Category Archives: Common

1922 : Mitcham Common Aerodrome plan dropped

From the Shields Daily News – Friday 22nd December 1922, via the British Newspaper Archive

AIR TERMINUS PLAN DROPPED.
TOO EXPENSIVE: £1,000,000 INVOLVED.

It is understood that the Air Ministry has now abandoned definitely the scheme to replace Croydon aerodrome as the London Air terminus by another and more central site.

After searching the surroundings of London the only credible alternative has been found to be Mitcham Common. The local authorities here, however, would definitely oppose any scheme to turn this Into an aerodrome. It would necessitate diverting the Croydon Corporation tramways, which connect with Tooting by way of the common, and would also necessitate the removal of Tooting Bec golf course, which is one the wealthiest and most popular courses in South London.

COMPENSATION DEMAND.

A new site would have to found for the club and Mitcham residents would require a corresponding piece of common land that which they would asked to vacate. Moreover, Mitcham Common is in the river fog area, which Croydon just escapes. It would cost the Air Ministry about £1,000,000 with the compensation money and the money they would have to spend in equipping Mitcham as an aerodrome, building sheds, cleaning and levelling, and installing lights, etc. For a quarter of that sum the present Croydon terminal could be made the finest aerodrome in the world, and the only advantage of Mitcham would be the saving of fifteen minutes car journey between the heart of London and the aerodrome.

SPEEDING-UP PLAN

As the air journey saves several hours to passengers coming from the Central European towns, this is merely a negligible saving.

If it is found necessary, however, to save these minutes, the terminus can move after March 30 next to the Aircraft Disposal Co.’s site on the Waddon side of the aerodrome, where there is already a railway siding.

By arrangement with the railway company electric trains could run on to the aerodrome from Victoria in 20 minutes.

This is the only possible solution of the problem, and the Air Ministry will almost certainly adopt it.

Note that the Tooting Bec golf club had previously been on the land that became the Links Estate.

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.

Mitcham had trolley buses from 1936 to 1960

Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 7th July, 1960, page 1

GOODBYE TO
TROLLEYS

630 service makes way for buses

DETAILS of the change from trolley-buses to the new 64-seater diesel “Routemaster” buses on the 630 West Croydon-Hammersmith route which passes through Mitcham were announced by London Transport this week. The alteration will bring an improved bus service in Mitcham.

Diesel vehicles will begin to run across Mitcham Common for the first time on Wednesday, July 20, following the same route as the trolley-buses. The number on the front of the buses will be changed from 630 to 220 and the diesels will take passengers through to Park Royal at the northern end of the run at peak periods, instead of stopping at Harrow Road (as the present 630s do).

When the change-over comes, London Transport plan to augment their service during weekday rush hours between Mitcham and Shepherd’s Bush with extra vehicles.

At the Southern end of the present 630 route, an important alteration will be the extension of the existing bus route 64 (Addington—Selsdon—West Croydon).

FUMES

London Transport will run this service from West Croydon over the common through Mitcham and Tooting along the 630 route to a terminus at Wimbledon Stadium. The extension of the 64s will also improve the regularity of service between Croydon and Tooting – the 630s have for years been seriously affected in this area due to traffic congestion on more northerly stretches.
This change in the services at Mitcham marks the half-way stage in the replacement of L.T.E. trolley-buses by diesels. Routes 626 and 628 will go at the same time and Hammersmith depot will close down.

Trolley buses followed trams at Mitcham in 1936. London Transport say the main factor behind of preferring diesels to silent, smell-free trolleys is the maintenance of an absolutely flexible service.

Running costs for the two systems are said to be about the same, but the present generation of trolleys are nearing the end of their useful economic life and to continue with the overhead-wire system would involve a large capital expenditure.

A spokesman for London Transport said a continuous close check was kept on the exhaust fumes of their vehicles to ensure that irritation from dirty smoke was eliminated as far as possible.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Transport_25-1 of trolley bus 630 – copyright London Borough of Merton

See also history of bus route 220.

1902 : Horse riding on the cricket green

RIDING ON MITCHAM COMMON.

At Croydon County Bench, on Saturday. Jas. Plested, of Leighton-street, Mitcham-road was summoned for committing a breach of the Mitcham Common Conservators’ bye-laws, riding on a portion of the cricket club’s ground.—Defendant pleaded guilty; and expressed his sorrow.

— Mr. Thos. Harvey, captain of the Mitcham Cricket Club, said that on the 2nd inst. he saw defendant riding a horse on the club’s ground. When told to stop he did so, but asserted that he had as much right to ride on the ground as witness had walk over it. The ground was damaged.

— Defendant said he only bought the horse the same morning, and he got on its back it got the upper hand of him, reared, and ran to the common.

— Fined 16s. 6d., including costs.

Source: Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser – Saturday 27 September 1902 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)