Tag Archives: 1897

Suffragette Stories

From the collection of Suffragette articles on the British Newspaper Archives, where Mitcham is mentioned.

If more evidence were necessary in support of the Public Places (Order) Bill, it could be supplied by the case of a Mitcham woman, Mrs. Brennar, who was recently arrested for ” insulting behaviour ” and locked in a cell at Bow Street.

Mrs. Brennar, to avoid the peril of standing still in a bitter wind and freezing temperature actually dared to ” walk up and down,” while waiting in the Strand to meet her husband! This seems to have been enough to convince the police that she was a woman of loose morals and she was taken into custody.

In spite of her protests she was not discharged until brought before a magistrate.

Source: Common Cause – Friday 27 March 1931 from the British Newspaper Archive

More Women County Councillors.

Two more women have been elected as members of County Councils, bringing the number of women serving on County Councils to 148. Mrs. Chuter Ede, who has just been returned to the Surrey Council, by a majority of 422, was the nominee of the undivided Labour party. Her opponent was the former chairman of the Urban District Council. She is the first woman to represent the Mitcham Division, and the fifth on the Council. The Duchess of Richmond and Gordon has succeeded Colonel Hankey on the West Sussex Council, and is the fourth woman to be returned to this Authority.

Source: Common Cause – Friday 07 December 1928 from the British Newspaper Archive

A reception is being given at Mitcham Hall, Surrey, on September 30th, by Miss Millington and Miss Hurlston, to meet Mrs. Bedford Fenwick, and to welcome home the nurses who served in the Greco-Turkish war.

Source: Woman’s Signal – Thursday 30 September 1897 from the British Newspaper Archive

A subscription is required to access these articles on the BNA.

Queen Anne’s Bounty

To help with the income of poor clergy, the Queen Anne’s Bounty was a sum of money used to buy land. This land was then rented out and this rental income was used to support the clergy.

In 1734, £200 of this Royal Bounty was used to buy an area of land from Charles Dubois in Mitcham, to support the vicar at the parish church.

Source: An Account of the Augmentation of Small Livings by “The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the poor Clergy” published in 1856, by Christoper Hodgson, M.A.

Source: An Account of the Augmentation of Small Livings by “The Governors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of the Maintenance of the poor Clergy” published in 1856, by Christoper Hodgson, M.A.

Eric Montague, in his Mitcham Histories : 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, page 107, said that more land was bought in 1762 from Mary Gellibrand.

This OS map of 1867 shows areas marked as ‘Glebe’. Note that the London Road was, as shown on this map, known as Whitford Lane.

1867 OS map

1867 OS map

Later, parts of this land was sold off to developers to build houses. Montague, page 108, ibid., said that in 1790 a substantial plot was sold to build a house which became Glebelands.

In the Land Registry title for a house in Preshaw Crescent for example, a conveyance was made in 1897:

A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 2 September 1897 made between (1) The Reverend Frederick Wilson Clerk (the Incumbent) (2) The Governors of The Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of The Maintenance of The Poor Clergy (the Governors) (3) The Right Reverend Father in God Edward Stuart (the Ordinary) (4) Francis Charles Simpson (the Patron) (5) The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Frederick By Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (the Archbishop) and (6) Richard Arthur Bush (the Purchaser) contains covenants details of which are set out in the schedule of restrictive covenants hereto.

See also Queen Anne’s Bounty on wikipedia.


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

Preshaw Crescent

Photo taken 2nd January, 2017

Photo taken 2nd January, 2017

Photo possibly taken after the houses were built.

Photo possibly taken after the houses were built.

A row of four pairs of houses from the corner with Glebe Path running west, in parallel with, but set back from, the north side of Lower Green West. Built after 1897 on the site of a pond, which is shown in this 1866 map:

1866 OS map

1866 OS map

According to Eric Montague in his book Mitcham Histories: 5 Lower Green West, page 11, the pond measured 200 feet by 50 feet and had been called King’s Pond. The sub-soil here is sand and gravel and Montague suggested that this was originally a pit dug for the gravel, which would be used in building. With the water table high the pit would have filled in with water forming the pond.


The year of 1897 comes from the Land Registry title for number 6, which was auctioned in early 2016:

A Conveyance of the land in this title and other land dated 2 September 1897 made between (1) The Reverend Frederick Wilson Clerk (the Incumbent) (2) The Governors of The Bounty of Queen Anne for the Augmentation of The Maintenance of The Poor Clergy (the Governors) (3) The Right Reverend Father In God Edward Stuart (the Ordinary) (4) Francis Charles Simpson (the Patron) (5) The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Frederick By Divine Providence Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (the Archbishop) and (6) Richard Arthur Bush (the Purchaser) contains covenants details of which are set out in the schedule of restrictive covenants hereto.

The restrictive covenant contained in the conveyance of 2nd September 1897 stated that …

the purchaser would within 12 months of the date of abstracting presents erect not less than 4 detached houses or two pairs of semi detached houses on the premises.

That no buildings other than dwelling houses with their offices should be erected on the premises the prime cost of which for work and materials should not be less than £400 or in case of pairs of semi-detached dwellinghouses should not be less prime cost than £650 per pair.


