Tag Archives: Armfield Crescent

1973 Mitcham Town Centre Plan

A booklet from 1973 that put forward 4 plans for the town centre:

Plan 1, Plan 2, Plan 3 and Plan 4.

EXHIBITION

A public exhibition of the proposals contained in this booklet will be held at the London Electricity Board showroom, 1-2 Fair Green Parade, Mitcham, on the following dates and times:-

Friday, 6th July 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 7th July 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Friday, 13th July 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 14th July 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Members of the Town Planning staff will be available to explain and discuss the proposals informally.

PUBLIC MEETING

Following the exhibition a public meeting will be held to discuss the proposals at The Vestry Hall, Cricket Green, Mitcham at 7.30 p.m. on Friday, 20th July. The Chairman for the meeting will be Alderman R.F. Franks, Chairman of the Town Planning and Development Committee.

COMMENTS

A reply paid form will be found at the end of this booklet. Please write your comments on the proposals on this form and leave it at the exhibition in the box provided or post it to the Borough Surveyor. No stamp is required.

Please ensure that the form is returned by 31st August 1973.

THE PLAN FOR MITCHAM WILL AIM TO MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE IN WHICH TO LIVE AND WORK. YOU CAN HELP SHAPE THE TOWN’S FUTURE BY CONSIDERING THESE POSSIBILITIES AND LETTING THE COUNCIL KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THEM.

A PLAN FOR MITCHAM TOWN CENTRE

The Council of the London Borough of Merton is in the process of preparing plans for the future of Mitcham Town Centre. This booklet is being distributed to all homes and commercial premises in and surrounding the centre and, together with an exhibition and public meeting, will give everybody concerned the chance to study and comment on the plans which are being considered.

In July 1972 a leaflet was published which outlined the Council’s ideas and aims regarding the Town Centre. Comments from local residents and groups on these aims were taken into account in preparing the four different plans which are shown in this booklet. Your comments on these proposals will help the Council to identify a preferred plan. This will be considered in greater detail and then published for your information and observations.

No phasing or programming proposals are included at the present time and these will become clearer when further information on the Greater London Council’s road policies and finance are available.

SURVEY MATERIAL

A number of surveys have been carried out to give a clear picture of Mitcham today and these have provided the basis for identifying some of the problems which the Town Centre Plan should aim to relieve. Much of the survey material will be displayed in plan form at the public exhibition and it will eventually be published in the form of a Report of Studies.

Information has been collected on land use, regional and local context, shopping, public transport, car parking, townscape, age of buildings, historic buildings, possible redevelopment areas and trees. The two following plans give details extracted from this information on the existing land use and traffic conditions.

LOCAL CONTEXT

Plans for the future of Mitcham must take account of and fit into policies for the London Area as a whole. These will be provided by the Greater London Development Plan when it is approved. The report of the Panel of Inquiry into this plan has now been published but a final decision on the plan as a whole has not yet been made by the Department of the Environment.

In the plan Mitcham is shown as an area for which proposals for improvement are to be prepared, known as an Action Area, and this booklet represents the latest stage in this procedure. Mitcham is not seen as a major centre in relation to London as a whole but will be expected to cater in shopping terms for its immediate population. No great expansion of the commercial activities of the town is therefore envisaged. On the other hand there is a continuing need for new housing in London and plans for the Mitcham area can be expected to provide opportunities for building new homes.

Central Mitcham is divided by a major radial traffic route (the A.217) running approximately North/South which has junctions at Fair Green with another major route, Commonside West (the A.236). Commonside East and Western Road also bring additional traffic to the Fair Green area.
The centre is served by ten bus routes, four of which terminate in the area. This is the only public transport available at the centre, the nearest British Rail station being some three quarters of a mile away, and present operational and passenger facilities are limited. There are two public car parks which satisfy existing needs.

A conflict of interest exists between persons using the centre for work, shopping or business and those passing through the centre.

THE PROBLEMS

At present Mitcham has to fulfil two incompatible functions:—
(i) as a local shopping centre and focus of social activities.
(ii) as a junction of major traffic routes carrying substantial volumes of through, as well as local traffic.

Heavy traffic flows in the Fair Green area mean that considerable delay is caused and that danger, fumes, dust and noise make shopping unattractive. Traffic on Fair Green makes it difficult for shoppers to move about in the centre and take full advantage of the goods and services offered. The Green itself, historically the focus of the town centre, has become a noisy and unattractive place in which to sit or relax.

