Tag Archives: 1964

Robert Linthorn Parker

From the 1939 Register, Robert L. Parker was living at 45 St. James Road. He was born on 14th October 1895 and was a Furniture Warehouseman. He lived with his wife Helen, born 16th December 1894, and their son Robert E., born 15th April 1920, a turner in an engineering factory. In the 1964 and 1965 electoral registers Robert and Helen are still at this address.

His granddaughter said in October 2019 that he served in WW2 and lived in St James Road.

However while there aren’t any records online for Robert Linthorn Parker, there are some for Robert Parker and R.L. Parker, but at present it is not possible to see which of these he is.

He died in the first quarter of 1981, and the registration district was Wandsworth.

Ernest Charles Clay, Mitcham Borough Treasurer

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/collections/people/50478 (c) London Borough of Merton

5th December 1958. Clip from Merton Memories photo http://photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/collections/people/50478 (c) London Borough of Merton

Mitcham Borough Treasurer for twenty years, he died at his home in Sutton on Friday 31st January, 1964, aged 57. He had retired from the council in September 1963, and had been suffering from ill heath for a number of years. The funeral service was at Mitcham Parish Church on 5th February 1964 which was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs W.H. Sanderson; the Town Clerk, Mr R.H. White; and chief officers of Mitcham Council.

Mr Clay was one of the most prominent members in the community. Not only did he guide Mitcham Council on their methods of finance but also a large number of local organisations. He was a founder member of Mitcham Old People’s Housing Association; treasurer of the Old People’s Welfare Committee, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mitcham Youth Committee and a founder member of the handicraft class for the disabled.

He was also a district head of the Forces Help Society and secretary of S.A.F.F.A. as well as being connected with many smaller organisations.

Mr Clay joined Mitcham Council in 1929 when it was an urban district. When Mitcham became a borough he was promoted to deputy borough treasurer and during the war he became the Borough Treasurer.

A keen photographer, he was to have been presented with the A.R.P.S. on Wednesday.

Mr Clay leaves a widow, son and daughter.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 7th February, 1964, page 1.

In his will, he left his widow £5,516 which, when adjusted for inflation, is around £100,00 in 2017 values.

Ernest Charles CLAY of 86 Albion Road, Sutton, Surrey, died
31st January 1964.

Probate

London 18th March to Dorothy May Clay, widow. £5,516.

Source: Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995.
Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England (c) Crown copyright.


Note about his forename: the newspaper article and Merton Memories photo refer to him as E.C. Clay. On Ancestry, a death index entry has an Ernest C. Clay, aged 57, first quarter of 1964, Surrey Mid Eastern (Vol 5G, page 294), which is assumed to be him. Also from Ancestry, the will for Ernest Charles Clay is a match on the date of death, residence in Sutton.

Mitcham Police Station

The current police station was opened on Saturday 18th June 1966. The previous building it replaced opened in 1855.

It was announced in 1964, that the building was to be demolished, eighty years after it was built.

POLICE STATION IS COMING DOWN

Work on Mitcham’s new police station has started. For this week a demolition squad moved in to knock down the old station, which dates from 1884.

The squad were expected in October but they didn’t arrive and it looked as though local police would have to put up with their present building for some time to come.

A temporary police station was erected but no signs of the old one coming down were to be seen.

The present station, which overlooks the Cricket Green, will be replaced by a modern building, probably with several storeys.

Work is expected to take 18 months.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 5th June, 1964, page 1.


Mayor opens new police station

Mitcham’s new £98,000 police station was officially opened on Saturday by the Mayor of Merton, Sir Cyril Black. And over 3,000 members of the public toured the station and visited a special exhibition in the car park throughout the day.

“The open day was very successful, far better than we anticipated,” commented Inspector S.W. Brunger, who organised the day with Supt. H.W. Gibson.

He added: “Open days are usually held for particular occasions like an opening. But because the public showed a great deal of interest it is quite possible they will be held more often.”

The opening ceremony was held on the top floor in the canteen. Members from all walks of life were present and Mr Robert Carr, M.P., arrived later.

