Home … but not for much longer for the occupiers of this Nissen hut at Wide Way. Until recently there were many homes like this on the site.
The last families on Mitcham’s largest Nissen hut colony on Wide Way will soon be saying a glad farewell to the dwellings they call home.
They are the last of 60 families who have lived in the galvanised huts on a muddy site littered with bricks, glass and old car parts for as long as eight years.
But nearly all have tried to make a home of the huts until better places are found for them.
One mother of six boys between the ages of 15 months and 11 years said she found it almost impossible to bring up a family in such conditions. But she had tried, and gay curtains decorated the small windows of the hut.
Another woman with four young children is looking forward to moving to a house with a small garden.
“As long as I have somewhere where they can play without wandering away or getting lost, I won’t mind,” she said stop
“The garages in nearby houses are in better condition a More habitable in these hearts similar woman. But I’m lucky ones – I am moving this week.”
At present there are fewer than a dozen families living on the site. The empty huts have become a playground for children who have added to the chaos by breaking windows and defacing the walls.
CONCERN at progress on the Glebe Estate where a hundred flats are under construction was expressed by Mitcham’s Housing chairman (Ald. C. A. Norris), at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
“This scheme, ill advised in the first place, seems doomed to failure and is causing us some anxiety,” he said. They hoped the contractor would pull the thing round and give them some units of accommodation.
No-one knew what the rents would be. Figures varying between 45s. to 60s. a week had been mentioned. He hoped there would be enough people on the local housing list willing to pay these high rents.
A report of the Borough Surveyor (Mr. Riley Schofield) states that progress on the site is not satisfactory, but the architect informed him that the position did not warrant the exercise of his power under Clause 19 of the conditions of contract to serve a notice that the contractor was not proceeding with the work with reasonable diligence.
The amount of work had improved considerably during last two months. average weekly value of builders’ work in January including the Christmas holiday was approximately £1,500. The December figure was £1,000 and the highest figure prior this was £900 in August.
The Beeches Estate is on London Road, Mitcham, just south of the new Mitcham Fire Station. It was built in 1959/60 on the site occupied by E.T. Pearson Ltd., who made Lactagol. The factory site was bought by Mitcham Borough Council in 1959.
The Royal Mail website lists 32 flats on this estate, all with the postcode CR4 4BH.
From the Norwood News, 15th July 1960:
A block of maisonettes and flats being built at 417-45, London Road, Mitcham, will be called “The Beeches.”
The building is a slightly offset T-shape, with the the top of the ‘T’ facing the road, which has a ground floor of flats, and two upper floors of maisonettes. The vertical part of the ‘T’ to the rear has two floors of maisonettes.
Note the arrangement of the windows in the lower floor of each maisonette. All have French windows and a window to its side. The road facing block has six flats. The three flats to the left of the stairs have the French windows on the right of the main window, whereas the three flats on the right have the French windows to the left of the main window. The rear block has an alternating pattern of these windows.
Also of note are the brick-enclosed drain pipes.
Photo taken October 2018
A report in May 1959 said that the cost to Mitcham Borough Council was around £82,000.
Road that is parallel, and north of, Rowan Road, running between Stanford Way at its northern end, and Northborough Road at the southern end. Although part of Streatham today, when built it was part of the Mitcham Urban District. Possibly built in 1925/6, see below.
1951 OS map
Houses are numbered starting from the Northborough Road end with evens on its northern side, and odds on the other. Postcodes are SW16 4HJ for numbers 1 through 77, and SW16 4HL for 2 to 82.
In June 1926, Fulfords Ltd., builders of the Long Thornton Estate, asked the council to use the name Beckview Road instead of Avenue Road. The council disagreed and, as the company suggested no other name, it stayed as Avenue Road. Source: Mitcham UDC minutes, volume 12, page 115. Note that the next road in parallel with this road, away from Manor Road, is called Beckway Road.
Two identically constructed rows of shops with flats above on the south side of Upper Green East, Mitcham. All are numbered even, with the first block being numbers 2 to 16 and the second from 18 to 38, ascending to the east of the Fair Green. Postcodes are CR4 2PA for no.s 2 to 14; CR4 2PB for 14A through to 38.
This birds-eye view from Bing shows that each pair of properties forms a ‘T’ shape, with the top of the T facing the street.
These blocks were probably built in the late 1920s as there is no mention of this part of Upper Green East in the 1925 street directory, and these ads appear in the 1929 town guide.
Cottages that were near Tramway Terrace, on the west side of the Carshalton Road, south of Mitcham Junction station, as described by J.D. Drewett in his Memories of Mitcham, published in 1926:
Many old houses in Mitcham have disappeared — a row of old cottages stood behind the Goat Inn — only two remain. Of several old cottages on the farm lands of Messrs. Mizen, along Amoys Lane one remains. Rumbolds Farm — and many old cottages called the Flat Tops — also stood on this estate, and were demolished many years ago. The site of Tramway Terrace was an open garden with only one small cottage at the entrance to Amoys Lane. There was a small pond in front of the Flat Tops, and two wells in the gardens. The railway to Croydon crossed the road level, and had a small cottage for the gatekeeper’s use.
Currently, in August 2018, being redeveloped as eight 4-bed houses by Caerus Developments, according to their planning application 17/P1442.
This 1951 OS map shows number 34 as a foundry, and it was listed as Mays Mitcham Iron Foundry in the 1963 Mitcham Borough List of Factories.
1951 OS map
The last occupant was Faren Chemical Industries (UK) Ltd., whose registered office address was changed from Unit 1, 34 Eveline Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 3LE to 145 Morden Road, Unit 8, Puma Trade Park, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 4DG, on 25 October 2017.