Tag Archives: 1930

Joseph Owen

Born 1880, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Married 1908 to Susannah Young in Colchester.

In the 1911 census, Joseph Owen, aged 31, lived at 11 The Crescent, Westmead Road, Sutton, Surrey, with his wife Susannah, 31, and their son Arnold, 1. His occupation was civil engineer and surveyor with the London County Council.

A public family tree on Ancestry.com says that he went to Canada between 1912 and 1915 and worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways.

On his return he lived in Ashbourne Road, and took part in starting the North Mitcham Improvement Association in 1919, as told in its history, written by A.H. Bailey:

Mr Joseph Owen, of 89 Ashbourne Road, came to Mitcham in the early days of the war, from Canada; he had, however, lived in the neighbourhood before going abroad. He was one of the parents of the Association. He added to his great abilities as a civil engineer remarkable enterprise and push. To him, more than anyone else, was due the acquisition of land and erection of Halls for the Association.

An Electoral committee was formed, Mr Owen was nominated, the ward was canvassed as it had never been before for a local election and Mr Owen was returned on a poll of 838 against 428 for the party ticket. His majority considerably exceeded the total votes cast for a victor the previous April.

Mr Owen’s municipal career was brilliant; he became Chairman of the Highways Committee and remained in that office during the years that Mitcham developed at its greatest rate. He pressed for public baths and, but for him, Mitcham would not have had the public library when it did. Mitcham has its quota of ratepayers only; but Mr Owen resolved the problem by giving the site and half the cost, he also presented Sherwood Park Recreation Ground to the Council and endowed a bed at the hospital.

Incidentally it may be mentioned that the Library was largely Mrs Owen’s design. Mr Owen reached the Chair of the District Council and was a County Councillor. Mr Owen, who in his private capacity, was responsible for the building development of what are now the Long Thornton and Pollards Hill Wards. The Majestic Cinema was erected largely by the efforts of the first N.M.I.A. Councillor.

Later he took up residence at Pentlands, St Georges Road, Mitcham.

In 1926 he started the Tamworth Park Construction Company.

He put up the cost of the Mitcham Library, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 03 July 1930:-

LIBRARY GIFT.

By the munificence of Councillor Joseph Owen the “village” is to have a public library. He has given a site for one in London-road, opposite the Holborn Schools, and is willing to pay the cost of the building, less only the amount expected to be obtained from Government grant. The sketch plans, drawn up by a local firm, provide for a figure extension when required, even, perhaps, to the addition of a museum. Mitcham is changing so amazingly rapidly that a place for storing tangible hits of its history—in picture, photo, wood, metal, stone — is due in the interests of future generations.

In the 1939 register he lived at 20 Beeches Walk, Carshalton.

He died in 1943, as reported in the West Sussex Gazette – Thursday 4th February 1943

Death has claimed Mr. Joseph Owen former Chairman of Mitcham U.D. Council. He gave the borough its public library site, and. provided about half the cost of the building. Sherwood Park Recreation Ground was another gift. With Mrs. Owen, he endowed a bed in the Wilson Hospital. For a time Mr. Owen was a representative of Mitcham on Surrey Comity Council. He developed housing in Mitcham and was chiefly responsible for the town getting an up-to-date cinema theatre.

20 Beeches-walk, Carshalton, Surrey, died 21 January 1943 at Kingslea Nursing Home, Mulgrave Road, Sutton, Surrey.

Probate Llandudno 12 July to Susannah Owen widow and Arnold Courtney Owen, chartered civil engineer. Effects £8,760 1s. 1d.

Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

Rowland Birkett

Draper’s shop that was on the east side of the London Road, south of the Kings Head pub. This part of London Road was called The Broadway.

1917 ad for no. 2 The Broadway

In the 1918 Kelly’s directory, listed at 2, 3 and 4 The Broadway.

Mrs Rowland Birkett, draper, was listed in the 1930 commercial directory at 321 London Road.

256 and 254 London Road

Building divided into two shops with flats above, on west side of London Road, opposite the White Lion of Mortimer pub (formerly the Bucks Head). Numbered from north to south, 254 is on the right and 256 on the left as viewed from the street. Before 1926/7 this part of London Road was called Mitcham High Street, and the numbers ran south to north.

256 on left and 254 on right, London Road, Mitcham. Photo taken August 2017.

This photo, before 1980 or so, showed two features on the top of the building:

This photo from 1895 shows that before this was built stood the drapery shop of Mrs Lack and Mr Cummings greengrocers, see directory listing below.

