Tag Archives: 1971

Ruth Cole

In an ad from 1934, Ruth Cole, ladies’, children’s and gentlemen’s hairdresser, was at 6, Upper Green East.

In the 1952 Shopping Week booklet, the business was listed as a member of the Mitcham Chamber of Commerce, at 195 London Road, Mitcham.

Cecilia, 160 London Road, Mitcham.
F. T. Hendry, 145 Streatham Road, Mitcham.
J. Jacobs, 5 Belgrave Road, Mitcham.
Ruth Cole, 195 London Road, Mitcham.

The business may have moved to the London Road due to bomb damage during the Blitz.

In the 1971 telephone directory, the shop is listed as Ruth Cole, Ladies Hairdressers, 195 London Road, Mitcham, 01-648 3828.

This photo from around 1987, shows the shop still being used as hairdressers, and called Goldilocks, next to Ossie’s Taverna.

clip of c. 1989 photo on Merton Memories, photo reference ref Mit_​8_​1-39

Google StreetView of April 2018 shows 195 London Road as a convenience store.

J.H. Peters, Optician

c. 1962 clip from Merton Memories photo reference Mit_Streets_P_Will_77-2

Addresses taken from phone books:

1959 : 4A Western Road, MIT 7114
1966 : 4 Western Road, 01-648 7114
1981 : 6 Fair Green Parade, 01-648 7114.

J.H. Peters was James Henry Peters, the marathon runner known as Jim Peters.

From the Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 13 January 1999

Marathon hero Peters dies

MARATHON legend Jim Peters, who caught the imagination of the public at the 1954 Empire Games in Canada when he staggered around the last lap, has died aged 80.

Peters entered the Vancouver stadium around three miles ahead of the next competitor but dehydration had taken its toll and as the crowd rose to acclaim him he faltered and began to stagger.

He fell six times and his anguished English team-mates at trackside could not help for fear that he would be disqualified if he received any assistance.

They were finally able to go to his aid when it was clear he was not going to cross the finishing line of the race eventually won by Scotland’s Joe McGhee.

But his courageous efforts over the final few yards made an unforgettable sight which was etched in the minds of millions by Movietone News.

He ran a world’s best time in the marathon each year from 1952 to 1954 but he was more celebrated in that glorious defeat than in his victories during the fifties.

Peters quit athletics after the Games – “It cost me my killer instinct” he said – but the image of his heroic bid for a gold medal 45 years ago still lives on.

David Bedford, the international race director of the London Marathon, said: “Jim was a class runner when marathon running, unlike today, was unfahsionable.


“He trained harder than most – often 100 miles a week – and believed in the work ethic with his thousands of miles run in plimsoles.

“My first memories of him were from newspaper pictures showing him collapsing when in sight of the finish.”

Bedford, the former 10,000 metres world record holder, added: “Few athletes push themselves to such exhaustion as Jim did at those Games. He was unique.”

Alkens Drawing Supplies Ltd

Draughtsman supplies shop, was at Monarch Parade, London Road.

c.1987 clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_​8_​1-18

This receipt from 1981 shows the address as 73/75 Monarch Parade. London Road, Mitcham CR4 2JB, tel 01-640 5316.

Receipt dated 8th June, 1981.

The 1971 telephone directory showed the address as 189 London Road, telephone 01-640 0461.

Note that a company of the same name was incorporated in 2007 and dissolved in February 2019, and it is not known whether there was a connection with this business in Mitcham.

234 to 240 London Road

On the west side of London Road, a three storey building that replaced a row of shops that had formed part of the old High Street. Possibly built around 1969.

Clip from Merton Memories photo 27990, copyright London Borough of Merton

1952 OS map

This clip from a Merton Memories photo was taken in 1961, and shows the board announcing that numbers 234 to 240 are to be replaced by a new building.

Clip from Merton Memories photo 51738, copyright London Borough of Merton.