Sir Cyril Black said he hoped the police would have no work to do in their new station, but if they did it would have a satisfactory completion.

He emphasised the need for the public to see what goes on in a police station and to understand the policeman’s work.

He said: “The police are anxious that their work is fully understood by the public. We must realise the task in which the police are engaged.”

He added: “The public have got to be educated in their duty to co-operate with the police. The task of policemen would be easier if full co-operation from the public was always forthcoming.”

Commander G.C.F. Duncan said the ambition of the police was to show the people of Mitcham what they are paying for and what goes on in the station. He said they wanted to knock down the idea that the police were working behind closed doors. The police had nothing to hide from the public.

“This is the newest police building in South London,” he said, “and it took many years to achieve it, but it has got to last a long time and we hope the public will think the money was well spent.”

Plans for the new station were first under way in 1962 and building started in 1964. It stands on the site of the old station which was built in 1884.

Before the public started to arrive the guests were taken on a tour of the station. They saw the various offices, detention rooms and the cells.

Then in the car park at the rear they saw an exhibition that included a mobile police unit, police dogs and horses, police sports car and a car that was involved in a fatal accident.

The most important exhibition was a special van and equipment used when accidents have occurred and to warn other motorists of the accident and dangers ahead.

Then from lunchtime to well into the evening the public were shown round.

One little girl was so pleased with her visit that she presented the sergeant on duty at the front reception desk with a flower.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 24th June 1966, page 1.


Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing front of building.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

Aerial view showing rear of building. The road on the right is Mitcham Park.

William Lancaster, the Last Mayor of Mitcham

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Clip from Merton Memories photo 49059 (c) London Borough of Merton

Coun. William Lancaster, 66-year-old veteran of the First World War, was appointed Mayor of Mitcham at the Council’s annual meeting on Thursday last week.

He is the 31st and last Mayor of Mitcham. For at the end of the municipal year Mitcham Council will cease to exist. It will be merged with the new Borough of Merton.

At the mayor-making ceremony, watched by a large audience, Coun. Lancaster said he hoped that, at some time in the future, when he is referred to as the last Mayor of Mitcham, he will also be acclaimed as the last but not least.

His nomination was proposed by Counc. Dennis Hempstead, chairman of the housing committee, and seconded by Ald. Herbert Ash.

SADNESS

Coun. Lancaster has served as a Labour Party member on the councilfor 12 years.

After he had signed the register the new mayor said: “It is with some sadness that we reflect that Mitcham as a separate borough will end in March, 1965, but during the 30-odd years we have been our own authority we can be justly proud of our record, particularly in housing, welfare and predominantly, I would say, in financial administration, for without doubt our treasurer’s department have in their astute handling of the finances of the boorough brought immeasurable relief to us as ratepayers.”

He added: “There are many things we would like to have seen carried on in the development of the borough, but these must now be in the hands of the new Borough of Merton in which I am sure we all will wish the best of good firtune.”

Eralier Coun. Lancaster spoke of past Mayors of Mitcham.

“Apart from my years as a councillor, I have made the acquaintance of many of my predecessors and there have a personal knowledge of the devotion they gave to the duties of this high office and the dignity they brought to the traditions and services of this council and the borough as a whole.

PRESENTATION

“This knowledge will form the basis of the standards that, with my wife, the Mayoress, we will set ourselves to maintain during our term of office and I sincerely trust we shall be successful in our efforts.”

After the mayor-making a presentation was made to the retiring Mayor, Counc. William H. Sanderson.

In a short address he thanked all officers and members of the council for their help during the past year.

Coun. Sanderson, who did not stand in the recent elections for Merton Council, was presented with a self-winding, five-year clock.

Counc. George Shearing has been re-appointed Deputy-Mayor.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 29th May, 1964, page 1.

Stewart & Gray, Ltd.

Paisley Works
Swains Road

Vitreous Enamellers. Part of Escol Group according to 1964 ad, see below. Possibly changed name to Escol Panels Ltd., see 1967 ad.

