struck violently on the face while carrying a pile of plates.

Police-constable Siviour and two other police witnesses said they drew their truncheons and used them, owing to the violence of the prisoners. Whilst struggling on the ground Siviour said he felt himself being overpowered and struck George Wiggins on the back of the head, which for a time made him unconscious. At The police station, where they were taken in a lorry, George Wiggins threatened to kill the witness, and added, “We are some of the Sabini Boys.”

Police Inspector Perkins, in asking for a remand, said that the men no doubt had come to Mitcham for a purpose, and the matter might turn out to be much more serious than appeared at the moment.

The Bench granted the application, and allowed bail to the prisoners in their own recognisances, with two sureties each of £20.

Source: Illustrated Police News – Thursday 22 May 1924 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.

1906 : Death in Prospect Road

LIVERPOOL MERCHANT’S STRANGE DEATH.

An inquest has been held Mitcham on the body the man found dead in the scullery of a house in Prospect Road. Mitcham, which he had taken under the name of Percy Lewis. A detective gave evidence to the effect that the deceased’s real name is Thomas Beecher Grime, and that he came from Liverpool. Intelligence has been received from Liverpool that he left there with £400 in notes on the 15th inst. Another witness said the deceased was visited separately by two young ladies, who stayed some time. Medical evidence showed death was caused by syncope. The inquest was adjourned till to day (Monday) to establish deceased’s identity.

The Press Association’s Liverpool correspondent telegraphs that Grime was a well-known Liverpool coal merchant, who left his office in Wavertree, Liverpool, on August 15, remarking that he would be back in a few minutes. Since then no trace of his movements had been found. He was a native of Darwen.

Source: Derry Journal – Monday 03 September 1906
from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1957 : Human skull found in Eveline Tea Rooms Coal Shed

He found a human skull in coal shed

A HUMAN skull, wrapped in paper, was found by a man in his coal shed on Tuesday.
The skull, thought to be that of a woman or child, was discovered by Mr. Jack Dann, London Road, Mitcham, while he was clearing away rubbish in his shed behind the Eveline Tea Rooms. The parcel, loosely tied with string, was among some billiard cues, firewood and old sacks.

“ When I picked it up I imagined it was an old rugger ball, but through the paper wrapping I could see some teeth protruding,” said Mr. Dann. “ At first I thought it was animal’s skull.” Mr. Dann, who was a male nurse in the Royal Army Medical Corps, examined it more closely and realised it was a human skull.

The skull, which has a dent in the top, has been taken to Tooting police this week.

The piles of rubbish had been put temporarily in the coal-shed by local builders who were decorating a small storage room.

When they distempered the inside of the building that had been blackened by a fire last year, they found the rubbish stacked in a cavity in the wall.

Note: More than 50 years ago, there was a famous murder in Prospect Road, near the cafe. The name was then changed to Eveline Road.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 8th March, 1957

Skull still not identified

The identity and age of the skull found in a coal shed by a Mitcham man has not yet been determined.

The skull, which was handed to a coroner’s court after being found by Mr Jack Dann, London Road, is still being examined.

“It may be used for medical purposes or destroyed,” said a policeman.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 15th March, 1957

Anti-German Riots after sinking of the Lusitania

Anti-German riots broke out on the evening of Wednesday 12th May, 1915, in Tooting and the next day in Mitcham, in response to the sinking of the ship Lusitania.

ANTI-GERMAN RIOTS

Bakers’ Windows Broken

Several Arrests

The scenes of violence which have marked the public feeling against enemy aliens which has been aroused as a result of the Lusitania crime broke out in the neighbourhood on Wednesday evening. At Tooting Broadway a crowd commenced to assemble about 8 o’clock, but for some time it reached very large dimensions. Towards nine o’clock the gathering became more dense, and it was obvious that the baker’s shop owned by Mr P. Jung was in danger of assault. The police, who were reinforced, did their utmost to keep the crowd on the move, and prevented any congregating immediately outside the shop. Meanwhile Mr Jung closed his business as a precautionary measure, but this move was only greeted with jeers. Shortly before ten o’clock a loud crash of glass told that at least one missile had found the mark, a success which was boisterously cheered. The police continued to force the crowd to the opposite side of the road, but the passing of the trams enabled the mob to make some advances, which, however, were fortunately checked.

