Tag Archives: 1968

Christ Church, Colliers Wood

sketch of the church from the May 1926 issue of their magazine

Church, on Christchurch Road, which was built in 1874.

Its address is 58 Christchurch Rd, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2NY

It was originally in the Mitcham parish and was built to cater for the increasing population in north Mitcham. The area covered by the church was described in the London Gazette, see District Chapelry of Christ Church.

From The Builder magazine, 4th July 1874:

Church-Building News
Mitcham.

The new church at Singleton has been consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester. The edifice, which containes 550 sittings, has been built from designs by Messrs. Francis, of London, the total cost being £4,283. The chief part of this sum has been the joint contribution of Mr and Mrs Harris, of Gorringe Park, Mitcham, who have also erected, at their sole cost, a parsonage and mission-room, on the adjoining ground. The amount of their gift is between £6,000 and £7,000. The site has been in part the gift of Emanuel College.

Note the spelling Singleton should have been Singlegate.

Eric Montague said, in his book Mitcham Histories 2 : North Mitcham, page 93, that in 1968, on his suggestion, the chapelry boundary stone that was in Streatham Road, opposite the east lodge of Gorringe Park House, be moved to the church for safe keeping.

In this OS map of 1895, the church was surrounded by fields, with watercress beds opposite.

1895 OS map

See also the history of Christ Church on the church’s website.


Photos taken 15th April, 2019


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

The Mitcham Mint pub opened Christmas 1968 but locals disliked the name

Mitcham News and Mercury, 27th December, 1968, page 1

A row over a pub name

An argument blew up over the week-end over the name of Streatham Vale’s first pub, which opened on Friday.

Local people are upset at the brewery’s choice of “Mitcham Mint.” Ind Coope selected this because, they say, they wanted to name it after a local industry.

But what local industry?

The firm that make a sweet called Mitcham Mints is Clarnico Ltd – whose factory is in East London.

It is true, however, that, many years ago, the company used mint picked in Mitcham for their confectionery.

Said one Vale resident: “It’s a pretty far-fetched reason to call a pub Mitcham Mint.”

And Coun. Dennis O’Neill, secretary of Streatham Vale Property Owners’ Association, declared: “The brewery should have consulted the locals first after all, the place will surely rely on local trade.

“Why not call it the Vale Rose? The rose grows like mad in this area; the soil suits it. That name would have had far more local significance than Mitcham Mint.”

THE SIGN

The inn sign of the Vale’s new two-bar hostelry, which was formerly the Coronation off-licence in Lilian Road, is the mint plant.

Said a spokesman for Ind Coope: “We spent a great deal of time deciding on a name; we always like to give our houses a local touch. Mitcham was famous for its mint, so this seemed an ideal name. Someone had the idea that the Mitcham Mint was made locally. . .”

The licensee, 52-year-old Mr. Alexander Tipping, who was manager of the off-licence, formally pulled the first pint on Friday, watched by a saloon bar full of guests.

Mr. Richard Motion, managing director of Ind Coope (London) Ltd., said there was obviously a need for a pub in this area – the nearest one was about half a mile away.

This will be a local house, relying mainly on local trade,” he added.

The £16,000 conversion scheme was carried out by Tamworth Park Construction Ltd., whose general foreman, Mr. Frank Stannett, was presented with a souvenir tankard.

There was a tankard too, for Mr Oliver Ashwell, district manager.

Mr Tipping will run the Mitcham Mint with the help of the wife, Mrs Emily Tipping. They have three daughters aged 21, 19 and 15.

Notes
1. The Coronation off-licence was called Coronation Stores in council minutes.

2. The pub was renamed in February 2019 as The Vale at Streatham. It had been refurbished by its owners, Star Pubs & Bars.

1968 : Turner’s Bakery horse Lizzie retires

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 20th September, 1968

After over 25 years as a bakery carthorse, Lizzie has moved from the noisy London suburbs to the peace of a country farm.

Lizzie, a liver chestnut Welsh cob who has reached the
distinguished age of 30, has worked for the past 15 years for Turner’s (Mitcham) Bakery, Fair Green, believed to be the only bakery in London which still uses horse-drawn vans for its delivery rounds.

For those 15 years she has been delivering bread in the Pollards Hill area with her driver Mr. Ted Gibson. Lizzie and Ted were a well-established team as they worked together for J. A. Taylor Ltd of Tooting for 10 years before going to Turner’s.

Life for Lizzie has not all been hard work, however. At the Easter Monday Horse Show in Regents Park she won first prize in the van parade and the Welsh rosette for the best Welsh Cob in the show.

Lizzie’s working day lasted about nine hours and she could make up to 450 calls a day. Anybody who maintains the horse is an outdated and uneconomical means of transportation is challenged by Turners who have proved that if a horse is ill the round takes over an hour longer to operate with a petrol vehicle.

Lizzie went into retirement yesterday (September 19) to Cherry Tree Farm, Lingfield, where she will mix with company from ex-race horses to costers’ donkeys.

