Tag Archives: 1932

1911 : Memories of Mitcham by Ben Slater

Benjamin Slater wrote of his memories of Mitcham in 1911. The following was published in the October 1932 edition of the East Mitcham Ratepayers Association Magazine.

Some notes:
1. Major Moor refers to Moore as in Potter & Moore;
2. 10 acres is about half the size of the present day Figges Marsh;
3. Mr Aspery assumed to mean Mr Asprey;
4. The Tram line was the Surrey Iron Railway
———–
MEMORIES OF MITCHAM

By the Late BENJAMIN SLATER.
(Written in 1911. The Author’s vivid italics have been retained).

In the year 1848 the land now covered by the coal wharf and Harvey & Knight’s Floor Cloth factory in Morden Road, Mitcham, was a field of Liquorice which is grown for Its Root – which penetrates the earth to the depth of from 3 to 4 feet, and has to be trenched out of the ground by men to that depth. In the work of getting this crop out the men came across a large quantity of human bones – some of the skeletons were found in stone coffins – with them a long sword was found; a number of spears were also found, also silver and bronze coins; most of these the men kept – also some of the spears. There used to be a man come down each week and buy these of the men employed in the work – all the swords – and most of the spears were taken to Major Moor’s house at Fig’s Marsh, where he lived at Manor House by the Swan Hotel. The bones were taken to a barn which stood where John’s Place now stands called Angel’s Farm, and there taken care of until the work of trenching was over – and then carted back to the field and buried in a deep trench. There was also found several cups shaped like a beer glass with a foot to it, the lip was curved very much, it looked to be made of black mud with a greyish look about it; some of them got broken, but the men took them home. The teeth in the skulls were as perfect and bright as in life, there were several sets taken away by the men. I found a spear and a set of teeth myself some time after the work had been finished, but don’t know what became of them; the silver coins were about as large as a two shilling piece, but thin as wafer, but in good preservation; the bronze coins were similar in size to the silver ones.

At this time nearly all the land in Mitcham was cultivated in herbs; there were about fifty acres of liquorice grown in Mitcham by Major Moor and Mr James Arthur and one of two other growers; there were also about 100 acres of peppermint grown annually; this crop was distilled for its oil. The oil of peppermint is a very valuable oil, a certain cure for cholera gripes and pains in the stomach. It is very cleansing. I have many times when cutting the crop cut my finger badly, but took no notice of it; it would bleed freely at first but would soon stop, and in twenty-four hours it would be healed up. The mint after being stilled would be carted to a convenient place and put into a lump and mixed with stable manure and used for manuring the land, so you see everything was turned to account. There were also about 50 acres of camomiles grown annually in Mitcham; there were several farmers who grew this crop – there were Major Moor, Mr James Arthur, Mr Francis and William Newman, and a Mr Weston. The farm-house and homestead of Mr Weston stood where Mizen Bros. glass-houses stand now, opposite the Holborn Schools. I believe it was pulled down by Mizens, when they bought the land. The camomile crop was a very important crop, for it employed a very large number of people to gather the flowers; all the village used to turn out to gather the camomile flowers, in the camomile season, which began at the beginning of July and ended the end of August. The Schools used to close for the camomile season, which lasted two months. I have seen as many as 200 women and children in a 10 acre field, gathering of the flowers. They were paid a penny a pound for the gathering of the flowers. The villagers used to reckon on the money they earned in the camomile season to clothe their children, and pay the rent of their houses for the year.

The next important crop to this is Lavender – at least 50 acres of this crop was grown yearly; this was grown for distilling for its scent, it was not used for any other purpose. Then came the Rose – at least 20 acres of the old Cabbage or Provence rose were grown. These roses were grown and distilled for their scent and rose-water – rose-water is used for weak eyes very largely. Then came the damask rose – over 20 or 30 acres of this rose was grown and gathered in its bud; it was a pretty rose, deep crimson in colour – this was treated differently to the Cabbage rose. The petals of the flowers were pulled out of the cup they were set in, the cup thrown away and the petals dried in a stove; they were then ready for sale. Another crop largely grown in Mitcham was caraway; the seeds were distilled for its oil; it is also sold for making caraway cakes.

