Category Archives: Pubs

1880 : Gas Workmen’s Outing

Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 25 September 1880

MITCHAM.
Workmen’s Excursion.

— A party of tradesmen and other inhabitants of Mitcham, accompanied by Mr. William Jones, foreman of the Mitcham gasworks, left the “Nag’s Head,” Mitcham, on Tuesday morning, at 8.30, on an excursion to Kingswood, accompanied by a band, who played a variety of lively airs on the way.

The first stop was made the “Red Lion,” Kingswood, and from thence to Walton-on-the-hill. An unfortunate accident occurred here. As one of the musicians was ascending the steps of house he missed his footing, and was precipitated to the ground, where he lay for some time senseless. As soon the man was sufficiently recovered, the party entered the dining-hall of one of the chief public-houses in the place, where sumptuous repast had been prepared by the host.

After dinner the usual loyal toasts were proposed by Messrs. Rough, Baker, Wigmore, and others. Having spent some further time in the rural scenery of the surrounding neighbourhood, the party proceeded home, having spent a thoroughly enjoyable day.

1879 : Beating the Bounds

From the Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 31 May 1879, via the British Newspaper Archive

PERAMBULATION OF THE PARISH OF MITCHAM.

On Ascension Day, May 22nd, and the day following, was witnessed in the parish of Mitcham the now almost obsolete practice of “Beating the bounds of the parish,” which had not taken place since 1835, although a dispute as to boundary occurred in 1847 which was settled by the now fashionable means of arbitration. The arrangements having been kept somewhat secretly, prevented the assembling of so large a concourse of people as might have been expected, the weather being on the first day all that could be desired. We understand that there bad not been a general invitation to the parishioners to attend, but it extended only to the clergy and parish officers. But before giving any further details of the day’s proceedings it may interest many of our readers to give a short account of perambulations in general, and that of Mitcham in particular.

It is stated in Shaw’s Guide to parish law, published upwards of century ago, that “The boundaries of parishes being now settled by custom care is and ought to be taken to preserve them by annual perambulations, which should be kept up at the usual time, and the boundaries of the parishes so carefully viewed and settled in them as to leave no room for any doubt or contest about them. In the times of Popery these perambulations were performed in the nature of processions, with banners, handbells, lights, staying at crosses, &c., and therefore, though such processions were forbidden by the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, yet by the same injunctions, the useful and innocent parts of perambulations were and are still retained.”

The earliest account that we can find of a perambulation of the parish of Mitcham is obtained from the oldest volume of Churchwardens’ accounts, which covers a period from 1653 to 1680, for in the accounts for the year 1662, the following item occurs: —“ Pd for our dinner and the boyes att our perambulatinge 7s. 2d.” Whether the boys underwent the bumping and whipping generally understood to take place upon those occasions, to indelibly impress the doubtful and difficult parts of the boundary in the juvenile mind, is not here stated, but in the year 1663 is this entry, “Expended on those who went perambulatinge in the Rogation weeke for victualls and drinke the sum of £1 0s. 4d.” and again under date 1670, “ Expended at the perambulacon on those that went ye bounds of ye Pish, £3 2s. 2d.” In the year 1673 the the description of the fare provided upon these occasions is more fully expressed thus for meat, drinke, and cheese, for those that went the perambulation.” No further mention is found of the matter until 1678, when “Expended at the perambulacon on Holy Thursday £3 0s. 0d. for horse hyre that day, 1s.” These items distinctly prove that perambulations of the parish were much more frequent in the 17th than 19th century. Passing over a few years we find that these gatherings did not always pass off quietly as could be wished, as is shown by the following extract from the minutes of a vestry held 20th June, 1731 :- “It is the opinion or the parishioners now in vestry assembled that the churchwardens, against whom actions are brought by William Farrer, Esq., Henry Downs, clerk, Thomas Green and Osmond King, For going in their perambulations on Ascension Day last thro’ a place called the new grounds formerly taken out of Mitcham Heath, ought to bee indemnified by the parish from all costs and charges that shall arise concerning the same.” The foregoing is followed by resolution passed at a vestry held on Sunday, 27th of same month, that “It is the oppinion of the parishioners that Mr. Peter’s be employed to make a case concerning the perambulatious, &c.” The bounds were also ordered to be walked in 1771 and 1772. With the following two entries from the churchwardens’ accounts we shall close our notice of the ancient perambulations of the parish:- “3 May, 1733, Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when Mr. Hatsell and the churchwardens, with a great number of the other inhabitants of Mitcham, went the whole perambulation of the parish of Mitcham, £6 19s. 5d.” The Mr. Hatsell here mentioned was the Rev. William Hatsell, eldest son of Sir Henry Hatsell, Baron of the Exchequer. He was instituted vicar of Mitcham 13th July, 1724, and resigned 13th January, 1733-4. “23 May, 1724, To the Wid Boddison was due to her late husband for drink at the perambulation 3 May, 1733, and left unpaid, 10s. 6d. Paid for the dinner, wine, bread, beer, cheese, &c., when the churchwardens, and great number of the parishioners of Mitcham went again the perambulation on the south side of the parish, taking in all Mitcham Common as usual, together with the 80 acres called new grounds, antiently taken out of Mitcham Heath, £6 10s. 0d.”

