Tag Archives: Robert Masters Chart

Rumbold Villas

Houses from north to south, between Aspen Gardens and Arneys Lane, off the west side of Carshalton Road, south of Mitcham Junction.

They were built in 1923/4, possibly by Joseph Owen. The houses south of Arneys Lane to the junction with Goat Road, were originally called Tramway Terrace, and were built earlier than 1894.

1894 OS map

1894 OS map

1932 OS map

1932 OS map

R.M. Chart valued the completed houses and loans were made by the Mitcham Urban District Council to purchasers under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, 1899.

No. Borrower Property Value £ Loan £
2 J. JORDON 750 675
3 P. PERRYMAN 730 500
4 G. MARLOW 730 655
5 F. ALLEN 725 650
6 L. BURKILL 725 600
7 K.T. TODD 730 655
8 J.B. ROWAN 900 800
10 H.L. GOFF 790 710
13 A.F. FERGUS 725 600
14 S.A. STOLLS 725 600
16 V.H. BARMBY 725 650
17 J.R. GASK 740 665
18 E.H. GRUBB 740 615
19 S.K. BUTTON 725 650
20 A. CRIPPEN 725 575
21 R.G. WILKINS 725 600
22 E.H. JENNER 725 650

Source: Volume IX, Mitcham UDC Minutes, Finance and General Purposes Committee, 1924.

Note that JORDON may be a typo, and probably should be JORDAN.

The name possibly came from the nearby Rumbold Farm, as shown on this 1866 OS map.

1866 OS map

1866 OS map

The 1924 electoral registers gives occupants for numbers 12 to 22.

12, Agnes HALE and Thomas Hargrave YATES
13, Alexander Forrester and Caroline Sophia FERGUS
14, Sidney Arthur and Lily STOLLS
15, Sidney Randolph and Grace Kathleen SELF
16, Victor BARNBY
17, John Reginald GASK

19, Sidney Kenneth BUTTON

22, Edmond Frank and Kate JENNER

In the 1925 electoral register, the names Rumbold Villas and Tramway Terrace have been dropped.

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

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


Private Geoffrey Chart


—Mr. R. M. Chart. C.A., is so well-known for many years’ work as surveyor to the old Rural District Council and as County Alderman, that the sympathy will be wide for the loss he has sustained in the death at the front of his son, Pte. Geoffrey Chart, who joined up on the outbreak of the Boer War, and after the campaign was over started in business in Cape Town. When this war commenced he again joined the Highlanders, and last spring came back for a few days to his old home. He was wounded in action on Sept. 21st, and hopeful news was sent as to his recovery, but he died Sept. 23rd. He was 36, and leaves a wife and two children. Alderman Chart has three other sons serving.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 12 October 1917 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Pte. Geoffrey Chart, South African Contingent, whose death on Sept. 23rd from wounds received on the 21st is reported, was the fourth son of Mr. Robert M. Chart, St. Mary’s, Mitcham, Alderman of the Surrey County Council, and chairman of the Small Holdings and Allotments Committee.

Source: Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 06 October 1917 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

Rank: Private
Service No: 10196
Date of Death: 23/09/1917
Age: 36
Regiment/Service: South African Infantry, 4th Regiment
Grave Reference: I. E. 6.
Cemetery: Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.
Additional Information: Son of Robert and Florence Chart, of St. Mary’s, Mitcham, Surrey, England; husband of Margaret Chart, of Limebrook Cottage, Bingham Street, Bangor, Co. Down, Ireland.

The Nine Elms British Cemetery contains 1,556 Commonwealth burials from the First World War.

According to Eric Mobtague, in his Mitcham Histories : 1 The Cricket Green, page 105, St. Mary’s was the home of Robert Masters Chart from 1911 until his death in 1942. The house was near the old Methodist church, on the eastern side of the Cricket Green, and was demolished in the 1950s.

This image, part of a 1903 postcard, shows the old Methodist church and some houses next to it, which may include St Mary’s, where the road Chart Close is today.

c. 1903

c. 1903

Unveiling of the Mitcham War Memorial

From the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 26th November, 1920


The war shrine, situated on the Lower Green, Mitcham, was unveiled last Sunday by Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G. (formerly commanding the 7th Division and 19th Corps, B.E.F.). The weather, although very cold, was fine, and about 5,000 people were present at the unveiling.