Next comes the Belladona, largely used for plasters for bad back. Several acres of this herb were grown. It is rather a pretty plant, the seed pods the shape of a hen’s egg, and as large, with spines all over it, growing about 18 inches high, forming a very pretty dark green bushy plant. Then we have the Henbane; this grows 2 feet high with large green leaves as big as your hand, and forms a large bushy plant. It has a flower like a tobacco plant; the seed pod is just like an acorn, set in a cup just the same. There were several acres of it grown. Now I come to the Marsh Malop; this grew about four feet high bearing a mass of convolulus-like flowers, a very pretty plant grown for its root and top both, used chiefly for poultices for bad legs and bruises, etc. Several acres of this herb were grown.

Then there was the Rosemary; this a herb that would be found in every cottage garden, a pretty shrubby plant very much like lavender. This boiled in water and then strained off and left till cool makes a splendid hairwash, clearing away all scurf and relieving the head very much. Then comes the Saffron; this plant is poison, it grows very much like the shrub Cedar of Lebanon, growing about a foot high. This was not grown extensively, being a rather dangerous plant. Then we have the Pennyroyal, a herb growing close to the ground like horehound – there was an acre or two of this grown; and then we come to the Horehound. This was largely grown; this and liquorice boiled together and the liquor drank, is a sure cure for colds, coughs, asthma, and Bronchitis. Then we have the Feverfew; this is used in cases of fever, as the name implies where this is grown few fevers are. Then comes the wormwood. This was largely grown; it is a terrible strong bitter. It was at one time much used in Brewing in place of hops, its use is forbidden now; it grew about 3 feet high; it is so bitter that if you put a piece in your mouth you would shudder from head to foot. Then there was the Rue – this is used for Rue gin, and for croup among fowls and in many other ways. Then there is the Lavender Cotton – a pretty little white green foliage plant with the appearance of lavender, very poisonous. Then there is the loveage. The root of this plant is very much like celery and smells like it. Then comes the Angelica; this is a plant similar to Loveage. Then there was the Squirting Cucumber, a plant like the melon in its foliage growing close to the ground, bearing little white green cucumbers about as large as your thumb; this plant had to be handled by a man who was thoroughly acquainted with its nature. It was so very dangerous the man had to have his mouth and nose covered when working gathering the fruit; these had to be grown in an isolated place where no one would be likely to interfere with them; it would not be safe to grow them in Mitcham now. Then comes the Poppy; two or three acres of these were grown. They were sown in early Spring broadcast and thinned out to about six inches apart; they grew about 5 or 6 feet high, bearing large heads as large as your fist – their stalks were thick and strong, standing on the ground until they were quite dry, then they were gathered and stored for sale. Now comes the Monkshood Aconite, a very deadly poisonous plant, grown for its root and top both. Next comes the Tansey; this herb would be found in most cottage gardens, (they called it the ginger plant) growing two feet high with a fernlike foliage and a yellow flower, it smelt like ginger. I have seen all these herbs grown in Mitcham, and have had a hand in their cultivation. Years back there used to be an old woman live in Mitcham who got her living by gathering wild herbs. I will give you the names of some of the herbs she gathered:

1. The Coltsfoot
2. Devils’ Bit
3. Yerrow
4. Thyme
5. Orris, his smelt like stinking fish
6. Biteny
7. Egremony
8. Red Poppy flowers
9. Yellow Bay
10. Adder’s Spear
11. Dandelion
12. Ground Ivy
13. Calendine

These are only a few of them.

I will now point out one or two of the Big Farms; first of all Major Moor’s Farm on Fig’s Marsh, a very large farm, several hundred acres, employing a great number of hands both men and women. Three-fourths of this Farm was cultivated in Herbs; there was a large distillery adjoining the farm house containing 5 large stills for distilling the herbs. After the Major died, his son James Bridger, carried on the Farm until his death, then it was broken up, and the property sold. There was a building stood in the Farm yard used as an office and store house with a Tower with a clock in it; this clock chimed the quarters and struck the hour. When the Vestry hall was built the bells of this Clock were given to the Vestry hall and are now doing duty there. Major Moor in his day was a man of great authority; his word was law, he was lord of the manor and after him his son, Mr. James Bridger.

Mr James Arthur’s Farm comes next in importance. This Farm is at the top of the Common, now Mr. Daniel Watney’s. This was a very large farm employing a great number of men and women. Nothing but herbs was grown on this Farm. The distillery belonging to this farm is still standing in the Croydon Road, now belonging to a French firm named Jakeson. This farm extended on the Croydon side as far as Thornton Heath and Waddon, and on the Mitcham side as far a Nelson’s Fields, Merton, and Pudding Fields as far as Ravensbury, Morden.

