Tag Archives: 1972

Gaydons

Menswear shop, was at 11 Upper Green East, ‘facing the clock tower’ as stated in their ads

1972 ad

1972 ad

Text of ad:

GAYDONS
of
MITCHAM
(facing Fair Green Clock Tower)

for

MENSWEAR
YOUTHSWEAR
and NOW
BOYSWEAR

Telephone 648 2179

Also at:

130 Streatham Vale 764 2526
91 Streatham Hill 674 6479
3 Warwick Way, Victoria 834 4187

Ad from 1952:

1952 ad

1952 ad

Text of ad:

GAYDONS LTD.

MAN’S SHOPS

invite your inspection of their latest ranges

Sport Jackets = Smartly tailored in Single or Double Breasted styles.
Sports Trousers = Gaberdine or worsted in attractive new shades.
Suits = To suit all occasions. Expertly cut and tailored.
Raincoats = In cotton or wool Gaberdine.
Shirts & Ties = In modern and traditional styles.

For Men of Faultless Taste

Local Branch
11 UPPER GREEN – MITCHAM (Facing Clock Tower)

Also at
TOOTING
STREATHAM
VICTORIA
KINGSTON

Arthur Weston’s Scrap Yard

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th May 1972

Why Arthur doesn’t like
local authorities

To Merton Council, Arthur Weston’s scrap yard is just a spot on the map which is hardly likely to fit in with the new look Western-road. It’s a mechanical knacker’s yard filled to the gates with carcasses of smashed motors and heaps of their oily innards. It would, they told him, have to go.

“Arthur Weston and Sons, Scrap Metal Merchant”, along with the gipsies site, the few boarded-up warehouses and sheds that make up the grimiest corner of Fair Green, are to be cleared away. When the bulldozers and builders have gone, rows of new houses and flats will take their place. What they don’t know, at the Planning and Development Department, is that they are razing a small trading empire.

Public service

There’s Arthur’s, where for nearly 30 years he’s been carrying on where his father Herbert left off, with picking up wrecked cars and selling the decent remains to anyone who wants to come and rummage around for spare parts.

“Sometimes 24 a week — and that’s a service. Who else gets all the old dumped wrecks off the road and makes use of them? The police have told me I’m doing the public a service,” he says.

And next to him, all around him — too near for the most part, he says — are the gipsies where trading covers anything from broken down gas stoves to the breeding of small herds of assorted dogs.

“See that yard next to mine? A load of them came and squatted with their vans there and never paid one penny rent and the council couldn’t do nothing about it. And there’s me paying a rent I couldn’t divulge to you.”

The gipsies, he observed, are being offered a caravan site built especially for them.

“Me — now whose going to offer me another yard for scrap dealing? I reckon I’ll have to chuck the whole lot in. After all these years! These yards were my father’s life and they’ve been mine. I was working here when I was 10 years of age. And I really mean work. Not work like they mean today. Now its going in a matter of a few weeks. Just like that,” he said.

“I’ve got to May 31 to clear up and get out.”

At 39, small but strong, he looks older with years of pulling engines out of written-off vehicles.

“Its a dirty job but it’s true that where there’s muck there’s money. And what’s wrong with that?” This bother doesn’t just mean finding somewhere else to put the 700-odd old cars he has at his two yards in Western Road.

He also has a yard at Caterham.

“The council there have told me to clear out of that. And Wandsworth council have just told us they are going to pull down our house in Tooting. So I started to think about building a bungalow at Reigate. Of course they’ve turned down the plans for it, haven’t they?”

Arthur Weston isn’t feeling too kindly disposed towards local authorities at present. Apart from the fact that they have authority in the first place, they seem to have some very strange ways of imposing it.

By-laws

“This yard is divided into two halves. On this side I can strip down motors and do them up. But if I want to sell them I have to pull them over to that side. Don’t ask me why. That’s what I’ve been told I’ve got to do. By laws!”

