Tag Archives: Allen

Manton Way

Manton Way was a short road off the west side of Galpins Road, where Berkshire Way is today.

From the 1939 register there were four houses and the OS map of 1940, shows two houses on either side of the road.

1940 OS map

Occupants in 1939
No. 1
William KNIGHT, 51, professional musician
Edith E. KNIGHT, 44, housewife
Marjorie E. KNIGHT, 16, dressmakers apprentice

No. 2
Ena Elsie LANE, 42, civil servant at the Ministry of Health

No. 3
Thomas BOLTON, 57, butcher
Annie BOLTON, 50, housewife
Robert BOLTON, 19, commercial artist
Nancy V. BOLTON, 16, switchboard operator

No. 4
Alfred William ALLEN, 45, scaffolder
Elsie May ALLEN, 45, housewife
Alfred Robert ALLEN, 14

After WW2, the Pollards Hill Golf Course was developed for housing and the roads were named after counties. Manton Way was extended westward and renamed Berkshire Way.

1954 OS map

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

1877 : Proposed 100 acres of Mitcham Common for sewage


Mr. Edridge said he wished make a remark respecting the Rural Sanitary Authority, although he did not wish to raise discussion. He was aware, that the members of the Authority bad recently experienced a great deal of trouble, still the subject involved in the question he was about to put was of such great importance to Croydon that he did not hesitate to put it. If the reply were in the affirmative he thought the fact was one which ought to come under the knowledge of the Board of Health, and they should take measures to further the interests of the district over which they had jurisdiction. He asked whether it was true that the Authority were in correspondence with the proper parties to whom it was necessary to apply in order to obtain a hundred acres of land at Mitcham Common for the purposes of sewage irrigation.

The Chairman said such thing had transpired, but there were 108 persons whose consent had to be asked before the Authority could obtain the land.

Mr. Randolph said it was true a resolution had been passed for the Authority to see on what terms they could purchase a hundred acres of Mitcham Common, but there were some difficulties in the way.

Mr. Edridge presumed that the Authority would not have taken such step except after a proper amount of consideration, and with the expectation that their action would lead to some result. He was therefore sure they would forgive him for having asked the question he had; and he thanked them for having given him the information he required.

Mr. Lindsey said the Authority had not given to the subject so much consideration it required ; but the thing had arisen because the Rural Board were driven up into a corner to find some mode of draining their district. It was therefore suggested at the last meeting that they might apply for a hundred acres of Mitcham Common. There had previously been some idea of making use of thirty acres of land, to carry out the intermittent filtration process; but it was thought it would not answer their purpose and expectations ; consequently they wanted to carry put the sewage irrigation system, and thought facilities for doing so would be gained if they could obtain a piece of land on Mitcham Common. It was true that they had applied, but they hardly expected to obtain the quantity of land they required, as it was necessary that the commoners must satisfied and agree before there could be any hope of obtaining the land.

Mr. Allen said the subject was one to be discussed by the Rural Sanitary Board, and not by the Board Guardians. Mr. Edridge, if he wished to speak upon the matter, ought to have come fully charged at the last meeting of the Authority; but, as the subject had been broached, he might well mention that Croydon applied for some land on the same common a few years ago, but the application was rejected. This was the only reason that could see for opposing the present application of the Rural Authority. But what could it matter to the people of Croydon, who had their parks and open spaces. The nuisance of 60,000 inhabitants was sent to Beddington, but instead being injurious to the health of the population, it was actually beneficial. He could not, therefore, understand why Mr. Edridge should come there to oppose the Authority. No doubt he came with the best intentions, but he had come at the wrong time. If he could wait till next week that would the proper time to bring the subject forward. Although there were 108 land owners to consult as to Mitcham Common, yet at present no benefit was derived from that land, but rather the reverse, as Gipsies caused a great nuisance there, and brought all sorts of diseases into the neighbourhood, at well a lot of donkeys and horses that ran all over the place. People like the Gipsies made extra work for the magistrates; yet when the Authority applied for a hundred acres of land for the drainage of the rural district they met with all sorts of obstacles from persons who ought to help instead of hindering them. There were 500 or 600 acres there suitable for irrigation, and of no use to the Inhabitants their present state. He therefore thought that Croydon ought not to offer opposition, although it might very well connect itself with Mr. Bazalgette’s scheme for taking sewage to the sea. Under all circumstances he thought it was most untimely to bring forward the subject, the Board of Guardians had nothing to do with it.

