Tag Archives: 1898

1898 : Making oil cloth in Mitcham

From Pearsons Weekly (P.W.):-

A VERY SECRET TRADE.

P.W. IS SPECIALLY FAVOURED, AND SEES THE WHOLE PROCESS OF OILCLOTH MAKING.

Thanks to the courtesy of Messrs. Hampton, P.W. has been through a large factory in Mitcham and seen the whole process of oil-cloth making from beginning to end, from the plain canvas stretched on huge vertical frames sixty-one feet high to the rolling up, ready, one might say, for putting down on your floors.

To start with, the canvas is made in Scotland, and is delivered in whole lengths measuring as much as 145 yards long and six or eight yards wide. It is especially strong stuff woven of yarns made of hemp and flax combined, or jute, or other strong raw material. These fields of canvas are out into lengths to suit the frames, measuring sixty-one feet by twenty-four.

Like stage cloths, they are nailed by the upper edge to battens that run across at the top, being also secured tightly to side frames in order to stretch them.

Now, to render oil-cloth stout, solid, and durable the canvas in the rough_or first state has many coats of paint applied to it, the first coat being quite a pigment in substance, so thick, indeed, that it is actually laid on with a trowel. That is the first process, if we except the sizing. This pigment, or paint, is put on in four sections by “trowellers” who are stationed on one-plank platforms running along the sides of the canvas, the man on the top plank working down as low as be can, the man below him starting where his mate leaves off, and so on to the bottom. Before the first coat is allowed to set hard it is pumiced down to make it smooth and even. Both sides receive at least two coats of this thickish paint., then the upper side is treated with two or three more coats of thin paint, put on with a brush properly; it is then pumiced down again, and a final coat leaves it ready for the printing rooms.

These canvases weigh half a ton, and there was over a mile of canvas being treated at the time of our visit. Our canvas having been left hanging for two or three weeks it is now set hard and dry, so it is ingeniously wound round a roller and taken to the “printeries” where it undergoes that artistic treatment so familiar to our eyes in the multitudinous patterns, and in the working of the hundred and one colours seen in the rolls of oil-cloth you meet with everywhere.

The printing “lofts” harmoniously correspond with the “flies” of a stage; ropes, battens, gridirons, cloths, little gangways, everything, in fact, that one has seen in the place named you come across in the lofts of an oil-cloth factory.

Our canvas being fixed into position, it is allowed to pass over a table twenty-four feet long to receive the impression of the printing blocks. A separate block is required for every colour introduced into the pattern, the blocks being eighteen inches square. In the old days the printer had to use considerable personal force in pressing down on the block to make the requisite impression, but now a hand press, which travels along a trolley fixed overhead, is used.

Every colour in use has its own pad, and this is fed by a boy; a follower aids the printer. The blocks are usually made of deal, and the pattern is cut out in the wood; for very fine work the pattern is cut in brass.

To proceed : the printer takes up the block he wants, presses it on the pad of colour–the pads are all arranged in order at his book—and then applies it to the surface of the painted cloth. In some patterns as many as ten blocks are used, but the usual number is about five. He goes right across the cloth from one side to the other with one block at a time, and then goes over the same ground again with the second block. this method being observed till all the blocks have been used. The cloth having been printed it is taken to the drying warehouse, where it hangs for several weeks drying, at the end of which time it is varnished and then left to dry for another week or two.

If there was at the time of our visit a mile of canvas and over under the initial treatment there must have been at least five or six miles of cloth depending from the roof of the high building, all being seasoned.

The varnishing process is, of course, simple, but it puts on a smiling face to the cloths which before that treatment wear a sad, dull countenance.

Although the paint used differs in nothing from that used by the ordinary house painter, yet we could not conscientiously recommend you to try to paint your doors with it.

In order to bring their business up to modern wants and usages, a heat-drying warehouse has lately been erected where cloths are seasoned by artificial heat, which is pumped into the rooms by a patent engineering device, the heat being generated by engines in an adjoining building.

Kamptulicon was the pioneer of the new departure in floor-cloths, and was brought into use a little over fifty years ago. Oil-cloth has been in existence since 1745.

Alter kamptulicon came linoleum, about thirty years ago, invented by a Mr. Walton.

Source: Pearson’s Weekly – Saturday 29 October 1898 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Oakwood Terrace

Terrace of three houses south of the Swan and north of Smith’s Terrace, marked in red on this 1911 map.

From the 1915 street directory, going south on the west side of London Road:

The Swan inn, William POWELL
Adolphus DENDY, wheelwright, (The Oakwoods)

OAKWOOD TERRACE:
3 Arthur WELLS
2 Thomas Walter BOWHILL
1 Arthur HOOKINGS
______
PILLAR LETTER BOX

News Items

From the Sunday Times – Sunday 11 September 1898

ADULTERATION OF MILK.
A LENIENT BENCH.

At the Croydon County Bench yesterday, James Thompson, of Oakwood Terrace, London Road, Mitcham, was summoned for sellmg milk adulterated with 12 per cent. of water.