Alderman R. M. Chart (Chairman of the War Memorial Committee) said that this shrine was to commemorate the self-sacrifice of those who made the supreme sacrifice, and show our undying sorrow felt by those who have lost dear ones in the late war. Two years ago the war terminated, and in February, 1919, a committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds for the war shrine. There was some difficulty as to the most prominent place for the shrine, and on Peace Day, when the temporary memorial was put behind the Vestry Hall, it was proposed that that should be the site for the permanent one. It is also proposed now that a fencing should be placed round the shrine, but with facilities for the public to place flowers on it, which he (Mr. R. M. Chart) was sure they would do from time to time. He also said that every effort had been made to obtain the names of men who had been killed in action or died of wounds, and, at present, there were 557 names inscribed on the shrine, and since then more had come to hand, and would be inscribed in due course. The speaker then said it was his duty and pleasure to introduce Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., who had well served his country in the late war. He was commanding in the first and third Battle of Ypres.

Major-General Sir H. E. Watts, K.C.B., C.M.G., said, after what Mr. Chart had said, there was not much more to say, but there was one incident that he would like to remind them of, and that was the late Earl Kitchener’s appeal of “Your King and Country need you,” at the beginning of the war, in which all men flocked to enlist. “Why !” because they knew that they were going to fight for freedom and endure the hardships of war, which was a fine example of self-sacrifice and unselfishness. All honour was due to them who came forward at the country’s call. The men, women and children were also a great help, for, while we soldiers were fighting, those at home endured many hardships, but without murmuring. He then unveiled the memorial, and the “Last Post” was played by buglers of the East Surrey Regiment.

The hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee,” was sung, and then the invocation and prayers were said by Rev. C. A. Finch, the Vicar of Mitcham, after which Rev. J. F. Cowley, the the Zion Congregational Church, said a few words.

Rev. J. F. Cowley said that, in doing honour to those who laid down their lives for us, there should be no mistake, for if they had not done so, no English home would be intact and safe to-day, but the unspeakable happenings in Belgium would have happened in England, and, perhaps, have been even worse, because it was against England that the Germans were so bitter and revengeful. He said we should thank God and our fallen heroes for such a merciful deliverance, and also think God for such sons, fathers, brothers and sweethearts who so cheerfully laid down their lives to save us from shame and dishonour. They must not forget to honour and thank the mothers who gave the best, they had got; and in the future, when one was in despair, they should just go to the shrine and remember what, Englishmen could and did do for their country, because they thought that, if it was worth living for, it was worth dying for. Those present then proceeded to place their floral tributes on the shrine, during which Mr. Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional” was sung.

The Jubilee Lodge, R.A.O.B., sent a wreath in memory of fallen “Buffs.” Other lodges also sent wreaths.

The special constables were present under the command of Inspectors Webb and Freeman. Colonel Bidder, D.S.O., was present, and a detachment of ex-Service men lined up round the inside of the ropes. The music for the hymns was played by the Mitcham and Wimbledon Military Band, conducted by Mr. H. Salter.

1927 The Last Vestry Clerk


Mr. R. M. Chart, of Mitcham, deputy chairman of the Croydon County Bench, has notified the Mitcham Council that on March 31st he will cease to be the vestry clerk for Mitcham, a post which he has held for 39 years all but three days, and which has been held by his direct ancestors for 166 years without a break. Mr. Chart is the last of the Mitcham vestry clerks, the office being abolished under the new Rating and Valuation Act, but the duties will be carried on by his son, Colonel Stephen Chart, who is clerk to the Mitcham Council.

The first vestry clerk for Mitcham was Mr. R. M. Chart’s great-grandfather, who was appointed in 1761 at a salary of £3 a year, and held the post for 44 years. His grandfather, who built the present Mitcham parish church, held it for 41 years, and his father held it for 42 years. All these men held the post until they died, and were parish clerks as well. Mr. R. M. Chart, who is 76 years old, still does the work of more than 12 public appointments, and takes an active interest in most local affairs. He was a member of the Surrey County Council for 25 years, for nine years as alderman.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 04 March 1927 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1910 Antipodean Visitors to Lower Mitcham School


Two interesting visitors on Tuesday were Councillor and Mrs. Walker, of Mitcham, in the State of Victoria, Australia, who came to have a look at the day schools and receive a Union Jack and a case of essences, with which they were officially presented on Empire Day. That ceremony was reported in the “Advertiser.” but it may be well to recall the principal facts. On that day the school children gathered at Park-place to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Walker, who came the authorised representatives the State school of Mitcham, Victoria, to present an Australian flag, a sprig of eucalyptus, and photographs to the managers. It was an interesting event, and the visitors were favourably impressed with what they saw. But they had no opportunity then of inspecting the schools with the children at work, and they were invited to return later on.