1895 clip of Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​Streets_​Lon_​38-14 copyright London Borough of Merton

Before being renumbered in 1926, this part of the London Road was called Mitcham High Street. From the 1891 directory (the shops were numbered from 1 going north):

1, Henry COLLBRAN, butcher
2, S.E. BURTON, stationer
3, Charles GOULD, The Kings’ Arms Public House
4, Mrs H. LACK, draper
5, John CUMMINGS, greengrocer
6, Joseph COOK, butcher
7, T.P. SHEPPARD, grocer
8, William BARTER, grocer
9, George Joseph DALE, news agent

— here is Sibthorpe Road

In the 1930 commercial directory, John CUMMINGS is still listed as greengrocer at number 254, hence 4 High Street became number 256.


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

H.A. Paine, off licence

Off licence that occupied number 250, London Road, for over 45 years.

It was listed in the 1930 commercial directory as Horace Albert Paine, 250 London Road, telephone MITcham 0836. Advertised in 1954 as H.A. Paine, next to Woolworths and in 1976 as Paines of Mitcham.

1954 ad

1976 ad

In 2018, the shop is occupied by the 7 Days Convenience store:

photo taken 27th August 2017

F. Joyce & Co., sheet metal workers

Listed in the 1930 commercial directory as at 261 Church Road, Mitcham, telephone no. 1562.

A fire at the factory reported in the Norwood News – Friday 04 April 1930, which referred to it as a tin factory:

TIN FACTORY FIRE.

Mitcham Fire Brigade were called on Saturday noon to an outbreak at Messrs. Joyce and Co.’s tin factory, Church-road, and found that a shed at the side of the premises had caught fire. They quickly extinguished the flames, and confined the damage to a quantity of wood.

1930 : Reburial of bodies from Zion Chapel

From the Norwood News – Friday 11 April 1930, via the British Newspaper Archive.

80 BODIES BEING RE-BURIED.

The Closing of a Mitcham Cemetery.

SECOND COMMITTAL SERVICE.

A somewhat gruesome business has been started upon this week at the burial ground of Zion Congregational Chapel, Western-road, Mitcham.

Owing to the sale of the property, it became necessary to remove the human remains interred in the old burial ground. There are about 86 bodies buried in the graveyard, dating back to a hundred years ago, when the chapel was founded. A licence from the Secretary of State for the Home Department was required for the removal of the remains, and this having been obtained, the work of removing the human remains, monuments, and tombstones from the burial ground commenced on Monday.

HOW IT IS DONE.

Mr. Donald S. Drewett, undertaker, of Upper Green, Mitcham, was given the task, and with an efficient staff of workmen carried out the task very expeditiously and reverently.

Canvas awning is erected around the graves, and the operations of the diggers is hidden from the public gaze. The strictest privacy is maintained, and only the medical officer’s representative and the Mitcham Council’s chief sanitary inspector, along with the minister (Rev. T. King), are allowed in the grounds during the operations.

Liberty was afforded the relatives of any deceased person, whose remains it was proposed to remove, to undertake themselves the removal of such remains, and a few availed themselves of the privilege; but the removal and re-interment are being carried out by the same workmen.

A SECOND SERVICE.

Large shells, or coffins, six feet long, are being utilised for the removal of the remains, and these are being conveyed in the undertaker’s van and re-interred in the Council’s new burial ground, London-road, where the Rev. T. King has conducted a second committal service, the reburial being a very reverent and solemn affair.

A gravedigger told our representative : ” The work is proceeding without much ado, except that we are screened off from the public gaze. Now and again we have met with a spring of water, and this has somewhat interfered with our operations a little. Most of the coffins fall to dust soon after they are exposed to the air. We collect the bones and put them carefully into new shells or coffins. A plan of the burial ground shows the positions of the graves and the monuments, and the names of the buried persons, as far as they can be ascertained, are kept as a record. The monuments and tombstones are being pulled down, and will be re-erected in the new cemetery. Every care is being taken that the remains are reinterred and the monuments re-erected in a manner that will give no offence to anybody.”

E. Birch & Sons, butchers

Ad from September 1914


Text of ad:

Messrs. E. BIRCH & SONS,

Pork and Beef Butchers.

New Premises: CENTRAL MARKET, LONDON RD, MITCHAM.

It will pay YOU to give us a call. All goods of our own manufacture from
ENGLISH material. Note the HOME KILLED PORK of Finest Quality.

E. BIRCH & Sons,

36-38, Church Road and 1, London Road. Mitcham. 133, High
Street, Merton; Beddington Corner.

Phones: 817 Mitcham; 1283 Wimbledon.

1953 OS map

In the 1930 commercial directory, E Birch & Sons was listed at 36 & 38 Church Road and also 274 London Road.

In the 1952 chamber of commerce list, shown as S.E. Birch, 36 Church Road.

Listed in the 1954 telephone directory as E. Birch & Sons, 36 Church Road, phone number MITcham 0817.

A photo from the London Metropolitan archives of 1967 shows 36 Church Road still as family butchers, with the name F. Johnson.

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