If you click on this clip to see the full photo on the Merton Memories website, you can see the businesses (from left to right) as:

240, C.F. HARDY, hairdressers
238, MONARCH, dyers and cleaners

Numbers 12, 13, 14 and 15 were renumbered, (in 1926/7), to 240, 238, 236 and 234.

Occupants from street directories:
12, Charles MACRO, hair dresser
13, C. SAUNDERS & Co., grocers
14, William COURT, baker
15, MOULAND & BENNETT, Watchmakers

12, H. MACRO, hair dresser
13, Miss H.M. HICKS, milliner
14, M. HICKS & Sons, bakers
15, G.H. HUDSON, watch maker

240, William J. KEMP, hair dresser
238, Miss Hilda Mary HICKS, milliner
236, M. HICKS & Sons, confectioners
234, Mrs. George Henry HUDSON, watch maker



234, Home Radio (Components) Ltd., Mail Order of Elec Cmpnts, tel 01-648 8422

39 and 41 Feltham Road

Between Armfield Crescent and Feltham Road, with allotments on both sides, a pair of semi-detached houses, numbered 39 and 41.

The stone tablet on the front read

Carry Close Cottages

News Articles

As 3,700 wait for Council Houses –

‘A meeting place for vandals’

WITH 3,700 people waiting for council houses, Merton Council have been accused of wasting the accomodation they do have.

Residents in Feltham Road, Mitcham renewed their complaints this week about No. 39. They say the two semi-detached cottages could house two families but instead theylie empty and are fast becoming a regular meeting place for the area’s vandals.

Boards nailed across the windows have been torn aside and the glass smashed. The upstairs windows have become targets for stones and air rifles and inside doors hang from their hinges and plaster has been hacked from the walls.

But despite this the roof appears sound and, say the residents, the cottages could soon be made habitable again.

Mr William Adams, a retired baker, remembers them before they were taken over by the council: “They were beautifully kept and the gardens were a picture to look at,” he said.

“But since there have been council tenants living there it has gone down and down.”


Mr Adams’ complaint was not against council tenants in general but more against the housing department who used it as a half-way house.

They used it as emergency accommodation for people they could not give permanent accommodation. As a result families stayed there for only two or three weeks before getting proper council houses.

These short term tenancies meant the cottages often remained empty for weeks at a time. Last summer they were left for six weeks and the vandals moved in.


“It was terrible,” said 68 year old Mrs Daphne Adams. “We could see them smashing the windows and playing about inside and when we told them to go away they threatened us. More than once we had our own windows broken.”

So the council nailed the boards across the windows. Then in February this year they offered the house to 26 year old mother of two Mrs Marie Stewart.

The tenancy was to be a permanent one and Mrs Stewart was thrilled. She had been living in half-way houses for nine months.

But when she saw the cottage she refused point blank to move into it.

Broken bottles and rotting rubbish were piled against the front door. Inside there was no heating or running hot water. Light leads stretched to the floor and the outside lavatory was nailed up.

She went straight back to the housing department and with Communist candidate Miss Jean Geidart, told them just what she thought of it. “It’s a slum,” she said. “A tramps’ doss place.”

Since then she has been found somewhere to live, but the incident moved the council to declare the property unfit to live in and, in effect, leave it tho the vandals.

And the vandals have been quick to take up the invitation.


“They are always about the place, larking about and lighting fires. Even the little children from St. Mark’s primary school go in there now. And late at night I’ve seen young lads take their girls in,” said Mr Adams.

He complained to his new Labour councillor, Mrs Vera Bonner and she has taken it up with the housing department. But until she has a reply she will not bring it up in the council chamber.

However the housing department know all about No. 39 Feltham Road. Indeed it has been a thorn in their side for some time.

The housing manager, Mr A. Brown has two choices: Do it up or knock it down. He realises it cannot be left as it is.


But until he knows what the Town Planning department propose for the land he cannot do anything and it is understood the planners have not been quick in making up their minds.

The surrounding land has been waste since the allotment scheme there was abandoned nand the site is ripe for development.

But there is no point in building on it if the Loop Road plan comes into operation in the 1980s. In that case it would be more profitable to redecorate the cottages and recoup the money in rent.

