Arnold Road

Arnold Road is off the west side of London Road, south and parallel to Finborough Road. All properties in this road have the same postcode, SW17 9HU. Although in Mitcham, this road has a Tooting postcode as post was originally delivered from the Lower Tooting post office.

There were 20 large houses, or villas, that were built sometime before 1880. They were each converted into 2 self-contained flats, according to planning application MER456/75, which was granted in January 1976.

This OS map of 1894 shows five linked semi-detached houses on both sides of the road.

1894 OS map

These 20 houses were numbered sequentially from 1 to 10 on each side.

They were built before 1880, as occupants are shown in that year’s directory :

(Note that this directory doesn’t say which side of the road these houses are on, and so it has been deduced from later directories.)

NORTH SIDE

1, John Frederick BUCCLEUGH
2, James Henry COLLINGWOOD
3, Samuel BENIAMS
5, William ANCELL
6, Mrs AUSTIN
7, Mrs MORTON
8, Frederick GRITTEN
9, Samuel PRENTICE
10, William JONES

SOUTH SIDE

3, John YOUNG
5, Miss OWEN
6, Frank MULLINS
Fairlight Villa, Mrs TOHLER
9, George TYLER

The 1891 street directory describes the road as from the western end to the Mitcham Road, as that part of London Road was called at the time.

NORTH SIDE

10, Miss Mary JONES
9, W.G. ROLFE (Hazeldene)
5, Mrs ARMITAGE
4, John YOUNG
3, Theo George SCHOMBURG
2, James Henry COLLINGWOOD

(Note that there were no entries for 1, 6, 7 and 8)

SOUTH SIDE

2, Horace Godbold DARBY
3, John BECKETT
4, Miss TURNER
5, Henry CHATAWAY (Waltair)
7, J. HOLMAN (Fairlight villa)
8, Mrs. OSWIN (Brooklyn)
9, H.W.TAYLOR (Wraxall)
10, Edward HORSEY

(Note that there were no entries for 1 and 6)

The 1894 street directory shows more houses occupied and gives more house names.

NORTH SIDE

10, Miss Mary JONES
9, W.G. ROLFE (Hazeldene)
8, Mrs KNIGHT (Glynavon)
7, Mrs PRITCHARD (Avondale)
6, Mrs Mary DAVIS
5, William BRIGHTWELL
4, Mrs SHEAR (Defoe)
3, Theo George SCHOMBURG
Ernest THOMPSON (Cwmbrook)

(Note that a number is not shown for Cwmbrook, which could be either 2 or 1)

SOUTH SIDE

1, Thomas R. KNIGHT
2, Charles A. BURNE
3, Leonard A. NEWSOM
4, Claude Albert MILLARD
5, Charles FISHER (Waltair)
7, Thomas Edward B. SWALLOW (Fairlight)
8, Joseph Wallis HEWETT (Brooklyn)
9, Mrs H.W. TAYLOR (Wraxall)
10, Spencer SOAN
Mrs Elizabeth TAYLOR, cow keeper

(cowkeeper Mrs Taylor is likely to be the same at Crusoe Dairy Farm, at the western end of Arnold Road)

In the 1912 street directory, the houses have been renumbered even on the north side and odd on the south, from London Road. Except one, the house names are no longer shown.

NORTH SIDE

2, James Edward WHEELER
4, David Scott WILLIAMSON
6, Robert Arthur SIMMONS
8, Mrs Edgley
10, Henry Claude TAYLOR
12, Henry THOMPSON
14, George THOMAS
16, Richard FRYER
18, Mrs HARDING
20, Charles P. LOWS

SOUTH SIDE

1, Thomas R. KNIGHT
3, Mrs STRATTON
5, Charles MILLISH
7, Harry George ROUSE
9, Mrs MOORE
11, Cyrus COOMBS
13, Sydney Adolphus CURRY
15, Joseph Wallis HEWETT (Brooklyn)
17, William SEAGER
19, Thomas TAYLOR, cowkeeper

This OS map from 1951 shows the numbering of the houses as they are today.

1951 OS map

The map shows the addition of another house on the north side, numbered 2A/2B, and a garage on the south side, the front of which can be seen in this 1952 photo:

clip from 1952 photo on Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Streets_Lon_38-40

Lex Garages Ltd., was listed in the 1954 phone book as at 66 London Road, telephone MIT 3951.

In the 1971 phone book it was the Monza Garage service station, which sold Lada cars at some point, with telephone numbers 01-648 9559 and 4091.

At the same address, in the warehouse at the back of the garage was Bearmach (London) Ltd., exporter of motor components, telephone 01-648 9654. This company employed me for £20 a week as a summer job in 1973. The job included taking Land Rover spares out of their boxes and putting them into Bearmach boxes for sale abroad.

This warehouse was redeveloped in 2016 into 4 town houses called Tota Mews, according to planning application 16/P0833, which was granted in May that year. The townhouses have their entrances in Arnold Road, with their rear gardens and garages backing onto Swains Road.

In 2020, the garage site on the London Road is a Halfords Autocentre.


World War 1 Connections

Trooper Leslie Seymour EDGLEY

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

A ELMS of 7 Arnold Road, Tooting Junction, aged 24 Years 9 Months, Painter. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 11 December 1915 to the Army Service Corps (K Coy).

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

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