Mr, Edridge said his object was to ask question which interested Croydon generally, and to which he knew they would give him answer: but he should not have ventured to ask that question except a meeting of the Guardians, because, although had the honour of being an ex-officio member of the Board, was not member of the Rural Sanitary Authority, and was much obliged for the information that had been afforded. Mr. Allen said the Rural Sanitary Authority would glad to see Mr. Edridge at the right time if he had anything to say upon the matter referred to. This terminated the public business of the meeting.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1877 : The School Board Election

10th February 1877

The School Board Election.
Stormy Public Meeting.

– On Thursday a public meeting of the ratepayers of the parish, convened by Mr. T. Allen, was held Lower Mitcham schools. The room was filled in every part, and the proceedings were of the most uproarious character. It is simply impossible to give any adequate idea of the stormy nature of the meeting, but all that determined interruption, personal and insulting remarks, loud laughter, groaning, and shouting, could do towards making it a “good old” election meeting was persistently carried out.

The election is to take place on Thursday next, and there have been ten gentlemen nominated for the seven seats, viz., Messrs. Allen, Wade, Harwood, Wilson, Nobes, Coles, Hooper, Bridger, Legg, and Nicholls, Mr. Czarnikow being the only member of the present Board who declined to stand. About half-past eight Mr. Henry Wood was voted to the chair.

– The first candidate who addressed the meeting was Mr. Allen, who commenced by stating that he was a labouring man, and proceeded to object to a distinction being made between such men as himself and those described as “gentlemen” in the nomination papers. He entered into a tirade against the expenditure of the School Board, and stated his detestation of what he described as the “ iniquitous system” that was being carried out. He attacked the Board on many points as to harshness until one might have thought that the School Board for Mitcham was a veritable modern “ Court of Inquisition.” Mr. Allen also directed the flashes of his eloquence against the Act of Parliament itself.

– After a time Mr. Nobes rose and asked whether the speaker was right in going away from his subject as he had. This was the signal for uproar, roaring and shouting becoming the order, or rather the disorder, of the day. Ultimately, the chairman ruling that Mr. Allen was in order, certain of the meeting addressed themselves to Mr. Nobes and shouted “Turn him out.” Mr. Allen continued his speech and expressed his belief that nothing further should be imparted to the children than reading, writing, and arithmetic up to compound addition. The patience of the audience becoming somewhat exhausted, he was greeted with cries of “time,” when he coolly informed his hearers that he would only detain them “ten minutes longer.” The remainder of his observations were not listened to so attentively as the rest, various interruptions taking place. One individual especially devoted himself to personalites, amid cries of “order,” “turn him out,” &c. This gentleman having been silenced — for a time — the other end of the room was the scene of some disturbance, something having occurred to tickle the fancy of this part of the gathering. Upon Mr. Allen resuming his seat, he was greeted with cheers and demonstrations of an opposite nature.

