Tag Archives: 1953

Mitcham Post Offices

Eric Montague said in his book Mitcham Histories : 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, page 107, that Mitcham’s post office had occupied 5 locations, as listed below:

1st : at Westhall’s grocery shop in the Broadway

The 1855 directory shows the postal services available:

It lists Joseph WESTALL as grocer and cheesemonger as well as the post office receiving house in Lower Mitcham.

2nd : in a small shop near Mitcham Station

This photo from 1895 shows part of the words ‘Post Office’ above the shop.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Public_Services_18-2, copyright London Borough of Merton

3rd : a purpose built building in the Broadway

The words ‘Post Office’ can be seen etched in the windows on the building on the right in this photo of around 1910:

clip from Meton Memories, photo reference Mit_streets_Lon_38-25, copyright London Borough of Merton

According to Eric Montague in his book Mitcham Histories : 4 Lower Mitcham, pages 127-8, this post office was

erected in about 1900 … a three-storeyed building … its rather fussy facade including false timber framing to simulate an Elizabethan structure.”

4th : Post Office and Telephone Exchange building on the corner of London Road and Elmwood Road

Built around 1920, shown here in this 1953 photo:

clip from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_Streets_Lon_38-46, copyright London Borough of Merton

5th : Langdale Parade

In 1961 the post office moved to Langdale Parade in the Fair Green. The telephone exchange building remains.

Currently, in 2019, the Langdale Parade post office has to a smaller shop nearby at number 5:

Post Office at no. 5 Langdale Parade. Photo taken 23rd April 2019

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.

Cranmer Motors

clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_Col_Cro_17-7, copyright London Borough of Merton, showing Cranmer Motors on garage

This photo shows 3, possibly 4, petrol pumps, and the sign projecting from the gable in the roof has the text:

Cranmer
Motors
Regent
Petrol

This dates the photo to before 1967 which was when the Regent brand was changed to Texaco, according to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Cranmer Motors was a garage that was near the present day roundabout with Madeira Road and Cricket Green. Although the 1953 OS map shows it between 76 and 94 Cricket Green, Cranmer Motors Ltd was listed in the 1963 Mitcham Borough List of Factories as Motor Vehicle Repairs, 1 Cranmer Road.

1953 OS map

The site was redeveloped as flats around 2008/9, as stated in planning application 06/P0708:-

Former Service Station Site, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, Surrey CR4 4LA

Erection of a part 2 / part 3 storey building to accommodate 12 flats (9 x 2 and 3 x 1 bedrooms) together with 12 car parking spaces.

Filed with this application:

Following air raid damage to residential properties during the Second World War, a garage forecourt replaced the destroyed houses on the study site, which by the 1970s was redeveloped as an Esso fuel filling station.

Source: Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd. 2008 An Archaeological Watching Brief at the Former Esso Petrol Station, Cranmer Road, Mitcham, London Borough of Merton.


From the Mitcham Urban District Council minutes,
Volume 3, pages 104, Public Health and Burial Committee meeting of 11th September, 1917, a petrol licence for 150 gallons was issued to Mr G. Hart, Motor and Cycle Works, Cranmers Road.

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

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

Council depot, Church Road

Council depot that had its main entrance on Church Road, east of Church Place. Shown on this OS map of 1953 as Corporation Depot, this site is now the housing estate of Morland Close.

1953 OS map

Parts of the north wall along Love Lane remain, and an entrance, now bricked up, can be seen at the junction with Edmund Road.

Photo taken April 2016

New Articles
Norwood News – Friday 06 March 1931

FIRE AT COUNCIL DEPOT.

Mitcham Fire Brigade were called on Tuesday morning to an outbreak at the Council’s depot in Church-road. When they arrived with their appliances, they found the surveyor’s motorcar was ablaze. It transpired that an explosion, caused by a petrol leak in the carburettor, had started the fire. The brigade quickly extinguished it, and saved Mr. Riley Schofield his car, only the fabric being damaged.


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

Mitcham Park

Mitcham Park is a road that runs from off the south side of Cricket Green by the Mitcham Police station, and connects to the east side of the London Road, north of the former Mitcham railway station.

As of 2018, Royal Mail lists four postcodes for this road:

CR4 4EN : odd numbers 1 to 31
CR4 4EG : even numbers 2 to 32 and East Lodge
CR4 4EP : odd numbers 29 to 59
CR4 4EJ : even numbers 34 to 106.