The attraction of Mitcham as a local centre is also limited by a lack of variety of shops. This point clearly emerged as a result of the comments received after publication of the previous leaflet. Whilst a local centre cannot expect to provide for all purchases some variety and competition in day to day shopping should be achieved.

Mitcham has a definite sense of scale and character which has been retained over the years by small scale redevelopment restricted to the old street pattern. Some recent redevelopment of larger shopping frontages has tended to erode this character and present day pressures for large scale redevelopment make increased attention to building form and design essential if it is to be retained.

Many of the comments on the previous leaflet mentioned the lack of social facilities in the town centre. Requests were received for a new public/community building, sports facilities and a meeting hall for the elderly. There is also a need for a health centre.
In the areas outside the centre itself again main roads act as a barrier to pedestrians and cause traffic to pass through residential areas. In parts of the town industrial uses exist in largely residential areas and in places derelict or dilapidated buildings create a sense of decay.

All of these problems require an overall plan for Mitcham.

IDENTIFICATION OF AIMS

As a result of the study of existing problems, and the replies to the previous leaflet, the following aims for the Town Centre Plan have been identified:—

(1) To enhance the intimate scale and character of the town centre in accordance with its primary function as a local shopping centre;

(2) to provide for some modest increase in shopping and office development, compatible with the character of the area, to maintain and improve the economic viability of the town centre;

(3) to encourage increased low rise residential development at increased densities to replace any houses lost as a consequence of redevelopment;

(4) to encourage the provision of social and recreational facilities for a variety of age groups;

(5) to provide maximum accessibility by public transport for users of the town centre;

(6) to provide adequate private and public car parking facilities for users of the town centre;

(7) to provide a highway system –
(a) aligning principal traffic routes so as to exclude through traffic from the shopping area;
(b) segregating, as far as practicable, pedestrian and vehicular traffic; and
(c) encouraging the provision of service facilities for existing and future shop and commercial development.

These do not however take account of the effects that the proposals will have on the areas surrounding the centre and ac-cordingly the following three aims have been added to ensure that the disadvantages to these areas, stemming from the proposals, are fully recognised

(8) to minimise the effect of road and other proposals on the surrounding residential areas by means of noise, visual intrusion, loss of open space and amenity areas or severance of pedestrian routes to the Town Centre;

(9) to minimise the effect of road and other proposals on the Merton (Mitcham, The Cricket Green) Con¬servation Area, within which a policy of retention and enhancement of the existing character is pursued;

(10) to minimise the effect of road and other proposals on the secondary shopping areas outside the Town Centre by reason of increased traffic, difficulties of pedestrian access or loss of trade.
The proposals which follow should be looked at in relation to their achievement of these aims.

THE PROPOSALS

Arising from the problems and aims outlined above a broad picture, or concept, of the future functions and form of the Town Centre has been prepared. These principles are combined on the following pages with various road patterns to provide four different Town Centre Plans.
All of these proposals have different advantages and dis-advantages and the Council will take into account your comments and suggestions in preparing its plan.

THE CONCEPT OF THE TOWN CENTRE

Much of Mitcham’s existing character arises from the fact that it is a well defined settlement with an identifiable central area. Figges Marsh, Mitcham Common and The Cricket Green all help to define the limits of the centre and the core of the town is situated around Fair Green thus retaining its historical form. Concentrating town centre uses around the Fair Green will, if adopted, help to strengthen this aspect of the town’s character.

Within the central area shown opposite should be located the principal shopping and commercial uses of the town. Re-development in this area must, however, reflect the existing scale and character. The central area should not include any element of through traffic but maximum accessibility by public transport, and on foot, should be provided.
Areas outside the centre should be largely residential in character and sites which may become available for redevelopment would be used primarily for housing purposes.

PLAN 1

This provides for traffic by improving London Road (North), Upper Green East and Commonside West to act as the route for all through traffic. Traffic from London Road (South) would be diverted to the east by building a new road to join the main route at Commonside West. Western Road would be diverted away from Fair Green and enter London Road on the opposite side to the Baths Hall.

