Tag Archives: 1959

1959 : Monte Car hits a boulder but finishes run

From the Mitcham News and Mercury
30th January 1959

Damaged steering failed to prevent three men from completing the dangerous mountain circuit of the Monte Carlo rally.

Mr Colin Sproxton, 39-year-old owner of Home Radio, London Road, Mitcham, said on Monday : “We are very pleased with the result. We finished the course 66th in the general classification and 19th in our own class. We did better than several champions.”

Mr Sproxton – it was the third time he had entered the rally – was co-driver of a Ford Zephyr belonging to Streatham garage owner Mr Gordon

Danger spot for the enthusiasts was in the mountains. They hit a boulder which had fallen into the road.

“The road was too narrow to avoid it and too icy for us to stop. We were very lucky – it could have had us out of the rally.”

SPINS

“As it was, it damaged the steering rod and steering was very difficult, but not impossible. We later had it straightened, but steering was not perfect.”

The Zephyr came through the course almost unscratched.

“Apart from lamps which were smashed by falling stones we had little trouble. We spun round once or twice, but somehow always ended up pointing in the right direction.

Conditions were pretty good, although we did experience a bit of everything including fog and ice,” said Mr Sproxton.

He returned home on Sunday. On Monday he was back behind the counter of his shop.

For photo, see Merton Memories.

The Beeches

The Beeches Estate is on London Road, Mitcham, just south of the new Mitcham Fire Station. It was built in 1959/60 on the site occupied by E.T. Pearson Ltd., who made Lactagol. The factory site was bought by Mitcham Borough Council in 1959.

The Royal Mail website lists 32 flats on this estate, all with the postcode CR4 4BH.

From the Norwood News, 15th July 1960:

The Beeches

A block of maisonettes and flats being built at 417-45, London Road, Mitcham, will be called “The Beeches.”

The building is a slightly offset T-shape, with the the top of the ‘T’ facing the road, which has a ground floor of flats, and two upper floors of maisonettes. The vertical part of the ‘T’ to the rear has two floors of maisonettes.

Note the arrangement of the windows in the lower floor of each maisonette. All have French windows and a window to its side. The road facing block has six flats. The three flats to the left of the stairs have the French windows on the right of the main window, whereas the three flats on the right have the French windows to the left of the main window. The rear block has an alternating pattern of these windows.

Also of note are the brick-enclosed drain pipes.

Photo taken October 2018

A report in May 1959 said that the cost to Mitcham Borough Council was around £82,000.

Laburnum Park Estate

Laburnum Park was the name used for the housing development on the former Mitcham Stadium site. It may have been the name given by Wates Ltd, the developers, who bought the site in 1955.

In the Mitcham Borough council minutes of 14th June, 1956, the road names were recommended:

Mitcham Borough minutes, volume 23, 1956 to 1957, page 67

From OpenStreetMap, 2018

Newspaper Items

Norwood News, 15th May, 1959, via the British Newspaper Archives.

MITCHAM, Laburnum Park Estate – Two-year old luxury, modern, terrace house, three bdrms., bthrm., open plan downstairs, central heating, Marley floor, large kit., garage; £3,300 freehold – Box N0790, News, Upper Norwood.

Norwood News, 29th April, 1960, via the British Newspaper Archives.

Members of the Laburnum Park Estate Residents’ Association, Mitcham, presented one of their neighbours – England and Surrey Cricketer Ken Barrington – with a golf trolley at a dance held in his honour at the White Hart Hotel, Mitcham, on Friday. Pictured with Ken, who recently returned from the West Indies with the M.C.C., are officials of the association and Tooting and Mitcham players Brian Bennett, Paddy Hasty and Ted Murphy, who were among the guests.

Leo’s Ice Cream

Leo’s Ice Cream bar was at number 317 London Road, next to the King’s Head pub. It was part of a block, numbered 317 to 321. Eric Montague said in his Mitcham Histories: 4 Lower Mitcham, page 130, that the block was demolished in 1977-80 and replaced by a building called Boundary House. Currently, in 2018, this houses the Job Centre.

Leo’s Cafe, was run by Lionel (Leo) Dimashio. He also had a fleet of ice cream vans, see the 1959 news item below.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library - http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1973 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library – http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk

1960 Leos Cafe

1960 Clip from Merton Memories photo 51737 Copyright London Borough of Merton

1953 OS map


The following family background is from a family tree on Ancestry.com by kind permission of Leo’s father-in-law’s granddaughter, who resides in Australia.

