Tag Archives: 1958

Post Office in Langdale Parade

7 and 8 Langdale Parade, Upper Green East, Mitcham CR4 2YS

The premises for the post office were obtained in 1958, although it didn’t open until 1961, as explained in the news article below.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1961, page 1.

GPO explain post office mystery

THE G.P.O. explained this week the mystery Of Mitcham’s Langdale Parade post office—taken over in September, 1958, but still not open for business.

They blame the delay on capital expenditure restrictions. And they promise that “open” notices should go up at the end of this year.

It took Mitcham’s M.P. (Mr. Robert Carr) to solve the mystery. After reading about the unopened post office in the News on December 9 he wrote to the G.P.O. for an explanation.

Part of the reply was: “You probably know that the present Mitcham Post Office, sorting office and telephone exchange are housed in a building in London Road.

INADEQUATE

“The accommodation on the ground floor is inadequate for our postal needs and, unfortunately, site limitations prevent us from effecting improvements unless we remove some of the work done there at present.

“In May, 1957, we were offered accommodation in a new block of shops to be erected by a private firm of developers in Langdale Parade. We saw an opportunity of overcoming our difficulties by transferring the Post Office counter to the premises on offer.

“We knew at the time that owing to restrictions on capital expenditure, there was no immediate prospect of opening a post office on the Langdale Parade premises, but if we declined the offer we foresaw difficulty in acquiring suitable premises later.

” We therefore decided to accept, and the premises were leased for a term of 21 years from September, 1958, at the annual rental of £1,170 reduced to £400 per annum for the first three years or until the post office is opened for business, whichever is the earlier.”

Cost of the new post office — about £12,550. Fitting out should begin in March.

A photo from 1960 is on Merton Memories of the inside of the post office.

The land on which the parade of shops called Langdale Parade were built was bought in 1957 by Secunda Properties (Mitcham) Ltd from the Trustees of the Methodist Church at Mitcham. The church had been destroyed by bombing in the Second World War and was not rebuilt. This map from 1933 shows it occupied the site now known as Langdale Parade, with its car park at the back.

1933 OS map

1958 clip from Merton Memories photo 51620 of Langdale Parade after construction. Copyright London Borough of Merton.


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

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1958 Tatler recommends Ravensbury Arms

From an article in The Tatler, entitled Dining Out

when my clutch suddenly failed completely on the slope of the Blue House Bridge Croydon Road, Mitcham, I was within one hundred and fifty yards of the Ravensbury Arms.

I must have passed it a thousand times in my life, but as it has always been so close to the start of a journey, south or south-east, I had never given it a thought.

There I found John Dawson and his wife, Stella, and announced my plight. In a couple of seconds they had summoned two bar staff and two of their customers. Between them they pushed me from the bridge, round the roundabout, and into the space in front of their pub.

The Dawsons, I discovered, have built up a great reputation for their cuisine, John Dawson having be come by sheer enthusiasm a sort of self-taught maitre chef, and nothing goes out of the kitchen unless it has his blessing. The menu for this type of pub is remarkable and includes such things as scampi at 7s. 6d., caviare at 12s. 6d., and asparagus 5s. There is a choice of six omelets (including Spanish); a considerable cold buffet, a large range of grills (including a porterhouse steak garni for 12s. 6d.), and so on.

There are red and white wines at 2s. per glass and a short, simple, but quite adequate wine list – Burgundies from 14s. per bottle, Bordeaux from 12s. 6d.

When John and Stella Dawson took over the Ravensbury in 1952 they were possibly the youngest innkeepers in the country, being 24 and 22 years old respectively. John learnt his pub-keeping from his wife’s father, a great cricketing enthusiast, “Burn” Bullock, who played for the Surrey Seconds in the early ‘twenties and then turned professional. Later he took the King’s Head which looks out over the famous cricket green at Mitcham. This is now being run by his widow, Mrs. Lillian Bullock.

