Tag Archives: 1957

1957 Bryans Aeroqupment Expansion

From Flight magazine, 14th June 1957, page 820

Bryans Aeroquipment Expansion

CONSIDERABLE reorganization has recently taken place in the business of Bryans Aeroquipment, Ltd., of Willow Lane, Mitcham, Surrey.

Mr. J. R. Bryans has taken over the chairmanship of the company in the room of Major C. E. Steams and is for the time being retaining the joint managing directorship with Mr. Derek H. Broome, M.A., who joined the firm last January
and was elected to the Board in April.

Mr. Broome served his apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce, served during the war with the Fleet Air Arm, and was subsequently employed for some years by I.C.I. and then by Tube Investments.

Mr. A. Bodley Scott, A.M.I.E.E., D.F.H.(Hon.), who joined the company in April as research and development engineer, has taken over research and development activities from Mr. Austin, who remains design director.

Mr. Scott was originally with G.E.C. on design and development of telephone and V.H.F. communications equipment and electronic test gear, and later joined the Ministry of Aircraft Production to work on radar control and gyro-stabilized gun-sights.

His last appointment was with the Royal Naval Scientific Service, where he was engaged on specialized work that included the development of control and stabilization systems for guided weapons.

A new laboratory is being set up at the company’s Mitcham factory to cover work in the normal fields in which Bryans Aeroquipment has been engaged over the past eighteen years; it will undertake, in addition, more advanced electrical work and development of electronic apparatus.

A new block being built at No. 1 Willow Lane, about 150 yards from the factory, to house office staff and design and drawing office personnel, is expected to be completed this month.

Church Place numbers 1 to 12

A terrace of 12 houses that were on the west side of Church Place, a road off Church Road, between numbers 32 and 34. Demolished in 1962/3, see below.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

World War 1 Connections
Private Albert Morgan

From the Surrey Recruitment Registers:

H G CHOULER of 11 Church Place, Mitcham, aged 33 Years 11 Months, Engine Driver. Volunteered with the Derby Scheme on 29 February 1916 to the Royal Fusiliers (15th Batn).

W E GREEN of 12 Church Place, Mitcham, aged 34 Years 8 Months, Labourer. Volunteered on 1 November 1915 to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

W JONES of 1 Church Place, Mitcham, aged 18 Years 2 Months, Labourer. Conscripted on 28 August 1917 to the 20th Training Reserve Batn.


From Minutes of the Housing Committee
6th June 1957
page 48

The Town Clerk reported that at the meeting of the Public Health Committee held today the Medical Officer had submitted official representations under Section 25 and 154 of the Housing Act 1936, that the areas comprising the houses 1 to 12 (consecutive numbers inclusive) Church Place and Nos. 46 to 60 (even numbers inclusive) Love Lane and Nos. 1 to 9 (consecutive numbers inclusive) Nicholls Cottages, Gaston Road, be dealt with as Clearance Areas.

Resolved, That the Council give an undertaking to carry out or secure the carrying out of such re-housing as the Minister of Housing and Local Local Government may consider necessary.

From the minutes of the Highways Committee
8th March 1962
page 817

Demolition of 1-12 Church Place and 42-60 Love Lane
The following quotations have been received for the demolition of the above properties:-

Company Cost
Gorst & Co., Ltd. £290
Syd Bishop & Sons (Demolition), Ltd. £350
J. W. Elliott £450
W. H. Penfold & Sons, Ltd. £489

I recommend that the lowest quotation, that of Messrs. Gorst & Co., Ltd. in the sum of £290 be accepted.
Yours obediently,
J. W. Turner,
Borough Engineer and Surveyor

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.

John R. Beaumont

Mayor of Mitcham 1941-2.

clip from Merton Memories photo 50475. (c) London Borough of Merton.

clip from Merton Memories photo 50475. (c) London Borough of Merton.

