Tag Archives: 1960

1960 : Glad Farewell to Nissen Huts

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th April 1960

Home … but not for much longer for the occupiers of this Nissen hut at Wide Way. Until recently there were many homes like this on the site.

The last families on Mitcham’s largest Nissen hut colony on Wide Way will soon be saying a glad farewell to the dwellings they call home.
They are the last of 60 families who have lived in the galvanised huts on a muddy site littered with bricks, glass and old car parts for as long as eight years.

But nearly all have tried to make a home of the huts until better places are found for them.

One mother of six boys between the ages of 15 months and 11 years said she found it almost impossible to bring up a family in such conditions. But she had tried, and gay curtains decorated the small windows of the hut.

BROKEN WINDOWS

Another woman with four young children is looking forward to moving to a house with a small garden.

“As long as I have somewhere where they can play without wandering away or getting lost, I won’t mind,” she said stop

“The garages in nearby houses are in better condition a More habitable in these hearts similar woman. But I’m lucky ones – I am moving this week.”

At present there are fewer than a dozen families living on the site. The empty huts have become a playground for children who have added to the chaos by breaking windows and defacing the walls.

Mitcham had trolley buses from 1936 to 1960

Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 7th July, 1960, page 1

GOODBYE TO
TROLLEYS

630 service makes way for buses

DETAILS of the change from trolley-buses to the new 64-seater diesel “Routemaster” buses on the 630 West Croydon-Hammersmith route which passes through Mitcham were announced by London Transport this week. The alteration will bring an improved bus service in Mitcham.

Diesel vehicles will begin to run across Mitcham Common for the first time on Wednesday, July 20, following the same route as the trolley-buses. The number on the front of the buses will be changed from 630 to 220 and the diesels will take passengers through to Park Royal at the northern end of the run at peak periods, instead of stopping at Harrow Road (as the present 630s do).

When the change-over comes, London Transport plan to augment their service during weekday rush hours between Mitcham and Shepherd’s Bush with extra vehicles.

At the Southern end of the present 630 route, an important alteration will be the extension of the existing bus route 64 (Addington—Selsdon—West Croydon).

FUMES

London Transport will run this service from West Croydon over the common through Mitcham and Tooting along the 630 route to a terminus at Wimbledon Stadium. The extension of the 64s will also improve the regularity of service between Croydon and Tooting – the 630s have for years been seriously affected in this area due to traffic congestion on more northerly stretches.
This change in the services at Mitcham marks the half-way stage in the replacement of L.T.E. trolley-buses by diesels. Routes 626 and 628 will go at the same time and Hammersmith depot will close down.

Trolley buses followed trams at Mitcham in 1936. London Transport say the main factor behind of preferring diesels to silent, smell-free trolleys is the maintenance of an absolutely flexible service.

Running costs for the two systems are said to be about the same, but the present generation of trolleys are nearing the end of their useful economic life and to continue with the overhead-wire system would involve a large capital expenditure.

A spokesman for London Transport said a continuous close check was kept on the exhaust fumes of their vehicles to ensure that irritation from dirty smoke was eliminated as far as possible.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Transport_25-1 of trolley bus 630 – copyright London Borough of Merton

See also history of bus route 220.

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.

Mount Rovers F.C.

Football club, Mount Road and area.

From the Norwood News, 22nd July, 1960

MOUNT Rovers F.C. have decided in future the players’ shorts and socks will he provided by the Club to improve smartness on the field.

There are still one or two vacancies for good class players to join the club, whose first eleven is in the Premier Division of the Morden and District Sunday League.

The Reserve XI is the only second-strmg team to be placed as high as the first division of the same league.

Applications should he sent to the secretary, Mr. H. T. Mount,
7, Mount Road, Mitcham, Surrey.

From the Norwood News, 10th August 1962

Mount Rovers annual meeting

At Mount Rovers annual meeting at the Bath Tavern, Mitcham, the officers were elected as follows: Mr A. Hanney, chairman; Mr H. Mount, secretary; Mr A. Brier, assistant secretary; Mr E. R. Mount, treasurer.

Three teams will be put out next season, all competing in the Morden and District Sunday League.

A letter was read from the president (Mr G. Arnold) stating that he intended to award annually a trophy to the player or official whom by secret vote was deemed to be outstanding.

The secretary H. Mount suggested that a committee be formed to cater for any increase of membership that might arise in view of the area in which their football ground was situated (Phipps Bridge) being redeveloped. This was agreed.

Nine schools in big reshuffle in 1960

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 20th May, 1960, page 1.

NINE SCHOOLS IN BIG RESHUFFLE

A DEVELOPMENT plan to provide an academic stream in all Surrey secondary schools
will start next year. Nine Mitcham schools will be affected, five of which will be closed.

The scheme was due to be started early next year and completed by 1966, but too little
money was allocated by the Ministry of Education, and the completion date will not be for some years.

Top priority on the list is Gorringe Park Secondary Boys School. As the present building
is needed for the primary pupils, new premises will be built.

The boys from Rowan Road Secondary School, which is closing, will be transferred to the
new school, where it is planned to run one academic, one technical and two general courses.

TO BE ENLARGED

Rowan Road Secondary girls will have the entire school building, at the moment divided between the boys and girls school. They will have one academic, one home economics and two general courses.

Pollards Hill Secondary School will be enlarged. It Will take six instead of four entry classes each year and will have one academic, one commercial and four general courses.

Western Road Boys’ School will close and the girls will take over the entire building. With an academic and a commercial course there will be two general courses.

Singlegate Boys’ School will close, and open in a new building on a new site with one academic, one technical and two general courses.

Fortescue Girls’ and Links’ Girls’ schools will both be closed.

Merton Memories Photos
Fortescue Road School in 1925

Gorringe Park School (6 photos)

Pollards Hill School : Football coaching in 1955

Rowan Road School (10 photos)

Western Road School in 1954