Author Archives: Wade

W.E. Horsman, Son & Co., Iron Foundry in Eveline Road

William Ernest Horsman’s iron foundry that was at 34 Eveline Road, possibly between 1924 and 1938.

Photo taken 20th August 2109.

Listed in the 1924 commercial directory as W.E. Horsman & Co., general engineers.

In the 1930 commercial directory it is listed W.E. Horsman & Co., general engineers, Eveline Road, trading as “ Horseman, Ironfounders ; ” Telephone number MIT 1586. Note the spelling of Horseman with an ‘e’.

The foundry is listed in the 1938 directory as May’s Mitcham Foundry.

The use of ‘Son’ on the manhole cover shown above suggests that it was made between 1930 and 1938. The 1932 robbery refers to the offices of Messrs. W. E. Horsman, Son and Co., whereas the 1930 directory doesn’t mention ‘Son’.

From Ancestry.com, Stanley Bertram Horsman, foundry manager, was married on 9th February 1932 in Sutton. His father was named as William Ernest Horsman, occupation Ironfounder. Electoral registers show W.E. Horsman as living at 1 Greenhill, Sutton.


News Articles and Ads
Norwood News – Friday 12 February 1932

MITCHAM ROBBERY DAMAGE AND LOSS AT OFFICES

A daring robbery was successfully carried out early on Tuesday morning at the offices of Messrs. W. E. Horsman, Son and Co., iron founders and sanitary engineers, Eveline-roud. Mitcham. The front office door was forced with a jemmy, and evidently the thieves spent several hours ransacking the whole place. They attacked three safes, ripping the back out of one. Papers and documents were ruthlessly thrown all over the floors, and considerable damage done to the property. Thecentents of all three safes were emptied, and all the loose money and stamps taken away. All the workmen’s Health and Insurance cards are missing, also all the money in the hospital collection boxes.

Mr. Horsman told one of our reporters: “I don’t know whether my son’s wedding had anything to do with the robbery, but it was well known that my son, who is works manager, was being married on Tuesday. Possibly the thieves thought there might be more here, and we should not be so particular in removing things on such an occasion. We have proof that there were at least two men on the job. They must have spent hours about it. What a mess they left! It troubles me more, the damage and mess, than all the money they took. I should estimate the loss and damage at quite a hundred pounds. The collection boxes for the hospital and blind were broken open and the money taken. They found the key for the big safe, but the other two they broke open. It must have taken them hours to do that. From the appearance of the floor in my office, they attacked the safes in one corner, where a light would not be so easily seen from outside. What puzzles me is what good the workmen’s Insurance and Health cards will do them, unless they are negotiable. I understand the police have obtained some finger-prints.”

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Monday 14 October 1929

WANTED at once Iron Moulders, for jobbing shop: permanency for good men.—Write Horsman’s Foundry, Eveline Road, Mitcham.


The Sanitary Inspectors Report of June 4th, 1928, included complaints by local residents:

Several complaints have recently been made by residents in Eveline Crescent and Eveline Road of the nuisance from smoke and fumes from Messrs. Horsman’s Iron Foundry. I have kept observation on the works, and I find the fumes from the cupolas in which metals are heated are very strong. I have not seen much smoke, but, according to my reading of the new Smoke Act, these works are exempt from the operation of the Act.

Source: page 99, Mitcham Urban District Council minutes, volume XIV 1928-29.

1877 : Methodism in Mitcham

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 22 December 1877

METHODISM AT MITCHAM

The following particulars as to the history of Methodism generally, and particularly in regard to the parish of Mitcham may be interesting to our readers. They formed the basis of lecture given by Mr. John Wade a short time since.

The term Methodism was first applied about the year 1729 to four young men at Oxford, namely, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and two others named Morgan and Kirkham, and a year or two afterwards to Messrs. Ingham, Broughton, Clayton, Hervey, and last, not least, George Whitfield, who met together at stated times for prayer, searching the Scriptures, and mutual edification, and also devoted themselves to the visiting of the prisoners in the gaol, the sick, and the poor. This course of conduct did not fail to attract the notice of their fellow collegians, and it is recorded that one of them, a young gentleman of Christ Church, exclaimed, Here is a new set of Methodists sprung up! alluding to some ancient physicians, who were so called about 30 or 40 B.C., and the name has been applied to them or their followers ever since. They were also derisively called “Sacramentarians,” and the “Holy Club.” Many of the influential masters and doctors of the University frowned upon them, but to no purpose. It was thought desirable by the family that John Wesley should succeed his father as incumbent at Epworth, but Wesley preferred remaining at Oxford as a tutor. About April, 1735, a new colony was formed in Georgia, North America, and Mr. Wesley consented to there as chaplain. Mr. Wesley’s High Church principles some time after brought him into collision with the authorities, and he left Georgia in October, 1737. February, 1738, he arrived in London, having been absent therefrom about two years and four months, and became acquainted with the Moravians, whom he afterwards joined. He subsequently visited the Moravian settlement at Hernhut, in Moravia, and on his return to England, as he was shut out of the churches, and Whitfield commenced preaching in the open air. In July, 1740, Mr. Wesley separated from the Moravians, and established a society which met a place called “The Foundry,” which had been used for casting cannon, in Moorfields, and from this date, until his death in 1791, in the year of his age, he pursued a successful career in spreading religion through the land. The first mention of Methodism as respects Mitcham is contained in vol. 4 of Mr. Wesley’s Journal, page 117, under the date of January 12, 1764 (113 years since), where there occur the words:—

