Tag Archives: 1961

Why Mrs Wood was last to leave Majestic Cinema

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 1st December, 1961

PROJECTORS whirred to a stop and the audience filed out of the Majestic Cinema for the last time on Saturday evening.

But Mrs. G. Wood, Carew Road, Mitcham, waited until the cinema was empty before she walked out. She had been the first person in Mitcham’s only
cinema house 27 years ago and she intended to be the last one out.

Mrs. Wood’s husband, George, had intended to be with her at the last performance but other commitments kept him away. Both had attended the first film on the opening night and enjoyed numerous films there for 25 years.

I’ve never played bingo and I don’t think I will,” added Mr.
Wood

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1961 obituary of Jack Gillard, newsvendor at Fair Green since 1920

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th March 1961

NEWSVENDOR JACK DIES

Sixty-nine-year-old Jack Gillard, who died suddenly in hospital on Tuesday (7th March 1961), was one of Mitcham’s more famous landmarks.

For 41 years, he had sold newspapers at Fair Green, and was known by thousands of local people.

Mr. Gillard, of Henry Prince Estate, Earlsfield, had been in poor health for some time and had not been at his usual pitch for about four months.

He often talked about the changes in the district since he became a newsvendor in 1920.

“When I first moved in to Mitcham – I lived in Love Lane – it was like a small country village,” he would recall.

And he remembered shouting the big news over the years . . . The General Strike, the R101 disaster, the outbreak of war, the first atom bomb over Japan . . .

Three years ago Jack had a serious accident and later a leg was amputated. He was fitted with an artificial limb.

For years he tried to persuade Mitcham Council to let him put up a covered stand, but was never successful.

1961 obituary of Albert Bowdery

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th February, 1961

Timber Yard Man Dies In Hospital

A man who joined the Merchant Navy when he was 10 and sailed round the world twice before leaving the service, died on Friday at his Rose Avenue, Mitcham, home.

He was Mr. Albert Henry Bowdery who, until six months ago, lived for many years at Bath Road, Mitcham. He was 61.

Mr. Bowdery was best known for the timber yard he ran from his home. He retired and became security officer at Wimbledon Greyhound track about six months ago.

During the first world war, when he was 17, Mr. Bowdery was twice in ships which were sunk. Both incidents occurred within six weeks and, on one occasion, he was picked up by a German ship after being six hours in the sea and was interned in Holland.

Mr. Bowdery died in hospital. He leaves a widow, a son, two brothers and a daughter.

The funeral was on Friday 24th February 1961 at London Road Cemetery.

1961 Baths Superintendent retires

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th February, 1961

For the past 28 years Mr Charles Paterson Walker has been keeping 126,000 gallons of water clean and at the right temperature.

Next May he won’t have to bother any more. He is retiring from the post of Mitcham Baths Superintendent.

But 65-year-old Mr Walker will not be forgotten when he leaves. By the end of the month he hopes to finish his “diary of events,” telling the story of the Baths.

At his Epsom home he told me this week: “There have been so many events there over the years I thought I would keep a record.”

Mr Walker himself has led an interesting life. Before he took over the Baths in 1929 he was a marine engineer on a luxury shipping line. He left because of the big slump at the time.

During the last war his main task was keeping about 150,000 officers and men and 500 Wrens warm. He was in charge of the heating at a Fleet Air Arm training base in Lancashire.

Any plans for his retirement?
“I am just going to take things easy,” he said.

Microplas Ltd.

Western Road

News Articles
Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th February, 1961

LATEST creation in fibre-glass by Microplas Ltd., Western Road, are two 2,000-gallon storage tanks for Vinyl ProductsLtd., Carshalton.

They are nine feet in diameter and five feet across and will hold six tons of liquid. For extra strength the tanks are bound with special continuous filament fibre-glass.

Microplas also make plastic boat shells and are at present negotiating for a big order from Sweden.

Charles Catt and Son Furniture in Western Australia

From the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette, 12th September, 1969, page 5.

Mitcham Family Who Went To Western Australia

Now Among Leading Furniture Manufacturers

A former Mitcham cabinet maker, who migrated to Western Australia in 1961 from Riverside Drive, Mitcham, now owns one of the leading quality furniture manufacturing businesses in the State capital, Perth.

Mr. Charles Catt, 59, his wife Grace and their son Roy, run the firm Charles Catt and Son, whose reputation for making quality furniture has been founded on the West Australian hardwood, jarrah – once thought only suitable for railway sleepers or timber construction work. However they have made it fashionable to have jarrah wood furniture in the home and now export it to other parts of Australia.

Mr. Charles Catt left his son behind in London when he went to Australia, so that he could complete his diploma course at the London Furniture College. When Roy arrived a few months later he started work for a large manufacturer, but became frustrated at the lack of opportunity to do design work. So at a family conference it was decided they
would set up in business for themselves.

FIRST FACTORY

Mr. Catt said, “Our first factory was a converted shop with about 800 square feet to work in. Our first job was to build cupboards and built-in wardrobes, and although we lost money on that job we established a reputation for quality which we have retained ever since.”

From that small start they were able to begin manufacturing Roy’s designs. He said, “We were fortunate that when we began there was a general demand for better furniture. We joined the Guild which is dedicated to raising standards and improving design.

“At the first show we were awarded first prize, and it was rather
embarrassing as we only had the small workshop and could hardly cope with the subsequent orders.”

Since then the family has had two other factories including the present one, which occupies 5,100 square feet at Willeton, an outer Perth suburb. It has showrooms,
offices, a well-ventilated workshop area and an amenities room for the staff.

As a cabinet maker, Charles converts Roy’s designs from the drawing board and makes them into working drawings for the men in the factory. Grace does the office work and the administration, a side of the business she enjoys.

Roy lives at Swanview Terrace, South Perth, which is just around the corner from his mother and father who live at Stanley Flats, Mill Pount Road, South Perth.

The whole family like Australia, and the three children – Roy, Gillian and Graham – are all married to Australians.

See also biography of Charles Catt at Design and Art Online website. According to the Western Australia Museum Welcome Wall website, Charles died in 1979 and Grace in 2002.