Tag Archives: 1939

Cumberland House

Cumberland Hospital was paid for by Isaac Wilson, and built on land he owned, at the rear of his house The Birches. Its entrance was at the end of Whitford Gardens at Cold Blows.

Opened in 1939, it was demolished in 1992. Its perimeter wall along Cold Blows remains.

1953 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 21st July, 1939, page 1.

LEFT THE GOLD KEY AT HOME

But Sir Isaac’s Splendid Gift is Duly Inaugurated

CUMBERLAND HOUSE OPENED

An amusing hitch occurred at the formal opening of Cumberland House, Mitcham, on Friday afternoon. Sir Isaac Wilson, as the munificent donor of the place, was about to present the key to Sir Richard Meller, M.P., with which to unlock the door, when he discovered that he had left it at home.

A messenger was dispatched post-haste, and in ten minutes’ time he arrived with the gold key.

The ceremony then proceeded smoothly. It was a semi-private affair, arranged by the Surrey County Council officials. Among the guests present were Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, Sir Richard and Lady Meller, the Mayor and Mayoress of Mitcham (Ald. and Mrs. Field), Mr. R. M. Chart, the 89-years-old Charter Mayor of Mitcham, Mr. Stephen Chart, the vicar of Mitcham (the Rev. C. A. Finch) and Mrs. Finch, Col. W. F. Johnson, Mr. Christopher Chart, Dr and Mrs. A. T. Till, Ald. E. H. Rickards (Croydon), County Councillor Mrs. C. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Alderman, Mr. H. H. Dance, staff, officials, and inmates of the House.

COSTS £60,000.

The building was erected at the cost approximately of £60,000 by Sir Isaac Wilson, on land belonging to him, and adjoining his own residence at The Birches, almost overlooking the famous Mitcham Cricket Green. The foundation stone was laid on March 1, 1937, by Sir Kingsley Wood, then Minister of Health. The place was originally to be used as a home for poor disabled persons, and it was vested in trustees for that purpose. Subsequently, however Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson, with the approval of their co-trustees, offered the building as a gift to the Surrey County Council for use as a convalescent home in connection with the Council’s hospitals. The munificent and public-spirited offer was gratefully accepted in May, 1938. Under the scheme, Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson are life members of the committee of management, with seven other members appointed by the County authority. The hospital has been furnished and equipped by the Council, who have also appointed the necessary staff. The first patient was admitted on March 29 last. The hospital has accommodation for 110 patients and 24 staff. The patients are mainly transferred from hospitals as requiring from two to eight weeks’ further treatment in order to firmly reestablish their health.

UP-TO-DATE.

On the ground floor there are the administrative offices, kitchens, a dispensary, and two units. The first floor comprises two ward units, an electrical treatment room, the doctor’s flat, and dining-rooms for the nursing and domestic staff. The second floor contains bed- and other rooms for the matron, assistant matron, and 22 members of the nursing and domestic staffs, including two staff common rooms. The lay-out of the Home is magnificent, with sunshine balconies, and spacious grounds for recreation.

Sir Isaac paid tribute to the architects, Messrs. Chart, Son and Reading; the builder, Mr. C. Higginson; his confidential friends, Mr. R. M. Chart, and his son, Mr. Stephen Chart (Town Clerk of Mitcham), Sir Richard Meller, and the Rev. C. A. Finch, chaplain of the home. He declared that every one of these gentlemen had helped him by good advice during the building of the Home. He went on to say that the Surrey County Councii were now trying to do the very best they could with the building, and “I shall be fully recompensed to know that the institution will be carried an efficiently in the future for the benefit and use of convalescent cases,” he added.

DEPUTISING FOR MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Sir Richard Meller humorously suggested that a record of the ceremony should be “the safe arrival of the key.” He greatly appreciated the honour and privilege conferred upon him, he said. He was really deputising for the Minister of Health, who was unable to attend. “This is a succession of noble acts of benefaction by Sir Isaac Wilson,” commented Sir Richard. The building of Wilson Hospital, and the Garden Village, are other worthy examples of his generosity. There is nothing which adds to human happiness so much as the enjoyment of good health, and Sir Isaac and Lady Wislon have been so charity-minded as to build these institutions to try to confer the greatest blessing on mankind by providing them with means of achieveing the greatest human happiness.”

