Tag Archives: 1886

Sydney Gedge



From the British Newspaper Archives (subscription required)
The Graphic – Saturday 24 July 1886

MR. SYDNEY GEDGE, of Mitcham Hall, Surrey, is the eldest son of the late Rev. Sydney Gedge. He was born in 1829, and educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he took a ” first ” in the Moral Science Tripos. In 1865 he was admitted a solicitor, and in 1871 was elected Solicitor to the London School Board. Mr. Gedge married, in 1857, Augusta, daughter of Robert Herring, Esq., of Cromer.

65 Years Cyclist.

Up to a few years ago, Mr. Sydney Gedge, of Mitcham Hall, who was ninety-one the other day, was wont to ride a tricycle daily through the busiest streets of London. He has cycled for sixty-five years. Can anyone beat his record?

Source: Leeds Mercury – Wednesday 20 October 1920 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

From Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
4th February 1954

Their names will not be forgotten

The late Mr. Sydney Gedge, of Mitcham Hall, a one-time Member of Parliament and constructor of Mitcham Park, is remembered in Gedge Court on the Baron House Estate opposite his old home.

Merton Memories Photos

On a tricycle at Mitcham Hall
1929 Mitcham Park


House that stood in Poulter Park, east of Bishopsford Road. Described in an auction ad from 1886 as having been built in 1866. An auction ad of 1917 refers to it as being in Mitcham.

Converted to flats in 2005/2006.

2016 aerial view of Bishopsford converted to flats

2016 aerial view of Bishopsford converted to flats


— By order of the executors of the late Alfred Attwood, Esq. — The very attractive Freehold Residential Properties, known as Bishopsford and Hillfield, situate in the parishes Carshalton and Morden, about mile from Mitcham Junction Station (whence there is an exceptionally good service fast trains the City and West End), ten miles by road to the Royal Exchange and nine and half from Whitehall.

Messrs. Debenham, Tewson, Farmer, and Bridgewater Have received instructions to Sell by Auction, at the Mart, E.C., on Tuesday, June 22nd at Two, in two lots, THE above-mentioned VALUABLE FREEHOLD PROPERTIES:-

BISHOPSFORD, the residence of the late Alfred Attwood, Esq., comprises capital modern Family House, erected about years since from the designs of a well-known architect, occupying an elevated site, with long carriage-drive approach, and surrounded by charming lawns and pleasure grounds and welltimbered ornamental paddocks, with outbuildings, glasshouses, good kitchen garden, fruit plantation, and pretty piece of woodland, together about 35 acres. The residence contains on the upper floor two large bedrooms for servants, and space in the roof for two or three more rooms on the first floor six capital bed rooms (all of good dimensions), two dressing rooms, fitted bath-room, and water closet; on the ground floor extensive lofty dining and drawing room, each about 30-ft. (including large bay window) by 17-ft. 6-in.; study, and convenient offices, with dairy and cellars in the basement. The property is partly bounded the river Wandle, which is a very pleasing feature, and has long frontage to the main road, upon which one more superior residences could (without detriment) be built. Possession will be given on completion of the purchase.

HILLFIELD adjoins the preceding property, and consists of another excellent modern Family Residence, with stabling outbuildings, attractive grounds, and grass paddock, in all about four acres. Let on lease for 21 years from 1877, at rental of £170 per annum.

Particulars of Messrs. Arkcoll & Cockell. Solicitors, 11 and 42, Street. Southwark, S.E.; or of the Auctioneers, 80, Cheapside, E.C.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 05 June 1886 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

The Bystander, 9th May, 1917


Ten minutes from station. Easy reach Mitcham Junction.

standing well up in rural situation, with fine views.

LONG DRIVE with picturesque lodge. — 12 bed and dressing rooms, baths, 2 staircases, lounge hall, 4 handsome reception rooms.

(45ft. by 21ft.).

Stabling, garage, cottage, small farmery, glasshouses. LOVELY GARDENS, orchard, park and woodland in all about 55 ACRES, with long frontage to the River Wandle. ELECTRIC LIGHT. COMPANY’S WATER. TELEPHONE.

To be SOLD by AUCTION, at The Mart, E.C., on TUESDAY, JUNE 5th (unless previously disposed of). Solicitors, Messrs. F. F. and H. LANDON, 53, New Broad Street, E.C.

