Category Archives: Pubs

1968 Cricket mural unveiled at Cricketers pub

Mr John Young, Chairman of Young’s Brewery.
Mitcham News & Mercury, 18th October, 1968, page 1.

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.

1936/7 Nalder & Collyer’s sale to Ind Coope

Brewery Distribution

An unusual linking of brewery interest is brought to notice by an announcement to-day from Nalder & Collyer’s Brewery Co. (Ltd.) This Company has a capital of £660,000 in £130,000 Ordinary and £530,000 Preference shares. Practically all the Ordinary and 90 per cent, of the Preference are held by the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) This latter, now mainly an investment trust, has a considerable holding in Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) and also an indirect interest in Ind Coope through Nalder & Collyer, which in March last year sold a number of its properties to Ind Coope & Allsopp (Ltd.) for a total consideration of £2,200,353, paid partly in cash and partly in Ind Coope Debentures, Preference, and Ordinary stocks.

The directors of Nalder & Collyer are now going to distribute part of the Ind Coope Ordinary to the Company’s Ordinary shareholders and the bulk of these shares will of course go to the City of London Brewery and Investment Trust (Ltd.) For every £10 Nalder & Collyer Ordinary will be given £2 of Ind Coope Ordinary, making the total distribution £26,000 nominal, worth at the current market price £162,500. Accompanying this announcement is a final dividend of 20 per cent plus a 10 per cent cash bonus, making, with the interim of 25 per cent., a total of 55 per cent, as before, which of course also goes mainly to the controlling company. There is a free market in City of London Brewery 5s Deferred Ordinary units now standing around 20s. a price which indicates long-standing hopes of a capital bonus. Last year’s dividend was only 6 per cent. The next accounts are to June 30 next and are due in July.

Source: The Scotsman – Friday 07 May 1937 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Nalder & Collyer owned the Horse and Groom, Kings Head (later Burn Bullock), Ravensbury Arms, Three Kings, Swan, Windmill.

1855 : Fatal accident on Wimbledon and Croydon Railway

From page 6 of the 30th October 1855, edition of the South Eastern Gazette.

ALARMING AND FATAL ACCIDENT UPON THE WIMBLEDON AND CROYDON RAILWAY.

The above-named line of railway, which it was at first said would be opened on the 1st of October, then on the 15th of the same month, was opened on Monday, the 22nd. The London, Brighton, and South Coast Company issued bills, announcing that they would run 13 trains per diem. The South Western Railway Company also issued bills, stating that they intended running 5 trains per diem, by means of which passengers could be conveyed to the Waterloo terminus. These, however, were not to be what are generally termed “through trains,” but passengers wishing to go to Waterloo station would have to change trains at the Wimbledon station.

The line, which is a single one, is as near as possible upon the same route between Croydon and Mitcham, as that formerly occupied by the earliest railway in England, viz. the old tramway formed at the commencement of the present century, for the purpose of conveying stone and lime from Merstham. Those who recollect the old tramway are aware that after passing Waddon Marsh, there was a short cutting familiarly known as the “high banks,” after passing which it ran upon a level by the side of a farm now occupied by Mr. Atherfold and then across Mitcham-common.

On Wednesday afternoon the London, Brighton, and South Coast train, consisting of a small engine with tender attached, and four carriages, arrived at the Croydon West station, and proceeded on to Mitcham; at the time we learn there were not more than 8 or 10 passengers in the train. When it reached Mr. Atherfold’s farm, and was consequently between the “high banks” and the road leading from Beddington to the Windmill upon Mitcham-common, the engine got off the rails, after which it evidently continued to run for nearly a hundred yards, when the engine and tender went off at the right hand side of the line, and the carriages at the same time went off at the opposite side. The engine immediately tumbled over, and Bingham the engine driver, who it would appear was at the time working the lever, for the purpose of reversing the engine was with the exception of his head and right arm buried beneath the engine. His death must have been almost instantaneous. The stoker (Weller) jumped off and was much scalded, but not otherwise materially injured. The first carriage was completely smashed, but fortunately there were no passengers in it, and those who were in the other carriages escaped with very slight injuries, as did also the guard who was attending to the break, which fortunately was attached to the last carriage.

Intelligence of the event was immediately conveyed to New-Cross station, and an engine, with what they term the tool box, and about a dozen men arrived at the spot at about 7 o’clock; the remains of the unfortunate engine driver however, were not extricated from beneath the engine till past 8 o’clock, when they were conveyed to the Plough public-house, Beddington, to await a coroner’s inquest.

Another report mentions that one of the passengers was from Mitcham.

From page 351 of the 31st October 1855 issue of the Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser:

On Thursday night a serious accident occurred on the Croydon and Mitcham Railway to a passenger train in the neighbourhood of the village of Beddington. The line from Croydon to Mitcham, a distance of four miles, was only opened on the preceding Monday. It consists of a single line of rails until its junction with the Croydon and Epsom line, about half a mile from Croydon.

The train to which the accident happened started from the terminus at London-bridge at 4.15. About midway between Croydon and Mitcham, the engine ran off the rails, dragging the tender and passenger carriages after it, for between fifty and sixty yards, until, falling over on its side, its career was suspended. One of the carriages was smashed to atoms, and the driver killed on the spot. There were, fortunately, but five passengers, all second class, and, with the exception of a Mrs. Jacobs, the wife of a retired gentleman residing at Upper Mitcham, who was very much shaken, they all escaped unhurt.

