From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th March 1961
NEWSVENDOR JACK DIES
Sixty-nine-year-old Jack Gillard, who died suddenly in hospital on Tuesday (7th March 1961), was one of Mitcham’s more famous landmarks.
For 41 years, he had sold newspapers at Fair Green, and was known by thousands of local people.
Mr. Gillard, of Henry Prince Estate, Earlsfield, had been in poor health for some time and had not been at his usual pitch for about four months.
He often talked about the changes in the district since he became a newsvendor in 1920.
“When I first moved in to Mitcham – I lived in Love Lane – it was like a small country village,” he would recall.
And he remembered shouting the big news over the years . . . The General Strike, the R101 disaster, the outbreak of war, the first atom bomb over Japan . . .
Three years ago Jack had a serious accident and later a leg was amputated. He was fitted with an artificial limb.
For years he tried to persuade Mitcham Council to let him put up a covered stand, but was never successful.
I remember Jack when I was a boy before WW2 he would sell papers to car drivers at the traffic lights, he would shout “star standard” which took me some time to decipher. I think he was known as Mad Jack. He was very slick with his rapid sales. A real character, now in my 80s I still remember him well. Shame he never got his stand. So glad I found this information.