There were several farmers who kept cows. John Bunce, Market Gardener, of Swanes Lane, Fig’s Marsh, kept about a dozen; having no grass land these were grazed on Fig’s Marsh. Then there was Mr. Weston; about the same number from this farm was grazed on Fig’s Marsh; they had boys to see that the cows did not stray into the Fields. There were 5 or 6 cow keepers on the east and west side of the Common who between then kept over 50 cows – these cow-keepers had no land, their cows were grazed on the Common, with boys to look after them. At this time there were no railways across the Common, so they had plenty of space to roam over. I have seen in the hot weather in Summer when flies used to bite them 7 or 8 cows come running off the Common with their tails stuck up in the air and run into the Three King’s Pond half over their bodies in water and stop there switching their tails until the flies had gone before they left the water; no one interfered with them unless they strayed in to the fields. If they did that they were taken to the pound and their owners charged with the damage they had done.

I will now tell you about some of our old Factories. In the year 1830 the Woodite factory that is now on the east side of the Common was then the Mitcham Workhouse, or should I say Poorhouse. After a time the poor were transferred to Dupper’s Hill, Croydon; then the old Mitcham poorhouse was used as a match factory. The first matches ever made were made at this Factory; they were 3 or 4 inches long and as much wood in one as there is in 7 or 8 now made. Theepence a box was charged for them, not more than 3 or 4 dozen matches in a Box. After a time it was changed into a rubber Factory, where the Atlantic Cable was made; while the cable was being made there were several hundred hands employed, which lasted several years; then it was used for making Rubber Tyres for carriages, bikes, motor cars, etc. A part of it is used for that purpose now, the other part is used as a margaine factory. Now I come to the silk printing. There was a large factory at Beddington Corner, on the opposite side of the River to Macraye’s Skin mills. Sample silk printing was done here on a large scaled employing a good many hands. Next I come to the Ravensbury Factory, this was noted for calico printing also silk printing, and the noted Paisley shawls were made and printed here to a large extent. There were a great number of hands employed here both men and women, French, Scottish and English. This factory stood at the back of Rutter’s Tobacco factory, but has been closed some years. Next to this was a silk printing factory at Phipps Bridge belonging to a Mr Aspery, and adjoining this was a large Stocking Factory employing a large number of hands, mostly women; this was burned down and never rebuilt. Next I come to Litler’s silk printing Factory, close to Merton Abbey; this Factory is still working, I think it is the only one left that carries on the work in Mitcham now.

I will tell you now what Mitcham Fair was like 50 years ago. The chief attraction at this time was the dancing Booths. There were three very large booths which stood side by side, each about 20 feet wide and about 30 yards long. Down the middle of these were laid boards to dance on, and on each side there were tables and seats where people could sit and have Refreshments. The dancing commenced at 6 in the evening and lasted until 11, closing time. You paid 3d. for a dance, or you could dance the whole evening by paying a shilling. This used to be jolly fun – plenty of Toe Treading and occasionally naughty words but it was all fair at fair time; the Booths were always full from the time they opened until they closed. There was a Refreshment Bar at the entrance of each Booth where you could ham and beef or bread and cheese and draught or bottled beers. There were oyster stalls around the Fair in every crook and corner where cartloads of oysters were sold during the Fair. Mitcham Fair was called the Oyster Fair; you could get a dozen natives of the best quality for three pence; people used to have a feast at these stalls themselves, and then take some home as a fairing for those at home. There was also pickled salmon sold at these stalls. It was in small tubs called kits, made like a butcher’s pickling tub, wider at the Bottom than at the Top; it was in slices weighing a pound each. A Tub held 12 lbs. And was sold at a shilling a pound; it was pickled in vinegar. People used to go in for this freely. After the Fair was over the lord of the manor sent his carts to clear the oyster shells away; they were carried on to the land as manure.

The gingerbread nut was a favourite among the fair goers; the stalls did big business in this line. You had not been to the Fair unless you took home some gingerbread nuts. You were charged a shilling a pound for these. There were not many Shows; one Circus, where you would see horse riding, tight-rope dancing, tumbling and juggling; there was one Theatre, where you would see Maria Martin in the Red Barn performed; and two or three penny shows, showing white mice and a tame rat and snake in a box, etc. In another a big fat woman and Tom Thumb and his wife another a fire eater and a performing pony who went round the audience and picked out the boy who ate his mother’s sugar, and the girl who put her fingers in the treacle pot, etc. Cheap Jack did a good business always, also the man who sold crackers and penny scratchers, a toy they drew down your back.

