Author Archives: Mitcham History Team

1890 : Church denied share of profits from Mitcham Common gravel extraction

From the Huddersfield Daily Chronicle – Thursday 17th July 1890

A CURIOUS CASE.

Mr. Justice Kekewich, on Wednesday, decided a curious case raised by the Ecclesiastical Commissioner, who, in 1862, were made lords of the manor of Vauxhall, who now brought an action against the devisees of James Bridger, lord of the manor of Biggin and Tamworth. and also the lords of the manor of Mitcham and Ravensbury, to recover one-fourth of the profits derived by the defendants from the gravel digging on Mitcham Common. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners contended that they were successors of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. the title being traced back to the reign of Edward I., who granted the manor to the Black Prince, who transferred it to the convent of Christ Church, Canterbury, and on the dissolution of the monasteries it was vested in the Crown in the reign of Henry VIII. The plaintiffs urged that the manor extended to Mitcham Common, which belonged to them and the other lords of the manor as tenants in common, and that, therefore, they were entitled to take their share of the gravel. His lordship gave judgment against the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, with costs, holding that they had failed to make out their case.

Morfax Social Club Sports Ground

A sports ground that included a club pavilion that was east of the Corporation Cottages, opposite the Goat pub on Carshalton Road. It was last used by the factory Morfax, which was in Willow Lane.

Its address was Sports And Social Club Of Morfax, Carshalton Road, Mitcham CR4 4HN

This OS map from 1954 shows the outline of the pavilion building and the extent of the ground eastwards towards the railway line.

1954 OS map

Bing Maps has an aerial view of what is left of the clubhouse and ground.


There are 7 Planning applications on Sutton Council’s website:

90/P0448 : Granted 26 Jun 1990
Erection of single storey rear lounge extension to clubhouse.

86/P1340 : Granted 10 Mar 1987
Erection of changing rooms.

MER/1286/85 : Granted 4 Apr 1986
Erection of extension to existing club room.

MER/745/85 : Granted 20 Sep 1985
Extension of changing rooms.

MER/920/84 : Granted 31 Jan 1985
Erection of extension to club building involving demolition of existing buildings, to provide new servery, food preparation and beer storage areas.

MER/469/81 : Granted 13 Jan 1983
Retrospective application to erect a single-storey building for use in connection with the football club.

MER/468/81 : Granted 29 Sep 1981
Retrospective applcation for the erection of a standing encosure for spectators on northern site of the Fisher Football Club, Carshalton, Mitcham.

1970 : Pollards Hill Estate rents for new 5-person houses too high

Rents of about £9 plus a week which will be charged on soon to be completed homes in the new Pollards Hill Housing Estate are being scoffed at by council tenants.

Tenants at present living in overcrowded conditions are being given the opportunity to move to future new homes on the 850-dwellings estate. However, the common reaction is ”These rates are too high by far – we can’t move unless they are brought down.”

The higher rents come in as a part of the rent structure for new tenancies – based on 210% of gross value on houses and 185% on flats – brought in by Merton Council.

Borough Housing Manager Mr A.A. Brown said 1,000 tenants had so far been invited to move into the new Pollards Hill Estate when their five and six person houses and flats become available.

Small response

“But the response of people interested in moving has been small,” he said.

Mr Brown was confident, however, that no flats or houses on the new development will be left empty when they were completed by the summer of 1971.

“I am sure they will be quickly occupied from the council waiting list.”

Among the existing tenants who have been given the opportunity of moving is 42 year old printer Mr John Uren.

Father of a teenage son and daughter, he would be entitled to move into a new 3-bedroom house from his four-guinea-a-week, two bedroom flat on the post-war estate at Pollards Hill.

“But I doubt I if I shall accept the offer – anyone who would pay £9 a week rent could just as well by their own new home,” Mr Uren said.

And Pollards Hill Estate tenants Association secretary Mr Dennis Small said these are not rents for ordinary council tenants at all – the council are only catering for people with big incomes. To pay the kind of rents the council asking for their new homes, a man would need to earn up to £40 a week.”

The new rents for a strongly opposed by the council’s labour minority. Said Councillor D.W. Chalkley, sole Labour representative on the housing committee: “With better handling of the housing account, these new tenancy rents could have been contained within the existing structure, which the Government would not have permitted to be raised.

“With such high rates, most people are quite naturally scared off.”

Merton’s letter inviting overcrowded tenants to move to Pollards Hill drew attention to the recently improved rent rebate scheme.

Prefer to pay

“But most tenants would prefer to pay their way rather than hope they will continue to qualify for rebates,” Councillor Chalkley commented.

“And, in any case, the present scheme where one council tenant subsidises another is wrong – it should be spread evenly amongst all ratepayers.”

Official opening of the first to five person houses at Pollards Hill will be carried out by Mitcham MP Mr Robert Carr, January 28.

1717 : Earliest newspaper mention

The earliest newspaper mention so far found on the British Newspaper Archives is from 25th May, 1717:

May 25th, 1717
From the Stamford Mercury – Thursday 30 May 1717:
“That Same Day a Man and his Wife, were brought from Mitcham in Surrey, and made Prisoners in the Marshalsea, for Coining Several £1000 in false Money.”
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

1908 : Crimean veteran’s funeral

Croydon’s Weekly Standard – Saturday 10 October 1908

THE VETERANS’ SALUTE.

The funeral took place at Mitcham of George Green, seventy-four, a Crimean veteran who fought at the Alma and Inkerman, and before Sebastopol. Green had been eight years in Holborn Union Workhouse at Mitcham. He was in receipt of a special compassionate pension from Chelsea Hospital, and when he had an opportunity of leaving he refused.

The old soldier was given a military funeral. The coffin was borne on a gun-carriage, and escorted by detachments of the Grenadiers, Scots, and Coldstream Guards. The rear was brought up by twelve veterans, inmates of the workhouse.

They lined up as his body left the grounds, six on each side, and each old man stood with his hand raised to the salute as the coffin passed.

Christmas in the Workhouse in 1849

From the Morning Advertiser – Tuesday 1st January 1850 via the British Newspaper Archive

PARISH OF ST. GEORGE, EAST. TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING ADVERTISER.

Sir,

— I perceive you mention the Christmas fare provided by the guardians of the different parochial unions in the metropolis. There is a slight mistake. On Friday, the last board day before Christmas, it will be seen the decrease should be 86, instead of 47, as stated by you, and the inmates were regaled with one pint of porter in addition to roast beef and plum pudding.

The children, 200 in number, are in a separate establishment at Mitcham, and were treated in like manner with the exception of porter, instead of which they were allowed fruit, &c.,and passed a very pleasant day. Only twelve months have elapsed since those children were removed from residence at Tooting. For the last nine months there has not been one child under the doctor’s care.

The Elms at Mitcham, where the children now are, is only a temporary residence, a large mansion with eight acres of ground, rented by the guardians of the Rev. M. Sibthorpe for a short period.

I beg to state that the guardians have determined not to allow the children of the parish to be placed in union with any other, but have passed a resolution to purchase freehold ground from 7 to 10 acres in the country, and build a permanent dwelling for them, and establish an industrial school, and keep them entirely under their own controul, and they consider that the only means of preventing a repetition of the dreadful consequences of last year, over-crowding in any establishment, and making themselves personally responsible for their future welfare.

Should you think any of this worthy of inserting in your paper, you will oblige Your obedient servant,

THOS. LIQUORISH,
A Guardian of the Parish.