Category Archives: Roads

1877 : Proposed 100 acres of Mitcham Common for sewage


Mr. Edridge said he wished make a remark respecting the Rural Sanitary Authority, although he did not wish to raise discussion. He was aware, that the members of the Authority bad recently experienced a great deal of trouble, still the subject involved in the question he was about to put was of such great importance to Croydon that he did not hesitate to put it. If the reply were in the affirmative he thought the fact was one which ought to come under the knowledge of the Board of Health, and they should take measures to further the interests of the district over which they had jurisdiction. He asked whether it was true that the Authority were in correspondence with the proper parties to whom it was necessary to apply in order to obtain a hundred acres of land at Mitcham Common for the purposes of sewage irrigation.

The Chairman said such thing had transpired, but there were 108 persons whose consent had to be asked before the Authority could obtain the land.

Mr. Randolph said it was true a resolution had been passed for the Authority to see on what terms they could purchase a hundred acres of Mitcham Common, but there were some difficulties in the way.

Mr. Edridge presumed that the Authority would not have taken such step except after a proper amount of consideration, and with the expectation that their action would lead to some result. He was therefore sure they would forgive him for having asked the question he had; and he thanked them for having given him the information he required.

Mr. Lindsey said the Authority had not given to the subject so much consideration it required ; but the thing had arisen because the Rural Board were driven up into a corner to find some mode of draining their district. It was therefore suggested at the last meeting that they might apply for a hundred acres of Mitcham Common. There had previously been some idea of making use of thirty acres of land, to carry out the intermittent filtration process; but it was thought it would not answer their purpose and expectations ; consequently they wanted to carry put the sewage irrigation system, and thought facilities for doing so would be gained if they could obtain a piece of land on Mitcham Common. It was true that they had applied, but they hardly expected to obtain the quantity of land they required, as it was necessary that the commoners must satisfied and agree before there could be any hope of obtaining the land.

Mr. Allen said the subject was one to be discussed by the Rural Sanitary Board, and not by the Board Guardians. Mr. Edridge, if he wished to speak upon the matter, ought to have come fully charged at the last meeting of the Authority; but, as the subject had been broached, he might well mention that Croydon applied for some land on the same common a few years ago, but the application was rejected. This was the only reason that could see for opposing the present application of the Rural Authority. But what could it matter to the people of Croydon, who had their parks and open spaces. The nuisance of 60,000 inhabitants was sent to Beddington, but instead being injurious to the health of the population, it was actually beneficial. He could not, therefore, understand why Mr. Edridge should come there to oppose the Authority. No doubt he came with the best intentions, but he had come at the wrong time. If he could wait till next week that would the proper time to bring the subject forward. Although there were 108 land owners to consult as to Mitcham Common, yet at present no benefit was derived from that land, but rather the reverse, as Gipsies caused a great nuisance there, and brought all sorts of diseases into the neighbourhood, at well a lot of donkeys and horses that ran all over the place. People like the Gipsies made extra work for the magistrates; yet when the Authority applied for a hundred acres of land for the drainage of the rural district they met with all sorts of obstacles from persons who ought to help instead of hindering them. There were 500 or 600 acres there suitable for irrigation, and of no use to the Inhabitants their present state. He therefore thought that Croydon ought not to offer opposition, although it might very well connect itself with Mr. Bazalgette’s scheme for taking sewage to the sea. Under all circumstances he thought it was most untimely to bring forward the subject, the Board of Guardians had nothing to do with it.

Mr, Edridge said his object was to ask question which interested Croydon generally, and to which he knew they would give him answer: but he should not have ventured to ask that question except a meeting of the Guardians, because, although had the honour of being an ex-officio member of the Board, was not member of the Rural Sanitary Authority, and was much obliged for the information that had been afforded. Mr. Allen said the Rural Sanitary Authority would glad to see Mr. Edridge at the right time if he had anything to say upon the matter referred to. This terminated the public business of the meeting.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Percy Mayhew

Confectioners, newsagents and stationers, from early 20th century to possibly the late 1960s.

A number of postcards of scenes in Mitcham have his name on them, such as this undated one of London Road.

‘Mayhew’ in bottom left hand corner.

This photo of Preshaw Crescent has ‘Mayhew Mitcham’ on the left and ‘2721 Johns’ on the right, who might have been the photographer.

Preshaw Crescent

This photo of the Blue Houses has ‘Percy Mayhew’ on the left.

Ravensbury Arms and the Blue Houses

There is a collection on Merton Memories.

In the 1925 street directory, listed as a confectioner at number 4 The Parade, which was renumbered as 231.

Listed in the 1929 Where to shop in Mitcham advert as at 239 and 231 London Road.

In the programme for the 1952 Sports and Shopping Week his shop is listed as having contributed a pen and pencil set, worth 13s. 11d., as a prize in the lucky programme number competition. The address of the shop then was 72 Monarch Parade. The shop can just be seen on the right of Davant Ltd (the furniture shop at number 73), in this 1950 Tuck postcard:

1950 Tuck postcard

Listed in the 1954 telephone directory as newsagent, tobacconist, 72 Monarch Parade, London Road, MIT 2478.

Listed in the 1967 edition of the Mitcham Chamber of Commerce Yearbook, but not in the 1969 edition.

1932 : Young man electrocuted while washing his employer’s van

While washing his employer’s van, Frederick Mansfield, aged 18, was electrocuted. From the newspaper reports it would appear that he grabbed an electric light flex, that didn’t have a light bulb in it, and probably didn’t realise that the switch was on. Electricity shorted from the lamp socket across his body to the wet floor on which he was standing.