The block of flats on the corner with London Road, was built on the site of 389, 391 and 393 London Road in 2005/6. The block consist of 28 flats, and it was given the address of 59 Mitcham Park. See planning permission 04/P2012.

1953 OS map

Other OS maps below show the development of the road.
1894
1910
1933

An auction in 1902 describes the two semi-detached houses on the west side of Mitcham park: from the South London Press – Saturday 09 August 1902, via the British Newspaper Archives.

Close to Mitcham Common – TWO PAIRS of semi-detached ViLLAS, known as Nos. 1, 3, 5, and 7, Mitcham Park. Each house contains five bed rooms, two reception rooms, kitchen, and usual offices. No. 1 let at £60 per annum. Nos. 5 and 7 let at £55 per annum each. No. 9 will be sold with the advantage of vacant possession, but of the estimated rental value of £60 per annum, at which rental it now Iet. Lease about 90 years; ground rent £8 each.

Douglas Young & co. will sell the above by AUCTION, at the Mart, E.C., on Wednesday, September 10, 1902, at 2 o’clock precisely. Particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained at the Mart. E.C : of the Solicitors, Messrs. GEDGE, KIRBY, & MILLETT. 11, Great George-street. Westminster: or of the Auctioneers, 51, Coleman-street. K.C., and 213, Clapham-road. S.W.

These aerial photos of the houses show their single, high pitch roof which differs from the other houses that have double-pitched roofs.

Semis 1 & 3, and 5 & 7, Mitcham Park

West side of Mitcham park, from number 1 at the top to number 19 and the bottom

Occupants

1904
West Side
1, Miss COLES
5, John Marsh PITT
7, George BRIDGE
15, Rev. John EDGELL
19, William W. THOMSON
33, Hugh Knight
37, Reginald Pocock BARROW
39, Charles OGDEN
43, Evans FAWCUS
47, Joseph BEARDMORE
53, James W. BOWDING
55, Col. Ernest GRATTAN

East Side

East Lodge, James JOHNSON
2, Felix Andre Jules MOYSE
6, Francis Ringler THOMSON
10, P.A. LEON
12, Mrs HARVIE
14, A.I. SUCKLING-BARON
16, Arthur Ernest ANWYL
22, Miss ANDERSON
26, Arthur Henry BALFOUR
28, Alfred MILLER
32, Wilson ALDWINCKLE

Note that all of these houses, from 15 to 55, and 2 to 32, are of the same design, namely double-pitched roofs with square-U layout to rear.

1953 OS map

This map of 1894 shows the land around Mitcham Hall where Mitcham Park was built, up to Jeppos Lane.

1894 OS map

The land was auctioned in the same year, as listed in the Willesden Chronicle – Saturday 12 May 1894, via the British Newspaper Archive.

In a marquee on the Estate, on MONDAY, June 1, 40 Plots, first portion of the Mitcham Park Estate, adjoining the railway station, and in the centre of the town, fronting on the main road from London to Epsom.

Also, in one lot, the Freehold family Mansion, known as Mitcham Hall, with its beautifully-timbered pleasure grounds and gardens of five acres, and two excellent semi-detached villas.

Vender’s Solicitors. Messrs. Gedge, Kirby, and Millett, 1, Old Palace-yard, S.W.; Architect and Surveyor, W. Mac Thompson, Esq., Holly – cottage, Mitcham

This 1910 map shows the square U-shaped houses that were built:

1910 OS map

The 1933 map shows further development of smaller houses along the south side of the road, and between the gaps on the north / west side.

1933 OS map

News Articles

From the Western Daily Press – Friday 16 August 1935:

The birth of a son at Mitcham Park, Mitcham, to Mrs Winifred Freeman — Miss Polly Ward, the revue actress and dancer is announced.

Mrs Freeman is the only daughter of Miss Winifred Ward, the principal boy, and granddaughter of the late Will Poluski, the Victorian comedian. She was married in 1928 to Mr Robert Sydney Freeman, ” the hero of her schooldays.”

Advert from Norwood News – Friday 20 February 1953

WANTED. Teacher, preparatory school for boys and girls. 6 to 7 1/2

Clarendon Preparatory School, 17 Mitcham Park, Mitcham. Tel. Mitcham. 1444

The widow of the Reverend Lipshytz lived at number 6.


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

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.