Everything hinges on the decision of the Town Planners and the housing department were still waiting on Monday.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 18th June, 1971.

James Pascall, Ltd.

Streatham Road

Sweets, Confectionery

Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

The company was incorporated on June 11th, 1898, to acquire and take over as a going concern the business of a Manufacturer of Confectionery and Chocolates, founded by Mr James Pascall in the year 1866. He had set up a small shop off Oxford Street, after having worked for Cadbury.

In 1877 they moved to larger premises in Blackfriars.

The ‘Furzedown Works’ in Mitcham, on the Streatham Road, was gradually built up on a site bought in 1888, from land that was part of James Bridger’s Manor Farm. For the next ten years, production was at both Blackfriars and Mitcham. A fire that devastated the Blackfriars works in 1897 led to the Mitcham site being the main location of production.

In the 1960s the company was bought by Cadbury-Fry. In March 1970 it was announced that the Mitcham factory was to close, and production moved to Cadbury in Birmingham.
Source: Mitcham Histories : 2 North Mitcham, by E.N. Montague, pages 110-112.

Pascalls painting

This OS map of 1952 shows the factory as ‘Chocolate Works’. The Fire Alarm Post (FAP) can be seen in the street near the entrance.

Merton Memories Photos
1945 Fire Wardens
1950 photo inside factory
1958 demonstrating toffee making

1920s (?) gates of factory

1920s (?) gates of factory


Phasing in the Closure

From the Mitcham and Colliers Wood Gazette
2nd April 1971

A progress report on the run-down of the labour force and ultimate closure of James Pascall’s sweet factory in Mitcham, was given to members of Tooting and Wimbledon Local Employment Committee at their quarterly meeting, under the chairmanship of Mr. Kenneth Bryant, B.E.M.

Due largely to the foresight of the Company in phasing the closure over a period of several months, the redundancies are proceeding smoothly, said Miss E. M. Warren, Secretary to the Committee.

Major resettlement problems with almost inevitable unemployment would undoubtedly have occurred if the 1,100 or so employees who are to lose their jobs, had been released on to the local labour market at short notice. As it is, the staff of Tooting Employment Exchange have been able to organise a full-time site Office on Pascall’s premises, to interview employees individually some two weeks in advance of their terminal date, to give them in most cases, a choice of jobs to which to apply and to place them in employment so that they can go straight from one job to another without becoming unemployed.


It is important, Miss Warren said, to cushion the shock of redundancy to employees, to give them a little time to get used to the idea that the work they have possibly been doing for years, will not be available to them indefinitely. By taking the Employment Exchange services to the workers in their own environment they are more at ease and a mutual confidence is built up between Employment Exchange and the employees.

If the first application for a job is unsuccessful, it only takes a worker a matter of minutes to call at the site office to see what other vacancies are available. It is easier for Employment Staff too as they get to know the employees as individuals and can, therefore, more readily find the right job for each person, a job in which he or she can settle and be happy.

Up to 12 March 160 men and 393 women had registered for work at the site office. A total of 790 submissions to employment had been made on their behalf and 298 had already started work in their new jobs, In addition, 52 applications for training courses under the Vocational Training Scheme had been dealt with of which 8 men had already commenced training, 24 had been accepted and were awaiting allocation and a further 15 were still under consideration.


Steeply rising unemployed registers at both Tooting and Wimbledon Employment Exchanges between Christmas and mid-March, presented a rather gloomy picture in both Exchange. areas, though. said Miss Warren a slight down-ward curve had been apparent during the last two weeks. She hoped, therefore, that the worst was over.

A figure of 3,125 unemployed had been reached in the Committee area, the highest figure since January 1968. Notified vacancies had also reached an all-time low figure during February and March. Despite this, placings had been maintained up to the time of the Postal Strike and in the three months to mid-February, nearly 100 more men and women had been placed in employment than in the corresponding period last year.


Reported in the Mitcham News & Mercury of 17th March 1973 ‘Going . . going’. See Merton Memories photo.

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