Category Archives: Council

1941 : Figges Marsh Keeper Albert Edward Ball

From Norwood News – Friday 17 January 1941, page 2

Obituary
FIGGES MARSH KEEPER

Mr. A. E. Ball’s Death After Air Raid

MITCHAM Council employees were represented at the funeral, on Thursday, of Mr. Albert Edward Ball, who had been keeper at Figges Marsh recreation ground for many years. He died at Rectory-lane, Tooting, following an air raid, after making a good recovery from a long illness. He had previously been bombed out of Pitcairn-road, Mitcham.

Sixty years of age, he had been employed by Mitcham Council for nearly 20 years, and was a popular figure on Figges Marsh.

It was his great delight during his illness to receive letters from children who frequented the recreation ground before they were evacuated.

The loss of his only son four years ago told greatly on his health. He leaves a widow and two daughters.

His last wish was that his thanks should be conveyed to Dr. Lahiff for his kindness, and to his colleagues for their sympathy during his illness.

The funeral took place at Old Mitcham Cemetery, the arrangements being carried out by Mr. Albert Stringer, Mitcham.

Albert Thomas Till, Medical Officer for Health at Mitcham

16th July 1936. Dr Till, with the Mayoress, Mrs Davies, at a ‘Welfare Centres ‘ garden party at Park Place. Clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_​Hospitals_​4-1

In the 1935 Medical Directory he is listed as living at 43, Mitcham Park.

In 1924 he obtained his degree as Batchelor of Medicine / Batchelor of Surgery and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; and post-graduated with Dental Public Health in 1931 at the University of London. He was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Public Health, and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

He was the Medical Officer at the Mission Hospital in Mahamba, Swaziland; and the Resident Medical Officer at the Victoria Hospital in Damascus, Syria.

He authored Dental caries in native children, published in the South African Medical Journal in 1927; Some observations on influenza in 1933 and Liquid paraffin, a cause of loss of weight in children, in 1934, both in the Journal of State Medicine.

He was appointed Mitcham Medical Officer for Health in 1937.

Injured during bombing raid on 12th November, 1940, at 31 Mitcham Park, he died the same day at Wilson Hospital. He was 40 years old.

From Norwood News – Friday 15 November 1940, page 2:

Obituary
TRAGIC DEATH OF DR. TILL
Medical Officer of Health at Mitcham

THE tragic death of Dr. A. T. Till, Medical Officer of Health for Mitcham, has cut short a promising career at the comparatively early age of 40 years.

He was a native of South Africa, and came to Mitcham 3 1/2 years ago, when he was temporarily appointed for six months’ trial to succeed the late Dr. Fegen, who then was a part-time officer of health. By the end of his term, Dr. Till had given such complete satisfaction, that be was unanimously given the full-time post of medical officer. That he justified that confidence is recognised everywhere. Year by year he endeared himself more and more to the Council, his colleagues, and the ratepayers generally, and he came to be regarded as one of the most popular of Mitcham’s public servants. Unostentatious at all times, Dr. Till wielded a great influence throughout the borough, and improved the health services to a remarkable extent.

A prominent Council official paid him this tribute: “Dr. Till was a first-class officer,” he said. “Exceedingly capable, and most popular with the whole of the public services. Ever ready to give advice, it could be absolutely relied unon. The Council has lost one of its best and most conscientious officers.”

A sad coincidence is that normally he would have been on duty elsewhere on the night of his death, but he had arranged an exchange with a professional colleague. During the war period, Dr. Till had been in charge of the ambulance and first aid posts. In addition to his ordinary duties, and he worked unceasingly for the benefit of the public services.

The Mayor (Ald. E.J.D. Field) is calling a special meeting of the Council for to-morrow (Saturday) to pay tribute to Dr. Till’s memory, and to place on record an appreciation of his services.

Dr. Till leaves a widow and daughter to mourn their irreparable loss.

Commonwealth war Grave Commission casualty record.

In his will, he left £909 3s. 7d. to his widow Emily Annie Till (around £50,000 in 2019 values).

Sources:
Wellcome Trust; London, England; Collection: The Medical Directory, 1935; Reference: b21330724_i13766260

Poplar Avenue

A cul-de-sac road off of the west side of London Road, opposite Figges Marsh, built around 1919/1920.