This 1910 OS map shows the four pairs of houses:

1910 OS Map

1910 OS Map

Occupants

From the 1915 street directory:

Lower green west, from London Road
NORTH SIDE

… here is Glebe Path
PRESHAW CRESCENT:
1, Charles STUART
3, George Henry NELSON
4, Robert CHART
5, Arthur LANGRISH
7, Charles Clarke APLIN
8, John David CLARKE

From the 1925 street directory:

Lower green west, from London Road to Church Road
WEST SIDE

PRESHAW CRESCENT:
1, Charles STUART
2, Miss Bessie May MARTIN
3, George NELSON
4, John William ALLEN
5, Arthur LANGRISH
6, Charles R SINCLAIR
7, Mrs HOLLIS
8, Herbert E HART
9, George W.T. ORMOND

Note that number 9 is possibly the White Cottage.


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

Gladstone Road

No longer exists. The Sadler Close housing estate was built over it, the name being kept for one of the blocks, Gladstone House.

The Mission Hall seen in the map of 1952 was opened in 1939, see Merton Memories.

From Croydon Rural District Authority Minutes read in the Local Studies Centre at Croydon library, the following plans were approved:

21/10/1897:
– Mr JM Pitt of Mitcham to erect four houses Gladstone Road, Mitcham

Occupants in the 1896 street directory
From Western Road to Sibthorp Road
NORTH WEST SIDE
Cromwell Terrace:

1,Joseph WHITEMAN
2,George SHEPPARD
3,George TOPLIFFE
4,Alfred GRAY
5,William MAYES
6,John HUMPHREYS
7,Edward Gray ARTHUR
8,John PILLINGER
9,George CRESSWELL
10,John Thomas NIGHTINGALE

5,Edmund BALL (coal dealer)

SOUTH EAST SIDE
Salvation Army Barracks


World War 1 Connections
Private William Richard Angliss

Private Henry James Collins

Private Harry George Sheppard

Youth Club details in 1949 Youth Handbook.


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

Lower Mitcham School

Now Benedict Primary School, Benedict Road.

Described in the 1918 street directory :

Lower Mitcham, Church road, built in 1897, for 280 boys, 280 girls & 320 infants & enlarged in 1913 for 380 boys, 880 girls & 320 infants; John D. Clarke, master; Miss Annie Roes, mistress; Miss Ellen Smith, infants’ mistress

Staff
1899, Mr Harber, Headmaster
1899, Mr Hossack, Assistant Master
1918, Mr John D. Clarke, Headmaster
1918, Miss Annie Roes, Mistress
1918, Miss Ellen Smith, Infants’ Mistress
1926, Mr H. C. Toller, master
1926, Mr F. C. Stone, headmaster
1933, Miss White, Teacher

Newspaper Articles

1899 School Board Report

1910 Antipodean Visitors

1920 Twin Towns

1924 Comedy of School Vacancy

1926 Novel Jazz Band at Christmas

1933 Seaside holiday for Explosion children


Merton Memories Photos
1924

1897 House Numbering Proposal

Mr. Chart submitted the following report on the numbering of houses at Mitcham :—

I beg to report on the numbering of houses in this Parish as follows :—

There are in the Parish altogether some 2,365 houses, very many of these are scattered and would not fall in with any general system of numbering, nor does it appear to me at present, with so many intervening spaces of unoccupied land, that a complete system of numbering such as is applicable to towns, could with any advantage be carried out, and if carried out now it would require very frequent amendment and alteration. There are, however, streets in the Parish in which numbers already exist, but which are improperly numbered and create great confusion in the delivery of letters, in the voting lists, and other like business, where the houses are too small to be known by distinctive names, and these should be taken in hand at once, and I append a list of such streets to this report. With regard to the general system I recommend such an one as is adopted in London (where all streets and numbers commence at the end of the street nearest to St. Paul’s), and in the Parish I should adopt the Vestry Hall as a centre, and number the houses in such streets as are to be numbered from the end of the street nearest to the Hail, taking the ” even ” numbers on one side of the street, and the ” odd ” numbers on the other. With regard to Church Road there seems to be some difficulty, as this extends as now named from Hall Place to Singlegate, the houses being for the most part on one side of the road only. It has always seemed to me that this road requires dividing by distinctive names before it is numbered, and the same thing applies to the London Road, which is nearly two miles in length. Perhaps the Committee will consider this.

RESOLVED — That the usual notices be served upon the occupiers of the roads and streets named in the report, forthwith requiring them to number their houses in the manner required in that behalf.

The roads in his report were:

Aberdeen Road
Arnold Road
Bath Road
Belgrave Road
Bond’s Road
Briscoe Road
Bygrove Road
Cavendish Road
Chapel Road
Church Road
Commonside East
Commonside West
Devonshire Road
Fountain Place
Fountain Road
Gladstone Road
Graham Road
Harewood Road
High Street, Colliers Wood
Homewood Road
King’s Road
Leonard Road
Lillian Road
Manor Road
Marion Road
Norfolk Road
Palestine Grove
Park Road
Queen’s Road
Robinson Road
Sibthorpe Road
Spencer Road
Walpole Road
Waterfall Road
Western Road
Westfield Road
Wilton Road

Source: 1897 Council minutes, Croydon Local Studies Centre

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:

1914

1914


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.

Sources:

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

CAPTURING TRADE

ENTERPRISE OF A LONDON FIRM OF CHEMISTS.

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.