In handing over the Home to County authority, Sir Richard thought the donors had paid tribute to the efficient administration of that body. It came at an opportune moment for the County Council in providing them with the necessary accommodation to relieve their present hospitals, and particularly as an outlet for the large institution being built on St Helier Estate. Sir Richard gave the assurance that the intentions of the trustees would be carried out as far as possible.

“The opening of this home, concluded Sir Richard, “confers a very valuable asset upon the County, and it should be duly recorded among the great historic events of Mitcham.”

“By taking over this building, the County Authority have enabled Sir Isaac to confirm two benefits on community, provision of an institution for the sick, relief for the ratepayers. It is a second example of the dual benefit that Sir Isaac has conferred upon the ratepaying community through Wilson hospital and now Cumberland Home. “Where I am ye shall dwell,” seems to have animated the donor, for he has built both institutions close to his own private residence, equivalent to saying what is good enough for me I hope is good enough for you. In your name as residents of Mitcham, and on behalf of the County of Surrey, I express to Sir Isaac and Lady Wilson our whole-hearted gratitude for their generosity and kindness. Before their eyes they will have the satisfaction and knowledge that those who came here sick went away rejoicing in good health.” (Cheers).

The company then proceeded to the main entrance of the budiling, and Sir Richard unlocked the door with a gold key, declaring the Home open for the succour of mankind.”

Photos on Merton Memories:
Laying of the Foundation Stone
Foundation Stone
1958 : Chest hospital building


The hospital, originally under the Surrey County Council, became part of the NHS in 1947. This ad for nurses in 1949 shows it was part of the St Helier hospital group:

16th July 1949

In 1979, the Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth Area Health Authority announced it was to close. The buildings were demolished in 1992. Redevelopment of the site by the health authority has included day care centres, and is the site of the Merton Dementia Hub.

For more information about the hospital, see the website Lost Hospitals of London.


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

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250 and 252 London Road

A building in London Road, between the Kings Arms pub and Sibthorpe Road.

Photo taken 27th August 2017 (a Sunday morning)

In this 1952 OS map, numbers 250 and 252 are south of 248 on the west side of London Road, opposite the Buck’s Head pub.

1952 OS map

This clip of Mitcham ‘High Street’ as was called then, is from around 1900, and shows the left the old Kings Arms pub. Numbers 250 and 252 are to the left of the Oil Colour Stores’ that has ‘No. 8’ between the windows on the first floor.

c. 1900 clip from Merton Memories photo 51472, copyright London Borough of Merton

From the 1891 directory (the shops were numbered from 1 going north):

1, Henry COLLBRAN, butcher
2, S.E. BURTON, stationer
3, Charles GOULD, The Kings’ Arms Public House
4, Mrs H. LACK, draper
5, John CUMMINGS, greengrocer
6, Joseph COOK, butcher
7, T.P. SHEPPARD, grocer
8, William BARTER, grocer
9, George Joseph DALE, news agent

— here is Sibthorpe Road

10, James MOULAND, Pawnbroker
11, William Henry JENNER, ironmonger
12, Charles MACRO, hair dresser
13, C. SAUNDERS & Co., grocers
14, William COURT, baker
15, MOULAND & BENNETT, Watchmakers

Hence numbers 6 and 7 High Street are now 252 and 250 London Road.

A photo from 1895 shows it looking north.

1895 clip from Merton Memories photo 51748, copyright London Borough of Merton

The 1925 street directory still referred to the High Street. In 1926/7 London Road was renumbered.

Charles A. HUDSON, Kings Arms hotel
2 & 4, H. LACK, draper
5, John CUMMINGS, fruiterer
6, G. DUTRIEZ, butcher
7, W.H. FIELD & Son, wine merchant
8, E. & A.M., grocers
9, A.E. DALE, news agent

— here is Sibthorpe Road

10 & 11, W.J. HYDE, pawnbroker
12, H. MACRO, hair dresser
13, Miss H.M. HICKS, milliner
14, M. HICKS & Sons, bakers
15, G.H. HUDSON, watch maker

Number 6, now 252, was a butchers shop in 1891. In 1939 it was occupied by A. SPICER, as shown in this ad:

1939 ad

In the 1954 phone directory, it was occupied by HEARN & Sons, Family Butchers.