Full details of Auctioneers, 3, Cockspur Street, S.W.1.

19170905 for sale ad with photo

Photos from 2005 of the rebuilding

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

17th November 2005

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17th November 2005

Newspaper Articles

GARDENER. — Young Man wants Situation, as UNDER GARDENER; understands gas engines; would like to learn electric lighting; age 22; disengaged September 14.— G. Hewitt, Bishopsford, Mitcham.

Source: Sussex Agricultural Express – Saturday 01 September 1906 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

LOST. A large white BULL TERRIER DOG, nine months old. Supposed to have strayed from his home on Sunday last. Whoever will take the same to the Mitcham Police-station or to Mr. Attwood, Bishopsford, Mitcham, shall receive £1 reward.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 28 June 1879 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

A 1902 sketch of extension is on Merton Memories.

1886 Inquest

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 05 June 1886


—Mr. W. P. Morrison, district coroner held inquiry at the Bath Tavern, Thursday, touching the death Richard John Johnson, aged two years, whose parents reside at 4, Bath-road, Mitcham. From the evidence it appears that the deceased had from his birth suffered from bronchial affection. On Monday evening the child became worse, when Dr. Love was sent for, and after prescribing for the child he said he would call see it in the morning. Before he could attend the next morning he was informed that the child had died. Subsequently he found that the child had suffered from acute bronchial congestion.

—On the evidence the doctor the jury found verdict of “Death from natural causes.”

Chapel Road

Around 1965

Chapel Road possibly 1965

This photo is looking west, from the Church Road end, at numbers 10 on the left, 8, 6 and 4 on the right. As the new Phipps Bridge development of flats can be seen in the background, this photo is assumed to be after 1965. Note the four chimney pots for each house.

World War 1 Connections
Private Leonard Ralph Bradshaw

Private Frederick Albert Simmonds


1950 Chapel Road map evens only

News Articles

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 April 1886

Alleged Theft from a Child.—Yesterday (Friday), before Mr. T. R. Edridge, chairman the Croydon County Bench, a girl named Emily Varnum (14), Chapel-road, Mitcham, described as a nurse, was charged with stealing 5d., from small child, whose name did not transpire.

— Mr. Edridge, without formally going into the case, asked the prisoner what she did with the money.

— She said she only had fourpence, with which she bought cakes and sweets, and gave the other twopence away.

— Mr. Edridge, in discharging the prisoner, warned her to be very careful of her future conduct, and ordered her mother to pay Mrs. Mellor, the other child’s grandmother, the money which had been lost.

Gloucester Citizen – Thursday 13 September 1928


Alfred H. Stokes, 29, of Chapel-road, Mitcham, was excavating in High-street, Tooting, on Wednesday, for the Wandsworth, Wimbledon and Epsom District Gas Company, when an escape of gas rendered him unconscious. He was taken to St. James’s Hospital, where oxygen was administered, and after a time he recovered, and was later allowed to go home.

Surrey Mirror – Friday 24 April 1931

While repairing the pavement in Chapel-road, Mitcham, on Saturday three Mitcham Council workmen felt the ground give under their feet. They were just in time to leap to safety as the surface fell into well 8ft deep, containing 2ft. of water. The well is bricked one side and heavily the other, and appears to connect with an underground watercourse extending about 30ft. under the pavement.

Gloucester Citizen – Friday 11 November 1932


A piece paper dropped by a prisoner was mentioned at Croydon when Percy Wallis (41), of Chapel-road, Mitcham, was charged on remand with conspiring with Thomas Robins, Constantine Ferrari, and others to steal money from telephone coin boxes.

Wallis was described at the last hearing as the “telephone coin box king,” and the master mind behind numerous telephone box raids, but he denied it.

Mr. Gordon Fraser, for the Post Office, said that the losses from telephone coin-boxes were very large indeed. In April two men were convicted at the Old Bailey. While one was on remand he dropped a paper, picked it up quickly, and tried to destroy it. That paper gave Wallis’s telephone number and address. After that observation was kept almost continuously on him.

Wallis was remanded and bail refused.

Source the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required).