On Easter Monday there used to be plenty of sport – greasy pole climbing, hurdle jumping, walking and running matches, bobbing for rolls and treacle, dipping for oranges, dabchick hunting in the Three King’s Pond – this was fine sport. They put the dabchick in the water and then sent dogs in after it, but I never saw a dog catch the Bird. As soon as the dogs got within a few yards of the bird it would disappear under the water and come up some distance off; they would keep going for it until they had to give up and poor dabchick was at rest. They also had grinning through the Horse Collar – this caused plenty of laughter; also donkey jumping in sacks, &c.

On Whit Mondays the Benefit Societies of the parish used to meet for their annual dinners and march around the village with Band and Banners, which brought out all the folks of the village. After all this performance they would sit down to dinner; after dinner was over there was a dance which lasted all night.

On the First of May the Butchers with marrow Bones and Cleavers, and Chimney sweeps with a Jack in the Green would go round the village – the sweeps knocked their brushes on their shovels, and the Butchers knocked their marrow bones on their cleavers, there were two flute players as well, which made up the Band. They paid all the nobility of the place a visit, and collared a good sum of money.

In the year 1840 there was a Tram line running from Wandsworth to Croydon, also a branch line to Beddington Corner, Hackbridge, Carshalton, and I don’t know know how far it went beyond this. It was used for bringing coals from Wandsworth to all the villages on its route. The coal sheds for Mitcham were at the old Mitcham Railway Station as it is now; the line ran on the same ground from Croydon as the present railway runs on now as far as the coal wharf; then it ran in a straight line across to Mitcham Church and on to Merton Pickle and on to Wandsworth. The line was not laid on wooden sleepers but in square blocks of stone a foot square and let in the ground, the upper part a few inches above the ground; the rails were fixed to these by iron spikes. The rails were grooved just the same as the present tram rails are. The trucks used for carrying the coal were drawn by horses. This line was done away with in the year 1844. At this time the road from the church to Merton was a lane with a hedge on both sides, just wide enough for one cart to go down, and was used for getting to and from the land; there was no footways, you had to walk between the ruts where the horses walked, if you went that way. Since that time Mitcham has changed very much, the herbs that were grown then have given place to flowers and vegetables, and miles of glass. If Mizen’s glass houses were placed end to end they would reach miles.

———–

1932 Lighting of Colliers Wood High Street

In 1932, Colliers wood was part of the Mitcham Urban District.

1934 OS Map - the boundary with Wandsworth Borough was just north of the bridge over the railway line, south of the junction with Blackshaw Road and Longley Road

1934 OS Map – the boundary with Wandsworth Borough was just north of the bridge over the railway line, south of the junction with Blackshaw Road and Longley Road

The council’s surveyor reported that the Gas Company’s chief engineer proposed using reflectors to increase the light from the ‘Windsor’ gas lamps in use, and that Windmill Road was to be used for a test. This road, across Mitcham Common, had no housing and without any lighting nearby would be a good way of assessing the effectiveness of this proposal.

For more on the Windsor type of gas lamps, see the William Sugg & Co. History website.

From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council
Volume XVII 1931 to 1932
Highways Committee
4th February, 1932
Pages 647 to 648

STREET LIGHTING, WINDMILL ROAD

The Chief Engineer to the Gas Company has now evolved a system of reflectors suitable to Windsor type lanterns, and is willing to demonstrate them free of charge in Windmill Road, and I have given him authority to carry out this improvement on the understanding that should they not prove satisfactory there will be no charge. The reflectors have now been fixed in position, but I have not yet had an opportunity of inspecting them at night, and will make a further report to the Committee next month.

The cost of fitting these reflectors on the six lamps is 24s., and the cost of conversion to double burners 12s., with an extra maintenance cost of £10 2s.

HIGH STREET, COLLIER’S WOOD.

The length of High Street, Collier’s Wood, is 970 yards, and is lighted by means of three-burner Windsor type lamps, eight of which are on the west side and twelve on the east side. The maximum distance apart is between the lamp at the corner of Cavendish Road to that opposite North Gardens, a distance of 80 yards; whilst the
minimum distance is 30 yards, this being the distance between the same lamp at the corner of Cavendish Road and that at the corner of Byegrove Road.