The story was syndicated nationally and appeared in a number of regional newspapers. Here’s one article from The Scotsman:


A remarkable fatality occurred at Mitcham on Saturday night, when Frederick Thomas Mansfield (18), a butcher’s assistant, of Homewood Road, Mitcham, was electrocuted while washing a motor car.

Mansfield and another boy were cleaning the car at the rear of the premises of Edwin Birch & Sons, butchers, Church Road, and were using a “flex” attached to the electric light installation of the car for illuminating purposes. Hearing a shout, the manager went to the spot, and found Mansfield lying on his back with the flex in his hand. The manager knocked the wire from the boy’s hand, but when a doctor arrived Mansfield was found to be dead.

Source: The Scotsman – Monday 04 January 1932 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

At the inquest it was added that the vehicle being washed was his employer’s van.

It was stated at an inquest yesterday on a Mitcham butcher’s assistant, Frederick Mansfield (18), who was electrocuted while washing his employer’s motor van, that he had a flex in his right hand, and must have got the best part of 200 volts through his body. Dr. Henry Love said that Mansfield had exceedingly large thymus gland, which was a contributory cause.

Source: Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail – Thursday 07 January 1932 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

The postmortem would likely to have been performed in the Mortuary Chapel in the parish churchyard. This building was demolished some time after the formation of the London Borough of Merton in 1965.

The 1930 commercial directory gives E. Birch & Sons, butchers at numbers 36 and 38 Church Road.

E. Birch & Sons, butchers

Ad from September 1914

Text of ad:

Messrs. E. BIRCH & SONS,

Pork and Beef Butchers.


It will pay YOU to give us a call. All goods of our own manufacture from
ENGLISH material. Note the HOME KILLED PORK of Finest Quality.

E. BIRCH & Sons,

36-38, Church Road and 1, London Road. Mitcham. 133, High
Street, Merton; Beddington Corner.

Phones: 817 Mitcham; 1283 Wimbledon.

1953 OS map

In the 1930 commercial directory, E Birch & Sons was listed at 36 & 38 Church Road and also 274 London Road.

In the 1952 chamber of commerce list, shown as S.E. Birch, 36 Church Road.

Listed in the 1954 telephone directory as E. Birch & Sons, 36 Church Road, phone number MITcham 0817.

A photo from the London Metropolitan archives of 1967 shows 36 Church Road still as family butchers, with the name F. Johnson.

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

1933 : Husband and wife buried in one grave

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1933, page 2


Husband and Wife Buried in One Grave

“In death not divided” is a truism in regard to Mr. Thomas Cornelius Ware
and his wife, Mrs. Annie Jane Ware, of ” St. Olave’s.” Ashbourne-road, Mltcham.

Within four hours after his wife had been brought home dead from a London
hospital, Mr. Ware passed away. He practically foretold his death, for he
remarked to the members of his family after he had made up his accounts on
Saturday, “I shall go when mother comes home.” Mrs. Ware had died on December 29, and Mr. Ware on December 31.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Ware were 70 years old, and highly reepected in Mitcham,
where they had lived a great number of years. Mr. Ware was a retired compositor, having worked 27 years for Odham’s Press, Ltd., London.

Mrs. Ware was an active worker on behalf of the Mitcham and Tooting
Floral and Horticultural Society, and a member of the committee. She also
took a great interest in the St. Barnabas’ Church Mothers’ Union, being a Sunday-school teacher and a member of the Parochial Council.

Mr. Ware made gardening his hobby. In three years’ time Mr. and Mrs. Ware
would have celebrated their golden wedding. They formerly resided in Longley-road. Tooting.

One daughter, Miss M. A. Ware, head-mistress of the junior mixed department, Singlegate School, and four sons, all married, mourn the loss of devoted parents.


The funeral was a double one, both Mr. and Mrs. Ware being buried in the
same grave in the new Mitcham Cemetery, London-road, on Wednesday after-
noon. The burial was preceded by a service in St. Barnabas’ Church. conducted by the Vicar. the Rev. E. J. Baker, assisted by the Rev. E. M. Vanston. The service was fully choral, with Mr. J. H. Humphries (a former organist of St. Barnabas’) at the organ. The music included Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Funeral March, and two favourite hymns, ” Jesu, Lover of my soul.” and “Allelulia, Sing to Jesus.”

A large number of relatives and friends followed to the burial ground to witness the remains laid to rest.


The floral tributes were many and beautiful, and included those from:

… companions at Odham’s Press; St. Barnabas’ Mothers’ Union; St. Barnabas’ Working Party; North Mitcham Improvement Association; staff of Singlegate Junior Schools; friends at Gorringe Park School; Messrs. H.C.F. and F. Weber; employees of Messrs. J.F. Renshaw & Co., Ltd.; … Mr E.J. and Mr and Mrs E.E. Mizen; Mr A. Mizen and the Misses Mizen; Miss Alice Mizen; …

St Marks Church Vicarage House

Vicarage for St Marks church, on the corner of Carew Road and Locks Lane,
although address is Locks Lane, CR4 2JX.

1952 os map

Planning application number 1586 was submitted by the Diocese of Southwark to build a vicarage in Carew Road. Source: Mitcham UDC minutes, page 196, volume XV, 1929-1930.


Progress is being made with regard to the building of the Vicarage House for St. Mark’s Church, Mitcham. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have £2,404 in hand for this purpose, and £40 17s. 5d. lies in Barclay’s Bank.

In order to meet expenses, £2,000 is required. Mr. Stanley Dale, of Mitcham, has been selected as the building contractor. The plans of the Vicarage House are at present with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for their final approval.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th July, 1929, page 1.

The website for St Marks church gives the vicars address here.

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.

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