Mr. John Martin, a Surrey County Council Inspector, stated that he stopped the defendant on Aug. 17 in London Road, Mitcham, and bought a pint of milk. This was divided, and a portion of it was analysed by Dr. Stevenson, who certified it to contain 12 per cent of added water, with a trace of boracic acid.

Defendant’s explanation was that he had run short of milk, and had borrowed twelve gallons from another dealer in whom he had such confidence that he thought he was acting quite safely.

The Bench took into consideration the Inspector’s report that he had previously found defendant’s milk genuine, and ordered him to pay 5s. costs.

World War 1 Connections

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

A HOOKINGS of 1 Oakwood Terrace London Road, aged 41 Years, Printer. Conscripted on 28 December 1916 to the Army Service Corps (k Coy).

F MONK of 1 Oakwood Terrace London Road Mitcham, aged 23 Years, Mantle Cutter. Conscripted on 11 June 1917 to the 84th Training Reserve Batn.


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

Caxton Printing Works

12 Cricket Green, modern building now rented offices called ‘The Old School House’.

Identified on 1953 OS map as Caxton Printing Works.


From the minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council
Volume 1
1934 to 1935
General Purpose
14th May 1935
page 602

12. CAXTON WORKS, LOWER GREEN WEST.

—The Town Clerk reported that the occupants of the upper floors over the Caxton Printing Works, at Lower Green West, had vacated these premises, and that Mr. H. G. Mather was prepared to let these premises to the Council for living accommodation for firemen should the Council deem them suitable for this purpose. The Town Clerk reported he had ascertained that the inclusive rent required, on a three years’ agreement, would be 30s. per week, the Council being responsible for interior repairs and decoration.

Resolved, That the Council be recommended to rent these premises and that the Borough Engineer be requested to report to the Finance Committee thereon.

Mentioned in an auction of 1889, implying that it was owned by a Mrs Field.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 25 June 1898

SALE THURSDAY NEXT.

By order of the Executors of the late Mrs. Field.

MITCHAM.
—Secure Leasehold Investment.

ROBT. W. PULLER, MOON & FULLER Have received instructions Sell by Auction. at the Greyhound Hotel, Croydon, on Tuesday, June 30th, at Five for Six o’clock.

ALL that LEASEHOLD PROPERTY, comprising a Shop and Dwelling-house, known as the Caxton Printing Works, Lower Green, Mitcham, let on lease at £40 per annum, and two Dwelling houses adjoining, distinguished as Caxton Cottages, one let at 7s. per week, the other let at 6s. 6d. per week. The whole thus producing £75 2s. per annum, and forming a desirable investment.

May be viewed permission of the tenants, and printed particulars with conditions sale obtained at the Greyhound Hotel, Croydon; of the Vendor’s Solicitors, Messrs. Streeter and Howe. 76, High Street. Croydon; and at the Auctioneers’ Offices, Croydon, Reigate. and Epsom.


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

Radstock

House in Cedars Avenue until 1950s/60s when demolished and Imperial Gardens developed.

1950 OS Map

1950 OS Map

Occupants from directories
1898 : Rev. W.M.C. McALLISTER
1905 : Rev. William Marcus Coglan McALLISTER (Electoral Register)
1915 : Benjamin GREEN
1925 : Ernest Frank RICHARDSON

Newspapers

From the Church Times, 2nd November, 1900, page 486 :

Wanted nurse, lady or ordinary, to three little girls in a clergyman’s family. Little washing, nurseries. State remuneration, which must be moderate. Mrs McAllister, Radstock, Mitcham, Surrey.


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

Building Plans Approved 19th Century

From Croydon Rural District Authority Minutes

4 April 1895:
– additions to Killick’s Lane Board School

16 May 1895 plans approved:
– coach house & stable, Baron Row, Mitcham Dr. Ferrier Clarke

11 July 1895:
– stable, Lock’s Lane E. Thumwood

22 August 1895:
Messrs Mizen, Eastfields, to erect two cottages at Manor Farm, Westfields

17 October 1895:
– Messrs Typke & King to build a lab at the Crowned Chemical Works, Mitcham
– Mr JD Drewett to erect two cottages in Killick’s Road

10 June 1897:
Warehouse at Phipps’ Bridge road by Harland & son

10 June 1897:
10 houses in Graham rd by Mr HJ Vile of 4 Crieff Rd, Wandsworth

8 July 1897:
– Mr G Pitt of Mitcham to erect a cottage in Church rd Mitcham
– Mr J Burges, Norman rd, Merton to erect a butler’s pantry at the “Cedars”, Mitcham

21 October 1897:
– Mr JM Pitt of Mitcham to erect four houses Gladstone rd, Mitcham

4 November 1897:
E. Pearce of 264 Brixton rd, to erect stable & coach house at Graham rd, Mitcham

6 January 1898:
Mr CF Woodward of Graham avenue to erect four cottages in Church rd., Mitcham

20 January 1898:
RA Bush, Hall Place, Mitcham to erect four pairs semi-detached villas in Church street, Mitcham

17 March 1898:
Perry & Reid of 9 John Street, Adelphi for erection of new public house “Buck’s Head”, Mitcham

20 April 1899:
Chapman, FC houses Fortescue Road
Mitcham & Cheam Brewery co. – offices, Lower Mitcham

14 May 1899
New road at Miles Road, Mitcham was approved in November 1898 at 36ft wide, but bye-laws had since changed to 40ft; committee decided not to insist on wider width as plans were approved before the change.

25 May 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – six houses Pitcairn rd.
J. Wilson – 37 houses Gorringe Park, Mitcham

13 July 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – 14 houses Pitcairn rd.

27 July 1899:
Chapman, FC – 2 houses Fortescue Road, Mitcham
W.M. Thompson for S Gedge – 6 houses, Mitcham Park Estate

27 September 1899:
– Dell, J – 2 cottages King’s Road, Mitcham
– Cruwys, R – shop, London Road

12 October 1899:
Geo. Pitt – new road, Century Road & 22 cottages on same
– Mr Dalton – 4 houses (8 tenements) Robinson Road

26 October 1899:
GH Stephenson – 3 shops & 12 cottages Miles Road
– J Tuckett – 11 houses (each 6 flats), Park & Robinson Road

9 November 1899:
Taylor & Kinsett – 18 houses Pitcairn rd.

14 December 1899:
– Moses & Carver – 6 houses Graham Road
– Fortescue & co. – 4 houses Marian road
– Mann, Crossman & Paulin – addition to Gladstone House, Mitcham

8 February 1900:
– G. Lawrence – 3 houses (4 tenements) Fortescue Road
– A. Dendy – 2 cottages Manor Farm, Upper Mitcham


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

Mitcham Brewery

Edgar and John Mantell operated the Mitcham Brewery, London Rood, Mitcham, Surrey, until 1877 when it was taken over by John Dalton Mantell, followed by Thunder & Little in 1884. Thunder & Little Ltd was registered in September 1895 as a limited liability company to acquire the business. The company acquired Edward Boniface, Cheam Brewery, Cheam Surrey, in 1898 and changed its name to Mitcham & Cheam Brewery Co Ltd. It was taken over by Page & Overton’s Brewery Ltd, Croydon, Surrey, in 1917. The Cheam Brewery closed in that year and the Mitcham Brewery ceased brewing in 1914.

Source: The Brewing Industry: A Guide to Historical Records edited by Lesley Richmond. Published by Manchester University Press (6 Sept. 1990). ISBN-10: 0719030323

Francis Thunder is shown in the 1900 electoral registers.


Merton Memories Photos
1882 White Hart pub showing JD Mantell name

This sketch from around 1885, when zoomed in to the White Hart pub, the brewery ‘Thunder & Little’ can be seen.
1885 cricket on the green1950s

c. 1975

Maps
1866
1888
1894
1913
1932
1938
1953

News Articles

1898 Mitcham and Cheam Brewery formed to takeover Thunder and Little

18981213 Mitcham and Cheam Brewery

London Standard – Tuesday 13 December 1898

The Mitcham and Cheam Brewery Company (Limited) is formed to take over and combine the businesses of Thunder and Little and of Edward Boniface, brewers, the one at Mitcham and the other at Cheam. A Share capital of £50,000 is to be created, in £5 Shares, half of which will be Cumulative Preference Shares, and the whole of it goes to the Vendors, who also accept £40,000 in cash in payment. An issue of £50,000 in Four-and-a-Half per Cent. First Mortgage Debenture Stock is offered to the public at par in multiples of £10.


News Articles

A subscription is required to view these articles on the British Newspaper Archives website.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 20 July 1889

Messrs. Thunder and Little’s Beanfeast.

— On Saturday last about 40 of the employees of the Mitcham Brewery assembled at 7 a.m., and after partaking of what they chose in the way of liquid refreshment, proceeded to Mitcham Junction, whence they travelled by special train to Portsmouth, arriving there about 11.45. After a hearty lunch at Maybour’s Restaurant at Portsea the dockyards were visited. A steam yacht was then chartered, and the party went for a two and a half hours’ trip skirting the Isle of Wight. Returning to Maybour’s they sat down to most excellent dinner, the expense of which, indeed was the whole of the outing, being borne by the firm. “The first-class spread” having been done ample justice to, toasts, songs, etc., followed until time for the return journey at 7p.m. Arriving at Mitcham Junction in good time, the company adjourned to the White Hart Hotel, and there brought most enjoyable day of pleasure to a harmonious finish.


Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 01 November 1879

Extensive Embezzlement.

—At the Croydon Petty Sessions on Saturday last, Frederick French, of Aberdeen-terrace, Mitcham, was charged, on remand, with embezzling 18s. 6d., the moneys of his employer, Mr. J. D. Mantell, brewer, of Mitcham.

—The defendant pleaded guilty, and said he hoped the Bench would be lenient with him on account of his wife and family.

— Mr. Dennis, who represented the prosecutor, said the defendant should have thought of his wife and family before. It unfortunately happened that this was only one amount of prisoner’s defalcations out of between £30 and £40.—The Bench sent prisoner to gaol for four calendar months.