When Tommaso Perrotta arrived in the UK from Italy, he changed his name to Thomas Perrott. It was he who started the ice cream business. When his daughter Adelina married Lionello DiMascio in 1931, Thomas and Lionello went into business together and were life-long friends. Lionello changed his surname to Dimashio, and used Leo as his first name. Leo was born in Lanarkshire in 1905, and died in Italy in 1982, aged 76.

Leo Dimashio and his wife Adelina in March 1931

From the Norwood News, 9th March 1962

Miss Adelia Lucia Dimashio, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Dimashio, London Road, Mitcham, was married to Terence John O’Leary, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. O’Leary, Tavistock Crescent, Mitcham, at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Mitcham, on Thursday last week. Carrying a bouquet of white roses and lilies of the valley, the bride wore a full-length gown of silk and Nottingham lace. She wore a pearl coronet with a silk tulle veil. Matron of honour was Mrs. Sylvia Ferrari, the bride’s sister. She wore a chiffon dress and coat. Bridesmaids, Miss Sandra Dimashio and Christina Ferritto wore pink knee-length dresses with matching shoes and hats. They carried bouquets of spring flowers. Youngest members at the wedding were Miss Carla Dimashio (aged four) and Angela Carolla. They wore lavender organza dresses and carried posies of spring flowers. Mr. Michael O’Leary was the best man.


News Articles

Chime gentlemen please – but do it quietly

THE battle of the ice cream chimes, which has been noisily raging for months in local estates, is likely to be a much quieter one — thanks partly to a Mitcham man.

The Ice Cream Alliance, to which about 95 per cent of Britain’s ice cream vendors belong, have issued a code of conduct which should lessen the complaints about musical vans — if
it is obeyed.

Mr. L. Dimashio, London Road, Mitcham, owner of a milk bar and a fleet of ice cream vans,
helped to formulate the code. He is a former president of the Ice Cream Alliance.
Now a member of the executive council, he said: “Some time ago we foresaw the annoyance that would be caused if the chimes caught on. But we did not reckon on it happening so fast.”

Most complaints about the chimes have been from local housing estates — particularly
Glebe Estate and Pollards Hill.

Mr. M. Hedden, Glebe Court Tenants’ Association official said:
“ Although it is winter there has been no real improvement as far as the noise of the chimes is
concerned.

“ But it is in the summer when we really notice it. Then about five different vendors practically race round the estate.

Eldorado

“I did not know the Alliance existed. In the event of further complaints I shall certainly con-
sider writing to them.”

The company who have come in for most complaints at the Glebe Estate are Eldorado Ltd — NOT members of the Alliance. But a spokesman said: “ We are members of another organisation which is preparing its own code of conduct.”

The Alliance code of conduct says:

Chimes or similar mechanism should be kept at a minimum after 7 p.m. They must be sounded while the vehicle is on the move and at not more than five-minute intervals.

The volume should not be excessive. Tunes should be limited to a few bars.

Horns or bells should be sounded only at a few moments each time.

Particular stress is made on not annoying hospitals, night workers and nursing homes.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 30th January, 1959, page 1.


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

Lactagol

E.T. Pearson Ltd., who was at 417-445 London Road, made Lactagol, a powdered extract of cotton seed and calcium, which they described as

a valuable preparation for increasing the supply of milk when taken by the expectant mother

Nottingham Evening Post – Tuesday 13 December 1949
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

The earliest ad for Lactagol on the British Newspaper Archive found so is from 1915:

Western Times – Thursday 21 October 1915
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Science Museum Group. Carton of ‘Lactagol’, London, England, 1920-1955. A627904. Science Museum Group Collection Online. Accessed August 29, 2018.

The site acquired by Mitcham Borough Council in 1959.

Behind the scenes at Pye Records in 1959

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 23rd October, 1959, page 3.

Behind-the-scenes for your favourite “pops”

IT IS A RECORD-MAKING BUSINESS By Wendy Scott

The green light flickers in a cafe jukebox, an automatic grab arm selects a record and the music plays out of the loudspeaker.

The foot-tapping crowd who listen to their favourite “pops” are not really concerned with how that spinning disc began it’s life or with the marvel of music that is translated from the minute grooves.

Yet the manufacture of gramophone records is an important industry today, with the various companies striving to woo the public with their current releases and gimmick productions.