The length of the road in the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, immediately adjoining the district boundary, is lighted by means of six-burner lamps fitted with reflectors, and is very well illuminated at this point, due, firstly, to the extra lamps being installed on the tramway refuge by Longley Road, and, secondly, to the close spacing and high power of the lamps, the maximum distance apart being 38 yards. In a length of 125 yards from the district boundary, there are 7 six-burner lamps. I suggest that alterations take place on the Mitcham side in order to tone the lighting down gradually. I propose that the second lamp be resited and converted to six-burner at a distance of 50 yards from the first lamp in Wandsworth, and the remaining lighting on the bridge approach would then be adequate.

In my previous report I proposed that a three-burner lamp be fixed to replace an obsolete type lamp opposite No. 216, and on further inspection, late one Sunday night, I suggest two additional lamps be erected, one midway between North Gardens and Cavendish Road, and one between College and University Roads on the east side. When these lamps are fixed I think the road will be reasonably well lighted.

I have prepared a plan and estimate of the cost of lighting the road in the same manner as the recently relighted Tooting High Street, where each lamp is fitted with six burners at a maximum distance apart of 50 yards. The capital cost of this scheme would amount to £230 and the extra annual maintenance cost would be £150. I cannot see that this expenditure is justifiable in any way.

If the reflectors on the lamps in Windmill Road prove satisfactory they could be fixed with advantage to the lamps in High Street, Collier’s Wood.

Yours obediently,
RILEY SCHOFIELD, Assoc. M.Inst.C.E.,
engineer and Surveyor.

Resolved

(d) Lighting of Windmill Road. – That the Committee consider this question at the next meeting, when an opportunity has been given to the members to observe the effect of the new system of reflectors.

(e) Lighting, Collier’s Wood. – That the Surveyor be authorised to replace the obsolete type of lamp opposite No. 216 with a new three-burner lamp, and that two additional lamps suggested by the Surveyor be also provided, and that if the reflectors prove satisfactory in Windmill Road this system is adopted in High Street, Collier’s wood.


Inflation adjusted costs:

1932 2016
12s. £37
24s. £74
£10 2s. £620
£150 £9,200
£230 £14,000

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.

Manship Road

Built around 1931 by Isaac Wilson, consisting of 46 houses on its east side only, facing the Figges Marsh. The name was suggested by Wilson, see council minutes below, presumably a reference to John Manship, who had bought the manor of Biggin and Tamworth in around 1744.


From the minutes of the Mitcham Urban District council
Volume XVII May 1931 to April 1932
Highways Committee
4th February 1932
Page 653

It was Resolved, That the name of Manship Road submitted by Mr. I.H. Wilson for the new road on the Gorringe Park Estate be approved.


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.

Dyne’s

Cycle shop in Buck’s Head Parade, from 1932 to 1968, which previously had been occupied by W.H. Jenner.

8th July 1954 ad

8th July 1954 ad

A comment on the Facebook Mitcham History group :

I worked at Dynes in 67. Mr Dyne used to have two shops, one in Battersea. After he died in 66 the Battersea shop was sold off… The Chinese moved in, in 68.

Chinese fast food shop Cheun Hong, can be seen in this 1987 photo on Merton Memories.

A 1959 photo on Merton Memories shows the advertising for Dyne’s on the north wall of Buck’s Head Parade. The words ‘Moped Service’ have been preserved as a ‘ghost sign’ with the mural of 2016.

2016 Ghost Sign

2016 Ghost Sign


Photo taken 16th June, 2016

Photo taken 16th June, 2016

An ad from the East Mitcham Ratepayers Association magazine, dated October 1932, said that “Dyne’s of Clapham Junction” had acquired the business of the late W. H. Jenner.

October 1932

October 1932

News for Mitcham!
DYNE’S
(of Clapham Junction) have acquired the business at 213 LONDON ROAD (Late W. H. Jenner)

Stock Includes

RUDGE AND RALEIGH
CYCLES

from 2/3 weekly

RADIO, GRAMOPHONES AND RECORDS

MOTOR CYCLE AND CYCLE REPAIRS

Official Rudge Sales and Service Depot

ACCUMULATORS CHARGED

Open Sundays Phone—MIT 2435

Notes

1. W.H. Jenner was listed in the 1925 street directory at number 5, Buck’s Head Parade.

2. A. & C. Jenner was listed at 5 Buck’s Head Parade in council minutes of 1916 for petroleum licences.

3. “2/3” meant 2 shillings and 3 pence. Decimalised, this is about 11p, and, adjusting for inflation, is equivalent to £7 in 2016.


