Category Archives: Industry

Lower Green West Trees and the Mitcham Rake

The trees seen on the left in this photo are much smaller than the rest. Photo taken May, 2019

The three trees at the westernmost end of the green of Lower Green West were planted after the Storm of 1987 had felled the original trees.

The London Box Sash company, situated opposite the old fire station, helped clear the fallen trees using their own saws and other equipment. They didn’t charge the council for this service, instead it was agreed between the two that all the wood salvaged from the fallen trees could be used by the company. Some of this wood ended up as Mitcham Rakes.

A ‘Mitcham Rake’ made by the London Box Sash Company. Photo taken at their premises August 2018.

1962 : 250 year old find in Ravensbury Park

From the Norwood News – Friday 5th October 1962

250-year-old Ravensbury Park find

WHILE reinforcing the banks of a backwater in Ravensbury Park, Mitcham, Mr. William Bloodforth, parks foreman, came across a large wooden pipe, which he believes is over 250 years old.

The section of the pipe which he uncovered is clamped together with six iron bands.

One theory is that the pipe, about two feet in diameter, was used to drain dye or bleach from a silk factory that might have been on the site where the rubber factory now stands, facing Morden Road.

If the pipe did carry dye it may have drained into the River Wandle about 600 yards away.

Mr. Bloodforth thinks this is unlikely as the backwater is higher than the Wandle bed.

A huge plane tree, ai least 250 years old, is growing in the path of the pipe which is only inches beneath the bed of the backwater.

“I shouldn’t think that the pipe was put there after the tree had been planted.” said Mr. Bloodforth.

It was while he was “riveting” the banks that his spade came across the wooden pine.

“I thought it was a coffin at first and was looking for the bones,” he said.

°It must have been here before the backwater. The mud, of course, has preserved it beautifully.” he went on.

The pipe may never have been discovered if Mr Bloodforth had not taken the opportunity to do the banks while the water is cut off due to the road works in Morden Road.

Santoy Works, Western Road

From an ad in 28th December 1917 issue of The Mercury newspaper:

Wanted, first-class tuner for tool making. – Apply Arthur Ryner & Co., Ltd., Santoy Works, Western-road, Merton Abbey, S.W. 19.

This 1921 aerial photo shows the factory of Ryner, Wilson Ltd Engineers:

1921 Ryner Wilson aerial photo

1950 : Workers’ Playtime in Smith Meters Canteen

The BBC’s Home Service radio show Workers’ Playtime was broadcast from the canteen at Smiths Meters in Rowan Road on Friday 6th January 1950. The show was then repeated on the 23rd January.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 13th January 1950, page 7

‘Workers Playtime’
In Canteen

Smith Meters Broadcast
To Be Repeated

Employees of Smith Meters works, Rowan-road, Streatham Vale balloted for 70 seats in their canteen on Friday. That, after regular canteen patrons had been accommodated, was the only room available foe the visit of the BBC’s “Workers’ Playtime.” The unlucky ones heard the broadcast on relay.

The limited space provided difficulty also for producer Bill Worsley, for among the artists were the 16-voiced George Mitchell choir as well as Turner Layton and Terry Scott. But everything went smoothly, and director Mr. A. Charles thanked them for the performance.

Works manager Mr. F. W. King added that they had lost a little production time through the broadcast but felt it was well worth it. “We feel it is all for the good of the employees’ morale to have a visit like this.” he said.

A recorded repeat of the broadcast can be heard on the Home Service January 23 (6.20 p.m.- 6.45 p.m.).

A summary of the show can be found at the BBC archive webpage.

1933 Explosion – Slightly Injured List

From the Norwood News – Friday 31 March 1933, via the British Newspaper Archive

SLIGHTLY INJURED.

10 Belgrave Road
Mrs. MARY WALLS (aged 57)

12 Belgrave Road
Miss MAUD SEALEY (aged 17)
ELIZABETH SEALEY (aged 12)
PEGGY SEALEY (aged 10)

13 Belgrave Road
HENRY SEALEY (aged 29)

16 Belgrave Road
MYRTLE CONNOR (aged 15)

18 Belgrave Road
FREDERICK WELLER (aged 18)

20 Belgrave Road
Mrs CISSIE SPARROWHAWK (aged 42)

24 Belgrave Road
Mrs. MINNIE JARDINE (aged 40)
ALEC JARDINE (aged 17)

28 Belgrave Road
CHARLES WHITING (aged 30)
Mrs. MINNIE E. WHITING (aged 30)
ELIZABETH WHITING (aged 12)

30 Belgrave Road
Mrs. ETHEL GOODSELL (aged 48).

34 Belgrave Road
JOHN FOSTER (aged 48)

27 Queen’s Road
Miss ELLEN COOPER (aged 18)
ANNIE COLLINS (aged 18)

6, Stanley-road, Morden

FRANK CAPLIN (aged 28)
All these are suffering from bruises and cuts on head, body, and legs (not of a serious nature), caused by falling debris.

The Official Report on the Explosion also has names and addresses of those affected, with details of buildings damaged.

F. Joyce & Co., sheet metal workers

Listed in the 1930 commercial directory as at 261 Church Road, Mitcham, telephone no. 1562.

A fire at the factory reported in the Norwood News – Friday 04 April 1930, which referred to it as a tin factory:

TIN FACTORY FIRE.

Mitcham Fire Brigade were called on Saturday noon to an outbreak at Messrs. Joyce and Co.’s tin factory, Church-road, and found that a shed at the side of the premises had caught fire. They quickly extinguished the flames, and confined the damage to a quantity of wood.