So it came about that on Tuesday morning they were met at Mitcham Junction Station by Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Chart, with whom they drove to the Lower Mitcham School, after short stay the way at the Roman Catholic School facing the Green. They arrived at lower Mitcham as the scholars were at play, and were able to see them under the most natural conditions. While Mr. Walker expressed himself as delighted with the discipline he could hardly fail to notice the miserable way many of the boys were shod. Several, in fact, were not shod at all, and were running about with bare feet and the most ragged of clothes.

At the end of play time the boys filed into the large hall of their department, where the headmaster, Mr. Clarke, introduced to them Mr. Walker and his wife, mentioning the circumstances under which they paid their previous visit.

Mr. Walker, in the course of a few words to the audience, said he was delighted to be present and to renew his acquaintance with the teachers and scholars. He was glad to find the school in such splendid condition, and the scholars with such a happy and healthy appearance. Particularly was he pleased to see them at play, and to notice the attention they paid to the headmaster’s whistle. As they grew up he hoped they would always be regardful in the same manner of the authority that they might serve. It was a credit to the headmaster to find them so well trained, as it was to the boys themselves. As he looked round he was inclined to think that they had not all equal opportunities, but during his journeys in England he had come to understand that everybody had an equal chance, and it depended upon them as to what they would do with the opportunities that were given to them. He knew what boys’ difficulties were and what they had to do; but now was the greatest opportunity of their lives, and they should make the most it. Then he told them that they belonged to a great Empire, and would have their place in it when they grew up; and, in conclusion, he wished them all happy future and hoped that the district would have reason to be proud to know that some of them had risen to fill high positions in the commercial and political world.

The boys responded to these sentiments with three ringing cheers.

Mr. Clarke declined to take himself all the credit for the discipline the school, which he said was largely due to his assistants. They thanked Mr. Walker very much for coming, and hoped that the boys would bear in mind something of what he had said.

Shortly afterwards the party left for the Singlegate Schools, where the Union Jack in an oak box and the case of distilled essences of lavender, peppermint, and other products of Mitcham, given by Mr. R. A. Bush’s firm, were presented to Mr. Walker. He and Mrs. Walker had lunch with Mr. R. M. Chart, and later in the day returned to London. They expect to leave for Australia next week by way of New York and Vancouver, arriving home at the beginning of December.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 September 1910 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Volunteer Fire Brigade

Mitcham’s fire brigade was a volunteer service until 1920, when Albert Wells was appointed Chief Officer. He introduced retaining fees for the chief and sub officers at each station, and remunerations for drills and call-outs for the firemen.

Stories from the British Newspaper Archive

(subscription required)

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 07 September 1889

The Volunteer Fire Brigade.

—The annual test drill of the brigade took place on Wednesday evening, when the men mustered in full force and arrived at the tanyard, Beddington Corner, with their engine punctually at six p.m., and in about three minutes got to work with one jet. To this was shortly added another, junction being made in the hose about ten yards from the engine ; another connection was rapidly made from the engine with additional hose, and three powerful jets of water were concentrated on point where an imaginary fire was raging. A correspondent who witnessed the drill is of opinion that from observations made and the excellent espirit de corps shown the men, that this, as an entirely volunteer brigade, in a position to cope with any emergency which may arise in the vicinity. An essential point with men who give their time and labour gratis is having confidence in their leader, and this the Mitcham men certainly have in Superintendent A. R. Harwood. The following members of the committee were present to witness the proceedings, viz., Mr. S. Wells (chairman), Mr. Harwood, sen., Dr. Love, Mr. Sampson, and Mr. S. Love.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 23 February 1889

The Mitcham Volunteer Fire Brigade.

— The committee of this brigade entertained the members to dinner on Wednesday evening, at the Old Nag’s Head, Upper Mitcham. Mr. Wells, the chairman committee, occupied the chair, and Mr. A. R. Harwood, the superintendent of the brigade, the vice-chair. There were present Messrs. W. R. Harwood, Dr. Love, F. G. Sampson, R. M Chart. S. Love, and W. Jenner, members of the committee, and the brigade with the turncock and call-boys. An excellent repast was put upon the table by Mr Tomlin, and served in his best style, to which ample justice was done. The usual loyal toasts were also given, with that of the brigade, committee, &c. and a most enjoyable evening was spent. During the evening some capital songs were rendered by Messrs Shepherd, Brown, Dill, Turner, and others.

