Tag Archives: 1965

Richard Rickman, tailor

Tailor at 165 London Road, between the library and Downe Road, possibly between 1952 and 1971.

Listed in the 1952 Chamber of Commerce and advertised in 1965:

Norwood News – Friday 30 July 1965

The 1954 phone book gives his first name as Richard. The phone number was MIT 3526. He is also listed in the 1971 phone book.


A photo on Merton Memories, possibly around 1987, shows these premises as occupied by a trophies shop.

According to the history option in Google StreetView, 165 London Road had these occupants:

From 2008 to 2012 : Final Touch – Tattoo and Piercing
From 2014 to present (2018) : Study Skills Learning Centre

Mitcham Stadium

Sports stadium, which occupied around 8 acres, north of Eastfields Road and opposite the football ground in Sandy Lane, was built in 1935 and was sold to property developer Wates Ltd in 1955.

1952 OS map

1953 aerial photo showing football and rugby posts on the field. Fernlea Road is on the left, with Sandy lane at the top.

Mitcham Borough council minutes of 6th December 1934, volume 1, page 89, record a letter received from Mr S.E. Parkes:

26. LAND, EASTFIELDS.

Read letter from Mr. S. E. Parkes stating that he had had under consideration a scheme for the
utilisation of the disused gravel pit in Eastfields Road for the purpose of a Rugby football ground, and asking whether any objection would be raised by the Council in connection with
the user of this land for the purpose under the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme.

Resolved, That Mr. Parkes be informed that no objection will be offered by the Council.

A detailed history of the stadium can be found at the Gandermonium blog.

Mitcham News & Mercury, 18th May, 1935

Norwood News, 6th September 1935, showing construction of one of the two stands. 300 tons of steel was used in each stand, and by comparison, the Majestic cinema had 350 tons.

Norwood News, 6th September 1935 advertising the opening of the stadium the next day.

In addition to rugby, Irish games such as hurling were played at the stadium.

In 1954, the stadium was called ‘A White Elephant’ in this article in the 1st July issue of the Mitcham & Tooting Advertiser:

The site was sold to Wates Ltd who built housing with Guyatt Gardens, Ormerod Gardens, Fowler Road, Priestley Road with Roper Way connecting to Eastfields Road.

Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser, 26th May 1955, page 1.

House for sale ad in 1965 referred to the former Mitcham Stadium.


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

1965 : Mr Tilley retires after 25 years with Mitcham Fire Brigade

Twenty-five years as a fireman ended on Friday for Mr Terry Tilley, Russell Road, Mitcham. Here (centre) with his wife he receives a clock from Station Officer P. Dann, and an illuminated address signed by all members of the station.
All his colleagues also subscribed towards the cost of the clock.
From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 12th February, 1965, page 1.

Enjoyed his 25 years of fire-fighting

The summer afternoon when a rubber dump started to smoulder in the Willow Lane was the start of the biggest fire in Mitcham since the war.

Mr Terry Tilley recalled the blaze this week as he sat in his Russell Road home and looked back on 25 years as a fireman.

“It was two or three years after the war,” he said, “and I remember it was very, very hot.

“Tons and tons of rubber went up and you could see the flames miles away. It was like a mushroom.”

Long into the night 40 engines and dozens of firemen fought the fire, one of a spate of rubber dumps which went up the London area.

Of his experiences during the war Mr Tilley most vividly recalls a bombing raid on London’s dockland.

Fire engines raced from all over London to fight the blazing oil and tar refineries at Silvertown.

“The raid began in the afternoon,” said Mr Tilley, “and about 8 o’clock the bombers came back and went on dropping until the early hours of next morning.

“It was a fantastic sight with the fire engines and A.R.P. units all over the place. We lost a few men, I think, when the bombers came back.”

“Mr Tilley, who is 55, joined the Mitcham Brigade in 1940. In 1946 he moved to Banstead for nine years before returning to Mitcham.

He didn’t join for any particular reason, but now he says: “I enjoyed the life, and I shall miss the men.”

For the future he intends to have a few weeks’ holiday and then get another job, though he is not quite sure what.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 19th February, 1965

There are photos on Merton Memories of the rubber tyre dump fire on 2nd June 1947. For example:

Clip from Merton Memories photo 51069, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Alfred Tilley, also at the Mitcham Fire Station, was his uncle, according to a post on Facebook. He is pictured on a 1930s photo of the brigade. He was mentioned in newspapers as having rescued 15 cats over his career.

Second Officer Alfred Tilley, of the Mitcham Fire Brigade, has just rescued his fifteenth cat. He saved his first cat in 1920. In those days he went out on a bicycle and borrowed a ladder.
From the Daily Herald, 16th December, 1939.

Mortuary Chapel in parish churchyard

In 1882, the parish church’s burial ground was enlarged and a mortuary chapel was built by Crockett at a cost of £1,761, as referred to in an advertised tender in the Surrey Mirror. (Adjusted for inflation, this was the equivalent of around £200,000 today.)

An entrance from Church Road was made, opposite the post office (later 71 Church Road). A path from this entrance led to a circular path in front the chapel.