From page 564 of the 7th November 1855 issue of the Watchman and Wesleyan Advertiser, the inquest recommended a speed limit of 20 m.p.h.:

On Monday, the coroner resumed the adjourned inquest on John Bingham, the engine-driver who lost his life on the 24th ult., on the newly-formed West Croydon and Mitcham Railway. Colonel Yolland gave it as his opinion that the accident was caused mainly by the speed at which the engine was travelling. The jury found, “that the deceased met his death by accident, but recommend that the maximum speed, until the lines becomes consolidated, should not be greater than twenty miles an hour.”

Lilian Bullock – obituary

From the Mitcham Cricket Club Yearbook for 1977 :

Mrs Lilian Bullock who died last November in her seventy ninth year – just eighteen months after retiring from the Kings Head, had been in poor health for some little time.

By her death the Club has lost its only lady Vice-president and a very good friend over many years, as Lil took a great interest in the catering side of the Club affairs and really enjoyed supervising the formidable array of helpers in her earlier days.

Lil and her late husband Burn came to the Kings Head in 1941.
When he died in 1954 she carried on managing and created a
wonderful “crickety” atmosphere about the place which showed
particularly during the Club’s Cricket Weeks, the frequent visits by many County players undoubtably added to that feeling.

Thanks to Lil’s kindness the Club had come to regard the
“Head” as its second headquarters especially during the close season when the Pavilion was not too inviting.

Lil was very pleased when the brewers decided to rename The
Head to the “Burn Bullock” in memory of her late husband. She
leaves one daughter Stella and one grandson Nicholas.

The Association of Cricket Umpires

The Association of Cricket Umpires was formed in the Kings Head Hotel (later called the Burn Bullock) in 1953, by Tom Smith. Below is an article he wrote for the Mitcham Cricket Club Yearbook of 1954.

By Tom E. Smith, Hon. Gen. Secretary of The Association of Cricket Umpires.

It is a very great pleasure to me to be invited to contribute to the Mitcham Cricket Club Year Book a review of the work that is being done by my Association.

The Association has very strong links with Mitcham because apart from the fact that I, as founder, am a Mitcham man, the inaugural meeting was convened at the King’s Head Hotel, at the Cricket Green, last March. This was by no means an accident, but by way of careful design. At the beginning when I contacted about 20 umpires with a plan of forming an association on somewhat different lines I felt that a better start could not be made than by organising the formation at one of the most famous cricket greens in the world. There could surely not be a better omen for the inauguration of an association for umpires than at the very place where cricket has been played for over 250 years.

The Association has the blessing of the parent body, the M.C.C., The Club Cricket Conference, the National Association of Cricket Clubs, and other controlling bodies. From that start there are now over 200 names on the books. From all over the country the membership ranges through First Class County umpires, Minor County, M.C.C., C.C.C., the Leagues, the three Services and Club, to potential and trainee umpires. Such has been borne out in fact!

Besides an overseas membership in N. Ireland, North Borneo, British Guiana and Gold Coast and a very strong contingent in B.A.O.R., Germany, the Association works in close cooperation and liaison with the South African Umpire Associations, Jamaica U.A., Madras U.A., and many other bodies. Joint functions are held with the Cricket Society, whose Chairman is Ayton Whitaker, the B.B.C. producer. One of our active members is John Arlott, the well-known cricket journalist and commentator, and who is a keen vice-president of the Association.

To what can be attributed this tremendous growth from such a very small beginning ? The predominant object of the Association at all times is, “To improve the standard of umpiring.” The serving committees have created a powerful organisation with this theme always in mind.

For many years there has been grumbling in this country about the standard of umpiring and inefficient umpires but nothing has been done about it seriously. No attempt has been made to train and test umpires to bring them up to a standard for examination or grading.

The Association conducts its affairs and policy along the lines of a professional body. Members are elected as Associates on the understanding that they are willing to study and work to take the examination in theory and oral for “Full” status. These examinations are difficult and the standard is high. Perfect answers to theoretical questions do not necessarily make a perfect umpire. His interpretation of the laws on the field must finally count.

The Training Committee consisting of senior umpires, all experienced in teaching and coaching, has prepared training schedules with a standard system of training and grading. The first examinations were held in London in January, and the examiners were Frank Chester and K. McCanlis, the county umpires. It is difficult to imagine anyone better qualified for the job.

Lectures, discussions and demonstrations in theory and practice are proceeding. Welfare arrangements include legal advice and insurance against accident on the field and whilst travelling. An appointment bureau is available and a news bulletin is circulated. Refresher and other courses are planned.

Douglas Jardine, the famous England captain, became first President in October and publicly expressed his enthusiasm for the work of the Association. The National Press and a B.B.C. news bulletin followed with the announcements that Frank Chester, H. M. Garland Wells, K. McCanlis and John Arlott had become vice-presidents.

We now have to live up to a tremendous standard set by the leadership of a great England captain and the technical advice of the best-known umpire in the world today. In this book Frank pointed out last year that an umpire may know the laws inside out but the test is putting them into practice. We believe that is very true. He must have confidence in his bearing and personality. An efficient, well trained umpire will have quiet confidence in himself on the field. This leads in turn to the players having confidence in him and this to the greater enjoyment of our wonderful game by the players, officials, and spectators alike.