Tag Archives: 1938

Clarendon Preparatory School, Mitcham Park

Private school that was at 17 Mitcham Park until 1973.

From the Official Guide to Mitcham in 1938:

Clarendon Preparatory School with Kindergarten is situated in the particularly healthy suburb at 17 Mitcham Park, Mitcham, within easy reach of railway stations and buses.

The house is large, bright and airy and has a nice garden. The School
provides a modern, thorough education for girls and boys from 4 to 16 years, with preparation for Higher Examinations. The health capabilities of every pupil are carefully studied. The School Staff are child lovers and keen pyschologists.

Curriculum of the School includes Religious Knowledge, English Language,
Literature and Composition, History, Geography, Arithmetic, Drawing, Physical Training and Tennis.

One of the features of the School has been the Dramatic, Art and Elocution Tuition open to girls and boys from 4 to 16 years at a very moderate fee. The pupils of the School derive great pleasure from these courses and public concerts are given during the year.

There is also a very successful Dancing Class, Ballroom and Musical Comedy being given.

ad from the 1938 Official Guide to Mitcham

The school closed at the end of 1973 due to the ill health of the headmistress, as told in this article from the 21st December 1973 issue of the Mitcham News & Mercury:

Goodbye Mrs Chips –
head retires and her
school closes too

It’s goodbye Mrs Chips and the end of an educational era with going home time for good at Clarendon, Mitcham’s only private school.

Mrs Nellie Barker, who has reigned for 37 years as headmistress, closed the school last week. She is retiring and selling the building in Mitcham Park.

“I honestly think it would be very difficult to sell it as a school. I am very sad about it but times have changed. I have been ill and my husband has wanted me to give it up for a long time. But I couldn’t, it had become part of my life, but now I really mist,: she said.

Mrs Barker took over Clarendon in 1936 after first helping out and then being asked to become its headmistress. But it was a private school for the education of the children of Mitcham’s business and professional families long before then.

And now, as the surrounding villas in Mitcham Park have become slightly less exclusive and slightly more converted into flats, Clarendon too has fallen to the onslaught of progress.

The school’s 70 children have now gone to other private schools or local state schools.

“Many of our parents are very upset about this. There are still many parents who value our way of teaching where the emphasis is on learning and which is not afraid of discipline when necessary, she said.

“I don’t think any of my children could have held my belief in discipline against me because when they have left and grown up they often come and see me. And many have sent their own children along.

“At times I have had school inspectors here who have told me that there should be allowed more time for play. But I believe in learning – the children were allowed time for play but if modern day educationalists had their way they would be playing all day!”

Mrs Barker is to go and live in Cheam and is to spend more time on her hobby – writing children’s plays.

Mitcham Stadium

Sports stadium, which occupied around 8 acres, north of Eastfields Road and opposite the football ground in Sandy Lane, was built in 1935 and was sold to property developer Wates Ltd in 1955.

1952 OS map

1953 aerial photo showing football and rugby posts on the field. Fernlea Road is on the left, with Sandy lane at the top.

Mitcham Borough council minutes of 6th December 1934, volume 1, page 89, record a letter received from Mr S.E. Parkes:

26. LAND, EASTFIELDS.

Read letter from Mr. S. E. Parkes stating that he had had under consideration a scheme for the
utilisation of the disused gravel pit in Eastfields Road for the purpose of a Rugby football ground, and asking whether any objection would be raised by the Council in connection with
the user of this land for the purpose under the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme.

Resolved, That Mr. Parkes be informed that no objection will be offered by the Council.

A detailed history of the stadium can be found at the Gandermonium blog.

Mitcham News & Mercury, 18th May, 1935

Norwood News, 6th September 1935, showing construction of one of the two stands. 300 tons of steel was used in each stand, and by comparison, the Majestic cinema had 350 tons.

Norwood News, 6th September 1935 advertising the opening of the stadium the next day.

In addition to rugby, Irish games such as hurling were played at the stadium.

In 1954, the stadium was called ‘A White Elephant’ in this article in the 1st July issue of the Mitcham & Tooting Advertiser:

The site was sold to Wates Ltd who built housing with Guyatt Gardens, Ormerod Gardens, Fowler Road, Priestley Road with Roper Way connecting to Eastfields Road.

Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 26th May 1955, page 1.

House for sale ad in 1965 referred to the former Mitcham Stadium.


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

Frank Henry Wood

From the Norwood News – Friday 30 September 1938

ILLNESS AFTER HOLIDAY
Death of a Popular Mitcham Resident

MR. F. H. WOOD’S MANY INTERESTS

BY the death of Mr. Frank Henry Wood, Mitcham has lost one of its most popular residents. Mr. Wood, who passed away on Friday at his home, “Hayling,” Cedars-avenue, took a keen interest in many local activities and the offices he held included the vice-presidencies of the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club. the Mitcham Village Golf Club, and the Mitcham Athletic Club. He was also a member of the Mitcham Golf Club. At the age of 15 he entered the offices of the former Charing Cross Electricity Company, of which he later became secretary. On the centralisation of electricity distribution, his company was merged with others into the Central Electricity Company, Ltd., and he was appointed secretary.

