Tag Archives: 1938

1938 : Memories of Mitcham Green

By E.A.C. Thomson, founder and secretary of The Club Cricket Conference, editor of “The Hockey World” and Co-Founder of The National Playing Fields Association.

From the 1938 Mitcham Cricket Club yearbook.

Born at Woodford in Essex, my parents moved to Mitcham when I was five years old. My father, a keen sportsman, played cricket and rugger in his younger days and was a member of the Mitcham C.C. My family had no relationship with the late W. W. Thomson, so long connected with Mitcham during and after my boyhood days.

As a schoolboy at the Mitcham Grammar School (the headmaster of which was Dr. Smith, M.A.), we used to arrange occasional school matches on Mitcham Green. To we schoolboys this was a tremendous honour, because we knew that we were playing on a part of the ancient cricket turf trod by so many famous and historical cricket figures of the past.

I remember the team when they had T. P. Harvey, Joe and Jim Caffrey, Joe Knight, A. Ferrier Clark. T. J. Barber, S. Hooper (who stood about 6ft. 6 inches and was a slow bowler), Rutter, Southerton, Jnr., etc. In my school days it was a common spectacle to see from 2,000 to 3,000 people congregated around the Green watching an important match. On the far side, grooms were in charge of the saddle-horses by the dozen, there were carriages and pairs, dog carts, broughams and other vehicles common to those days.

I remember one prolonged stand made by T. P. Harvey and W. W. Thompson. If memory does not play me false, they put on over 200 for the first wicket, but even in those days there were boundaries arranged. W. W. Thomson was captain of the Mitcham C.C. before T. P. Harvey. The latter was, in my opinion, one of the finest all round amateur cricketers that I have ever met. In later years I had the pleasure of playing against T. P. Harvey and Mitcham on several occasions. I often wonder whether his batting and bowling figures year by year have been preserved. One usually knew when he was in for a long score. After lie had got his eye well in, he would turn the peak of his cap round to the back of his head and settle down. In other words, he would just dig in, and then he took a lot of digging out.

J. Southerton used to bowl against the older cricketing boys at the nets on Mitcham Green and gave them sound coaching instruction. Not only did Southerton do this, but if there were any promising boy cricketers, they were put in the nets and sure of getting efficient coaching and instruction. That is one reason why young Mitcham cricketers in those days were so numerous.

There was real sorrow in the village when Jim Southerton died. He was Mine Host of The Cricketers’ Inn. Mitcham cricketers and visitors for untold years used to dress, meet and join in convivial company during and after the match. It was a walking funeral which took place from ‘The Cricketers’ Inn; that is to say, the coffin was carried from the Inn to Mitcham Churchyard.

The funeral procession must have been at least a quarter of a mile in length. We schoolboy cricketers, who knew and respected Southerton, took up the immediate rear and walked behind the cortege to the churchyard where we saw Southerton laid to his final rest.

While my father and I were watching a match on the Green one Saturday afternoon, he talked to an old villager who was nearer 90 than 80. He said that his own grandfather had told him he remembered seeing an old print of a cricket match with the inscription underneath “Crickette on Olde Meccham Green.” It was dated 1685. He said that this print was hanging on one of the walls inside a room in one of the cottages surrounding the Green. Alas! it has now disappeared.

Another of my happiest boyhood recollections was at the age of nine, not yet breeched, being visited at my home by Ebbutt, the captain of the Mitcham II eleven. He said to me “Youngster, I want you to play for me to-day.” I could hardly believe the great news. I found our opponents were Sutton II.

Of course, I was put in last, but the game, when I went in, was at a most interesting stage. Mitcham II required 2 runs to win with the last wicket to fall. I remember the Sutton captain emphasising very strongly to the captain of Mitcham in something like these words, “Whatever did you need to put such a kid in your side for? We cannot bowl overarm to him and shall just have to lob.”

At all events, my partner hit the ball, and called me for a quick run. I promptly raced to the other end of the wicket. The match was a tie. A Sutton bowler, who had been bowling overarm, then sent me down a lob which I played; a second lob I also played. The third lob, a little over pitched, I hit for one, ran hard and got the winning run.