Number 7, now 250, was a wine merchants as shown in the 1925 directory. In the 1954 phone directory it was occupied by H.A. PAINE as Wine, Spirit Merchant. In 1967 it was called by Paines of Mitcham, trading as an off license, as shown in this ad:

1976 ad for 250 London Road

1965 : Mr Tilley retires after 25 years with Mitcham Fire Brigade

Twenty-five years as a fireman ended on Friday for Mr Terry Tilley, Russell Road, Mitcham. Here (centre) with his wife he receives a clock from Station Officer P. Dann, and an illuminated address signed by all members of the station.
All his colleagues also subscribed towards the cost of the clock.
From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th February, 1965, page 1.

Enjoyed his 25 years of fire-fighting

The summer afternoon when a rubber dump started to smoulder in the Willow Lane was the start of the biggest fire in Mitcham since the war.

Mr Terry Tilley recalled the blaze this week as he sat in his Russell Road home and looked back on 25 years as a fireman.

“It was two or three years after the war,” he said, “and I remember it was very, very hot.

“Tons and tons of rubber went up and you could see the flames miles away. It was like a mushroom.”

Long into the night 40 engines and dozens of firemen fought the fire, one of a spate of rubber dumps which went up the London area.

Of his experiences during the war Mr Tilley most vividly recalls a bombing raid on London’s dockland.

Fire engines raced from all over London to fight the blazing oil and tar refineries at Silvertown.

“The raid began in the afternoon,” said Mr Tilley, “and about 8 o’clock the bombers came back and went on dropping until the early hours of next morning.

“It was a fantastic sight with the fire engines and A.R.P. units all over the place. We lost a few men, I think, when the bombers came back.”

“Mr Tilley, who is 55, joined the Mitcham Brigade in 1940. In 1946 he moved to Banstead for nine years before returning to Mitcham.

He didn’t join for any particular reason, but now he says: “I enjoyed the life, and I shall miss the men.”

For the future he intends to have a few weeks’ holiday and then get another job, though he is not quite sure what.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 19th February, 1965

There are photos on Merton Memories of the rubber tyre dump fire on 2nd June 1947. For example:

Clip from Merton Memories photo 51069, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Alfred Tilley, also at the Mitcham Fire Station, was his uncle, according to a post on Facebook. He is pictured on a 1930s photo of the brigade. He was mentioned in newspapers as having rescued 15 cats over his career.

Second Officer Alfred Tilley, of the Mitcham Fire Brigade, has just rescued his fifteenth cat. He saved his first cat in 1920. In those days he went out on a bicycle and borrowed a ladder.
From the Daily Herald, 16th December, 1939.

N.M.I.A. Hall, Woodland Way

Called the North Mitcham Hall by the North Mitcham Improvement Association, or N.M.I.A., this building stood at number 51 Woodland Way, close to the junction with Ashbourne Road. There was also a pavilion, with two hard and three grass tennis courts

1949 OS map

1949 OS map

Clip from 1939 photo of the North Mitcham Hall from Merton Memories photo 49676 (c) London Borough of Merton

Clip from 1939 photo of the North Mitcham Hall from Merton Memories photo 49676 (c) London Borough of Merton

22nd February 1949 - the first play by the North Mitcham Players, held at the NMIA's North Mitcham Hall

22nd February 1949 – the first play by the North Mitcham Players, held at the NMIA’s North Mitcham Hall

example of event at the hall and grounds

example of event at the hall and grounds

The hall was built by Joseph Owen, who lived at 89 Ashbourne Road.


Demolished in 2015/6 and redeveloped.

Ascot Road

Road built on a former golf course, hence the name the Links Estate, in around 1907. Between Seely Road and Links Road.

1913 OS map

1913 OS map

From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District council
Volume XII 1906 to 1907
Highways and New Streets and Buildings
10th January 1907

Application number 4129 from Mac Callum Bros. to build 50 houses in Ascot Road.


