Tag Archives: 1973

Gardeners Arms Pub Sign

The Gardeners Arms pub, 107 London Road, Mitcham, had a heraldic style sign hanging from a post in the centre of the wall on the upper floor. In November 2017, the sign couldn’t be found by the new landlord.

There are three photographs on Merton Memories, and none show a sign attached, for example, this one from 1989:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-2 copyright London Borough of Merton.

This undated black an white photo shows flower baskets hanging from the wall:

Clip from Merton Memories photo Mit_21_11-1 copyright London Borough of Merton.

The late Eric Montague, of the Merton Historical Society, took a slide of 109 & 111 London Road in 1966, and this included the pub, which has no sign.

A 1973 photo on the Collage collection also doesn’t show the sign:


The only photograph found so far showing the sign is from Google Street View, from 2008:-

The sign is blurred when zooming in, but what can be seen is shield with a blue background, a white chevron with two objects above and three or more below. The shield has two supporters, one of which may be a gardener. The Surrey Coats of Arms, online at the Surrey History centre website, have been searched for Mitcham arms, and none of these have a field of blue with a white chevron.

Street View of 2012 shows no sign:



1973 Elton John visits Pye record factory

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 30th November, 1973.

Elton John visited the Pye record factory on Monday 26th November, 1973.

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road … hello Western Road, Mitcham.” This could have been the theme of a visit made by the top pop star Elton John when he visited the Pye Factory, Western-road, Mitcham on Monday and watched some of his discs being pressed. Pictured with him is supervisor Mr Ken Spink.

Joy’s Cafe

From the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette, 28th March, 1973

"THE derelict cafe - more an eyesore than a joy"

“THE derelict cafe – more an eyesore than a joy”


JOY’S “PLACE” was once a popular transport cafe. But now it’s got a new use — as one of the dirtiest unofficial public conveniences in Mitcham, claim angry local residents.

The cafe is on a site at the corner of Christchurch-road and Phipps Bridge-road. It closed 18 months ago, but so far there’s no sign of the building being demolished and the site cleared.

“They should put a match to the place. It’s disgusting. It’s a loo for all and sundry and a rubbish dump. The place has become an eyesore and the sooner it goes the better. Everyone round here has become fed up with it” said Mrs Doreen Sparrowhawk, who runs a greengrocers shop opposite the site.

“By now it must be full of disease and germs — but because there is no door on the place children go and play in it” she added.

Mr Michael Tuhill, who runs a newsagents in Christchurch-road, said: “It’s an unofficial public convenience. People pull up in cars and use it and it’s getting a bad name. The council don’t seem to be interested in doing anything about it but its a health hazard as children play in and out of it as well. Heaven knows what they could pick up by playing in it.”

‘Filthy place’

Mrs Shelly Condron, who runs a hairdressers opposite the cafe, said that lorry drivers who used to eat at the cafe when it was open now use it as a lavatory.

“We’ve spoken to them about it but you just get a lot of lip back. Its a filthy place and everyone round here would like to see something done about it.” she said.

The door of the cafe was torn off soon after it was closed. Now, it is full of rubbish with chairs and tables left inside broken.

“No-one knows what happened to the people who ran it. I think the proprietress died and one day it shut up and has been closed and like that ever since” said Mrs Sparrowhawk.

A spokesman for Merton’s surveyors department said that they were aware that there were problems arising from the derelict cafe. But there are redevelopment problems on this site and consequently there has had to be a delay on a development decision. But as soon as we are able to do so the site will be cleared” he said.

1973 Life is hell for the forgotten residents of Chapel Road

The view from the houses in Chapel Road

The view from the houses in Chapel Road

From the Mitcham and Collier’s Wood Gazette, January 1973

Life is hell for the `forgotten’ residents

PEOPLE living under the shadow of redevelopment in Chapel-road, Mitcham, claimed this week that the area was being over-run with rats. And they protested that empty houses in the area were a target for vandals.

“We all had a letter last September telling us that the council were buying the houses under a compulsory purchase order and that we were to be rehoused” said 59-years-old Mrs Beatrice Tee.

“But since then—nothing. Just rumours. We live on rumours while the road and our homes go to rack and ruin.” She said several tenants had moved out leaving a row of empty homes which were making life hell for the people who were left.

“The children play in them and break the windows. In one, they dislodged a pipe and water was pouring out of it for nine weeks.”

Her neighbour Mrs Daisy Reeve, aged 51, has lived in Chapel-road for 31 years. “We wonder whats going to happen to us. The council seem to have forgotten this road—even the dustman neglect us and we are lucky if we get our rubbish collected once a fortnight.” she said.

