Tag Archives: 1916

Tyrell’s Poultry Farm

A poultry farm that was in Gorringe Park.

According to Eric Montague, writing about St Barnabas church in his Mitcham Histories : 2 North Mitcham, page, 109:

During preparation of the site for the new church what remained of Gorringe Park stables, then known as Tyrell’s Farm, was demolished.

He also said that a clock, removed from one of the old farm buildings, was installed in the church tower through the generosity of Joseph Wilson and his wife, who were living at Gorringe Park House at the same time as the church was built.

The 1904 street directory describes Gorringe Park Avenue as walked from the London Road:

…. here is Bruce Road
Charles FROST (Gorringe Park Lodge)

Christ Church Church Room

Christleib T. LIPSHYTZ (Gorringe Park House)

The Surrey & Sussex Poultry Farm Limited

Arnold & Arnold, veterinary surgeons (Gorringe Park)

The spelling of the surname differs in the 1910 electoral register, which shows William TYRRELL at Poultry farm, Gorringe park. Henry TYRELL is shown at 5 Thirsk Road.

The 1911 street directory, also described from west to east, now shows William Tyrell poultry farm:

…. here is Bruce Road
St Barnabas District Mission Church

St Barnabas’ Men’s Club (W.G. WOODWARD, hon. sec.)

Reverend Christleib T. LIPSHYTZ (Gorringe Park House)

William TYRELL poultry farm

Arnald & Arnald, veterinary surgeons (Gorringe Park)

This can be compared to the 1911 OS map:

1911 OS map

The assumption then is that field numbers 574 and/or 575 were the locations of the poultry farm, with 571 being the vets.

The path that is shown between Gorringe Park House and the poultry farm is followed today by the course of Edenvale Road, as shown on the georeferenced OS map on the NLS website:


During World War 1, three members of the Tyrell family were called up and went to the Military Service Tribunal to ask for exemption. Reports of the tribunals in local newspapers have been summarised by the Merton Historical Society

3rd March 1916

“My business, run under agreement, cannot be run without my supervision,” wrote Mr. Albert Tyrell, aged 31 years, keeping a poultry farm at Mitcham, and who is a pig breeder and butcher at Streatham.
Claim for exemption was disallowed.

Leonard Tyrell, 28, a poultry farm keeper and pig breeder, whose mother is dependent on him, claimed total exemption but was only given a month.

8th September 1916

John William Tyrell, 23, a pig and poultry dealer, was quite unable to get anyone to carry on his business if he went. This was his fourth Tribunal appearance. His father, aged 58, suffered from a strained heart, and had been medically certified as unfit for heavy manual labour. The Chairman thought there was no reason why he should not turn to and do what he could; we were all now doing things that once we had given up doing. One more month, to be final.


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

Walter Mays Ltd.

The Abbey Cork Mills of Walter Mays Ltd was built on the site of William De Morgan’s pottery, Colliers Wood, in around 1890.

1950 OS map

Walter Carden-Mays born December 1865 in Camberwell. He married in 1888 and died on 21st January 1941 in Surrey. The ‘Carden’ part of the family name was dropped at some point, and his company was known as Walter Mays Ltd.

Listed in the 1925 street directory as Walter Mays Ltd. (Abbey Cork Works), 150 & 152 Byegrove Road.

1924 aerial photo. The site for Colliers wood underground station can be seen bottom right. The cork factory is on the left of the High Street.

1934 OS map rotated to show same view as aerial photo above


Ad from Flight Magazine of 1938 :

and directory listing from same:

WALTER MAYS, LTD., Abbey Cork Mills, London, S.W.19 (Liberty 3764).—” Everything in cork “; carburettor and oil indicator floats, gauge glass washers, gland packings, strut sealing corks, anti-vibration mats, composition cork jointing to D.T.D.219A, laminated and plain.

In an entry on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History from 1939 about suppliers to the aircraft industry, cork joints to specification DTD 219A were widely used for petrol tank gaskets and packings.


The Stone Cottage of the Surrey Iron Railway stood on the Walter Mays Ltd site for over 150 years.


Mitcham Military Service Tribunals

As reported by the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 16th June 1916, an employer of a cork business in Colliers Wood, appealed for his son. Although not named, it is likely that the company was Walter Mays Ltd.

Exemption was asked for a skilled mechanic, by the owner of a cork manufacturing business in Colliers Wood. The employer said the man was very valuable in his present employment and he will be practically impossible to replace. A large proportion of their manufacturers were for government uses. He employed about 17 men of whom are only three were eligible. He pleaded that his son was capable of doing almost anything in the business and his departure might cause the closing down of the business.

Three months exemption.

In the Mitcham and Tooting Mercury, 2nd November 1917, the company and employee are named in an appeal.

Mr Walter Mays, cork manufacturer, of the Abbey Cork Works, High Street, Colliers Wood, asked for a exemption for Mr T.W.S. Cavey, age 41, B1, motor driver and mechanic, residing at Birdhurst Road, Colliers Wood.

Applicant: An exemption for so long as the man remained in his employment. He was engaged in delivering all Mr Mays’s important Government contract work. The average mileage was 250 miles a week.

Counc. Baker : I suppose it is all Government work that Mr Mays does?

Applicant: Oh, yes, it is most important.

The appeal was disallowed.

In the 1919 electoral register a Thomas William Sherrin CAVEY was living with his wife Florence Louisa in 28 Birdhurst Road. He died in 1950 as stated on the Find-A-Grave website, which also says he was a Music Hall performer known as Stirling Fred.


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