He served on Mitcham Council for over 20 years and had lived in Ashbourne Road for 40 years. He died on Saturday 14th January, 1967, at his home in Bedford, aged 85. He had been ill for some time.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, Friday, 20th January 1967.

Beaumont Court, one of the blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road estate, is named after him.

Jack Fitch

Alderman and first mayor of Mitcham (RM Chart was the Charter Mayor). His name is remembered on one of the blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate.

He opened the Mitcham Fair in 1935, as shown in this Pathe Neewsreel:

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 3rd February 1950:

ALD. JACK FITCH, the oldest member of Mitcham Council in years of service, has retired on grounds of health and has gone to live in Brighton. His retirement, announced at last week’s Council meeting, will almost certainly mean a by-election.

Aid. Fitch who had held a seat as a Labour member for 26 years, was chairman of the old Urban District Council and was Mitcham’s first Mayor when Mitcham became a Borough. He had been a magistrate for a number of years.

In a letter announcing his resignation. Aid. Fitch said that winter attacks of bronchial asthma had compelled him to give up Council work. It had been his great interest.

Tributes were paid by the Mayor (Ald. Mrs. J. C. Ericson), Coun.
T. Ruff, Ald. T. A. East and Coun. J H. S Bradley.

Coun. Ruff, because of a 30-year friendship with Mr Fitch, claimed
the privilege of moving the Council’s appreciation of his long
service. He had brought a solid honest integrity to the service of
Mitcham. His characteristic of conscious responsibility and application to duty had made him feel uneasy during the last two winters
when ill-health compelled him to exhibit an apparent neglect of

From the Worthing Herald – Friday 29 November 1957, via the British Newspaper Archive

He died, aged 73, in November 1957, at his home in Worthing. He was instrumental in founding the Labour Party in Mitcham. He moved to Worthing in 1946 with his second wife, Lily. Between 1901 and 1943 he was a Post Office sorting clerk, and on his retirement he was awarded the Imperial Service Medal.

Worthing Herald – Friday 29 November 1957, page 21

Merton Memories Photos

Mitcham Fair



1934 to 1935

Tom Higgs

Thomas Higgs was known as the “Sporting Mayor” of Mitcham in 1957.

1st May 1958 at Hall & Co. This clip is from Merton Memories photo, reference Mit_Work_Industry_2-12

From the Norwood News – Friday 28 June 1957, via the British Newspaper Archive

The Sporting Mayor

THE borough of Mitcham has been fortunate in recent years in having mayors who show a keen interest in local sporting activities. The present one, Coun. Tom Higgs is no exception.

He is an official of Mitcham Boxing Club, an A.B.A. judge, a keen cricketer and a soccer fan. He is a vice-president of local amateurs Tooting and Mitcham.

Now I am pleased to see that the sports-conscious Mayor and I have something in common. We both believe that something must be done to liven up amateur soccer.

At United’s club dinner on Saturday the Mayor said he was concerned about the fall of gates and growing lack of interest in the game (although, of course, this doesn’t apply to United at the moment—but it could in the future). He suggested that more importance should be attached to league games.

” Dare I suggest a promotion/ relegation system ? ” he asked.

This, of course, is not new. But surely the time has come for the amateur bodies that be to give it their EARNEST consideration

Among his sporting interests:

boxing – he was secretary of the London Amateur Boxing Association in 1960;

cricket – he wrote the history of the Mitcham Cricket Club in the booklet ‘300 Years of Mitcham Cricket’ (a reprinted paperback book is available on Amazon.co.uk);

soccer – he was vice-president of Tooting & Mitcham.

Photos on Merton Memories:


Home Guard Memorial Service in 1957



Planting a bush at Glebelands Old Peoples Home in 1957


At a Rotary Club event



At a Chamber of Commerce Dinner



At another Chamber of Commerce dinner


Crowning Mitcham’s May Queen, Elizabeth Holbrow in 1958


At a Labour Party social in 1958


With his wife on leaving the office of mayor