Source: The Tatler – Wednesday 12 November 1958 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Ernest Charles Clay, Mitcham Borough Treasurer

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/collections/people/50478 (c) London Borough of Merton

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/collections/people/50478 (c) London Borough of Merton

Mitcham Borough Treasurer for twenty years, he died at his home in Sutton on Friday 31st January, 1964, aged 57. He had retired from the council in September 1963, and had been suffering from ill heath for a number of years. The funeral service was at Mitcham Parish Church on 5th February 1964 which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs W.H. Sanderson; the Town Clerk, Mr R.H. White; and chief officers of Mitcham Council.

Mr Clay was one of the most prominent members in the community. Not only did he guide Mitcham Council on their methods of finance but also a large number of local organisations. He was a founder member of Mitcham Old People’s Housing Association; treasurer of the Old People’s Welfare Committee, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mitcham Youth Committee and a founder member of the handicraft class for the disabled.

He was also a district head of the Forces Help Society and secretary of S.A.F.F.A. as well as being connected with many smaller organisations.

Mr Clay joined Mitcham Council in 1929 when it was an urban district. When Mitcham became a borough he was promoted to deputy borough treasurer and during the war he became the Borough Treasurer.

A keen photographer, he was to have been presented with the A.R.P.S. on Wednesday.

Mr Clay leaves a widow, son and daughter.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 7th February, 1964, page 1.

In his will, he left his widow £5,516 which, when adjusted for inflation, is around £100,00 in 2017 values.

Ernest Charles CLAY of 86 Albion Road, Sutton, Surrey, died
31st January 1964.

Probate

London 18th March to Dorothy May Clay, widow. £5,516.

Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England (c) Crown copyright.


Note about his forename: the newspaper article and Merton Memories photo refer to him as E.C. Clay. On Ancestry, a death index entry has an Ernest C. Clay, aged 57, first quarter of 1964, Surrey Mid Eastern (Vol 5G, page 294), which is assumed to be him. Also from Ancestry, the will for Ernest Charles Clay is a match on the date of death, residence in Sutton.

Death of Mrs W. A. Leney

From the Mitcham News & Mercury
24th January 1958

Mrs. Winifred Annie Leney, wife of Mr. Sam Leney, who was licensee of the Queen’s Head public house at the Cricket Green for 28 years, died suddenly on Tuesday at the Licensed Victuallers’ Benevolent Institution, Peckham. She was 72.

The couple moved from Mitcham in 1953.

1958 May Queen Crowning Rehearsal

From the minutes of the Allotments Committee
2nd April 1958

5. The Canons: Use of Grounds.

The Town Clerk submitted an application from the Mitcham May Festival Society for the free use of the grounds of The Canons on Saturday, 26th April, 1958, for the purpose of holding a rehearsal of the crowning of the May Queen ceremony.

Resolved, That the free use of the grounds be granted.

Source: Minutes & Reports of the Corporation of Mitcham, Volume 24 1957-58, page 773

Merton Memories has a photo of the crowning of the May Queen in 1958.


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

Street Lighting – From Gas to Electric

NB: These notes will be added to when more are found in the council minutes.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
8th May 1959
page 937

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVc

the following tenders have been received for Stage XIVc of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme (Class B Lighting):-

Company £ s. d.
Concrete Utilities Ltd. 2920 10 0
O. C. Summers Ltd. 7054 8 0
Erecon Ltd. 7091 0 0
Machinery Installations Ltd. 7192 0 0
Revo Electric Co. Ltd. 7391 5 0
Pengam Engineering Ltd. 7416 10 0
Bagshaws Contractors Ltd. 7445 10 0
Harland and Wolff Ltd. 7472 4 0
Cohen Bros. (Electrical) Ltd. 7506 15 0
Abacus Engineering ltd. 7562 15 0
Robert Mullen Ltd. 7723 0 0
S. A. Inston and Co. 7723 19 8
C. Maurice Contractors Ltd. 7911 19 2

Concrete Utilities Ltd. have withdrawn their tender

It is recommended that the tender of O. C. Summers, Ltd., in the sum of £7,054 8s., be accepted.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
11th December 1958
pages 512 to 514

4. Borough Engineer’s Report. = The Borough Engineer submitted the following report:-

9th December, 1958
To the Chairman and Members of the Highways and Lighting Committee

Mr. Chairman and Members,

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVB

(a) London Electricity Board. – I have been informed by the London Electricity Board that the cost of affording supply and contribution towards the provision of service lines in connection with the eighty lamps comprising Stage XIVB of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme will be £1,773 10s. The increase in the annual charge for maintenance will be £75 1s. per annum.