1953 OS map

The houses are numbered sequentially, clockwise, from number 1 on the south side to number 20 on the north side. They all have the postcode CR4 3LH.

According to Tom Francis, it was named after the Poplars School that was situated there, facing the Figges Marsh. This school was demolished after the outbreak of fever.

Occupants from the 1925 street directory

South Side

1, Stanley BACON
2, James R HUNT
3, Thomas HUMPHRIES
4, Arthur McGAHEY
5, Joseph Walter THOMPSON
6, Benjamin YEOMANS
7, Chester James CAPON
8, Alfred HEALY

West Side

9, Charles GALE
10, Joseph BAMFORD
11, Godfrey STONE
12, Charles Thomas UTTON

North Side

13, Mrs M. UTTON
14, Percy John LAMB
15, Frederick John CHARD
16, John James MEPHAM
17, Thomas PARKER
18, Albert Henry HOOPER
19, Samuel HART
20, Leonard George DREWETT

News Articles

Gloucester Citizen – Saturday 25 June 1927

DOUBLE MOTOR FATALITY

Mr John J. Mepham, Poplar-avenue, Mitcham, died on Friday from injuries received in a motor crash at Godstone, which his wife was killed.

1st September, 1944
Mitcham Man’s Gallantry – Awarded the M.M.


The name of the road was suggested in a Housing Committee meeting of the Mitcham Urban District Council, dated 7th September 1920, volume V, page 202. It was part of the post-WW1 housing scheme on London Road, which included Lavender Avenue, Rose Avenue, Camomile Avenue and Biggin Avenue.


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

1962 Slum Clearance Scheme

from the Mitcham News & Mercury, 25th May, 1962, page 1:

Mitcham’s ambitious slum clearance scheme

ABOUT 140 HOMES TO GO

It may start next year, say council

Hundreds of Mitcham people are likely to have to leave their homes soon when Mitcham Council go ahead with a large scale slum clearance scheme.

About 140 dwellings, scattered in many parts of the town, are included in the scheme, which will possibly get under way early next year.

Split into five groups the dwellings included in the scheme are in Phipps Bridge Road, Blue House Cottages, Fountain Place, Prussia Place, Nursery Road, Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road.

SOME HOMES ALREADY VACANT

Compulsory purchase of many of the properties is inevitable. Thousands of pounds will be involved in the acquisition.

Some of the dwellings, however, are at present vacant.

The Borough Engineer, Mr J.W. Turner, has advised the council’s housing committee to split the slum clearance scheme into two phases.

He thinks that the Gladstone Road, Sibthorp Road, Fountain Road and Western Road areas – forming part of an area which should, he feels, be considered with the council’s redevelopment of the Town Centre – should be deferred until further progress has been made on the the town centre proposals.

If the housing committee do leave these areas it would mean that only 54 dwellings would be immediately affected.

LOCAL INQUIRIES MAY BE HELD

It is not possible to say yet the date the scheme will start. Various legal channels have to be gone through and there is also a possibility that many local residents, affected by the scheme, will object to the Minister of Housing and Local Government. This may mean a series of local inquiries.

The sites in Fountain Place, Prussia Place and Nursery Road are the only ones included in the scheme which will be re-developed for residential use.

The other sites will be used for roads, redevelopment of the town centre and one for a school site.

Joseph Owen

Born 1880, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Married 1908 to Susannah Young in Colchester.

In the 1911 census, Joseph Owen, aged 31, lived at 11 The Crescent, Westmead Road, Sutton, Surrey, with his wife Susannah, 31, and their son Arnold, 1. His occupation was civil engineer and surveyor with the London County Council.

A public family tree on Ancestry.com says that he went to Canada between 1912 and 1915 and worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways.

On his return he lived in Ashbourne Road, and took part in starting the North Mitcham Improvement Association in 1919, as told in its history, written by A.H. Bailey:

Mr Joseph Owen, of 89 Ashbourne Road, came to Mitcham in the early days of the war, from Canada; he had, however, lived in the neighbourhood before going abroad. He was one of the parents of the Association. He added to his great abilities as a civil engineer remarkable enterprise and push. To him, more than anyone else, was due the acquisition of land and erection of Halls for the Association.