1973 : Life is hell for the forgotten residents

Road stopping up order in the London Gazette Publication date:12 May 1988 Issue:51331 Page:5634

Occupants in the 1911 street directory

27,Mrs Bartripp shopkeeper

1915 Electoral Register
Odd numbers, south side

Skinner, William 5
Ward, Thomas Edward 7
Simmons, Frederick Albert 9
West, George 11
Pinegar, Robert 13
Clark, Thomas 17
Lambert, Charles 19
Homewood, William 21
Elliott, George Henry 23
Franklin, William 25
Howe, John 27
Pearce, Arthur 29
Ferrier, Thomas Arthur 33
Stagg, William 35
Salter, Henry 37

Even numbers, north side

Whale, Charles Frederick 4
Forgham, James 6
Hawkins, Thomas 8
Skilling, John 10
Arnold, Thomas John 12
Jardine, Thomas 14
Winter, James 16
Marshall, Robert 18
Thompson, Thomas 22
Thurtle, Arthur 24
Halestrap, Henry William 26
Davis, John 28
Bradshaw, Henry 30
Stock, John William 32

1933 Electoral Register
Odd numbers, south side

Priscilla SKINNER 5
Alfred MAY 5
Christion MAY 5
Mary WARD 7
Thomas Edward WARD 7
John Henry WARD 7
Alice Maud WHITE 9
Moses Frank WHITE 9
Alice Maude NYE 9
Emily May SIMMONDS 9
Alice WEST 11
George WEST 11
Marjorie Alice WEST 11
Annie PENEGAR 13
George Robert PENEGAR 13
William Robert PENEGAR 13
Emily FROST 15
William Jeremiah Thomas FROST 15
Douglas CLEMENTS 15
Amy Isobel CLEMENTS 15
Eliza CLARK 17
Edmund HOMEWOOD 17
Violet HOMEWOOD 17
William WARREN 19
Florence WARREN 19
William MORLEY 21
Mabel MORLEY 21
George ELLIOTT 23
Rose Mary ELLIOTT 23
Joseph Richard ELLIOTT 23
Mary Ann COLLISON 25
Annie HOWE 27
John HOWE 27
William HOWE 27
Florence HOWE 27
Minnie PEARCE 29
Alfred Hanson REEVES 31
Robert Thomas ALEXANDER 31
Grace Winifred ALEXANDER 31
Arthur Edward CHAPMAN 35
Lucy Alexandra CHAPMAN 35
Henry SALTER 37
Maud Louisa SALTER 37
Albert William SALTER 37

Even numbers, north side

Leonard SIMS 2
Charles Frederick WHALE 4
Minnie WHALE 4
Edna WHALE 4
Ethel Evelyn FORGHAM 6
James Harold FORGHAM 6
Albert James LIDDLE 8
Nellie LIDDLE 8
Elsie WALLIS 10
Reginald PUTTEE 10
Maud PUTTEE 10
Amelia Maria ARNOLD 12
Thomas John ARNOLD 12
William James NORMAN 12
Thomas JARDINE 14
Rhoda JARDINE 14
Cecil Frank CRITTENDEN 16
Edith Maud CRITTENDEN 16
Charles BLACKBURN 16
Margaret MARSHALL 18
Robert MARSHALL 18
Edward SMITH 18
Doris May SMITH 18
Frank WALLACE 20
Gertrude WALLACE 20
Harry TANNER 20
Rebecca TANNER 20
Lizzie Bullock THOMPSON 22
William THOMPSON 22
Olive Eunice THOMPSON 22
Arthur THURTLE 24
Grace Lilian THURTLE 24
Henry William HALESTRAP 26
Cissie PRIOR 26
Alice Elizabeth DAVIS 28
John DAVIS 28
John James DAVIS 28
Emily Jane JOHNSON 32
William Henry JOHNSON 32
Amy Emily JOHNSON 32

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

W.J. Bush & Co. Ltd.

In 1886, W J Bush and Co, already well established in London, purchased the herbal distillery at Figges Marsh, Mitcham, which had belonged to Messrs Potter and Moore. The copper stills and other equipment were moved to Bush’s newly built works in Batsworth Road where they wished to develop top quality essential oil distillation of peppermint, lavender and camomile.