Pensioner Mrs Annie Blackburn, aged 83, has lived in Chapel-road for 50 years. “We had loads of rats running along the road last week. This street seems to have become a dump for everyone to leave their rubbish.” she said.

Agents for the houses are Fair Bedford of Southall, “we appreciate that the tenants are in a difficult situation and we would like the council to take the houses over as soon as possible. The owner is in the same state of uncertainty as the tenants” said a spokesman.

Chapel-road lies within an area due to be developed by the Greater London Council ex-plained Merton’s Deputy Town Clerk Mr Geoffrey Norris.

“We are acquiring the property on behalf of the GLC and at the moment are waiting for a date for a public inquiry from the Department of the Environment” he said.

“We expect this be to in April and it is likely that a decision will be made in the autumn Redevelopment will then start.”

He said he would look into the complaints.

Barclays Bank, Fair Green

The Barclays Bank that opened at 6 Fair Green Parade was a sub-branch of the branch on the corner of 342 London Road and Lower Green West.

It possibly opened in 1958 as the telephone directory of that year lists the number as MITcham 7730. Fair Green Parade was built around 1953.

6 Fair Green Parade. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives

6 Fair Green Parade. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives

Interior of 6 Fair Green Parade. Courtesy of Barclays Group Archives.

Interior of 6 Fair Green Parade. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives.

This branch moved in 1973 to a new building on the corner of Montrose Gardens, see newspaper article below.

29/31 Upper Green East. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives

29/31 Upper Green East. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives

39/41 Upper Green East. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives

39/41 Upper Green East. Photo courtesy of Barclays Group Archives


STAFF at Mitcham’s branch of Barclays Bank are soon to move into their new offices at Upper Green East.

And, promises manager Mr James Crocker, banking will be a lot pleasanter for both customers and staff than at the present cramped quarters in Fair Green-parade.

“We are hoping to move some time in mid-April and the new building on the other side of Fair Green will be much bigger, with six tills and a carpeted banking hall.” he said.

There will be an upstairs rest room and more toilet facilities for the staff.

The branch was a sub branch of the Barclays branch at Cricket Green when it opened several years ago.

“It was decided to make it a full branch as business has expanded a great deal in Mitcham,” said Mr Crocket. “Also we have to consider that a new supermarket is opening and probably more shops with the new central redevelopment.”

The staff of eleven at the present branch were working in very cramped conditions he added. “Now, with so much more room we will be having more staff.”

Source: Mitcham & Collier’s wood Gazette, 31st January 1973

Bryans Ltd.

Aviation equipment factory from possibly 1945 as Bryans Aeroquipment Ltd. Changed its name to Bryans Ltd and later Bryans Southern Instruments.

Willow Lane, Mitcham

Timeline of events

1947 Fire at a rubber dump near the factory.

1955 Board Appointments

1957 Expansion

Name changed from Bryans Aeroquipment Ltd to Bryans Ltd. in 1963 accoridng to Flight International 29th August 1963.

1965 Luftwaffe contract

From Flight International, 13th January, 1966, page 72

Mr. J.R. Bryans is relinquishing his post as chairman and managing director of Bryans Ltd, of Mitcham, Surrey, and becomes a director of Seltronic Group Ltd. Mr Bowman Scott, managing director of Seltronic, has been appointed chairman of Bryans and Mr. David Ince managing director.

From Flight International, 4th June, 1970

Test equipment Merger

Bryans Ltd of Mitcham, Surrey, has sold its interest in aviation test equipment to Negretti and Zambra Ltd and will concentrate henceforth on the market for scientific instruments.

The Bryans product range will now be handled by Negretti & Zambra (Aviation) Ltd. which has a wide range of interests in the aviation field. The existing worldwide agency network established by Bryans will remain unchanged, but within the United Kingdom all enquiries should be addressed to the Bryans Aeroquipment Division of Negretti & Zambra (Aviation) Ltd, 73/77 Lansdowne Rood, Croydon CR9 2HP.

The 1973 Computer Users Yearbook said that the computer department had 5 staff, the D.P. manager was Miss S.M. Harrington. An NCR 500 C computer was used.

From Flight international, 5th October, 1979, page 1137

New formation team

The aerospace interests of Negretti & Zambra (73-77 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Surrey; telephone 01-688 3426) have been brought together into a single entity. N & Z (Aviation) has absorbed the aviation activities of the Aero Engine Instrument Division and of the Bryans Aeroequipment part of associated company Visual Engineers. Design and manufacturing facilities operate at Aylesbury, Croydon and Southampton Airport.

1989 photo on Merton Memories showing a ‘TO LET’ sign.

Equipment ads





















Stanley Dale and Sons

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1973 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

113 London Road


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

1952 ad from Mitcham Cricket Club yearbook

1952 ad from Mitcham Cricket Club yearbook

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