The road alterations mean that most of Upper Green West could be freed of traffic but it will be necessary to provide pedestrians with a means of crossing the main road to the shops in Upper Green East. Buses could readily serve the centre and potential shopping development areas are unaffected, as would be the possible housing areas outside the centre.

This plan will have a considerable visual effect on the Fair Green area. It will cut the centre in two by a busy road and is likely to result in the loss of part of the Green itself, including some important trees. The sense of enclosure of the area would be lost if road improvements involved the demolition of the Bucks Head or Kings Arms public houses at the northern end and some of the shops at the southern end of Upper Green East.

The road works might involve the loss of about 75 dwelling units and almost 2,500 sq. metres of shopping floorspace. This is equivalent to about 25 small shops. About 120 other houses could be affected by increased noise or traffic. Potential redevelop¬ment could provide about 410 new homes and 6,400 sq. metres of shopping floorspace, representing well over twice as much as that lost.

PLAN 2

This utilises the Elm Allotments and the vacant land to the south as the line for a by-pass of the Town Centre. The road would then pass east of Fair Green, making use of existing undeveloped land behind Baker Lane to join Commonside West and then link to London Road (South).

The plan provides the opportunity to remove all through traffic and thus limit traffic in the centre. Access for buses and some service vehicles would be required but much of the Fair Green could become a pedestrian precinct. This would create a much safer and more pleasant environment for shopping. The character of the Green would be greatly improved and could be laid out with much more sitting and recreation space. However such a road provides a barrier to pedestrian movement between Fair Green and the Common and some of the character of the northern end of the Conservation Area will be lost.

The road works could involve a loss of about 70 residential units and 1,000 sq. metres of shopping floorspace. This represents about 10 small shops. New development could provide 330 new homes and 5,400 sq. metres of shopping floorspace, in other words about two large supermarkets or a much larger number of smaller shops. Some 230 other houses would be affected by noise or increased traffic, mainly in the blocks of flats off Armfield Crescent. Measures would need to be taken to reduce this effect by careful road design and noise insulation to properties.

PLAN 3

This provides a by-pass on either side of Fair Green, the one to the east linking London Road (North) with Commonside West, following a similar line to that shown in Plan 2 and that to the west passing just to the west of the Green and then through Glebe Court to join London Road (South).

As with Plan 2 through traffic is by-passed from the centre and access to the Green can be limited to buses and service vehicles. This will remove the great majority of the traffic noise, danger and fumes and make the shopping area a safer and more pleasant part of Mitcham.

The roadworks could involve the loss of about 70 residential units and 2,200 sq. metres of shopping floorspace. This is equivalent to about 20 small shops. New development can provide 330 new homes and about 5,400 sq. metres of shopping space, as in Plan 2. About 330 other dwellings would be affected by noise or increased traffic including the blocks of flats off Armfield Crescent and parts of the new North-West Quadrant housing area and Glebe Court. On the other hand all the dwellings around the area of the Green and parts of Commonside East would have less traffic passing them and, in contrast to all the other schemes the area between London Road (South) and Commonside West would not be affected.

The road pattern of this plan is more dependent than the others on the improvement of the secondary road network in the southern section of the Borough. These improvements are the responsibility of the Greater London Council. Until these plans are known the practicability of this alternative is uncertain.

PLAN 4

This also creates a largely traffic free Fair Green with all the advantages for the pedestrian and shopper mentioned earlier. Through traffic would be routed round a Western by-pass passing just to the west of the Green and then through Glebe Court to the London Road (South). A link between Commonside West and East is provided on a similar line to that in Plans 1 and 2. The visual effect on the Conservation Area in the vicinity of Three Kings Pond is minimised but considerable problems of noise and intrusion of traffic will be caused in the Glebe Court area.

The plan could involve the loss of about 75 residential units and 1,700 sq. metres of shopping floorspace (or about 15 shops) for road construction. On the other hand redevelopment areas can provide 400 new houses and about 5,400 sq. metres of shopping floorspace. About 325 existing properties would be affected by increased traffic, mostly in the Glebe Court and Elmwood Road areas. However properties to the east of the centre, including the blocks of flats off Armfield Crescent which are close to the roads shown in Plans 2 and 3 would not be affected by this scheme.

St Marks Road

Road that today runs eastwards from London Road, where the Baths used to be, then curves south to the end of Majestic Way and heads east again to Lammas Avenue.