Her successor, aptly named Lizzie II, is a nine-year-old bay Welsh Cob who will join Sally, Dolley and Kitty in maintaining Turner’s tradition of horse-drawn vans.

Rising costs led to Turner’s Bakery stopping using horses in 1973.

Shore Street

No longer exists. It was a cul-de-sac off the south side of Phipps Bridge Road (the part of which is now Liberty Avenue), and west of Willow View.

1952 OS map

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 2nd February, 1968:

HOMES MUST GO – MINISTER
Shore Street residents lose fight against demolition
Colliers Wood redevelopment plan confirmed

A GROUP of Colliers Wood residents have lost their fight to prevent their homes being
demolished in a housing redevelopment scheme.

The Ministry of Housing this week approval Merton Council’s controversial compulsory purchase order for 34 properties in the Shore Street area.

But some of the residents have gained a partial victory, for while their homes will still be demolished, they are not now considered unfit for human habitation.

Nine properties have been transferred from this category and their owners will get compensation at the higher market value instead of site value.\

‘The best solution’

And another 12 owners are to receive good maintenance payments for keeping properties, confirmed as unfit, in good condition.

At a public inquiry in October, the council claimed all but one of the houses were unfit and sought approval to remodel the whole area.

Residents claimed many of the properties were quite habitable and others could easily be improved. Demolition, they said, would not be the answer.

But the Minister has accepted his inspector’s recommendations that the demolition of all the buildings is the best solution, and has confirmed the order.

Town Clerk, Mr Sydney Astin, said this week : “In accordance with the Minister’s instructions, market value and good maintenance payments will be made, where applicable.”

The houses were described by the Medical Officer in an inspection in January, 1939:

January 28, 1939

To the Chairman and members of the Public Health Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

SHORE STREET

As requested by the Committee I have made a detailed inspection of the houses on Shore Street.

There are fourteen houses, eight (1-8) situated on one side of the road and six (9-14) on the opposite side. The houses are between sixty and seventy years old. All the houses are of fairly sound construction and the outside walls have been built with a hard brick. The roofs are made of slate and are fairly sound.

The rents vary from 9s. to 10s. per week.

The front room of each house opens directly on to the pavement. There is no bad arrangement of the street, and each house has plenty of air space both front and back.

As far as the inernal arrangement is concerned there is on the ground floor a front living room, with a scullery behind, and on the first floor, a front and back bedroom. The height of the rooms varies from 7 ft. 9 ins. to 7 ft. 11 ins. In some cases the floor of the front room ground floor is of concrete, in others it is wood. The staircase in all the houses is extremely dark.

Although the houses are old they are not unfit for human habitation, and the defects which found can be remedied at a reasonable cost.

As far as I have been able to ascertain there has been only one recent occasion in which the street was flooded, and this was due to the gulleys being blocked by rubbish. In heavy storms the rain beats in under the doors of some of the houses and causes the floors to become very damp. This state of affairs could probably be remedied by raising the height of the door steps and attention to the fit of the doors. Some of the houses have back additions which make the scullery very dark, and cause a certain amount of dampness.

Two of the houses are overcrowded, and two showed the presence of vermin infestation.

The owner has always complied with any sanitary notices that have been served.

A. T. Till
Medical Officer of Health

SCHEDULE OF DEFECTS
By house number

1. Three adults, seven children. Small fractures in brick work of back wall. Slight dampness round chimney breast in back bedroom.

2. Two adults, two children. Flooring of front room ground floor requires repairing. Cracked chimney pot on front chimney stack.

3. Two adults. Rainwater pipe front of house leaking. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

4. Two adults, three children. Slight ground dampness in living room. Small repair required to pointing of brickwork of front wall.

5. Two adults, two children. Joint forming the interspace between the window frame and brickwork of living room defective.

6. Four adults. Flooring by door defective. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Dampness around chimney breast in back bedroom.

7. Two adults, two children. Flooring week in living room.

8. Two adults. Dampness in corner of front bedroom by parapet wall.

9. Two adults, one child. Good condition.

10. Three adults. Dampness around chimney breast back room first floor.

11. Two adults, five children over 10 years of age. Good condition.

12. One adult. Joints forming interspace between window frame and brickwork living room defective. Defective stair tread. Countless round chimney breast in back bedroom. Slight dampness above matchboarding in front room ground floor.

13. Two adults. Week flooring of front room ground floor. Stone window sill back bedroom first floor. Woodwork of windows back bedroom first floor defective.

14. Four adults. Week flooring front room ground floor. Flooring defective by cover. Rainwater gutter and pipe at rear defective. Stone window sill of back bedroom defective. Woodwork of back bedroom window defective. Dampness around chimney breast of back bedroom.

Source: Minutes of the Mitcham Borough Council, volume 5, pages 315-6.

