Tag Archives: Bath Tavern

1960 : Explosion showers acid over homes

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 15th January, 1960, page 1.

Explosion hurls vat top through roof of factory

ACID IS SHOWERED OVER HOMES
And two boys at play are covered

Acid showered over homes in the Batsworth Road, Mitcham, area on Friday after an explosion in a factory nearby.

The explosion hurled the top of a vat through the factory roof. A stream of acid followed and firemen were called to hose it from homes and the street.

The factory is W.J. Bush, synthetic chemists, Batsworth Road, scene of an explosion in 1933 whiched wrecked and damaged nearby homes, and killed a child. People in the neighbourhood have never forgotten it.

Mystery

Friday’s explosion remains a mystery. The fac†ory would make no comment.

It happened in the evening as Mr Albert Bowdery, who lives nearby, went to buy some tobacco.

“I heard the bang and thought at first that a tower was going to fall, then I saw something rush through the roof.

“I hurried back indoors and called to my daughter-in-law: ‘Quick, the children.’ We ran with them into the road. It would not take much to make this old building collapse.”

Mr Bowdery’s daughter-in-law Violet, has two young children – John and Linda.

Mr Bowdery said: “The explosion reminded people of the 1933 incident. They are always a bit worried about the factory.

“We don’t know what goes on there.”

The shop of greengrocer Mrs L. Langridge was covered in a “sort of white wash.”

“We are still cleaning up. A pair of my overalls are ruined. We could not let the children play outside.”

A nearby butcher, Mr J. Stopher, said: “The sanitary people inspected my goods, and, to be on the safe side, I have handed over a quantity of lamb, although it was not contaminated as far as we can tell. The damage was done to the outside of my shop.”

An elderly painter said: “We worry about the factory because many of us remember the tragedy of 1933.”

Soon after the explosion Michael Fullick and his brother Norman went out to play. They became covered in the acid.

Baths

“When we found out we gave them baths immediately,” said mr F. Fullick, licensee of the Bath Tavern.

Firemen were given rubber gloves when they arrived at the factory. A works chemist gave them advice on how to deal with the spilt sulphuric acid.

1889 Dog stolen from landlord of the Bath Tavern

MITCHAM.

Strange Proceedings.

—At the Town Hall, Croydon, on Saturday, Charles Dawson, was charged with wilfully breaking the gate and entering the yard the rear of the Bath Tavern, Belgrave-road, Mitcham, and with stealing therefrom a lurcher bitch and dog collar on Jan. 17th, valued at £1, the property of Joseph Gilbert, the landlord.

—Prosecutor said defendant had been a customer of his. The dog was loose in his garden on the 17th. and gone the next morning. The value of the bitch was £1. He knew it originally belonged to defendant. Joseph Omigold said on the night of the 17th he met defendant, who said prosecutor had his dog in his yard, and he meant to get it. He then deliberately pulled down the gate, and went in the yard and fetched the dog out

Defendant: The dog of no value; it is big and good for nothing, like the landlord.

—P-.c. 476 W said he apprehended defendant his home on Friday evening. He said I had known I would not have sent the old woman round with the dog this morning.”

—Defendant was remanded for a week so that some arrangement might be made with the prosecutor to the repair of the gate.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 26 January 1889 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)