The distilling of harvested herbs at the Mitcham works was discontinued after 1957, partly because it was no longer economic for the large stills to remain idle for all but the six weeks of each year when the crops were ripe for distilling, and partly as the space was required for the installation of more up-to-date equipment for other processes. The stills were dismantled and sold to H B Carter who re-erected them at his herb farm at Brasted, Kent.

Between 1960 and 1963 W J Bush amalgamated with two other oil distillers, Boake Roberts and Stafford Allen to form Bush, Boake and Allen. The new firm was later absorbed by the Albright and Wilson group which became part of Tenneco International. On rationalisation of the Albright and Wilson group, the Batsworth Road works were closed and demolished in 1977.

Source: Surrey History Centre.

The prospectus is published of W. J. Bush & Co., Limited, with share capital of £250,000, divided into 25,000 five per cent cumulative preference shares of £5 each, and 125,000 ordinary shares of £1 each, and £123,000 four per cent, first mortgage debenture stock.

This Company has been formed to acquire the old-established business of Messrs W. J. Bush & Co., manufacturing chemists, distillers of essential oils, &c.

The Company acquire the freehold warehouses and offices situate in Artillery Lane, London ; the freehold works at Ashgrove, Hackney ; the freehold distillery at Mitcham, Surrey ; and the freehold works at Messina, in Sicily.

The purchase price has been fixed by the vendors at £350,000, payable to £125,000 in ordinary shares and the balance in cash.

Subscriptions are invited for the preference shares and the debenture stock, and the list of applications will close before Tuesday, 23d March, at p.m., for London, and the following morning for the country.

Source: Dundee Advertiser – Saturday 20 March 1897 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

In 1915 directory listed as lavender and peppermint distillery
Map, published in 1914:



This 1918 booklet from the company published in New York has prices for its essences and a summary of the amount needed to make a batch, e.g. 1 lb of concentrated pineapple with flavour 2,000 lbs of ‘boiled goods’.

From 1951 booklet of centenary of company:
1951 Mitcham Factory Management1951 FH Priest

1951 Managers1951 Bush Long Service Group with names
Names are shown with the number of years in service in brackets.

Top Row: left to right: J.C. Gibbs (33 yrs.), J. Orfeur (31 yrs.), W.J. Hone (35 yrs.), J. Wade (30 yrs.)

Middle Row: G. Smith (29 yrs.), A. A. Windeatt (30 yrs.), G.W. Knowles (30 yrs.),J.A. Martin (31 yrs.), J.A. Rogers (31 yrs.)

Bottom Row: F.C. Caplin (32 yrs.), R.G. Rance, B.Sc. (32 yrs.), Frederick William Priest (28 yrs.), Frederick Horace Priest (55 yrs.),K.H. Grunbaum (33 yrs.), C. Whiting (32 yrs.), E.F. Rogers (31 yrs.)

1946 Institution of Engineers Obituaries (from Grace’s Guide)

GEORGE NEILSON KLEE was born in 1903 and received his technical education in mechanical engineering at the Northampton Polytechnic. After the completion of a nine years’ apprenticeship with Messrs. Farrow and Jackson, Ltd., brewers’ engineers, London, in 1928, he was appointed chief draughtsman at the Letchworth works of Messrs. L. Lumley and Company, Ltd., brewery engineers, but two years later he accepted a similar position with Messrs. Multifillers, Ltd. In 1933 he became works engineer at the Mitcham branch of Messrs. W. J. Bush and Company, manufacturing chemists, with responsibility to the works manager for the design and reconstruction of plant and buildings. After holding this position for seven years his services were lent by that firm to the Ministry of Supply and during the next two years he acted as senior mechanical engineer of the propellant planning department at Wrexham, being solely responsible to the chief engineer for the mechanical design of cordite factories. He then returned to Messrs. Bush as chief engineer and was holding this appointment at the time of his death, which occurred on 30th November 1944. Mr. Klee was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1936.

From the 1939 Who’s who in Engineering (from Grace’s Guide):

Klee, George Nielson Klee. A.M. I. Mech.E. Engineer, W. J. Bush & Co., Ltd., Mfg. Chemists, Batsworth Road, Mitcham. Private Address: 19 Cockwood Close, N.2. Career: Northampton Polytechnic (Awarded Skinner’s Prize); 1920-24, Apprent., Farrow & Jackson, Brewery Engs.; Farrow & Jackson, Draughtsman; L. Lumley & Co., Chief in D.O.; Is Eng. Consultant to “Bottler and Packer.”

