Tag Archives: 1920

Small Dwellings Acquisitions Act

Extract from Urban District Councils: Their Constitution, Powers and Duties, 1920 available from the LSE digital library.

(xii) Small Dwellings Acquisitions Act, 1899.-

This Act, which, except in name, has nothing to do with the “housing question,”
was meant to facilitate the acquisition of ownership of small dwellings (formerly not exceeding £400 in value, but now, as amended by the Housing Act of 1919, £800) by the persons occupying them. For this purpose the Urban District Council is empowered to lend money to the occupier. In Districts with a population of less than 10,000, the sanction of the County Council is required, or of the Ministry of Health if the County Council refuses. The money lent must in any case be repaid within 60 years at most. A few Districts have made considerable use of this Act. Ilford especially claims to have helped a large number of residents to buy their houses.

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Unveiling of the Mitcham War Memorial

From the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 26th November, 1920

UNVEILING OF MITCHAM’S WAR MEMORIAL.

The war shrine, situated on the Lower Green, Mitcham, was unveiled last Sunday by Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G. (formerly commanding the 7th Division and 19th Corps, B.E.F.). The weather, although very cold, was fine, and about 5,000 people were present at the unveiling.

Alderman R. M. Chart (Chairman of the War Memorial Committee) said that this shrine was to commemorate the self-sacrifice of those who made the supreme sacrifice, and show our undying sorrow felt by those who have lost dear ones in the late war. Two years ago the war terminated, and in February, 1919, a committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds for the war shrine. There was some difficulty as to the most prominent place for the shrine, and on Peace Day, when the temporary memorial was put behind the Vestry Hall, it was proposed that that should be the site for the permanent one. It is also proposed now that a fencing should be placed round the shrine, but with facilities for the public to place flowers on it, which he (Mr. R. M. Chart) was sure they would do from time to time. He also said that every effort had been made to obtain the names of men who had been killed in action or died of wounds, and, at present, there were 557 names inscribed on the shrine, and since then more had come to hand, and would be inscribed in due course. The speaker then said it was his duty and pleasure to introduce Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., who had well served his country in the late war. He was commanding in the first and third Battle of Ypres.

Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., said, after what Mr. Chart had said, there was not much more to say, but there was one incident that he would like to remind them of, and that was the late Earl Kitchener’s appeal of “Your King and Country need you,” at the beginning of the war, in which all men flocked to enlist. “Why !” because they knew that they were going to fight for freedom and endure the hardships of war, which was a fine example of self-sacrifice and unselfishness. All honour was due to them who came forward at the country’s call. The men, women and children were also a great help, for, while we soldiers were fighting, those at home endured many hardships, but without murmuring. He then unveiled the memorial, and the “Last Post” was played by buglers of the East Surrey Regiment.

The hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee,” was sung, and then the invocation and prayers were said by Rev. C. A. Finch, the Vicar of Mitcham, after which Rev. J. F. Cowley, the the Zion Congregational Church, said a few words.

Rev. J. F. Cowley said that, in doing honour to those who laid down their lives for us, there should be no mistake, for if they had not done so, no English home would be intact and safe to-day, but the unspeakable happenings in Belgium would have happened in England, and, perhaps, have been even worse, because it was against England that the Germans were so bitter and revengeful. He said we should thank God and our fallen heroes for such a merciful deliverance, and also think God for such sons, fathers, brothers and sweethearts who so cheerfully laid down their lives to save us from shame and dishonour. They must not forget to honour and thank the mothers who gave the best, they had got; and in the future, when one was in despair, they should just go to the shrine and remember what, Englishmen could and did do for their country, because they thought that, if it was worth living for, it was worth dying for. Those present then proceeded to place their floral tributes on the shrine, during which Mr. Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional” was sung.

The Jubilee Lodge, R.A.O.B., sent a wreath in memory of fallen “Buffs.” Other lodges also sent wreaths.

