Category Archives: Pubs

1960 : Explosion showers acid over homes

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 15th January, 1960, page 1.

Explosion hurls vat top through roof of factory

ACID IS SHOWERED OVER HOMES
And two boys at play are covered

Acid showered over homes in the Batsworth Road, Mitcham, area on Friday after an explosion in a factory nearby.

The explosion hurled the top of a vat through the factory roof. A stream of acid followed and firemen were called to hose it from homes and the street.

The factory is W.J. Bush, synthetic chemists, Batsworth Road, scene of an explosion in 1933 whiched wrecked and damaged nearby homes, and killed a child. People in the neighbourhood have never forgotten it.

Mystery

Friday’s explosion remains a mystery. The fac†ory would make no comment.

It happened in the evening as Mr Albert Bowdery, who lives nearby, went to buy some tobacco.

“I heard the bang and thought at first that a tower was going to fall, then I saw something rush through the roof.

“I hurried back indoors and called to my daughter-in-law: ‘Quick, the children.’ We ran with them into the road. It would not take much to make this old building collapse.”

Mr Bowdery’s daughter-in-law Violet, has two young children – John and Linda.

Mr Bowdery said: “The explosion reminded people of the 1933 incident. They are always a bit worried about the factory.

“We don’t know what goes on there.”

The shop of greengrocer Mrs L. Langridge was covered in a “sort of white wash.”

“We are still cleaning up. A pair of my overalls are ruined. We could not let the children play outside.”

A nearby butcher, Mr J. Stopher, said: “The sanitary people inspected my goods, and, to be on the safe side, I have handed over a quantity of lamb, although it was not contaminated as far as we can tell. The damage was done to the outside of my shop.”

An elderly painter said: “We worry about the factory because many of us remember the tragedy of 1933.”

Soon after the explosion Michael Fullick and his brother Norman went out to play. They became covered in the acid.

Baths

“When we found out we gave them baths immediately,” said mr F. Fullick, licensee of the Bath Tavern.

Firemen were given rubber gloves when they arrived at the factory. A works chemist gave them advice on how to deal with the spilt sulphuric acid.

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White Hart owner

The freehold for the Grade II listed White Hart pub at 350 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 3ND, is title SGL510698, according to the Land Registry. Associated with this is the land at the rear of the pub which is title SGL413207. This consists of the access road from Broadway Gardens, the car park and garden at the back of the pub.

In 1994, parts of the land at the rear were sold by Bass (the brewery owner at the time) to Wandle Holdings plc. This is the housing association that owns Highfield Court, the block of flats next door.

These two titles (SGL510698 and SGL413207) were sold together for £1,500,000 on 16th October 2015 by Punch Partnerships to MENDOZA LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2BD.

The two titles were sold again for £1,500,000 on 21st December 2016 to ASSOCIATE PROPERTIES LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2BD.

The two titles were sold again for £1,500,000 on 6th March 2017 to GATEWAY REALTY LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of First Floor, 18-20 North Quay, Douglas, Isle Of Man, IM1 4LE.

On 14th July 2017 a charge contained in a debenture was registered against both titles by SANNE FIDUCIARY SERVICES LIMITED (incorporated in Jersey) of 13 Castle Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 5UT.

Their website gives contact details for their London office at 21 Palmer Street, London SW1H 0AD (telephone 020 3327 9720, fax 020 7222 5151). Their email address is info@sannegroup.com

The Isle of Man companies house website for GATEWAY REALTY Ltd shows a different address than that on the titles, but there was a change of registered address filed on 26th June 2017. The website doesn’t give contact details for GATEWAY REALTY Ltd, but it does name the company’s agents as ANDCO CORPORATE SERVICES Ltd. Their website gives contact details: telephone 01624 623731 and email info@andco.im

The pub is currently (2017) offered to rent at £60,000 per year, see Jenkins Law website (pdf).

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

1958 Tatler recommends Ravensbury Arms

From an article in The Tatler, entitled Dining Out

when my clutch suddenly failed completely on the slope of the Blue House Bridge Croydon Road, Mitcham, I was within one hundred and fifty yards of the Ravensbury Arms.

I must have passed it a thousand times in my life, but as it has always been so close to the start of a journey, south or south-east, I had never given it a thought.

There I found John Dawson and his wife, Stella, and announced my plight. In a couple of seconds they had summoned two bar staff and two of their customers. Between them they pushed me from the bridge, round the roundabout, and into the space in front of their pub.

The Dawsons, I discovered, have built up a great reputation for their cuisine, John Dawson having be come by sheer enthusiasm a sort of self-taught maitre chef, and nothing goes out of the kitchen unless it has his blessing. The menu for this type of pub is remarkable and includes such things as scampi at 7s. 6d., caviare at 12s. 6d., and asparagus 5s. There is a choice of six omelets (including Spanish); a considerable cold buffet, a large range of grills (including a porterhouse steak garni for 12s. 6d.), and so on.

There are red and white wines at 2s. per glass and a short, simple, but quite adequate wine list – Burgundies from 14s. per bottle, Bordeaux from 12s. 6d.

When John and Stella Dawson took over the Ravensbury in 1952 they were possibly the youngest innkeepers in the country, being 24 and 22 years old respectively. John learnt his pub-keeping from his wife’s father, a great cricketing enthusiast, “Burn” Bullock, who played for the Surrey Seconds in the early ‘twenties and then turned professional. Later he took the King’s Head which looks out over the famous cricket green at Mitcham. This is now being run by his widow, Mrs. Lillian Bullock.

Source: The Tatler – Wednesday 12 November 1958 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

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.

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)

1961 : Publicans welcome new betting laws

Publicans welcome the new laws

MITCHAM publicans welcome the new betting and gaming laws allowing small bets to be placed on bar games.

But some point out that it merely makes legal something that OH been going on for years.

Licensee of the Red Lion, Colliers Wood, Mr. Frank Clements, said this week: “I am all for it. We will now be able to organise whist drives and housey-housey for money.

“What I do think is ridiculous is that you can’t place a bet on a horse in the bar. To do that you have to go outside.”

Licensee of the Beehive, Commonside East, Mitcham, Mr. A. Pays, said it would clear up a lot of underhand practices.

Mr. William Lewis of the White Hart thinks it will make little difference to his customers. “What I am against,” he said “are the one arm bandits (slot machines).”

source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1961, page 1.