The place of rendezvous selected on Thursday was the Goat Inn, situated about half-a-mile from Mitcham Junction, and punctually at eight a.m. the perambulation was commenced. Amongst the company present were the following:- Rev. D. F. Wilson, M. A., vicar, Rev. H. G. Dod, curate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes, who bore his wand of office, the three overseers, viz., Messrs. W. R. Harwood (who carried a staff inscribed Mitcham Parish,” apparently a relict of long defunct bumbledom), S. Love, and J. Lewis. A few other parishioners and friends joined later on.

The arrangements for the day were principally under the direction of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart, the latter of whom carried a ribbon map of the boundaries, upwards of 25 feet in length. The proverbial “boys,” six in number, especially told off for the duty, beat the various boundary posts and streams of water, &c., with willow wands. The “State” was represented by two policemen, who apparently enjoyed this somewhat novel form of duty.

Starting from the Goat Inn the party followed the river, leaving McRae’s tannery on the left, a man provided with waterman’s boots defining the boundary down the stream, but it was found advisable to take a punt where the water was particularly deep and muddy. Searl’s and Ashby’s mills were passed in due course, and the various boundary posts having been beaten by the boys after the Vicar had pronounced, whilst the perambulators stood bare-headed, “ Cursed be that removeth his neighbour’s land mark.” Entering the grounds of the late Mr. G. P. Bidder, the stream was followed to Rutter’s snuff mills, then through the grounds of Morden-hall, and past Phipp’s-bridge to Merton Abbey Station. Merton bridge was reached at 12.15 p.m., where a stick was floated under, the waterman being in mid stream ready to receive it as it came out on the other side.

The company then adjourned to the Six Bells for lunch, which was admirably served by Host Giles. The chair was taken by Rev. H. G. Dodd, the Rev. D. F. Wilson having left the party, but rejoined it later on in company with Rev. F. S. Legg, vicar of Christ Church, Singlegate, Mr. Churchwarden Nobes taking the vice chair. After all had done justice to the collation.

The Chairman rose and in a short but pointed speech proposed, “The Queen,” which the company heartily responded to by singing the National Anthem. The Vice-Chairman, in rising, said he had much pleasure in being present on that occasion. It was the first time he had walked the bounds of Mitcham, although he had done so in another parish. He spoke of perambulations being an ancient custom and alluded to Lord Nelson having resided at Merton, upon the verge of which parish the company were then assembled. After complimenting the overseers and Mr. Chart upon their excellent arrangements, he concluded by calling for three cheers for those gentlemen.

Mr. W. R. Harwood, in an appropriate speech, returned thanks for the overseers, and Mr. Chart, whom said they were all indebted.

