Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnics Sports Ground

Sports ground that was accessed from Prince Georges Road, off the east side of Western Road. It had its own pavilion, and the grounds of 33 acres had cricket fields, hockey pitches and tennis courts.

Around the end of the 1980s the trading estates of Chelsea Fields and College Fields were built on, and named after, this sports ground.

Trading estate signs from Google Street View

2022 map © OpenStreetMap contributors

1953 OS map (CC-BY)

Listed in the 1930 commercial directory as Battersea & Chelsea Polytechnics, athletic ground, Princes rd. T N 0852

Note that Prince Georges Road was previously called Princes Road.

News Articles
The sports ground is given as in Merton or Merton Abbey, and today would have an SW19 postcode.

The Sphere – Saturday 20 January 1923

The Sphere, 10th January 1923, via the British Newspaper Archives. Image © Illustrated London News Group

The Lacrosse Trials and the London University “Rag.”A Group of the Players who took part in the All England Ladies’ Lacrosse Trials at Merton These trials were carried out on the ground of the Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnic at Merton. The names of the ladies who took part are as follows: Standing at back, from left to right: Miss Long (Cambridge), Miss Morgan (Sunderland), Miss Du Buisson (Broadwater), Miss Hampton (Putney), Miss Smith (Putney), Miss E. Briscoe (Putney), Miss Rushbrook (Putney), Miss Straker (Putney), Miss Cadman (Sheffield), Miss Illingworth (Chelsea), Miss Allbrecht (Mersey). Miss Guy (Harrogate), Miss Barr (Brooklands), Miss Ellershaw (Midlands). Miss Pawson (Midlands^, Miss J. Partridge (Dartford), Miss Slaney (Oxford), and Miss R6e (Oxford). Seated in front are Miss J. Riley (Putney), Miss Neame(Kent), Miss J. Simpson (Kent), Miss H. Simpson (Putney), Miss Brash (Putney), Miss Doman (Kent), Miss Moresby White (Putnev), Mrs. Cavalier, Miss Roe, Miss Newbold, Miss Legg, and Miss Whitby (Members of the Selection Committee), and Miss Lockby (Mersey), Miss Keys (Yorkshire), and Miss K. Riley (Putney)

Coventry Evening Telegraph – Friday 22 November 1929

HOCKEY

Surrey Beat Warwickshire

HEAVY SCORING AT MERTON ABBEY

Goals were plentiful on the Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnic Athletic ground, at Merton Abbey, yesterday, when Surrey Ladies defeated Warwickshire Ladies by eight goals to five. Warwickshire who on the previous day had been beaten by Kent, showed all-round improvement in their meeting with Surrey, who were seen to most advantage in the first half, during which period, however, their forwards were often checked by a very capable opposing half-back line. The Surrey defenders also hail to work hard on the occasion of numerous Warwickshire raids, in which Miss Curle, at centre-forward. was always conspicuous. Miss Curle scored three goals for Warwickshire before the interval, at which point Surrey led by six goals to three, and added another during the second half, when Miss Taylor also went through for Warwickshire. Miss Albright. of Surrey, aIso hit four goals, the other scorers for the winners being the Misses Brown, J. Ellis (two), and B. Ellis. The Warwickshire team was: Miss J. Edwards (Bedford College); Miss H. N. Burman (Edgbaston) and Miss M.L. Burnam (Edgbaston); Miss K. Kepple (Edgbaston), Miss M. Whippell (Lillington), and Miss G. Wilson (Knowle); Miss T. Harper (Knowle), Miss D. Fairlie (Birmingham University), Miss V. Curie (Lillington), Miss I. Naylor (Tettenhall). and Miss C. Goodman (Edgbaston).

Illustrated London News – Saturday 14 March 1931

Illustrated London News, 14th March 1931, via the British Newspaper Archives. Image © Illustrated London News Group

Leicester Evening Mail – Thursday 09 July 1936

LEICESTER PILOT IN
FORCED LANDING

AIR LINER HITS
WIRE FENCE

Making a forced landing owing to bad weather on a sports ground at Lavender-avenue, Mitcham, this afternoon, a five-seater monoplane crashed into a 15ft. high steel wire fence and was damaged.

The pilot, Ivor Osborn BALDWIN, of Chez Nous, Hinckley-road, Leicester, was unhurt.

The plane belonged to Crilly Airways Limited, and was being flown from Leicester to Croydon. It had landed earlier at Heston and was on the last lap of the flight when the accident happened.

SLIPPERY GROUND

Owing to the wet state of the ground and with rain falling heavily, the pilot, although breaking hard, was unable to stop the machine before it crashed into the fence which surrounds a number of tennis court on the Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnic sports ground.

One wing of the monoplane, which also struck a wooden fence, was broken and slight damage done to the fuselage.

Norwood News – Friday 18 May 1956

IT’S A GREAT LIFE BEHIND A MOWER

WHEN Mr. L. E. KIMBER became head groundsman at the Battersea and Chelsea Polytechnic sports ground in Western-road, Mitcham, it was “very third rate.”

But that was ten years ago. Now the ground is one of the finest in Mitcham.

And the recipe for good groundsmanship, says Mr. Kimber, is “Work, work and more work. You’ve got to have a love of the open air and you must be fit.”

At 55 he is an excellent advertisement for a life behind the lawnmower. He is wiry and rosy-cheeked.

“I’m up at dawn and in the’ summer I often don’t finish on the ground until late at night. But I wouldn’t have another job.”

Groundsmanship runs in his family. His father has just retired as head groundsman at another club. He is in his 80’s.

33 ACRES

There is a staff of only four to attend to the 33 acres of cricket fields, hockey pitches and tennis courts. But their work is made, easier by Mr. Kimber’s policy of “a machine for every job.”

The garages are stocked with mowers, rollers, line – marking machines and a tractor. There is a small motor mower for the cricket pitches, a larger one for the surrounding turf and a third for the’ rougher outfield.

The tractor, which is fitted with rollers in place of back wheels and which pulls a mower, can cover 15 acres a day. The ground is usually mown two or three times a week.

But Mr. Kimber does not rely entirely on mechanisation. ” I have a good staff. They are keen and they keep up to my standards. “I’ve been told that our pitches, are equal to those on the Cricket Green.”


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

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