The new burial ground was consecrated on 15th January 1883 by the Bishop of Rochester.

This 1910 Ordnance Survey map shows the entrance to the chapel as being opposite the letter box on the west side of Church Road. Another building is shown north east of the chapel, along the wall with Miles Road. The entrance that is there today is not shown and it is not known whether this building was related to the mortuary chapel.

1910 OS map


When Mitcham became part of the London Borough of Merton in 1965, the Coroner decided that autopsies and inquests would be performed at Battersea for both Merton and Wandsworth. This decision was recorded in the minutes of the Parks, Cemeteries and Allotments Committee dated 26th May 1965:

612. Mitcham and Wimbledon Mortuaries

The Director of Parks reported

(i) that following the reorganisation of the London boroughs, H.M. Coroner had decided that as from the 1st April, 1965, he will hold all inquests for both the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth at the Battersea Coroner’s Court and that consequently all autopsies on bodies will be carried out at the Battersea Mortuary; and

(ii) that no request has been made to use the Wimbledon and Mitcham mortuaries which had been kept in readiness since the 1st April in case local funeral directors wish to use them as Chapels of Rest, and

(iii) that consequently there seemed to be no necessity to keep the mortuaries available particularly as some financial arrangements would have to be agreed with the London Borough of Wandsworth for bodies admitted to the Battersea Mortuary from this borough.

Source: Minutes of proceedings of the council and committees, London Borough of Merton Council Minutes, 1965-66, volume 2, part 1.

On page 68 of Mitcham Histories: 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, by the late Eric Montague, is a photograph of the building he took around 1990. The colour version of this photo can be seen on the Merton Historical Society’s website, although it says that it was taken in the 1970s.

Today, nothing is left of the chapel building, although the circular path remains. It is currently not known when it was demolished.

Photo taken 26th April 2017 of plot where mortuary chapel once stood.

Measurements made using the online map show the length of 45 feet along its east-west side, and its depth of 30 feet along its north-south side.

Inquests were held at the Mortuary Chapel. Here are links to some newspaper articles that reported them.

1895 Death from pleurisy
1910 Miss Ellen Peerless, of the Ship Laundry


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


Minutes of meetings held by the London Borough of Merton are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

James Chuter Ede, Mitcham MP in 1923

10th March, 1923. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Right Honourable James Chuter Ede, P.C. (1944), M.P., son of James Ede, of Epsom.

Born 1882; educated Dorking High School and Chrit’s College Cambridge.
Married 1917 to Lilian Mary (died 1948), daughter of Richard Williams, of Plymouth.

Served in Great War with 5th East Surrey regiment and special brigade of R.E.

D.L. (Deputy Lieutenant) (1931), J.P. (1923).

Chairman of Surrey County Council 1933-37; M.P. (Labour) Surrey (Mitcham division) in 1923 and South Shields 1929-31 and from 1935. Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Education 1940-45, Secretary of state, Home Office 1945-51.

Leader of the House of Commons 1951.

Chairman of London and Home Counties Joint Electricity Authority 1934-40.

Oxford and Cambridge Club.

7 Tayles Hill, Ewell, Surrey.

Source: Kelly’s Handbook to the Titled, Landed & Official Classes, 1952 from Find My Past (subscription required)

He died at Ewell, Surrey, in November 1965, aged 83.

More information on wikipedia.

Scaffolding (Great Britain) Ltd.

Listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories at

Scafco Works
23 Willow Lane

Scaffold Construction


From the Norwood News, 5th November 1965:

COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS REQUIRED BY SCAFFOLDING (Great Britain) LTD.
WILLOW LANE,
MITCHAM,
for I.C.T. 1301 Card/Tape Computer, previous experience although desirable is not essential, and recent school- leavers will be considered.

Applicants must have G.C.E. pass in Maths preferably at A level. Excellent conditions of employment including Staff Cafeteria, Company Buses, Sports and Social Club.

Apply COMPUTER MANAGER, MIT 3400 ext. 389

For more on the ICT 1301, The National Museum of Computing are restoring one.

News Articles
1972 : SGB and the last 50-mile stretch of the M4

Mitcham Jig and Press Tool Co. Ltd.

ad from Norwood News, 12th November 1965 via the British Newspaper Archive

Text of ad:

PRESS TOOLMAKERS
CENTRE LATHE TURNERS
MILLERS
SURFACE GRINDERS
CYLINDRICAL GRINDERS
TOOL DESIGN DRAUGHTSMAN
IMPROVERS

* HIGHEST RATES PAID
* EXCELLENT WORKING CONDITIONS
* PRIVATE CAR PARK
* CANTEEN FACILITIES
NON CONTRIBUTORY *
SICK PAY BENEFITS *
OVERTIME AVAILABLE *

FOR THE MOST INTERESTING VARIETY OF TOOLING TO SUIT ALL CLASSES OF TOOLMAKERS

Please Apply

MITCHAM JIG & PRESS TOOL CO. LTD.
WILLOW RUN WORKS, WANDLE WAY, WILLOW LANE, MITCHAM, SURREY

Listed in the 1963 Borough of Mitcham List of Factories as Tool Makers.