An Electoral committee was formed, Mr Owen was nominated, the ward was canvassed as it had never been before for a local election and Mr Owen was returned on a poll of 838 against 428 for the party ticket. His majority considerably exceeded the total votes cast for a victor the previous April.

Mr Owen’s municipal career was brilliant; he became Chairman of the Highways Committee and remained in that office during the years that Mitcham developed at its greatest rate. He pressed for public baths and, but for him, Mitcham would not have had the public library when it did. Mitcham has its quota of ratepayers only; but Mr Owen resolved the problem by giving the site and half the cost, he also presented Sherwood Park Recreation Ground to the Council and endowed a bed at the hospital.

Incidentally it may be mentioned that the Library was largely Mrs Owen’s design. Mr Owen reached the Chair of the District Council and was a County Councillor. Mr Owen, who in his private capacity, was responsible for the building development of what are now the Long Thornton and Pollards Hill Wards. The Majestic Cinema was erected largely by the efforts of the first N.M.I.A. Councillor.

Later he took up residence at Pentlands, St Georges Road, Mitcham.

In 1926 he started the Tamworth Park Construction Company.

He put up the cost of the Mitcham Library, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 03 July 1930:-

LIBRARY GIFT.

By the munificence of Councillor Joseph Owen the “village” is to have a public library. He has given a site for one in London-road, opposite the Holborn Schools, and is willing to pay the cost of the building, less only the amount expected to be obtained from Government grant. The sketch plans, drawn up by a local firm, provide for a figure extension when required, even, perhaps, to the addition of a museum. Mitcham is changing so amazingly rapidly that a place for storing tangible hits of its history—in picture, photo, wood, metal, stone — is due in the interests of future generations.

In the 1939 register he lived at 20 Beeches Walk, Carshalton.

He died in 1943, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 4th February 1943

Death has claimed Mr. Joseph Owen former Chairman of Mitcham U.D. Council. He gave the borough its public library site, and. provided about half the cost of the building. Sherwood Park Recreation Ground was another gift. With Mrs. Owen, he endowed a bed in the Wilson Hospital. For a time Mr. Owen was a representative of Mitcham on Surrey Comity Council. He developed housing in Mitcham and was chiefly responsible for the town getting an up-to-date cinema theatre.

20 Beeches-walk, Carshalton, Surrey, died 21 January 1943 at Kingslea Nursing Home, Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey.

Probate Llandudno 12 July to Susannah Owen widow and Arnold Courtney Owen, chartered civil engineer. Effects £8,760 1s. 1d.

Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

1889 : A New Cemetery

From the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 18 May 1889 via the British Newspaper Archive.

A NEW CEMETERY AT
MITCHAM.
REMARKABLE UNANIMITY.

A special meeting of the Croydon Union Raral Sanitary Authority was held the Vestry Hall, Mitcham, Saturday last, for the purpose considering the report of the Clerk (Mr. Harry List) and the Surveyor (Mr. H. Chart), on the subject of inquiry recently held the Home Office to the proposed laying-out a cemetery in Tamworth-lane, Mitcham. Mr. W. J. Lamb presided, and the other members present were Messrs. O. W. Berry, Holloway, Keigwin, F. Tomlin, Webster, Brough Maltby, Rev. K, A. Boyle, and Mr. G. P. Bidder, Q.C. (ex-officio).