The special constables were present under the command of Inspectors Webb and Freeman. Colonel Bidder, D.S.O., was present, and a detachment of ex-Service men lined up round the inside of the ropes. The music for the hymns was played by the Mitcham and Wimbledon Military Band, conducted by Mr. H. Salter.

Doctor Henry Love

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1857, he gained his Batchelor of Art and Batchelor of Medicine at Dublin University in 1878. He died in March 1934.

In the 1891 census, he is living in Mitcham with his wife Eliza Lea, who was also born in Dublin, at no. 3, Whitford Lane. Their eldest daughter, Eva Maud, aged 8, was born in Mitcham in 1883, so he would have moved from Ireland to Mitcham between 1878 and 1883.

In the 1885 Medical Directory his address is Ryde Cottage.

In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he is living at Elm Lodge. The electoral registers shows he was at Elm Lodge until 1923, when he moved to Avoca, until 1933. He was in hospital June 1933, and died the following year.

He contributed “Procidentia, complete Rupture of Cervix Uteri, occurring in Twin Labour,” to the Lancet, in 1882. In 1891 he wrote for the Lancet, “Rupture of the Uterus during Parturition”.

Merton Memories photo at the Woodlands Maternity Clinic in 1920.

News Articles

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 16th June 1933

DR. Henry LOVE

Satisfactory Progress
after operation

We are pleased to be able to state that Dr. Henry Love is making satisfactory progress in his serious illness. He is still a patient in Wilson Cottage Hospital, and the operation he has undergone has proved successful.

Dr. Love is 77 years of age, and everybody wishes him a speedy recovery and many more years of public service.


His death was reported in March 1934:

Believed to have been the oldest doctor in practice in Surrey, Dr. Henry Love, of Commonside, East Mitcham, has died, aged 77.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer – Saturday 17 March 1934 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Grand Parade, Streatham Road

1949 OS map and 1920 ads/1925 street directory

1949 OS map and 1920 ads, with 1925 street directory

Parade of shops on the east side of Streatham Road consisting of eleven shops between Caithness Road and Park Avenue, and four more from the southern corner of Park Avenue.

Mentioned in 1920 adverts as ‘Grand Parade’, the numbering was from north to south, 1 to 15, which was then numbered as 121 to 93 in the 1925 street directory. In the OS map of 1949, the numbers are 221 to 193, as they are in 2016.

This ad for J Brewer at number 217 shows that the final renumbering occurred between 1925 and 1938.

1938

1938

Merton Memories photo of 1930 shows the parade from corner of Caithness Road looking south.


Occupants from 1911 Commercial Directory

Number Occupier Trade
1 Percy Beard wine & spirit merchant
2 Thomas James Mills laundry
4 Jas. Benj. Austin grocer,& post office
5 Thomas George oil & color man
6 James Pigg dairy
9 Edward Huntley & Sons house & estate agents
10 Edward Arthur Jesson newsagent
12 Albert Keirle baker
13 Thomas George Humphrey Palmer ironmonger
14 Miss Babette Reiss confectioner

In the 1915 directory, Raoul Chabauty is listed as a draper at 11, Grand Parade, and in the 1925 director as draper at 101 Streatham Road. This implies that the first renumbering was between 1915 and 1925.

World War 1 Connections
Able Seaman Walter Thomas Edmonds

Private Peter F Lawton

From a postcard posted in December 1932. Note that all but two of the gables are left today.


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

1920 Refugees from Russia in Workhouse

79 YEARS IN RUSSIA.

England is Heaven.” Mrs Harkness, who has lived in Petrograd for 79 years and who left England at the age five, and is now in the Western Road Workhouse Infirmary, Mitcham, Surrey, considers that after Russia “England is just heaven.”

A old English lady with a high, intellectual forehead, hair of silvery hue, and twinkling brown eyes, Mrs Harkness looked very peaceful she lay in bed and discussed with a representative of “The Daily Mail” what she thought of England after her long life in Russia.

