Lonesome Chemical Works

Late 19th, early 20th century chemical factory that was west of Rowan Road and south of Greyhound Terrace. It was part of the Mitcham Urban District although its address was Streatham.

Described in the Mitcham vestry minutes of 1853 as “the new factory lately erected at Lonesome Farm”

Source: Mitcham Histories: 3 Pollards Hill, Commonside East and Lonesome by E.N. Montague; pages 20 to 25.

Incorrectly listed in the 1855 Mitcham Directory as Thomas Foster instead of FORSTER, india rubber works, Lonesome.

This ad from 1883 states that the firm of Forster & Gregory was established in 1852.

ad from 1883 edition of The Druggist and Chemist

Text of ad:

FORSTER & GREGORY
MANUFACTURING CHEMISTS
LONESOME CHEMICAL WORKS, STREATHAM COMMON, S.W.,

Makers of all tho Hypophosphites; also of Valerianic Acid and all Valerianates, Bisulphide of Carbon, Chloride of Sulphur, Chlorate of Baryta, and Chemicals for Pyrotechnical
and all othor purposes.

All Coal Tar Products for the Manufacture of Aniline Dyes.

Refiners of Sulphur in Rock or Roll, Ground Sulphur, Washed Sulphur, Milk of
Sulphur, Precipitated Sulphur. Guaranteed Pure.

ESTABLISHED 1852.] SAMPLES AND QUOTATIONS ON APPLICATION. [ESTABLISHED 1852.

1870 OS map

Eric Montague suggested that the Gasometer shown on this map was where the coal tar was extracted in retorts for the production of naphtha, used in making the india rubber. Town gas is a result of this extraction and may well have been stored in the gasometer for local uses, such as lighting for the works.

1894 OS map

1913 OS Map Lonesome


Note that the Manor Road shown on this map north of Marian Road was later renamed Greyhound Terrace.

1933 OS Map

News Articles

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 February 1899

The Chemical Factory and the District Council

At the Croydon County Bench Saturday, before Ald. Barrow the chair), Col, Cetto, Capt. T. Goodson, and Mr. S. Rostron, the adjourned case came of the Croydon Rural District Council v. William George Forster, managing director of Messrs. Forster & Gregory. Lonesome Chemical Works, Mitcham, respecting a nuisance in which the District Council asked for order against the defendant under the Public Health Act of to abate the nuisance.

– Mr. Wilson, representing the District Council, said that since the case first came before the Bench the experts the defendant met those of the District Council on the spot, and the result had been letter from the defendants’ solicitors, stating that they would agree to the order the Council asked for.€

– Mr. Dees said this was so. They consented to order accordance with the terms of the summons. The Council had agreed to give them a certain amount of time, 42 days, in which to carry out the terms the order. It would mean that the firm would have to do considerable work at considerable cost. The required order was made.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 January 1879

Gregory.
— Dec. 17th, suddenly, Edwin Gregory, of Thornton Heath and Lonesome Chemical Works, aged 43 years.

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