– Mr. Wade followed, and rendered an account of his stewardship during the past three years. He said the Board had endeavoured to carry out the Act of Parliament with flrmness but gentleness. He touched upon the word “gentleman,” so complainingly alluded to by Mr. Allen, and advised the meeting to take no notice of the term. He explained the action of the School Management Committee, challenging anyone to say that they had treated persons coming before them with anything but courtesy. The individual previously referred to here caused some amusement by remarking that the Queen’s Speech ought to have been read. A gentleman in the audience appealed to the Chairman to silence this obnoxious person, whereupon the latter proceeded to the spot where the gentleman was seated, and, so it is said, requested him to fight. Of course the gentleman again appealed to the Chairman. A scene of confusion ensued, a number of the candidates and some of the audience remarking that if the Chairman could not keep order they would leave the meeting. The difficulty was in some degree surmounted by the disturber spoken being accommodated with a seat on the platform, where — for a time — he behaved himself much better. Mr. Wade, upon continuing, referred to the fallacy of the statement that the children were in danger of being over educated, and quoted figures in support of his remarks. Mr. Allen then rose and asked several questions amid some laughter and disturbance. and having obtained replies, went on to address the meeting again.

– Mr. John Harwood, the next candidate, waived his right to speak, and the Rev. D. F. Wilson next occupied the platform, and was received with cheers. He gave particulars as to the vast increase in the number of children receiving instruction during the last few years, and expressed bis helief that the work of the School Board had been a success. (Cheers, applause, and hisses.)

– Mr. Nobes, the next speaker, was received with cheers. He referred to the term ” gentleman ” harped on so much throughout the evening, and expressed his conviction that it was very ungentlemanly on the part of Mr. Allen to bring forward the subject so prominently as he had done. (Hear, hear.) With regard to the charge of harshness he would give £20 to any local charity if any ratepayer could say that he had used a harsh word to them in connection with the duties of the Board. (Mr. Allen – l did not mean you). As to the charge of extravagance, this was also unjust, as although the Board might have made some mistakes, they had never spent money carelessly. (Hear, hear.) He also announced that he had written to Mr. Blake to withdraw his name from the list of nominees. This statement was received with regret by the audience, and Mr. Allen expressed his conviction that Mr. Nobes was a gentleman, a voice from the audience confirming this statement in treble notes, amidst some laughter. Mr. Allen again attempted to speak, but the audience by this time not being in a temper to submit to any further infliction, met him with hisses and cries of “Chair,” ” We don’t want to hear you all night,” &c., until Mr. Allen, after remaining on his legs some time, was obliged to resume his seat, but eventually rose again and made other remarks.

– Mr. Coles, who was received with deafening cheers, commenced by making a further reference to the word “gentleman.” He also spoke of the necessity that had existed for the establishment of a School Board. He told the meeting he wanted to play a solo while on that platform, although he had noticed that while other speakers had been there, Mr. Allen had been indulging in a kind of double bass behind. (Laughter.) Proceeding humorously and effectively to combat some of the arguments of Mr. Allen, he alluded to circumstance to which the latter had referred, when he (the speaker) had told him he was showing his ignorance. In the course of his remarks he expressed his belief that Mr. Allen, on the occasion in question, was like a “maniac. ”

– Mr. Alien rose, and, in excited manner, demanded to know whether this was gentlemanly conduct, but Mr. Coles having apologised, rather spoiled his victory, by designating that gentleman as a “madman.” (Load laughter.) When the speaker concluded Mr. Allen rose once more, but was met with cries of “Question,” Sit down,” “Chair,” &c. Ultimately he sat down again, and Mr. Coles also resumed his seat amidst applause.

– Mr. J. P. Hooper also addressed the meeting, defending the action of the School Board. He did not think also that Mr. Allen could produce any proofs of extravagance.

– Mr. Allen once again assumed an upright position and asked a question, which was answered, and Mr. Hooper also explained at what standard children could be exempted from attendance at schools.

– Mr. Allen rose and yet again put further questions, and two or three times more endeavoured to address the meeting.

– Mr. J. Bridger was not able to be present.

– The Rev. F.S. Legg, in the course of his remarks, stated that he came forward as a candidate for the district of Singlegate. He referred to his practical experience of schools, expressing his sympathy with the children, parents, and teachers. He was listened to attentively and applauded.