(b) South Eastern Gas Board. – I have been informed by the South Eastern Gas Board that the cost of cutting off and plugging at the main the services to the gas street lamps in the roads to be provided with electric lighting in Stage XIVB of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme will be £4 7s. 10d. each in respect of the thirty-eight lamps concerned.

I shall be glad of the authority of the Committee to place orders with the London Electricity Board and South Eastern Gas Board.

Resolved
(a) Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVB – The authority be given for the placing of orders with the London Electricity Board and the South Eastern Gas Board for the carrying out of the works set out in the report at the cost indicated.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
13th November 1958

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVb.
The following tenders have been received for the erection of eleven 140 watt. sodium discharge lamps and sixty-eight 100 watt. tungsten filament lamps comprising Stage XIVb of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme:

Company £ s. d.
Revo Electric Co. Ltd. 1767 19 0
O. C. Summers Ltd. 1887 4 4
Machinery Installations Ltd. 1929 14 10
S. A. Inston and Co. 1937 11 0
The General Electric Co. Ltd. 1946 8 0
Erecon Ltd. 1949 4 0
Harland and Wolff Ltd. 2015 6 6
Abacus Engineering ltd. 2015 13 0
Bagshaws Contractors Ltd. 2025 19 0
Robert Mullen Ltd. 2031 0 0
C. Maurice Contractors Ltd. 2100 9 11

Revo Electric Co., Ltd. have withdrawn their tender.
It is recommended that the tender of O. C. Summers, Ltd., in the sum of £1,887 4s. 4d., be accepted.

From the minutes of the
Highways Committee
11th March 1954

Street Lighting Improvements stage III: Completion of London Road (A217) and Upper Green East (A236).

The following tenders have been received for the provision of 140-watt sodium discharge lamps in London Road from the Cricket Green to Tooting Junction and Upper Green East: –

Company £ s. d.
Revo Electric Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
General Electric Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
North Midland Engineering Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
Treforest Electrical Services, Ltd. 3,634 12 0
Harland and Wolffe, Ltd. 3,693 10 0
Erecon, Ltd. 3,846 15 4
Clough Smith and Co., Ltd. 3,847 5 4
Cohen Brothers (Electrical), Ltd. 4,034 3 1

It is recommended that the lowest tender, that of Revo Electric Co., Ltd., in the sum of £3,557 5s. 4d., be accepted.

Street Lighting Improvements stage III: London Electricity Board

I have been informed that the contribution in respect of 73 services required for Stage III of the street lighting improvement program is £1279, based on the costs and wages and materials as at 8th March and subject to variation in the event of difference in either prior to the completion of the services.

In addition, the estimated cost of connection is £39; the actual cost being charged on a time and material basis.

Authority is required for placing an order with the London Electricity Board on these terms.

Lamp Columns

In connection with the street lighting improvements, I shall be glad of the authority of the committee to invite tenders for the removal and disposal of the steel and cast-iron columns at present used for gas lighting.

Yours obediently,
Riley Schofield,
Borough Engineer and Surveyor.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, pages 711-2


Total estimated cost of replacing 73 gas street lamps, with electric was £4,875 5s. 4d., equivalent of £121,600 in 2016 values.


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

Bond Road

Road running west from Western Road to London Road, south of the Swan.

The row of houses on the south side of Bond Road as you come in from the London Road, was called Cecil Terrace, which can be seen on this c.1900 photo on Merton Memories.

