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.