Every now and again more glass was smashed, and eventually there was very little left of the huge plate-glass windows which have helped to make Mr Jung’s shop such an attractive place of business. When the police did actually see a person throwing he was promptly arrested. Some ugly rushes were the result, and it is a matter for congratulation that no very serious conflicts occurred between the police and the public.

While the guardians of the law were straining every endeavour to cope with the crowd at the Broadway, now numbering some 2,000, a few persons commenced paying attention to the Hygienic Bakery, owned by a German, and situated further down the High-street, opposite the “Mercury” Offices. The roller shutters were lowered, but some spirits more determined than the rest wrenched them away from their fastenings, and with considerable noise they fell to the ground. Without loss of time a brick was hurled at the window with an accuracy of aim somewhat remarkable for a member of the fair sex, who made the claim of having drawn first blood. Other bricks and stones followed in quick succession with more or less precision, and one windows had hardly a particle of glass left in.

THE “SPECIALS” ARRIVE

At about 11 o’clock a strong contingent of special constables appeared on the scene, and were accorded a very mixed reception. The Tooting section was strengthened by a force from Mitcham, numbering about 70, under Inspector G.J. Poston. They were divided into sections, and did most useful work in helping the regular police to disperse the crowds.

Other shops were attacked in Garratt-lane, and all suffered in a like manner and to a similar extent. Police remained on guard all night and the next day, and as soons as carpenters could be procured the premises were boarded up, and in some cases the German traders packed up their goods and chattels and cleared off with all possible despatch.

ANTI-GERMAN DEMONSTRATIONS AT MITCHAM

Early last evening a crowd, which gradually swelled until about 8 o’clock, when it numbered several hundred persons, assembled at the Fair Green for the purpose of expressing indignation at the recent murders on the high seas.

Proceeding in the direction of the Parade, the crowd halted in front of the jeweller’s shop tenanted by Mr J. B. Rompel, a naturalised German.

Their attitude was distinctly menacing, and but for the prescence of a large force of Special Constabulary they would, no doubt, have vented their feelings in no unmistakeable manner. After some jeering and hooting the police dispersed the crowd.

With the exception of one man, whose head was cut with a stone, no damage or injury took place.

Source: Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, Friday, 14th May, 1915, page 4.

A photo of special constable recruited during the First World War is on Merton Memories.

R.F. White & Co., Ltd.

Toilet, shaving and medicated soaps.
Grove Mills, London Road, Mitcham, Surrey. Telephone: Mitcham 4035 and 3156.

Listed in the 1963 List of Factories.

1947 ad

1947 ad


Text of ad:

Silversilk (regd.)
Toilet Soap De Luxe ..

Retail Price (Inclusive of Purchase tax)

Per 5d. Tablet
ONE COUPON
Three ounces when manufactured.

Made at Mitcham

R. F. White & Co.
Mitcham

News Articles

From Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January 1933

The Man and the Suitcase

A story of smart capture by the police in the early hours of the morning was told to the Croydon County magistrates on Friday, when Thomas Walter Miller (40), Pevensey Road, Tooting, described as a blacksmith, was charged with breaking into the office at the Grove Mills, London Road, Mitcham, on the night of December 29-30, and stealing two suit cases and various travellers’ samples, soaps, scent, etc., the property of R. F. White and Co., Grove Mills, London Road, Mitcham.

Inspector Shurey said that at 2.30 a.m. that morning, in company with P.C.s Ives and Col, he was patrolling in a police motor-car. While going down Church Road, Mitcham, P.C. Ives, who was in the back seat, drew witness’s attention to a man coming along Church Path carrying a suitcase. Witness drove the car to the first turning and then reversed. They searched along Church Path and in the vicinity, but failed to find the man.

“Found the case”

The car then went down Western Road, proceeded witness, and at the junction of Western Road and Phipps Bridge Road met the constable on the beat. In consequence of what the constable said, witness kept observation, and at 6.45 a.m. the defendant went into a coffee stall at the junction of Christ Church Road and Phipps Lane Road. He obtained a suit-case, and then started to walk towards Colliers Wood. Witness told him they were police officers, and asked him what he had got in the case. Defendant said that he had found it in Western Road. Witness
looked in the case and found it contained soaps, scent, etc., and told defendant he was not satisfied with his explanation. He would be arrested on a charge of unlawful possession. Defendant made no reply.

The defendant was conveyed in the car to Mitcham police station, and on arrival the police had just had information that Messrs. White’s offices, soap manufacturers, of London Road, had been broken into. Defendant, when charged, made no reply.

On application of the police, Miller was remanded for a week, bail being refused.