Robert Ellis of Elm Lodge bought the White Cottage on Morden Road in 1879 and sank an artesian well behind it. He set up a small factory and offices to sell mineral water from his “Raven’s Spring”. By 1882 the business had grown enough for him to move into larger premises at the “Ravenspring Works” in what is now called Western Road.
Source: page 96 Mitcham Histories: 10 Ravensbury by EN Montague
Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 August 1889 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required).
—On Saturday last Messrs, Ellis & Co., of the “Ravenspring,” Merton-road, gave their employees, to the number of about 30, their annual outing. Box Hill being the venue, as last year.
A start was made from the Old Nag’s Head about nine a.m. in the firm’s own vans, Mr. Tomlin, of that ilk, having undertaken to provide the “cusine” for the occasion, and himself accompanying the party, which was under the able management Mr. C. Dell.
On reaching Kingswood lunch was partaken of at the Red Lion. From there the journey was continued to Betchworth Clumps, where a halt was made to enable the party to enjoy the beautiful scenery thereabouts, from there on to the Wheatsheaf at Dorking was a most pleasant drive, and after indulging in cricket and various other games until dinner time the company sat down to the capital fare provided by Mr. Tomlin, everything being of the best and prepared the best style. It is needless to say the dinner was thoroughly enjoyed.
The afternoon was spent in various ways, and the party having been photographed en masse they returned to the Wheatsheaf and partook of a substantial tea, Mr. Sellman, the worthy host of that house, endeavouring by all means in his power to add to their enjoyment, and Mr. T, Saywers, of Morden, having joined the party, a most enjoyable time was spent.
After a pleasant drive home they reached the Old Nag’s Head about 10.40 p.m., well satisfied with their outing.
Mr. Ellis accompanied the party, the whole of the expense being borne by the firm.