Category Archives: Commerce

Alkens Drawing Supplies Ltd

Draughtsman supplies shop, was at Monarch Parade, London Road.

c.1987 clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_​8_​1-18

This receipt from 1981 shows the address as 73/75 Monarch Parade. London Road, Mitcham CR4 2JB, tel 01-640 5316.

Receipt dated 8th June, 1981.

The 1971 telephone directory showed the address as 189 London Road, telephone 01-640 0461.

Note that a company of the same name was incorporated in 2007 and dissolved in February 2019, and it is not known whether there was a connection with this business in Mitcham.

Licensed Coffee Stalls in 1927

From the UDC minutes, volume 12, pages 721/2

All were licensed for one shilling per year. Home addresses are in brackets.

Mr Osborne near Club House, Mitcham Cricket Club , Lower Green
Mr George (35 Haydons Road) Leonard Road
G. Gunner (50 Covelton Road) Croydon Road
A. Cobb (6 Acre Road) Waterfall Bridge
P. Loader (30 Grenfell Road) London Road
G.T. Harwood (23 Mount Road) Waterfall Bridge
C. Pearson Christchurch Road
C. Tortalano (3 Portland Place) near Mitcham Junction Station

1855 : Illegal Weights

Two stories of traders adjusting their scale in their favour. From the Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 15 September 1855, via the British Newspaper Archive.

Illegal Weights.

— Mary Bateman, shopkeeper, of Mitcham, was charged by Mr. Dart, Inspector of Weights and Measures, with having an unjust balance, a quarter of an ounce against the purchaser.

Mr. Dart stated that the defendant was last April fined 5s. for the same offence, the scales then being half an ounce against the purchaser.

The defendant—I have been in business 40 years, and until this man came I never had a complaint made against me ; all the other inspectors used to allow me a turn, and the people expects it. I had a woman come in the other day, and because the scale did not go down, she said she would not have the butter; and after this man left, I asked an old gentleman who is lodging with me, and who was an ale connor, if it was not right for me to have the turn, and he said “Yes,” and that he always had it, and allowed it himself ; and I have asked my neighbours, and they all say that they are allowed a turn, and if I was not a poor lone widow, but a man that could speak for himself. I should not have been summonsed here.

Mr. Sutherland considered the defendant was quite able to speak for herself, and she must be aware that if the the scales were not allowed a turn, it was not right that the butter scales should. Mr. Dart said he had endeavoured to convince the defendant, that having scales like the butter ones, was wrong.

The Defendant : Yes ; but I am not convinced ; I have done so for forty years, and it takes some time to convince any one against that.

Mr. Sutherland : Then by that you have been cheating the public for forty years ; you must now know that the scales must be right ; you will be fined 5s., and the costs 9s.

The Defendant : Our profits are now so low that we cannot get anything out of the things, and if we are compelled to have the scales this way we shan’t be able to live ! !

The old lady, after some time, produced the money, grumbling all the while she was finding it; and as she was leaving the court reiterated her fear of not being able to get on, now this new-fangled method of weighing was come in.

——–

W. Williams, of Mitcham, butcher, was charged with having an unjust balance.

Mr. Dart deposed, that he visited the defendant’s shop, and just as he drove up to the door Mrs. Williams went to the scale and took off the piece of fat produced ; it was on the scale in which the goods to be sold were weighed ; on testing the scales he found them exact without the fat, hence the addition of that made the weight against the purchaser.

In defence Williams said that the scales were made of wood, that his shop was an open one, and that the weather affected the scales, and the fat was put on to adjust them, without that it was in favour of the purchaser.

Mr. Sutherland considered that the defendant ought to have such scales as were not affected by the weather.

Fined 5s., and 9s. costs.

1968 : Turner’s Bakery horse Lizzie retires

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 20th September, 1968

After over 25 years as a bakery carthorse, Lizzie has moved from the noisy London suburbs to the peace of a country farm.

Lizzie, a liver chestnut Welsh cob who has reached the
distinguished age of 30, has worked for the past 15 years for Turner’s (Mitcham) Bakery, Fair Green, believed to be the only bakery in London which still uses horse-drawn vans for its delivery rounds.

For those 15 years she has been delivering bread in the Pollards Hill area with her driver Mr. Ted Gibson. Lizzie and Ted were a well-established team as they worked together for J. A. Taylor Ltd of Tooting for 10 years before going to Turner’s.