Messrs. List and Chart reported as follows: —In accordance with your instructions we attended on Saturday last the inquiry held here by Dr. Hoffman, the Medical Officer of the Burials Acts Department of the Home Office, with reference to the proposal establish a proprietary cemetery at Tamworth-iane, Mitcham Common, and we beg to report to you as follows :— ” That Mr. Ough, C.E., of Austin Friars, London, attended the inquiry and stated that he represented the promoters of a cemetery company, who proposed, if the consent of the Home Office were given, to establish at land now in the occupation of Mr. Bremerkamp, situate at Tamworth-lane, Mitcham, a proprietary cemetery in extent about 80 acres, with the view of meeting the burial requirements of South London and the districts around it. It was proposed to lay-out the grounds in an ornamental manner, with entrances from Greyhound-lane, near Streatham Common, and from Tamworth-lane, near Mitcham Common, the former being probably the principal or more used. The soil was described a loamy clay, and it is proposed drain the surface water into the watercourse passing through the property, and which, after traversing the East Fields and Figg’s Marsh, Mitcham, discharges into the River Graveney at Tooting Bridge, and from there to the Wandle; and it was promised to drain the graves into deep drains discharging into a tank to constructed for the purpose, from whence it would be pumped through a filter either into the sewers of the Sanitary Authority, with their permission, or, if such permission is withheld, on to an irrigation of about three acres prepared for the purpose, from whence it would gravitate into the watercourse before mentioned. Of these alternative proposals for dealing with the deeper drainage the former would be preferred, in which case the promoters would be prepared to compensate the Authority either the payment a lump sura or way of rental for the use of the sewers and fur dealing with the sewage. Mr. Ough laid before the Inspector a plan of the land and proposed works for dealing with the sewage, and at the same time produced and read a report made by M. Mausergh, the eminent sanitary engineer of Westminster, on a proposal to deal with the drainage of a cemetery in the manner now suggested. We then pressed upon the Inspector the fact that as no information with regard to the proposal was yet in possession of the Authority, they were unable to form an opinion as to whether or not it would be desirable in the interests of the district to oppose the proposal, and suggested that the inquiry should be adjourned to give you the opportunity of considering the proposal. Dr. Hoffman consented this suggestion, promising that if the Authority, or the parish of Mitcham, desired to oppose he would continue the inquiry on hearing to that effect, and if the Authority desired to propose any conditions with the view of ensuring the proper use of the works for purifying the subsoil water, such conditions should receive his mast careful consideration, and if reasonable, he would recommend—in the event of the site being sanctioned —that such stipulations should made should ensure the fulfilment of the requirements the Authority. We then asked that copies of the plans of M. Mausergh’s report, which had been produced, might be furnished us for the information of the Authority.”

A long discussion ensued on the consideration of the report, Mr. Bidder taking a prominent part.

It seemed to the general feeling that cemetery would an improvement to that particular part of Mitcham, and that it would open up the roads and stimulate building operations in the vicinity.

It was also mentioned that the objections which were urged against the site were not necessary in this cose, because the Morden site was below the flood level. In this site there would be no difficulty draining into the Authority’s sewers, as the promoters did not anticipate that the drainage would amount to more than 8,000 gallons a day, and the Authority’s sewers could take that additional amount without any difficulty. It was also stated that Messrs. Watney and all the adjoining owners were in favour of the scheme, or at any rate had no idea of opposing it, and there was not the slightest opposition at the inquiry.

After some further discussion, The Chairman moved that the Authority are not disposed to oppose the establishment of the proposed cemetery at Tamworth-lane, Mitcham, provided that in the event of the Home Office sanctioning the site for the purpose of a cemetery, the Home Office be requested to place all the sanitary arrangements of the proposed cemetery under the control of the Rural Sanitary Authority; and that failing an arrangement being come to to drain into the Authority’s sewers, it be required that a filtration area of not less than six acres provided.

Mr. Bidder seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.

It was also decided that the Clerk should send a copy of the resolution to Dr. Hoffman, and that his attention should be called to the fact that in the Golden Green scheme, referred to by the promoters, a filtration area of three acres was considered necessary for cemetery of 30 acres in extent.

Pig Bins and Tottenham Pudding

Food waste was collected in pig bins, metal dustbins in the street. The waste, such as potato peelings and plate scrapings, were sent to a plant for boiling into a feed for pigs, called Tottenham Pudding.

From the Mitcham & Tooting Advertiser, 4th February, 1954

Pig bins to be abolished

Waste food is now ‘unprofitable’

Kitchen waste is no longer to be collected in Mitcham, and the council’s
street pig bins are to be removed.

Commenting on this at Thursday’s meeting of Mitcham Council, Aid. C.A. Norris (Ind.) congratulated the Public Health Committee on their decision to abolish what he described as “the pig-bin nuisance, and the now unprofitable collection of kitchen waste generally.”

VOLUNTARY COLLECTION

The committee made their decision after receiving a letter from the
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries stating that the Government had decided that the salvage of waste food by local authorities would in future be on a voluntary basis.

The Minister, the letter continued, was prepared to revoke individual
directions for the salvage of kitchen waste should local authorities wish
him to do so. although he hoped they would give the matter careful consideration before deciding to disband their waste food services.