Category Archives: Pubs

Gardeners Arms Pub Sign

The Gardeners Arms pub, 107 London Road, Mitcham, had a heraldic style sign hanging from a post in the centre of the wall on the upper floor. In November 2017, the sign couldn’t be found by the new landlord.

There are three photographs on Merton Memories, and none show a sign attached, for example, this one from 1989:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-2 copyright London Borough of Merton.

This undated black an white photo shows flower baskets hanging from the wall:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-1 copyright London Borough of Merton.

The late Eric Montague, of the Merton Historical Society, took a slide of 109 & 111 London Road in 1966, and this included the pub, which has no sign.

A 1973 photo on the Collage collection also doesn’t show the sign:

1973

The only photograph found so far showing the sign is from Google Street View, from 2008:-

The sign is blurred when zooming in, but what can be seen is shield with a blue background, a white chevron with two objects above and three or more below. The shield has two supporters, one of which may be a gardener. The Surrey Coats of Arms, online at the Surrey History centre website, have been searched for Mitcham arms, and none of these have a field of blue with a white chevron.

Street View of 2012 shows no sign:

2012

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Public Convenience opposite Ravensbury Arms

1962 clip from Merton memories photo, reference Mit_​Streets_​Col_​Cro_​16-5 copyright London Borough of Merton

Built around 1930/1 as discussed as item (3) below in the council minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council, volume XVI, 1930 to 1931, page 101

PUBLIC CONVENIENCES.

The Surveyor submitted the following report June 3rd, 1930.

Dear Mr. Chart,

Re SITES FOR PUBLIC CONVENIENCES.

I suggest to the Committee the following’ sites for their consideration :

(1) Short cul-de-sac roadway off High Street, Colliers Wood,
opposite Christchurch Road, and adjacent to The Victory PH.

(2) The northern extremity of Figges Marsh, at the junction of
Gorringe Park Avenue and London Road.

(3) At the junction of New Road and Croydon Road, adjacent to the Ravensbury Arms.

The first one will drain to the sewer by gravitation, and in the remaining two positions pumping will have to be resorted to.

I think that it is essential that the conveniences in the first two positions be constructed underground, but with respect to the third site, the Committee might consider incorporating the existing tramway shelter in an overground convenience at this point.

If the general opinion is in favour of underground, the alternative to No. 3 would be at the other end of New Road, at its junction with Commonside East. I think that it is just possible to drain an underground convenience by gravitation into the soil sewer.

Yours obediently,

RILEY SCHOFIELD, Assoc.M.Inst.C.E.,
Engineer and Surveyor.

RESOLVED, That the Surveyor be instructed to prepare a further report showing the cost of providing sanitary conveniences at Colliers Wood on the site suggested.

Note that New Road is now called Cedars Avenue.

1953 OS map


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.

1967 : Roy Castle at the Ravensbury Tavern

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 2nd October, 1967, page 1.

BEHIND THE BAR – ROY CASTLE

COMEDIAN Roy Castle visited the Ravensbury Tavern, Morden Road, Mitcham, last week.

He presented a cheque for £250 on behalf of the patrons to Mr. Dermot Cuddy, of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

He arrived at 10.30 pm, after leaving Wimbledon Theatre where he is appearing in the pantomime “Babes in the Wood” as Simple Simon.

And from behind the bar with the licensee, Mr. Charles Lawrence, and his wife, Pamela, he signed autographs and played several numbers an his trumpet.

THANKS

Mr. Cuddy thanked the customers in both bars and presented Mr. Lawrence with a model of a guide dog.

The money was raised by donations over the bar during the past year.

“It’s the first time that we have collected,” said Mr. Lawrence.
“But it has been very worthwhile.”

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.

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)