Since the war, sales have far surpassed the wildest dreams of production managers. Today the factory workshops hum with constant activity in order to keep retailers supplied with large stocks of classical, jazz and other popular music discs.

Pye Records Ltd., whose factory is at Western Road, Mitcham, follow production methods that are typical of the disc industry.

Here thousands of records daily are pressed, packaged in colourful glossy covers, checked and sent out to waiting delivery vans.

The story of how records are made – with the combined skill of the factory’s several hundred employees – is complicated, yet interesting.

The heart of the factory is away from the main office block. It is here, in a secluded room that the taped music is initially transferred on to a lacquer coated aluminium disc. Surrounding the operator are various dials and control knobs which modulate tone and quality.

INTO TUBE

The recording room has all the atmosphere of a science fiction setting. As the sapphire needle on the master cutting lathe gouges into the soft lacquer it is converting the electrical impulses from the tape back into vibrations and inscribing them into the surface of the acetate disc.

The gouged out surplus material is fed into a tube collects at the back of the machine in a large bottle.

The master acetate, as it is termed, then undergoes some beauty treatment – a little harsh, perhaps as it is mainly bathed in a chemical solution.

For the technically minded, it is coated with a silver solution and placed in electro-plating bath. It is then treated by workers wearing rubber gloves to prevent injury from the acids, and lowered into a bath where copper anodes are suspended. The reverse side of the metal disc is made in the same way, forming the two halves of the record.

The record, still in a metal state, but polished and trimmed, is then transferred to the pressing department. Here numerous operators sit at the pressing machines. At their side is a sack of plastic composition crystals looking rather like grains of rice.

This is weighed according to size of the record and then gently warmed on an electric hot plate which is reminiscent of the household gadget.

The operator sandwiches the plastic ball between two record labels, clamps the nickel prototypes together and the record emerges.

Near the pressing department are a few operators who hole the records and make incisions so that they may be played on American and other record players that differ from English makes.

CHECKED

Nearby, in soundproof boxes lined with acoustic tiling, a selection of finish records are played through to check for irregularities in sound.

Fifteen girls – most of them live in the Mitcham and Tooting area, – then receive the discs for final checking and wrapping. The discs are dusted and sleeved with paper or polythene protective covers.

They are then neatly slipped into the glossy covers into the packaging department and dispatch department.

So next time you walk into your local record store to select a disc, remember the work and processing necessary before your favourite song or classical suite is brought to the living room.

Arthur Edmund Hayne

During World War 1, Arthur Hayne’s photographers shop in Tooting offered free portrait photos to recruits.

His obituary from the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette 8th May 1959 :

Death of Mr. Arthur Hayne
Former Well-Known Tooting Personality

We regret to record the death of Mr. Arthur Hayne of Carshalton Park Road, Carshalton. A former Tootingite, Mr. Hayne who was 91 years of age was actively associated with politics all his life.

He was well known 50 years ago as an open air speaker at Tooting Broadway for the Anti-Socialist Union, and he also addressed meetings at Mitcham Fair Green.

The Three Brothers

Born at Croydon, Mr. Hayne came to Tooting at the age of eight with his brothers James and Charles, and was connected with them in business at Tooting Broadway in the early part of the century. Arthur had a photographers shop, and James was a well-known Tooting news agent while Charles sold the papers outside a kiosk near the Tooting Baths.

Mr. Arthur Hayne did not take an active part in the political life of Tooting. He went to school at the church schools in Church Lane and later at Tooting Graveney Schools and was a member of the Tooting Parish Church choir in his younger days.

He moved to Mitcham some years ago and become chairman of the Mitcham Conservative Association. A staunch Conservative Mr. Hayne was well-known as a public speaker for the Conservative cause to which he devoted much of his spare time up to a few years ago. During the First World War he was a special constable.

When he moved to Carshalton he joined the Carshalton and Banstead Conservative Association and become vice chairman. Until a few months ago Mr. Hayne who was in business in London as a merchant was still working. He leaves a wife (formerly Miss Attlee of Tooting), two sons and two daughters.

The funeral was at Carshalton Parish Church.

In 1914, A. E. Hayne is listed in company 1 of the Mitcham Town Guard.

In the 1915 street directory, he was living at St. Cross, Graham Road, where he was also listed as the secretary of the Mitcham Conservative & Unionist Association.