Originally called Killick’s Lane until the St Marks church was built in 1898. It was named after Samuel Killick, a local builder who had his yard there. Amongst the various local buildings, his name is mentioned on the blue plaque at the parish vicarage, which reads:

This building, erected by Samuel Killick in 1826 for the Rev. Richard Cranmer, replaces an earlier vicarage.

The fanlight and the unusual pattern of window glazing bars are interesting features.

1910 OS map

Numbers 1 to 7 on the north side of St Marks Road at the London Road end was known as York Place.

The 1911 street directory shows two lines of houses both called St Mark’s Villas. The first is a terrace of 4 houses to the west of the school, and the second a group of 8 houses as 4 semi-detached houses, numbered from 1 to 8 from the corner with Lansdell Road. Below are the occupants from this directory, as described from London Road towards Eastfields:

NORTH SIDE

1, John K. HARVEY, chemist
2, John Samuel WRIGHT, dining rooms
3, George YORK, undertaker
4, James PRICE, hair dresser
5, William WHITTINGTON, tobacconist
6, W.A.MARTIN, butcher
7, Mrs S. RIMMEL, grocer

STAIR COTTAGES:

1, John TAYLOR
2, William Jesse LUNT
3, Frederick BURTON
4, Albert Edward BLAND
5, William TYLER
6, William LAWRENCE

ST. MARK’S VILLAS:

4, John SUDDS
3, John William GILMORE
2, John William MONKS
1, George WHITTINGHAM

St. Mark’s Sunday School
Walter JORDAN (School house)
Council Schools

ST. MARK’S VILLAS:

8, Frederick WHITE
7, Alfred R. CHEAL
6, Charles Henry J SIVIOUR
5, Noel Austin HARVEY
4, George William LAWRENCE
3, Henry BENNETT
2, Walter BLACKSTONE
1, William MATTHEWS

…. here is Lansdell Road

SOUTH SIDE
RAVENSBURY COTTAGES:
8, Thomas CLARKE
7, Charles TARRANT
6, Henry DRINKWATER
5, Mrs ROBERTS
4, Edward BURTON
3, Mrs E. KILBY

Alfred NASH & Sons, wheelwrights

George Arthur MIZEN
F.L. & A.G. MIZEN, market gardeners
St. Marks Church

A resident of one of the remaining St Marks Villas, Stan, pointed out to me this sign is visible on the garden wall of some of the houses:

part of sign showing no. 2 St. Mark’s Villas

Between Stair’s Cottages and the School House, the 1922 electoral register shows two terraces: South View Cottages and South Place, each with four dwellings. The order shown in the register is repeated here.

SOUTH VIEW COTTAGES
1, John William and Eva Jessie GILMORE
2, Alfred and Bathsheba OLDMEADOW
3, John and Betsy WADDINGTON
4, David and Lily JONES

SOUTH PLACE
4, John JORDAN; John William and Kate HAWKINS
3, William Charles and Kate COLLYER
2, Alfred, Mary and Alfred junior COUSALL
1, Ernest Edward and Elizabeth Lucy JONES

In the 1925 street directory, all the houses have been renumbered.

Stairs Cottages from 6 to 1 were renumbered 15 to 25 St Marks Road.

South View Cottages 1 to 4 were renumbered 29 to 35 St Marks Road, see 1925 directory below, and South Place from 4 to 1 were renumbered 37 to 43.

The School House became number 47, occupied by Frederick, Alice and Frederick Henry NEWSOM.

Houses named Doniford became number 59 and Astroea became 61.

NORTH SIDE
Fair green:

1, John K. HARVEY M.P.S., chemist
3, William SCRATCHLEY, dining rooms
5, George YORK, undertaker
7, H. TEDDER, hair dresser
9, William WHITTINGTON, tobacconist
11, A. BACON, hosier
13, S. & E. RIMMEL, grocers
15, Edward Charles STEVENS
17, William MERSH, boot repairer
19, Mrs BURTON
21, Frederick WELLER
23, William WELLER; Miss WELLER, pianoforte teacher
23 (back of) Thomas WELLER, cartage contractor
25, Herbert Fras. Joe SMITH
29, John William GILMORE
31, Alfred OLDMEADOW
33, John WADDINGTON
35, David JONES
37, John William HAWKINS
39, William Charles COLLYER
41, COUSALL & Sons, coal merchants
43, Alfred COUSALL