– Mr. Nicholls shortly addressed the meeting, promising that if elected he would do his best for the ratepayers.

– Upon his resuming his seat, person in the room wished to ask question of Mr. Allan, and upon receiving permission, came forward and, with true sarcasm, enquired of that gentleman whether, if were elected, would work with the Board would have a Board of his own? (Loud laughter.) Shortly afterwards the meeting concluded, having lasted till close upon eleven.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 10 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archives (subscription required)

The Mitcham School Board Election. The polling took place Thursday. For some weeks past there has been a considerable amount excite ment prevalent the parish. The supporters of the various candidates have been animated in the discussion of their particular friends’ good qualities, and the advantages that were likely to accrue to the parish should they be elected. But very little ill-feeling, however, seems to have been engendered. Printer’€™s ink does not appear to have been very much used, the candidates’ addresses and one or two other manifestoes being the only outward and visible evidences the contest which was going on. The uproarious meeting of Thursday week certainly contributed in large degree to give the parishioners interest in the election, in fact the gathering has been one of the most lively subjects of conversation during the week. The shop windows of the town were the principal – almost the only – means of displaying the addresses of the various candidates, and it was a noticeable fact that in most places the utmost impartiality was observed, most of the shopkeepers exhibiting the addresses of all, without respect to party. On the day the election a stranger would not have been struck with any particular stir in the parish, in fact nothing but the aforesaid bills was observable to lead to the conclusion that so important an event as a School Board election was transpiring. The voting took place at three stations, situate at the Lower Mitcham Board Schools, the School Chapel, Upper green, and the Board schools, Merton-lane, and every arrangement was made the returning officer to ensure the proper carrying out of the privilege of voting. During the morning and afternoon the voters were comparatively few and far between, but in the evening, between the hours of six and eight, more animation was to be noticed, and close upon the hour for closing the poll there was some amount of rush.€ The utmost diversity of opinion existed with regard to the names of the three unfortunate candidates who would be at the bottom of the poll, and on enquiry of certain of the local celebrities different persons were mentioned as likely to be thus left out in the cold shade of defeat. One or two opinions, however, were generally prevalent. The Vicar was considered certain of election. Mr. Allen was confidently pointed to as being the candidate who would head the list, and Mr. Nobes was generally believed to be sure re-election. We heard it surmised that Messrs. Wade, Nichols, and Harwood would the defeated candidates, and others, again, would state their doubts as to the re-election of Mr. Hooper. The Singlegate people made considerable efforts secure the election the Rev. Mr. Legg and Mr. Nobes, calling upon the parishioners to give four votes to the former and three to the latter. The remaining candidates came in for their share public gossip. But few the gentlemen who had been nominated were noticed during the day, although most of them, should think, presented themselves at the polling books at different times to give their own votes. We heard of one the candidates, certainly the most energetic, riding about in a cart, from which at various spots delivered addressee to the electors, but this information cannot vouch for, although we think it a likely move on the part the individual referred to. The counting of the votes took place on Friday (yesterday), and the following were the numbers polled :-


Mr. Allen 1006
Mr. Legg 704
Mr. Wilson 589
Mr. Nobes 559
Mr. Nicholls 532
Mr. Wade 374
Mr. Hooper 362


Mr. Coles 359
Mr. Harwood 213
Mr. Bridger 148

On looking at the above figures the first feature which particularly strikes one is fact that Mr. Allen has no less than 302 votes in excess of the gentleman whose name appears second. This result must be attributed to Mr. Allen’s personal popularity amongst a section of the parishioners, and perhaps in some degree to a feeling of dissatisfaction which exists amongst a portion the parish at the doings of the late Board, although it is—or ought to be well known that they are blamed for carrying out that which they could in no way avoid. The ratepayers, it would appear, expect great things of Mr. Allen. We earnestly hope they may not be disappointed.

Mr. Legg’s friends have certainly exerted themselves to place him in the position he occupies.