1949 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 27th January 1961:

New Mirror building

SPECIALISTS in vitreous enamelled steel panels, Stewart and Gray Ltd., Paisley Works, Swains Road, have their work featured in the vast new Daily Mirror-Sunday Pictorial building at Holborn. Their panels are in many new buildings in London and the rest of the country.

About 40 young children of employees attended a New Years party given by the firm at the White Hart, Mitcham. Each was given a present.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th February 1961:

LONDON’S tallest building, the 33-storey office block being
built at Millbank, will embody enamelled architectural steel panels made by Stewart and Gray, Swains Road, Tooting Junction.

The factory has now geared its works mainly to the production enamelled architectural panels.

A recent project was the new quarter-mile long Ilford factory at Basildon which incorporates 35,000 square feet of yellow porcelain enamelled panels.

Among customers of their large export business are Scandinavia, India, Jamaica, Persia, and Hong Kong.

1964 ad

1967 ad


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

Listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories. Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

London Borough Number 22

A letter to the Daily Mirror correcting their publishing the name of London Borough No. 22 as Morden.

Merton

In publishing the names of some of the new London boroughs to be created by the London Government Act you refer to a borough of Morden. (Mirror, Friday.)

The name recommended for new London borough No. 22, which comprises the boroughs of Mitcham and Wimbledon and the urban district of Merton and Morden, is Merton.

The name has long historical connections with this part of Greater London. Merton Priory was founded here in 1117; the famous statute of Merton and Walter de Merton, the founder of Merton College, Oxford, was born here. I feel sure that the new borough will be very proud to bear this historic and famous name.

Sydney Austin,
Clerk of the Council,
Merton and Morden Council,
London, S.W.19.

Source: Daily Mirror, 4th January, 1964, page 7

Home Radio

Shop that was established at 187 London Road (opposite Eagle House), in 1946 by brothers Alan and Colin Sproxton, using their service gratuities. The name “Home Radio” was suggested by their father.

September 1947 – the shop at 187 London Road, and their van. From Murphy News.


In 1959 Colin Sproxton took part in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Colin Sproxton in 1959 at the Monte Carlo Rally. Clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_​People_​124-1, copyright London Borough of Merton.


Home Radio initially sold electrical appliances, as shown in these adverts from 1960.


The business grew with selling components by mail order. According to an article in The Radio Constructor magazine (pdf), Home Radio and Mitcham became known all over the world.

Colin Sproxton retired in 1964, the year of this catalogue cover:

1964 Home Radio catalogue

The back cover of this catalogue showed how to get to their shop by public transport. The map also showed their service shop in Locks Lane.

Their 1968 components catalogue, was advertised in Practical Wireless magazine, and said that it was:

Used and acclaimed by scientists, engineers, technicians, teachers & students

1968 Practical Wireless magazine ad

In 1969 they moved to larger premises to cope with the need to store large amounts of components for the mail order business. They went to the top floor of a new office block at 234 – 240 London Road, which gave them 2,400 square feet of space. The business was being run by Alan Sproxton and Ernest Layton at this time.

The Radio Constructor magazine described the dinner that was held at The Grange on 23rd April 1969 to celebrate the expansion of the business. A guest at the dinner was an old friend of the Sproxton family, Mr B. Mund Hopen from Bergen in Norway, who was in charge of the Norwegian Shipping Mission during World War 2. Mr Sproxton, in his after-lunch speech said that it was his opinion that three things saved Britain from defeat: radar, the tenacity and courage of the RAF, and the Norwegian tanker fleet which came over to Britain.


The company was wound up in 1982, as recorded in the London Gazette:

HOME RADIO (COMPONENTS) LIMITED

“That it has been proved to the satisfaction of the Company that this Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business and that it is advisable that the same should be wound up; and that the Company be wound up and that Keith John Chapman of 1-2 Pudding Lane, London EC3R 8AB, be and is hereby appointed as Liquidator of the Company for the purpose of such voluntary winding-up.”

A. Sproxton, Chairman