St Mark’s Parish Room
Upper Mitcham Girls’ School (Surrey Education Committee)

47, Frederick NEWSOM, school keeper
49, Rd. TOWNSEND, coal merchant
49, CARBONIUS Co. compresses carbon manufacturers

59, Henry William AYRES
61, Herbert CORNELL
63, (Sunbury) James LAW
65, (Tolworth) Miss SHEPHERD
67, (Belmont) Frederick SAWYERS
69, (Ardley) Mrs SELLAR
71, (Tongham) A. WARE
73, (Colyton) Alfred CRAIG
75, (Abinger) F. LITTLE
77, (Bramley) John WHALEBONE

83, Frederick WHITE
85, Alfred Robert CHEAL
87, W.L. WHITELEY
89, Mrs A.M. BENNETT
91, Robert J. WELCH
93, Harry BENNETT, insurance agent
95, Walter BLACKSTONE
97, William MATTHEWS

SOUTH SIDE

St. Mark’s Church

…. here is Baker’s Lane

(Maycroft) James Ernest PELLING
(Granville) William W. ORVES
(Kenwood) Charles EVELYN
(Glan-y-Mor) George MARRIN
34, William Henry BEWEN
32, (Homestead) Robert WILSON
30, HUDSON & BLAKE, automobile engineers
28, Oliver BROWN Ltd., varnish manufacturers
26, (Home Close) Charles LACK
24, Edgar HUME
22, Alfred REES
20, Mrs F. BENNETT
16, James DREWETT
14, Mrs MILLS
12, Miss RUFF
10, Edward BURTON
8, Stephen TAYLOR; Henry DRINKWATER
4, Mrs TARRANT
2, Thomas CLARK

St Mark’s Villas, numbers 83 to 97. Photo taken Sunday 19th April 2020.

Entrance to Bedfont Close from St Marks Road. On the left, the house name Bramley is shown by the front door of no. 77. Photo taken Sunday 19th April 2020.

Numbers 59 to 77 st Marks Road, from the corner with Armfield Crescent on the left to Bedfont Close on the right (out of shot). Photo taken Sunday 19th April 2020.

Note that at no. 13, S. & E. RIMMEL, grocers, was also listed in the 1911 directory at the same address (when it was no.7) and Sarah E. Rimmel, grocers, was listed in the 1938 commercial directory.

Charles LACK was the son of Hannah LACK who ran the drapers at 4 High Street, Mitcham. With his wife Emily he ran the drapers at no. 2 next door. (From a descendant who made a comment about this on the Facebook Mitcham History group.)

The St Mark’s Parish Room was originally a ‘School Church’ whose appointed mission clergyman in 1891 was the Reverend F.J. LANSDELL whose name is the origin of Lansdell Road.

This OS map from 1952 shows the houses numbered as in the 1925 directory:

1952 OS map

Note that no.s 1 to 43 and the St Marks Parish Room have now gone and is where the pedestrian Majestic Way is today, and that no.s 27 to 35 were set back from the road, this is where the Morrison supermarket is now, and between the supermarket and the school is where St Marks Road today diverts north and west through where the Mitcham Baths was.

Between the school and no. 59 is where Armfield Crescent is today, and between 77 and 83 is now Bedfont Close.

On the south side, the paint works at 28 have gone, and that is where Chalkley Close is today. Number 26 is owned by the Royal British Legion and hosts the Poppy Club. Number 30 is still there.


Adverts

undated ad for GM Paynter at 13 St Marks Road


WW1 Connections
Colenso Harry BURTON, son of Frederick and Elizabeth Burton, 3 Stair’s Cottages, St Marks Road. On the south side of the Mitcham War Memorial as BURTON, HC.

Gordon Arthur SELLAR, husband of Ada Sellar, “Ardley”, St Marks Road. This houses was renumbered to 69 as shown in the 1925 street directory above. His name is on the west side of the Mitcham War Memorial.

WW2 Civilian Casualties

18th September 1940
William Albert TOMSETT, aged 55, at 56 St Marks Road

25th October 1940
Mary PAIGE, aged 18 and Peter Victor PAIGE, aged 5 weeks, both at 25 St Marks Road


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