Life for Lizzie has not all been hard work, however. At the Easter Monday Horse Show in Regents Park she won first prize in the van parade and the Welsh rosette for the best Welsh Cob in the show.

Lizzie’s working day lasted about nine hours and she could make up to 450 calls a day. Anybody who maintains the horse is an outdated and uneconomical means of transportation is challenged by Turners who have proved that if a horse is ill the round takes over an hour longer to operate with a petrol vehicle.

Lizzie went into retirement yesterday (September 19) to Cherry Tree Farm, Lingfield, where she will mix with company from ex-race horses to costers’ donkeys.

Her successor, aptly named Lizzie II, is a nine-year-old bay Welsh Cob who will join Sally, Dolley and Kitty in maintaining Turner’s tradition of horse-drawn vans.

Rising costs led to Turner’s Bakery stopping using horses in 1973.

Eddown & Co.

Was at 190 London Road, Mitcham CR4 3LD, on the west side and north of junction with Bond Road. Motor parts, engineers tools and accessories shop.

As of January 2018 the building still displays the name Eddown but was sold in possibly 2013/4, with the owners moving to the south coast.

This Google StreetView from 2012 shows the shop with its For Sale sign.

A local motor dealer commented on the Mitcham History group on Facebook:

always a great service and nothing was ever too much trouble. No have to use another car parts company and fifty per cent of the time the parts are wrong

A receipt from 1981

Receipt from March 1981

Planning application 17/P3987 registered in November 2017 for

demolition of existing part one and part two storey building and development of two detached blocks comprising 9 residential units and 1 commercial unit


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

Connect House

Office building, 21 Willow Lane, Mitcham, CR4 4FL.

Bought on 29th January 2015 for £3,100,000 by CONNECT HOUSE LTD (Co. Regn. No. 9296558) of Unit 9, Ravensdale Industrial Estate, Timberwharf Road, London N16 6DB. Source: Land Registry, title number TGL100496, obtained November 2017.

The land was used to grow watercress by Gaston DUTRIEZ, who bought the property from William Francis Joseph SIMPSON in 1922. Source: Land Registry title and 1930 Commercial directory.

In 2012, Google Street View shows the building as Connect House Serviced Offices, by a company called Frendcastle. On 8th November 2017, BBC London reported that the building was being used by four local councils as temporary housing, with rooms costing between £30 and £40 per night. A Royal Mail postcode search for the address shows 84 flats.

2016 Street View

2012 Street View

1938 OS map


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

Leonard Davey and Hart

Estate agents that were at 17/19 Upper Green East from around 1938 to 1990s?
The firm was listed in the 1971 telephone directory as 01-648 6101.

A planning application from 2001, number 01/2690, submitted by Ladbrokes Ltd show it had become a betting shop:

erection of ground floor rear extension, new shop front, disabled access, 2 air conditioning units, satellite dish and railings at rear of building.

In 1984, estate agency Dixon Hind & Company submitted a planning application, number MER1149/84, for an illuminated sign at 19 Upper Green East. On Merton Memories there is a photo dated c.1987 which shows that estate agent Dixon Hind was the occupant, whose sign said ‘in association with Leonard Davey & Hart’.

Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​11_​1-50, copyright London Borough of Merton.

ad from 1938

Text of ad:

Mitcham and District

Leonard
Davey & Hart

Herbert E. Hart, P.A.S.I
Leslie O. Hart, B.Sc., P.A.S.I, A.A.I.

Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers
House, Land and Estate Agents

Rents collected. Mortgagaes
arranged.
Valuations for all purposes.

UPPER GREEN, MITCHAM
And at 781 London Rd., Thornton Heath
telephone : MITcham 0808 THOrnton Heath 1361

According to the 1938 Official Guide to Mitcham, the firms was established around 1903:

Messrs. Leonard Davey & Hart, Chartered Surveyors, Auctioneers, Estate Agents, of Upper Green, Mitcham, have been established for about thirty-five years. The firm was founded by Mr Leonard T. Davey and originally had its offices in the Parade, London Road, moving to its present address nearly twenty years ago.

