Tag Archives: 1916

Walter Mays Ltd.

The Abbey Cork Mills of Walter Mays Ltd was built on the site of William De Morgan’s pottery, Colliers Wood, in around 1890.

1950 OS map

Walter Carden-Mays born December 1865 in Camberwell. He married in 1888 and died on 21st January 1941 in Surrey. The ‘Carden’ part of the family name was dropped at some point, and his company was known as Walter Mays Ltd.

Listed in the 1925 street directory as Walter Mays Ltd. (Abbey Cork Works), 150 & 152 Byegrove Road.

1924 aerial photo. The site for Colliers wood underground station can be seen bottom right. The cork factory is on the left of the High Street.

1934 OS map rotated to show same view as aerial photo above


Ad from Flight Magazine of 1938 :

and directory listing from same:

WALTER MAYS, LTD., Abbey Cork Mills, London, S.W.19 (Liberty 3764).—” Everything in cork “; carburettor and oil indicator floats, gauge glass washers, gland packings, strut sealing corks, anti-vibration mats, composition cork jointing to D.T.D.219A, laminated and plain.

In an entry on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History from 1939 about suppliers to the aircraft industry, cork joints to specification DTD 219A were widely used for petrol tank gaskets and packings.


The Stone Cottage of the Surrey Iron Railway stood on the Walter Mays Ltd site for over 150 years.


Mitcham Military Service Tribunals

As reported by the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 16th June 1916, an employer of a cork business in Colliers Wood, appealed for his son. Although not named, it is likely that the company was Walter Mays Ltd.

Exemption was asked for a skilled mechanic, by the owner of a cork manufacturing business in Colliers Wood. The employer said the man was very valuable in his present employment and he will be practically impossible to replace. A large proportion of their manufacturers were for government uses. He employed about 17 men of whom are only three were eligible. He pleaded that his son was capable of doing almost anything in the business and his departure might cause the closing down of the business.

Three months exemption.

In the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 2nd November 1917, the company and employee are named in an appeal.

Mr Walter Mays, cork manufacturer, of the Abbey Cork Works, High Street, Colliers Wood, asked for a exemption for Mr T.W.S. Cavey, age 41, B1, motor driver and mechanic, residing at Birdhurst Road, Colliers Wood.

Applicant: An exemption for so long as the man remained in his employment. He was engaged in delivering all Mr Mays’s important Government contract work. The average mileage was 250 miles a week.

Counc. Baker : I suppose it is all Government work that Mr Mays does?

Applicant: Oh, yes, it is most important.

The appeal was disallowed.

In the 1919 electoral register a Thomas William Sherrin CAVEY was living with his wife Florence Louisa in 28 Birdhurst Road. He died in 1950 as stated on the Find-A-Grave website, which also says he was a Music Hall performer known as Stirling Fred.


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

Edward Pullen gets MBE in 1961 but missed DCM in 1916

Local man in the Honours’ List

A MITCHAM First World War hero was made an M.B.E. in the New Year Honours. He is 64-year-old Mr. Edward Charles Pullen, Framfield Road, who will be given the award by the Queen.

He gets it for public service in the Inland Revenue Department — he is a staff officer at Somerset House.

His meeting with the Queen will make up for a disappointment he had in 1916 when he should have received the D.C.M. from King George the Fifth. When the investiture date arrived Mr. Pullen had influenza.

Mr. Pullen said this week: “This rather goes to make up for it”

WOUNDED

He earned the D.C.M. during the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Northamptonshire Regiment. His company was trying to win a German strongpoint at Thiepval.

All the officers were wounded or killed and Mr. Pullen, then a sergeant, took charge. Although himself seriously wounded, he led his men to capture the outpost and held it until they were relieved next day.

Between 1919 and 1929 he played for the Wanderers, forerunners of Tooting and Mitcham United.

Mr. Pullen retires in April when he reaches 65.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1961

His MBE award was published in the London Gazette on 27 December 1960 in supplement 42231, page 8906.

His DCM award was reported in the London Gazette of 24 November 1916 in supplement 29837, page 11559.

13537 E. C. Pullen, North’n R.

For conspicuous gallantry in action.

He assumed command of and led his company with great courage and initiative, capturing an enemy strong point. He was severely wounded.

Rumbold Villas

Houses from north to south, between Aspen Gardens and Arneys Lane, off the west side of Carshalton Road, south of Mitcham Junction.

They were built in 1923/4, possibly by Joseph Owen. The houses south of Arneys Lane to the junction with Goat Road, were originally called Tramway Terrace, and were built earlier than 1894.

1894 OS map

1894 OS map

1932 OS map

1932 OS map

R.M. Chart valued the completed houses and loans were made by the Mitcham Urban District Council to purchasers under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, 1899.

