Tag Archives: 1971

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
1894

1953 OS map

News Articles

Mitcham News & Mercury, 18th June, 1971:

As 3,700 wait for Council Houses –
COTTAGES LIE EMPTY

‘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.”

HALF-WAY

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.

“TERRIBLE”

“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.

LADS AND GIRLS

“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.

NOT QUICK

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.

James Pascall, Ltd.

Streatham Road

Sweets, Confectionery

Source:
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

Closedown

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.

MUTUAL CONFIDENCE

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.

UNEMPLOYED REGISTERS

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.

Demolition

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.

Carew Road

Road that runs from south west end with Feltham Road, to north east end with Locks Lane. There are currently 30 houses, all with the postcode CR4 2JH.

2nd August, 1951

Labour councillor Tom RUFF … said that the POLE-CAREW family once owned land in Mitcham and Carew Road was named after them.

The first houses were built around 1902 as shown by this planning application by the Mizen brothers.


From the minutes of the
Croydon Rural District Council
Roads and Buildings Committee
Volume VIII 1902 – 1903
15th May 1902
page 111

2. Deposited Plans. – The Buildings Sub-Committee reported that they had carefully examined al the plans of new streets and buildings deposited since the last meeting, and on their recommendation, it was Resolved:-
(a) That the undermentioned be approved:

No. 2140, Mizen Bros., 6 cottages, Carew Road, Mitcham

The OS map from 1911 shows a terrace of ten houses at the Feltham Road end, on the east side of Carew Road.

1911 OS map

The 1915 street directory shows these houses as numbered from south to north as 1 to 6 Enville Terrace and then 1 to 4, Grange Villas:

Enville terrace:
1,Martin ADAMS
2,Herbert S HUTT
3,Alfred John ROBB
4,William RINGROVE
5,Charles HIGGS
6,Jack COLDHAM
Grange villas:
1,William WHITE
2,George KEEN
3,Albert FULLER
4,Thomas WHITE

St Marks Church Vicarage House was built on the west side of Carew Road at the corner with Locks Lane in around 1930.

This 1953 OS map shows that the house numbers have been changed to even on the east side from 2 to 40, and odd on the west side from 1 to 11.

1953 OS map

Planning applications in the 1950s show the houses planned for numbers 13 to 19, but it is not clear when they were built.

Application MIT1975 for 4 houses at number 13 was granted on 27/02/1953.
MIT1918 for a bungalow and garage on the site of 17 and 19 was granted on 28/11/1953.

This photo from 1971 of North Sea gas conversion vans shows Carew Road on the left leading away from the photographer towards Locks Lane.

22nd March, 1971. North Sea gas conversion vans in Feltham Road, Mitcham.


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