”I preached at noon at Mitcham, and in the afternoon rode to Dorking, but the gentleman to whose house I was invited seemed to have no desire that I should preach, so that evening I had nothing to do; but on the next day (Friday, Jan. 13th) I went at noon into the street, and in broad place not far from the market-house proclaimed ’The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ At first two or three little children were the whole of my congregation, but it quickly increased, though the air was sharp, and the ground exceedingly wet, and all behaved well but three or four grumbling men, who stood so far off that they disturbed none but themselves, had purposed to preach there again in the morning, but a violent storm made it impracticable, after preaching at Mitcham on the way, I rode back to London.”

Nothing appears to have arisen from this first effort of Mr. Wesley to introduce Methodism into Mitcham, until about years after, namely, on March 13th, 1776, on which date an entry occurs in his journal the effect that he went to Mitcham and found a little company just started up. The house being too small, preached the front of house adjoining the high road, where the earnestness of the people made up for the keenness of the east wind. The place where Mr. Wesley preached on this occasion was opposite the King’s Head inn, Lower Green. The next notice under the date of Nov. 6th, 1787, and records the fact that Mr. Wesley again preached at Mitcham. Steps were then taken build chapel. A piece of ground was taken on the Causeway on lease for 71 years, and the chapel was opened in November, 1789 Mr. Wesley preached in the new chapel December 1st, 1789, and Mitcham continued part of the London circuit until the year 1811, the pulpit being mostly supplied from London. After this it formed what was called the Brentford circuit, still more recently the Hammersmith circuit, and since the year 1838 part of the Croydon circuit. The lease of the old chapel having expired, a fresh site was obtained on the opposite side of Mitcham Green, near the old chapel, for years, and on this site the present new chapel has been erected at cost of about £1,100.

J.H. Peters, Optician

c. 1962 clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_P_Will_77-2

Addresses taken from phone books:

1959 : 4A Western Road, MIT 7114
1966 : 4 Western Road, 01-648 7114
1981 : 6 Fair Green Parade, 01-648 7114.

J.H. Peters was James Henry Peters, the marathon runner known as Jim Peters.

From the Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 13 January 1999

Marathon hero Peters dies

MARATHON legend Jim Peters, who caught the imagination of the public at the 1954 Empire Games in Canada when he staggered around the last lap, has died aged 80.

Peters entered the Vancouver stadium around three miles ahead of the next competitor but dehydration had taken its toll and as the crowd rose to acclaim him he faltered and began to stagger.

He fell six times and his anguished English team-mates at trackside could not help for fear that he would be disqualified if he received any assistance.

They were finally able to go to his aid when it was clear he was not going to cross the finishing line of the race eventually won by Scotland’s Joe McGhee.

But his courageous efforts over the final few yards made an unforgettable sight which was etched in the minds of millions by Movietone News.

He ran a world’s best time in the marathon each year from 1952 to 1954 but he was more celebrated in that glorious defeat than in his victories during the fifties.

Peters quit athletics after the Games – “It cost me my killer instinct” he said – but the image of his heroic bid for a gold medal 45 years ago still lives on.

David Bedford, the international race director of the London Marathon, said: “Jim was a class runner when marathon running, unlike today, was unfahsionable.

Plimsoles

“He trained harder than most – often 100 miles a week – and believed in the work ethic with his thousands of miles run in plimsoles.

“My first memories of him were from newspaper pictures showing him collapsing when in sight of the finish.”

Bedford, the former 10,000 metres world record holder, added: “Few athletes push themselves to such exhaustion as Jim did at those Games. He was unique.”

1880 : Gas Workmen’s Outing

Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 25 September 1880

MITCHAM.
Workmen’s Excursion.

— A party of tradesmen and other inhabitants of Mitcham, accompanied by Mr. William Jones, foreman of the Mitcham gasworks, left the “Nag’s Head,” Mitcham, on Tuesday morning, at 8.30, on an excursion to Kingswood, accompanied by a band, who played a variety of lively airs on the way.

The first stop was made the “Red Lion,” Kingswood, and from thence to Walton-on-the-hill. An unfortunate accident occurred here. As one of the musicians was ascending the steps of house he missed his footing, and was precipitated to the ground, where he lay for some time senseless. As soon the man was sufficiently recovered, the party entered the dining-hall of one of the chief public-houses in the place, where sumptuous repast had been prepared by the host.

After dinner the usual loyal toasts were proposed by Messrs. Rough, Baker, Wigmore, and others. Having spent some further time in the rural scenery of the surrounding neighbourhood, the party proceeded home, having spent a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Cameo Cafe

Cafe/restaurant that was at 8 Upper Green East until 1940, then at 197 London Road.