Agricultural Express – Saturday 25 February 1893



—On Thursday morning a fire, which originated in a store used for frying fish, broke out at 2, Rock-terrace. The rafters in the chimney had caught alight, but the volunteer fire brigade were able to extinguish the flames with a few buckets of water. The house was occupied by woman named Patience Stone.

Hooper’s Telegraph Works

News Stories

Morning Advertiser – Wednesday 16 February 1870


Incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867. Capital, £250,000, in shares of £10 each, payable as follows:-

    £1 per Share on Application. 
    £2     "        Allotment.
    £2     "        1st April, 1870. 
    £2     "        1st June, 1870. 
    £1     "        1st August, 1870. 


        John Dunlop. Esq. 
        Hon. L. Agar-Ellis, M.P. 
        C. Seymour Grenfell, Esq. 
        William Hooper, Esq., Managing Director. 
        Frederic Lubbock, Esq. 
        Admiral Sir Wm. Wiseman, Bart.  


        Messrs. Robarts, Lubbock, and Co. 
        Bank of Scotland (Edinburgh and Branches). 


        Messrs. Ashurst, Morris, and Co. 

Temporary Offices:- No. 114, Gresham House, Old Broadstreet, E.C. 

This Company has been formed to takeover and the well-known works of Mr. William Hooper, for the manufacture of Indiarubber Core for Telegraphic purpose, and add thereto the business of Covering the Core for Submarine Cables, and sub-merging and maintaining the same, whereby the Company will enabled execute the largest contracts for the manufacture of Submarine and Land Telegraphs. 

The value Mr. Hooper's process for the manufacture of Core is now fully recognised. He has successfully carried on his present business, and with a comparatively small capital has made vary large profits, sufficient to ensure out of that branch of the alone a handsome return on the whole capital of the Company; and when the other branches have been added, it is but fair conclude that the profits this undertaking will favourably compare with those of the existing Companies. 

Mr. Hooper has already manufactured according to his process the Cores for the following Cables, all which are in  perfect working order, viz.: 

       Ceylon to the Mainland of India. 
       The Persian Gulf Cable, laid last year by the Indian Government.
       England to Denmark. 
       Danish-Russian Cable (one section). 
       Scotland to Norway 
       Sweden to Russia. 

Besides upwards of 500 miles laid in various parts of India, Brazil, Australia, &c. Mr Latimer Clark, while engaged as Engineer and  Electrician to the Indian Government, in a letter addressed to Mr. Hooper from Bombay, so recently as the 18th October, 1869, says, in  reference to a Cable submerged in the Persian Gulf: - 

   “We have been examining, and I am bringing home a specimen of the very first sample Core which you sent out in 1863 to the Persian Gulf, and which has had no special care taken of it; it is as perfect as when it first left England, and can in no way be distinguished from a new sample fresh out of the factory.” 

The Company, while possessed of the exclusive right use Mr. Hooper's process for the manufacture of Indiarubber Core, will be prepared to contract for Cables with Guttapercha Core. 

Mr. Hooper has contracted with the Great Northern Telegraph China and Japan Extension Company for the manufacture of their cables, 2,300 miles in length, for £896,000; and it is one of the terms of the agreement between Mr. Hooper and the Company that two-thirds of all profits from this contract shall belong to this Company, which will thus enter on actual and highly remunerative operations at once. Mr Hooper has already made considerable progress with this contract. Mr. Hooper’s works at Mitcham, which are capable of executing large contracts for Core, will be taken over for £65,000. Mr. Hooper’s consideration for Patents and Goodwill will be entirely contingent on the success of the Company, and consists of one-half the net profits of year, after 7 1/2 per cent per annum had  first been paid to the Shareholders. At the end of 10 years the whole the profits will accrue to the Company. 

Copies of the Articles of Association and of the Agreement with Mr. Hooper can be seen at the Offices of the Solicitors of the Company.

Applications for Shares, in the form annexed, accompanied by a deposit of £1 per Share, can be left with the Bankers of the Company.Deposits will be received at any of the Branches of the Bank of Scotland. If no Allotment is made the Deposit will be returned in full. 

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 21 June 1873

“The Hooper.”