Occupants rom the 1915 street directory

from Links Road:
WEST SIDE

1, Alfred John SEWELL
3, Charles Robert STEGGALL
7, John BACON
9, Henry ROCHE
11, Amos JEFF
13, William J White
15, Ernest CROOK
17, James Cameron PARHAM
19, William JOHNS
21, Bertie John SAUNDERS
23, Mrs M.A. WHITE
25, Joseph OLSTEAD
27, William BUNDOCK
29, Edward WALTERS
31, Miss DELPLANQUE
33, Charles Henry GODWIN
35, Augustus WRIGHT
37, George PARTRIDGE
39, George Campbell GRACE
Ascot Villa, William BALDRY

EAST SIDE

2, William COOK
4, Ercole RAFFONI
6, Henry John TESTER
8, Francis BLACKWELL
10, Edmund George NEALE
12, Lascoff HUMPHREYS
14, Edward James FERGUSON
16, Charles Frederick Durrie MULFORD
18, Mrs MANDER, nurse
20, Walter John ELLIS
22, Daniel Chant WILLIS
24, William John COX
26, Lewis ESCOTT
28, John SANTRY
30, William Joseph McCARTNEY
32, Walter Henry JORDAN
34, Thomas WEATHERSTON
36, James Arthur TILLOTT
38, Chalres James SCREECH
40, Mrs CLARK
42, Frederick Robert GREEN
44, Henry SPOONER
46, Arthur James REEVE
48, Herbert CROSSLAND
50, Mrs TAYLOR
52, Charles MORITZ
58, William WEXHAM
60, William Henry JULIAN

From a 1939 auction:

SALE TUESDAY EVENING NEXT.

LEONARD DAVEY & HART Have been instructed to offer by Auction, at the Greyhound Hotel. Croydon, on TUESDAY. 28th MARCH, at 6.30 p.m. The following properties:-

9, ASCOT ROAD, TOOTING JUNCTION.

— Attractive centrally situated Villa, producing £65 gross. Lease 67 years at £5.


Minutes of meetings held by the Croydon Rural District 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.

Bridge Road

Road that was off east, or right-hand, side of Christchurch Road, opposite Runnymede. It was closed in 1966.

In this 1952 OS map, the road is shown with a single terrace of eleven houses on the north side, numbered sequentially 1 to 11.

1952 OS map

1952 OS map

Aerial photo from 1947 shows the row of houses on the left side of the road.

29th April 1947 from Britain From Above

29th April 1947 from Britain From Above

Aerial photo from 1949 shows the road looking to the west. The dome atop the tower on the right was Frys Metals factory.

19th March 1949 from Britain From Above

19th March 1949 from Britain From Above

It is not mentioned in the 1891 street directory, but does have an entry in the 1911 commercial directory:

1, Harry Isaac CAVENDER, picture frame maker

and in the 1915 directory:

1, Henry BRYANT, confectioner

The road was closed in 1966:

Bridge Road is to be closed down

Bridge Road, a cul-de-sac off Christchurch Road, Mitcham is to be closed. Merton Council have given planning permission to Frys Metal Foundries Ltd., for redevelopment which involves the closing of the road.

The road was originally the principle means of access to residential properties which have since been demolished. It now serves the factory premises only.

RIGHTS OF ACCESS

The council agreed to give permission provided the council’s right of adequate access to the public sewers were preserved.

Also provided that the owner of the factory should take over the responsibility for the street lamps and cables in the road, and also bear any costs incurred in closing the road.

Frys have also offered land near Bridge Road to the council free of charge for the proposed widening of Christchurch Road. The offer has been accepted.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 13th May, 1966, page 1.

Occupants in 1939

1, Leonard Douglas and Elizabeth HAYNES
2, Mary Jane and Rosa FISK
3, William Charles and Alice Louisa and Christopher ADAMS
4, James and Maude BURLING
5, Robert and Gertrude MARSHALL
6, Alfred and Mabel Frances FORD
7, Robert and Doris May TAYLOR; Edith Mahala FRISWELL
8, James Alfred and Sarah Ellen DURLING
9, Henry William and Rose Florence and Florance DALTON
10, Ernest John and Flora BURLING
11, Charles Walter and Susan FRANCIS


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

Latham, Brown & Co., Ltd.

326 Western Road
Merton, SW19

Paint and Varnish


Source:
Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT


1921 Britain From Above

1921 Britain From Above


1939 Pathe Newsreel demonstration, believed to be at Latham’s (the word LATHAM can be seen on a vehicle in the background.)

Newspaper Articles

Marriages

Latham — Waterhouse.

—On the 3rd inst., at Christ Church, Totland Bay, Fredk. Gilmour, son of the late Wm. Latham, of the Varnish Works, Merton, Surrey, to Ellen Louise, only daughter of Thos. Waterhouse, of Alum Bay, I.W.

Source: Hampshire Chronicle – Saturday 12 April 1884 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

See also the story of Private Stanley Latham.