During the years immediately following the war, when there was much building development in the district, Messrs Leonard Davey & Hart were appointed agents for several of the new estates then laid out. It is perhaps a matter of interest that they acted on behalf of the owners from whom the London County Council purchased the first section of land to the south of Mitcham, since developed as the St Helier Estate.

The business to-day is conducted by Mr H.E. Hart, P.A.S.I., and his son, Mr L.O. Hart, B.Sc., P.A.S.I, A.A.I., who joined him shortly after the retirement of Mr Davey in 1928. The firm’s premises at Upper Green, Mitcham, have recently been rebuilt at considerable expense, and form one of the most modern and well-equipped offices in the district.

Many Mitcham properties including the well-known Ravensbury Manor House, have passed through the hands of this firm and it is not surprising that they, as the oldest firm of Auctioneers in the district, should have an extensive register of properties for sale and to be let.

Apart from this, they have an increasing business in rent collection and Estate management, the properties under their control being situated not only throughout the Borough, but in many surrounding districts. Among those for whom they conduct surveys and valuations are certain Banks and Building Societies, besides private Clients; but the principals seek to give the same personal attention to all who consult them on the varied matters which come within their professional expertise.


News Articles

A COSY COTTAGE CLAIM.

James Henry Scurr, an ironmonger, of 170, Lambeth-walk, London, brought a claim against George Samuel McDo??ugh, of 17, Langdale-avenue, Mitcham, for £13 rent.

There was a counterclaim for £10 10s. for damages due to trespass.

Mr. W. Hood appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. C .E. Graveley for defendant.

Plaintiff said that defendant was the tenant of Cosy Cottage, Whitford-gardens, Mitcham. He had it on a three years lease. Early this year the defendant said that he wished to be relieved of the tenancy. Witness did not object to this providing that defendant found a suitable tenant. He had never found a tenant, and still had the key. He borrowed the key and inspected the premises, after which he had the door varnished and a plate. “Cosy Cottage,” put on the house, in order to facilitate the letting.

Cross-examined defendant objected to the house being changed to “Cosy Cottage.” He preferred – Cosy Lodge. Witness got the key on May 28th. Mr. Davey did not point out to witness that he was not entitled to the premises. He did not know who removed the announcement pointing out that defendant had moved. Witness thought that he had a right to enter, as there was a clause in the agreement to that effect. Defendant had never had a copy of the tenancy agreement. By Mr. Hood—Mr. Davey was never witness’s agent. Witness bought the property when defendant was the existing tenant. He never touched any rubbish on the premises. Defendant said that he took the house in June, 1906, when it was quite new. He removed to Langdale-avenue in March, and when plaintiff suggested the change witness objected, and also sent a letter to that effect. Witness put up a notice that he was moving, as he had a lot of people calling on him. When he moved he gave the key to Mr. Davey, and asked bum to find a tenant. Later witness found that the notice was gone, and that the door had been varnished. He left some frames, vases, tools, and other articles in the house, and he found they were gone. Plaintiff said that he saw defendant about the door, and plaintiff said that he would release defendant of the un-expired time if he informed Mr. Davey to give up the key. Witness asked him to write him to this effect, but plaintiff did not do so.

Cross-examined he did not think he should pay the July quarter, as plaintiff had practically taken possession. He could have let the house.

Leonard Thomas Davey, an estate agent, said that plaintiff’s daughter called for the key on May 27th. No reason was given why the key was wanted. He had numerous enquiries respecting the house until defendant said that he was not responsible for the rent.

Harry Frank Joynes, who had done jobbing work for the plaintiff, deposed to varnishing the door for the plaintiff. He saw the notice in the window to the effect that defendant had moved.

Mr. Graveley submitted that damage had been done by the premises being thrown open, and the articles were thus lust, and the notice removed. His Honor gave judgment for plaintiff on the claim and counterclaim.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 15 August 1908 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1926 auction of Mrs Lipshytz property at Mitcham Park.


A member of the Facebook Mitcham History Group remembers Mrs & Mrs Hart when he was a child in the 1960s. They lived next door, in Preshaw Crescent, and was also their landlord. He said:

They were a lovely couple of real gentlefolk of the old school. She was one of the Sunday School teachers in the parish rooms, across the green, and he owned and ran Hart’s estate agency, with the office at the Fair Green (next door to the Nat West Bank, or thereabouts). He always wore a trilby hat, and would doff it whenever he passed a lady.


ad from 1925