He pointed to a small lean-to, used for shelter in the rain. “I rent this yard but that thing there costs £150 a year in rates.” Fighting councils, he believes. only costs you more in the end.

He loves his yards and his scrap as much as any actor loves the stage. If it wasn’t for the parting of Arthur and the business three Weston sons would carry on when he is too old.

“My youngest — he’s four — comes here already to help and cleans metal and such like,” he says.

Even so, the big ends and chassis of cars are not what they were and some wrecks are worth nothing to him.

“They don’t make cars like they used to. When my dad was in business they built them solid and there was plenty to make use of. Now? Like paper underneath most of them,” he says.

“Take hearses. When I was younger I used to deal in hearses. Plenty of good solid metal in them. I remember I went to see one in a place at Putney and I was inside lying on the floor looking at all the steel and nobs and suchlike. A bloke came and opened the door and I started moaning. Cor, he didn’t half run.” he said.

“Nowadays,” he went on sadly, “there aren’t many hearses around. And what there are are all gilt and show.”

When he started in the yard, not so much out of choice but because there was no other work about, he regarded the job as manual, not skilful. A case of necessity he thought, never dreaming he would be as dedicated and knowing about metals and their various market values as his father.

To anywhere

He and his brother will go anywhere to pick up anything that promises some future use. And Arthur has an eye for a trend as well as the metal in the chassis. In his yard at the moment is a horsebox, circa 1920.

“Belonged to Lord Derby. I went all the way to his place to get it,” he said.

But mostly it’s wrecks with bonnets or sides smashed in from the impact of crashes.

“I suppose it could turn you up a bit, knowing that people have been killed or injured in them. But you don’t think about it. Just get on with it.

“Even when a car’s been in a really bad smash and its a mess — there’s always some part of it that has a use.” he added.

He will take away a lot of memories when he closes the gates for the last time.

“The worst time was the night when someone set fire to the place. You can imagine how a fire spreads in a place like this. Burnt out, skint I was. Know who did it? If I did they wouldn’t be around today I can tell you.”

When it’s all over he will have to think what he will do next.

“I’ve got a bit. I certainly won’t have to worry about money but a man like me has got to have a job. A pub? Don’t talk stupid! I’d drink the place dry in a week.”

The biggest sadness is that there is no yard now to pass on to his son.

“But then I’ve thought perhaps I’d like something a bit better for my boys. Not, so dirty and not such hard work. Like a proper car showroom. You never go to one of those places without you see the boss in a smart suit do you? Not like me!”

1972 Pollards Hill Design Award

Design Award For Pollards Hill Estate

Mitcham’s Pollards Hill Estate has won a major architectural award for Merton.

The £4 million complex of 562 houses and 288 flats has already aroused great interest among local authorities and architects.

And this week Merton’s Borough Architect, Mr Bernard Ward, revealed that his architects have been given the South East Region Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Mr Ward, Borough Architect of Merton since 1965, regards this as one of the highlights of his career. But it was, he emphasised, a team job from five men in his department.

“I am very pleased. It’s quite an achievement as there are only 13 regions throughout Great Britain to which the Institute make their awards.”

He believes the award has been made on the basis that Pollards Hill houses a large number of families without the architects having to resort to high-rise blocks to do it. Those who have visited the estate since it was completed have been surprised at the spacious surroundings in which so many people can be accommodated.

This was his team’s objective when they first presented their ideas to the council’s Housing Committee four years ago.

Problems

“We wanted to build an estate which was mainly composed of houses and not flats. They said that if this could be done then it would be ideal. So
we went ahead,” explained Mr Ward.

There was plenty of head scratching, thinking and discussing among his staff before the final design was produced.

“A lot of designs hit the waste paper basket before we came up with the right one,” he explained.

Both Mr Ward and his team were aware that the huge tower blocks built by many
local authorities in the past were neither pleasant to look at nor to live in. But there was the council’s long housing waiting list to consider.

Both had to be taken into consideration before the final plans for Pollards Hill were produced.