A photo of a record from the C.P. Dyne shop in Battersea, from Facebook:
CP Dyne Record without name

Ad from 1914 for W. H. Jenner

1914

1914

Rowan Terrace

Rowan Terrace was a row of 8 cottages near Homewood Road, that were demolished in the 1930s.

The 1925 street directory gives details of how to find this terrace.

from 71 Church Road to Belgrave Road
South Side
Hawthorn Cottages: no.s 5,6,7,8
… here is Century Road
North Side
no.s 4,3,2,1
Benedict Terrace: no.s 1,2,3,4,5,6
… here is Rowan Terrace
… here is Homewood Road

This 1952 OS map gives us house numbers, so the Post Office is number 71 (deduced from adjacent number 73).

A photo of this post office, from Facebook, confirms number 71 as a post office.
71 Church Road

The alley at the side of the post office was known as Jessop’s Alley, later Adams or Adams’s Alley after the Adams family that ran the post office. ‘Adams Grocers’ can be seen on this photo.

As Rowan Terrace is described in the street directory as being between Benedict Terrace and Homewood Road, this 1932 OS map shows a row of 8 buildings between the back gardens of Homewood Road and a footpath (marked as F.P. on the map).

1932 OS map

1932 OS map

The 1934 Health Report identified this terrace as a clearance area. It says there were 8 cottages, which is the same number as seen on the 1932 map.

CLEARANCE AREA NO. 7.

Eight cottages known as 103, 105, 107, 109, 111, 113, 115, 117 Rowan Terrace. An objection having been made to this Order a local inquiry was held on April 24, 1934. The Order was confirmed.

Source: Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Mitcham, Wellcome Trust, page 33


Garages were built on the site of Rowan Terrace. These can be seen in this aerial photo from 1937
1937

1937

Events of 1932

From the Mitcham News & Mercury of 6th January 1933

It can be safely said of Mitcham, as of the majority of other places, that few regretted the passing of 1932, with its times of severe depression, but that everyone is looking forward confidence to enjoying better times in 1933. An important event early in the year was the decision of the Council for a petition for the incorporation of Mitcham as a borough. During the year Mitcham Common Conservators sanctioned public golf on the Common, and decided not to allow Sunday football. A new Rotary club for Mitcham was inaugurated in February, and in April Mr Joseph Owen gave £4,025, in addition to the site, for a public library. In November the new super-swimming baths were opened. The wedding of Mr Isaac Wilson, J.P., to Miss Elsie Evans, former matron of Wilson Hospital took place in October. The death-roll included Dr A.W. Harrison, Mrs S.J. Mount, the Rev. Alfred Grove, curate of the Parish Church, and Mrs Roberts, wife of the Rev. W.K.Roberts, vicar of St. Marks Church.

