Category Archives: Roads

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.

This was sold for £1,500,000 on 21st December 2016 to ASSOCIATE PROPERTIES LIMITED (incorporated in Isle of Man) of 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2BD.

The lender referred to in the charges register of this title is AERIANCE INVESTMENTS S.A R.L. (incorporated in Luxembourg) of 20 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais, L-2535, Luxembourg. Their website gives contact details for their London office at 49 Grosvenor Street (telephone 0207 838 7900, fax 0207 838 7858). Their email address is info@aeriance.com

The Isle of Man companies house website doesn’t give contact details for Associate Properties Ltd, but it does name the company’s agents as Andco Corporate Services Limited at the same address. Their website gives contact details: telephone 01624 623731 and email info@andco.im

Road name signs in Cricket Green Conservation Area

The Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area was created in 1969 and hence it is believed that the road name signs are, in 2017, 58 years old.

The road name signs have a green background, with large white lettering for the name of the road, and underneath is written, in smaller letters, ‘Cricket Green Conservation Area’.

A white horizontal line below the lettering indicates a cricket pitch. At the left and right hand ends of the sign are three white vertical lines, with a white horizontal line on top, to illustrate cricket wickets. The white horizontal line on which they sit extends just past these ‘wickets’, to further emphasise that they are on a field. Another white horizontal line, is above the lettering, but not connecting to the ‘wickets’, completes the design.

An example road name sign showing the cricket pitch and wickets design.

As of June 2017, there are 44 road name signs in the conservation area, and can been on this Google map. Of these 44, two are for Chatsworth Place which was removed from the conservation area in 2013.

Of the remaining 42, two have been replaced with an incorrect design. By missing out the gaps between the top horizontal line and the wickets, and the extension of the lower horizontal line at the feet of the wickets, the ‘cricket pitch’ design is lost. Madeira Road and Willow Lane have these new designs.

Errors in the design of the new road name signs lose the ‘cricket pitch’ of two wickets on a field.

Three signs are missing, and can be seen on Google Street Views.


‘Cricket Green’, was on boundary fence of the Burn Bullock, near the junction with London Road. This Street View was from 2009.


‘Church Road’ was a freestanding sign in front of number 10 Church Road, as seen on this Street View from 2015.


‘Lower Green West’ a new freestanding sign, on the north side, between Church Road and Preshaw Crescent, as seen on this Street View from 2015.

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

Behind the scenes at Pye Records in 1959

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 23rd October, 1959, page 3.

Behind-the-scenes for your favourite “pops”

IT IS A RECORD-MAKING BUSINESS By Wendy Scott

The green light flickers in a cafe jukebox, an automatic grab arm selects a record and the music plays out of the loudspeaker.

The foot-tapping crowd who listen to their favourite “pops” are not really concerned with how that spinning disc began it’s life or with the marvel of music that is translated from the minute groves.

Yet the manufacture of gramophone records is an important industry today, with the various companies striving to woo the public with their current releases and gimmick productions.

Since the war, sales have far surpassed the wildest dreams of production managers. Today the factory workshops hum with constant activity in order to keep retailers supplied with large stocks of classical, jazz and other popular music discs.

Pye Records Ltd., whose factory is at Western Road, Mitcham, follow production methods that are typical of the disc industry.

Here thousands of records daily are pressed, packaged in colourful glossy covers, checked and sent out to waiting delivery vans.

The story of how records are made – with the combined skill of the factory’s several hundred employees – is complicated, yet interesting.

The heart of the factory is away from the main office block. It is here, in a secluded room that the taped music is initially transferred on to a lacquer coated aluminium disc. Surrounding the operator are various dials and control knobs which modulate tone and quality.

INTO TUBE

The recording room has all the atmosphere of a science fiction setting. As the sapphire needle on the master cutting lathe gouges into the soft lacquer it is converting the electrical impulses from the tape back into vibrations and inscribing them into the surface of the acetate disc.

The gouged out surplus material is fed into a tube collects at the back of the machine in a large bottle.

The master acetate, as it is termed, then undergoes some beauty treatment – a little harsh, perhaps as it is mainly bathed in a chemical solution.

For the technically minded, it is coated with a silver solution and placed in electro-plating bath. It is then treated by workers wearing rubber gloves to prevent injury from the acids, and lowered into a bath where copper anodes are suspended. The reverse side of the metal disc is made in the same way, forming the two halves of the record.

The record, still in a metal state, but polished and trimmed, is then transferred to the pressing department. Here numerous operators sit at the pressing machines. At their side is a sack of plastic composition crystals looking rather like grains of rice.

This is weighed according to size of the record and then gently warmed on an electric hot plate which is reminiscent of the household gadget.

The operator sandwiches the plastic ball between two record labels, clamps the nickel prototypes together and the record emerges.

Near the pressing department are a few operators who hole the records and make incisions so that they may be played on American and other record players that differ from English makes.

CHECKED

Nearby, in soundproof boxes lined with acoustic tiling, a selection of finish records are played through to check for irregularities in sound.

Fifteen girls – most of them live in the Mitcham and Tooting area, – then receive the discs for final checking and wrapping. The discs are dusted and sleeved with paper or polythene protective covers.

They are then neatly slipped into the glossy covers into the packaging department and dispatch department.

So next time you walk into your local record store to select a disc, remember the work and processing necessary before your favourite song or classical suite is brought to the living room.