Occupants in 1925 street directory

North Side
1 Alfred BULL
2 Gilroy M HARRINGTON
3 Charles Jesse COLES
4 Thomas ROSUM
5 Geogre NOVELL
6 James SEAGRAVE
7 Walter READ
8 Frederick John PAYNE

South Side
14 George CODD
13 Ernest Garrat REEKS
12 Mrs F PROCTOR
11 Arthur Cecil POULTON
10 Harry WARNER
9 Mrs SINEY

Occupants in the 1933 Electoral Register

1, Harry, Elizabeth and Eleanor BULL
2, William Henry and Marian Maud CHADWICK
3, Charles Jesse and William Henry COLES
4, Charles and Adelaide Violet CARTWRIGHT
5, Harriett, Edith May and Florence Ethel NOVELL
6, James, Louisa and Richard SEAGROVE
7, Walter and Ada Alice READ
8, Frederick and Lilian Maud PAYNE; George Frederick DUMSDAY
9, Jane IVES; Violet SINEY; Arthur and Beatrice THOMAS
10, Harry, Alice and Henry James WARNER
11, Arthur Cecil and Rose POULTON
12, george, Florence and Kathleen Susan PROCTOR
13, Ernest Garrett and Margaret REEKS
14, George Francis, Bertha Eleanor, Harry and Esther Emily CODD

clip from Merton Memories photo, copyright London Borough of Merton


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

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

1968 Cricket mural unveiled at Cricketers pub

UNVEILING a new wall mural at The Cricketers Public House, Mitcham, on Tuesday, Mr. John Young, chairman of Young’s Brewery, said that the pub and the Cricket Green opposite had been connected with the sport for well over 200 years.

The first Australian team to tour this country had used the original pub as a pavilion and changing rooms.

When the new building was opened in 1958, following a fire at the previous pub, they put numerous photographs of cricketers around the bars.

“ We thought it would be a good idea to have a mural based on a cricket match in the bar, and this we have done,” Mr. Young added.

The mural is the work of Mr. Conrad Nickolds, who first had to take a picture of a cricket match, played on Whit Monday, with a wide angle lens.

Mr. Nickolds, who describes himself as a craftsman and not an artist, then coloured the print and mounted it on a frame to recreate the cricketing scene.

Later in the evening, following the unveiling of the mural by Mr. Young, the licensee and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cromack, opened their new “ Doubles ” bar and restaurant upstairs.

Customers were able to take part in wine tasting, and during the everting there was a competition with a prize of 12 bottles of Spanish table wines.

Among the regulars were Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Young — not related to the brewery firm—who have been visiting The Cricketers for 40 years.

“ I can even remember coming to The Cricket Green in 1908 with my father, and while he went into The Cricketers for a pint, I would be sent to a little shop across the road for a bag of sweets,” Mr. Young said.

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

Dolliffe Close

Old Peoples Housing development in Bond Road. Flats first built in 1968 and demolished in 2012? replaced by new blocks of flats in 2013.

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
25th June 1968

478. Bond Road, Mitcham : Old People’s Flatlets – Naming of – The Housing Manager reported on the question of a name for the flatlets in Bond Road, Mitcham, in course of erection and stated that the Greater London Council would require three alternative names to be submitted for approval.

Resolved – That the following three alternative names set out in order of choice be submitted to the Greater London Council:-

  • Bond Close
  • Warnford House
  • Dolliffe Close

Source: Minutes of Proceedings of the Council and committees, London Borough of Merton, Volume 5 1968-69, page 298

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
17th December 1968

1690. Dolliffe Close, Bond Road, Mitcham

– The Housing Manager referred to Minute No. 1309/10/68 and reported

(a) that when the Capital Estimates for 1969/70 were being considered, he had omitted to ask that the expenditure of £600 for the furnishing of the common parts of the Dolliffe Close, Bond Road, Mitcham, flatlets scheme be approved and that the Finance Committee be requested to authorise implementation; and

(b) that, in view of the urgency of the matter, the Chairman of this Committee had authorised the placing of orders for these furnishings and that the Chairman of the Finance Committee had also approved this authorisation.

Resolved – That the action of the Chairman of this Committee be confirmed and that he matter be referred to the Finance Committee

(i) for confirmation of the action of the Chairman of that Committee, and

(ii) requesting that the necessary financial provision be made.

Source: Minutes of Proceedings of the Council and committees, London Borough of Merton, Volume 5 1968-69, pages 1061-1062

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
7th January 1969

1927. Dolliffe Close, Bond Road, Mitcham

– Service Charges

– The housing Manager referred to Minute No. 1487/11/68 wherin the Service Charge of 29s. 0d. per week was approved in respect of the Dolliffe Close flatlets and reported that he had subsequently dound that the heating of the flats, which is of the gas warm-air type, was metered to each flat together with the domestic hot water system. He recommended, therefore, that the charge be reduced to 13s. 6d. per week, which figure took into consideration such services as a warden’s service, use of Common Room and of communal laundry facilities.

Resolved – That a revised charge of 13s. 6d. per week be approved.

Source: Minutes of Proceedings of the Council and committees, London Borough of Merton, Volume 5 1968-69, pages 1203


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.