January

2 Frederick Thomas Mansfield (18) of Homewood Road, Mitcham, electrocuted at butcher’s shop in Church Road

12 Mitcham Council decide on petition for incorporation

15 Death of Mrs Florence Edith Trevelyan Juster, wife of Mr John Juster, undertaker, High Street, Colliers Wood, aged 59

18 Funeral of Mr Walker T. Davis, of Penge Road, South Norwood, an old-time Mitcham cricketer.

18 Death of Dr. Arthur William Harrison, of Park Road, Colliers Wood, aged 64

28 Mr and Mrs William White, of 144, High Street, Colliers Wood, golden wedding

February

7 Death of Mrs Mary Florence Downing, wife of Mr H. P. Burke Downing, a distinguished church organist of Colliers Wood

15 Death of Mrs Sarah Jane Mount, wife of Mr Harry Mount, J.P., of Church Road, Mitcham, aged 67

15 Inauguration of new Rotary Club for Mitcham

19 Death of Mr B C Moore (18) of Tynemouth Road, Mitcham, a promising footballer and cricketer

24 Death of the Rev. Alfred Grove, curate of the Mitcham Parish Church; aged 40

March

5 Funeral of Mr L. White, for 29 years chief sanitary inspector at Mitcham

29 Mitcham and Tooting Football Clubs amalgamate

April

15 Robbery of £660 from workmen’s hut at Figges Marsh

18 Death of Mr W R Boon, of Tamworth Park, aged 96

26 Mr Joseph Owen’s munificent gift of £4,025 towards Public Library, including site

26 Election of Mr W Carlton, J.P., chairman of Mitcham Council

May

3 Public golf course on Mitcham Common sanctioned by Conservators

June

1 Mitcham New Congregational Church in London Road, dedicated and opened

5 Mr Stanley G Barrows (31), an auxiliary fireman, found gassed at Edmund Road, Mitcham

6 Mr Ernest Burnell (52), of Prussia Place, Nursery Road, Mitcham, found hanging

18 Foundation stone laid of headquarters of 10th Mitcham (Christchurch) Scout Group, by Sir T. Cato Worsfold

22 Death of Mrs Jane Theresa Lewington, of the Catholic Presbytery, London Road

July

3 Mitcham Catholic’s procession

6 Record show at Mitcham Floral and Horticultural Society

13 Mrs Miriam Victoria Moore, aged 35, and her daughter, Denise Olive Moore, aged six, found gassed at Caesar’s Walk, Mitcham

18 New police boxes opened

26 Councillor S.L. Gaston created a Justice of the Peace

August

8 Mrs Sophie Garrett, aged 62, found murdered at Love Lane, Mitcham. Her husband, John William Garrett, aged 56, afterwards found guilty but insane

14 Marriage of two dwarfs at St Barnabas Church. Miss Dorothy Kathleen Griffiths, of Thirsk Road, Tooting Junction, 3ft. 10ins., and Vivian Pascoe, of Hammersmith, 4ft.

18 Mr and Mrs F. Jones, of Melrose Avenue, diamond wedding

18 Death of Mr George reynolds, an old showman at Mitcham Fair; aged 79

30 Destructive fire at Hill Farm, Bishopsford Road

September

18 Fire at Grosvenor Model Laundry, Colliers Wood, damage estimated at £1,200

October

4 Farewell and presentation to Mr F.C. Stone, head master of Lower Mitcham Boys’ School

November

2 No Sunday football on Mitcham Common decision by Conservators

12 Death of Mrs Roberts, wife of the Rev W. K. Roberts, vicar of St. Marks Church, Mitcham

28 Opening of Mitcham’s new super-swimming baths and dance hall

December

5 Mr and Mrs Isaac H. Wilson entertain Rotary Club of Mitcham

7 Opening of Shaftesbury Society’s meeting place in Gladstone Road, Mitcham

16 “Mercury’s” exclusive announcement of Mitcham’s first cinema, the Majestic

18 Mr and Mrs R. J. E. Wiss, of 89 Caithness Road, Mitcham, diamond wedding

22 Destructive fire at Bond Road, six cottages involved

23 Mr and Mrs A. E. Knight, of 339 Church Road, golden wedding

23 Mr Ronald Arthur Keeble (20), fell 80ft. to death from dome of Eyre Smelting Works, Colliers Wood

Swimming Baths

Built on the site of George Shepherd & Son, coach builders.

Mitcham Baths edited

Possibly 1970s

1932 Baths Hall

1932 Baths Hall

1932 swimming pool

1932 swimming pool

From the 1932 Medical Officer of Health Report for Mitcham, from the Wellcome Trust

SWIMMING BATH.

The new Swimming Bath was opened by the Chairman of the Council on November 28th, 1932.

The Surveyor has kindly supplied the following data :—

Construction was commenced in June, 1931, and was carried out as an unemployment relief scheme.

The building is used as a public hall in the winter months, with movable stage and dance floor over the swimming pool.

The swimming pool, 100 ft. by 36 ft., has a depth of water varying from 3 ft. to 8 ft. 6 in., with a diving area 20 ft. long.

The floor of the pool is covered with terrazzo and the sides lined with white glazed interlocking bricks.

The dressing rooms are between the entrance hall and bath hall, with showers and foot baths adjacent, ensuring that bathers use the shower and foot baths before entering the pool.

The filtration plant comprising three vertical pressure filters, giving a maximum rate of 200 gallons per square foot per hour and capable of filtering the whole of the 126,000 gallons in four hours. Aeration is carried out both before and after filtration. Chlorination is by the automatic liquid gas type to Ministry of Health recommendations of 0.2 to 0.5 parts per 1,000,000.

Washing accommodation comprises :—

Eight slipper baths and one spray bath for men.
Six slipper baths and one spray bath for women.
Space has been allowed for future extensions.

The cost, exclusive of the land and furnishing, was £27,350.