My father knew F. Gale, known all over the cricket world as “The Old Buffer.” He wrote two or three books on the game, including a most interesting one on Mitcham cricket. I used to have this book in my library, but for several years now it has been missing.

“The Old Buffer’s” tales of Mitcham cricket were most entertaining and interesting. He was a faithful and constant supporter of the Mitcham club. Whenever Mitcham had an important game, whether a Saturday or mid-week. “The Old Buffer” would usually be found sitting on a seat and enjoying every moment of the play.

It was on Mitcham Green that I saw my first hockey match when Mitcham played Teddington. Many of the active Mitcham cricketers in the winter played occasional hockey matches on the Green to keep themselves fit. Among the Mitcham cricketers of those days who played hockey were Tom Harvey, Lionel Upton, A. F. Clark, Skelton, Abrahams, Hooper and others. As a matter of fact, the Mitcham hockey club consisted practically of Mitcham cricketers. It existed from about 1879 or 1880, but alter a few years, it became defunct.

Talking of hockey, it may not be well-known that T. P. Harvey was a good hockey player. He played in the first South trial team v. the North at Queen’s Club, Kensington, in 1890 and was one of the two centre-forwards. Further-more, in the first hockey international between England and Ireland at Richmond, March, 1895, Tom Harvey was one of the two umpires, who took charge of the match, He was a most enthusiastic hockey player, and did a lot for the game in its earliest stages. Tom Harvey, personally, coached me a good deal in my boyhood days of cricket at the nets. It was upon his advice that I eventually played hockey.

Worthington Close

New road with housing off east side of Tamworth Park, north of Commonside East and south of Tamworth Lane. The road is parallel to Tamworth Park. There are 33 properties in this road, numbered consecutively from 1 to 33, all with the postcode CR4 1JQ.

aerial view looking towards the east

aerial view looking towards the east

Possibly built in 1988 or 1989. Planning permission 88/P1199 was applied for in 1988 for Numbers 54/56 and land and premises rear of numbers 2-52, Tamworth Park, Mitcham
for the redevelopment of site by the erection of 6 x three bedroom houses 6 x three bedroom flats 12 x two bedroom flats and 19 x one bedroom flats together with associated parking and landscaping. This application was refused and an appeal was lodged, with that being refused as well. The LB Merton planning website doesn’t however show the application that was allowed for the current development, which is of 4 blocks, 2 of flats, and 2 terraces of houses.

This 1910 OS map shows that a field, numbered 268, of 1.182 acres, where Worthington Close is now.

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map


The Tithe Apportionment Map of 1846 shows that this field was part of the land owned by John Watney.

The 1938 OS map shows a cluster of buildings at the north end of this field.

1938 OS Map

1938 OS Map

The 1953 OS map helps to identify these buildings:

1953 OS map

1953 OS map


On the map, there is one building with a number: 54. The houses in Tamworth Park are numbered to 52 before the access road to these buildings, and 56 after, so the address of this is 54 Tamworth Park. This was the address of the Tamworth Park Construction Company, which built Tamworth Park. It was owned by Joseph Owen, who donated the land for the Mitcham Library.

Other occupants of 54 Tamworth Park included the company Hyrax Lubricants Ltd., which applied for a trademark in 1940 for its product “Hyrax-Petrecon”.

Planning application MIT1836, dated 21st December, 1955, has a B.S. Bartlett of 54 Tamworth Park being permitted use of part of 54 Tamworth Park for a garage and motor repair business. It is believed that this property continued to be used for car repairs until the mid 1980s (from a comment on the Facebook Mitcham History Group).

Victor George Pullen

Councillor for the West Ward for Mitcham Borough Council in 1938. He lived in Steers Mead.

News Articles

FAMILY TAKEN ILL: TWO CHILDREN DIE.

Diphtheria is suspected as the cause of the death of two little sisters who have died within a few hours of each other. In their home at Steers Mead, Mitcham, gaily decorated for the holiday, looking forward to their Christmas fare which they were unable to touch, the daughters of Mr. Victor George Pullen, a Mitcham councillor, were taken suddenly ill. Vera Ivy May, aged five, died at home on Sunday night. Elsie, aged nine, was taken to hospital, Monday, and died there.

