Category Archives: Pubs

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.

Mount Rovers F.C.

Football club, Mount Road and area.

From the Norwood News, 22nd July, 1960

MOUNT Rovers F.C. have decided in future the players’ shorts and socks will he provided by the Club to improve smartness on the field.

There are still one or two vacancies for good class players to join the club, whose first eleven is in the Premier Division of the Morden and District Sunday League.

The Reserve XI is the only second-strmg team to be placed as high as the first division of the same league.

Applications should he sent to the secretary, Mr. H. T. Mount,
7, Mount Road, Mitcham, Surrey.

From the Norwood News, 10th August 1962

Mount Rovers annual meeting

At Mount Rovers annual meeting at the Bath Tavern, Mitcham, the officers were elected as follows: Mr A. Hanney, chairman; Mr H. Mount, secretary; Mr A. Brier, assistant secretary; Mr E. R. Mount, treasurer.

Three teams will be put out next season, all competing in the Morden and District Sunday League.

A letter was read from the president (Mr G. Arnold) stating that he intended to award annually a trophy to the player or official whom by secret vote was deemed to be outstanding.

The secretary H. Mount suggested that a committee be formed to cater for any increase of membership that might arise in view of the area in which their football ground was situated (Phipps Bridge) being redeveloped. This was agreed.

1932 Death of Mrs Poluski

From the Norwood News – Friday 29 January 1932, from the British Newspaper Archive, which requires a subscription.

A FAMOUS VARIETY STAR

Death of Mrs. Will Poluski

HER KINDNESS TO ALL

Mitcham has lost a famous resident by the death of Mrs. Harriet Poluski, widow of the late Mr. Will Poluski, one of the famous Poluski Brothers, comedians. Mrs. Poluski lived with her son, Mr. Sam Poluski, manager of the Three Kings Hotel, Mitcham Common, Mrs. Poluski being the licensee.

She had been ill for some time, and on Monday week went into Wilson Hospital for an operation. This was supposed to have been successful, and Mrs. Poluski was expected to get well again. It came as a great shock to her relatives when she suddenly collapsed and died on Friday morning. Her age was 72. — While living at Mitcham Mrs. Poluski had endeared herself to a large circle of friends. She was a very affable lady, and, in the words of a friend, was a “dear old soul.” Everybody who knew her spoke highly of her wonderful traits of sympathy, generosity and optimism. Her death will be mourned generally, and particularly by her local acquaintances, to many of whom she was a fairy godmother.

STAR OF FORMER DAYS.

As Nettie Waite, comedienne, Mrs. Poluski was well known on the variety stage more than thirty years ago — a star of former days.

She and her husband had been married nearly fifty years when Mr. Poluski died, about eight years ago. This was two years after the death of his partner-brother, Sam, had brought to a close a famous musical hall partnership lasting nearly half-a-century.

Mrs. Poluski leaves one son, Mr. Sam Poluski, of the Three Kings, and two daughters. Her other son, Mr. Will Poluski, jun., who was Miss Rosie Lloyd’s husband, died about two years ago while on a stage tour in South Africa. His death, following closely on that of his father, was a big blow to the mother.

The two daughters, who are well known in the stage world, are Miss Winifred Ward, the comedienne, and Mrs. Lottie McNaughton, wife of Mr. Gus McNaughton, the talented comedian.

Mrs. Poluski’a grand-daughter — Miss Winifred Ward’s daughter — is Miss Polly Ward, who for a time was one of the “Trix Sisters,” and who also appeared with the Co-optimists.

THE FUNERAL.

The funeral of Mrs. Poluski took place on Tuesday at Lambeth Cemetery, Tooting, her remains being laid to rest in the same grave as that of her husband.

The Rev. W. K. Roberts, Vicar of St Mark’s, Mitcham, conducted the services both at the Three Kings and the graveside.

Handsome wreaths were sent by the following: Sam, Winnie and Lottie (son and daughters); Jack, Bino, and Lottie (grandchildren); Gus, Ted and Bob (sons-in-law); Rosie Lloyd (daughter-in-law)l Sam F. Poluski (nephew); Gertie (niece); Mrs George Le Clerq, Brother George and family. Sister Emmie and Niece Em???y. Misses Rose and Peggy Hamilton, Mollie Melvin. A.F. Page, Mr and Mrs Peat, Mr and Mrs Townsend and family; Croydon District Licensed Victuallers’ Association. Bee Low, E.J. Eidman and family, The Plough (Sutton). Mrs Brown (Beehive). Mr and Mrs Percy Goodyer, Mr and Mrs Tyler and family. Mr and Mrs Harry Lovatt, Mr and Mrs Singfield Mitcham Conservative Club; Arthur and Mabel Le Clerq.

A few friends, Cecil, Jack, and E Rubber. Mr and Mrs Jones (King’s Arms, Mitcham). Mrs Godfrey and family (Nags Head). Mr and Mrs J.W. Moore and Lorna. Mrs James, W. Payne, Binnie and Leo Boys of the Brighton Cruising Club. Major and Mrs Poole (Buck’s Head, Mitcham). Brothers of the Order of Druids; Fred Griffiths and family; Staff of the Three Kings; Mr Keith B. Harris, Lloyd family, Mrs S. Hartley and Doris; boys of the Three Kings public bar; Miss Clare Romaine. H.E. and S.F. Fowkes. Mr and Mrs W. Laing. Mrs and Mrs Donn. Ruby (Three Kings). Mr and Mrs Brown (florist). Mr and Percy Mayhew; Hengler family. Kathleen Blunden. Mr and Mrs T. Witherden. Mr and Mrs Batchelor; Mitcham Athletic Club. Mrs J. Boxall, Bob and Jennie Leonard, etc.

Messrs W.P. Mellhuish and Sons, Mitcham and Tooting, were the undertakers.