Tag Archives: 1939

Byards Croft

Road with houses built around 1939 as part of the Streatham Vale Estate by New Ideal Homesteads Ltd. The name was decided by Mitcham Borough Council, as shown in its minutes on page 539, volume 5.

The postcode for this road is SW16 5EY according to the Royal Mail. Houses are numbered even, from 2 to 48 on the west side, and odd from 1 to 51 on the east side. There is no number 50.

When built, this area known as Streatham Vale was part of Mitcham, and currently is included in the London Borough of Merton.

1951 OS map


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

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

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Oxtoby Way

Road with houses built around 1939 as part of the Streatham Vale Estate by New Ideal Homesteads Ltd. The name was decided by Mitcham Borough Council, as shown in its minutes on page 539, volume 5.

The postcode for this road is SW16 5HD according to the Royal Mail. The houses are numbered odd from 1 to 51 on the northern/western side of the road, and even from 2 to 48 on the east side. There is no number 50.

When built, this area known as Streatham Vale was part of Mitcham, and currently is included in the London Borough of Merton.

1951 OS map


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

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Shore Street

No longer exists. It was a cul-de-sac off the south side of Phipps Bridge Road (the part of which is now Liberty Avenue), and west of Willow View.

1952 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 2nd February, 1968:

HOMES MUST GO – MINISTER
Shore Street residents lose fight against demolition
Colliers Wood redevelopment plan confirmed

A GROUP of Colliers Wood residents have lost their fight to prevent their homes being
demolished in a housing redevelopment scheme.

The Ministry of Housing this week approval Merton Council’s controversial compulsory purchase order for 34 properties in the Shore Street area.

But some of the residents have gained a partial victory, for while their homes will still be demolished, they are not now considered unfit for human habitation.

Nine properties have been transferred from this category and their owners will get compensation at the higher market value instead of site value.\

‘The best solution’

And another 12 owners are to receive good maintenance payments for keeping properties, confirmed as unfit, in good condition.

At a public inquiry in October, the council claimed all but one of the houses were unfit and sought approval to remodel the whole area.

Residents claimed many of the properties were quite habitable and others could easily be improved. Demolition, they said, would not be the answer.

But the Minister has accepted his inspector’s recommendations that the demolition of all the buildings is the best solution, and has confirmed the order.

Town Clerk, Mr Sydney Astin, said this week : “In accordance with the Minister’s instructions, market value and good maintenance payments will be made, where applicable.”

The houses were described by the Medical Officer in an inspection in January, 1939:

January 28, 1939

To the Chairman and members of the Public Health Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

SHORE STREET

As requested by the Committee I have made a detailed inspection of the houses on Shore Street.

There are fourteen houses, eight (1-8) situated on one side of the road and six (9-14) on the opposite side. The houses are between sixty and seventy years old. All the houses are of fairly sound construction and the outside walls have been built with a hard brick. The roofs are made of slate and are fairly sound.

The rents vary from 9s. to 10s. per week.

The front room of each house opens directly on to the pavement. There is no bad arrangement of the street, and each house has plenty of air space both front and back.

As far as the inernal arrangement is concerned there is on the ground floor a front living room, with a scullery behind, and on the first floor, a front and back bedroom. The height of the rooms varies from 7 ft. 9 ins. to 7 ft. 11 ins. In some cases the floor of the front room ground floor is of concrete, in others it is wood. The staircase in all the houses is extremely dark.

Although the houses are old they are not unfit for human habitation, and the defects which found can be remedied at a reasonable cost.

As far as I have been able to ascertain there has been only one recent occasion in which the street was flooded, and this was due to the gulleys being blocked by rubbish. In heavy storms the rain beats in under the doors of some of the houses and causes the floors to become very damp. This state of affairs could probably be remedied by raising the height of the door steps and attention to the fit of the doors. Some of the houses have back additions which make the scullery very dark, and cause a certain amount of dampness.

Two of the houses are overcrowded, and two showed the presence of vermin infestation.

The owner has always complied with any sanitary notices that have been served.

A. T. Till
Medical Officer of Health

SCHEDULE OF DEFECTS
By house number

1. Three adults, seven children. Small fractures in brick work of back wall. Slight dampness round chimney breast in back bedroom.

2. Two adults, two children. Flooring of front room ground floor requires repairing. Cracked chimney pot on front chimney stack.

3. Two adults. Rainwater pipe front of house leaking. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

4. Two adults, three children. Slight ground dampness in living room. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

5. Two adults, two children. Joint forming the interspace between the window frame and brickwork of living room defective.

6. Four adults. Flooring by door defective. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Dampness around chimney breast in back bedroom.

7. Two adults, two children. Flooring week in living room.

8. Two adults. Dampness in corner of front bedroom by parapet wall.

9. Two adults, one child. Good condition.

10. Three adults. Dampness around chimney breast back room first floor.

11. Two adults, five children over 10 years of age. Good condition.

12. One adult. Joints forming interspace between window frame and brickwork living room defective. Defective stair tread. Countless round chimney breast in back bedroom. Slight dampness above matchboarding in front room ground floor.

13. Two adults. Week flooring of front room ground floor. Stone window sill back bedroom first floor. Woodwork of windows back bedroom first floor defective.

14. Four adults. Week flooring front room ground floor. Flooring defective by cover. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Woodwork of back bedroom window defective. Dampness around chimney breast of back bedroom.

Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, volume 5, pages 315-6.

Occupants in 1925 street directory

North Side
1 Alfred BULL
2 Gilroy M HARRINGTON
3 Charles Jesse COLES
4 Thomas ROSUM
5 Geogre NOVELL
6 James SEAGRAVE
7 Walter READ
8 Frederick John PAYNE

South Side
14 George CODD
13 Ernest Garrat REEKS
12 Mrs F PROCTOR
11 Arthur Cecil POULTON
10 Harry WARNER
9 Mrs SINEY

clip from Merton Memories photo, copyright London Borough of Merton


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

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

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.

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.