He was due to retire shortly from this position. His death after a very short illness came as a shock to his many friends and business associates. He had been on holiday at Lyme Regis, and was taken ill on the first day of his return to business, and he died 10 days later. He was 60 years of age, and leaves a widow and two sons. The cremation took place at Streatham Park Crematorium on Monday, a service being conducted by his nephew, the Rev. S. Miller.

Among the mourners were the directors of his Company; Mr. J. Perkins (chairman, representing the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club and Mr. F. H. Priest (president of Mitcham Athletic Club). Wreaths were sent from: the widow; his only brother George; his sons, Michael and Frank; his sister-in-law. Mrs. Potter; his nephew and niece. the Rev, and Mrs. S. Miller; Judy; Bert: the chairman and directors, Central London Electricity Company; Mr. C. Parker; Miss Joan Gatti; Mr. J. A. Gatti; Lady Gatti; Mr. R. J. Gatti; Mr. and Mrs. Cracknell; Howard Foulds; W. Fisher; Charlie and Melite: Mr. and Mrs. H. W. White; Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Mellhuish; Mr. and Mrs. Bentley and family; Reg and Dot; directors and staff of Antony Gibbs; H. T. Young; Horsley Bros., St. Martin’s-lane; Mr. and Mrs. Gray; Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club, Isaac Wilson. president; members of the Mitcham Conservative and Constitutional Club; Mr. and Mrs. Spicer; Fred Andrews; N. and H. Bentley; Stephen Gatti; Kitty Chuter: Mr. and Mrs. Riviere; Miss Church; Mitcham Village Golf Club; Mr. and Mrs. Jeffs; Barrel Golfing Society: H. L. Westall; W. E. Cox and family: F. W. Hill: H. J. Dibben; G. Ratcliffe; Mitcham Athletic Club; and the following departments of the Central Electricity Company: showroom staff, executive staff, accountancy department. engineering staff, C.L.E. accessories, Colauhoun-house staff. Pelhamstreet staff, Charing Cross electrical engineering department, Maiden-lane staff, and the Administrative staff ano Workmen’s City Association Sports and Social Club.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. W. J. Mellhuish and Son. 118. Upper Tooting-road.

Leonard Elphinston Brunel Homan

From the Norwood News – Friday 30 September 1938

MR. L. E. B. HOMAN
Formerly a Keen Racing Man

Mr. Leonard Elphinstone Brunel Homan, a fellow director of Sir Abe Bailey in many South African mining companies, died on Wednesday at The Canons, Mitcham. Formerly a keen racing man, Mr. Homan was for many years judge of the Johannesburg Turf Club and raced in the Rand on an expensive scale.

He was a close friend of the late Sir Harry Mallaby Deeley, and a near neighbour.

He had taken little interest in Mitcham affairs, but at one time was associated with the old Mitcham Wanderers Athletic Club, of which he was president for a period. He was a fine figure of a man, standing over six feet. The funeral takes place to-day (Friday) at the Mitcham New Cemetery.

Baltic Close and Oslo Court

Road and block of flats off northern side of Colliers Wood High Street and built in 1938/9 by Mercer Taylor & Co. At this time the Mitcham borough boundary included this road. Royal Mail postcode lookup shows 16 flats, all with the postcode SW19 2BL.

1950 OS map

The developer wrote to Mitcham Borough Council and suggested that since this road was next to the Victory pub, then the name of the road could be Trafalgar Close or Victory Close. The council disagreed, pointing out there were already similar named roads in the SW19 postal district. The council suggested Baltic Close, and the developer agreed, who suggested that the block of flats be named Oslo Court.

Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, 1938-39 volume 5, pages 12 and 127.

Note that the Victory pub has since been renamed a couple of times, and the current (as of Feb 2018) name is the Charles Holden, who was an architect who designed the nearby Colliers Wood underground station.


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

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

Riverside Drive

Road off east side of London Road, and north of the River Wandle.

The Royal Mail postcode search shows 86 addresses with postcodes CR4 4BR for 1 to 69 odd, CR4 4BU for 2 to 74 even and CR4 4BW for 76 to 112 even. The road also includes the day care Jan Malinowski Centre at no. 114 and Wandle House at no. 10.

The road is part of the Brookfields Estate built in 1937/8. The developers had proposed the name Coronation Grove but received objections to this by purchasers. The developers then sought advice of the council, suggesting alternatives Laurel Grove, River Way, Rivermead Avenue, Orchard Gardens and Riverside Drive. The council chose the latter. Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, volume 4 1937-38, page 453.

The other road of this estate, Brookfields Avenue, retains the name which came from Brookfields Cottage, which was near Wandle Grove (later called Wandle House). Source: Mitcham Histories: 6 Mitcham Bridge, The Watermeads and The Wandle Mills, chapter 6.

1910 OS map


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

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