“Petrograd was a miserable state when left,” she said. “People were literally starving in the streets. We had to pay a fabulous sum even for 1lb. of potatoes. Now (oh, it is too wonderful!) I get as much as I want to eat and drink, even eggs and abundance of milk. The few people I have met have been exceedingly kind. In Russia there is

Neither Religion Nor Morality,

“I was a governess when Russia was happy home, but now it is all havoc and hunger and death. Petrograd when we left was city of desolation. People with money in their pockets could not buy provisions, and motor cars were openly stolen. Nearly all the shops were shut, and hunger was common complaint.

“Three of the doctors in our home at Petrograd died from lack of food. We were not allowed to bring any luggage, and the only books I have are my Bible and Prayer-Book. England has progressed wonderfully since my days. There were, of course, no aeroplanes then, no electric trains, and none of your modern wonders of civilisation. Paraffin lamps and sewing machines were thought to be quite up to date in my earlier days.”

Mrs Harkness is one of 56 Britons recently repatriated from Russia.

Source: Motherwell Times – Friday 20 August 1920 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1920 Fire Alarm System suggested by Chief Fire Officer

From the minutes of the
Fire Brigade, Lighting, Allotments and Recreation Committee
Tuesday, June 11th, 1920
pages 86 to 89

4. Chief Officer’s Report – The following report was submitted:-

                Central Fire Station
                     London Road
                     Mitcham
                     June 11th, 1920

Gentlemen –

I beg to present the following report for your consideration :-

FIRE ALARMS. – I would respectfully suggest that, before proceeding any further in the installation of additional fire alarms, the Chairman and several Members of the Committee avail themselves of the opportunity to inspect the system in operation in several adjoining districts, viz., Wimbledon, Merton, Epsom, Croydon, or Bromley. This system is the “Gamewell” system closed circuit.

All these districts give favourable reports of the efficiency of the systemn, and I have also had experience of the same installation at Bromley.

I have carefully studied the district as regards fire risks, and the most advantageous positions for fire alarms, and recommend that fire alarm boxes be placed at the following positions:-

To Ring into No. 1 Station

Church Road ………… At Lewis Road
Church Road ………… At Benedict Road*
Morden Road ………… At Hancock & Corfields*
London Road ………… At Streatham Road*
London Road ………… At St. Mark’s Road
London Road ………… At Tooting Junction
Streatham Road ……… Outside Pascall’s Factory*
Park Avenue
Western Road ………… Opposite Holborn Union
Links Road …………… At Corner of Frinton Road
Ashbourne Road …… At Corner of Heaton Road
Commonside East …… At Manor Road*
Lonesome ……………… At Greyhound Lane*

To Ring into No. 2 Station

High Street …………….. At Robinson Road
Devonshire Road ……… At junction of Robinson Road
Cavendish Road ………. At junction of Norfolk Road
Denison Road …………. Opposite Miller Road
Church Road ………….. At junction of Western Road

The advantages of this system are numerous. The cost is spread over a period of ten years, when the whole plant becomes the property of the Council.

The points marked with an asterisk are in the vicinity of factories, and auxiliary lines direct to the point from these factories could be suggested, the factories paying an annual rental, which would greatly reduce the cost of that particular point.

Accumulators for the lighting of motor tender and pump could be recharged by our own generator.

Electrical false alarms are impossible.

The whole system being in series, greatly reduces the mileage of external wiring,I have obtained an estimate for the installation of station plants and boxes for eighteen points, also for twelve points, which I attach for your consideration.


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.

Twin Towns

TWIN TOWNS.

Compliments Between Surrey and Australian Communities.

The most interesting incident in the Empire Day celebrations at Mitcham was the breaking of a large Australian flag presented to the Surrey town by Mitcham, Australia.

The ceremony took place at Lower Mitcham School in the presence of a crowd that included visitors from the Commonwealth township. Telegrams were exchanged between the two places. Mitcham, Australia, was settled near Melbourne by a Surrey Mitchamite, named Slater, 40 years ago, and is now a thriving fruit-growing centre.

In 1908 Mitcham, Surrey, presented its namesake with a Union Jack, a cricket bat, and a bunch of lavender.

Source: Dundee Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 25 May 1920 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)