From Ancestry, George Neilson Klee of 19 Cornwood Close, Finchley died 30 Nov 1944 and left £1554 4s. 6d. to his widow Elsie Maud Klee.


Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

Newspaper Articles

From the Daily Express, 4th March, 1915



Lord Knutsford announced yesterday at the quarterly meeting of governors of the London Hospital that home manufacturers had overcome the difficulty which had been experienced in obtaining sufficient salicylate of soda, a drug chiefly used in the cure of rheumatism, and made from one of the by-products of coal tar.

“The whole manufacture of this drug. has been in German hands.” he said. ”and some time ago the staff had to restrict the use of it to urgent cases. Last week they received the first consignment of 56lbs. of the drug from Messrs. Bush and Co., of Bethnal Green, who have put down plant to fight the German monopoly.”

Up to date, Lord Knutsford added, the hospital had treated 2,200 soldiers without in any way reducing the help given to the civilian population. Mr John Lavery, A.R.A., is at work at the hospital on a picture of the wounded.

Note that salicylate of soda is used in making aspirin.

Lavender Walk

Off of Commonside East, today a footpath that leads to corner of Baker Lane and Gaston Road.

In this 1974 photo from the Collage collection, the footpath is where the white van is parked. Click on the link to zoom in.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1974 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

From 1925 street directory:

from Commonside east to Eastfields.

East side

Mint cottages :

  1. Joseph Simmons
  2. Thomas Grace

Cox’s cottages :

  1. Sidney Huggett
  2. William Enever
  3. Bernard Mark Bicknell
  4. William Clarke
  5. Charles Stewart

Helena cottages :

  1. George W Spencer
  2. Thomas Frederick Wadsworth

News Articles

1885 theft of vegetables from Mr Slater

A Convenient Sister.

— On Monday, at the Croydon Petty Sessions, before Mr. Edridge and the Mayor, Fredk. Hazle, of Lavender-walk, Mitcham, was charged with stealing some brocoli and cabbages from East Fields, the property of Mr Slater.

– Prisoner admitted taking the greens, stating that he did so to sell them and get some bread with.- Mr. Edridge told him he knew full well that there was a relieving officer in Mitcham whom he could go if he was in want.

— P.-c. Stratton stated, in answer to the Bench, that he had known prisoner for ten years, and the police had received many complaints of his thieving habits.

— Prisoner was fined the value 3s., a fine of 2s. 6d., and the costs, 2s. 6d. His sister paid the money.

– In reply to the Bench, Mr. Slater, the prosecutor, said he didn’t want the money which the magistrates offered to return him as the value of the vegetables.

— Mr. Edridge: Shall we keep it for the poor box ?

– Prosecutor: Yes, sir.

— Mr. Edridge : That will make a beginning; there’s nothing in it at present. Thank you.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 28 February 1885 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1886 throwing stones at passing trains



— Before Mr. T. R. Edridge (in the chair), Dr. Alfred Carpenter, Dr. Hetley, Mr. J. Corry, Mr. J. Judd, and Mr. H. Heath.

A dangerous practice.

Henry Thomas Wadsworth, of Lavender-walk, Commonside, Mitcham, and John Hazel, of Mount Cottage, Mitcham, both lads, were charged on summonses taken out by Inspector Howland, of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, with throwing stones a train. A policeman deposed that he was on duty at the Beehive Bridge, Mitcham Common, when he saw the defendants throwing stones a passing train. One of the missiles struck the train, and another one fell short. Witness went up to the lads and asked them why they had thrown the stones, and they replied, ” Only for a game.” Upon that he took their names and addresses, and reported the matter to the railway authorities.

— In reply to the Bench, the defendants denied that either of the stones hit the train ; they fell on the bridge.

— Mr. Edridge, the chairman, said the charge was a most serious one, and, as a warning other lads, the defendants would be remanded in custody for a few days.


— Before Mr. T. R. Edridge. To-day the defendants were brought up from the House of Detention, and the Chairman discharged them with a caution.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Saturday 23 January 1886 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Note that ‘Mount Cottages’ should have been ‘Mint Cottages’.

World War 1 Connections
Captain William Allison White – VC