The perambulations were again commenced, through the garden of the Six Bells, over part of what was once the Wandsworth and Croydon tramway, the boundary here being somewhat intricate, to the back of Child’s flour mill, and Byegrove-mead, where the new sewage works are in course of and up to the wall of Garrett Cemetery. The railway crossed in several places, the axe being used on the various boundary posts to show that none had been passed over. Some little time was spent in defining a small detached part of the parish, which being at last satisfactorily settled, the party made towards Tooting Junction, some of them going through a house that had been built over the parish boundary. Tooting Junction was reached at 4.30 p.m. and after crossing the garden of the house supposed to have been the residence of Daniel de Foe, the company separated, having had a somewhat tiring but agreeable day.

The weather on Friday morning looked very threatening, and heavy showers were experienced during the day, but nevertheless at a few minutes after 8 a.m. the Rev. H. G. Dodd, the overseers, and others arrived Tooting Junction, and immediately the perambulation was recommenced under the guidance, as before, of Messrs. E. and R. M. Chart. Following the course of the Graveney, a tributary of the Wandle, to Streatham-lane, where noted the bridge over the stream, called Roe Bridge,” which connects the parishes of Mitcham and Streatham, has a stone let the north side, bearing the Merchant Taylor’s arms, and inscribed, “This bridge was built at the cost of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, 1652.” Still following the river to the railway, which was crossed near Streatham Rifle Butts, the party proceeded to Lonesome, passing over the race course and leaving the stand the left. Here several posts put up by Croydon parish were duly marked with a cross. Passing through the wood to the extreme north east corner of Mitcham Common, which was reached at ll a.m., and at that point, the rain having cleared up for a short time, an enjoyable al fresco lunch supplied by Mr. Marchant, of the Horse and Groom, was partaken of. The common was then skirted to Beddington station, and after going down Beddington-lane for a short distance the fields were entered on the right, and a walk straight across country passing over the railway en route brought the company out of the plantation near Beddington Corner. Mr. Chart informed us that the enclosure of this piece of ground, about 80 acres in extent, was the cause of considerable litigation which was finally settled about 1816 by the Court of King’s Bench. The vicar here joined the party, and skirting the plantation, reached the post opposite the Goat Inn at 1 p.m., and against it “the boys” received the orthodox bumping, although of a mild description, which brought the perambulation to close.

We cannot conclude without commenting upon the orderly manner in which the proceedings were conducted throughout, and which reflected great credit upon all concerned.

The overseers expressed their determination place iron boundary posts at various points decided upon during the perambulation.

1976 : Mr Sparrowhawk out-drinks horse in Bucks Head

From the Sunday People, 31st October, 1976, via the British Newspaper Archive.

Mr Sparrowhawk out-drinks Boozy Toby

It looked like a cert for Toby the pony when he met Ron Sparrowhawk in a challenge beer drinking contest.

Observers of form in the public bar at the Bucks Head, Mitcham, Surrey, pointed to the size of his mouth, the length of his his tongue and his great capacity for liquid.

Challenger Ron Sparrowhawk, they argued, though known to be a fast man with a pint, was taking on more than his weight. The smart money was going on Toby, a proven sprinter over anything from one to six pints.

The public bar was tense when timekeeper Mike Green, landlord at the Bucks Head, put up Toby’s pint.

It was a smooth three-lap performance – three laps of that long tongue and the pint was gone in a snappy six seconds.

Then it was the turn of Ron Sparrowhawk.

He looked confident as he took his stance opposite his pint, nicely placed at the edge of the bar.

He raised the glass with a nice easy action, placed it to his lips.

Then, as the crowd fell silent, Ron downed the pint in an amazing three seconds.

Over

The contest was over. The dark horse had won.

What the punters didn’t know is that Ron Sparrowhawk, of Bond Road, Mitcham, is an expert on the drinking capacity of animals.

“I’ve always been a drinking man,” he said later, “so naturally I’ve been curious about what other animals can sink.

“I wanted to put my theories to the test with Toby, hence the challenge.

“I just open my mouth and pour. It’s like tipping it down a drain.

“Toby has a long tongue, I grant you. But I’ve got the technique. And a long longue is no match for technique.

“Watch the drinkers in any local. How many long tongues do you see?