No. Borrower Property Value £ Loan £
2 J. JORDON 750 675
3 P. PERRYMAN 730 500
4 G. MARLOW 730 655
5 F. ALLEN 725 650
6 L. BURKILL 725 600
7 K.T. TODD 730 655
8 J.B. ROWAN 900 800
10 H.L. GOFF 790 710
13 A.F. FERGUS 725 600
14 S.A. STOLLS 725 600
16 V.H. BARMBY 725 650
17 J.R. GASK 740 665
18 E.H. GRUBB 740 615
19 S.K. BUTTON 725 650
20 A. CRIPPEN 725 575
21 R.G. WILKINS 725 600
22 E.H. JENNER 725 650

Source: Volume IX, Mitcham UDC Minutes, Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1924.

Note that JORDON may be a typo, and probably should be JORDAN.

The name possibly came from the nearby Rumbold Farm, as shown on this 1866 OS map.

1866 OS map

1866 OS map

The 1924 electoral registers gives occupants for numbers 12 to 22.

12, Agnes HALE and Thomas Hargrave YATES
13, Alexander Forrester and Caroline Sophia FERGUS
14, Sidney Arthur and Lily STOLLS
15, Sidney Randolph and Grace Kathleen SELF
16, Victor BARNBY
17, John Reginald GASK

19, Sidney Kenneth BUTTON

22, Edmond Frank and Kate JENNER

In the 1925 electoral register, the names Rumbold Villas and Tramway Terrace have been dropped.


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


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.

Rose Nursery

Weatherboarded cottage in Tramway Path.

There are two photos of this cottage on the City of London ‘Collage’ collection, both with the year of 1977, so perhaps it was demolished after that.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1977 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1977 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

From the 1911 commercial directory:

Arthur George & Ephraim SIMMONS, florists, Tramway path, Lower Mitcham

The 1915 street directory names the cottage:

Tramway Path, from London Road, Lower Mitcham

George THOMPSON, florist (Station Nursery)
Ephraim SIMMONS, florist (Rose Nursery)

The cottage is shown on this 1953 OS map:

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

An area in the south ward called Simmons’ Land was recorded in UDC minutes of 1917 as being of 13 acres. This land was used for allotments during the war. From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council, volume III, 1917 to 1918, 19th June, 1917, page 52.

Agnes Clarrissa Simmons, the daughter of Arthur George Simmons, married Private Percy John Hale in February 1916. She lived with her parents in Elmwood Road.


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


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.

Glenask, Albert Road

Name of a house in Albert Road, and possibly number 47 as:

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

J A FINDLAY of Glenask, Albert Road, aged 29 Years 1 Months, Cashier. Conscripted on 9 May 1916 to the London Regiment (15th Batn).

From the 1915 street directory:

47, John Alexander FINDLAY

Amelia Elizabeth Hewitt, draper

Amelia Elizabeth Hewitt had a draper shop on Upper Green east.

1902 - clip from Merton Memories photo 49655, copyright London Borough of Merton

1902 – clip from Merton Memories photo 49655, copyright London Borough of Merton

1910 OS Map showing AE Hewitt shop in red, left of the Post Office

1910 OS Map showing AE Hewitt shop in red, left of the Post Office

News Articles

REFUSED TO REGISTER.
WOMAN SMARTLY FINED FOR TREATING MATTER AS JOKE.

At Croydon Police Court, to-day, Amelia Elizabeth Hewitt, draper, of Upper Mitcham. was summoned for refusing fill up her National Registration Form, and for refusing to attend before the local registration authorities. The defendant did not appear, and it was stated that she told the enumerator that the lost her form, but she would not register.

When warned of the penalty for failing to register, she made a flippant reply, when the summonses were served she put them in the letter box, and said:— “I should think my face would tell you how old I am.”

She was fined £2 on the first summons and £1 on the second summons, with £1 12s. 6d. costs, or the alternative of 21 days.

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post – Thursday 09 September 1915 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

WOMAN TURNS OUT POLICE

Order for Arrest of Draper Who Refused to Lower Lights. The Croydon magistrate yesterday ordered the arrest Amelia Hewitt, draper, of Upton Green, Mitcham, for failing to answer a summons for the excessive lighting of her shop. She declined to touch the lights complained of, and ordered the police officers out of her shop.

Source: Sunday Mirror – Sunday 02 April 1916 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required) NB: Upper Green incorrectly written as Upton Green in this article.

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

Robin Ltd., Incandescent Gas Mantle Makers, Lonesome

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

The company experienced a boom in its business of making and selling incandescent gas mantles during World War 1. Gas mantles, the part of a gas lamp that glows, were made from Thorium, which was extracted from sands mined in Brazil. Before the war, Germany was the only country that produced Thorium from these sands, as pointed out in a letter to the Daily Express. With the war, imports from Germany ceased, and Thorium had to be bought from the US.

Robin Ltd. stated in a military service tribunal of 11th August 1916 that:

owing to the import of German mantles being stopped since the war their business had increased enormously, and they now employed 500 hands.

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