1952

1952


List of Newspaper Stories

Date Headline Newspaper Page
22/07/1933 A tour of inspection by Labour Party Members Mitcham and Morden Guardian 7
29/07/1933 The success of the new Baths Mitcham and Morden Guardian 5
30/09/1933 Baths Committee’s scheme for another Bath Mitcham and Morden Guardian 3
02/12/1933 All-in wrestling banned Mitcham and Morden Guardian 7
03/12/1937 Indoor bowling rink opened Mitcham News and Mercury 1
03/12/1937 Indoor bowls for Mitcham Mitcham News and Mercury 3
18/05/1939 Foam baths for Mitcham Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 14
05/01/1951 New cycle parking blocks Mitcham and Morden Guardian 1
12/04/1951 Foam baths re-opened Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
28/05/1953 Slot machines for hair drying Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 5
02/07/1953 Record for Baths Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
08/04/1954 Preparation for swimming season Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
06/10/1955 Boom year at Mitcham Baths Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 3
06/10/1955 Proposal re longer hours Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
26/04/1956 Two enthusiasts celebrate Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
27/04/1956 First dips of the season Mitcham News and Mercury 8
03/05/1956 Baths Hall bookings hit by T.V.? Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 10
04/05/1956 Few people hire Baths Hall Mitcham News and Mercury 9
21/06/1956 Too wet to go to the Baths? Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 20
07/12/1956 Local bathers toughening up Mitcham and Morden Guardian 7
07/12/1956 Swimmers getting tough Mitcham News and Mercury 9
15/03/1957 A risky plunge at the Baths Mitcham News and Mercury 1
05/07/1957 Record attendance Mitcham News and Mercury 1
02/08/1957 No chance for a high diver Mitcham News and Mercury 1
29/05/1958 Clubs denied swim? Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
10/10/1958 Baths get a £1,000 facelift Mitcham News and Mercury 9
15/10/1959 Baths record Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 2
22/10/1959 Special bus to Baths too expensive Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
09/12/1960 Poor swim season – weather blamed Mitcham News and Mercury 7
23/02/1961 New Baths Chief Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
24/02/1961 Baths Superintendent is retiring in May Mitcham News and Mercury 8
02/03/1961 No house for Baths official Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
30/03/1961 Baths schedule in hot water Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
21/04/1961 Mitcham Baths Superintendent Mitcham and Morden Guardian 1
03/08/1961 Eskimo rolling in Baths Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 8
25/01/1962 £9000 plan to re-equip Baths in three years Mitcham News and Mercury 9
02/11/1962 Council to revise their charges Mitcham News and Mercury 1
24/01/1963 £9000 plan to re-equip Baths in three years Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
27/02/1963 Swimming pool for estate Mitcham News and Mercury 9
02/01/1964 A second pool for Borough? Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
14/01/1964 Estate to plead for pool Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
29/05/1964 Swimming baths? Lets build them Mitcham News and Mercury 11
27/11/1964 Swim pool – no move yet Mitcham News and Mercury 1
24/12/1964 £350000 for new swim pool Mitcham News and Mercury 1
24/12/1964 New pool would cost £350000 Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
31/12/1964 Negative attitude to swimming pool Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
19/02/1965 Scheme for Mitcham winter swimming pool Mitcham and Morden Guardian 5
19/02/1965 Tenants ask for swim pool Mitcham News and Mercury 1
30/07/1965 Conditions at Mitcham criticised Mitcham News and Mercury 1
09/09/1965 Loan needed Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 1
17/09/1965 New boiler for Mitcham Baths Mitcham and Morden Guardian 6
24/09/1965 Investigation team clears the Baths Manager Mitcham News and Mercury 1
20/12/1968 New boiler for Mitcham Baths Mitcham News and Mercury 11
12/12/1969 Swim to cost 25 per cent more Mitcham News and Mercury 13
18/12/1970 Archery at the Baths Mitcham News and Mercury 1
11/04/1974 Mayor to open new Training Pool Mitcham News and Mercury 1
08/08/1975 Taking the plunge as heatwave soars Mitcham News and Mercury 11
09/07/1976 Quick dips only at the Baths Mitcham News and Mercury 2
20/01/1978 Neighbours slam new pool nuisance fears Mitcham News and Mercury 49
27/01/1978 Longer dips in pools bathers told Mitcham News and Mercury 51
03/02/1978 Chlorine firm blacklists Merton Swimming Baths Mitcham News and Mercury 5
06/06/1980 Baths will close Mitcham News and Mercury 1
13/06/1980 New pool planned Mitcham News and Mercury 1
18/07/1980 Residents say no to new swimming pool Mitcham News and Mercury 3
30/10/1980 Petition to save swimming pool Mitcham News and Mercury 64
13/02/1981 Baths will close Mitcham News and Mercury 5