—It may, perhaps, be interesting to our readers to know that the Hooper Telegraph Company (limited), whose extensive works are at Mitcham, have had a vessel built bearing the above name, the first ever constructed entirely for telegraph purposes, and embracing every improvement in the paying out machinery and appliances for picking up a damaged or lost cable, which experience up to the present time has suggested. She is 350 feet in length, 55 feet beam, 35 feet in depth, and of 5,000 tons register, with engines of 400 nominal horsepower, working up to 2,000, and realises a speed of 10.5 knots an hour. She has taken in 1,500 miles of cable from the Hooper Works, at Millwall, belonging to the Western Telegraph Company, which is about to lay 2,500 miles of cable along the east coast of South America, which left on Saturday. After coaling and taking in stores at Plymouth the Hooper will sail direct for Pernambuco.

This Cable Ship was later renamed the Silvertown, see History of the Atlantic Cable

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 19 June 1875

Presentation to Mr. John P. Hooper.

—On Saturday, the 12th instant, pleasing ceremony took place at the offices of Hooper’s Telegraph Works Limited,” 31, Lombard-street, E.C., the occasion being the presentation of a handsome epergne and dessert stands to Mr. John Hooper in anticipation of his wedding, which announce in another portion of our journal as having taken place on Wednesday last. The epergne and stands, which were the work of Messrs. Elkington and Co., bore a suitable inscription, stating them to be the gift of the officers and workpeople of Hooper’s Telegraph Works, Limited, at Millwall, Mitcham, West Ham, Lombard-street, and of the cable steamship Hooper, with whom Mr. John Hooper now holds the chief position. The presentation was made on behalf of those assembled by Mr. A. Maclachlan, for many years connected with Hooper’s Telegraph Works, who in addressing Mr. John Hooper, said—

“I have been requested to undertake the pleasing duty of presenting to you on the occasion of your wedding this testimonial on behalf of those so long associated with you in connection with Hooper’s Telegraph Works, Limited, at Millwall, Mitcham, West Ham, and Lombard-street, and of the officers of the cable steamship ‘Hooper.’ This duty is the more pleasing because it gives me the opportunity of expressing in the name of those thus connected with you the high respect and esteem in which you are held by them. I know that ever since your first connection with our works you have always merited and possessed the cordial respect and affection of all who have the good fortune to be associated with you. In begging your acceptance of this testimonial, we heartily wish you every happiness in your married life, and that you may live long to enjoy the comforts of your own home.”

In reply to Mr. Maclachlan, Mr. John Hooper said —

“I am sure I thank you each and all for your kindness in presenting me with this handsome testimonial. I need scarcely that I shall always bear in mind the good feeling and good fellowship which must exist between us, as evinced by your present, and while such good fellowship does exist, I am certain that all our undertakings will prosper. I have doubt that if those connected with the three factories and with our ships, coupled with those working at Lombard-street, are prepared to pull together as heretofore, our present undertakings will be as successful as the past. I am sure it is most handsome on your part to present me with such a gift and I can only say again that I thank you each and all very much.”

Sussex Agricultural Express – Saturday 20 October 1888


MESSRS. BLAKE. HADDOCK, & CARPENTER WILL SELL BY AUCTION, at the Mart, Tokenhouse-yard, City, E.C., on WEDNESDAY, 7th November, Two o’clock precisely, by direction of the trustees under the will of the late James Bridger, Esq., the valuable and important MANOR of BIGGIN and TAMWORTH, with the quit rents, fines, heriots, &c., extending over large area, and including the Fair Green. Also, nine acres of capital MARKET GARDEN GROUND. A compact property fronting the two greens. Also, four FREEHOLD GROUND RENTS, amounting to £29 5s. per annum, the important PROPERTY of HOOPER’S TELEGRAPH WORKS, occupying an area of four acres on Mitcham Common, and let at £225 per annum. Particulars and conditions of sale, with plan, may had of J. Penfold, Esq.. Solicitor, 21, John-street, Bedford-row, W.C, ; Mr R. M. Chart, Surveyor. Lower Mitcham; and at the At Auctioneers’ Offices, 45, High-Street, Croydon. Note.—At the same time will be sold other Property at Croydon and elsewhere.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 24 September 1898


Messrs. BLAKE & CARPENTER Will Sell by Auction, at the King’s Head, Mitcham, Monday. October 17th, at Six o’clock the evening, 1 FREEHOLD COTTAGE PROPERTY, known as Hooper’s Cottages, situate at Commonside East, Mitcham, the annual rental value of £49 10s. Particulars and conditions of sale may be had of the Solicitors, Messrs. Andrew and Cheale. Tunbridge Wells ; R. M. Chart, Esq., Mitcham ; and of the Auctioneers, 45, High Street, Croydon.