“Mind you, that Toby can hold more than I can. But he hasn’t got the speed.”

Ron, who owns a shellfish stall, was full of praise for his beaten rival.

“He’s a plucky contestant that Toby and I’m planning a rematch.”

Landlord Mike Green said that Toby started drinking beer six months ago.

“He has three pints in the morning and three at night.”

The Mitcham Mint pub opened Christmas 1968 but locals disliked the name

Mitcham News and Mercury, 27th December, 1968, page 1

A row over a pub name

An argument blew up over the week-end over the name of Streatham Vale’s first pub, which opened on Friday.

Local people are upset at the brewery’s choice of “Mitcham Mint.” Ind Coope selected this because, they say, they wanted to name it after a local industry.

But what local industry?

The firm that make a sweet called Mitcham Mints is Clarnico Ltd – whose factory is in East London.

It is true, however, that, many years ago, the company used mint picked in Mitcham for their confectionery.

Said one Vale resident: “It’s a pretty far-fetched reason to call a pub Mitcham Mint.”

And Coun. Dennis O’Neill, secretary of Streatham Vale Property Owners’ Association, declared: “The brewery should have consulted the locals first after all, the place will surely rely on local trade.

“Why not call it the Vale Rose? The rose grows like mad in this area; the soil suits it. That name would have had far more local significance than Mitcham Mint.”

THE SIGN

The inn sign of the Vale’s new two-bar hostelry, which was formerly the Coronation off-licence in Lilian Road, is the mint plant.

Said a spokesman for Ind Coope: “We spent a great deal of time deciding on a name; we always like to give our houses a local touch. Mitcham was famous for its mint, so this seemed an ideal name. Someone had the idea that the Mitcham Mint was made locally. . .”

The licensee, 52-year-old Mr. Alexander Tipping, who was manager of the off-licence, formally pulled the first pint on Friday, watched by a saloon bar full of guests.

Mr. Richard Motion, managing director of Ind Coope (London) Ltd., said there was obviously a need for a pub in this area – the nearest one was about half a mile away.

This will be a local house, relying mainly on local trade,” he added.

The £16,000 conversion scheme was carried out by Tamworth Park Construction Ltd., whose general foreman, Mr. Frank Stannett, was presented with a souvenir tankard.

There was a tankard too, for Mr Oliver Ashwell, district manager.

Mr Tipping will run the Mitcham Mint with the help of the wife, Mrs Emily Tipping. They have three daughters aged 21, 19 and 15.

Notes
1. The Coronation off-licence was called Coronation Stores in council minutes.

2. The pub was renamed in February 2019 as The Vale at Streatham. It had been refurbished by its owners, Star Pubs & Bars.

The Swan Garage

Motor dealer and garage near the Swan pub on the western side of London Road, south of Eveline Road.

Business owned by Bertie Cyril DENDY.

He was married on 3rd August 1910 to Lilian Beatrice Mary MANSFIELD, aged 25, of 7 Spencer Road, Cottenham Park, Wimbledon. Her father is shown on the marriage certificate as Thomas Mansfield, carpenter. Bertie Dendy, also at the same address has his occupation shown as Coach Builder, the same as his father Adolphus.

The 1911 census shows him as a wheelwright:
Address: The Oakwood, London Road, Mitcham, Surrey

Adolphus DENDY, head, born 1854, aged 57, wheelwright
Frances Sarah Dendy, wife, born 1852, aged 59, married 33 years
Bertie Dendy, son, born 1881, aged 30, wheelwright
Lilian Beatrice Mary Dendy, son’s wife, born 1891, aged 20

His father Adolphus is listed in the 1915 street directory as a wheelwright at The Oakwoods, north of Oakwood Terrace. Adolphus Dendy was a District Chairman in 1907, and also landlord of the Ship pub. In the 1918 Kelly directory, Adolphus Dendy is listed as carriage & motor dealer.