Source: Shepton Mallet Journal – Friday 01 January 1937 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1938 Mitcham Borough Council

From 1938 Directory

MITCHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL.

Meetings are held at the Town hall, London road, on the
4th tuesday in each month at 8 p.m.

Members.
Mayor – Alderman S. L. Gaston J.P.
Deputy Mayor – Alderman J. P. Turner J.P.

Aldermen

A. H. Bailey
A. T. Fabian
E. J. D. Field J.P.
Mrs. W. Toynbee
C. Woods

Councillors

North Ward.
J. Brewer
J. Beaumont
A. T. Gidden
W. F. Hill
H. Richards
Miss R. K. Wilson

South Ward.
A. E. Cubison
W. Curtis Wakeford
H. L. Gauntlett
Mrs. H. M. Hallowes
T. J. Higgs
Rev. T. King

East Ward.
W. Dalton
T. A. East
J. E. Hill
F. P. Howard
H. Lee
G. R. Madgwick

West Ward.
T. E. Hanson
W. Jeffery
T. E. Penfold
V. G. Pullen
Mrs. C. Randall
Mrs. E. Watson

Officials.
Town Clerk & Rating Officer, Stephen Chart D.S.O.
Borough Treasurer, C. H. Parslow
Medical Officer of Health, A. T. Till, M.B., B.Ch.Edin., Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Borough Engineer & Surveyor, Riley Schofield, A.M.I.C.E., M.I.M. & Cy.E, P.A.S.I.
Superintendent Health Visitor, Mrs. E. Wray, Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Sanitary Inspector, K. J. Gutteridge, Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Collector, H. W. White
Housing Manager, Miss. B. Thrupp, B.A., P.A.S.I., Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Shops Inspector, L. Rummery, Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Valuation Officer, L. H. Munday, Mitcham Court, Lower Green
Baths Superintendent, C. P. Walker, Public Baths, London Road
Librarian, L. Montague Harrod

Renaming of Lower Green East to Cricket Green

From the
Corporation of Mitcham
Minutes & Reports
Volume X
1943 to 1944

Highways Committee
18th February 1944
pages 181 to 182

Read letter from Lady Robertson suggesting that in order to avoid confusion between Lower Green East and Lower Green West, the former should be renamed “The Cricket Green” a name generally used in respect of this part of Mitcham by a large number of people.

Resolved, That the Council be recommended to agree to this proposal and to rename the highways as suggested by Lady Robertson.


Lady Robertson was the wife of Sir Malcolm Robertson, the MP for Mitcham from 1940 to 1945.


1938 OS Map

1938 OS Map


Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough 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.

The Canons

January 2016

January 2016


Occupants

From The Times, 24th June 1920

THE CANONS, an interesting old house with historical associations. Total area about nine acres. The residence and about 5 1/2 acres, let on lease expiring Lady Day, 1940, at £180 per annum, the remainder let on yearly tenancy at £14 per annum. Long frontages to Cricket Green and Madeira Road.

To be offered for SALE by AUCTION, in the Hanover Square Estate Room, on Wednesday, 14th July, 1920, in convenient lots.

The Canons was occupied by Leonard Elphinston Brunel HOMAN, from 1911? to 1938. He died on 28th September, 1938, at aged 75. He left just under £25,000 to his widow Sybil Eustace Holman. This is equivalent to £1.5 million in 2016 values.

See also Mrs Derek Homan.


Reported in the London Daily News of 29th May 1911, that James George Henry Glass was a director of the Bengal Nagpur Railway Co.

From Ancestry National Probate Register

GLASS James George Henry of The Canons Mitcham Surrey died 21 April 1911 at Naples Italy Probate Landon 20 May to Donald James Cumberlege Glass esquire and George Rupert Thomas Upton barrister-at-law.

Effects £216,885 6s. 9d.

This is equivalent to about £23 million in 2016 values.


World War 1 Connections
2nd Lieutenant James Fraser Glass