Mortuary Chapel in parish churchyard

In 1882, the parish church’s burial ground was enlarged and a mortuary chapel was built by Crockett at a cost of £1,761, as referred to in an advertised tender in the Surrey Mirror. (Adjusted for inflation, this was the equivalent of around £200,000 today.)

An entrance from Church Road was made, opposite the post office (later 71 Church Road). A path from this entrance led to a circular path in front the chapel.

The new burial ground was consecrated on 15th January 1883 by the Bishop of Rochester.

This 1910 Ordnance Survey map shows the entrance to the chapel as being opposite the letter box on the west side of Church Road. Another building is shown north east of the chapel, along the wall with Miles Road. The entrance that is there today is not shown and it is not known whether this building was related to the mortuary chapel.

1910 OS map


When Mitcham became part of the London Borough of Merton in 1965, the Coroner decided that autopsies and inquests would be performed at Battersea for both Merton and Wandsworth. This decision was recorded in the minutes of the Parks, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee dated 26th May 1965:

612. Mitcham and Wimbledon Mortuaries

The Director of Parks reported

(i) that following the reorganisation of the London boroughs, H.M. Coroner had decided that as from the 1st April, 1965, he will hold all inquests for both the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth at the Battersea Coroner’s Court and that consequently all autopsies on bodies will be carried out at the Battersea Mortuary; and

(ii) that no request has been made to use the Wimbledon and Mitcham mortuaries which had been kept in readiness since the 1st April in case local funeral directors wish to use them as Chapels of Rest, and

(iii) that consequently there seemed to be no necessity to keep the mortuaries available particularly as some financial arrangements would have to be agreed with the London Borough of Wandsworth for bodies admitted to the Battersea Mortuary from this borough.

Source: Minutes of proceedings of the council and committees, London Borough of Merton Council Minutes, 1965-66, volume 2, part 1.

Today, nothing is left of the chapel building, although the circular path remains. It is currently not known when it was demolished.

Photo taken 26th April 2017 of plot where mortuary chapel once stood.

Measurements made using the online map show the length of 45 feet along its east-west side, and its depth of 30 feet along its north-south side.

Inquests were held at the Mortuary Chapel. Here are links to some newspaper articles that reported them.

1895 Death from pleurisy
1910 Miss Ellen Peerless, of the Ship Laundry


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


Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

1880 : The funeral of the cricketer Southerton

FUNERAL OF SOUTHERTON

On Monday afternoon the remains of poor James Southerton, the well-known Surrey bowler, were borne to their last place of rest in Mitcham Churchyard, the funeral attracting a large number of persons, who were well acquainted with the sterling qualities of deceased, to the little village green in front of the inn which Southerton tenanted during his life.

The Surrey County Cricket Club was represented by Messre C. W. Alcock, J. Wood, F. Gale, Dr Parrott, E. Garland, G. Wells, C. A. Stein, T. Mossendew, and others. The only one of the county eleven, as now constituted, present was Richard Humphrey, who acted one the pall-bearers, but there were several old players connected with Surrey to show respect to the memory their former comrade, among them J. Swann, W. Shepherd, and W. Mortlock.

The Mitcham Cricket Club, which Southerton was an active member, sent a strong detachment, including Dr Marshall, the president; Messrs Harbor, Compton, Harvey, and about 30 others; and old cricketers unconnected with Surrey, there were also present Edgar Willshier, K. Thoms, T. Mantle, and many others.

Half-past 4 o’€™clock was the hour appointed for departure of the funeral cortege from the house of the deceased, and very soon after that time the procession made a start. The lane dawn which the coffin passed to the parish church was lined throughout with residents of Mitcham, and the churchyard was already well filled before the service over the body had been completed. There could not have been less than 300 round the grave while the last part of the mournful ceremony was taking place, and doubt whether the pretty little burying-ground has ever held a larger gathering or formed the scene of more impressive picture. The following were told off to act as pall-bearers – €”R. Humphrey, R. Knight, E. Willsher, T. Sewell, R. Thome, F. Gale, T. A. Mantle, and F. Harwood. The service was conducted by vicar of Mitcham, the Rev. D. F. Wilson. M.A., and will be some little time before the village so closely identified with Surrey cricket will forget the imposing ceremonial witnessed on the occasion of Southerton’€™s funeral.

A meeting held subsequently at the King€’s Head, Mitcham, to consider the advisability of establishing some memorial in remembrance of Southerton as a cricketer. Dr Marshall, the President of Mitcham CC, was the chair and there were in all about thirty present. It was resolved that a local committee be formed for the purpose of providing some memorial to the late James Southerton, and that the committee should communicate with the committee of Surrey County Club to ascertain its views of the character of such memorial.

Source: Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Saturday 26 June 1880 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1895 Death from pleurisy

MITCHAM.

On Tuesday, Mr Percy Morrison held an inquiry at the Mortuary Chapel, Mitcham, relative to the death of Emily Mills, the wife of Joseph Mills, a builder’s labourer, living at 26, Sibthorp-road.

— The husband stated that the deceased was 40 years age, and since her father’s death, which took place in March last, had not been in good health.

— Dr Oscar Berridge Shelswell deposed that he attended the deceased on the 3rd inst., and found that she was suffering from pains under the heart and slight pleurisy. On the 13th inst. he discovered that she was suffering from pneumonia and pleurisy, to which he attributed her death.

— The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 24 May 1895 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)