From the 1925 street directory, listed in London Road going south:

Eveline villas :
10, William Arthur VLEACH
9, Ernest Alfred ARTHUR
8, Hugh ANDERSON
7, William DRAKEFORD
6, Latham Charles LATHAM

…. here is Eveline road

5, Sidney BOREHAM
3, J. W. AUSTIN & Son, provision dealers
2, Ernest REEVE, butcher
1, Miss L. FROUDE, confectioner

B. DENDY motor engineer
The Mitcham Cabinet Works (E. W. CLIFTON & C. OLDHAM, proprietors)
Swan inn, Roy DALE
B. DENDY motor engineer
Mrs. DENDY (The Oakwoods)

From the London Gazette, 2nd February, 1937:

NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned
Bertie Cyril Dendy and Arthur Henry Stanforth carrying on businees as Garage Proprietors at 174
London Road, Mitcham in the county of Surrey under the style or firm of “THE SWAN GARAGE”
has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the thirteenth day of December 1936. All debts due and owing to or by the late firm win be respectively received and paid by the said Berne Cyril Dendy.

The said business will be carried on in the future by the said Bertie Cyril Dendy.

—As witness our hands this 25th day of January 1937.

ARTHUR HENRY STAINFORTH.

BERTIE CYRIL DENDY.

Norwood News 5th May 1937 via the British Newspaper Archive

Norwood News – Friday 15th October 1937

MITCHAM’S SOLE AGENTS B. C. Dendy and Co.. Ltd., 180, London-road, Mitcham, has an advantage over other motor-dealers in Mitcham as he is the only agent in Mitcham for Morris and Ford cars. This advantage is also an advantage for prospective buyers of cars residing within easy reach of Mitcham, as one is able to see the car one wants in comfort.

Ford, of course, is known to all, as since 1903 the Ford organisation has made and sold over 25,000,000 ears. This unique record in manufacturing has only been made possible by the unusual value which Ford cars offer. The Ford “Ten” is the latest addition to Ford high-value ears, and one of the most outstanding announced for many years. It marks a new stage in the evolution of enjoyable but inexpensive motoring, offering exceptional roominess, high engineering quality. assured reliability, with remarkable economy.

His other sole agency. that of Morris cars, gives prospective buyers the opportunity of examining cars which have a reputation for fast, safe, and comfortable riding. The Morris “24” is designed in such a way that the most careful attention has been paid to those three dominating points.

The new overhead valve power unit has been thoroughly proved over an eveonsive mileage and combines surging power with the absolute reliability and smooth running for which Morris engines have been famed in the past. With a top speed of 70 miles per hour and an mildly impressive performance on the lower gears, it is more than capable of holding its own even with cars of much higher horsepower. It Is the car for the man who desires comfortable motoring.

Listed in the 1938 commercial directory as B.C. Dendy & Co., motor car agents, 174 London Road.

1939 : Rateable value of pubs

From Mitcham Borough Council Minutes, vilome 5, 1938-39, page 641

Pub Address Present RV Proposed
RV
Albion Church Road £147 £238
Bath Tavern Belgrave Road £68 £120
Beehive Commonside East £62 £109
Buck’s Head London Road £152 £297
Bull Church Road £103 £180
Cricketers London Road £129 £197
Crown London Road £165 £305
Fountain Western Road £48 £144
Gardeners Arms London Road £140 £447
Goat Inn Carshalton Road £125 £222
Gorringe Park Hotel London Road £260 £663
Horse and Groom Tamworth Lane £172 £330
King’s Arms London Road £162 £280
Kings Head London Road £162 £288
Old Nag’s Head Upper Green West £172 £251
Prince of Wales Western Road £113 £267
Queen’s Head Lower Green £80 £184
Ravensbury Arms Croydon Road £80 £155
Ravensbury Tavern Morden Road £44 £330
Red Lion High Street SW19 £463 £663
Royal Six Bells High Street SW19 £130 £205
Royal Standard High Street SW19 £83 £163
Star Church Road £87 £217
Surrey Arms Morden Road £188 £313
Swan London Road £190 £388
Three Kings Commonside East £168 £290
Victory High Street SW19 £216 £301
White Hart London Road £205 £330
Windmill Commonside East £48 £101

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Flat Tops

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.

1867 OS map


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