The 1918 Electoral Register shows these occupants of Cecil Terrace:

1, Ellen Mary Ann and Isaac VINCE
2, Clara Elizabeth VINCE
3, Ellen Louisa COX
4, Maria and Charles SURKITT
6, Mary Elizabeth and William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Jessie Ellen and Thomas William PAICE
8, Emma and Henry BARTLETT
9, Maud Lily and Frederick Charles GRAHAM
10, Ada Emily and James VINCE
11, Mabel and Henry Thomas JEEVES
13, Ada and Edward Joseph WALLIS
14, Maria and George WALLIS

The 1925 Street Directory shows that the houses in Cecil Terrace were numbered from 1 nearest the London Road junction. The location of the houses on the north west side of Bond Road is not given, but it could be assumed that Mortimer House was near where the junction with Mortimer Road is now. The occupants in 1918 were

House Names
Lavender House Anna and Henry FOWLER
Cavendish House Emily Ann WOOD
Mortimer House Bessie and John BRETT
Mortimer House Elsie and James Alfred RICE
Holborn Union Gas Works Kate Olive and John Emmanuel HUMPHREYS

1925 Street Directory

BOND ROAD, from 8 Rupert terrace, London Road, Upper Mitcham to Western Road

South side

1, Isaac VINCE
2, Frederick Samuel COUSINS
3, Mrs COX
4, Percy TAYLOR
5, Mrs READ
6, William Arthur SKIVENS
7, Thomas W PAICE
8, Harry BARTLETT, fodder salesman
9, Robert NOBLE
10, James VINCE
11, Charles Ellis JEEVES
12, Robert TOWNSEND
13, George WALLIS

North-west side

ALLEN, Son & Fielding, scrap iron merchants
Henry FOWLER, florist (Lavender House)
Miss WOOD, (Cornish house)
John BRETT, box repairer (Mortimer house)
John E. HUMPHREYS, (Holburn farm)


Newspaper Articles

Article Details Newspaper Date Page
Bottleneck photo Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 1
Historical Note Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 01/02/1951 4
Improvements planned Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser 22/07/1954 1
Housing Proposal Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette 07/02/1958 3

World War 1 Connections
Stoker 1st Class Robert Cox

Private John Humphreys

Private Edgar Vince

Private G Wallis

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

R S COX of 3 Bonds Road, aged 18 Years 1 Months, Fitters Mate. Conscripted on 5 January 1916 to the Northamptonshire Regiment (53rd Ysb).

W MITCHELL of 12 Bonds Road Surrey, aged 31 Years 1 Months, Carman. Volunteered on 19 April 1915 to the Army Service Corps.

E A RUDDICK of 6 Bonds Road Up Mitcham, aged 33 Years 2 Months, Blacksmith. Conscripted on 2 March 1917 to the 30th Infantry Labour Coy.

W A SKIVENS of 6 Bonds Road, aged 26 Years 8 Months, Labourer. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Essex Regiment (14th Batn).

E VINCE of 1 Cecil Terrace Bonds Road, aged 35 Years 3 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 25 January 1917 to the Royal West Surrey Regiment (3rd Batn). Note that the Register shows BINCE, but given the CWGC entry, this is more likely to be VINCE.

A S WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 25 Years 9 Months, Plumber. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 9 December 1915 to the East Surrey Regiment (10th Batn).

C WALLIS of 14 Bonds Road, aged 30 Years 10 Months, Motor Driver. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Middlesex Regiment (6th Batn).

H WOOD of Cavendish House Bond Road, aged 24 Years 10 Months, Postman. Volunteered on 19 October 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.


From the Military Service Tribunals:
Mitcham & Tooting Mercury, 14th December, 1917
Mitcham Tribunal

Mr Moore, in appearing in the appeal for exemption for Mr H. Fowler of Bonds-road, Mitcham, said his client held an agriculture certificate.

Councillor Mizen : He can stand over until it is withdrawn.

The Tribunal decided to adjourn the case until the certificate was withdrawn.

Note the use of Bonds Road. The previous name was Bond’s Lane.


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