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Mitcham Evening Institute

From the Mitcham Youth Handbook of 1949

The Mitcham Evening Institute, which is one of the largest in the County, provides further educational facilities for students of all ages. Classes are arranged in a wide variety of subjects: commercial, technical and recreational. There are two main Centres:—

Western Road County Secondary School,
Western Road, Mitcham.

Pollards Hill County Secondary School,
Greenwood Road, Mitcham.

There are also a number of specialized classes held in other schools suitable buildings in the Borough. The majority of the classes commence in September and continue for two periods—September to Easter, and Easter to July — with the usual short breaks for Christmas and Whitsun. Enrolments are accepted at any time, but intending students are urged to enrol during the first week of a fresh session.

There are no fees for students under 19 years of age and for those over the fees are very moderate.

Providing that there is a demand, classes can be formed in any subject. This applies to Youth Organisations catering for the cultural activities of their members.

Arrangements are provided for students to sit for examinations set by the Royal Society of Arts, Pitman’s, London Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Life Saving Society and the Surrey Education Committee.

A prospectus, giving full details, is issued in September of each year, and copies can be obtained from the Public Library, the Youth Employment Bureau, the Divisional Executive Officer or direct from:

Mr. George A. Saunders,
Western Road C.S. School,
Mitcham (MlTcham 4955), Head of Institute.


Mr. S. M. Smith,
Pollards Hill C.S. School,
Mitcham (Pollards 3707),
Deputy Head of Institute.

Source: Local Studies Centre, Morden Library, Civic Centre, Morden.
Reference: L2 (369) MIT


Church Road Welfare Centre

Currently known as ‘La Sporta Community Centre’, the land at the corner of Church Path and Church Road was bought in 1936 by Mitcham Borough Council from Donald Stair Drewitt (or Drewett?). They built a maternity and child welfare centre, sometime after 1937. After health services transferred from the local council to the health authorities, the building became Lasporta Community Centre in 1993. Sold in 2012 for £300,000 to a property developer.

This building is not mentioned in the Mitcham Borough Health Report for the year 1939, but is in 1940. The Parish Rooms at Lower Green West were last mentioned in 1939 so it is assumed that its functions transferred to this building at the same time.

Council minutes from 14th February 1939 say that the builder was Charles Sayers & Sons Ltd, whose bid was £4,586. Source: page 375, Mitcham Borough Council minutes, volume 5.

1953 OS map

The building was also used as an ante-natal clinic, holding mothercraft clases, a parentcraft circle, a post-natal clinic and for diptheria immunisation, as shown on this Infant Weight Card from the 1950s.

Infant Weight Card

Infant Weight Card

2009 La Sporta


Prior to being sold in 2012, the building was used as the ‘La Sporta Community Centre’.

Currently, in 2016, the building is boarded up.




Getty Images from 1950s

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

National School

Built in 1788 as a Sunday School, the building on the south side of Lower Green West was enlarged and reopened in 1812 as a National Day School.

Source: MH 1 Cricket Green, by EN Montague, chapter 6.

Henry Bunce

A tenant of James Moore and later of James Bridger in the 1850s and 1860s. He rented the farmstead in Swains Lane with house, stable, barn, piggeries and dairy. mainly a market gardener he also kept a dozen milk cows.

Source: MH2 North Mitcham, by EN Montague page 27

James Bridger

born 1806 died 1885

Natural son of James Moore, he inherited Lordship of the Manor of Biggin and Tamworth, and held it for thirty years.

Married Rachel Holden on 8th April 1834 at the Parish Church.

On 9th June 1859 his daughter Elizabeth married John Armfield.

The 1861 census stated that he was 55 years old, lived at Manor House, Figs Marsh. Occupation ‘Medical Herbs Grower, cultivating 320 acres, employing about 40 hands’. His wife Rachel was 50, with sons Benjamin 24, James H 22, Frederick 10 and daughters Maria 19 and Emily 13.

The 1871 census lists him at Biggin Farm with 302 acres, employing 40 men and 10 boys. Grandchildren Gertrude,5, and John A Armfield,3, are also listed.

In 1876, fined for a late night card game at the White Hart.