In September 1940 the cafe was badly damaged from the bomb that destroyed the Mitcham Methodist Church. It was reopened at 197 London Road. Mrs Isobel POPAY ran the cafe from 1934 to 1942, when she died, aged 62. Source: Norwood News – Friday 22 May 1942, page 8.

This 1953 photo shows Mitcham Baths on right and further along, on the same side of the London Road, the block numbered 195 to 201. A ‘restaurant’ sign can be seen on the second from the far end property, this is number 197. This clip is from a Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Streets_​Lon_​38-47

An ad for an assistant cook in Norwood News – Friday 03 March 1961 showed its phone number was MIT 3359. The 1954 telephone directory shows it at 197 London Road. From around the mid-1980s to 2012 this shop was Ossie’s Taverna.

In a news item from the Norwood News – Friday 15 January 1932, the proprietor of the cafe was Mr Norton. The item was about an argument at a wedding reception that led to an assault, and went to court. From a comment on the Facebook Mitcham History Group, there was a function room upstairs that was used for wedding receptions etc.

1953 OS map showing the London Road. On the left hand side of the road is no. 224 ‘Day Nursery’, which is Eagle House. The block of 4 shops/flats north of the Public Baths shows No. 197 at the second from the far end. The entrance to the Baptist Church was built on in 1962/3.

An advert in the  Norwood News – Friday 19 February 1932 for a piano gives the address of the cafe as number 8 Upper Green East.


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

Methodist Church Upper Green East

The Methodist church at Upper Green East (south side), was destroyed by bombing in September 1940. It was not rebuilt.

1933 OS map shows the Methodist Church

A British Pathe newsreel, without commentary, is believed to show the bomb damage to the church. Shops and buildings across the road can be seen damaged by the blast as well.

1954 OS map shows the vacant plot where the church once was. It was later developed as Langdale Parade

The church was rebuilt on Cricket Green.

Howard’s Brookfields Estate

Advertised in 1938:

Charming but inexpensive homes are to be found in Mitcham and none are more attractive than those on Howard’s Brookfields Estate which is situated on the London Road. Buses pass the end of the estate’s own concrete roads, linking Acton and Belmont.
Only three minutes away from the estate is Mitcham (Southern Railway) Station, with its frequent services to Tooting, Croydon, Wimbledon, and thence to all parts of London, and not more than ten minutes walk is Mitcham Junction Station from which leave many fast trains to the London Termini.

Despite such accessibility, however, the estate retains something of that quiet peace which more and more home-makers are seeking beyond the whirl of London.

It is with the benefit of such surroundings that the houses on this estate have been erected : their sound construction, labour-saving design and attractive appearance are in keeping. Leasehold (99 years), the prices range from £625 (total weekly outgoings approximately £1 5s. 2d. including repayment ground rents, rates and water) for centre houses, to £650 (£1 5s. 11d. weekly) for end houses, and £675 (£1 6s. 11d. weekly) for semi-detached houses. Freehold, the prices are £795 (£1 6s. 6d. weekly), £825 (£1 7s. 3d. weekly) and £850 (£1 8s. 5d. weekly). There are three types of houses, from which purchasers may choose.

Fundamentally, however, these houses are constructed to the one well-considered design. With a drawing room (12 ft. 9 ins. by 11 ft. ins.) and a dining room (12 ft. 11/2 ins. by 10 ft. 3 ins.) a pleasant hall and a kitchen (10 ft. by 6 ft. 9 ins.), upstairs three bedrooms, two large and one small with bathroom and separate w.c. supply the accommodation which the average family finds most convenient.

Here, in fact, are homes that are in no way pretentious – but are lastingly comfortable, and well equipped. There is the fitted kitchen for instance. With walls and floor partly tiled, with notably complete cupboard and larder fittings, folding table, sink cabinet with two teak drainers, and the all-important enamelled “Ideal” boiler and enamelled gas copper.

Then there are the attractive tiled fireplaces in the drawing and dining rooms and the sensible electric panel fires in two of the bedrooms. There is the heated linen cupboard, and tiled bathroom with enclosed panelled bath, fitted with mixer and hot shower. Numerous gas, electric and radio points assure the maximum of convenience throughout.

Nor has that thoughtful planning stopped short at the house itself; not only are there good paths already made, but at the back is a brick-built coal bunker. Space for a garage is included in the garden. What is more, these homes have the very great advantage of being guaranteed brick construction throughout. With no road charges, legal charges or other extras, this estate of 200 homes is meeting the requirements of a great number of careful purchasers.

The estate was built on the site of the Brookfields Nursery. An ad in the 1929 town guide has

Mitcham Lavender

J.N. CHESHIRE

Nurseryman and Florist

Brookfields Nursery
463 London Road

comprising 9 acres on the Banks of the River Wandle

Wreaths and Bouquets made to order
Telephone No. 2244 Mitcham

John Norkett CHESHIRE is listed as Market Gardener at the same address in the 1930 and 1938 commercial directories.

1932 OS map showing the Brookfield Nurseries

This 1938 map shows the estate taking shape:

1938 OS map


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