Glebe Path renumbering

Glebe Square had been built by Mitcham Council as old people’s housing. This consists of blocks of flats arranged as a square around a green space. The western block has doors facing onto the east or right hand side of Glebe Path. In 1960 Mitcham Borough Council attempted to renumber all the properties in Glebe Path. Homeowners in Glebe Path protested.


It’s the battle of the numbers at Glebe Path, Mitcham. Residents of seven houses, who have been told by Mitcham Council that they must change the numbers on their front doors, gave their answer last week.

It is : “No, no … seven times No. Fines us, if you want.”

And it took Mitcham Council a little aback. For if they want they can force the people to change their numbers by taking them to court. The penalty for the number rebels could be up to £2.

Confessed a spokesman : “I have had no experience of anything like this before, but I presume we shall have to do something officially.”


But the seven rebels are standing firm … and meanwhile the number mix-up at Glebe Path and Glebe Square has caused chaos. For the council have already changed the numbers of THEIR property, the old people’s flatlets in Glebe Square.

So this is what tradesmen find when they arrive at Glebe Path: The numbers start at 2, climb to 28 … and then DROP again to 2 and continue up to 14.

The council want the numbers to start at 2 and end up at 42.

Why have the seven started their number strike? It’s because they think Mitcham Council blundered when they numbered the old people’s flatlets which face on to Glebe Path.

THE MAN AT NO. 14 (42 IF THE COUNCIL HAD ITS WAY) SAID : “I refuse to submit to the renumbering.”


“Someone on the council needs to have his knees caned for having so little foresight as to number the old people’s flatlets the way he did. If they were numbered properly in the first place this would never have happened.

“Look at the trouble we should have to go to if the numbers were changed. We would have to notify the bank, change the deeds of our home, tell the land registry people, the Post Office, and alter our letter headings.”

THE WOMAN AT NO. 8 (36, SAY THE COUNCIL), Mrs M. Bassano, said: “I have lived here for 31 years. Why should we change our numbers because of a council mistake after all this time?

“Why couldn’t the council have just changed the numbers of the ld people’s flatlets?”

THE MAN AT NO. 2 (30, IF THE REBELS GIVE WAY), Mr Palmer Riley, said:


“Look old man, we are not grumbling because we think we will have to go out with a screwdriver and put the new numbers up. But after all we were here first, and it is the council’s mistake.

“I will have to alter my letter heading embosser, and I know there are plenty of people here who will have reams of notepaper made useless.

“I have worked out that it will cost me 8s. at least to let people know my new number.

“The numbering of the old people’s flatlets was the height of inefficiency.”

Mr J.R. Thomas, chairman of South Mitcham Residents’ Association which campaigned for the numbering of Glebe Path and Glebe Square to be altered because of confusion between the two, said:


“The residents decided to stand firm at a meeting on Friday. When we asked the council to change the numbers we just wanted them to reverse the numbers of their own property, Glebe Square.

“But now they have brought one side of Glebe Square into Glebe Path.

“They did not do it the simple way. But it was the woriding of the notice which, I think, annoyed people most. It just stated the change had to be made and mentioned a £2 penalty – I think a more human letter would have had more effect.”

Mr Thorns has written to the council asking the renumbering of Glebe Path be suspended until discussions can be had with the highways committee. Most others of the seven residents have also written in protest.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 1st April 1960, page 5.

The council reversed their decision.

The rebels looked like winning

The seven rebels of Glebe Path, Mitcham, looked like winning the battle of the numbers yesterday (Thursday). They are the people who said no when Mitcham Council told them to renumber their homes.

A resolution before the council yesterday completely surrenders to the rebels. It says that they may keep their numbers – they live at 2 to 14.

The resolution says that it is the council cottage dwellers at Glebe Path who will have to have their numbers changed AGAIN. Nearly a month ago they were changed by council workmen.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 22nd April 1960, page 9.

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