Once this had been approved, there were few architectural problems.
“The only problem we had was to do the job within the budget for the project,” he said.

Altogether the team worked on the design for four months. They were a good team he said. It was a pity that most of them had now left Merton and gone their separate professional ways in the last two years.

Unique

But the experience they had in the design of one of the first estates where homes have been provided for 100 persons per acre would, he believed, stand them in good stead in their present jobs.

When the first tenant moved in on January 28, 1971, Pollards Hill was regarded, in architectural circles, as almost unique.

Merton Council had managed to house hundreds of families while adding to the quality of the environment. This is not achieved by many local councils in their battle to reduce housing lists.

The estate borders South Lodge-avenue, where previously there had been hundreds of prefabs, built as temporary post-war accommodation for bombed-out families.

Now, the long streamlined honeycomb of houses and flats which stretch up to the borough boundary is an attractive replacement.

The award is to be presented at a special ceremony at Merton Town Hall in October.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 8th September, 1972 page 1

SGB and the last 50-mile stretch of the M4

A put up and pull down job

Men from Scaffolding Great Britain, the Mitcham-based firm, did one of their quickest ever jobs when they set up and dismantled equipment for the opening ceremony of the new M4 motorway extension in December.

They had two days to put up a VIP stand and three hours to take it down when the opening ceremony was over.

The equipment was supplied by the Showex Division of SGB, and included a 62-seater VIP stand, red carpet, ceremonial tape, public address system, flag poles and toilet facilities.

The ceremony, on December 20, was for the official opening of the last 50-mile section of the M4 connecting London to South Wales.

The package deal was supplied under contract to the five main contractors engaged in the construction of the new motorway.

Installation work began at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 20 and was finished in time for the opening at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 22.

As soon as the opening was over the Showex division had three hours to clear the site. This was completed in only two hours.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury 21st January, 1972 page 22

Mulholland Close

Road on the Eastfields Housing Estate, built in 1972 on land formerly occupied by Pain’s fireworks factory. The name should have been Milholland after the then current director of Pain’s, but the council got the spelling wrong.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury
29th December, 1972

Council boob and a tribute back-fires

When Merton Housing Committee named a road on the new Eastfields Estate, Mitcham, after a local businessman they meant it as a compliment.

But the compliment back-fired when someone in the housing department got the name wrong.

And the man in the middle of the mess is annoyed that his name has been taken in vain now for over five months.

The road should have been Milholland-close – after Mr Philip Milholland, director of Pain’s Wessex Fireworks Ltd who had a factory on the site for 100 years.

But when the sign went up it read ‘Mulholland’ – and went un-noticed for several months.

Mr Milholland said this week : “I am annoyed. They should have got it right and I hope they are going to put it right. I have written to the housing department pointing out the mistake.

I didn’t even realise they had named this close after me until an old works manager of mine who lives in the area saw the sign and told me they had got it wrong.”

At first the housing committee decided that as local residents had been used to living in Mulholland-close for several months it would be wrong to change the name.

Housing Manager Mr A. A. Brown said: “I think it was because they thought people had possibly got used to it and even had notepaper printed with the address. Now however the matter has been referred back to the committee.:

Explaining the mistake he said: “It was a mistake of someone in the department and I think it happened because Mulholland is such a usual name and Milholland isn’t. We are very sorry.”

1972 Morfax had first Vidimatic NC

From the Mitcham News & Mercury
11th August 1972

THE FIRST DIXI 75 four-axis jig borer to be equipped with the Vidimatic numerical control system that incorporates television camera tubes is being installed in the Willow-lane, Mitcham, works of Morfax Ltd, to increase facilities for precision machining of complex workpieces. This is the first installation of its kind in the world.

Work at Morfax ranges from new stabilisers for the QE2 liner made from 1-inch thick stainless steel plate, structures for the Skynet 2 communications satellite and the UK5 experimental space satellite which are being assembled in a specially constructed clean room.

Among either works are artificial feel chassis for control of the Concorde and compressor casings for the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines.