Tag Archives: 1913

Lighting Tramway Path

From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council
Volume 11
April 1913 to March 1914
Report of the Lighting Committee
28th October, 1913
page 106

Report of Sub-Committee appointed to inspect Gorringe Park Avenue and Tramway Path, with a view of ascertaining whether or not additional lamps are required thereat.

Present – Messrs. A. Dendy and J. Snelling.

Gorringe Park Avenue –

Your Sub Committee are of the opinion after careful inspection and consideration, that the question of increased lighting in Gorringe Park Avenue should be deferred until the Church now in course of erection is completed and the road made up.

Tramway Path –

This path, from Mitcham Park to the Double Bridges, is about 650 yards in length, the nearest Gas Main is at the Mitcham Park end of the footpath, and to light this footpath effectually, at least six lamps would be necessary; and it is doubtful if the Gas Company could be induced to lay the necessary main even if this number of lamps were erected. There is only one house on the route to take the gas if the Council were to light the path. There are many others throughout the Parish of a similar description which would have to be lighted, and your Sub-Committee there do not recommend that any lamps be erected.

The Committee having considered the Report beg to recommend –

That one additional lamp be erected in Gorringe Park Avenue, and that Messrs. J. M. Leather and J. Brewer be appointed to select the most desirable position for its erection.

From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council
Volume 11
April 1913 to March 1914

Report of the Lighting Committee
meeting held on November 24th, 1914.
pages 110-111

The following letter was read from the Gas Company quoting terms for laying the necessary main and service pipes for lighting three lamps in Tramway Park.

                                   Wandsworth Wimbledon and Epsom 
                                              District Gas Company.
                                                    Fairfield Street, 
                                   Tuesday, 17th November, 1914.

Dear Sir, 

                      Tramway Path, Mitcham.

With further reference to your letter of the 30th October, addressed to Mr C. W. Braine, this matter has had the consideration of my board, and I have to say this company will be pleased to lay the necessary level of Gas Main (200 yards 4 inches) and the Service Pipe (1,000 yards, 1 and a half inches diameter) to give an adequate supply of gas for three public lamps in Tramway Path, vision, and the annual charge per lamp, per annum, for No.s 2, 3 or 4 “Kern” lamps would be, respectively, as follows: –

No. 2 “Kern” … £14 11s. 0d
No. 3 “Kern” … £14 6s. 9d
No. 4 “Kern” … £15 9s. 0d

These prices would be for Gas and Maintenance, and they are based on the assumption that your Council would accept the terms for a minimum period of five years, after which time we would be pleased to further consider the matter.

I shall be glad to hear from you with reference to this matter.

I may add that we have ascertained that at present there is very little prospect of further houses being erected in the vicinity of the house already built and the occupier of which would be willing to use Gas.

                             Yours faithfully,
                                         (Signed) H.O. CARR,

The Committee make no recommendations, as they consider the terms prohibitive.

1910 OS Map showing Tramway Path

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

Fire Hydrants

From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council
Volume 11 April 1913 to March 1914
Report of the No. 1 Fire Brigade Committee
24th June, 1913

Page 37

The Superintendent’s Reports were read:

June 11th … Hydrant Inspection … 7s. 0d.

Page 38

The Superintendent submitted the following statement as to the result of testing of the pressure and flow at various hydrants.

TEST OF WATER MAINS ON June 16th, 1913

Position of Hydrant Static pressure in lbs. per. sq. inch. Quantity in gals. per minute
Woodite Towers 48 90
Tamworth Park 50 180
Fair Green 60 240
Graham Road (Figgs Marsh end) 60 330
Pascalls 64 360
Park Avenue 20 150
Vestry Hall 28 460
Hancock and Corfields 32 105
Canons Gates 60 80
Tramway Path 58 55
Frinton Road Links Estate 32 315
Tooting Bridge 30 300
Bonds Road
Western Road 34 240
Western Road Schools 34 340
The above tests were taken between 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock in the evening.

             Yours obediently,
                   A. L. JENNER, Superintendent.

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

Mitcham Urban District

From the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Mitcham Parish Council
on 3rd June 1913
Volume XI, pages 30 to 31

The Clerk reported that at the meeting of Surrey County Council on 22nd May the following resolution was passed:- that the Rural Parish of Mitcham be converted into an Urban District

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

Varnish for Maps

Of the companies listed in the 1911 commercial directory of Mitcham, 17 of these were varnish manufacturers.

One of the uses of varnish was as a waterproof coating for maps, as described in this article from 1913.

Waterproof Varnish for Cardboard.

If cardboard is painted with celluloid varnish nice, smooth, washable surface results. This is the varnish with which almost all maps, for land or marine use, are superficially coated, as well as drawings and manuscripts subject to much handling and varying degrees of atmospheric tumidity, even to wetting. The varnishing is effected, either coating the cardboard with the aid of a flat brush and drying in the air, or by dipping. Papers that have been varnished in this way gain after drying 40 to 50 per cent, in strength, and cardboard so treated is perfectly washable, without warping subsequently. Moreover, the coating of celluloid varnish permits the bending of the cardboard in any direction, for it is elastic enough not to break.

Celluloid varnish is made by dissolving celluloid in amyl acetate. The emulsion can be cleaned from waste roll photographic film, and the resultant clean celluloid used. It is simply cut into small bits, placed in the amyl acetate, and allowed to dissolve, shaking occasionally. The usual formula calls for 120 to 150 grains of celluloid to 16oz. of the acetate. But the exact proportion does not matter particularly. Made according to the formula, it is rather too thick, and requires too long to dry. The best way is to let the acetate dissolve about all the celluloid it will take up, and then add nearly enough alcohol to double the bulk of the solution. If too much is added, there will be some of the celluloid thrown down. Made in this way it is much cheaper, dries much quicker, and flows better, being thinner.

—“ Camera Craft.”

Source: Sheffield Weekly Telegraph – Saturday 15 February 1913 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Isolation Hospital


From the 1913 Health Report, published in February 1914:

The Isolation Hospital, which is situated in Beddington Corner, Mitcham Junction, was opened at the beginning of March, 1899, and since that date 4,309 patients been admitted.


At the time the Hospital was first opened, the population of the district being about 28,000, it was thought that 28 beds will be sufficient accommodation. Shortage of beds, however, became more pronounced in each succeeding year, and in 1905, the Hospital was very considerably enlarged by the addition of a Scarlet Fever pavilion of 22 beds. The hand laundry, and some additional dormitory accommodation is provided in the Administrative Block.

A further enlargement took place in 1910, which included a cubicle block 12 patients, and also quarters for Resident Medical Officer.


The Staff of the Hospital consists of

Title Number
Resident Medical Officer 1
Matron 1
Assistant matron 1
Nurses 13
Laundresses 3
Engineers 2
Servants 7
Wardmaids 6
Seamstress 1
Gardeners 2
Porter/Portress 1 each


During the year 292 patients have been admitted, of which number

Condition Number
Scarlet Fever 185
Diphtheria 94
Typhoid Fever 6
Puerperal Fever 1
Cerebro-spinal Meningitis 2
Erysipelas 4

Nineteen of these patients were admitted by arrangement with other authorities, and 17 were admitted from Merton.

Of the 292 patients admitted, 280 were discharged as cured, and 12 died, viz., 3 from Scarlet Fever, 5 from Diphtheria, 1 from Typhoid Fever, 1 from Erysipela, and 2 from Cerebro-spinal Meningitis (including one from Tuberculous Meningitis).

The case mortality is 4.1 per cent as compared with 4.4 in 1912.

In Scarlet Fever the case mortality is 1.5 per cent as compared with 0.85 in 1912, and in Diphtheria it is 5.3 per cent as compared with 7.9 per cent in 1912.

During the year 1,120 swabs were examined at the Hospital.

The sputum of 17 patients in the Hospital were examined during the year.

Note that the health report was for the Croydon Rural Sanitary Authority and the figures shown are for all parishes, which included

  1. Addington
  2. Beddington
  3. Coulsdon
  4. Mitcham
  5. Morden
  6. Sanderstead
  7. Wallington
  8. Woodmansterne
  9. Merton

1902 Nurse Appointment

From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
Volume 8
1902 to 1903
15th May 1902
page 99

The Council considered applications for the appointment of a nurse at the Isolation Hospital, and had before them Nurse Owen, of Gravesend, Nurse Avery, of Islington, and Nurse Blaker of Portslade.

After interviewing the candidates, it was Resolved, That Nurse E. Blaker, of Portslade, be, and is hereby appointed nurse at the Isolation Hospital with a salary at the rate of £24 per annum, together with uniform, and the usual resident allowances, in accordance with the terms of the advertisement.

Demolished in the late 1980s, more information can be found at the Lost Hospitals website.

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.

Lonesome Chemical Works

Late 19th, early 20th century chemical factory that was west of Rowan Road and south of Greyhound Terrace. It was part of the Mitcham Urban District although its address was Streatham.

Described in the Mitcham vestry minutes of 1853 as “the new factory lately erected at Lonesome Farm”

Source: Mitcham Histories: 3 Pollards Hill, Commonside East and Lonesome by E.N. Montague; pages 20 to 25.

Incorrectly listed in the 1855 Mitcham Directory as Thomas Foster instead of FORSTER, india rubber works, Lonesome.

This ad from 1883 states that the firm of Forster & Gregory was established in 1852.

ad from 1883 edition of The Druggist and Chemist

Text of ad:


Makers of all tho Hypophosphites; also of Valerianic Acid and all Valerianates, Bisulphide of Carbon, Chloride of Sulphur, Chlorate of Baryta, and Chemicals for Pyrotechnical
and all othor purposes.

All Coal Tar Products for the Manufacture of Aniline Dyes.

Refiners of Sulphur in Rock or Roll, Ground Sulphur, Washed Sulphur, Milk of
Sulphur, Precipitated Sulphur. Guaranteed Pure.


1870 OS map

Eric Montague suggested that the Gasometer shown on this map was where the coal tar was extracted in retorts for the production of naphtha, used in making the india rubber. Town gas is a result of this extraction and may well have been stored in the gasometer for local uses, such as lighting for the works.

1894 OS map

1913 OS Map Lonesome

Note that the Manor Road shown on this map north of Marian Road was later renamed Greyhound Terrace.

1933 OS Map

News Articles

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 February 1899

The Chemical Factory and the District Council

At the Croydon County Bench Saturday, before Ald. Barrow the chair), Col, Cetto, Capt. T. Goodson, and Mr. S. Rostron, the adjourned case came of the Croydon Rural District Council v. William George Forster, managing director of Messrs. Forster & Gregory. Lonesome Chemical Works, Mitcham, respecting a nuisance in which the District Council asked for order against the defendant under the Public Health Act of to abate the nuisance.

– Mr. Wilson, representing the District Council, said that since the case first came before the Bench the experts the defendant met those of the District Council on the spot, and the result had been letter from the defendants’ solicitors, stating that they would agree to the order the Council asked for.€

– Mr. Dees said this was so. They consented to order accordance with the terms of the summons. The Council had agreed to give them a certain amount of time, 42 days, in which to carry out the terms the order. It would mean that the firm would have to do considerable work at considerable cost. The required order was made.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 04 January 1879

— Dec. 17th, suddenly, Edwin Gregory, of Thornton Heath and Lonesome Chemical Works, aged 43 years.

David Walter Chalkley

1959 mayor of Mitcham. Born 11th May 1913, died 1987, aged 74.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 22nd May, 1959:

Forty-six-year-old Ald. David W. Chalkley, prospective parliamentary Labour candidate for Croydon North-West was elected Mayor of Mitcham yesterday (Thursday). Ald. Chalkley, who lives in Deal Road, Tooting, was nominated Mayor last year, but he was forced to turn the offer down through his wife’s illness.

Housing Committee chairman in 1972, as stated in this clip from Mitcham News & Mercury, 16th June, 1972:

Mitcham News & Mercury 16th June 1972

Miss Barbara Thrupp, ex-Mitcham Council Housing Manager, in the Close named in her honour. With her are, front row, left to right, the Town Clerk of Merton, Mr Sidney Astin, Housing Manager Mr Archie Brown, and Housing Committee chairman Coun David Chalkley.

Merton Memories Photos

1959 as mayor
with family at mayor making ceremony
1960 at Red Cross Dance

Chalkley Close, off St Marks Road, is named after him.