With regard to Mr. Wilson’s position other result was expected. Against this gentleman and Mr. Wade a dead set has been made by some of the inhabitants, and they were apparently censured for doing that which the very Act of Parliament lays down, and the entire Board has sanctioned. It is therefore matter for satisfaction that both gentlemen have been returned.

Mr. Nicholls we do not know, but apparently he is well known of the parishioners.

Mr. Hooper is the last elected candidate, and what is rather remarkable he has only received three votes above the next lowest, Mr. Coles, who with Mr. Harwood and Mr. Bridger are the rejected candidates.

By this election four members of the old Board will retain their seats, while new blood to the extent of three members will be imported. Two of the rejected candidates were members of the Board which has lately ceased to exist.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Laburnum Road Estate

Council housing estate built 1954+ on land south and west of the level crossing at Tamworth Lane.

The architects were Collcutt & Hamp, J. Liversedge & Co. were the consulting construction engineers, Mr. H.A. Sandford, M.A. was the consulting electrical engineer and E.C. Harris and Partners the quantity surveyors. Source: Borough Engineer’s Report, 8th September, 1952, as publsihed in Mitcham Borough Council minutes, page 223, volume 19.

Merton Memories Photos

c. 1954 Being built – as seen from railway line
c.1956 Block being built – roof section carried by crane
A completed block seen from railway line
A completed block front view
Two completed blocks
Old peoples’ cottages and a completed block

The land was bought by Mitcham Borough Council using a compulsory purchase order. These council minutes describe the land plots bought, and from whom.

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
Thursday 2nd July 1953

Laburnum Road Site: Acquisition of Land

The Town Clerk submitted the District Valuer’s reports of the terms of compensation provisionally agreed, subject to the approval of the Council and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, for the acquisition, under the terms of the Mitcham (Laburnum Road) Compulsory Purchase Order, 1952, of the freehold interest in the undermentioned land required for the development for housing purposes of the Laburnum Road site.

Land owned by Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd.

5.030 acres approx. of land at Laburnum Road, together with the house known as “Nursery Cottage” and the derelict house adjoining, and also 0.105 acre of land at Laburnum Road, including the building and timber yard known as “The Garage.”

Land Owned by The Misses L.L. and N.A. Allen, as Executors and Trustees of Rebecca Allen, deceased.

0.084 acre approx. of land at Laburnum Road, including the four cottages known as 1,2,3 and 4, Railway Cottages.

Land Owned by Mizen Bros.

0.138 acre approx. of land at the rear of No.s 1-4, Railway Cottages, Laburnum Road, with a frontage to Eastfields Road.

Resolved, That the terms of compensation provisionally agreed be approved by the Council; that authority be given for the acquisition of the land in accordance with these terms; and that the Common Seal of the Corporation be affixed to any necessary documents.

Railway Cottages and Nursery Cottage can be seen on the 1952 OS Map:

The largest plot, roughly triangular, and owned by the Co-Op, had Nissen Huts on it at the time of the purchase. They can be seen in this aerial photo from 1952

Railway Cottages and Nursery Cottage can be seen top left of this photo



The names of the blocks of flats, and old peoples’ cottages, were suggested in January 1954.

From the minutes of the
Housing Committee
7th January 1954

Laburnum Road Estate

The following is a suggested name for the four blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate: –

Laburnum Court
Hardcastle Court
Penfold Court
Guyatt Court

Addition, names are required for the four blocks of aged persons’ dwellings and it is recommended the following names be given to them: –

Lea Cottages
Ryves Cottages
Campbell Cottages
Overhill Cottages

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, page 535.


(i) That the following names be given to the four blocks of flats in the Laburnum Road Estate:

Laburnum Court
Penfold Court
Fitch Court
Beaumont Court

(ii) That the names recommended for the four blocks of aged persons’ dwellings be approved.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, pages 538.

From Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
8th July 1954

First tenants move into town’s newest estate


THE first tenants moved to Mitcham’s newest estate — Laburnum Road — over the week-end. About a dozen families went into the top-floor flats and maisonnettes of Laburnum Court which is the first block to be completed.

Many had spent years in one and two-room flatlets. Then, after three years or more on the waiting list, they were told by Mitcham Council: ” We have a home for you.” Over the week-end they moved into their bright new flats and maisonnettes, where there are built-in cupboards, large rooms, water heaters, and other amenities they have not known during their married lives.

Eventually the estate, due to be completed by March, will consist of 54 three-bedroom, 84 two-bedroom, and 12 one bedroom flats and maisonnettes, as well as 18 two-storey cottages for old people.

This week the lifts operating from the yellow-tiled entrances to the block were not operating, but the new tenants did not mind climbing four flights of stairs to their homes.

One was Mrs M. L. Gaterall who, with her husband and three children aged from six years to 18 months, had been living in a two-room flat in Kennington, three storeys up. Their chance to move into a decent home came after three years on Mitcham Council’s housing list.


On Monday. Mr R. W. Hayward, a printer’s assistant, moved into one of the maisonnettes with his wife and baby. They had been living in one room in Colliers Wood and they too had been on the waiting list for three years.

Their new home has a living room, modern kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. From their back windows they can look out across the roofs of houses in Lammas Avenue and Barnard Road to Commonside East and the common.

Mrs. Hayward had one objection to her new home — in the maisonnettes there are no balconies on which children can be left to play in the open air. They will have to be taken by their mothers down to the lawns which will be laid between the blocks of flats when the estate is finished.

Her husband was pleased with the kitchen. “With all the built-in cupboards, there has been no need to buy any furniture for that room, at least,” he commented.


Another family who have moved into one of the three-bedroom flats are Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Came and their son and daughter. Another son is still in the Army. They lived in Fortescue Road, but the owner wanted the house. After a year on the waiting list they have been able to move. “It costs us a little more, but it is worth it,” declared Mrs. Came. “The rooms are much larger so that we can lay them out properly and make them look nice. And,” she added, “there is a bathroom.”

In the blue and cream kitchen there is a built-in dresser, larder, broom cupboard, airing cupboard, and an electric immersion heater. In the hall is a gas-heated drying cupboard.

All the new flats and malsonnettes have composition tiled floors width can be polished.

At present, about 180 men are working on the estate, building the remaining blocks of flats, maisonnettes, and old people’s cottages. Their work has not been easy.

While digging the drains, workmen found pieces of old cars, tins, bed-steads and dustbins deep below the surface. At one spot they had to cut a trench through a large area of broken glass. In another place they found a 15-ft. wide stretch of sleepers lying across the path of a deep trench, three feet below the surface. They had to saw, hack and tear their way through the tough wood.

From Mitcham and Tooting Advertiser
4th February 1954

Their names will not be forgotten

Names noted in national and local affairs are honoured by Mitcham Council in the names given to the new blocks of flats on the Laburnum Road Estate and the Baron House Estate in London Road, Lower Mitcham.

The late Mr. Sydney Gedge, of Mitcham Hall, a one-time Member of Parliament and constructor of Mitcham Park, is remembered in Gedge Court on the Baron House Estate opposite his old home. Mitcham’s first Mayor, then Ald. Jack Fitch, and Mr. J. R. Beaumont, also a former Mayor and alderman, are commemorated in Fitch and Beaumont Courts on the Laburnum Road Estate.

The other blocks of flats are named Laburnum Court and Penfold Court (on the Laburnum Estate), Fenning Court and Baron Court (on the Baron House Estate).

The Housing Committee and council also approved the names recommended for the four blocks of dwellings for old people on the Laburnum Road Estate. They will be called Lea Cottages, Ryves Cottages, Campbell Cottages and Overhill Cottages.

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