Category Archives: Roads

Mitcham and District Lambretta Club

Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Transport_17-1

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 8th March, 1957, page 1:

A piece of mouldy cheese fetches 3s

A piece of mouldy cheese wrapped in paper sold for 3s. on Monday.

It was a mock auction organised by Mitcham and District Lambretta Club. All the parcels were wrapped so that the bidders did not know the contents.

Other articles sold included a bottle of Mitcham lavender that raised 5s., a puncture outfit and a pinafore.

A novelty item was a cardboard replica replica of a “goon.” It was made by Mrs Margaret Griffiths, Wide Way, Mitcham.

Mrs Griffiths has also designed “goon” pennants and badges. (Goon Harry Secombe is club president.)

The auctioneer was Mr G Hall, Bramcote Avenue, Mitcham, the Club chairman. Nearly £4 was raised.

1923 : Seaton Road Feuds

From the Norwood News – Tuesday 5th June 1923, via the British Newspaper Archive


A feud among gipsy folk living at Seaton road, Mitcham, culminated on Saturday in quite a colony of them appearing at Croydon County Police Court.

They swarmed about the precincts of the Court to the extent that everybody was asking what was the matter.

The full details of the feud or vendetta did not come to light, and the public were disappointed, inasmuch as the story was not told for their benefit.

Evidently something serious happened in Seaton-road on May 19, and the outcome was 19 summonses and cross-summonses for assault. Leonard Dixie and his wife, Britannia Dixie, of Seaton-road, were summoned for assaulting William Smith and Alice May Hudson; Mercy Sparrowhawk, of Portland-road, Mitcham, charged with assaulting Amy Deakins, Britannia Dixie and Leonard Dixie; Phoebe Smith, William Smith, John Smith and William Smith, junior, all summoned for assaulting Leonard Dixie and Britannia Dixie and Thomas Edmund Stevens for assaulting Louisa Stevens, on the 20th.

Louisa Stevens did not appear to charge Thomas Edmund Stevens.

The charge sheet looked so formidable as to almost stagger the sitting magistrates.

Sir Arthur Spurgeon, chairman of the Bench, hit on a happy idea. He got all the parties ranged together on one side of the Court. There they stood in a row, with a crowd of onlookers greatly interested in them.

Mr. Clark, solicitor for some of the parties, said: I would suggest to your Worship that everybody be bound over.

The Chairman : We cannot do that at this stage.


Mr. Stanley Gibson said he represented the Dixies, who were summoned ten times and in turn were the prosecutors four times. His friend, Mr. Clark, was in six of the cases, and he must say they were both mystified how to settle the whole business.

The Chairman : How did the trouble originate?

Mr. Gibson : There was a general fight on May 19, and it is the outcome of that.

The Chairman : What led to the fight — a wedding?

Mr Gibson: I could not say.

The Chairman: Or perhaps a funeral?

Mr. Gibson : I don’t know.

The Chairman : You don’t know much about it then.

Mr. Gibson: My instructions are that a fight was going on when my clients, the Dixies arrived on the scene. How the original fight started we cannot say.

The Chairman : This is evidently a quarrel amongst families. I don’t know who is to blame, and I suppose if you heard all the cases we should not get to the bottom of it. The result, one pretty well knows, would be to find there were six to one and half-a-dozen to the other. All the lot are mixed up, summoning and cross-summoning one another, and what will be the advantage in the end to any particular party, I fail to see. My suggestion is that they should all shake hands and go home.


The Clerk : That is the best thing, Sir Arthur, and let them bury the hatchet.

Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Gibson intimated they were agreeable to settle the dispute in that way. Meanwhile the parties looked on bewildered.

The Chairman : What do you say, Dixie?

Dixie : I don’t want to punish anybody.

The Chairman : Certainly not ; and you have no objection to shaking hands with these people and letting bygones be bygones?

Dixie (reluctantly): No.

The Chairman: And you, Smith, your are also agreeable to shake hands and let bygones be bygones?

Smith : Yes.

The Chairman : Come on, then, you two shake hands.

Smith approached Dixie and held out his hand. Dixie paused a moment, and then took the outstretched hand in his own.

Mrs. Dixie refused to shake hands with Smith, and indignantly brushed past him.

Alice May Hudson shouted out that she did not agree to a settlement in this way. She handed up to the Bench a doctor’s certificate as to the state of her health.

The Chairman : Of course, the usual bruises, and lost hair. (Laughter.)

Smith said he would take the responsibility for his married daughter, who objected, and withdrew proceedings on her behalf.

The Chairman : Very well, that is the best ending. All the cases are withdrawn.

The ending was so sudden and abrupt that all the parties looked at one another in amazement.

The Court was quickly cleared, but the parties remained about the corridors for a long while after, and there were heated conversations going on.

Three Kings Road

No longer exists. It was a road that was on the east side of the Three Kings Pond and connected Commonside East to Commonside West. In around 1982 it was removed and this connection was replaced by an diversion of Commonside East and a roundabout.

Source: Merton Council planning application number MER494/82, which was granted 9th September 1982 :

The diversion of Commonside East involving construction of new carriage way, construction of roundabout on Commonside West, closure of Commonside East/West junction to vehicular traffic, narrowing of part of carriageway of Commonside East and stopping up of Three Kings Road.

1953 OS map of Three Kings Road

Note also the route of the footpath that connected Cold Blows to Lavender Walk. This was an ancient path connecting the west and east fields. The path is now diverted to before the start of the Beehive Bridge incline.

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

1971 : Locomotors fire-hose laying vehicle

Fire-hose laying vehicle made by Locomotors

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th June 1971, page 6

A new hose-laying vehicle, specially designed for use on rough ground, has recently been built for the London Fire Brigade by Locomotors Ltd, the specialist bodybuilders of Mitcham, which is part of the Ranks Hovis McDougall group.

Built on a Ford D800 chassis with a Vickers 4-wheel drive conversion, the vehicle can lay up to 6000 feet of 3 1/2 inch hose at up to 25 miles per hour over rough terrain. it is based at the London Fire Brigade Hayes, Middlesex station, where it forms an important part of the back-up service for the British Airports Authority fire fighting unit at Heathrow Airport- dealing with situations where a water supply is remote from the scene of a possible fire emergency. The vehicle is, in fact, on call for any emergency where this is the case. In common with other selected London Fire Brigade appliances, it also carries special London Transport jacking equipment for dealing with bus accidents.

The 22 foot integral cab and body unit is constructed from steel and timber framing with aluminium alloy panelling.

79 Commonside East

Currently residential, but was a newsagents shop. In the 1954 phone book, the occupant was A.G. HENDRA, listed as confectioner & tobacconist.

This property is the left hand one of three, as shown in this photo, taken from the Beehive Bridge. To the left of number 79 is the footpath Lavender Walk.

clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Transport_2-3

1955 OS map

Next door at number 85 was S. BARTON, grocers, in the 1954 phone book. In the above photo, was it called Mitcham Stores to avoid confusion with Barton’s Stores in 1, Kings Parade, Wrythe Lane, Carshalton? (Also in the 1954 phone book)

In this clip from a 1974 photo, the shop is owned by D.G. BAKEWELL

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library -

1974 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library –

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

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 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:-


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